Medieval Stories

All read in the spring of 2012. Catherine, Called Birdy, by Karen Cushman—four stars. Catherine is the daughter of a minor lord in medieval England—which, to her, is even worse than being just a villager, because at least the villagers can choose their own marriages. Birdy’s greedy father keeps trying to arrange marriages for her,…

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Three stars. Read the first time in December 2010; read again from December 2014 to January 2015. I had no desire of my own to read this, but it came up in so many conversations in the late 2000s that I decided I should, if only to see how I felt compared to everyone else….

Abarat, by Clive Barker

Three stars, read in 2010. This book is as interesting as the cover looks. It’s almost 400 pages, but goes quickly because many of the pages are beautiful, full-sized illustrations done by the author. Barker has a kind of impressionist style, and the characters and places in the book are imaginative, sometimes a bit grotesque. Even the setting…

Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson

Three stars, read in 2010. I won’t say much about this book besides telling you that it’s incredibly hard to read, but worthwhile. If you’ve ever even thought about envying anorexic girls because you thought “at least they’re not fat”—and I know people do this, because I know I have done it, as sad as that…

Crank, by Ellen Hopkins

Three stars, read in 2010 for Banned Books Week. I keep having to give this book a numerical rating, and I don’t really know how to. I was fascinated, but I didn’t like it; I read it in probably two or three hours, partially because it’s written in verse with only a few sentences per page, and…

Pigs in Heaven, by Barbara Kingsolver

Spoiler warning: If you plan to read these books, which I absolutely recommend you do, read The Bean Trees first. Although it never says so anywhere on the cover, Pigs in Heaven is a sequel.   Three stars, read in 2010. I have very mixed feelings. I had a really hard time putting this book down while I…