**spoiler alert** As I have mentioned my favorite part of the Discworld series is that Terry Pratchett can, with in the bounds of the universe, talk a...more**spoiler alert** As I have mentioned my favorite part of the Discworld series is that Terry Pratchett can, with in the bounds of the universe, talk about all sorts of topics and no two books have to have the same characters. Yes someone dies, but Maskcarade is a witches story. Granny and Nanny are at it again, and they have their eye on someone. Agnes Nitt can’t escape her fate. Especially when it is being one of the witches of Lancer. And since Margat’s off as queen, Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg have been a little at odds. Agnes, now known as Perdita, has a plan to escape her fate by way of her only other good trait (besides her hair), her voice. A voice that can harmonize with itself as well as reach octaves unknown by man or beast. The opera house in Anhk-Morpork has its own problems. Its previously friendly, good luck charm has started collecting a body count. No on is quite sure why, but the ghost that was until now friendly and only wanted a box seat to keep him happy and leaving suggestions here and there has started leaving folks a little dead. The folks at the Opera in true Anhk-Morkpork fashion have passed these deaths off as suicides or accidents not wanting to involved the authorities in an internal affair. Murder would be an assassin guild problem and these are all dancers or musicians. Agnes has the instincts of a witch and starts to put the pieces together. I love the musician Henry Spragg who has travelled all over building up his foreign name for himself so he can come back and sing because no one would believe someone from the wrong side of the tracks in A-M would be such a musical prodigy, but there he is with his foreign name being force-fed pasta and squid all over the outer regions. The witches learn the truth and use it to his and their advantage. Granny knows the value of information to get what she needs. Though Nanny is the one who makes her mint with some of her more creative recipes for love. Granny is the one with the head for numbers that leads to their collecting this mint. Though the librarian, my favorite character, does less in this novel. I still enjoyed the antics of the witches rebuilding the world with their headology and witchcraft.(less)
I read this years ago for an English class, I needed a non fiction. I remember very little except the oddness of how I found it. My brother loaned it...moreI read this years ago for an English class, I needed a non fiction. I remember very little except the oddness of how I found it. My brother loaned it to me or at least left it lying around in his collection for me to come upon.(less)
The 7th story in the Elm Creek Quilt series, Sugar Camp Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini, is different from all the other books in that it has no Bergstro...moreThe 7th story in the Elm Creek Quilt series, Sugar Camp Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini, is different from all the other books in that it has no Bergstrom in it. This is pre-history. In The Runaway Quilt Sylvia learns of her family’s friendship with a Dorothea and her brother and how they became involved in the underground railroad accidentally through them. This story goes into how that family gets involved in it. Dorothea’s Uncle hid a station on his farm while they lived there with him because he thought they were to vocal about their opposition to slavery to be allowed in on the big secret. He would consider he had been most successful in that his own family disbelieved he had played this role upon his death. He even had Dorothea create the quilt he used as a map to the next station. He made her un-correct the “mistake” she had corrected for him and never realized that it was a representation of the very mountains outside her window. The interesting aspect that this book is completely outside the Elm Creek Quilt timeline. Sylvia is not digging into this story, nor is Summer this is simply a story to help us appreciate some historical figures. I imagine Mrs. Chiavcrini had to do a lot of research for The Runaway Quilt and decided she liked the characters so much she created for it she would go back and give them a chance to tell their story as well. We get to watch Dorothea loose her innocence about other’s politics. I did think it odd that Cyrus Pearson would go for Dorothea even if she might inherit something given their very different political opinions, but I suppose he believed she would mold to his beliefs and that any good local farm land was worth indulging a woman’s fancy’s for. I liked the album quilt they worked on. Stitching over signatures to make them more permanent and getting local and national celebrities to help raise money for their library. Understanding how much money was worth though would be useful. I am rather bad at understanding what 3 dollars means for a shelf in the library or 5 dollars for the entire quilt. Though I suppose 500 would be a lot of money for any fundraiser even today so it must have been a great deal of money back then as well. Overall a great work of historical fiction, and an interesting addition to the Elm Creek story.(less)
This was a very interesting story that covered the life history of the three key contributers to the Nancy Drew story. Not minding the moral grey line...moreThis was a very interesting story that covered the life history of the three key contributers to the Nancy Drew story. Not minding the moral grey lines about authorship. (This was not a story that proposed crediting one individual over another as far as writer.) It seemed the Syndicate created a name to attribute the larger "creater" force that was a group effort. There was an idea person (that changed), a writer (that changed), and an editor who had free reign as they may or may not have been the idea person. Who does create something in that instance? It would say it was a team effort and that is hard for fokls to swallow. I don't like the way Edward is portrayed here. He gave so little right to the "writer" part of the equation. Perhaps he thought he would always treat them fairly, but his daughters seemed to see them as old sponges to be used and disposed of. Harriet rewrote history just as she rewrote stories for the series. Sadly, I think they all might have been getting the shaft from the publsher who knew enough to know their contract was too good to let up. As careful as the Syndicate was controlling their authors, Edward did not understand the fact that inflation would outstrip his contract. Though, I would say that she should have pulled the business from them much earlier.
