Children of the Red King #1: Midnight for Charlie Bone
|Lotsa kids who liked Harry Potter were reading these, so I tried #1. It was all right--the perspective changed here and there and the characters were kind of one-dimensional, and the plot seemed a little hokey, but it was still entertaining and the abilities of the unusual characters were not the same things you see every day in some cases.
|Margaret Peterson Haddix
|Ehh. Didn't care much for it. And it had an inconclusive ending sort of. People aging backwards.
The Ride Down Mount Morgan
|Just a short play about a guy who ends up in the hospital after an accident only to find out that his family has been contacted--BOTH families. He's got two wives that didn't know about each other. Wheeee!
The Secret Science
|A friend told me it changed his life, so I read it. The few parts I agreed with were kinda lukewarm rehashings of truths I had already discovered, and the rest kind of offended me with its view of women. All I can say is, I don't get how an author so adamant about the difference between body, ego, and soul can place so much importance on the gender one happens to be and the role of physical sex in a person's happiness. "A woman who is a virgin resembles a blank page waiting for a script"? NOT BLOODY LIKELY.
|This was just as good as if not better than the previous book--very cool descriptions of elemental fire and wind power and the wonderful bond between two best friends.
The Goose Girl
|This was really well-written and had some really interesting portrayals of elemental "magic." I enjoyed it and now I'm gonna read the sequel.
|You know, you really have to read this book. Palahniuk (author of Fight Club) kicks butts. I love his portrayal of the dippy Wiccan coven and the wide range of ideas as to what people would do with power if they had it.
|I liked the colorful prose and the tiny perfect series of personal crises and the vividness of one day of moments in various people's lives, but . . . GOOD LORD, VIRGINIA, if you love the comma so much why don't you marry it?? (Oh, and Septimus was my favorite character.)
Life of Pi
|Fantastic! I'm a big fan! I had fun reading about Pi's struggle for physical, emotional, and spiritual survival aboard that little lifeboat.
The House on Mango Street
|Kinda reminded me of Ms. Block, the way it was so stream-of-consciousness. Borrowed this book from my sister L. I enjoyed it, though it didn't last me very long. (I read it in one day while waiting for the bus, half on the way there and half on the way home.)
|I know this author from E2, vaguely, so he mailed me an autographed copy of his book. I read it. It was awesome. Little short-story creative nonfiction thingies. I recommend it.
|Oh, that man's always got something amusingly thought-provoking to say.
The Last Book in the Universe
|Cool! Some of the wannabe-future-slang pissed me off like it always does, but I liked the concepts, and the fact that everything wasn't a happy ending, ya know? Revolution! Whee!
Cirque du Freak #8: Allies of the Night
|Oh look, Steve came back. I'm not surprised. But he wasn't the Vampaneze Lord . . . I was thinking he was gonna be . . . but maybe he is and they're playing mind games again. Good book. Darren just can't get any luck. . . .
|Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
The Spiderwick Chronicles #5: The Wrath of Mulgarath
|I think the art in these books is really nice. This one was kinda dark--that kid killed baby dragons by stepping on them. It still bugs me that the house brownie talks in pseudo-rhymes. I certainly wouldn't suggest this series as required reading or anything, but it held my attention.
Walk Two Moons
|Some of the concepts were cool, but the deliberately meandering style which was designed to reveal an "ooh" moment seemed a tad contrived. The wild imagination of the children and the interconnectedness and importance of families was pretty good, though.
|Wonderful. I borrowed this from my sister because she had it as required reading in high school and liked it. I cried a whole bunch of times, mostly just appalled at the idea that I am part of the human race which has done such horrific things to each other. Slavery is evil.
Dr. Illuminatus: The Alchemist's Son
|Kind of creepy kids' book about an alchemist's son from the past enlisting two modern kids to help him fight evil. I didn't like it as much as I hoped I would. Too much out-and-out explaining and too many clever permutations for the word "said."
