1. The Greater Journey by David McCullough. Any time David McCullough comes out with a new book, it’s worth looking into. There’s a reason he’s won the Pulitzer Prize, you know? And this book was great–it’s about 19th century Americans heading to Paris and encountering ideas and inspiration and culture and art and all sorts of experiences that just weren’t available here at the time … and then bringing them back to make a difference. Fantastic. (The color illustrations were stunning, too. I had had no idea, for example, that Samuel Morse of dot-dot-dash-dash Morse Code started off as a really gifted artist.)
  2. Belgarath by David Eddings
  3. Polgara by David Eddings
  4. Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings
  5. Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings
  6. Magician’s Gambit by David Eddings
  7. Castle of Wizardryby David Eddings
  8. Enchanter’s End Game by David Eddings. So, um, you know that I’ve adored this series of Garion and his friends since I discovered them in high school, right? (Though to be fair, my best friend spotted them first.) All of my copies say “First time in Print” on them and I’ve completely lost count how many times I’ve read them. It’s just something I have to do every now and again. Classic fantasy-style epic adventure, with a sense of humor.
  9. Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook by Deb Robson and Carol Ekarius. If you’re even mildly interested in sheep and wool and natural fibers–or even just pretty, pretty pictures of fiber-bearing animals–run, don’t walk, to get your hands on a copy. It’s fantastic, and I go into much more detail here.
  10. Teach Yourself Visually Circular Knitting by Melissa Morgan-Oakes. Review here at Knitting Scholar.
  11. Sock Knitting Master Class by Ann Budd. Fantastic book. Read my review here.
  12. The Two Georges by Richard Dreyfuss and Harry Turtledove. An alternate-reality mystery novel, taking place in an America that never fought a revolution and whose iconic painting of George Washington and George III–the picture which appears in every government building and on every dollar bill–is stolen and Thomas Bushell must find it and bring it back. It’s well thought out and the occasional cameos from “real” people are fun to spot, and I’ve always rather hoped they’d write a sequel.
  13. The Ugly DachshundG.B. Stern. Oh, my, this book was DELIGHTFUL. All I knew was the Suzanne Pleshette/Dean Jones movie from the 60s, with the Great Dane who thought he was a dachshund. THIS is the book it was (loosely) based on, and it’s one of the sweetest books I’ve read in ages. Tono thinks he’s a dachshund and can’t understand why the “Legs” never scoop him up into their laps like they do with the other dogs, or why “Apron Legs” gives him raw meat instead of cooked meals like the other dachshunds. (I adored how every human in the book is referred to as “Legs.” Master Legs, Supreme Legs, Guest Legs. Relative Legs. It all makes perfect sense if you think about what our dogs LOOK at all day long.) This really had no resemblence to the movie and I liked it all the more for it. So, so fun.
  14. The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. Half a story about a writer trying to write her book and half a historical-fiction story that is not only the book she’s writing but apparently a genetic “memory” of an ancestor who had lived here centuries ago. Enjoyable.
  15. Chalice by Robin McKinley. YA fantasy, where Miralys is “Chalice” to her land in a troubled time as they try to introduce a new Master. This book always makes me wish I liked honey more, because she uses a lot of it.
  16. Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley. An alternate-universe YA, where Jake lives in a national park that houses dragons and ends up with an orphaned dragonet–when it’s illegal to try to keep them alive. McKinley is always a treat.
  17. Sorcery & Cecelia by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. I’ve read this several times, but it’s charming–an epistolary novel set in early 19th Century London, but a London where magic works. It tells the adventures of two chatty, intrepid cousins–one stuck at home in the country, while the other enjoys her “Season” in London. The authors say in their note that they had sheer FUN writing these letters, and it shows.
  18. Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know by Alexandra Horowitz. Interesting look into how dogs experience the world (or so far as we humans can tell. Chappy particularly enjoyed this–I found him giggling at descriptions for bits that I’m guessing she might have gotten wrong. But, still, it was good, and intriguing.

Now, one more thing. Over at Knitting Scholar, I compiled a list of new and upcoming knitting books–and there are a LOT of them. Please head over and check them out–there are so many titles, it took TWO posts! Here’s the first post, of recent and soon-to-be-out books. And here’s the list of somewhat further-out but still coming books.

3 Thoughts on “Books from June 2011

  1. So David Eddings, a decent writer, eh? lol

    I enjoyed The Winter Sea. The Two George’s look quite good too, I’d forgotten about it. Danke!

  2. Heehee, my belgariad collection has several books where the front cover fell off! McKinley is my fav author, bar none, and the Wrede collaboration was excellent. Good selection this month.

  3. Luke on July 27, 2011 at 7:43 am said:

    Hey thanks ! I was really looking for something to read. I used to read a lot of Dean Koonz stuff back last year – i love him.

    Let take a look at other literature worlds :)

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