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Nothing is what it seems and there's always more than one side to the story as a group of strangers trapped in an inn slowly reveal their secrets... The rain hasn't stopped for a week, and the twelve guests of the Blue Vein Tavern are trapped by flooded roads and the rising Skidwrack River. Among them are a ship’s captain, tattooed twins, a musician, and a young girl travel Nothing is what it seems and there's always more than one side to the story as a group of strangers trapped in an inn slowly reveal their secrets... The rain hasn't stopped for a week, and the twelve guests of the Blue Vein Tavern are trapped by flooded roads and the rising Skidwrack River. Among them are a ship’s captain, tattooed twins, a musician, and a young girl traveling on her own. To pass the time, they begin to tell stories—each a different type of folklore—that eventually reveal more about their own secrets than they intended. As the rain continues to pour down—an uncanny, unnatural amount of rain—the guests begin to realize that the entire city is in danger, and not just from the flood. But they have only their stories, and one another, to save them. Will it be enough?


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Nothing is what it seems and there's always more than one side to the story as a group of strangers trapped in an inn slowly reveal their secrets... The rain hasn't stopped for a week, and the twelve guests of the Blue Vein Tavern are trapped by flooded roads and the rising Skidwrack River. Among them are a ship’s captain, tattooed twins, a musician, and a young girl travel Nothing is what it seems and there's always more than one side to the story as a group of strangers trapped in an inn slowly reveal their secrets... The rain hasn't stopped for a week, and the twelve guests of the Blue Vein Tavern are trapped by flooded roads and the rising Skidwrack River. Among them are a ship’s captain, tattooed twins, a musician, and a young girl traveling on her own. To pass the time, they begin to tell stories—each a different type of folklore—that eventually reveal more about their own secrets than they intended. As the rain continues to pour down—an uncanny, unnatural amount of rain—the guests begin to realize that the entire city is in danger, and not just from the flood. But they have only their stories, and one another, to save them. Will it be enough?

30 review for The Raconteur's Commonplace Book

  1. 4 out of 5

    abi

    update: FEBRUARY 23, 2021?!? Kate, you’re killing me. oh my god look at that cover. just look at it. it’s beauteous.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gerbera_Reads

    A seemingly innocuous tale about 12 people stuck at an inn while the storm rages outside. A group of people who are strangers or are they? This was a well written mystery with a touch of suspense and a host of diverse characters. Through their stories told as evening entertainment to pass the time while the river rages outside we get to know each character and get the feeling that we are being led somewhere. Subtle clues and small pieces make a convincing picture that all the inhabitants of the A seemingly innocuous tale about 12 people stuck at an inn while the storm rages outside. A group of people who are strangers or are they? This was a well written mystery with a touch of suspense and a host of diverse characters. Through their stories told as evening entertainment to pass the time while the river rages outside we get to know each character and get the feeling that we are being led somewhere. Subtle clues and small pieces make a convincing picture that all the inhabitants of the inn are not what they seem. The end twist blew my mind and I looked at the book that I have read with new understanding. I enjoyed excellent story telling, steady pace, a touch of paranormal and mystical. Every story carried a message and had something to teach but also artfully connected all the dots for me to fully appreciate all the connections I create in my life whether in passing or long term to things and people, that life is unexpected and full of possibilities as well as the fact that some things are never a coincidence. Thoroughly fascinating book. Note: this book is labeled as spine-chilling horror on Amazon, and this was the initial reason I got it. My 10 year old daughter likes to be horrified with spooky stories. That didn't happen here and she lost interest since it's more of a puzzle mystery and it's not her thing. But it was totally mine.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Fran

    A fantastic floodcammeron (in the spirit of The Canterbury Tales and the Decameron) for Milford’s Nagspeake, and an elegant piece of the puzzle that connects so many of her books, The Racconteur’s Commonplace Book is also a delight on its own, filled with heart... and secrets. I loved it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    It's a rainy, rainy, rainy time at the Blue Vein Tavern and the twelve people living (or stranded, because of all the rain) start telling stories that make up some of the mythology and tales mentioned in the rest of the Greenglass series. You can read this without having read the other books, but reading this after can help make some of what you've read earlier easier to understand (I'm not phrasing this well... it's like reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe first and then discovering ho It's a rainy, rainy, rainy time at the Blue Vein Tavern and the twelve people living (or stranded, because of all the rain) start telling stories that make up some of the mythology and tales mentioned in the rest of the Greenglass series. You can read this without having read the other books, but reading this after can help make some of what you've read earlier easier to understand (I'm not phrasing this well... it's like reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe first and then discovering how the lampost came into being). And, like many anthologies, some of the stories are better than others, but overall this may be one anthology readers will read all the way through because of their affection for the series and because they want to hear what happens to the twelve strandees. eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss.

