This is a book that should be handed to children the first time they say, "I'm bored," over summer vacation. I recently re-read it, and while I can'tThis is a book that should be handed to children the first time they say, "I'm bored," over summer vacation. I recently re-read it, and while I can't say that I had any new insights into it, I still thoroughly enjoyed it....more
I was surprised that I liked this as well as I did. The characters were very engaging, I had just gotten back from trip to Savannah, it all worked togI was surprised that I liked this as well as I did. The characters were very engaging, I had just gotten back from trip to Savannah, it all worked together. A very quick, enjoyable read....more
Another fun, easy, breezy read. This has a lot of the characters from Savannah Blues in it. I liked the characters the first time around and I enjoyedAnother fun, easy, breezy read. This has a lot of the characters from Savannah Blues in it. I liked the characters the first time around and I enjoyed them again in this book. Another great beach read....more
This is the second book I've read by Dixie Cash, and I have to say, they're something of a sinful pleasure! There's not really any redeeming social orThis is the second book I've read by Dixie Cash, and I have to say, they're something of a sinful pleasure! There's not really any redeeming social or literary quality to these books, but they're so much fun! These would be great beach or airport reads. They contain a little bit of mystery, a lot of romance, and even more Southern sass! I highly recommend Dixie Cash for a quick, easy read....more
Thursday Next has had enough of the Book World, so she decides to take her two-year-old son, Friday Next, and return to the real world. She has a lotThursday Next has had enough of the Book World, so she decides to take her two-year-old son, Friday Next, and return to the real world. She has a lot of unfinished business there, such as un-eradicating her husband, taking down the Goliath mega-corporation-turned-religion, and exposing wannabe dictator Yorrick Kaine as the fictional character he is. Not to mention making sure that the Swindon Mallets croquet team wins the "World Cup" of competitive croquet in order to avert a disaster of Armageddon-like proportions, teaching Hamlet to stop dithering so much, and teaching her pet dodo's young son some manners. That should be enough to keep her out of trouble.
This one was still funny and interesting, but I like the way Jasper Fforde can really let his imagination run wild when Thursday's in the Book World. Not that he reigns it in much when she's in the real world, mind you, but I guess there's a certain cleverness and wordplay that happens in the Book World that I miss.
Still pure escapism, but it's very fun, literate escapism that's unlike anything else you've ever read....more
This was my first experience with Bill Bryson and I loved it. I had to keep reading parts aloud to my family, and I would laugh so hard they couldn'tThis was my first experience with Bill Bryson and I loved it. I had to keep reading parts aloud to my family, and I would laugh so hard they couldn't understand what I was saying! Great for a good laugh....more
This is the ONLY time you will ever see this: I liked the movie better. I know, I know! But the book is really pretty satirical and sarcastic. SomehowThis is the ONLY time you will ever see this: I liked the movie better. I know, I know! But the book is really pretty satirical and sarcastic. Somehow they rearranged and edited when they made the movie and it turned into a timeless, funny, fairy tale/love story. I feel so ashamed for admitting that!...more
Harry Dresden is a wizard PI and a consultant with the Chicago PD. He's called in to a gruesome crime scene one day, and sees a double murder that couHarry Dresden is a wizard PI and a consultant with the Chicago PD. He's called in to a gruesome crime scene one day, and sees a double murder that could only have been committed with an unbelievable amount of magic. There are a lot of powerful people interested in this case, and Harry's life is about to get complicated.
Were there a few problems with this book? Yes. But it was fun, funny, suspenseful and original. I read it in one shift at work. I was hooked when Harry quips, "But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face." What a great line!
Harry is a great character. He's a pretty funny smartass, but there's a lot more to him than that. He's lonely and hopeless with women. He is a gentleman at heart, which can drive some of the modern-thinking women around him crazy when he insists on opening their doors and pulling out their chairs. He keeps trying to do the right thing, even when he's caught in impossible Catch-22s. He has some interesting history behind him. We're told a few things, but there's enough left unexplained for me to feel like there's a lot more to him than meets the eye. I'm really curious to find out more of his back story.
