Welcome to the latest installment of my recurring "reviews that made me want to read the book" feature. The idea is to highlight the reviewers who, through apt description, or through happening to touch on one of my particular interests, entice me add a book to my list. This week I discuss five reviews.
I've enjoyed Eva Ibbotson's children's books for a while now. I've heard good things about her YA titles, but have yet to get around to reading one. Angieville kindled my interest in Ibbotson's A Song for Summer by saying "There is humor, danger, romance, and a beautiful longing for the world as it was and as it should be among the pages of this book. Ibbotson's light, lyrical writing flowed through each chapter, like the glissandi and grace notes of the music that is so central to its theme." At the very least, doesn't it make you want to read the rest of the review?
Juliet Marillier’s Wildwood Dancing has been vaguely on my radar, but Shelf Elf made me want to read it with these sentences: "This is a book I wish all fans of Stephanie Meyer’s series - Twilight, New Moon & Eclipse - would pick up, because it has everything those books have (thwarted love affairs, dark magic, deep secrets) without all of that over-the-top, heavy-breathing ,”I cannot live without your icy lips pressed against mine” business. It’s beautifully crafted, with well-drawn characters so that you never feel stuck inside of a good vs. evil fairy tale struggle." Now, I like the Twilight books, but this still caught my attention.
This is all it took to make me add Barbara O'Connor's Greetings from Nowhere to my list: Franki Sibberson at A Year of Reading said: "Really, I can't imagine loving a book more than I loved this one. It was really quite a perfect book." OK, Franki, coming from you, that's good enough for me.
Sometimes it doesn't even take a full review to entice me, but rather an intriguing comparison. At Chasing Ray, Colleen Mondor said of Curtis Parkinson's Death in Kingsport that it reminds her "of everything good about the Three Investigators. You've got some dead folks, a teenager with a couple of sidekicks who are trying to figure stuff out and a potential tie-in to an Amazon trip by a couple of locals post WWI. It zips along and while it might be a wee bit out there it's realistic enough to be fun." What mystery-lover could resist that?
And sometimes a review just strikes a particular chord. Kathy from Library Stew made me want to read Zachary's Ball, Oliver's Game and Mudball, three picture books by Matt Tavares, by saying of Zachary's Ball: "Since it is the tale of a Boston Red Sox fan, how could I not like it. But in all his baseball books, Tavares pen and ink drawings are so detailed and so I might even enjoy them if they were about the Yankees". OK, I'll concede that this description may not pull everyone in, but it worked for me.
The above books are now officially on my wish list. Now if I could only find some time to read... (I've been working on this post while watching the Red Sox - A's game). Keep those reviews coming!