  5. 4 out of 5

    abi

    KATE I NEED THIS BOOK

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    I absolutely adored Greenglass House and its sequel, Ghosts of Greenglass House. The stories of The Raconteur’s Commonplace Book play a big part in both of these middle-great wonders. So Edgar Award winner Kate Milford’s stand-alone recreation of the much-vaunted book could not help but be a huge hit, right? Right? Alas, no. I simply could not get into these fractured fairytales set in the world of the early days of the 200-year-old Greenglass House; I could not finish it. I want to think it’s me I absolutely adored Greenglass House and its sequel, Ghosts of Greenglass House. The stories of The Raconteur’s Commonplace Book play a big part in both of these middle-great wonders. So Edgar Award winner Kate Milford’s stand-alone recreation of the much-vaunted book could not help but be a huge hit, right? Right? Alas, no. I simply could not get into these fractured fairytales set in the world of the early days of the 200-year-old Greenglass House; I could not finish it. I want to think it’s me, not Milford of this book. I hope your mileage varies, as Greenglass House is such a treasure. That’s why there is not rating. In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book from NetGalley, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group and Clarion Books in exchange for a much-too-honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Yapha

    One of the main items setting things in motion in the original Greenglass House is the book Milo is reading, The Raconteur’s Commonplace Book. This is that book. The subtitle of it says that it is "A Greenglass House story." While it does take place in Nagspeake, it is actually a part of the Arcana stories, like Bluecrowne is. (There are several other books in that series as well, but I haven't read them.) I would recommend reading that series in order, as this one seems to unite all of the char One of the main items setting things in motion in the original Greenglass House is the book Milo is reading, The Raconteur’s Commonplace Book. This is that book. The subtitle of it says that it is "A Greenglass House story." While it does take place in Nagspeake, it is actually a part of the Arcana stories, like Bluecrowne is. (There are several other books in that series as well, but I haven't read them.) I would recommend reading that series in order, as this one seems to unite all of the characters and wrap up the story lines. It does not contain any of the characters from The Greenglass House since it is a book read by those characters. Recommended for people looking to learn more about Nagspeake history and folklore, grades 4 & up. ARC provided by publisher