As for the mystery part--eh. I knew exactly who had done it, almost from the beginning, I just didn't know why. It didn't bother me too much because I was interested in seeing how Harry would go about figuring this out. There were only a few times when I wanted to smack him around and tell him to start thinking because it was so obvious what was going on. Mostly I was fine with everything though.
One character who was intelligent, level-headed and fairly trusting of Harry became an irrational turncoat at a moment when it conveniently added a lot of drama to the story. That did irritate me because it was completely out of character for what I knew of her.
Oh, and I really dislike the cover of this edition. That looks like Clint Eastwood under that hat and I have a dislike of that man going back to childhood. When there's one tv in the house and your dad insists on spending Sunday afternoons watching Clint Eastwood and John Wayne movies, you either learn to love them or learn to hate them. I haven't seen an Eastwood movie in years and years and years.
Those things aside, I did really enjoy this and look forward to reading the next in the series. Maybe these problems will be ironed out in the second installment. And maybe we'll learn exactly why Harry is always followed by the shadow of He Who Walks Behind....more
A very fun, breezy read. I kept laughing out loud and scaring my husband while I was reading it. I feel bad for the people who have had any contact wiA very fun, breezy read. I kept laughing out loud and scaring my husband while I was reading it. I feel bad for the people who have had any contact with me recently, because I've probably found a way to work one of these stories into the conversation. Read it if you're in the mood for a good laugh, sort of at the expense of men. It's all in good fun though....more
This is the story of Artemis Fowl, a 12-year-old criminal mastermind who decides he wants a pile of fairy gold. What is he willing to do to get it?
I tThis is the story of Artemis Fowl, a 12-year-old criminal mastermind who decides he wants a pile of fairy gold. What is he willing to do to get it?
I truly enjoyed this book. Artemis is a genius, but we also get to watch him grow up (and loosen up) a little as the book progresses. Just when you start to forget that Artemis is only twelve, a scene comes along that shows how vulnerable he still is.
The plot was smart, funny, and well-written. The fairies were not your typical airy fairies. They could kick some serious butt.
I would recommend this to anyone, young or old, who appreciates a good story....more
Welcome to an alternative England, where characters from nursery rhymes investigate nursery crimes and the investigation is more focused on getting aWelcome to an alternative England, where characters from nursery rhymes investigate nursery crimes and the investigation is more focused on getting a good story than on getting a correct conviction. Jack Spratt and his new partner, Mary Mary, have just been assigned to investigate the death of Humpty Dumpty. But this seemingly straightforward investigation is not all it's cracked up to be. (Sorry, I don't know if that even made sense, but I had to work it in somehow.)
I really enjoyed this. Something about the feel of a hard-nosed detective story contrasted with using characters from nursery rhymes just really amused me. And it was an unpredictable whodunnit on top of everything else. If you don't take yourself (or your books) too seriously, you would probably enjoy this. I have also really enjoyed Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, so if you enjoyed those, you'll probably also like this series....more
The Masque of the Black Tulip continues the story of spies and lovers begun with The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. Henrietta Selwick (sisterThe Masque of the Black Tulip continues the story of spies and lovers begun with The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. Henrietta Selwick (sister to Richard Selwick, who was the spy known as The Purple Gentian) is corresponding with her cousin Jane (who is living in Paris and spying on Napoleon's government in the guise of the Pink Carnation). Got that? Through their coded correspondence, Jane sends messages of intrigue to the War Office in Britain. One such message notifies the War Office that the French have deployed their best and most dangerous spy, The Black Tulip, to London. A search for the spy follows.
Okay, without giving away anything, that is the bare bones of the plot. But that makes it sound a lot more serious than it is. Sure, the spying and disguises and coded messages do happen, but this book is pure, unadulterated, fun chick-lit. I raced through it, waiting to see if the Black Tulp is caught in time, but really, I just wanted to see who ends up in love with whom. The plot is fun, the characters are maybe not too well-developed, but they're fun too, and the pace is just right. If you don't take yourself or your books too seriously, this is an amusing, easy read. It would be great to read on the beach....more
Having just finished The Inferno and The Picture of Dorian Gray, I needed something frothy and fun. I've read the other two books in this series, so IHaving just finished The Inferno and The Picture of Dorian Gray, I needed something frothy and fun. I've read the other two books in this series, so I knew this one should fit the bill. It did.