The Legend of Spud Murphy
|Cute first chapter book by one of my favorite authors. It's about an evil librarian who terrorizes children. My favorite part was when Marty kept licking his arm after the stamp was gone.
|Finished another one. Hiaasen is at his best here, I really like the despicability of his villains and the fact that his heroes are not perfect. God, does this guy get what he deserves. . . .
The Grim Grotto
|As usual, the newest A Series of Unfortunate Events book was hilarious--this one full of damp puns and boring information about the water cycle in an attempt to try to trick us into nodding off and not reading. And what's with the romance? Now Klaus is gettin' some. (As much as one can in a kids' book, I guess.)
|Viz Graphic Novels
Di Gi Charat Vol. 1
|An invitational manga of various artists who draw Di Gi Charat, with various unconnected plots and stuff. Easy to zoom through--after all, it's comics.
|Sue Monk Kidd
The Secret Life of Bees
|This was touching and well-written, about a teen in the nineteen-sixties growing up with issues surrounding her mother's death. Awwww.
|This is a revised biography of Douglas Adams and the history of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and related works. It was very entertaining and the subject matter was fascinating to me.
Things Fall Apart
|I don't understand why this is on so many school reading lists. I guess in the name of showing us the way of life in this African village, everything was spelled out in a very annoying way as to underestimate the reader's power of deduction. Whole incidents seem to HAPPEN in the book specifically so the author could tell us about this or that custom, not because it was important to the plot. The way of skipping forward in time as per convenience was awful. Achebe has never heard of "show, don't tell." Urgh.
|I didn't know that this was eventually going to turn into sort of a sequel--interesting. All I can say is I am now definitely, indisputably a Spider Robinson fan and his writing style makes it possible for me to not only endure but actually enjoy hard sf plots.
|Genius! The little-kid perspective was fantastic--about a young boy who lived in Warsaw during World War II. Details his experiences in the ghetto as an orphan just getting by and managing to mostly stay happy. I love it.
|A love story. Dude is in love with a vampire. Very sweet and some interesting little emotional bits that surprise you in the midst of such an outwardly humorous and bizarre novel.
Why Girls Are Weird
|This was great because it covered online relationships, Web sites that too many people read, and awesome realistic interaction between characters. :)
|Marion Zimmer Bradley
Lady of Avalon
|I was urged to read this by Mike because a) I'm not a fan of Arthurian stuff and this didn't touch on that, and b) It had a lot of good Pagan references that he thought I'd enjoy. I did like it, but developed very little attachment to the characters.
Napalm and Silly Putty
|The man is funny, what can I say.
|"The secret life of sororities." I found the writing actually a bit dry, but the information revealed about mainstream sororities based on the journalist's posing as a member for a year was very eye-opening. It did touch on positive aspects but mostly confirmed negative ones, and suggested changes for the Greek system at the end.
Away Laughing on a Fast Camel
|Another in the series of rude British schoolgirl books. I find her verbing funny; she mentioned "watching the lads" and said they were "ladding about." And her shameless pursuing of boys to satisfy her "Cosmic Horn" was quite amusing.
Eats, Shoots and Leaves
|Fantastic book on punctuation! Don't think it sounds exciting? Well, you're not an English dork then. This author is hilarious and informative at the same time. And I can honestly say that I admire her for protesting a badly-punctuated movie title by standing in front of the theater with an apostrophe on a stick. I'm gonna have to look up some of her novels.
One Piece #1: Romance Dawn
|My sister never read manga before picking this up, but she swears by it. I bought her the English version of the first volume so she could see if it came across in the translation, and she said they did an okay job--I finally got around to reading it myself. It was not bad, I think Luffy's blurting-out attitude is quite amusing. But I suppose I'd have to be able to read it in Japanese to know why it's the number one manga in Japan right now. Oh well.
