"The Serpent of Venice" is based off of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of the Amontillado", and Shakespeare's "Othello" and "The Merchant of Venice", wit"The Serpent of Venice" is based off of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of the Amontillado", and Shakespeare's "Othello" and "The Merchant of Venice", with a bit of original Christopher Moore thrown in to make the stories flow better and frankly to make them funnier. Pocket, the title character from Moore's "Fool" is sent to Venice as the English Ambassador to Venice to make sure the Venetians know Queen Cordelia's view on another Crusade (she's against it). Because of her and her husband Pocket's meddling in the affairs of Venice, Cordelia is poisoned and they try to kill Pocket as well. They send his apprentice Drool and monkey Jeff away as well. Pocket miraculously survives with the help of what he thinks is a mermaid. He vows revenge and starts plotting it against all the men who have wronged him and his queen and the rest of the book involves his and other's revenge on various Venetians and other characters. 5 stars.
I adored this book, but not quite in the same way as "Fool". There was a lot more backstabbing, plotting, and crazy shenanigans happening in this book than in the previous one. I did miss Drool and Pocket's interactions, which were less in this book as Pocket spent the majority of the text trying to find his apprentice and Jeff. The addition of Marco Polo was an interesting twist, but makes sense when you connect him to the infamous Serpent. I have honestly not read "The Merchant of Venice," but of course have heard of it, so it was interesting to see how he handled discussions of greed and racism. There is an in-depth discussion at the end of the book, by the author, about racism in Shakespeare's time, which was pretty fascinating. I did enjoy the twisted Othello ending and the whole last scene with the Doge. Moore did leave it wide open for a third book, and I'm curious to see if he pursues it. Euan Morton was a fabulous narrator as per usual. ...more
Prudence (Rue to her friends) has been raised by Lord Akeldama (a vampire), while her mother Alexia (preternatural – one who has no soul) and father CPrudence (Rue to her friends) has been raised by Lord Akeldama (a vampire), while her mother Alexia (preternatural – one who has no soul) and father Conall (a werewolf) are living in his 3rd closet next door. Rue is a metantural, and has the ability to neutralize and temporarily steal supernatural powers. Set about 20 years after the events of The Parasol Protectorate series, Prudence is now a very proper young lady and has been given a dirigible and given the mission to get some very special tea from India. She promptly painted it red and black to look like a giant ladybug and named the ship “The Spotted Custard”. Her best friend Primrose is coming as her companion, along with Prim’s brother Percy (the resident scholar) and the rogue engineer Quesnel. Once they get to India, they realize that things are not as they seem. A brigadier general’s wife has been abducted and with the help of some very familiar werewolves, Rue and her crew set out to find her and the reason why she was abducted. Recommended for ages 16+, 4 stars.
I have been waiting for this book forever, ever since finishing the last book in The Parasol Protectorate series, which I adored. This book was awesome and definitely worth the wait, though I had to re-read Timeless as I couldn’t remember anything from it because it had been 3 years since I read it. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot-line, but suffice it to say, there are way more were-creatures than you can possibly imagine. Miss Sekhmet was a very intriguing character as well, and I’m hoping we will see more of her as the series progresses.
As other reviews I have read have mentioned, there was a distinct lack of romance in this book. The author several times hinted at a possibility, but it seems we’ll have to wait till the second book for that scenario to come to fruition. The book was hilarious, as is usual with her books, usually involving occasions where Rue has stolen someone’s powers and then in left bereft of clothing and has to walk back starkers, or arguments with her mama. In Chapter Seven, there is this quote about vampires: “One could not blame people for not disliking vampires. Vampires were like Brussels sprouts – not for everyone and impossible to improve upon with sauce.” Or that section in Chapter nine where she basically propositions Quesnel to tutor her in the ways of l’amour, “in a trial position…a low risk, scientifically experimental situation,” which pretty much scandalizes playboy (despite his reputation). There is a lot of negativity towards foreigners, especially those who are not white skinned, but that goes with the time period the book is set in (i.e. the 1890s).
