Book Review: The Well-Trained Mind

This has been, for personal reasons, the summer of homeschool books. Those personal reasons include me starting to homeschool my fourth-grade son. This is not the first or last book that I will review for that reason, and in fact, I forsee many homeschool-related reviews in our future here at The Starving Artist. Many of…

Book Review: Hoot

I’ve been pulling the sleek, simple, and colorful copies of the Hoot series by Carl Hiaasen off the shelves in the youth section of bookstores, for a long while. Something about them—including their presence everywhere–said “good book” to me. Perhaps it was the simple titles: Hoot, Chomp, Flush, Scat, and Skink. Perhaps it was those…

Book Review: The Lemonade War

The reviews for Jacqueline Davies’ The Lemonade War are mostly good, but after being critical of Island of the Blue Dolphins, I find myself reluctant to call this one how I read it: I liked it. I didn’t know what to expect, really. My daughter had pulled it from the shelf in her classroom, telling…

Book Review: The Castle Corona

I read Walk Two Moons probably fifteen years ago, and I liked it enough that I considered myself a Sharon Creech fan. But despite my intentions to read more of her work, here I am fifteen years later reading my second book out loud to my nine-year-old son. Castle Corona was a title I found…

Series Review: Jack Stalwart

I will dare to give the Jack Stalwart series of children’s secret agent books three stars, but only because my eight-year-old son loves exactly two series of books, and this is one of them. If I had found these Elizabeth Singer Hunt books on my own, I would have only made it through the first…

Book Review: Socks

Socks, by Beverly Cleary, and first published in 1973. Seen here in the William Morrow and Company version illustrated by Tracy Dockray. Let me begin this review with a revelation: I hate cats. Let me also give a review spoiler: I loved this book. My loving this book came as a surprise to myself. I…

Book Review: Muggie Maggie

Muggie Maggie, by Beverly Cleary. Published in 1991, by HarperCollins. I actually forgot that we read this book before Christmastime, which I think says a lot about the book itself. We were waiting for the next Henry Huggins books, so we decided to read this one-book Beverly Cleary, which we already had in our library.…

Book Review: Embroideries

Embroideries, by Marjane Satrapi, 2005, Pantheon. This will be a quick review for a quick read. The review is rated PG13, for some of the content discussed. Marjane Satrapi is best known as the author of Persepolis, an autobiographical graphic novel about her life growing up in an educated, political family in Iran and her…

Series Review: Ramona

The Ramona series by Beverly Cleary, which is, in order: Beezus and Romona, Ramona the Pest, Ramona the Brave, Ramona and Her Father, Ramona and Her Mother, Ramona Quimby Age 8, Ramona Forever, and Ramona’s World. They were published from 1955 to 1999 (!) and include two Newbery Honors and one National Book Award. We…

Cookbook Review: Japanese Soul Cooking

Japanese Soul Cooking, by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat, published in 2013 by Ten Speed Press. This book is the first that I am reviewing from the Best Books: Food and Cookbooks list. I will try to review these books as cookbooks, but also as books. Capice? I just purchased this book with birthday money,…

Book Review: Go Set a Watchman

Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee. I read a Kindle copy given to me on the day the book was released, in July 2015. For further comments and articles on this book, Harper Lee, and the hype surrounding all of it, see these blog entries: Haven Kimmel Month Postponed; What? Harper Lee Is Back…

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars

The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green, published in 2012 by Penguin. I was simply seeing this book everywhere. Everyone seemed to love it. So I added it to the Best Books TBR (to be read) and put it out of my head. Until a friend posted on Facebook that her copy was looking…

Book Review: The Complete Sherlock Holmes

The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volumes 1 and 2, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and compiled by Barnes & Noble Classics. The material was originally published between 1887-1927. This version, with an introduction by Kyle Freeman, appeared in 2003. For a collection of works, this one is tremendously steeped in history and widely adored. Therefore, to…

Book Review: Fever 1793

Sorry folks, I have been off sick. Pretty sure a fever (how appropriate!) north of 103 gets you off work, even if you work from home. But I don’t need my throat to work, so here I am. Back again. The following review is for Fever 1793, by Laurie Halse Anderson, published by Simon and…

Book Review: Principia

Magnificent Principia (2013), by Colin Pask, as a way to read–without actually reading–Isaac Newton’s The Principia, or more correctly, Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica or Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, 1687 (last edition, 1726). Magnificent contains important chunks of Principia, although what percentage I am not at all clear on, and it digests those chunks for…