Wednesday, 24 March 2010

March reading

Just had my monthly snoop at the books on Katherine’s bedside table. An interesting mix, in the Muse’s opinion…

The Ivy Chronicles – Karen Quinn
When Ivy Ames loses her job, her husband and her apartment in a single afternoon, she reinvents herself as a private school admissions advisor. The only trouble is her own daughters no longer go to a private school because she can no longer afford the fees… This is an adult read, but very lively and funny, even though it's a bit hard to feel sorry for the rich and spoilt Ivy who thinks the worst thing that can happen to her is moving into a lower class neighbourhood and sending her children to a normal school. The Muse can hardly believe the lengths some people will go to get their children into the top schools, but it is obviously a big problem for you humans. Unicorn foals, fortunately, don’t go to school – at least not that sort of school.

City of Flowers – Mary Hoffman
This is the third book in the fabulous Stravaganza series set in the fantasy world of Talia, which is almost but not quite like Italy. Sky is a teenager with a rock star father who discovers he is a stravagante (The Muse apologises in advance for any Talian spelling errors – unicorns don’t go to school, remember?). This means Sky can use a talisman to teleport to Talia, where he becomes caught up in a long-running feud between the powerful di Chimici and Nucci families. Quite a few of the teenagers who go to his school are also stravaganti, and they have a hard time hiding their nightly journeys from their parents, especially when one of them is wounded in a duel and returns to the modern world with ancient stitches in his arm.
It’s probably best to read these books in order - starting with City of Masks - to get a better idea of all the characters and Talian history, but my author always does everything backwards and says it’s fine to start in the middle, too. She likes Sky because he’s a mixed race character who doesn’t keep going on about it. My favourite character is Merla, the beautiful black flying horse!

Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident – Eoin Colfer
Artemis is 13 years old and the most notorious criminal mind in Ireland. One of his past achievements was swindling the fairies out of their fabled gold, which means Captain Holly Short of the LEPrechaun police is after him. This book is fun with wise-cracking humour and a fast pace. It’s a bit like James Bond only with leprechauns so will probably appeal most to boys who love gadgets. The Muse is horrified to learn unicorns are extinct in these books, but there’s a pretty cool centaur called Foaly, the fairy techno-wizard, so I’ll forgive Eoin. THIS time.

Oh, and it’s still there at the bottom of the pile… her old favourite, the Tibetan Art of Serenity (TAOS from now on)… is Katherine not serene enough already?

Read any of these books? Tell the Muse what you’ve been reading this month!


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