I really liked how Harriet did seem to pull herself up to the task of taking over the company for her father. It was sad that Edna never quite understood once she left the cocoon of New Jersey to see what was being done, but she followed so many women back into the home (and she never really wanted to leave it anyway.) Mildred was amazing working non-stop and just trying to keep up, she was a role model indeed. (less)
I just finished the second book I only completed because I hate to leave a novel unfinished. Suspense and Sensibility is the second in a series of Mr....moreI just finished the second book I only completed because I hate to leave a novel unfinished. Suspense and Sensibility is the second in a series of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mystery novels by Carrie Bebris and while I am sure Mrs. Bebris has the upmost respect for the Darcy’s, I can’t say I respect her for what she has done with them. She mixed the most beloved characters from Jane Austen into some sci-fi drama along the lines of The Potrait of Dorian Grey except this time it is a mirror causing a young man’s soul to be possessed or swapped with that of a dead Uncle. I enjoyed Elizabeth Bennet Darcy meeting up with Elinor Dashwood Ferrars. Though they are too different in age to really bond as two women with lots of sisters could, one still appreciates the chance at their connecting. But doing so while Elizabeth is playing matchmaker for Kitty and Elinor’s nephew is a tad strange. Seeing Fanny as a mother was rather amusing as she has gained no remorse for her rudeness and learned nothing from her mother’s attitude. Any one who felt sorry for Lucy Steele Ferrars at the end of Sense and Sensiblity will hate this novel as Mrs. Bebris reduces her to a gossip and an adulterous whore. I think I just wasn’t looking for a gothic horror mixed in with my classic romances. revisiting old friends is one thing watching them battle mythological mirrors and trading souls for souls is quite another. I guess I was remembering a book I had read where Jane Austen herself was the detective and at least there it was real bad guys and real solutions, but such is the difference in styles.(less)
Having read a few books by Joanne Harris, I knew a bit of what to expect. A great love of travel, and some wonderful setting in France would be a back...moreHaving read a few books by Joanne Harris, I knew a bit of what to expect. A great love of travel, and some wonderful setting in France would be a background to the tale, and a heroine in search of herself to pull us through the story. Coastliners only exception is the fact that rather than set in France proper this story finds a home on an island still part of France, but not connected by anything but nationality. These islanders don’t even connect with the different sides of the island. One has modernized and has tourists, while the other is sleepier and has faded through the last few decades. When our heroine Madeleine returns her quiet coast is almost completely fallen asleep. There are no jobs to bring in money and no one really seems to care. This is of course only the surface story. Madeleine has inner demons seeing her father who has never gotten over the loss of a brother, and then there is the mysterious gentleman in town. Who may be a help in the trouble going on and may be a hinderance, and then again may be related somehow. Some how Mrs. Harris makes all the coastal manipulations work, she allows us to pull for these islanders, and feel their joy and pain. Candy and wine may not be dripping through this story as it was for some of her other works, but her catholic roots and strong french heritage keep me enthralled without being overwhelmed.(less)
I just finished listening to this in audio book format from booksshouldbefree.com it was a little tricky keeping track of the names without visual clu...moreI just finished listening to this in audio book format from booksshouldbefree.com it was a little tricky keeping track of the names without visual clues, but I really did enjoy this story. (less)
After The System of the World, by Neal Stephenson is over I want to read it again, actually the whole cycle. The ending was wonderful, Jack is free ha...moreAfter The System of the World, by Neal Stephenson is over I want to read it again, actually the whole cycle. The ending was wonderful, Jack is free hanging out with Le Roi and Eliza and Well his sons are breaking themselves free from a bad "master", they have been indentured too. Wow....The only thing we don't feel secure in, is that Daniel gets home safe, but then again he has lived such a wonderful past few years that one doesn't know if it matters. Crazy. I loved the alchemy and the money going round and round. Watching how things formed in history. I must say that I love Jack's