22. Auschwitz: the Nazi Solution – Andrew Rawson
Story – An overview of the development of Auschwitz as a prison camp and then an extermination camp.
Thoughts – Pretty dry and factual, but interesting in light of all the personal stories I’ve read. The personal stories have never quite managed to convey how utterly enormous the camp was. It was also interesting to read in this the way it was for the non Jewish prisoners in the beginning, and even later on. Still, just so, so sad.
21. Kristy in Charge (BSC # 122) – Ann M. Martin
Story – More hijinks from the girls in the BSC. This time the school is running a program where kids plan and teach a couple of classes. Mallory winds up teaching English to an 8th grade class, and Kristy teaches gym to a group of 6th graders alongside her arch nemesis, Cary Retlin.
Thoughts – One of another completely unrealistic baby sitters clubs! Honestly, the teaching program thing was way too mature for middle-schoolers, and the things that kids had to cope with as teachers was crazy. As if any real teacher would have sat back and watched the class have a fist fight (Kristy) or watched the class drive Mallory to PTSD. Mostly I just read this because Emma was reading it, it was lying around, and I needed something to read in the bath.
20. A Pony to School – Diana Pullein-Thompson
Story – Christina and Augusta take on the challenge of schooling Clown, a skewbald pony with a reputation for trouble.
Thoughts – I loved this book when I was in primary school, I have no idea how many times I borrowed it from the MARC van.
I still love it today. I found it on the giveaway shelf at school and snatched it up immediately. It reminded me of being at uni, when we were always trawling op shops for books and any Pullein-Thompson pony book (there was three sisters and they all wrote pony books) was a prize for Rose and I. They’re harder to come by nowadays because they were published in the 70s and paperbacks (especially children’s books) just don’t hold up brilliantly after forty five or fifty years.
Anyway, I read it again because I needed something slightly more relaxing after my epic slog through Game of Thrones, and it was perfect.
19. A Dance with Dragons – George R.R. Martin
Story – Epic fantasy saga.
Thoughts – I actually have quite mixed feelings on this series, now that I’ve read all five. Firstly, I did enjoy it. It’s full of drama and schemes and it has some awesome characters, and it always left me wondering what was going to happen next. However I was a little uncomfortable with some of the portrayals of women in it. I also thought that as time went on the story just became TOO much of a sprawling saga. There were too many characters in too many different places and not enough of their stories were intersecting frequently enough. I started to forget who some of the secondary characters were, and care about them even less.
It took me close to two months to read these five books, which I read straight through like they were only one. That was just over 4600 pages on my e-reader, and while I recognise that reading that many pages in seven or eight weeks is still reading pretty fast it just felt SO SLOW! I don’t know how people maintain interest in stories over such long periods of time. Well, not maintain interest in the story, because I stayed interested in it, I guess I just mean that by the end I was longing for it to finish so I could read something in a different style and genre.
They next book really has no publication date to look forward to, and I don’t know if I’ll read it anyway. By the time it comes out I will have forgotten everything that was in the books, and I can watch the tv show. I have to say, that in a lot of ways the tv show is a better way to tell the story, even though it’s unusual that I would prefer anything to a book.
Two months! I feel like such a slow reader.
18. A Feast for Crows – George R.R. Martin
17. A Storm Of Swords – George R.R. Martin
16. A Clash of Kings – George R.R. Martin