Review: Ruby Holler

  • Author: Sharon Creech
  • Pages: 288
  • Genre: Middle-Grade

Brother and sister Dallas and Florida are the “trouble twins.” In their short thirteen years, they’ve passed through countless foster homes, only to return to their dreary orphanage, Boxton Creek Home.

Run by the Trepids, a greedy and strict couple, Boxton Creek seems impossible to escape. When Mr. Trepid informs the twins that they’ll be helping old Tiller and Sairy Morey go on separate adventures, Dallas and Florida are suspicious.

As the twins adjust to the natural beauty of the outdoors, help the Tillers prepare for their adventures, and foil a robbery, their ultimate search for freedom leads them home to Ruby Holler.

Ruby Holler is the second book by Creech that I’ve read that is about orphans.  However, this book is a much sweeter story in comparison to The Wanderer.  It’s also a tad bit slower in pacing, and a little more relaxed, which makes sense, given it takes place in a holler instead of a boat out on the ocean.

The difference in pacing and intensity is one of the reasons why I didn’t love Ruby Holler nearly as much as The Wanderer.  What really sealed it’s fate, however, was how simple it was.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed being able to relax into a comforting story set in a house surrounded by woods with two elderly and very loving people who enjoyed cooking wonderful food.  It just wasn’t all that realistic compared to The Wanderer.  It felt more like the fantasies of children who are stuck living in the kinds of cold, unloving places like Boxton Creek Home.  It was the kind of fantasy I would have dreamed up when I was a little younger than Dallas and Florida.

If it weren’t for the interwoven message that children deserve to be loved for who they are instead of constantly punished for the small troubles they get into, I might have considered the story to be more fitting to children who are not quite ready for Middle-Grade books.  In fact, Ruby Holler is only one step above a chapter book.  I would definitely recommend it for children who need something a little more advanced, but who aren’t ready for something like “Harry Potter” or “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”

Monday’s Minutes

“Monday’s Minutes” is a weekly post in which I track my bookish life.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

Currently Reading:

  • To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
  • The Glorious Cause by Robert Middlekauff
  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
  • The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
  • I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) by Brené Brown
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau

     

DNF:

  • The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Challenges:

Total pages read this week: 402

Total books for the year: 52 of 90.  I wanted to like The Bone Witch, but for some reason I didn’t care about the MC at all and couldn’t get into the story.  Oh well, maybe I’ll try again some day.  The Boyfriend and I recently finished watching the series “Turn,” based on the book, Washington’s Spies by Alexander Rose.  I found a copy of it, along with The Glorious Cause, and got sucked into the latter while hanging out at the coffee shop yesterday.  It seems that I’m in a phase where I can’t finish the books I’m reading because I keep getting distracted by other books.

What are you reading this week?

Down the TBR Hole #32

Image: hjl

Down the TBR Hole was started by Lia over at Lost in a Story.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I will be repeating this process until I’ve filtered out my entire TBR.

My TBR pile is back up again to 722 books.  I’m starting to think that getting it under 700 will be cause for a celebration.

This week’s five books:

The White Tree by Edward W. Robertson – GO.  This is yet another free ebook I picked up a few years ago.  I wouldn’t say the synopsis is ridiculous, but it did give me the impression that this book won’t be worth my time.

Ice Demon by Elizabeth Watasin – KEEP.  I laughed while reading the synopsis.  I’ll probably DNF the book within 50 pages, but it sounds like it might be fun.  It’s a Steampunk Lesbian Mystery involving an animated skull, and I have to admit, I really got this book because of the cover, and not just because it was free.

Lost Girl by Colleen Vanderlinden – GO.  The synopsis made me skeptical.  Searching for the publisher only to find that the only other book they published was also by this author made me hesitate.  Reading a couple of the reviews made me decide this one isn’t staying on my TBR.

The Amazing Adventures of Toby the Trilby by Angela Castillo- GO.  No.  Just no.

A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows by Diana Gabaldon – KEEP.  There is no way I would ever get rid of anything “Outlander”.

My to-read shelf is down to 719 books.  I already feel like celebrating a little, but I’ll hold off so I don’t jinx myself.

#FitReaders Check-In

  • This check-in is for July 6th – 12th.
  • The Boyfriend’s Mom and her Husband were visiting over the weekend, so I got in plenty of steps while we checked out some cool places in San Francisco.
  • If you have a FitBit, you can find me HERE.

