Looking for some out-of-the-ordinary fantasy? Of course you are -- that's why people read fantasy novels. This book contains some of the typical topoiLooking for some out-of-the-ordinary fantasy? Of course you are -- that's why people read fantasy novels. This book contains some of the typical topoi associated with Fae, but also establishes its own brand of the supernatural. Which totally includes sasquatch mercenaries.
While reading, I've often found myself grinning at Henderson's wacky turns of phrases -- almost as if he found every cliche, spread them with jam, fed them to a jabberwocky and plopped the fermented end results back on page.
Washingtonians and armchair travellers will also enjoy the Port Townsend setting. Amidst the supernatural brouhaha, Henderson highlights the PNW region's beauty with ferry rides, architectural descriptions of Kingston and Port Townsend (including some smuggling history!) and even takes a trip to Seattle's weirdly-shaped EMP museum.
Most of the Chick Lit I've tried to read are fluffy feel-good novels that don't make you think much.
This is not one of those books.
Rosie Little's CauMost of the Chick Lit I've tried to read are fluffy feel-good novels that don't make you think much.
This is not one of those books.
Rosie Little's Cautionary Tales are female fairy tales written in the traditional Grimm fashion; the stories touch on feminine milestones and sneak in their moral lessons under the guise of humor and wisdom.
If you liked the literary style of "The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing," you'll enjoy these stories even more. Not recommended for younger teens due to sexual content....more
I've learned how to best increase your chance of survival in an elevator crash, how jogging breaks your bones (and why that's good), and what the defiI've learned how to best increase your chance of survival in an elevator crash, how jogging breaks your bones (and why that's good), and what the definition of a good friend is.
I enjoy Roach's sense of humor, but what spoils this book are an awful lot of gripes about unreturned phone calls and e-mails thrown into the text. Enough mentions that, when I think about what I'm going to write a review on, that's the main thing that comes to mind. It's silly and distracting -- of course a lot of people aren't going to return calls about classified stuff. Of course they're not going to jeopardize their career for a pesky journalist, even one who writes as nicely as Roach does.
As if aware of this backlash, Roach has begun slipping in short, one-sentence physical or emotional summaries of each of her interviewees. They are usually quite complimentary (do I need to know how attractive most of the scientists are? well, maybe. I do want to find me a smart babydaddy) and the descriptions tell instead of showing. bah.
Now that saying the grumpy stuff is out of the way, it's a pretty kick-ass book....more
In five minutes, your mind will be slightly traumatized and you'll be at the end of the book where all of the fairy tale characters chant "One of Us,"In five minutes, your mind will be slightly traumatized and you'll be at the end of the book where all of the fairy tale characters chant "One of Us," an appropriate reference to an Tod Browning's old carney film "Freaks."
Rapunzel's hair gets caught in a garbage disposal. Pinocchio keeps stabbing people with his nose when he lies. A giant thinks the Little Old Lady who Lived in a Shoe's house is pretty. Pretty to wear. Squish!
The problem with this book is that it's $16 and has very little between the covers. Bergstrom's illustrations are morbidly funny, but with 1-2 panels per page and not very many pages...
All in all, this book simply doesn't stand alone well; Bergstrom should have paired up with another author, had them write the tales, and provided illustrations for the tales. Something, anything beyond this paltry content offering.
I first read Cheaper By the Dozen in grade school. At a neighbor lady's house where I took French & flute lessons (simply because I was interestedI first read Cheaper By the Dozen in grade school. At a neighbor lady's house where I took French & flute lessons (simply because I was interested in doing so), I came across a wealth of old children's books from the 40s & 50s whose contents continue to influence my reading habits to this very day: the "Mostly Good, Slightly Mischievous Kid" genre.
The genre surely has a better name, but there's a pot of literature coming from the beginning half of the 20th century that focuses on children playing outside, getting on well with others, demonstrating Christian Charity and learning life lessons. This subset of the bildungsroman genre uses a strict general plot in which everything is guided by a four steps: child's world is established, child's world is upset, child's world is restored in a new, improved format, child learns a lesson.
Cheaper by the Dozen is the true story of a family with 12 children who were raised by time and motion study and efficiency experts; the book covers about 1907-1924. While it can be viewed as a general interest look at life pre- & post-WWII, the book is also curious because it teaches kids two other things:
1) Parents and kids can treat each other with respect, have fun together and still have a parental/offspring relationship instead of that "my kid is my friend" mentality. I've been curious to try out these parent-raising techniques on myself! Basically, use a combination of logic and love. Tell your kids when you're wrong--a better solution can even come from your kids, since they can see gum under a table that you're too tall to view. Also, a family council that allows children to make decisions for the household is key to a happy home--it allows for grievance airings, but the main purpose is to show & tell kids the "why" behind what happens at home, whether economically or rule-wise.
