I skidded out of The Good Thief, which was assigned as summer reading to my rising 9th grader. I feel just a tad guilty for not gutting through my dislike of the secondary character's obvious falsehoods and confabulations, when my son did not have that opportunity, and that I therefore was was not able to help him with the associated writing assignment.
I got more ambitious than I have been about gardening in a number of years and I'm putting in my first garden that is more than just a pot or 2 of cherry tomatoes. So I've been reading a lot of garden books. This one just didn't hold my interest. The concept of ways to be more time-effective in your garden is intriguing, and there are a few interesting projects, but in general, I found the book poorly organized and not all that useful.
Mary Robinson made some fascinating life choices, which are here outlined in painstakingly accurate detail. Sadly, the reader has to supply all the excitement, sympathy, outrage, and regret, as the author carefully sticks to only the documented facts. I'm confident that this is an excellent work of history, but it is not very readable. I made it as far as Mary's return from France (about 2/3 of the way through the book), but when she started her poetry career I had to put it down. Byrne's dry prose, broken up with excerpts of 18th Century British poetry, was just too tedious. Not recommended.
The local school district is using This We Believe to guide a district-wide committee that is evaluating the Middle School curriculum and potentially redesigning it. As an interested parent, I borrowed a copy and gave it a go. I found it full of aspirational statements that were simultaneously good to have all collected into a single reference and on the other hand left me going "that's so obvious, why does it need to be written down?"
I couldn't find enough interest or determination to read it all, but did read enough to get a flavor for it.