Finally clearing the deck (It’s Monday, What Are You Reading)

What I’m reading
Dodger by Terry Pratchett (YA, quasi-historical fiction, Dickensian, street urchins, humor, ARC) pub. 9/13
Usually I can read a book in an afternoon. Sometimes I stretch it out to two. I’ve struggled to finish this book for weeks and I’m not sure why. I love Pratchett. I like Dickens. (Pratchett’s voice in this book is very Dickens-like). I liked the main character. The story was interesting. But this book never came together for me and I can’t quite put my finger on where this book and I went wrong. Perhaps it was the overabundance of period slang that distracted me from the story in key moments? The philosophical asides? The melancholy tone?

I’m not sure how to review or rate it since I neither liked nor hated it. If I had bought the copy, I would have just put it aside for another time but since I was given a review copy I felt like I needed to finish it before I read anything else.

What I’m listening to

The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle (mystery, Sherlock Holmes, PG-13) Patrick Tull narrator.
This was a big hit. I got it for myself but the kids fell in love with it. You can still get this for FREE from Amazon if you buy the (free) ebook. Gearbox is now fascinated with Holmes so we are moving to The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (Japanese magic-realism, doorstop, rated R)

What’s on my TBR pile
I’ll finally make progress on my TBR pile now that I’ve finished Dodger.

 • Uncontrollable by S.R. Johannes (indie, mystery, outdoorsy, strong-girl protagonist, YA) Giveaway coming October 8th on my blog.
 • The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne Valente (MG, fantasy, ARC)
 • Raven Boys by Maggie Stieffvater
My husband is almost done with this one so I get it next. Woo hoo!

For more It’s Monday, What Are You Reading, visit Kellee and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Sheila at Book Journey.

In other quasi-literature-related news, today is October 1st so it’s Halloween Prep Time. This year I’m going to be a book character again (last year I was Katniss, the year before a camper from Camp Half-Blood). I’ll be dressing up as an eponymous picture book character who spends a lot of time lost in the crowd.
Who are you going to be for Halloween?

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16 Responses to Finally clearing the deck (It’s Monday, What Are You Reading)

  1. Linda Baie says:

    Yes, the Halloween talk at school will begin, won’t it? It is a huge day at school, teachers dress up & some parents even join us for our big parade. Love it! I am sad when I hear that schools take the fall break then so they don’t have to do Halloween. Kids love it so much. Glad to hear you’re going to read Raven Boys too. I hope I can carve good time to read this week. Love that you are moving into Holmes-the stories are good! Thanks, Katya!

    • kczaja says:

      I love Halloween, too. It’s my favorite holiday so we usually go crazy with decorations and costumes!

      Most schools that we’ve been to now do a “Fall Celebration” or “Harvest Festival” instead of Halloween. I miss the Halloween parades and costumes and parties from my childhood.

  2. Megan says:

    I have been told that I MUST read Raven Boys. I was not a fan of her Mercy Falls trilogy, but am going to give this one a shot. I need to start thinking about a costume. Last year I was a giant (ridiculous) pumpkin. This year I would like something a little more comfortable to work in. I like your idea! Here is my list

    • kczaja says:

      Don’t let that dissuade you from trying Scorpio Races and Raven Boys. Mercy Falls trilogy was too paranormal-romancy for me but I loved Scorpio Races. She is such a beautiful writer.

  3. Tara says:

    Ugh, Halloween…I hate this particular day! My kids love Raven Boys…but I have yet to manage finding a liking for it. Maybe it’s worth a second try?

    • kczaja says:

      Oh no! How can you hate Halloween?! :-)

      Books are so individual. Give Raven boys another chance… but if it doesn’t grab you, it doesn’t. I’ve been reading The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. Everyone I know loved it; I just can get into it.

  4. Kathryn says:

    I will look up Raven Boys to see what it is about! In New Zealand we don’t celebrate Halloween so much, although the shops try to sell as much stuff as they can.

    • kczaja says:

      We lived in Australia for a year. We moved right before Halloween and the kids were horrified to discover that Halloween was not celebrated there. They ended up dressing up in costume and walking around Melbourne handing out candy (reverse trick-or-treating).

  5. Hannahlily says:

    oh, I really want to read The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There and The Raven Boys. Can’t wait to hear what you think. It is that time of year, isn’t it? I am going to be the title character from Code Name Verity for Halloween although I was very nearly going to be Babymouse. I’ll save her for next year, though!

  6. Dodger and Raven Boys? I am so jealous!

    • kczaja says:

      :-) I’m a very lucky duck.

      I have a series I am crazy about (Kiki strike) and when the publisher approved me for the ARC of the 3rd book it made my week.

  7. While Halloween is quite a big thing here, it’s not as HUGE as it is in the States (we spent one Halloween there sometime in 2009, so I have an idea haha). It’s mostly the kids who really dress up and enjoy because of the candies. Now that my daughter is 10, she’s not really keen on joining the trick or treat any more (in fact, she dressed up last year as Lady Gaga, but didn’t join the trick or treaters – kids.. they grow up too fast, really). But I did recall us having a blast when she was younger, thinking of the most outrageous and out-of-this-world costumes: one time she was a garbage girl, another time a dryad. Fun times.

    Now book talk: I feel bad about your experience with Terry Pratchett – I have high hopes for him (I am after all collecting his novels), but I haven’t read any of his works yet. Do let me know if the novel picks up for you somewhere in the end. I’m glad to hear that your kids love Sherlock Holmes. :) We’re also keen on receiving a copy of The Girl who Fell Beneath Fairyland, as we received an ARC of the first book. Do let me know how you find this one. I’m scheduled to receive a copy of Raven Boys soon, so I’m excited about that one. :)

    • kczaja says:

      When my boys were younger they came up with the most specific and ridiculous costume requests (a yellow butterfly with working wings was the worst). Now that they are older they mostly want book characters or manga/anime characters.

      I would definitely recommend starting Pratchett either with Wee Free Men or Color of Magic. Dodger never really came together for me the same way that some of his other books have but I will give it a second chance. Sometimes I have to be in the right mood to read his books.

  8. Pussreboots says:

    How is 1Q84 as an audio (besides LONG)? I’m slowly reading it in hardback. Dodger is on my wishlist.

    My favorite book this week was Dr. Seuss: The Cat Behind the Hat by Caroline W. Smith. Please come see what I’m reading now.

    • kczaja says:

      Surprisingly enjoyable. I usually avoid dense, textual books and classics as audiobooks… but I’m really enjoying it. The only problem is that I can’t listen to it while I’m doing something else like cooking or cleaning because it requires too much attention.