Readerly Rambles: 16 March 2015

What I read: I read three books in the span of a week. before everyone get’s all excited let me tell you it was a YA novel, a comic collection, and a children’s classic. I’ll save the comic collection review for later (I plan on reviewing several comics at once in the future). For now here are my mini-reviews of the other two books I read.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie: I was consumed by this book. Funny, devastating,  and poignant, this story is about Arnold Spirit and navigating his life on the reservation and his life as a fairly popular kid at his predominately white high school. The drawings by Ellen Forney add a visual richness to the text. This story is so great for young people. It navigates teen problems like dating and friendship, it addresses poverty and addiction, it speaks about racism and privilege and all tied up with wry musings of a teenage boy. Ugly cry alert; I haven’t cried this much since I read The Book Thief.

~~~ Stats ~~~

Started: 9 March 2015

Finished: 10 March 2015

Pages: 240


Owned/Borrowed/Library: Borrowed from university library

Stars: Five out of Five

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. Sam gifted me a beautiful Penguin Threads edition of this childhood favorite. This Victorian novella follows the life of Black Beauty, a horse of good-nature and high spirit, from a the time he is a colt until his “retirement” to a happy field to live out the rest of his days. This book isn’t for everyone. I’m sure many people would find it cloyingly sweet and moralistic. Sewell discusses animal abuse and work conditions, but she also manages to add in all sorts of moral lessons from “don’t drink” to “be honest” to “don’t stay out in the rain too long.” This story hit a perfect pitch with me and animal rights are so important to me. There were many beautiful quotations about valuing animal life. Here are a few favorites:

“We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.”

“Do you know why this world is as bad as it is?… It is because people think only about their own business, and won’t trouble themselves to stand up for the oppressed, nor bring the wrong-doers to light… My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.”

~~~ Stats ~~~

Started: 13 March 2015

Finished: 15 March 2015

Pages: 224

Challenges: Back to the Classics Challenge — Children’s Classic

Owned/Borrowed/Library: Owned

Stars: Four out of Five


What’s Up Next: Tonight I’m starting a new volume of Fables (Camelot, #20) and later this week I plan on digging into Susan Higginbotham’s novel about Jane Grey, Her Highness, The Traitor.

Happy Reading!


  1. I’m going to have to track down the Alexie title. I cannot remember if I read Black Beauty as a kid. But I did read Smoky the Cowhorse (one of the older Newbery Medalists) not that many years ago, and was reminded of it reading your description of Black Beauty. It, too, was a sad story. I finally found a copy of the Forsyte Saga and have added it to my summer reading stack, thanks to your recommendations. Happy reading to you.

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