Cirque du Freak #7: Hunters of the Dusk
|I keep reading them, so they must be pretty good! Darren's developed a lot as a character, but there are still plot elements that are very shallow. I am still waiting for the author to stop pretending that no one can tell he's going to make Darren's old best friend show up as a bad guy . . . seems like a fat duh to me, and still no one in the book seems to realize how obvious it is. . . .
|A Newbery book for kids. Georgie wants to learn to fly with the help of her Goose Prince. It was a really cute book, with that slight fantasy and full-fledged character development that really made it seem magical-but-real.
|Judith Ortiz Cofer
Woman in Front of the Sun
|A nice biographical collection of stories about one woman's growth as a writer: Inspiration, culture, roots, and influences, plus what writing means. Quite beautiful.
|Another of his previously-published books newly available in the U.S.--I liked his plot, and the moral issues that surrounded the characters' actions. I saw the double-crossing coming, though.
The Boy Who Could Fly Without a Motor
|I like to read books about people who can fly. :) This one sucked, though. It had kid-book logic that adults think is good for kids, but is actually just sort of the literary equivalent of baby talk.
The Lovely Bones
|Very sad all the way through, but very good. About how a girl's murder affects her family and friends.
|I liked this, it was a little more concise than the others, though still a decidedly literary read. Seemed to more heavily include elements of its parent tale ("Snow White") than his previous works.
|Yeah! I liked his Callahan stuff so I read this--man, he can really make me start to like hard sci-fi, maybe! His characters are wonderful. :)
|Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
The Spiderwick Chronicles #4: The Ironwood Tree
|'Twas cute, but nothing all that special, as usual. The realism of the main characters' emotions is well-handled, I'd say--that and the otherworldliness are the book's strong points.
I Know This Much Is True
|Bought this as a gift for my mom and even though she doesn't read much she tore through it, so I decided to read it too. Beautifully and realistically written (even though there were a lot of almost-too-perfect tie-ins at the end). Very passionate, made me cry several times (which can be embarrassing at work).
|Kids' book about some "problem children" who discover their special talents, and realize they aren't such hopeless discipline cases after all. Kind of a predictable book, but cute all the same--first person narrator, and good dialogue!
|This was a good book, despite its being sort of predictable. I liked the horrific utopia and the main character's escape, and his emotions at discovering the world of "I" were pretty well-written.
|Francesca Lia Block
|Ecstasia's sequel! Even better because of all the first person in it! I loved Primavera's character, and how much her family loved her, and all the fantastical creatures.
|Francesca Lia Block
|The long-awaited re-issue of this out-of-print novel really was worth it. I think this was one of my favorite things she's ever written. Very poetic while not being so psychedelic that you couldn't tell what was happening. Loved all the Greek mythology references!
The Da Vinci Code
|I read this because I gave a copy to my dad for his holiday gift and even though he doesn't really read much he was able to tear through it. Also it was laced with goddess symbolism and a bunch of stuff about the hypocrisy of certain aspects of the church and religion, so of course I'm down with that. I didn't think this book was well-written and I think it had a lot of sensationalistic factual errors. I appreciate that it got so popular that it made people think about WHY they believe WHAT they believe, but so many of the three-page chapters ended in such obvious "baiting" cliffhangers that you could practically hear the "dun-dun-DUN!!!" in the space after each; it was written in a shamelessly deliberate-thriller-esque style to suck you in and manipulate you, and while a little of that sort of thing is good, the extent to which it was done in this book was really over the top. Tons of people loved this book because it was almost like reading a movie, with as little feeling of understanding the characters' motivations and as little actual realism as most action flicks. I did like that it gave people an opportunity to examine their beliefs (and did Pagans the favor of casting them in a positive light FOR THE MOST PART), but overall I thought it was kind of a sloppy, cheap-thrills book.
|Why on Earth didn't anyone ever tell me how much this book rules? Stepping back a bit I can see it's a bit of a romantic cliché (by today's standards), but OH, that book is beautifully character-oriented and full of emotion even within the strict confines of its quaint 1800s language. I could cry and tremble and laugh along with Jane, and I adored every minute.
|"The Gospel according to Biff, Christ's childhood pal." Funny and "blasphemous" account of the missing years of Jesus (or, as the book refers to him, Joshua). But in the (paraphrased) words of the author, if your faith is rattled by a collection of funny stories, you have a lot more praying to do. Highly recommended for anyone who likes irreverent, smartly-written novels.