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Month in review

Reviews
Avatar: The Last Airbender: North and South, Part Three by Gene Luen Yang
Books of a Feather by Kate Carlisle
Caleb and Kit by Beth Vrabel
CatStronauts: Robot Rescue by Drew Brockington
Country Matters by Michael Korda The Dashwood Sisters Tell All by Beth Pattillo Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Flaming Iguanas: An Illustrated All-Girl Road Novel Thing by Erika Lopez
The Football Girl by Thatcher Heldring
Froodle by Antoinette Portis
Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs
House Held Up by Trees by Ted Kooser and Jon Klassen
Inside Hudson Pickle by Yolanda Ridge
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Love Lies Bleeding by Susan Wittig Albert
Love, Penelope by Joanne Rocklin
Melena's Jubilee by Zetta Elliott and Aaron Boyd
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
The Once Upon a Time Map Book by B.G. Hennessy and Peter Joyce
Poisoned Pages by Lorna Barrett
Questions Asked by Jostein Gaarder
The Sea Lady by Margaret Drabble
Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil, Vol. 1 by Jeff Lemire
Spy on History: Victor Dowd and the World War II Ghost Army by Enigma Alberti
Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley
Thornhill by Pam Smy
Tim Ginger by Julian Hanshaw
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
Winter Wonders by Kate Hannigan

Miscellaneous
Favorites of the first half of 2018
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 02, 2018)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 09, 2018)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 16, 2018)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 23, 2018)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 30, 2018)
June 2018 Sources
June 2018 Summary

Road Essays
Are small towns uhoric or utopic?
An update on the road narrative reading
Road Narrative Spectrum
What isn't a road narrative: towards an ontological understanding of the road's importance

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


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Country Matters: 07/29/18

Country Matters

I maintain a good sized family library. We used to live in a tiny town home and we're all avid readers. Currently most of our family library is in storage. Yet, for the most part I have a good idea of what we have in our collection — what we've read and what we still have to read. I even used to have a catalog, the BTC, but I haven't updated it in ages. Believe or not, the turnover of our books is consistent enough that keeping up a catalog was a lot of work. Every once in a while, though, the system, such as it is fails.

Country Matters by Michael Korda is one of those points of failure. Back when I was active with Bookcrossing I brought home a copy of the book. Korda is the nephew of Alexander Korda and the person who gave me the book knew about my film studies background and insisted that was the reason I had to read it.

At the same time I was just finishing up Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House by Eric Hodgins — a roman à clef about building a home in the countryside while still commuting into the city. But 2008 or so was a busy time for me with young children, a full time job, this blog and review copies coming out my ears. Fun reading time was a premium and while I though the book sounded like it had potential, I had other titles vying for my attention.

As it turns out, I had also joined GoodReads back then because the wishlist site that used to be maintained by a fan of Bookcrossing. Somehow my to be read annotation for Country Matters also somehow included wishlist. Wishlist to me means I don't have a copy on hand and I need to get one before I can read the book.

That brings us to the present. Country Matters had boiled up to the top of my wishlist. It took eight years and by then I had forgotten that I already had a copy. My library didn't have a copy so I had to do an interlibrary loan, even though I had a copy sitting on my shelf in my bedroom!

Was the book worth the effort? Not really. Korda's memoir is outlined as a series of essays about the lessons learned from living in the countryside. It's rather homely and cute but it's also rather dry. There's not a lot of there, there. There's no sense of the town, no sense of Korda.

Two stars

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