2) To be updated later!
P.S. - This book is nothing like that monstrous Steve Martin adaptation, which somehow shares the book title but covers nothing inside the book besides "gee, what happens if you have a large family?"...more
This book's essays are written like an eloquent friend's blog entries. The chapters mainly focus around history and politics but occasionally delve inThis book's essays are written like an eloquent friend's blog entries. The chapters mainly focus around history and politics but occasionally delve into geek philosophy or the raison d'etre of the mini-basketball arcade game. It's one of the first really engaging non-fiction books I've read, in that I'm learning quite a bit and yet I don't feel like I'm slogging through facts and proofs.
Basically, Vowell's essays not only make history palatable but they poke fun at it and yet still remain patriotic....more
One essay is a choose-your-own adventure novel for a computer programmer. It turns out that those books aren't very exciting for real life situations.One essay is a choose-your-own adventure novel for a computer programmer. It turns out that those books aren't very exciting for real life situations...
I want to buy copies of this for you all. I read it on a bus ride home, laughed my pants off, and the girl next to me gave me the oddest looks because of the muffled snorts coming from my seat.
This is the same author who gave us Ant Farm, with the dry-witted essays written for those of us with short attention spans.
Rob Becker's Mom's Cream Cheese Brownies were easy to make and mind-blowingly good. As well they should be, with a whopping five eggs throughout the eRob Becker's Mom's Cream Cheese Brownies were easy to make and mind-blowingly good. As well they should be, with a whopping five eggs throughout the entire batch! The brownies were even better the next day, when they'd settled from a slightly cake-like texture to a fudgey one. I think I ate about two of the brownies, the rest of the 9x13" pan were devoured by extremely appreciative roommates.
I'm in love with the collages behind each recipe, and the best ex-boyfriend story that accompanied a recipe goes something like this:
Such and such was my 10th grade boyfriend. I liked him because his hair changed colors every week and he wore cool sneakers. And then he died.
I plan on trying Keith the Pathological Liar's Cold Remedy quite soon, a bourbon-based hot toddy of sorts.
This book was a dollar! I still can't believe my luck :)...more
I picked up a book called "Ant Farm: and other desperate situations" by Simon Rich. It has Jon Stewart's stamp of approval, and it was pitched as a huI picked up a book called "Ant Farm: and other desperate situations" by Simon Rich. It has Jon Stewart's stamp of approval, and it was pitched as a humor book for the YouTube generation: none of the essays are more than 3 pages long. Most are one and a half. They are hilarious. And dammit, he's only 24.
Excerpts from the book:
I still remember the day I got my first calculator
Teacher: All right, children, welcome to fourth grade math. Everyone take a calculator out of the bin. Me: What are these? Teacher: From now on we'll be using calculators. Me: What do these things do? Teacher: Simple operations, like multiplication and division. Me: You mean this device just...does them? By itself? Teacher: Yes. You enter in the problem and press equal. Me: You...you knew about this machine all along, didn't you? This whole time, while we were going through this...this charade with the pencils and the line paper and the stupid multiplication tables!...I'm sorry for shouting...It's just...I'm a little blown away. Teacher: Okay, everyone, today we're going to go over some word problems. Me: What the hell else do you have back there? A magical pen that writes book reports by itself? Some kind of automatic social studies worksheet that...that fills itself out? What the hell is going on? Teacher: If a farmer farms five acres of land a day-- Me: So that's it, then. The past three years have been a total farce. All this time I've been thinking, "Well, this is pretty hard and frustrating but I guess these are useful skills to have." Meanwhile, there was a whole bin of these things in your desk. We could have jumped straight to graphing. Unless, of course, there's some kind of graphing calculator! Teacher: There is. You get one in ninth grade. Me: Is this...Am I on TV? Is this a prank show? Teacher: No.
--Brian? What are you doing here? --I came to redeem some coupons. --(reading) "Good for one back rub"..."Good for one home-cooked meal"...Brian, I gave these to you while we were still dating. --There's no expiration date on the coupons. --Brian, it's been four years. I'm married now. --One home-cooked meal, please. Then sex. Here...here's the sex one. One of the sex ones. --Brian, I'm sorry. It's over between us. --Coupons are coupons. --Wow, Brian...you've really gained a lot of weight. Is everything okay? --I've got three sex coupons. I'd like to use them all today, then the meal, then the shower. Tomorrow, I'll come back with the rest of the coupons. They're all sex. --Jesus, what happened to your nails? I can't believe I didn't notice them when I first opened the door. They're so long. --I would like to use a sex one now please.