role. He ends volume 2 staring at Newton and declaring he would wage war. And war he wages. It is amazing. Issac would seem more than up to the challenge, but the plan is most insidious, because by the time he hears Jack's name he has become legend. One looses track of the 10 years separating the volumes. Mostly because the governments are fighting the same silly battles. The lords, who have already started blending in together, are fighting the same folks and very little seems to change. Daniel still is running around trying to sort out lives and the only really cool thing is the now older princess and Eliza's first boy have become romantically involved. Understanding relationships is hard mistress is almost an official title. I love the random russian influence popping in. The black scarf that marks one incognito. "universally" recognizable. tee hee. The Clubbs forming and the definitions of words growing and evolving. Enoch Root plays his role and is fleshed out some during jack's "final hours" in ways that are almost beyond belief. The maps are still amazing, though I would always seem to want more. I really wish I could have had all the books to reference little things as i go along. So much occurs in the world and sorting it out is very hard. This series was a bit amazing. I hope that later in life I have the chance perhaps of re-reading it. Perhaps with a couple of history books.(less)
Terry Pratchett is wonderful. In Making Money he skewers the banking industry. As the industry began mostly by someone having enough money to loan out...moreTerry Pratchett is wonderful. In Making Money he skewers the banking industry. As the industry began mostly by someone having enough money to loan out, and having enough that his friends trusted him with their own one can't expect it to be really solid in the foundation. This story of course is years after the money was made and the tree has split and refused to horde the fortunes, but it has also become unstable.
Truly this is the story of Moist becoming bored with stamps. Folk are using them almost as a currency, but the trading rates are sort of fluid and no one quite knows what they are based on. To get good solid international trade Vetinari has to get the crazy banking under control. The best option is the Lavish family with the Bank of Anhk-Morpork, and a batty old woman who controls 50 % of the shares and is Chairman with the help of her dog with the last 1%. She leaves all her shares to the dog and them entrusts him to the care of poor Moist. He is bored, but really wants to pretend he is just another upstanding citizen.
By the end he has come clean of his crimes and found redemption in his Golden Suit. I love it. More great one liners and an even better narrative. I am only sad that I seem to be coming to the end of the mirth. There are very few left of this series.(less)
This is a hard book. It is not sci-fi or fantasy, but historical fiction and it is like trudging through mud. Having completed the journey I know it wa...moreThis is a hard book. It is not sci-fi or fantasy, but historical fiction and it is like trudging through mud. Having completed the journey I know it was good to read, but like War and Peace. I finished it, but really don't read for all this sort. I read for fun and this was not much fun and when I read because it is good for me I need to be aware of it in advance I don't like books like that to jump up on me. Oh well. I can return it and find more fluff.War and Peace(less)
Just finished listening to audio version of this, great telling but the book just makes me want to spit fire. Another horrid YA. I can't decide if I w...moreJust finished listening to audio version of this, great telling but the book just makes me want to spit fire. Another horrid YA. I can't decide if I want to know how Pulman skews these characters over in his remaining book. Middle book middle problem add new more important character, heighten tension and leave characters in worse condition so (one hopes) their victory is Sweeter. Forget that nonsense. Kill more allies. Kill more secondary characters for your tension. Yes I want to know what happens in the end, but I hate how he develops this.
His atheism is also palpable. The same dichotomy of faith and submission and science and free will. (view spoiler)[I assume this time we get Angels on both sides as this is a second war against god (the authority) with a second eve. Only witches on the side of eve is really unusual. <\spoiler> I really forget how much I hate YA. The ambiguity. You can't explain emotions because teens have a skewed response to devotion already. You can't explain hatred evil and yet you use them and everything is black and white with no appreciation for the gray of these moral conditions. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)