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Lynch

    The Raconteur's Commonplace Book is the newest addition to the world of Greenglass House. Although this book is an anthology frequently referenced by Milo and others in the other books of the series, TRCB is also a story of its own, with fascinating characters who are all more than they appear. The guests trapped at the Blue Vein Tavern have resorted to telling stories to pass the time until the rain stops. While each story appears on the surface to be nothing more than that, narratives and chara The Raconteur's Commonplace Book is the newest addition to the world of Greenglass House. Although this book is an anthology frequently referenced by Milo and others in the other books of the series, TRCB is also a story of its own, with fascinating characters who are all more than they appear. The guests trapped at the Blue Vein Tavern have resorted to telling stories to pass the time until the rain stops. While each story appears on the surface to be nothing more than that, narratives and characters begin to connect in strange and extraordinary ways to reveal secrets and truths about the Tavern's occupants--and not everyone wants those secrets revealed. Milford has a knack for creating a larger-than-life yet realistic setting, and although readers have never been to the Blue Vein Tavern before, the larger world of Nagspeake is a familiar place, and fans of the series will recognize many of the locations and even other characters that come to life in the guests' stories. That being said, it's not necessary to have read the other books in the Greenglass House series to enjoy TRCB. This tale works just fine as a standalone, but it does provide a lot of information and clarification for other books in the series as well as Milford's other books, which are all part her larger Roaming world. In fact, TRCB seems to connect to all of Milford's other books in one way or another, which has me wanting to go back and re-read everything to better understand the connections made by TRCB. The Raconteur's Commonplace Book is an enjoyable and intricate read, and the characters' predicament of being trapped inside and having to find ways to pass the time is very relatable in the current day and age. Although TRCB is technically classified as a middle grave novel, older readers will enjoy putting together the twisted puzzle that is so characteristic of Milford's books. I highly recommend this to those who have previously enjoyed Milford's work or to anyone who is looking for a new, quick-to-read series that deftly defies easy classification. Thanks to NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    In Kate Milford's marvelous Greenglass House , a fantastical mystery set in an atmospheric inn overlooking the fictional city of Nagspeake, the young hero, Milo Pine, is given a collection of stories known as The Raconteur's Commonplace Book. These tales are said in the story to draw upon the folklore of Nagspeake, a shipping and smuggling city-state somewhere along the Middle Atlantic coast, independent from the United States, and with a magical history of its own. Now author Kate Milford ha In Kate Milford's marvelous Greenglass House , a fantastical mystery set in an atmospheric inn overlooking the fictional city of Nagspeake, the young hero, Milo Pine, is given a collection of stories known as The Raconteur's Commonplace Book. These tales are said in the story to draw upon the folklore of Nagspeake, a shipping and smuggling city-state somewhere along the Middle Atlantic coast, independent from the United States, and with a magical history of its own. Now author Kate Milford has created that book within a book, presenting us with a collection of enchanting stories, many featuring characters we have encountered in her other work, and all woven together to creative a narrative about the fifteen storytellers themselves... Opening at the Blue Vein Tavern, on the banks of the changeable Skidwrack River, the story follows the inn-keeping couple, Mr. and Mrs. Haypotten, their maid Sorcha, and the twelve guests who have come to stay as they all find themselves trapped by the rising river waters. The suggestion is made that each of the fifteen should share a story, in order to pass the time, and each tale told reveals something about the larger world of Nagspeake, and about the teller. As Maisie Cerrajeru notes, toward the beginning of the book, "it was just as impossible to keep secrets when you told a tale as when you danced." Sometimes spooky, sometimes sad, and always magical, the tales frequently concern mythological creatures said to inhabit the area. From the river serpent caldnicker, in Sullivan's The Cold Way, to the ravenous golevants in Mrs. Haypotten's The Queen of Fog, not to mention the seductive but coldhearted seiche - water people who trick humans into taking their place in the river, thereby condemning them to death - one gets a sense of Nagspeake, and the larger Skidwrack area as a place of enchantment, where anything is possible. Many of the stories concern characters or phenomena we have met before, in previous books set in this world. From the sentient old (or wild) iron, which featured prominently in The Thief Knot , to the dastardly catalogue company Deacon and Morvengarde, mentioned in all of the Greenglass House books, there are many references here for fans of the series. Readers will recognize Lucy and Liao of Bluecrowne in Captain Frost's The Storm Bottle, while the name of Negret Colphon, one of the hotel guests, will be recognizable as the alter-ego that Milo adopted, during the events of Greenglass House . The most frequent reference throughout however, is to Roamer and Deacon and Morvengarde employee, Foulk Trigemine, one of the villains of Bluecrowne . Ruthless in his pursuit of what he wants, and clever in his manipulation of others, this character appears in Phineas Amalgam's The Game of Maps, in Reever Colophon's The Whalebone Spring, Madame Grisaille's The Rover in the Nettles, Gregory Sangwin's The Hollow-Ware Man, Sorcha's The Reckoning, Anthony Masseter's The Gardener of Meteorites, and Petra's The Summons of the Bone. As quickly becomes apparent, the further one reads, this figures looms large over the story, and when it revealed that he is none other than (view spoiler)[Anthony Masseter (hide spoiler)] , and that (view spoiler)[Petra (hide spoiler)] has brought everyone together in these storytelling sessions to confront him, the book moves on to its conclusion, in which a trio of guests leave to challenge the floodwaters threatening all of Nagspeake... The Raconteur's Commonplace Book is a book that I have been eagerly anticipating for many years, from the moment I first learned, from Kate Milford herself, that it was in the offing. I found it immensely engrossing - fascinating, moving, completely enchanting! In form it is in the style of such towering classics as Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales , or Boccaccio's The Decameron - works that also feature a group of characters thrown together by circumstance, who share stories with one another. I found many of the stories told by the guests at the Blue Vein Tavern to be appealing in their own right. I was thrilled by the spooky, sentient house, in Phineas Amalgam's The Game of Maps, amused by the back-and-forth storytelling of Mrs. Haypotten's The Queen of Fog, and happy for the triumph of love, in Sullivan's The Cold Way. I enjoyed all of the glimpses of the world of Nagspeake, at various times in its history, and was fascinated by the idea of the Roaming World - the entire magical system against which Nagspeake, and the events of Kate Milford's books, play out. I appreciated the sense of atmosphere throughout, and the strong sense of place, which is treated as something important in its own right. This latter is best encapsulated by Amalgam's observation, during the course of his story, that "surely places, if they survive for long, develop their own logic. Their own personalities. Their own sense of strategy." I have often felt this to be true myself, and it is certainly the case in Nagspeake, where the city has its own sentient representative, in the form of the wild iron, which manifests itself in many ways, including as (view spoiler)[Madame Grissaile (hide spoiler)] . As should be obvious, there are many things I loved about The Raconteur's Commonplace Book, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Unfortunately, it wasn't a five-star books for me, because while I found the storytelling and world-building excellent, and loved the characters and the settings, the ending felt a little weak. Everything had been building to the confrontation between (view spoiler)[Petra and Foulk Trigemine (hide spoiler)] , but once it occured, and (view spoiler)[Petra (hide spoiler)] told her story, the narrative rushed on toward the conclusion rather quickly, leaving some questions unanswered. Although (view spoiler)[Jessamy Butcher (hide spoiler)] does tell a story, it is more a description of what is happening at that moment, with the three who have gone off to confront the river. Unlike the other storytellers, one never really gets a sense of who she is, or how she fits into the larger picture. Similarly, although it was fascinating (and unexpectedly moving) to get some of Foulk Trigemine's history, I felt his story was simply left hanging. More generally, I found it unsatisfying, that the conclusion of the sub-plot (or plot?) involving the flooding river takes place entirely off screen. I think the main problem here is that Milford, who clearly wanted to do more than just pen a collection of Nagspeake folktales, didn't give enough attention to the second part of her book. The tale telling took up so much time, that the larger framing story, when it finally took center stage, felt undeveloped. Despite this critique, I enjoyed this enough that I will be tracking down my own copy (I read it from the library), and I highly recommend it, to all fans of the Greenglass House books, or the larger Roaming World that Milford has created.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Katie Smith