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author, in exchange for my honest review....more
This is definitely one of my favorite adult book I've read this year! Hilariously funny and I couldn't wait to get in the car to listen to it. Euan MoThis is definitely one of my favorite adult book I've read this year! Hilariously funny and I couldn't wait to get in the car to listen to it. Euan Morton, who narrated another one of Moore's books, "Sacre Bleu", narrated this one and was absolutely fantastic. This book was a combination of Shakespeare's "King Lear" with a bit of "Macbeth" and "Hamlet" thrown in for good measure, but done in Moore's satirical hilarious style. I have read "King Lear" before, but not since undergraduate and I definitely don't remember it being this good, so Moore has definitely improved it a lot. If you are easily offended, don't enjoy a bawdy romp, or don't like repeated use of the F-bomb, this book is not for you. This is now my favorite Christopher Moore book and I really want to own a physical copy.
Pocket, formerly of the Abbey at Dog Snogging, is the King Lear's fool. He is joined at jestering by his puppet Jones and his Natural, the overgrown giant Drool. One day, King Lear decides to learn how much his daughters Goneril, Reagan, and Cordelia love him, as he is getting on in years and is ready to give up the throne. Goneril and Reagan bend over backward to tell him how much they adore and love him and he gives them large portions of the kingdom. Cordelia however thinks the whole thing is bollocks and refuses to grovel. As a result, she is banished from England and wed to the Dauphin (crown prince) of France. It is up to her old friend Fool to get her back home and save the kingdom from her greedy sisters. Highly recommended, 5 stars. ...more
This book has been on my to-read list for awhile, so when I found a copy available at the library, I immediately picked it up. It won the 2012 NewberrThis book has been on my to-read list for awhile, so when I found a copy available at the library, I immediately picked it up. It won the 2012 Newberry Medal. Jack Gantos is one of my favorite children/YA authors after I read "Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key", met the author and got the book signed. This book is semi-autobiographical in that the author did live in Norvelt and did meet a woman like Miss Volker (though he changed her name). This audiobook was read by the author, which is always awesome because he wrote it and he knows all the nuances of the book.
The Jack Gantos in the story is an almost 12 year old who lives in Norvelt, Pennsylvania, a community created by former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The plot is set in 1962. Due to him having shot his father’s Japanese rifle, which is off-limits, he is grounded for the entire summer. He ends up spending his time with Miss Volker, an “original Norvelter” who is the medical examiner for the town and a nurse. She also is in charge of writing the obituaries for the original members of the community, but is unable to physically write them due to some extremely arthritic hands. Miss Volker uses a fantastic mix of modern and past history to make them more interesting, which sparks Jack’s interest and fascination with history. As usual, Jack Gantos is hilarious in his storytelling, especially when he talked about his epic nosebleeds, his best friend whose dad owns the town mortuary (and Jack is afraid of dead bodies), his dad’s crazy idea to buy a plane and build a bomb shelter, Hell’s Angels, curses and a murder mystery. Highly recommended for ages 10+, 5 stars. ...more
I fell in love with Doug Adams’ writing after reading the five books of the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series, after my friend recommended itI fell in love with Doug Adams’ writing after reading the five books of the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series, after my friend recommended it to me. It is random and hilarious and just really good writing. He’s one of my favorite writers because of this series of books. I’ve been meaning to check out this second series of his for awhile, but never got around to it. So when I had a bit of a gap in-between my long audiobooks (those with 10+ discs), I decided to give this book a chance. Parts of the book were brilliantly hilarious and witty, but it took awhile for the whole story to come together (pretty much the very end of the story). The story is filled with time travel, a bit of a murder mystery, aliens, ghosts and the author Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and just making sense of all the different elements of the story was challenging.
The book is about Richard, a computer programmer who begins the book visiting his old advisor from Cambridge University, before he remembers that he was supposed to have taken his much-neglected girlfriend Susan out with him. He breaks into her apartment and is spotted by Dirk Gently, a guy he went to university with, who now owns a detective agency. Richard is wanted by the police after his boss Gordon is killed, and it is up to Dirk and Richard to figure out who did it and why. I am rather curious to see how the second book of the series will be. 4 stars. ...more
I found it rather amusing that the library filed this one under Romance, as there is some in the story, but isn’t one in the strictest terms. Morton wI found it rather amusing that the library filed this one under Romance, as there is some in the story, but isn’t one in the strictest terms. Morton was a great narrator, by the way, and I loved his portrayal of all the different characters in the book. It’s hard to gather the book under just one genre as it is part art historical lesson, part historical fiction, party mystery with a great deal of humor thrown in. I especially like the main character’s mother musing about whether or not she is capable of committing violence and what one should use. I also loved this story because all of the detail in regards to art, artist and the time period. I’ve always been fascinated with the Fin de siècle, as it produced some of my favorite artists. I occasionally write about art history on my blog and the book gave me a whole wealth of interesting topics to discuss in the future.
