When I was a kid, I read Nancy Drew books mostly from the 50-70 range of the set. It was nice to reconnect, and to see what the stories were like earlWhen I was a kid, I read Nancy Drew books mostly from the 50-70 range of the set. It was nice to reconnect, and to see what the stories were like earlier in the run....more
Certain elements of the plot remind me of Gravitation at times, and Ranma 1/2 at others. Other plot elements just feel recycled. For example, if Ito pCertain elements of the plot remind me of Gravitation at times, and Ranma 1/2 at others. Other plot elements just feel recycled. For example, if Ito plays a girl and Makoto plays a boy one more time, I may have to stop reading the series. (I understand it's a joke on what's actually going on in the series, but there must be something else they can do for a bit.)...more
I found this book to be half-finished. Bonnet would set up this great thesis, and then get distracted by something shiny early in his explaining. DespI found this book to be half-finished. Bonnet would set up this great thesis, and then get distracted by something shiny early in his explaining. Despite the fact I took several notes, I feel like I actually got very little from the book (and this will probably show when I go to reflect on the notes and shamelessly delete the vast majority of them).
If you're just learning to craft a story, this might help you think about structure and archetypes, but you're better off going straight to mythology and classical books....more
I put this book down shortly after I started Part II, simply because his advice completely flew in the face of all other writing advice I've ever seenI put this book down shortly after I started Part II, simply because his advice completely flew in the face of all other writing advice I've ever seen or heard. He defines well-known terms in completely different ways, and I felt to continue would possibly muddle understanding....more
The book seems to belabor one point repeatedly: Behaviorism bad. Constructivism good.
It is as heavy in psychology as the title might suggest, but I thThe book seems to belabor one point repeatedly: Behaviorism bad. Constructivism good.
It is as heavy in psychology as the title might suggest, but I think it's a good read for those of us who prefer to teach in non-traditional settings. It does make me wonder how "gifted" kids fare in a Montessori classroom, though....more
It should come as some surprise that I actually went ahead and read Eldest after I read Eragon. However, it should come as no surprise that I had to fIt should come as some surprise that I actually went ahead and read Eldest after I read Eragon. However, it should come as no surprise that I had to force myself to keep going until the end. Had I been smart, I’d have only read the parts involving Roran and been done with it.
I would have missed something I’d wondered about in Eragon. That’s about all I would have missed. Roran’s story is far more engaging than his cousin’s. His cousin seems destined to make foolish decisions and meet more of those long dead Riders we were told about early in Eragon.
I think I’m quite done with the Inheritance Trilogy now. I should go check some R.A. Salvatore out from the library and restore my faith in the fantasy genre, or go see who else I can hit up; with the Brandon Sanderson virus I seem to be propagating. *grin*
(If you’ve never read fantasy, Eragon and Eldest might be an okay place to begin, but I wouldn’t recommend them to long-time fantasy fans.)...more
I actually finished Eragon over the weekend, but I’ve been a bit behind this week.
I’d wanted to read Eragon for some time before it and its sequel accI actually finished Eragon over the weekend, but I’ve been a bit behind this week.
I’d wanted to read Eragon for some time before it and its sequel accidentally fell into my lap a couple of weeks ago. Nearly everyone I know either completely loves the book and thinks it reads like a teenager wrote it. *smirk*
Personally, I fall into the “Well, I can see why people would like it, but it’s so lacking in originality that I can’t believe I’m still reading it” camp. For me, Eragon read like a spoof on a number of other works. I nearly put down the book when I hit the Star Wars section (complete with a line directly ripped from the original Star Wars). If you’ve read many fantasy books, you’ll find yourself recognizing various things, some directly, some just referenced or changed slightly. After a while, it just became painful.
The dragon, Sephira, was probably the best part of the entire book. Her overprotective, sarcastic nature was amusing. I think I ended up finishing the book just to see what she’d say or do next.
A friend is loaning me the movie, so I’ll probably watch it just out of curiosity. I might read Eldest. I might not. I can’t decide. (Edit: Either watch the movie or read the book. Don’t do both. And I am reading Eldest.) I won’t tell you to read it or avoid it. I’ll let you make that decision for yourself. I will tell you that it’s quite a let-down after reading Brandon Sanderson and R.A. Salvatore, though…...more
On the recommendation of a geeky librarian, I decided to read Karma Girl. You need to understand that I outgrew my superhero phase when I was six yearOn the recommendation of a geeky librarian, I decided to read Karma Girl. You need to understand that I outgrew my superhero phase when I was six years old and cartoons started showing up for some of my favorite video games, and that I don’t read much in the way of chick lit unless it’s pushed on me. Karma Girl did an excellent job of reminding why both of those statements are true.
At the center of the book is Carmen Cole, a stung reporter who has decided to get even with her superhero ex-fiance and her ubervillain ex-best friend (whom she finds having sex together less than an hour before her wedding) by exposing every single superhero and ubervillain she can get her hands on. Lucky for her, the book’s world has at least one superhero and one ubervillain in every single town. Eventually, her very efficient unmasking process reveals the identity of one of the biggest superheroes in her big city hometown, and he responds by throwing himself out a window to his death. Carmen is plagued the rest of the book as she falls in with the dead superhero’s comrades and a twisted use of her well-developed research skills.