    I received an e-galley of this title from HMH for Young Readers. I am a huge fan of Kate Milford, and I was excited to see what The Raconteur's Commonplace Book had to offer. This book is setup like The Canterbury Tales, with stories of Nagspeake fables and folklore broken up by short interludes of characters responding to each other's tales, sitting in an inn common room together. I adored this book, and was sad to reach the end of the book. Crossing my fingers for more Greenglass House titles! I received an e-galley of this title from HMH for Young Readers. I am a huge fan of Kate Milford, and I was excited to see what The Raconteur's Commonplace Book had to offer. This book is setup like The Canterbury Tales, with stories of Nagspeake fables and folklore broken up by short interludes of characters responding to each other's tales, sitting in an inn common room together. I adored this book, and was sad to reach the end of the book. Crossing my fingers for more Greenglass House titles!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sara Wise

    ** “The thing about telling a story is that one has to make choices. No story can contain every detail, so a storyteller has to decide what to put in and what to leave out. They have to pick and choose what to tell about what came before, what comes afterward, and plenty in between. It’s part of the art, making those decisions, but just as it’s very easy to leave too much in — and I am often guilty of that — it’s often tempting to take too much out.” ** Readers can return to the world of Nagspeak ** “The thing about telling a story is that one has to make choices. No story can contain every detail, so a storyteller has to decide what to put in and what to leave out. They have to pick and choose what to tell about what came before, what comes afterward, and plenty in between. It’s part of the art, making those decisions, but just as it’s very easy to leave too much in — and I am often guilty of that — it’s often tempting to take too much out.” ** Readers can return to the world of Nagspeake and Greenglass House with Kate Milford’s latest novel, “The Raconteur’s Commonplace Book.” A standalone novel in the Greenglass House series that also refers to events found in other books from that series, this book offers tales told by 15 characters waiting out a terrible rainstorm at the Blue Vein Tavern and Inn. It soon becomes clear these 15 tales intertwine, offering a lesson culminating at the end. Using imaginative folkloric tales told almost like parables and fairy tales, each story reveals a secret and mystery about its narrator as well as the other guests. Milford does a great job of developing intertwining imagery, like peddling wares, locks and keyholes, boxes, changing shapes and form, paths and tunnels, and crossroads to reveal the story’s arc. “The Raconteur’s Commonplace Book” also contains several themes, like the art of searching; storytelling; fate and destiny; the strange and uncanny; the extraordinary calls to the extraordinary; and love and sacrifice (“Love can hurt. Love can be one-sided. And sometimes love requires sacrifices, too. But love is not predatory. Wherever you go from here, please be wary of anyone who demands to be given your heart rather than asking to be invited into it.”). A disclaimer for parents: there are a few instances of mild cursing used, as well as smoking and alcohol use. “The Raconteur’s Commonplace Book," due out Feb. 23, is a fun book filled with imaginative, intriguing and inspirational stories. Five stars out of five. Clarion Books provided this complimentary copy through NetGalley for my honest, unbiased review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    This book takes place in Nagspeake in the 1930s. Some of the stories tell the history of Nagspeake and others are unrelated. I expected this to be the slim volume of stories Milo reads in Greenglass House but instead, the stories are connected by the narrative of these guests coming together and sharing their stories. The characters are mysterious and are keeping secrets from each other. One by one, the stories start to reveal some of those secrets. Most of these stories are a little too dark and This book takes place in Nagspeake in the 1930s. Some of the stories tell the history of Nagspeake and others are unrelated. I expected this to be the slim volume of stories Milo reads in Greenglass House but instead, the stories are connected by the narrative of these guests coming together and sharing their stories. The characters are mysterious and are keeping secrets from each other. One by one, the stories start to reveal some of those secrets. Most of these stories are a little too dark and creepy for me. They gave me some weird and disturbing dreams. My favorite story is the love story. It's the nicest and has a happy ending. I also loved reading about Melusinde and Lowe. I knew who they were right away from the illustration even if Captain Frost got their names wrong. (Which is problematic and never addresses). We meet other characters or character types from Kate Milford's other Nagspeake books and her Roaming World books. It would help to be familiar with the Roaming World because I felt a little lost, especially at the end. Who is Jessamyn and what's the story with her hands? The "Note About the Clarion Books Edition" is funny because it reads like an editor's note of a volume of folktales. If you're new to Kate Milford's books, she tells you where to find the characters or character types. I was glad she did that because I didn't have the time or energy to go back and reread the books I've already read and I'm not interesting in the Roaming World. Those stories sound too dark and creepy. I just want to know more about Lucy Bluecrowne. Is she Maisie's ancestor? Is the ditty bag a clue? Or is Liao the ancestor or someone else I can't remember? This book works well as an introduction to Nagspeake and the Roaming Worlds but I would recommend starting with Bluecrowne.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    This is another book written in the world of the Greenglass House. It's the book that is used and read by Milo in the Greenglass House and gives more information, backstory, and folklore on Nagspeake and such. I love all of these Greenglass books by Kate Milford, they've become some of my favorite books and I'd recommend reading them all to better enjoy and understand the stories, world, and all in them. In this book, it's like a collection of stories, but at the same time, they fit together and This is another book written in the world of the Greenglass House. It's the book that is used and read by Milo in the Greenglass House and gives more information, backstory, and folklore on Nagspeake and such. I love all of these Greenglass books by Kate Milford, they've become some of my favorite books and I'd recommend reading them all to better enjoy and understand the stories, world, and all in them. In this book, it's like a collection of stories, but at the same time, they fit together and tie into each other, the world, and all about the characters who sit in the Blue Vein Tavern and sit together telling stories each night. This seems to be the beginning of the great tradition in the Greenglass House World of people sitting down together to tell stories and become friends and not just guests staying at the same place. This collection of stories has somewhat of an eerie vibe and all sorts of folklore and fairy tales all put together. All these characters are also trapped in the inn by a storm when they begin to sit down each night to share tales and get to know one another and as the nights pass, the tales that are told begin to weave together and explain what is going on with each of the guests and ultimately why they're stuck in the inn while the storm rages on outside. This like the other Greenglass House stories are easy to get lost in and transport you to another time and place. This story can also be read by itself and doesn't need to be read in order or with the other Greenglass House books, but it's a much better and more enriched experience if you read it in order with the other stories. I would highly recommend this along with all the other stories. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it can easily be entertaining to those both young and old.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Callahan

