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I am listening to Joanne Harris’s Runemarks and I find myself vexed at how my copious knowledge of Norse Mythology–the D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths is one of my bibles–spoils the story for me. I am still wending my way through the first 100 pages and it’s OBVIOUS to me…

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On Sunday, the NYT published its annual Children’s Books Review. I read the reviews and, given that I no longer have anyone interested in Mother Goose rhymes or picture books, I concentrated on the tomes for older kids. Here are the ones I’ve bought. If you click on each title,…

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Martine Leavitt’s “Keturah and Lord Death,” was a finalist last fall for a National Book Award. The heroine, Keturah, needs to find her one true love and save her village from the Plague while playing Scheherazade to Death himself.The Bayern trilogy by Shannon Hale–“The Goose Girl,” “Enna Burning” and “River…

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This book changed my life. Really.Years ago, in my more than two decades love affair with my husband, we each wrote each other, at separate times, a horrible letter. We were young, we were angry, we had the clarity of those who’ve never had scary medical tests, we were not…

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Dragonslippers by Jessica Day George was a perfectly respectable, predictable, fantasy novel with a smart, cheeky young woman as the protagonist, Creel. I read this book with my 11 year old daughter and we both thought it was OK. It’s certainly not taxing–it’s fantasy Muzak, pleasant, forgettable and kind of…

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This chick-lit book by Patricia Volk let me down. A scribe no less than a book reviewer from THE NEW YORK TIMES wrote:To My Dearest Friends is a cozy, kick-off-your-shoes-and-curl-up novel. If you happen to find it in an airport bookstore, you’re lucky. Just make sure you remember to catch…

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I read all of Alice Hoffman’s books. Some, like Illumination Night, I love and have read again and again. Others, like The River King, I sped through and will never pick up again. Ms. Hoffman made her name writing books for adults but, in recent years, she has penned many…

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It’s true that I couldn’t easily put down Cornelia Read’s debut novel, Field of Darkness. It is also true that, at its end, I felt a bit let down. The villain was not that difficult to suss out and, more importantly, the class politics on which the novel revolves became…

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I read the following on slate.com today and I post it as the end of the discussion as to the value of the Rowlings series. “Dear Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, Slytherins, and Hufflepuffs, Before I begin, a few words. Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!Will, you worry that those who judge the book as…

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