Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Grave Peril by Jim Butcher

  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; Reissue edition (September 5, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451458443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451458445
  • List Price: $7.99
  • I finished this book on May 22
Hey, check it out: I'm trying something new: cover photos. Let me know if you like it, think it's silly, or what.
So, in the third edition of the Dresden Files our other favorite wizard Harry has a lot going on. Actually, the plot of this one is all over the place. At the beginning you think you're going somewhere completely different than where you end up. Which is okay with me, but I was surprised where things had gone in the end.
Where did they end up, you ask? With vampires (yay!). Except Butcher's vampires aren't my favorite because they are super creepy underneath their pretty pale skin. I'm not talking freaking Buffy forehead, I'm talking creepy bat creatures in people suits. Zoinks, Scoob, that's not sexy! However, there is a new fun friend named Michael, who derives his strength from some kind of God sword and his faith. Our new Jesus-fish friend and Harry are hunting down a baddy who is terrorizing ghosts and humans alike. Of course, there is more to the haunting hijinks than it originally seems. The ending here is a bit of a bummer, leaving our hero Harry in a bit of a funk. It's quite gloomy actually but I'm hoping things in the next one get better for him.
I'm not sure how this happened, but I never noticed the 'about the author' blurb on these books. I usually enjoy looking at that, and Mr. Butcher's did not disappoint. Apparently, he is skilled in many obsolete things and has a ferocious guard dog. Also, please check out his picture of him working some awesome eyebrow action.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

50 Book Milestone

Hi my lovelies. This is just a quick post to say that so far since January 1st of this year I have reviewed 50 books here! I have read about vampires, and werewolves and ghosties, oh my! I've also read some fantasy, some non-fiction and some "respected literature" which was the original goal. Here's some fun facts for you:
  • I have read 12,362 pages ( I think - I'll admit I'm no good with the calculator)
  • I have talked about Stephen King more than I have read him
  • Two main characters have been named Jack, and even more had no names, or inconsequential names
  • I have been duped into thinking I was reading a story with an end that was not an end 3 times since I've started.
  • I have given out the Bee seal of approval only 5 times (I'm tough!)
  • I have read 6 books from the modern library's list.
I've also made changes to the website that I'm proud of: such as my super sexy tag cloud, my favicon, as well as a box of my latest wordie words. I also think my blogrolls rock - I have a lot of kickass sites on there. Also, I've added a meebo widget: so you can talk to me. P.S. I am super fun to talk to and you should do it! Every comment and e-mail is like a warm fuzzy hug for me - so do it up! (shameless blogwhoring over). I'm considering adding cover photos in the future, and I have other tricks up my sleeve, so you'll have to stay tuned. Okay, I have to stop yapping and go read.

Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr by Garth Nix

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Listening Library; Unabridged edition (May 14, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807205583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807205587
  • List Price: $40.00
  • I finished listening to this audio book on May 16

So, my lovelies, I know you are wondering why it's been so long since my last post (16 days, an egregious time lapse). Well, this girl got mono. That's right, the kissing disease. And you'd think that it would make for some good reading time, but that's not the case. Anywho, I finally finished this one, and I promise there's more coming in a timely manner.
So, let's get to the matter at hand. This book is the sequel of sorts to Sabriel, though we don't get to really see Sabriel or Touchstone very much. The book centers on the title character Lirael and also on the son of Sabriel and Touchstone, Sam. Lirael is a Clayr - a mystical group who sees the future. Except, Lirael doesn't see the future, and she doesn't look like the other Clayr either (who does she look like, you're wondering? I'll tell you: Sabriel). Lirael is super broken up about this, despite the fact that she is wicked good at charter magic and even conjured/summoned herself up a pal: the Disreputable Dog (yes! You know this girl loves animals that talk!). Also, I love Lirael because she is a librarian. That's right, she works in the great library of the Clayr. When you work there you get a clockwork emergency mouse that magically runs for help in case you get into a tight spot. I'm totally jealous.
Anyway, Sam is supposed to be the Abhorsen in waiting, but he's a total wuss about going into death. So, this story has some serious angst about fitting in and finding your destiny and the major mystery of Lirael's parentage was pretty obvious to me. I still liked it though, even though it tricked me and didn't end. That's right, this exciting tale continues in the final book: Abhorsen in which - I require the following things to happen: (in no particular order) someone to tell me more about the origins of the Disreputable Dog, Sam to stop being a total girly man and Lirael to kiss someone - anyone.
Also, I require more Tim Curry to read to me. If you haven't tried books on tape I highly recommend them - it's a superior way to travel. I strongly believe that there would be no road rage if everyone was hearing a good story in their car. If you're interested here's a list of other books that Tim Curry (my boyfriend) has read on tape. Thank me later

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Italian Folktales by Italo Calvino

  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest Books; Reissue edition (November 15, 1992)
  • ISBN-10: 0156454890
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156454896
  • List Price: $25.00
  • I finished this book on May 1
So, this is the first book I've read for the Once Upon a Time Challenge, and I feel it was a good start. I chose this particular collection of folktales because I have read and liked Calvino in the past. I read Calvino's The Nonexistent Knight and The Cloven Viscount in school and even laboriously picking it apart in a lit class didn't kill it for me. I also booktalked the Cloven Viscount for a split themed booktalk (cause I'm a nerd like that).
This book is exactly what it sounds like a massive collection of folktales collected and retold by Calvino from all over Italy. There are a ton of them in here - and they are all brief, one page or two a pop. Some of them are more fun than others. All of them are very reminiscent to me of other folklore and fables I've heard. Most of them involve someone outsmarting someone else and then getting to marry the princess. I have come to two conclusions: never trust a person you meet in the woods, and, two: I would have hated to be a princess back then, because it's clear that your parents would marry you off to just about anyone (including a baddie known as the 'mangy one' nice use of the word mange).
Another common theme in these stories is that no one ever does what they are told. For example, in one story called "Silver Nose" a young girl goes to work for a mysterious stranger with a Silver Nose, even though her mother tells her not to. First off, yikes stripes, who thinks it's going to be a good idea to work for a dude with a silver nose? How is that even attached? Anywho: this Mensa quality genius of a girl decides to open the one door in the house that old Silver Schnoz tells her not to (obviously an awesome plan) and of course, it's hell and Schnozzola is the Devil. Then two more sisters decide to open the forbidden door. All I'm saying is: I have power over my own curiosity. No one in this book does. That's all.
I liked Calvino's telling of the stories, but I wouldn't recommend reading the book cover to cover as I did. It becomes very repetitive after a while. As I do with my books of fairy tales I think this would be much more fun as light occasional reading. I also like skipping around books like this. For more fun stuff, check out some fables online and this fun Andersen's Fairy Tales site where you can hear a story (and send me an e-card).