The book starts off with the death of artist Vincent Van Gogh. The main part of the story focuses on a young artist named Lucien who works in his family’s bakery in Montmartre or “The Boot” as it affectionately known in the story. He is an painter and shares a studio with Henri Toulouse-Lautrec and knows many other famous artists such as Renoir, Monet, Manet, and Van Gogh. At the beginning of the story, Lucien had been pining over a girl named Juliet, who mysteriously returns after leaving 2 years prior, and wants him to paint her nude. He, naturally, is very excited at the prospect. After Lucien begins spending all of his time with Juliet, his family becomes nervous for him and enlists the help of Henri, who realizes that Juliet is linked with a shady figure known only “The Color Man”. Juliet disappears a second time. The more he, and later Lucien, looks into her history, the more they realize that she has been involved with more and more artists that they know. Just who is Juliet really and why is she involved with the color man? Will Juliet ever return to Lucien? To find out, read this fascinating and hilarious book. 5 stars. ...more
I picked this up on the recommendation of a librarian acquaintance. The narrator, Bahni Turpin, was fabulous and did a great job with all the differenI picked this up on the recommendation of a librarian acquaintance. The narrator, Bahni Turpin, was fabulous and did a great job with all the different kind of alien and human voices (It's no wonder that she won a 2011 Odyssey Award for this). I will admit that the premise is really weird, and probably wouldn’t normally pick it up. However, I was pleasantly surprised, as it is a hilarious witty adventure that seemed made the main character seem way wiser than her 11 years. I’m sure the book version is more awesome than the book since the author is a pretty great illustrator as well, so I plan on picking it up too.
Gratuity Tucci is writing an essay, which will go into a time capsule to be opened in 100 years. Smekday is the day that the Boov, an alien race, claimed the Earth as their own and renamed it Smekland after their hero, Captain Smek. It also happens to be on Christmas, the same day that Gratuity’s (nicknamed Tip) mom was abducted by the Boov. The aliens decided to move the entire human population to Florida. So Tip takes a car and her cat Pig to Happy Mouse Kingdom (Disneyworld, though I liked how the author couldn’t actually use the term, copyright issues and all) and meets and befriends a Boov fix-it boy-boy named J-Lo. The trip to Florida soon becomes a cross-country trip to Arizona, where the Boov have relocated the humans after deciding they liked Florida because of the oranges (though funnily enough Arizona also grows a lot of produce). It was pretty cool that the author chose Arizona as that is the state I have been living in for nearly two years, so I recognized a lot of places that he mentions. The ending was surprising and well-done, and really makes me want to read more of Adam Rex’s books. Recommended for ages 9-13, ( although I think adults will appreciate the humor more) 5 stars.
Hardcover edition review: I enjoyed checking out this version after listening to the audiobook because I knew how awesome the author’s illustrations are from reading his picture books to my son. The pictures were hilarious, especially the history of the Boov and of the Nimrods aka the Gorg. To see more info on the book, check out the official website: www.smekday.com...more
I found this in the new children's book section and just had to get it. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a huge Muppet fan. So anything new of theirs II found this in the new children's book section and just had to get it. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a huge Muppet fan. So anything new of theirs I try to get my hands on (even though I was kind of mad that the Jim Henson Company sold the Muppets to Disney, but I will admit that they have done really well with bringing them back). The book reminded me of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" and "Origami Yoda" with the large amount of illustrations along with a chapter book story, that made it almost seem like a graphic novel. This is the first book in a series about a young daredevil named Danvers who tries his best to emulate his hero, the Great Gonzo, with the help of his best friend Pasquale. One day, Danvers wakes up to discover that he has become a Muppet himself, down to the flip-top head and orange felt-covered body. Suddenly all the Muppet characters he watched movies or shows about are suddenly popping to life in his town. He ends up interning for Gonzo at Muppet Theater and joining a Muppet boy band named Mon Swoon as part of Gonzo's stunt act. Meanwhile, Danver's scheming evil younger sister Chloe is trying to sell his story and make some money off of it. Check out this book to see if Danver ever turns back to a human and what really happened at the Ice Festival with Mon Swoon and Gonzo.