The book is very predictable. I had the main superheroes and ubervillain figured out well before they were revealed. There is a romance whose beginnings aren’t believable by any means. I’m not sure that I could even believe the two characters had fallen for each other by the end of the book. It was too contrived. The superhero abilites and names were amusing. There were some very comical moments.
By and large, I kept telling myself to put the book down and go do something else. But I just couldn’t. It was a train wreck I couldn’t stop looking at.
Of course, maybe this is the big neon sign I need to remind me to never ever read (or write) chick lit ever again....more
Several months ago, I made the mistake of loaning Elantris to a friend. We were wandering through a bookstore some time later (he hadn’t even startedSeveral months ago, I made the mistake of loaning Elantris to a friend. We were wandering through a bookstore some time later (he hadn’t even started reading Elantris yet because it was apparently too hard to make time in his busy WoW schedule for reading), and I pointed out Mistborn, which was newly released at that point.
I’d ended up with Elantris under cute, but odd, circumstances. I ended up reading Mistborn under even stranger circumstances. Knowing how much I want Mistborn, said friend read through Elantris, and then purchased Mistborn and read it. (Yes, I have some very odd friends.) At least he was kind enough to loan it to me (he very nearly didn’t get it back because I was so annoyed with him).
Mistborn is Brandon Sanderson’s second fantasy novel, and it’s as wonderful as his first. It’s not set in the same world as Elantris, but he constructs this new setting incredibly well. Mistborn is set in a region controlled by a god-like man called the Lord Ruler. Color no longer exists in the world. A large portion of the population is enslaved, their breeding controlled. Any slave used by the nobility for sex is killed immediately to prevent any cross-breeding between the classes. That last bit is necessary because certain members of the nobility have the ability to use metal to commit what amounts to magic, and the only way to pass on the abilities is to sire a child. The Lord Ruler doesn’t want the slaves acquiring the abilities, so he controls their breeding.
The reader follows a slave of mixed parentage through her crew, to being rescued by a fellow half-breed, to being trained in her abilities and helping to start a rebellion. Her mentor is reckless, but lovable. The crew trying to start the rebellion are somewhat standard for this type of setting, but they’re all fairly endearing. The bad guys are almost too overdone to actually be scary, though.
The coolest part about Mistborn is the magic system. We’re so used to a certain method of unexplainable magic in fantasy novels and movies. Hardly anyone tries to bring any sense to it because it’s “magic”. Sanderson, however, created a clever magic system that he explains throughout the book. Magic in his world works through the ingesting of metal. There are four main pairs of metals and a special pair beyond that. There is also one metal without a balance. The metal pairings are based in science, and their effects are opposite. To be able to use that metal’s ability (if you are capable of using it), you ingest flakes of it and then burn them to use your ability.
There are three classes of magic users: Mistings, Mistborns, and Feruchemists. Mistings can only work with one of the metal and are given a nickname related to that metal. Mistborns can use all of the metals and get to wear special cloaks that conceal their movements at night when mists move in around the towns. Feruchemists aren’t covered particularly well as it was one race that was Feruchemists, and they’ve been hunted nearly to extinction. Feruchemists can do interesting things with their metal, like store memories. I’m hoping we get to learn more about the Feruchemists in the next two books in the series.
Oh, and then there’s a bit of journal at the beginning of each chapter, very reminiscent of Salvatore’s Drizzt. Just try to figure out which character is writing it before Sanderson tells you! (I did, actually, but it wasn’t easy.)...more
Like countless girls, I was a babysitter growing up. It was a good way to earn some extra income. When I needed a job after my engagement went down inLike countless girls, I was a babysitter growing up. It was a good way to earn some extra income. When I needed a job after my engagement went down in flames, I signed on with a nanny placement service. I did strictly live-out services to a wide range of families all over Denver. I worked for parents who just needed an extra pair of hands while they ran a business out of their home (those were actually my favorite families to work for). I even helped out in a household where a stay-at-home mom was trying to corral toddler twins and a baby. The families ran the gamut from normal people I would gladly work for again to insane people who led me to call the agency and ask for a new placement. I can safely say, though, that none of my families were anywhere near as psychotic as the one in The Nanny Diaries.
When a coworker handed me the book, she told me that the book would convince me either to never want to be a nanny again or to never want to live in New York. While the book failed to scare me off from NYC (anymore than I already am), it did safely convince me that should I make it into NYU, I won’t be nannying to make ends meet.
The book is wonderfully written. It really does a great job of showing the relationship between a nanny and her charge, and a nanny and her charge’s parents. The entire time, you’re rooting for Nanny and wishing she’d take her mother’s advice. Well, let me rephrase that- most of the time, you’re rooting for Nanny. The rest of the time, you’re honestly trying to figure out how a woman like Mrs. X functions.
If you’ve ever been a nanny, read this book. If you’re considering becoming a nanny, definitely read this book! If you’re a family considering hiring a nanny, read this book (and remember that nannies are human beings with their own lives, too. Even if they’re live-in.) If none of the above applies to you, read this one anyway. You won’t regret it!...more