    I stayed up until 12:30 finishing this last night and got up this morning to reread the first chapter. I really just want to sit down and reread it all today but alas. Life. As usual in Kate’s books, this book introduces you to a giant mess of characters at the very beginning that are tricky to keep up with (I really should take notes in her first chapters. Maybe next time.) But she weaves them all together so artfully, and reminds you who they are regularly. I was afraid I wouldn’t like this bo I stayed up until 12:30 finishing this last night and got up this morning to reread the first chapter. I really just want to sit down and reread it all today but alas. Life. As usual in Kate’s books, this book introduces you to a giant mess of characters at the very beginning that are tricky to keep up with (I really should take notes in her first chapters. Maybe next time.) But she weaves them all together so artfully, and reminds you who they are regularly. I was afraid I wouldn’t like this book since I don’t like books of short stories - it feels like starting all over each story. But all of these have a thread that makes it not feel like a reboot each time, and the further into the stories you get, the more you get the feeling that they actually are all one big story, perhaps.... Anyway. It’s a masterpiece. Now how do I make myself do other things? Update: I reread some segments of the book the next day after finishing. She is actually brilliant. You know how Disney puts little humorous asides in their movies that kids would never get, but adults do? Kate puts asides in her book that first time readers could never possibly get, but second timers would find it hilarious or insightful or fascinating. She builds her books SO THAT they get better with every read. Double the experience for your money!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lady Shockley

    A return to Nagspeake, and a stay at the Blue Vein Inn, a necessity, because the rain…well, the rain won't stop. "The rain had not stopped for a week, and the roads that led to the inn were little better than rivers of muck. This, at least, is what Captain Frost said when he tramped indoors, coated in the yellow mud peculiar to that part of the city, before hollering for his breakfast. The rest of the guests sighed. Perhaps today, they had thought. Perhaps today, their unnatural captivity would A return to Nagspeake, and a stay at the Blue Vein Inn, a necessity, because the rain…well, the rain won't stop. "The rain had not stopped for a week, and the roads that led to the inn were little better than rivers of muck. This, at least, is what Captain Frost said when he tramped indoors, coated in the yellow mud peculiar to that part of the city, before hollering for his breakfast. The rest of the guests sighed. Perhaps today, they had thought. Perhaps today, their unnatural captivity would end. But the bellowing man calling for eggs and burnt toast meant that, for another day at least, fifteen people would remain prisoners of the river Skidwrack, and the new rivers that had once been roads, and the rain." As readers of Milford's Greenglass House know, this is Milo's favorite book. It's a utter delight to return to the Sovereign town of Nagspeake and see the history of Milford's other books woven into this one, the bonds tightening to make a cohesive whole. One can only hope the Au t Lucy's Counterpane Book shows up next.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cassidy

