Anne McCaffrey: A Life Worth Reading

Once I reached the age where I could read to myself, my mother rarely read to me, especially not long chapter books. I don't remember how old I was when my she brought Dragonsong into my bedroom one night, but I remember the remarkable feeling when a mother and daughter share something magical. For us, it was a book. She went on to read me Dragonsinger and Dragondrums.

By then I was hooked. I quickly gobbled up characters and series like Acorna, The Ship Who Sang, Doona, Freedom, and my favorite, The Talents series of which Pegasus in Flight is by far one of my favorite sci-fi books of all time. It hasn't made many of my lists on here because it is typically considered an adult book, although I venture to say it is YA as all the main characters in it are teens. I did notice that occasionally Anne McCaffrey wrote some rather strange books, my least favorite being The Crystal Singer.

Even so, Anne McCaffrey has become a staple in the sci-fi and fantasy community, creating worlds that mothers want to pass on to their daughters. As Benjamin Franklin once said, "If you would no be forgotten as soon as you are dead either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." Anne, you did just that. She will forever be in my heart and on my bookshelf.

NPR and the 50th Anniversary of The Phantom Tollbooth

This month NPR has chosen The Phantom Tollbooth as their Kids Book Club Pick, in celebration of its 50th Anniversary. Young readers can read along, listening throughout the month to various essays about the book by many people including the author himself, Norton Juster. Once read, young listeners are encouraged to send questions to NPR, some of which will be asked to the author during an interview. This is only the second book that NPR has picked for their new book club, but I simply love the idea of engaging their listeners. Check out this link, send in a question, and listen in.

The Phantom Tollbooth 50th Anniversary Edition - Norton Juster & Jules Feiffer

Tuesdays at the Castle Book Review

Jacket Flap: Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celie's favorite days. That's because on Tuesdays the castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing. No one ever knows what the castle will do next, and no one-other than Celie, that is-takes the time to map out the new additions. But when King and Queen Glower are ambushed and their fate is unknown, it's up to Celie, with her secret knowledge of the castle's never-ending twists and turns, to protect their home and save their kingdom.

I was in search of a nice fluffy middle grade book to give me a break from some of the heavier stuff I have been reading lately. After reading the jacket flap and judging the book by its cover, I decided Tuesdays at the Castle would be just that. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was a story of political intrigue and danger, just light enough for a young reader though. When the King, Queen, and one of Celie's brothers are attacked in an ambush, her brother Rolf is in line to become King, but the three Glower children aren't so sure that their parents are dead. This is furthered by the actions of the Council who obviously don't want Rolf to become King, or at the very least want to control him. They will do anything, even threaten the lives of the two princesses.

Princess Celie is a wonderful and precocious character, the kind of kid I would like to think I was and who many children want to be. She is quick thinking and willing to do anything to help save her family and the castle.

Perhaps the most interesting character though was the castle itself. A castle that is literally alive, bowing to the needs of those who live within, kicking people out who it doesn't like, moving rooms closer or further to where they need to be, despite the frustrations of those who live within. The castle notices and feels and thinks and perhaps has some prescient abilities.

I thought this was a rather delightful read, one that I didn't want to stop reading. It's perfect for those who love fairy tales, adventure, and everything else in between.

On My Nightstand

I think I having a small bout of ADD because I can't seem to finish a book but I have been rather good about starting them. Let's assume that I somehow manage to stop beginning the books and actually finish one, then you can expect to see reviews for these books very soon. Or not since some of them are adult books, but sometimes I just have to get my autobiography on.

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt - Caroline Preston

Drama - John Lithgow

A Game of Thrones - George R. R. Martin

Wildwood - Colin Meloy & Carson Ellis

Size Matters Not - Warwick Davis
Mississippi Jack: Bloody Jack #5 (Unabridged) - L. A. Meyer