Book Review: A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn


Author: Howard Zinn Title: A People’s History of the United States Narrator: Jeff Zinn Publication Info: HarperAudio (2009) Other Books Read By Same Author: A People’s History of American Empire and Marx in Soho Summary/Review: This is a powerful “alternate” history of the United States that I’ve long intended to read but only just got around to…

Book Review: Who Was Davy Crockett? by Gail Herman


Author: Gail Herman Title:  Who Was Davy Crockett?  Publication Info:  Grosset & Dunlap (2013) Summary/Review: I read this children’s biography to my son.  I actually knew very little about Davy Crockett (who as we learn in the biography preferred to be called David) so it was interesting to read a book that focused on the…

Book Review: A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts by Joseph M. Bagley


Author: Joseph M. Bagley Title: A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts Publication Info:  Hanover ; London : University Press of New England, [2016] Summary/Review: A few years ago I listened to the brilliant podcast series A History of the World in 100 Objects presented by the BBC and the British Museum.  Joseph Bagley also listened…

Book Review: Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary


Author: Beverly Cleary Title: Ramona the Brave Narrator: Stockard Channing Publication Info: New York : Listening Library, 2007 (originally published in 1975) Books Read by the Same Author: Ramona and Her Father, Beezus and Ramona, and Ramona the Pest Summary/Review: Ramona is now in first grade, maturing away from being a “pest” but still finding trouble.  She also…

Book Review: We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge


Author: Kaitlyn Greenidge Title: We Love You, Charlie Freeman Publication Info: Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2016 Summary/Review: This book is difficult to describe in a few sentences.  The Freeman family moves from Dorchester to a rural town in Western Massachusetts where they will live in an apartment at the Toneybee Research Institute…

Book Review: Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary


Author: Beverly Cleary Title: Ramona the Pest Narrator: Stockard Channing Publication Info: HarperAudio (2010) – originally published in 1968 Books Read by the Same Author: Ramona and Her Father, Beezus and Ramona Summary/Review: In the second book of the Ramona series, Ramona begins kindergarten with much excitement, and while she’s eager to learn to read…

Book Review: Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary


Author: Beverly Cleary Title: Beezus and Ramona  Narrator: Stockard Channing Publication Info: HarperAudio (2010) – originally published in 1955 Books Read by the Same Author: Ramona and Her Father Summary/Review: This is the first in Cleary’s series of Ramona books.  I listened to it with my daughter at bedtime.  In many ways my four-year old daughter…

Book Review: Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary


Author: Beverly Cleary Title: Ramona and Her Father Narrator: Stockard Channing Publication Info: New York : Listening Library/Random House Audio Publishing Group, p1991. Summary/Review: I sadly deprived myself of Beverly Cleary books as a child, so I’m making up for lost time.  In this Ramona Quimby book, her father is laid off meaning that Ramona spends more…

Book Review: Stuart Little by E.B. White


Author: E.B. White Title: Stuart Little Narrator: Julie Harris Publication Info: New York : Bantam Audio, p1965. Books Read By Same Author: Charlotte’s Web and Trumpet of the Swan Summary/Review: Listened to this audiobook on a road trip to New York City, appropriately enough.  The titular character is born in New York, surprising his human family by actually…

The Comment Challenge


I signed up to participate in another challenge, this one called The Comment Challenge.  It will be running in June, July, and August this summer.  I missed sign ups for June, but signed up for July and probably will sign up for August as well. The basic gist is that participants are paired up to…

Book Review: Suicide Hotline Hold Music: Poems by Jessy Randall


Author: Jessy Randall Title: Suicide Hotline Hold Music: Poems Publication Info:  Red Hen Press, April 2016. Summary/Review: Jessy Randall, the Curator of Special Collections at Colorado College, and blogger at Library Shenanigans used her librarian skills to track me down and offer me free copies of her books in exchange for an honest review.  While I’ve never…

Book Review: There Was an Old Woman: Poems by Jessy Randall


Author: Jessy Randall Title: There Was an Old Woman: Poems Publication Info: Unicorn Press, December 2015 Summary/Review: Jessy Randall, the Curator of Special Collections at Colorado College, and blogger at Library Shenanigans used her librarian skills to track me down and offer me free copies of her books in exchange for an honest review.  While I’ve never quite…

Book Review: The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs


Author: A.J. Jacobs Title: The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World Narrator: Geoffrey Cantor Publication Info: Highbridge Audiobooks (2004) Books Read by the Same Author: The Year of Living Biblically Summary/Review: A.J. Jacobs sets out to “become the smartest person in the world” by reading the Encylopedia Britannica in its entirety from…

Book Reviews: Earth, Air, Fire, and Custard by Tom Holt


Author: Tom Holt Title: Earth, Air, Fire, and Custard Publication Info: London : Orbit, 2006. Summary/Review: This is the third in a series of J.W. Wells stories where the hapless Paul Carpenter finds himself forced to work in a company that’s really a front for the magic business of a bunch of goblins.  In this adventure…

Book Review: Jackaby by William Ritter


Author:  William Ritter Title:  Jackaby Narrator: Nicola Barber Publication Info: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books (2014) Summary/Review: This detective novel set in 1892 in a fictional city in New England openly acknowledges that it is a Sherlock Holmes pastiche in the opening pages.  Even “Sherlock Holmes with fantastical and supernatural elements” has been done before,…

Book Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde


Author: Oscar Wilde Title: The Picture of Dorian Gray Narrator: Paul Lincoln Publication Info: Dreamscape Media, LLC (2016) [Originally published in 1890] Summary/Review: Sometimes you decide that you should make up for having never read any works of Oscar Wilde and learn that this book is far weirder than you ever imagined.  The Picture of Dorian…

Book Review: The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and. Dean Hale


Author:  Shannon Hale and Dean Hale Title:  The Princess in Black  Publication Info:  Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2014. Summary/Review: An entertaining chapter book for young readers in which the seemingly perfect Princess Magnolia leads a double life as the Princess in Black, protecting goats by fighting monsters while trying to avoid being found out…

Book Review: Good Morning, Gorillas by Mary Pope Osbourne


Author: Mary Pope Osbourne Title: Good Morning, Gorillas Publication Info: New York : Random House, 2006. Summary/Review: Another delightful Magic Tree House journey where Annie and Jack spend a few days living among a family of mountain gorillas in Congo and learn the “magic” of communication.  Osbourne knows a lot about gorilla behavior and incorporates it into…

Book Review: The Fever of 1721 by Stephen Coss


Author: Stephen Coss Title: The Fever of 1721: The Epidemic That Revolutionized Medicine and American Politics Narrator: Bob Souer Publication Info: Simon & Schuster (2016 Summary/Review: I received a free advanced readers copy of this audiobook through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review. 1721 is a pivotal year in Boston history….

Book Review: Ben and Me by Robert Lawson


Author:  Robert Lawson Title: Ben and Me Publication Info: Boston, Mass. : Little, Brown, c1939. Summary/Review: I remember this story from when I was a kid, although I think I only saw the movie which I recall being less acerbic.  The basic gist is the same, Ben Franklin’s career as inventor, scientist, politician, and ambassador is aided…