    This review was originally on my blog at https://cassidymgbooks.wordpress.com/... The Raconteur's Commonplace Book is about several strangers who are trapped at an inn during a storm. To pass the time, they begin to tell each other stories, which reveal many things about each other. The format of the book is pretty similar to The Inquisitor's Tale, and this style of book is really interesting to me, and pretty unique. The stories were fun, and it was amazing how everything clicked into place by th This review was originally on my blog at https://cassidymgbooks.wordpress.com/... The Raconteur's Commonplace Book is about several strangers who are trapped at an inn during a storm. To pass the time, they begin to tell each other stories, which reveal many things about each other. The format of the book is pretty similar to The Inquisitor's Tale, and this style of book is really interesting to me, and pretty unique. The stories were fun, and it was amazing how everything clicked into place by the end of the story. And things not only clicked into place in this book's contents; so much was added to other books by Kate Milford as well (so I would definitely urge you to read her other books before this one). I think that the book did drag a little bit at times (and I found some parts confusing), but I liked this book overall. Also, the cover is absolutely amazing, and the illustrations are really good. I would recommend this book for grades three through seven. Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group for the DRC (Digital Review Copy)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    https://wordnerdy.blogspot.com/2021/0... I was in one of those moods where nothing I started seemed good, and nothing appealed, and then I gave this a try and the narrative voice grabbed me right away. This is set in Milford's Greenglass House universe, but I never remember the details of those (I should really reread them) and this works fine on its own. It involves a mysterious cast of characters stranded in an inn during a rainstorm, so they all start telling stories (yes, this is basically Ca https://wordnerdy.blogspot.com/2021/0... I was in one of those moods where nothing I started seemed good, and nothing appealed, and then I gave this a try and the narrative voice grabbed me right away. This is set in Milford's Greenglass House universe, but I never remember the details of those (I should really reread them) and this works fine on its own. It involves a mysterious cast of characters stranded in an inn during a rainstorm, so they all start telling stories (yes, this is basically Canterbury Tales for the middle grade set). But do the stories have a point beyond entertainment? And what secrets are the guests hiding? I admit that I got a few of the minor older male characters confused, but the rest of the characters are amazing and I found this a very satisfying read. A/A-. __ A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released on February 23rd.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Austin

    I love the work that this does connecting the three parts of this universe. This was the final book that I read, and I think--if you have time to read--that that provided me the optimal experience of this book. I was able to see all of the references and callbacks and nods, and so on, and I was able to fully appreciate the various twists and reveals and the weight they carried in the overall story. I would say that this could be read first or really anywhere in the series if you wanted to get to I love the work that this does connecting the three parts of this universe. This was the final book that I read, and I think--if you have time to read--that that provided me the optimal experience of this book. I was able to see all of the references and callbacks and nods, and so on, and I was able to fully appreciate the various twists and reveals and the weight they carried in the overall story. I would say that this could be read first or really anywhere in the series if you wanted to get to it right now and you haven't read everything else yet. As a standalone, there's enough of an internal plot for it to work alone, but it would likely read as too allegorical and poetic for younger readers. I love all of the characters and all the work that went into matching them to their storytelling style. I can tell that Kate Milford had a lot of fun writing all of these tales and piecing them together into the puzzle.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kidlitter

    This is a very, very good book by a writer whose work just keeps getting richer and more interesting. Fans of Milford's series will recognize that The Raconteur's Commonplace Book is the book that Milo is reading at the very beginning. How kind of Milford to write it for us, and to create such a creepy, cozy world. Agatha Christie is not a good prose stylist but a great plotter; Stephen King is quite the world builder but his characters aren't that memorable, Philip Pullman is a great thinker an This is a very, very good book by a writer whose work just keeps getting richer and more interesting. Fans of Milford's series will recognize that The Raconteur's Commonplace Book is the book that Milo is reading at the very beginning. How kind of Milford to write it for us, and to create such a creepy, cozy world. Agatha Christie is not a good prose stylist but a great plotter; Stephen King is quite the world builder but his characters aren't that memorable, Philip Pullman is a great thinker and mythmaker - but Milford is great at all of the above and more. Her world-building is believable and enchanting and never condescending or twee. Nagspeake and the Skidwrack River are so compelling, so detailed, so believable, as are their people. Who does an ensemble of characters currently to better effect than Milford? I want to spend time with all of her cast, and follow them from book to book, hoping my favourites will be showcased and adding new ones to the list. Kudos!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jayna ♬

