As I am moving TONIGHT/TOMORROW to Washington, DC, and will begin work on Monday, my book-a-day challenge for myself is officially ended.
I read The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall. I have enjoyed the first three books in this series. They feel a bit old timey to me. The stories are far from saccharine, but feel less heavy than other modern stories. The Penderwicks have issues - dead mother, remarriage of father, and in this latest tale, close family friend Jeffrey deals with his difficult mother and step-father while also working through the problems associated with having never known his father. The continual and strong presence of adults is reassuring to the characters and the reader. In some middle-grade and YA book the adults are just absent, which is clearly realistic. I believe these stories are also realistic in that while the kids try to deal with problems on their own, they always know there is an adult ready to bear the burden if needed. I think it is a healthy portrayal of families that are not perfect, but are strong in their devotion to each other.
After this I was able to finish The Hundred Dresses. This is not the children's story by Eleanor Estes, but instead a look at 100 dress styles that have been significant in history. The book was written by blogger and lexicographer Erin McKean who also wrote the novel The Secret Lives of Dresses which I enjoyed immensely. I have been reading this one slowly at a pace of two to three dress styles a day.
Currently I am reading Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield who wrote The Thirteenth Tale, a gothic novel if ever there was one, which I loved. (I remember clearly reading it on Christmas day 2007 which was a dreary, rainy day in NJ. I was cozy by the fireplace and flew through the story, taking breaks only to help with dinner.) I was lucky enough to receive an ARC and would love to post my review before release. Hopefully if my exploring DC schedule is not too hectic, I will finish and blog about it next week.
I am off to finish packing and maybe get a reading break this afternoon.