OCTOBER 2019This is one of mystery author Sharyn McCrumb's early titles, and one of her first awards (the 1988 Edgar). Set entirely at a science fiction convention. it captures all the quirks of mid-1980s pre-internet fandom.
The author, better known for his book The Princess Bride, it's film adaptation, and other screenplays ( Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President's Men, Misery...), wrote The Silent Gondoliers under the same pen name as The Princess Bride. While this story is a fable than fantasy, the tone of the two books is similar. The Silent Gondolier tells the story of Luigi, a young Venetian who dreams of becoming a gondolier despite being an awful singer -- even though everyone knows that "gondoliers are the greatest singers in the world". This is a short and sweet end-of-summer read, with a predictably happy ending - but one I enjoyed getting to.
JULY 2019Claudia has bravery and a foolproof plan: all a runaway eleven year old needs. She and her younger brother Jamie live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City for a week, sleeping in historical beds, bathing in the fountain, and buying vending machine food with change left behind by museum visitors.There is a mystery, too: rumors that the Met's new acquisition (sold at a ridiculously low price by one Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler) might be a missing work by Michelangelo. Claudia and Jamie are determined to prove the rumors are true before they return home. This book was a Newberry winner in 1967, I loved it in 1985, and it continues to make top book lists now. Be warned though, you might want to live in a museum after you read it!