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Altered Realities by Alfred Bester
Angus and the Ducks
by Marjorie Flack
Batman: Year One by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli
Battlestar Galactica by Jeffrey A. Carver
Bhangra Babes by Narinder Dhami
The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner
Bone: Ghost Circles by Jeff Smith
Bone: Treasure Hunters by Jeff Smith
Coast to Coast by Catherine Donzel
Crazy Hair by Neil Gaiman
The Devil's Arthmetic by Jane Yolen
The Dyodyne Experiment by James Doulgeris and V. Michael Santoro
The Emergence of Maps in Libraries by Walter William Ristow
Finding Marco by Kenneth C. Cancellara
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
The Klondike Cat by Julie Lawson
Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Little Rascals by Leonard Maltin
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
Monsoon Summer by Mitali Perkins
More Flanimals by Ricky Gervais
Mr McGratt and the Ornery Cat by Marilyn Helmer
My Guy by Sarah Weeks
Pass It Down by Leonard S. Marcus
Pure by Terra Elan McVoy
The Quest for Merlin's Map (The Jumper Chronicles) by W. C. Peever
Pure by Terra Elan McVoy
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine by Ann Hood
Texas Tomboy by Lois Lenski
Thief of Shadows by Fred Chappell
Wildfire by Sarah Micklem

Misc Thoughts:
In Search of Manning Coles


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 Big Rock Candy Mountain

The Big Rock Candy Mountain: 10/31/10

 cover art (Link goes to Powells)When I was reading Wolf Willow by Wallace Stegner for the 2009-10 Canada reads challenge, someone on Twitter recommended with gushing enthusiasm The Big Rock Candy Mountain also by Stegner. Since I've so far had very good luck with Stegner's books and since I love the song from 1928 that inspired the title of this roman clef, I immediately put the book on hold.

The Big Rock Candy Mountain is a big, dense, complicated book. The version I read further exacerbated things by using a tiny typeface. Since it was an old copy and the paper had yellowed, it was really hard to read both from a physical and mental standpoint.

The book has ten parts, each one a different scheme for Bo Mason or someone else in his family to try. It's a different scheme, a different location and a different era. Stylistically the book reminds me of Ulysses and I probably should have treated it the same way by reading a single section a week instead of powering through the entire book in a month.

Thematically though, the book reminds me of the two Polly Horvath books I've read: My One Hundred Adventures and Northward to the Moon (review coming). Both are about families trying to make a go at things by unconventional means. Both also share plots that dance across border between the United States and Canada being novels representative of both countries.

I ended up giving the book a two out of five stars on Goodreads. I was going through a rough patch, trying to find a job in the middle of the worst economy we've had since the Great Depression. Reading a book about a family struggling through poverty wasn't the best thing for my own emotional state of being. The tiny typeface, yellowed pages and numerous pages didn't help matters either.

My advice: take the book slowly.

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Comments (2)


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Comment #1: Monday, November, 1, 2010 at 12:19:25

Kris Rudin

Hmm. I didn't find this book that dense or complicated. I found it very readable, if somewhat depressing. Don't remember if I rated it on GoodReads, but I'd give it at least 3 if not 4 stars.



Comment #2: Saturday, November 6, 2010 at 11:25:21

Pussreboots

A different copy with a different typeface may have been completely different. This copy was very old, faded and printed on thin paper that was very difficult to turn. The seer physical difficulty in reading the book combined with a time crunch made for a less than ideal reading experience.