a conversation at the grown-ups' table, as imagined at the kids' table
Mom: Pass the wine, please. I want to become crazy. Dad: Okay. Grandmother: Did you see the politics? It made me angry. Dad: Me too. When it was over, I had sex. Uncle: I'm having sex right now. Dad: We all are. Mom: Let's talk about which kid I like best. Dad: (laughing) You know, but you won't tell. Mom: If they ask me again, I might tell. Friend From Work: Hey, guess what? My voice is pretty loud! Dad: (laughing) There are actual monsters in the world, but when my kids ask I pretend like there aren't. Mom: I'm angry! I'm angry all of a sudden! Dad: I'm angry too! We're angry at each other! Mom: Now everything is fine. Dad: We just saw the PG-13 movie. It was so good. Mom: There was a big sex. Friend From Work: I am the loudest! I am the loudest! (Everybody laughs.) Mom: I had a lot of wine, and now I'm crazy! Grandfather: Hey, do you guys know what God looks like? All: Yes. Grandfather: Don't tell the kids....more
This is the comic strip author who drew the semi-famous "Unicorn Power" bit, although I had no idea when I put the book on hold. One of the things I'mThis is the comic strip author who drew the semi-famous "Unicorn Power" bit, although I had no idea when I put the book on hold. One of the things I'm drawn to when choosing a book is an intriguing title, and that along with a Candyland Revolt on the cover cinched my interest.
This book is pretty short, has many lovely comics (I hearted the "with love, anything is possible" strip), and makes a good bathroom reader/gift for someone who has too many Threadless t-shirts....more
This is the fantasy book you've been waiting for, when you're sick to death of the atypical "danger to the world, must quest" plot but don't want to gThis is the fantasy book you've been waiting for, when you're sick to death of the atypical "danger to the world, must quest" plot but don't want to give up the genre forever. You'll find snarky writing, lying thieving bastards who think they're smarter than anyone else, and intricate scams that dissolve at the thieves feet like so much used toilet paper. I put a hold on the sequel before I was halfway through...
One of the things I really liked was the group's satiric tradition of false bravado before they pull a job. LIAR!
The only thing I'd change would be the time line of the plot - it jumps back and forth in the narrative until you wish you could re-bind the book with the pages in chronological plot order. *sigh* But, TIHII - "this is how it is." If the book were perfect, I'd be a little scared....more
It's a pretty silly book, I made it through the first story before my amusement fizzled out - from the descriptions I'd read, I thought the stories woIt's a pretty silly book, I made it through the first story before my amusement fizzled out - from the descriptions I'd read, I thought the stories would be a bit more complex. Despite the size of the book, I think it might be better suited for reading to children or a summer reading list....more
This is not really a cookbook. The text may, from time to time, arrange itself into recipe-esque formations containing ingredient lists populated by iThis is not really a cookbook. The text may, from time to time, arrange itself into recipe-esque formations containing ingredient lists populated by items with descriptions that resemble what you might define as "food," but I repeat: this is not really a cookbook.
Inside the book is a collection of nice-to-know, but not essential-to-own, Discworld trivia. The writing is meta-fan-fiction, an author's attempt at poking at himself from the outside-in. It was an amusing read, but my hopes were dashed because I really wanted a cookbook.
Before Pratchett fans put this book down, however, you should flip to the lyrics for The Hedgehog Song. Take part in a special Discworld ritual -- go ahead, sing a few lines of the song out loud to your favorite tune. Within a few bars, you'll be as popular as Nanny Ogg!...more
Kyoko drops out after graduating from middle school and follows her childhood love Sho to Tokyo where she works mFinally - a revenge manga for women!
Kyoko drops out after graduating from middle school and follows her childhood love Sho to Tokyo where she works multiple jobs to fully supports him as he makes a bid for stardom.
And then he turns out to be an ass who just brought her along to pay his bills and do his housework.
Kyoko, who has been a people-pleaser for her entire life, snaps. She begins radiating black rays and screams a vow to revenge herself on Sho's arrogance by beating him at his own game - mousy & broke Kyoko will be famous too!
After reading the first copy, I went out and bought the rest of the series that night. Available for borrowing, since I've plowed through them overnight....more
Toy City aristocrats like Little Bo Peep and Humpty Dumpty are being mysteriously killed off by a murderer that leaves chocolate bunnies at the sceneToy City aristocrats like Little Bo Peep and Humpty Dumpty are being mysteriously killed off by a murderer that leaves chocolate bunnies at the scene of the crime. It's up to Jack, a new-comer to the city, and his drunken teddy bear sidekick to find a solution and not become dead in the process.
This book is, suprisingly, slightly complex yet an easy & enjoyable read. Political satire is deftly woven in, I didn't even notice that topos until the very end because I was laughing too hard....more