Monday, December 12, 2011

Musing Mondays (Dec. 12)

Musing Mondays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. This week's musing asks...I once knew a man who read about WWII. He read everything he could get his hands on on the subject. He had a whole wall of books that were all about WWII. It amazed me. How could he continue to find one subject that engrossing? My mother, on the other hand, loves to read best sellers. I’ve known other people who read science fiction to the exclusion of everything else; for others it was philosophy, self-help, or history.

So, to the questions…

What kind of books do you like to read?
Why? Provide specific examples.

Well as anyone who reads this blog will know my genre of choice is mystery. Mystery books are my one true love, ever since I was a little girl and my sister read to me my first boxcar children book. Oh how I loved those ageless little sleuths. I have a whole bookshelf dedicated to my Mysteries. Mysteries are fascinating to me because I love to see the puzzle unfold, and how it all connects together in the end. My second favorite would have to be clever fantasies or clever science fiction. I love a time travel story, especially if it's timey-wimey because again, I love to see how it all connects in the end. My last book of choice would be classics, or everyday stories that are interesting, and make you feel warm and cozy inside.


And Then There Where None By Agatha Christie

The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle

What Could Go Wrong by Willo Davis Roberts

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Clever Fantasy/Science Fiction

Charmed Life, Witch Week, and Howl's Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

My UnFair Godmother by Janette Rallison

Classic/Everyday novels

The Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Persuasion, Emma, and Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodges Burnett

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

WWW Wednesday (Dec.7)

WWW Wednesday is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

What are you currently reading? The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett...I'm only a couple pages in an already all sorts of weird things happened. Me gusta. >_<

What did you recently finish reading? Goodbye Mr. Chips by James Hilton. I cried, but more on that later...

What do you think you'll read next? Well I guess the rest of my library books, which would be Going Postal by Terry Pratchett, and after that I was thinking about re-reading a childhood favorite, or perhaps a famous classic...I never am very certain.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Musing Mondays (Dec.5)

Musing Mondays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. This weeks question is...How many books do you read in a week? Month? Year?
It fluctuates. A lot. Sometimes I can read two books a week. Sometimes 0 in a month...then about 4 a month. A year, well my grand total this year is about 30 so far...pretty depressing. Also none of them are books I wanted to get done this year. Guess that's what happens, so many of the books I wanted to read were quite heavy...metaphorically and literally.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hogfather: A Book Review

Author: Terry's in big red letters on the book cover over there. Makes you think the book is called Terry Pratchett and it's written by Hogfather.
Genre: Fantasy/comedy
Reading Level: Ages 12 and up

Summary: Who would want to harm Discworld's most beloved icon? Very few things are held sacred in this twisted, corrupt, heartless -- and oddly familiar -- universe, but the Hogfather is one of them. Yet here it is, Hogswatchnight, that most joyous and acquisitive of times, and the jolly old, red-suited gift-giver has vanished without a trace. And there's something shady going on involving an uncommonly psychotic member of the Assassins' Guild and certain representatives of Ankh-Morpork's rather extensive criminal element. Suddenly Discworld's entire myth system is unraveling at an alarming rate. Drastic measures must be taken, which is why Death himself is taking up the reins of the fat man's vacated sleigh . . . which, in turn, has Death's level-headed granddaughter, Susan, racing to unravel the nasty, humbuggian mess before the holiday season goes straight to hell and takes everyone along with it.

