Maribou (maribou) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Dragon's Pretend Box; Between Bitterns; Wishful Family

Dragon's Breath: and Other True Stories, by MariNaomi
I grabbed this at random from the new books shelf at the library and I'm so glad I did. Even though it was a collection of graphic stories, it all cohered marvelously. Funny and raw and delicate and goofy.

Benny and Penny in Just Pretend, by Geoffrey Hayes
This was adorable, and totally relatable for anyone who has had a loved-but-irritating younger sibling, no matter how old they are now. (Also, TOON books? the whole line of comics for kids, leveled a-la-easy-readers? SUCH a good idea. I just have to point that out every so often. Because it keeps being brilliant.)

The Grenadillo Box, by Janet Gleeson
Ennnnnh. I did like this historical mystery with lots of glorious detail about 18th century England, quite a bit, but not nearly as much as I would've expected given that writing about 18th century England in a plausible way is almost a surefire home run where I'm concerned.. The voice just wasn't a good match for me. It was a well-constructed voice, but not one I cottoned to. I'm so fussy about feeling an emotional pull to my narrators. (yes, even the almost-not-there ones. yes, ESPECIALLY the first-person or close-third ones. yes, even when it creeps me out to feel the emotional pull, because it's not like said narrator is AT ALL a likable person. yes, even when the character themself is almost emotionless. there's just gotta be chemistry, man.)
(249B - whoops :D)

Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates (ARC)
I loved this book so much and it made me think so much. And feel so much for that matter. We ended up buying THREE copies of it at my tiny academic library where we almost never buy 3 copies of anything, just to keep up with the demand. (Seriously, I could count the number of things we have more than 2 copies of without running out of fingers and toes!) It has flaws, but the flaws feel like an inextricable part of the whole package. Love. Love love love.
(251, O49, A5)

A Siege of Bitterns, by Steve Burrows
This was a very neat mystery with tons of birding stuff. I am not a birder but I like a lot of the same things birders do (eg counting obsessively, categorizing, wetlands, fresh air) so that part was fun. And all the other parts were handled with satisfying competence. Will keep track of this author.

Wishful Thinking, by Frederick Buechner
Very short essays about different theological things. I'm pretty sure this at least partially inspired Kathleen Norris' similar book, which I love, but unfortunately it suffered by comparison. I suspect partly just because it's much older (early 70s). I still love Buechner's voice and will read more books by him.

Hip Hop Family Tree, vol. 1: 1970s-1981, by Ed Piskor
This was cool. I was expecting more of a through-narrative? Instead it was more a bunch of disconnected but quasi-related parts. Strips, not GN. I would've preferred GN. I dug it, though.

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