5. Hatke, Ben. The Return of Zita the Spacegirl (Zita the Spacegirl) (222 p.)
6. Wangerin, Walt, Jr. The Book of God (850 p.)
7. Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice (399 p.)
March total: 1,471 pages
2015 total: 2,344 pages
Argh, where has the month gone? Better keep this short.
The third book in the Zita trilogy wraps up the cliffhanger from the second volume, but while this was a good read, I think books #1 & 2 were even better and this one seemed to lack a certain depth and some of the character interaction. It's apparently gotten a little flack from parents who give this to younger kids, as it involves slavery/prison labor as well as (arguably) attempted genocide, rather than just the high adventure & shady dealings by people who are somewhat morally grey of the previous volumes, thus possibly starting some difficult conversations, but I suspect most kids won't latch onto those elements. As a whole the series is eminently readable, and this volume caps it off well, so I'd recommend ignoring the naysayers and reading it anyway.
The Book of God is a novel-like retelling of the "historical" sections of the Bible, from God's promise to Abraham to Jesus Christ's death & resurrection, as a series of shorter stories with a unified über-plot. It leaves out a lot, and add in details often culled from archaeo-sociological research into what people were probably like in general in the relevant time periods to flesh out characters to provide backstory or side-stories that help make the people involved come to life. The result is more readable en masse than the original source material, and I'd recommend it as a good read, though it's probably best read while keeping a sense of distance between it and one's own core religious beliefs.
Pride and Prejudice is one of those classics I've read a lot about over the years, but managed to avoid while I was in school. Having now read all about the comic misunderstandings and character growth of Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy (& friends), I'm simultaneously glad I read it and glad I didn't have to read it in school. I can sort of see why it's timelessly popular, and can appreciate it, but it's not really my thing.
Feudalism: Serf & Turf