I should be crocheting, but I’ve actually designed something, and since I don’t have the yarn to make it, I’ve got temporarily disinterested in the rest. I’ll let you know more about it as and when I can…
So for now, a couple more books. I just finished Agnes Grey, and I’d like to write about that, but if I don’t catch up with the list in order I’m afraid some of the entries upon it will remain forever undescribed, and that would be terrible, of course!
This is a beautifully (and amusingly) illustrated modern Jewish fable. Do not let the illustrations make it seem like it should be for young children, as I suspect it would take adolescents (or their older friends) to get all of the subtle references.
I haven’t read the other three books in this series, but certainly wouldn’t object to doing so if I happened to find them. At the centre of this book is Tom Natsworthy, a young apprentice on the Traction City of London who by chance gets caught up in the personal disputes of Hester, Katherine, and the latter’s father Valentine, London’s hero, and must flee for his life. Tom lives in a world where people are expendable; villages, towns and cities must destroy each other or be destroyed for their resources; and where the very idea of actually settling in one place is taboo. It’s a complicated world, but a well thought out one, and an intriguing set of tales.
It’s been quite awhile, and the main thing I remember about listening to this book is the regular surprise at what was going to happen next. Certainly the romances did not go as expected. Which is not to say that the story is not memorable – just that it’s fairly complex, and keeps the reader guessing.
Mr Hogarth has brought up his two nieces, and educated them in a way generally considered suitable for boys who will have to make their own way in life, rather than for girls. On his death they discover he means them to do just that, leaving all of his money and property to a hitherto unknown son, who in turn would have preferred some contact with his father in life. After thinking through the opportunities both young women make their way to Australia, and the new society there, and slowly build themselves decent lives.
Now I specifically read this at Pesach, (which shows just how far behind I am with this list, and why I amn’t recalling every detail) because I brought it as a gift for the family (good friends) I spent the first days with, and the three-year-old boy had me (and everyone else) read it to him countless times. [Note that I haven’t included on the list all the other kids’ books I read to them, but we went through this one enough for it to count, I think!] He was in fits of laughter every single time (the older kids liked it, but not as much as he did). I had great fun doing voices, and his exuberance and the book itself were a perfect match. It’s just good, and I highly recommend it for reading to young children (which I love doing).
Tags: A Tale of Seven Sheep, Agnes Grey, audiobooks, books, Catherine Helen Spence, children's books, crochet, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Gadi Pollock, illustrations, Jewish books, Librivox, Mo Willems, Mortal Engines, Mr Hogarth's Will, NaBloPoMo, Novels, Philip Reeve, Philip Wilkinson, reading aloud