 

  • Workouts: 6/6
  • Steps: 30,080
  • Miles: 12.34
  • Total Miles: 384.47
  • Active Minutes: 187/210

Monday’s Minutes

“Monday’s Minutes” is a weekly post in which I track my bookish life.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

Currently Reading:

  • The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
  • The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
  • I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) by Brené Brown
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau

    

Finished:

  • Angel’s Ink by Jocelynn Drake
  • Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

  

Challenges:

Total pages read this week: 532

Total books for the year: 52 of 90.  Even though the Boyfriend’s Mom and her Husband were visiting this weekend, I still managed to read quite a bit.  I also got introduced to two local, independent bookstores (City Lights Books and Browser Books) and bought a couple of books that had been on my wish list for awhile.  The only not-so-great thing about this week, reading-wise, was that I’m not enjoying The Bone Witch.  I’m 42 pages in, and it has yet to grab my attention or make me care about the MC.  I’m going to give it until 50 pages, but I’m considering it a dud and returning it to the library if it hasn’t hooked me by then.

What are you reading this week?

Down the TBR Hole #31

Image: hjl

Down the TBR Hole was started by Lia over at Lost in a Story.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I will be repeating this process until I’ve filtered out my entire TBR.

My TBR pile is up to 722 books thanks to adding a couple more books to my wish list .

This week’s five books:

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque – KEEP.  I remember seeing a film adaptation of this book when I was in high school, and I’ve wanted to read the book ever since.  I own the paperback, and yet still haven’t gotten around to reading it.  Probably because I know how difficult it will be for me.

My Ántonia by Willa Cather – KEEP.  This is one of those books that has been sitting on my self because I keep forgetting what it’s about.  Then I re-read the synopsis, remember why I want to read it, and put it back on the shelf to read at some other time.

Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman – KEEP.  I’m skeptical about this one, but I’m willing to give it a shot since I already own the ebook.

Insanity by Cameron Jace- GO.  The synopsis is absolutely ridiculous.  Good-bye.

Fing by Papa G. – GO.  Another ridiculous synopsis for another free ebook I picked up years ago.  Buh-bye!

My to-read shelf is back down to 720 books.  Unless a miracle happens, I highly doubt that number will go down before next Saturday.

#FitReaders Check-In

  • This check-in is for June 29th – July 5th.
  • I recently tried another exercise app, The Walk, by Six to Start, the creators of the Zombies, Run! app, and so far I like it.  My only complaint is that it doesn’t have the music feature that Zombies, Run! has.
  • In addition to my morning workouts, I managed to get over 10K steps on two separate days this week!  Hoofing it from place to place is becoming easier and more enjoyable now that I’m getting some much needed strength training.
  • If you have a FitBit, you can find me HERE.

 

  • Workouts: 6/6
  • Steps: 35,685
  • Miles: 14.63
  • Total Miles: 372.13
  • Active Minutes: 282/210

Review: 30 Rock and Philosophy

  • Edited by William Irwin
  • Pages: 240

With edgy writing and a great cast, 30 Rock is one of the funniest television shows on the air–and where hilarity ensues, philosophical questions abound: Are Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy ethical heroes? Kenneth redefines “goody two shoes,” but what does it really mean to be good? Dr. Leo Spaceman routinely demonstrates that medicine is not a science, so what is the role of the incompetent professional in America today?

In 30 Rock and Philosophy, Tina Fey and her fellow cast members are thrust onto the philosophical stage with Plato, Aristotle, Kant and other great thinkers to examine these key questions and many others that involve the characters and plot lines of 30 Rock and its fictional TGS with Tracy Jordan comedy show. – Goodreads synopsis

30 Rock and Philosophy is another one of the many ebooks I bought when I only had my 1st gen Nook.  After the Boyfriend got me a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas a few years ago, that old Nook languished on a bookshelf along with all of the ebooks on it.  That very quickly changed after Barnes and Noble notified customers that the 1st gen Nook would no longer be supported after June 29th of this year.

You know what?  I’m glad B&N made that decision.  It lit a fire under my butt to finally get around to reading all of those ebooks.  Not only did I discover I had a lot of duds that weren’t worth my reading time, but I also found several excellent books that I’m glad I spent a little money on.  30 Rock and Philosophy is one those books.

Like “Popular Science” books, the Pop Culture and Philosophy books are a great way to learn that Philosophy isn’t just for elderly professors spouting their love for the classical philosophers.  Nope, Philosophy can be applied to just about anything in our world, Philosophy snobs be darned.  I’ve read several other Philosophy books from this series, including The Hobbit and Philosophy, and so far, I’ve never been disappointed with them.  If you are a fan of “30 Rock” you should give 30 Rock and Philosophy a try.  Fair warning, though, you might find yourself re-watching the entire series after reading a couple of chapters.

Monday’s Minutes

“Monday’s Minutes” is a weekly post in which I track my bookish life.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

Currently Reading:

  • Angel’s Ink by Jocelynn Drake
  • The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
  • The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
  • I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) by Brené Brown
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau

     

Finished:

  • How to Make Disease Disappear by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee

Challenges:

Total pages read this week: 429

Total books for the year: 49 of 90.  I’m not reading as much now that I’m looking for a job instead of putting together furniture.

What are you reading this week?