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The Arcanum by Thomas Wheeler
Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? by Louise Rennison
Athena by George O'Connor
Bagelmania by Mountain Lion Books
Bird by Zetta Elliott
Busy Woman Seeks Wife by Annie Sanders
The Clock Without a Face by Gus Twintig
The Dancing Pancake by Eileen Spinelli
Doctor Who: The Ripper by Tony Lee
Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass
Fullmetal Alchemist 11 by Hiromu Arakawa
Going Around the Sun by Marianne Berkes
How to Survive a Killer Seance by Penny Warner
Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford
Once Upon a Starry Night by Jacqueline Mitton
The Pepins and Their Problems by Polly Horvath
Pieces for the Left Hand by J. Robert Lennon
Pining to Be Human by Richard Bowes
Polar Bear Night by Lauren Thompson
Pride and Prejudice (audio) by Jane Austen
Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
Slog's Dad by David Almond and Dave McKean
"Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!" by Patricia Thomas
Steinbeck's Ghost by Lewis Buzbee
Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh by R.L. LaFevers
The Train by Georges Simenon
Twin Spica 03 by Kou Yaginuma
Under the Night Sky by Amy Lundebrek
The Writing Circle by Corinne Demas
xxxHolic 05 by CLAMP

Misc
Mount TBR 2012

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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 Steinbeck's Ghost

Steinbeck's Ghost 11/21/11

 cover art (Link goes to Powells)Steinbeck's Ghost by Lewis Buzbee is a tween urban fantasy about a boy, Travis, who isn't happy in the new subdivision. He's a Steinbeck fan and wants to help save the Salinas public library from being closed due to budget cuts. As he works on a plan he begins to be visited by ghosts of Steinbeck's stories and quite possibly the author himself. They seem to be telling him that the answers to his problems are tucked away in the landscapes that inspired Steinbeck.

There were so many reasons I should have liked this book. I live in the Bay Area and visit Salinas a couple times a year. I'm also a fan of Steinbeck. I'm a library science student and a lover of ghost stories. Finally, I absolutely adored Buzbee's memoir The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop.

Unfortunately the pieces didn't come together for me. Travis doesn't come of as a very likable protagonist. The move to the new tract home is a plot device to give Travis something to whine about. And whine he does.

The focus of the book should have been the ghosts of Salinas fiction and fact coming together to save the Salina's library. I'm sure that's what happened eventually but the plot gets bogged down first with Travis's unhappiness and then with lengthy discussions of the books he's reading. The name dropping though isn't done as part of plot. Instead these passages feel like book reports inserted for filler.

I ended up not finishing the book. What should have been a fun read ended up being a chore and a bore.

One star.

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