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Member: melopher

CollectionsRead in 2014 (48), Your library (994), Chris's library (10), Children's library (538), Read but unowned (78), Currently reading (3), To read (106), To Read: Junior (57), To Read: Tahoe (24), Tahoe (299), Read in 2013 (80), Read in 2012 (94), Read in 2011 (124), Read in 2010 (118), Read in 2009 (107), Read in 2008 (109), Favorites (22), All collections (1,596)

Reviews159 reviews

TagsFiction (425), Junior (407), Historical (238), Classic (202), Nonfiction (156), Christian (108), England (73), America (70), Newbery (59), Vintage (53) — see all tags

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Recommendations2 recommendations

About meI'm a mid-30s, mother of 4 who has been known to home-school on occasion. I love history and language. I love to be creative, and love to escape into a good book. I love Jane Austen for her wit and observation, and Willa Cather for her insight and language, Leo Tolstoy for his philosophy. My favorite 'genre' is 19th century Lit (tied with more current literary fiction), but that doesn't keep me from reading other things too. My dream is to have a library the size of Barnes & Noble...and to have read every book in it. Bit by bit!

About my libraryI love owning books. The smell, the feel, the look. However, I don't have any problem getting rid of books that I don't think I'll ever reread or recommend. Therefore my library is in a somewhat constant state of review (enter LibraryThing to help me keep track of it all!)

GroupsHistorical Fiction

Favorite authorsJane Austen, Willa Cather, Elizabeth Gaskell, Leo Tolstoy (Shared favorites)


Also onblogspot

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameMelody

LocationLong Beach, CA

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/melopher (profile)
/catalog/melopher (library)

Member sinceMay 14, 2008

Currently readingLes Miserables (Penguin Classics) by Victor Hugo
The Best of McSweeney's by Dave Eggers
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

Leave a comment


Hi Melopher,

I happened across your review for the Dear America book "One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping," and I agree 100% with you. In fact, your complaints were exactly my own-- the inappropriateness and unnecessary adding of suicide, teen pregnancy, references to "bosoms" floating, the term "make whoopee," and the like were out-of-place.

However, I just wanted to assure you that this book is the only one in the Dear America series that steps over the line with this kind of adult content, and that Dear America is an otherwise very virtuous and lovely series of books. I run The Unofficial Dear America Fan Blog and have read about 30 Dear America books to date, and I can honestly say that "One Eye Laughing..." is a VERY poor reflection of the rest of the series. I would definitely encourage you to give any of the other books a try; simply pick an era that interests you. The books are geared towards ages 9-14, but I find them endearing, educational, and enjoyable even in my adult years.

All of the "Dear America" books by Barry Denenberg are, in my opinion, of inferior quality to the others, and I am sad this one was your first, and potentially scared you off. But if I may make some recommendations (and I'm in no way affiliated with the authors or Scholastic, I'm just a big fan), I'd recommend "My Face to the Wind," "Survival in the Storm," "Like the Willow Tree," "Love Thy Neighbor", or "West to a Land of Plenty," to name a few! These are better reflections of the Dear America brand, in my opinion.

Anyways, just wanted to throw that out there, and possibly encourage you not to give up on the series. Like I said, "One Eye..." is a very poor reflection of the books, and I was personally shocked it was published as is. "My Secret War" and especially "The Fences Between Us" are much better WWII-era books from the Dear America series. :)

Cheers, and have a great day!

Hi Melody!

I came here via your blog, which I discovered through the Facebook Sunday Salon group. I was interested to see what was in your library. It looks like we share several books and favorite authors, AND you're a voracious reader. There are a couple of groups here on LT that might interest you: one reading Virago Modern Classics (tons of 19th century Brit Lit there), and the 75 Book Challenge Group (voracious readers all, and very friendly ... the quantity of books read doesn't matter). I'm sending you a couple of group suggestions -- feel free to join in or completely ignore them !

Meanwhile I'm going to go poke around your blog a bit more ... have a great day!
You're welcome, Melody. I'd rather hear the truth about a book myself.
I also read Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon and I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment. Thumbs up on your review. How did the rest of the book club like it?
I am so appreciative you read and wrote a nice review of Tender Graces - Thank you! I am working on the continued story of VK, so I hope it is received as warmly. Thank you
i didn't think that i would be able to do all of this library stuff...but who was i kidding. I cant stay away from something like this!

I am three boxes into my stack. about 15 more to go.
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