Overall, I thought it was a pretty good first book, though as another reviewer pointed out, it seemed as though they were just trying to fit in as many Muppets as possible without really developing their individual stories (which is disappointing). I would be interested to see what happens in the further adventures of Danvers in the next three books that the author/illustrator has created. Recommended for ages 9-13, 4 stars. ...more
First off, I would like to say that this is a manga in the sense of the type of illustrations and the newspaper it is printed on. However, it does notFirst off, I would like to say that this is a manga in the sense of the type of illustrations and the newspaper it is printed on. However, it does not read like one (aka back to front, nor directionally). Aside from that, I really loved this adaption of Soulless, the first book of The Parasol Protectorate series. Alexia was just like I thought of her, though I would've put more meat on her bones. The front cover pictures on the books themselves make her out to be too thin, whereas the author describes her as more plus-size curvy. Conall was pretty much as I would've pictured him, handsome and dashing, though I would've put him a little bit older-looking than Alexia's 26 years. Now for whatever reason, I'm guessing because it is classed as a manga, they filed this in the teen section, but I've always thought the series was just a little bit too adult, especially the first book (my personal preference). This is just the next step into making them into movies. 5 stars. ...more
Disclaimer: If you are a bible-literist, this is not the book for you. The New Testament is kind of sketchy about giving information on the life of JeDisclaimer: If you are a bible-literist, this is not the book for you. The New Testament is kind of sketchy about giving information on the life of Jesus between 1-9 and 9-30s. So if you were ever curious about the life of Jesus between the ages of 9 - 30 and have a good sense of humor, then this is the book for you! I thought it was an absolutely hilarious take on what might've happened, and really a lot of it made a lot of sense.
The book is about Jesus and his best friend since age 6, Levi who is called Biff (which is the sound of his mom smacking him upside the head). Jesus, who is called Joshua in the book, has to learn how to be a messiah and goes off in search of the three wise men Balthazar, Gaspar and Melchior, to learn how to do this. Biff and Joshua travel from Galilee to Afganistan to China and on to India, and having all kinds of adventures. They learn about Confuscianism, Daoism, meditation, Kung Fu, how to handle weapons and poison, and the Divine Spark. Recommended for ages 16+, 5 stars. ...more
I had looked at a few of "The Oatmeal" comics online via some of my friends, and thought they were pretty funny, so when I found this at the library tI had looked at a few of "The Oatmeal" comics online via some of my friends, and thought they were pretty funny, so when I found this at the library the other day, I checked it out. I will say that most of the comics were definitely geared towards guys, and would probably be more funny to them. However, I did enjoy the grammar and other food-related guides, even if you learned totally useless facts, which I happen to enjoy. Like I learned that if you're lactose intolerant (which I think I am), you can have cheddar and other aged cheeses because it doesn't really contain that much lactose. I loved the section on Nikola Tesla, which just made me want to read a biography about him. 4 stars. ...more
I read this in a few hours the day after I finally picked it up from the library hold shelf. Although I loved the actual Parasol Protectorate book serI read this in a few hours the day after I finally picked it up from the library hold shelf. Although I loved the actual Parasol Protectorate book series, the manga almost makes it just a little bit more awesome. For those who haven't read the books, this is book two in the series, called "Changeless". It's weird because this wasn't my favorite book, but the manga was better. I especially liked Madame Lefoux and Ivy, although I think they both looked a bit different than how I imagined them. The ending is just as annoying though. Sucks that I have to wait 6 months for the next manga. Highly recommended for ages 16+, 5 stars. ...more
I really loved this book and thought it should've won the 2013 Caldecott award, but instead it was awarded a Caldecott Honor. Jasper Rabbit really lovI really loved this book and thought it should've won the 2013 Caldecott award, but instead it was awarded a Caldecott Honor. Jasper Rabbit really loves carrots, especially those from Crackenhopper Field, which he picks and eats all day. One day, he suspects that the carrots are following him home but he can't prove it. For the next couple of days, they try their best to scare him and eventually he decides to put up a fence so that they can't get to him. In the end they rejoice at scaring him away! I loved how Peter Brown makes all the illustrations black and white except for the pop of orange to highlight the carrots or things Jasper is scared by. It makes the illustrations look like they were lifted from an old silent horror film, which is so creative. I especially like the end pages, where the carrots are angry at the beginning and happy at the end. Recommended for ages 3-7, 5 stars. ...more