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Month in review

Reviews:
200% of Nothing by A.K. Dewdney
Cap'n Warren's Wards by Joseph C. Lincoln
The Cats of Moon Cottage by Marilyn Edwards
The Devil on Horseback by Victoria Holt
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krause Rosenthal
Far from the Tree by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant
I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
I, Fatty by Jerry Stahl
Inca Gold by Clive Cussler
Lamb by Christopher Moore
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiel Hammett Native Tongue by Suzette Haden Elgin
Sabine's Notebook by Nick Bantock
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend Signspotting by Lonely Planet Books
Simplify your Life by Elaine St James
Tales from Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett
Terminal Velocity by Bob Shaw
Typee by Herman Melville
Whizz Kids: Painting & Drawing by Moira Chesmur

Miscellaneous:
F is for Farmers' Market
Family Update
Harriet
Living on Two Hours of Sleep
Settling in as a Family of Four
Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back
Tomorrow
An Update on My Recovery
Weekly Update

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4: 09/20/06

Every so often, I'll mention a book that I haven't read or I will start reading a book and my husband will do a double-take. Then he'll exclaim, "What, you haven't read that book before?" The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole is one of those books. He read it the year it came out as he was living in England at the time and it's a British book. Until 2004, I hadn't even heard of the book (which despite my reading 300 books a year is still fairly typical of me). Another BookCrosser kindly sent me a copy of the book so I could cross it off my list of "books Ian has read and can't believe I haven't read."

Ian says he had two different reactions to the book depending on how old he was at the time. He first read the book when he was ten. At this first reading he sympathized completely with Adrian and was just as surprised by the mother's affair as Adrian was. When he read the book again at thirteen (and three-quarters?) he couldn't believe how naive and arrogant Adrian was.

Having read this book for the first time as a parent of two children, I'm not so concerned with how much Adrian knew or didn't know about his mother's behavior. Instead, I am outraged at how irresponsible his parents are. Over the course of the book Adrian has to fend for himself when his parents are fighting, drunk or out having affairs. He has to live in a home where more money is spent on a dog than on basic staples like food and clothing or bills like electricity and telephone. I've read reviews that see humor in these circumstances because Adrian is more mature than his parents but I found the plot more grim than funny.

I didn't completely hate the book. There were three elements I did like: Adrian's friendship with Bert (the 80-something pensioner), his relationship with Pandora, and his reading list over the course of the book, especially when his reviews of the books are completely off-base due to his misunderstanding of them.

Here's my BookCrossing Review:

Poor Adrian Mole. He has lousy parents. Why do these fictional diaries of teens so often deal with divorce? While the book was an interesting glimpse at life 23 years ago, I much prefer the more recent Georgia Nicholson "confessions."

The reason I prefer the Georgia Nicholson diaries (written by Louise Rennison) is that they are clearly parodies of the fictional diary genre. Georgia stresses over non-issues with the angst that I remember feeling about most everything as a teen. While so many things may seem like a crisis for her she is actually part of a functioning and stable family. She is well loved, well cared for and although her parents do separate from time to time, the separation if due to lengthy business trips, not infidelity.

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