    Okay, so personally this was my favorite in the Greenglass House series so far (I haven't read the Thief Knot or Bluecrowne). I just loved how everyone's story revealed something about them, all the little details about each person, the way the perspective moved so seamlessly between all the different people, and how it all ties together. I also like how it doesn't make it seem like, because Maisie is the only kid, that she is somehow dumber than all the adults(often books do this) and how all t Okay, so personally this was my favorite in the Greenglass House series so far (I haven't read the Thief Knot or Bluecrowne). I just loved how everyone's story revealed something about them, all the little details about each person, the way the perspective moved so seamlessly between all the different people, and how it all ties together. I also like how it doesn't make it seem like, because Maisie is the only kid, that she is somehow dumber than all the adults(often books do this) and how all the characters had some kind of camaraderie, and all the little romances :). It also felt really nice that even in this fairy tale- like setting, they still included nonwhite people, because often fairytale- like fantasies don't. The only thing I would say is that it sometimes is a bit too mysterious, to the point where you can't decipher what's going on, so I had to read it a couple times over (which I didn't mind at all really). Overall an amazing book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I. Loved. This. Book. It is interesting in and of itself, but it also adds even more depth to Greenglass House and Ghosts of Greenglass House, which I already love. (This is theoretically the book the main character is reading in Greenglass House.) I think I would still read this one last, though - or at least after those two, because it is kind of neat to see the threads behind a tapestry after seeing the "finished picture" itself... If you haven't looked over the description, this book is about I. Loved. This. Book. It is interesting in and of itself, but it also adds even more depth to Greenglass House and Ghosts of Greenglass House, which I already love. (This is theoretically the book the main character is reading in Greenglass House.) I think I would still read this one last, though - or at least after those two, because it is kind of neat to see the threads behind a tapestry after seeing the "finished picture" itself... If you haven't looked over the description, this book is about travelers stuck in an Inn together because of incessant rain and flooding; to pass the time they start taking turns telling folktales to the group. A few trail into each other naturally as "that reminds of this other story..." but it turns out that basically all the stories are connected either to each other, the guests at the inn, the unusual town they are in, or all of the above...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    Fresno eLibrary | Oblique reference to a child killing a cat | An excellent job pulling threads together | In all my reviews of Milford's books, I mention that as much as I love her work, I always have a hard time getting into it. This is the exception. I started reading and immediately was grabbed. Readers who are unfamiliar with the worlds she's built over the years are unlikely to rate this as highly as I have. There's just so much that references previous books, and to understand the artistr Fresno eLibrary | Oblique reference to a child killing a cat | An excellent job pulling threads together | In all my reviews of Milford's books, I mention that as much as I love her work, I always have a hard time getting into it. This is the exception. I started reading and immediately was grabbed. Readers who are unfamiliar with the worlds she's built over the years are unlikely to rate this as highly as I have. There's just so much that references previous books, and to understand the artistry of having brought them together you have to have read at least some from each segment of her work. But it's still a quality book if it's just read as a collection of short stories leading to a larger denouement.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Sammis

    The Raconteur's Commonplace Book by Kate Milford first appeared as a framing device for Greenglass House (2014). (See also the road narrative spectrum reading of the book). Unexpected guests staying over a Christmas blizzard discuss their favorite tales from the book while recapitulating many of them at the inn. Seven years later, we get to read a new edition that includes material not present in the "slim red volume" Milo was given. Both Greenglass House and The Raconteur's Commonplace Book were The Raconteur's Commonplace Book by Kate Milford first appeared as a framing device for Greenglass House (2014). (See also the road narrative spectrum reading of the book). Unexpected guests staying over a Christmas blizzard discuss their favorite tales from the book while recapitulating many of them at the inn. Seven years later, we get to read a new edition that includes material not present in the "slim red volume" Milo was given. Both Greenglass House and The Raconteur's Commonplace Book were inspired by a Charles Dickens novella, The Holly-Tree Inn (1855). http://pussreboots.com/blog/2021/comm... Privileged Uhoria Cornfield 00CCFF