My Review:“You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?”
Terry Pratchett's engaging and hilarious novel not only presents you with a lovely and quirky fantasy, but also plenty to talk and think about when you're finished reading. The discussion of belief, blind faith, and it's importance to humans, and the existence of the world even, are very prevalent, and put about in a way that you hardly realize that's what you've been reading. I loved the parts where they explained the origins of the Hogfather, and how (not unlike our own) started off as something much darker, before it became the happy little festival that is so well known. It's clever, touching, and so well written.
The world in this book is fully released, probably because this is the 20th book in the discworld series. But you don't have to read them in order. Since Discworld is an alternate universe it's fun to see all of "mythologys" in play as their world (which is flat) travels through space on the backs of 4 elephants on the back of a giant turtle.
Discworld is populated by hundreds of characters, and this book has quite a few of them on its own, you jump from each one of their stories quite a bit, and I wasn't entirely sure if it a was sequential, so that was a bit confusing. In a good way of course because you wanted to know what was going to happen and near the end you are largely rewarded. I feel like this is one of those books you have to read again to fully appreciate, and that you'll get a lot more on the second helping then you did on the first.
The main protagonists Death and Susan, both relatives, and both holding fantastic power are wonderfully imaged characters. Susan is a bit stodgy, a common side affect in fiction when someone who isn't normal tries so hard to be. But she was fantastic, perfectly capable of setting aside normalcy to beat up monsters in a cellar with a poker if the occasion called for it. Also her hair did itself. You can't help but like someone like that.
Death is brilliant, and talks in CAPS so you don't miss anything he says, and he's hilarious, and dark, and surprisingly has a "heart". His attempts at portraying the Hogfather, especially in the "Maul" are some of the best parts of the novel to get you laughing.
There are fumbling wizards with a temperamental giant computer, some ill fated thieves, a creepy man-child, a Death of Rats, talking Raven, and oh yes, a god of hangovers.
Seriously what more could you ask from a book.
Content: language, violence
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Recommend: It reads slightly like the Hitchiker's Guide to The Galaxy. If you liked that I'd safely bet you'd like this.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Undomestic Goddess and Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging

Author: Sophie Kinsella
Genre: Comedy
Reading Level: Vocab wise, anyone, content wise Adult

Summary: Workaholic attorney Samantha Sweeting has just done the unthinkable. She’s made a mistake so huge, it’ll wreck any chance of a partnership.

Going into utter meltdown, she walks out of her London office, gets on a train, and ends up in the middle of nowhere. Asking for directions at a big, beautiful house, she’s mistaken for an interviewee and finds herself being offered a job as housekeeper. Her employers have no idea they’ve hired a lawyer–and Samantha has no idea how to work the oven. She can’t sew on a button, bake a potato, or get the #@%# ironing board to open. How she takes a deep breath and begins to cope–and finds love–is a story as delicious as the bread she learns to bake.

But will her old life ever catch up with her? And if it does…will she want it back?

My Review: Much like Shopaholic this was easy to read and funny. Not as funny as shopaholic and I didn't like it as much, but it was okay.
It wasn't very believable, as the main character who's supposed to be a lawyer, actually fakes her way through cooking, and then gets insanely good after only 2 weeks. Wow... it should only happen to me.
Also I didn't like the ending, I felt i
t was too predictable (and no I'm not talking about romance wise) and a bit of a cop-out for the main character. It was also cliche. The seemingly innocent character, a blackguard all along...hohum.
The middle dragged. Terribly. Then it got boring near the end and I didn't care.
But the beginning was funny.
Content: Harsh language, and a scene I hadda skip over because I don't care about anyone's blimey amour midst the shrubbery.
Rating: 1 and a half stars out of 5
Recommed: Kinsella fans...possibly
Author: Louise Rennison
Genre: Comedy
Reading Level: Vocab wise 10, content wise 14

Summary: There are six things very wrong with my life:

1. I have one of those under-the-skin spots that will never come to a head but lurk in a red way for the next two years.

2. It is on my nose

3. I have a three-year-old sister who may have peed somewhere in my room.

4. In fourteen days the summer hols will be over and then it will be back to Stalag 14 and Oberfuhrer Frau Simpson and her bunch of sadistic teachers.

5. I am very ugly and need to go into an ugly home.

6. I went to a party dressed as a stuffed olive.

In this wildly funny journal of a year in the life of Georgia Nicolson, British author Louise Rennison has perfectly captured the soaring joys and bottomless angst of being a teenager. In the spirit of Bridget Jones's Diary, this fresh, irreverent, and simply hilarious book will leave you laughing out loud. As Georgia would say, it's "Fabbity fab fab!"

My Review: Yes, that up there really does summarize the book. It really was just the ramblings of a 14 year old girl. A rather dim if not funny 14 year old girl. Seriously, I do not know why a girl her age, in public school, is so dim. I mean seriously, she just lets guys do whatever to her, it was so frustrating she didn't kick that Mark character.

Also Georgie, her friends, and seriously anyone besides her Dad in this novel had no aspirations. At all. In fact I don't think it even mentioned there interests. Does Georgia have any?

The writing was super easy, and as I said, funny, but in the end it was all empty calories.

Content: kissing, lots of kissing, it was kinda gross. Georgia lets guys touch her inappropriately which made me really mad I wanted to slap her...

Rating: 1 and a half stars out of 5

Recommed: Not really