Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What We're Reading Wednesday

Books + link-up  = Me all over it!

I'm sure you're completely gobsmacked that I'm linking up with the lovely Jessica of Housewifespice for her smashing new linkup because I just hate books.

I'm really excited by this naturally. And Jessica has always done the nicest reviews of books. They're fun, short, she doesn't apologize for her opinion-I love 'em. And its such a nice idea to start it in link up form!

Here's what we're reading this week:

Hansel and Gretel by Cynthia Rylant with wonderful illustrations by Jen Corace. I've been trying to delve into more fairy tales with the kids in their picture books so we start in the general direction of having a good foundation of fairy tales as we do a little more homeschooling. This is a really beautiful edition in which Rylant doesn't add anything untoward but maybe puts a little more emphasis on evil and wickedness sometimes wearing a smile and being covered with candy on the outside. I think the pictures are quite pretty and the bright colour is wonderful. 

Is it weird that I want Gretel's outfit on this page? Sorta.

The Steadfast Tin Soldier also by Cynthia Rylant. I ordered these from the library a few weeks ago and by coincidence they both came in on the same library stop, but the kids have enjoyed this book as well! This is a funny little Hans Christian Anderson tale which the kids don't seem to see as quite the black and white moral play like Hansel and Gretel but they keep asking for it so that's a good sign! I believe Gemma did ask me after a reading "Why would the ballerina want to be melted into the soldier?". Again the pictures are pretty and colourful and the retelling is easy to follow without over simplifying the beauty of the story.

And I'm still reading The Paris Wife  by Paula McLain. Its the novelized version of Ernest Hemingway's marriage to Hadley Richardson, his first wife while they lived in Paris and he first began his writing career. I just read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald and have heard that this book was also very well written about the same era and famous group of authors. I think so far that this book is better written than the Zelda Fitzgerald novel, although the Zelda novel had a more authentic Jazz Age/flapper voice while this is a polished novel even when Hadley or Ernest speak. I've never liked reading Hemingway and frankly don't quite understand why everyone finds his life so fascinating. I guess I thought in reading this novel I'd figure that out. I almost don't want to finish it because I know the train wreck is coming, and suffering through Ernest Hemingway as a husband even through the written word is quite a punishment. 
I do think this author does a nice job of portraying what Hadley must have felt and what it might have been to be inside that marriage. I find any book the pursues marriages interesting.  I think I may be burnt out of the 20's just now, but would recommend it if you like that era, those writers, or a well written book about marriage. 

This has to be short, I've got a baby to breastfeed and a beer to drink-but go visit Jessica and make sure to check out what everyone else is reading! Yay geekery!


  1. I love those illustrations from the Hansel and Gretel. They remind me of Marcel Dzama's work.

    And I loathe Hemmingway, toO! Twins!

  2. Not interested in Hemingway, but will totally read about Zelda! Certainly you've see Midnight in Paris? Of course you have. Silly me.

    1. I knew I liked Cynthia Rylant but couldn't remember why. Mr. Putter and Tabby! Easy readers that didn't dumb it down for my dyslexic son. He really enjoyed those!

  3. Oooh... I love the Hansel and Gretel. And no, not weird at all that you want that outfit.

  4. I randomly brought The Steadfast Tin Soldier home from the library a while back based solely on the illustrations and my boys loved it! You've made me want to go back and get it again :)

  5. I'm reading The Paris Wife right now too. Actually, finished it last night. Keep reading!! It is so good. He lived such a productive and such a sad life. My sentiments about his writing are similar to your's yet this book has me intrigued to read more by him.

  6. LOVE seeing what other ladies/mamas are reading! I'll have to try to make this link up next time.


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