Monday, June 8, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge: Week 22

This week I read Botelo.  I am still kind of mentally processing this one, but let me see if I can summarize some of my thoughts on it.  First off, the writer either has trained horses or knows someone well who has.  She "gets" it.  I found myself nodding in agreement through a lot of passages describing Will, the young man, who purchases a young filly destined for bigger and better things. Will has grown up in a typical small ranch family, the youngest of 3 boys.  His mother has recently dodged a bout of breast cancer.  His father is unhappily working in town to make ends meet to pay for the ranch, and Will is philosophical about the fact that the ranch will be run by his older brother and he needs to find his own way in the world.  There were parts of this that reminded me of Pilgrim at Tinker's Creek - the writing is beautiful and the description of the Wind Rivers is very evocative. Will's a thinker too... so a lot of time is devoted to what's going on inside his head; this is definitely not an action-driven book.  

I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending of it.  The final third of the book takes Will and the filly to an expensive polo-training barn in California, where he hopes to learn skills beyond his ranch and rodeo ones to break into the better-paying world of polo.  (And he has purchased the filly with an eye towards training her up to play polo.)  He becomes friendly with, although not really a part of, the group of workers who are barn helpers at the polo barn.   In the end, he has to make a set of hard decisions regarding his family, the filly, and those workers.  (I don't want to ruin this for anyone who decides to read it by going too much into the specifics there.)  I'm not sure that I would make the same decision Will does.  I can admire him for his choice - I'm just not sure I'd do the same in his shoes.

Moving on, I've picked up Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte, and I'm about halfway thru that.  Mostly I'm learning that children of any era can be horribly spoiled and nasty.  (Not a news flash.)

1. a book with more than 500 pages: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. FINISHED.
2. a romance: Katherine by Anya Seton. FINISHED
3. a book that became a movie: The Hours by Michael Cunningham. FINISHED.
4. a book published this year: The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck.  FINISHED.
5. a book with a number in the title:  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. FINISHED.
6. a book written by someone under 30: Eragon by Christopher Paolini. FINISHED.
7. a book with nonhuman characters:  The Greyfriar by Susan Griffith.  FINISHED.
8. a funny book: Bossypants by Tina Fey.  FINISHED.
9. a book by a female author: Fever 1793 by Laurie Anderson.  FINISHED.
10. a mystery or thriller:  Séance in Sepia by Michelle Black. FINISHED.
11. a book with a one-word title: East by Edith Pattou.  FINISHED.
12. a book of short stories:  Tapping the Dream Tree by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
13. a book set in a different country: The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. FINISHED.
14. a nonfiction book:  The Fossil Hunter by Shelley Emling.  FINISHED.
15. a popular author's first book: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.  FINISHED.
16. a book from your favorite author that you haven't read yet: Forests of the Heart by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
17. a book a friend recommended: Botelo by Alyson Hagy. FINISHED.
18. a Pulitzer-prize winning book: Andersonville by MacKinley Kantor.
19. a book based on a true story: The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry.
20. a book at the bottom of your to read list: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson.
21. a book your mom or dad loves: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.
22. a book that scares you: The Blackhouse by Peter May.
23. a book more than 100 years old: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.
24. a book based entirely on its cover: Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliot.
25. a book you were supposed to read in school but didn't: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
26. a memoir:  Two Rings by Millie Werber and Eve Keller
27. a book you can finish in a day
28. a book with antonyms in the title: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.
29. a book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit: Iceland by Betsy Tobin.
30. a book that came out the year you were born: Mary, Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser.
31. a book with bad reviews: Moon People?
32. a trilogy (the first):  Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clarke.
33. a trilogy (the second) Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clarke.
34. a trilogy (the third)  Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clarke.
35. a book from your childhood: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.  FINISHED.
36. a book with a love triangle: Muse by Mary Novak.
37. a book set in the future
38. a book set in high school: The Small Rain by Madeline L’Engle.
39. a book with a color in the title:  A Cavern of Black Ice by J.V. Jones.
40. a book that made/makes you cry
41. a book with magic: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price.
42. a graphic novel
43. a book by an author you've never read before:  My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira
44. a book you own but have never read: The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro.
45. a book that takes place in your hometown: Magic America by C.E. Medford.
46. a book that was originally written in another language: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
47. a book set during Christmas (or similar holiday): A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.
48. a book written by an author with your same initials: Silver Lies by Ann Parker.
49. a play
50. a banned book: Beloved by Toni Morrison.
51. a book based on OR turned into a tv show: Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs.
52. a book you started but never finished:  The Heresy of Dr. Dee by Phil Rickman.

Tour de Fleece - Week 2

I'm pretty happy with my progress for the Tour so far this year!  I've been trying to have a goal of 15 minutes of spinning a day, o...