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Melody Murray's Books

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Currently reading

Nigella Christmas: Food, Family, Friends, Festivities
Nigella Lawson, Lis Parsons
Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause
Judy Norsigian, Boston Women's Health Book Collective, Vivian Pinn

Tehanu (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 4)

Tehanu  - Ursula K. Le Guin 4th book in the Earthsea trilogy. A masterpiece, of course. What Le Guin isn't? This one gives us a clearer picture of Ged as an old man, and so much more besides.

The Giving Tree 40th Anniversary Edition Book with CD

The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein I adore Uncle Shelby. He wrote some of my favorite light verse ever and some hilarious songs ('Polly in a Porny with a Pony', anyone?) but I loathe this book with every fiber of my being. It's hideous. Negative twelve billion stars.

The Shadow in the North (Sally Lockhart Trilogy, Book 2)

The Shadow in the North - Philip Pullman The sucker punch concealed within this book spoiled it entirely for me.

Tiger in the Well (Sally Lockhart Quartet)

The Tiger In The Well  - Philip Pullman I read it hoping for some redemption after the debacle which was Book the Second. I think I felt so betrayed by Pullman that I couldn't fairly assess this book on its own merits. I'm still mad at him.

Skinny Legs and All

Skinny Legs and All - Tom Robbins I tried. I failed.

The Wind's Twelve Quarters: Stories

The Wind's Twelve Quarters - Ursula K. Le Guin Probably my favorite Le Guin short story collection. The Darkness Box and most especially The Direction of the Road which had a profound effect on me in my youth.

Year of the Griffin (Gollancz Sf S.)

Year of the Griffin - Diana Wynne Jones I found this book to be extraordinarily formulaic and trite.

The Big Rumpus: A Mother's Tale from the Trenches (Live Girls)

The Big Rumpus: A Mother's Tale from the Trenches (Live Girls) - Ayun Halliday I've long been a fan of The East Village Inky and was happy to stumble across Halliday's memoir. Her voice is an original and hilarious one, straight from the underbelly of motherhood. Rings true, and brings back both the horrors and the delights of those early, fugue-like days.

"Could Be Worse!"

Could Be Worse! - James Stevenson I adore Stevenson's Gramps. This entire series is just delightful!

A Pair of Red Clogs

A Pair of Red Clogs - Masako Matsuno This is the first book I remember choosing for myself at the library. It was on the flat shelves by the fireplace, and I was at the library with my dad. We read it over and over and over. It's a delightful book about the consequences of folly. The illustrations have staying power, too.

Between Mom and Jo

Between Mom and Jo - Julie Anne Peters Compelling story of the dissolution of a marriage from the POV of Nick, a 14-year-old boy. His moms' relationship has come apart at the seams, and he wants to live with his non-biological mom. Dwells a little too much and too long on Nick's depression for comfort, and it's hard to believe (she says self-servingly) that a mother could ever be so clueless about her kid. Overall a solid book.

Ladies in Hades: A Story of Hell's Smart Set and Gentlemen in Hades: The Story of a Damned Debutante

Ladies in Hades: A Story of Hell's Smart Set & Gentlemen in Hades: The Story of a Damned Debutante - Frederic Arnold Kummer Probably far more risqué when it was new, this is still a lot of fun. The most notorious women who ever lived are presumed to be a social club in Hell, and they get together to tell the real stories behind their legends. Eve, Salome, Cleopatra, and more. The Art Deco line drawings are gorgeous.

My Thirteenth Winter: A Memoir

My Thirteenth Winter: A Memoir - Samantha Abeel This memoir by a young woman who has a disorder called dyscalculia felt claustrophobic to me. It taught me some things about bright people who have a hard time with math and maps and telling time, but for me, dwelt too much on the sadness and alienation Abeel felt. Also, it's hard to fill out a 200-odd page memoir when one begins at age 13 and ends with college graduation.

The Lost Cities: A Drift House Voyage

The Lost Cities: A Drift House Voyage - Dale Peck I was so disappointed by this book. I loved the first one so much that it was in my top 5 of 2005. I've been waiting for this one since, and I am so sorry to say that it doesn't even come close to measuring up to the first one. The plot is muddy and sprawling, the parrots annoying, the grownups stupid, the denouement unclear. The bits inserted to teach the young'uns historical facts are like little unblended pieces of hard sugar in your cake. It struck me as a novel which had several directions from which to choose, but which did not choose, rather sailed off in all directions at once.

Judith Leiber: The Artful Handbag

Judith Leiber: The Artful Handbag - Enid Nemy, John B. Taylor The story of Leiber's life reads like fiction. Interesting text, sumptuously illustrated with color photos of outrageous handbags.

Metropolitan Life (Plume)

Metropolitan Life - Fran Lebowitz This was my guide to hipness when I was 14. I like to think I've aged considerably more gracefully than the book.