  24. 5 out of 5

    Eule Luftschloss

    A group of people is stuck in an inn while a flooding, and they resort to one of the oldest strategies to pass time: They tell each other stories. I don't know the Greenglass House series or have read anything else by this author, and I don't think you have to to enjoy this book. Some of these tales appealed more to me than others, and I think this one would do pretty well as an audiobook to enhance the notion of stories being told by different people. To be honest, most times when you saw a chara A group of people is stuck in an inn while a flooding, and they resort to one of the oldest strategies to pass time: They tell each other stories. I don't know the Greenglass House series or have read anything else by this author, and I don't think you have to to enjoy this book. Some of these tales appealed more to me than others, and I think this one would do pretty well as an audiobook to enhance the notion of stories being told by different people. To be honest, most times when you saw a character adding their own flavour to the story I was annoyed. At the end, they all tie in together. I don't have much to say. It was okay. The arc was provided by the publisher.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    I received an electronic ARC from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group through NetGalley. Milford offers readers the chance to explore the Raconteur's book for themselves. They've seen it referred to in the other Greenglass House books and now learn what is included in it. The magic spins out from the first page when we begin to meet the characters stranded at this inn. Only a few are what they seem. In the style of The Canterbury Tales, guests and hosts share tales from lore that some I received an electronic ARC from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group through NetGalley. Milford offers readers the chance to explore the Raconteur's book for themselves. They've seen it referred to in the other Greenglass House books and now learn what is included in it. The magic spins out from the first page when we begin to meet the characters stranded at this inn. Only a few are what they seem. In the style of The Canterbury Tales, guests and hosts share tales from lore that somehow mysteriously connect to those gathered to hear them. Milford slowly reveals what types of beings each is as the stories come to life. A delightful book to accompany this series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

    An unforgettable feast for the imagination. You don't have to have read the other books in the same world, though it's great if you have. And you don't have to be a kid, though it's marketed as mg I think it actually has more adult appeal. Though it's a series of linked stories, it's not a short story collection per se; the links between the stories and the bits between the stories, that tell of the storytellers trapped together in an inn by a flooding river are enough that the book is a whole s An unforgettable feast for the imagination. You don't have to have read the other books in the same world, though it's great if you have. And you don't have to be a kid, though it's marketed as mg I think it actually has more adult appeal. Though it's a series of linked stories, it's not a short story collection per se; the links between the stories and the bits between the stories, that tell of the storytellers trapped together in an inn by a flooding river are enough that the book is a whole story (albeit one with bits I'd like to follow further....). I felt both replete and somewhat stunned at the end of my reading.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tina Wilson

    This is the kind of book that as soon as you finish you want to go back and reread again to find everything you missed the first time. I didn't go back and read the whole thing but I did go back and skim parts again. So many characters at the beginning that I had a hard time with who was who. Also, I think I'd have understood a bit more in places if I'd read all her other books rather than just the Greenglass house series. That said, it was a very intriguing read. A slight creep factor at times b This is the kind of book that as soon as you finish you want to go back and reread again to find everything you missed the first time. I didn't go back and read the whole thing but I did go back and skim parts again. So many characters at the beginning that I had a hard time with who was who. Also, I think I'd have understood a bit more in places if I'd read all her other books rather than just the Greenglass house series. That said, it was a very intriguing read. A slight creep factor at times but not so much that I couldn't handle it. This would make for a rather fun read aloud in the month of October. It's got that vibe. A few swear words.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rena

    3.5 stars rounded down to 3. I have enjoyed this author’s other Greenglass House related books quite a bit, but this one was just too odd. From the characters all having weird names, to having too many of them to keep track of, to the stories that took a while to figure out were interconnected, to the overall plot. Just a plodding story that really made no sense. I had no idea in what era this book was supposed to be taking place until I read the author’s notes at the end. Between the vocabulary 3.5 stars rounded down to 3. I have enjoyed this author’s other Greenglass House related books quite a bit, but this one was just too odd. From the characters all having weird names, to having too many of them to keep track of, to the stories that took a while to figure out were interconnected, to the overall plot. Just a plodding story that really made no sense. I had no idea in what era this book was supposed to be taking place until I read the author’s notes at the end. Between the vocabulary and the complicated concepts addressed in the stories this did not seem like a children’s book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Becca_bookworm

    In Greenglass House book Milo was reading this book and learning more about Nagspeake where he grew up, now we get to do the same in this book. I can now understand why Milo thought the devil story was scary and I agree. Milo also gets more information about Morvangrade through these stories and for his safety I am glad he had it. This book was unique and I agree with other who said it reminds the of Canterberry Tales with it quirkiness. My favorite part was in the end how these stories connecte In Greenglass House book Milo was reading this book and learning more about Nagspeake where he grew up, now we get to do the same in this book. I can now understand why Milo thought the devil story was scary and I agree. Milo also gets more information about Morvangrade through these stories and for his safety I am glad he had it. This book was unique and I agree with other who said it reminds the of Canterberry Tales with it quirkiness. My favorite part was in the end how these stories connected and solved a few mysteries.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jennybeast

    In the tradition of Chaucer and the Decameron — where travelers pass the time by sharing stories. I’ve seen this structure before, but rarely so well done, and delightfully set in Nagspeake’s liminal magical space. The stories flirt and intertwine with each other, and build to a satisfying peak. Particularly apt for this year of trapped waiting, as we wait for the waters to recede. Advanced readers copy provided by Edelweiss

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