This time around, Letty Alsworthy finds herself in a very compromising position with her sister's suitor, Lord Geoffrey Pinchingdale. She also promptly finds herself married off to Geoff. He leaves for Ireland on their wedding night and the indomitable Letty follows him. She later finds out that Geoff is a spy working with the Pink Carnation to stop an uprising in Ireland.
That sounds very dry, but these books are a funny little delight to read. The dialogue is witty, the characters are always fun and likeable, and there's just the right balance of romance and action. I recommend them if you just need a fun little break....more
Stephanie Plum has just gotten laid off from her job as a lingerie buyer for a company that turned out to be owned by the mob in New Jersey. Her MiataStephanie Plum has just gotten laid off from her job as a lingerie buyer for a company that turned out to be owned by the mob in New Jersey. Her Miata has just been repossessed, she's sold everything of value, and her refrigerator is empty. Out of desperation, she goes to see her cousin Vinnie, a bail bondsman, about a filing job. That's just been filled, but the secretary lets her know that there's an opening for a bounty hunter, and the money's good. Stephanie blackmails her way into taking a case that will pay out $10,000 if she can bring the guy in. It turns out the fugitive is someone she has a long history with who appears to be a cop gone bad. He's been arrested for cold-blooded murder. Of course, Stephanie is unbelievably unqualified for this job, but a mixture of desperation, pride, and stubborness take her a long way.
This was a quick, fun read, but there was still plenty of murder and mayhem for most mystery/thriller readers. This was actually pretty funny. I don't think I ever laughed out loud, but I probably giggled a few times. I had expected it to be a little funnier and less violent from what someone had told me about it, but this was still a good book. One thing that did irritate me was that the author pretty much gave driving directions to every place Stephanie went in the book. That might make it more real to the people from Trenton, NJ, but to me it was just distracting fluff for me to skip over.
The characters were what really made the book. You have to like Stephanie. She comes across as just an average woman who's gotten in over her head, but she doesn't let that stop her. The dirtbag characters were really dirtbags. Some of the stuff they did made me want to go take a shower. And Joe was a hottie. What girl doesn't like a good guy with a little bit of bad in him? Or is he a bad boy with a little bit of good in him? Either way, he's sexy. I hope he shows up in other books.
So if you like your mysteries with some humor and you don't mind some blood along the way, you'll like this one. ...more
Mary Alsworthy, who faithful readers will remember as being the jilted sister in The Deception of the Emerald Ring, is living with her sister- and broMary Alsworthy, who faithful readers will remember as being the jilted sister in The Deception of the Emerald Ring, is living with her sister- and brother-in-law. As the woman widely believed to be the most beautiful in London society, she finds this unbearable. She should be the Viscountess, not her sister. When the Pink Carnation, through Lord Sebastian Vaughn, offers Mary the opportunity to win a little independence in exchange for some faithful service to the Crown, Mary jumps at the opportunity.
Fun fluff. That really sums these books up. But they are such fun fun fluff. I call them my slightly guilty pleasure. I try to tell myself that the historical fiction aspect redeems them a little, but that's not really true. There's probably technically no redeeming value to this series at all--except that I find myself at the very least slightly smiling through the whole book. That's worth something, isn't it?
This one was just as good as the others. Around page 150 I thought I had the whole thing figured out, so I was starting to get a little disappointed. It turns out that I didn't have a clue what was going on.
I have developed this phantom pain in my right eyebrow though. It seemed like someone was arching an eyebrow or raising a brow at least once on every page. Seriously. It's all well and good to give your characters mannerisms, but don't wear them out. Please.
In the current time, Eloise and Colin are finally starting to get somewhere. Their storyline is moving so slowly though that I really don't care. I can't wait to get back to early-19th-century England and see what's going on with the characters back then.
And speaking of characters--Letty was cute in the last book, but she got positively annoying in this one!
I recommend this for those needing a little--you guessed it--fun fluff....more
Charlie Asher is your average Beta Male. He owns a second-hand shop in San Francisco and rents out the apartments in the rest of the building to someCharlie Asher is your average Beta Male. He owns a second-hand shop in San Francisco and rents out the apartments in the rest of the building to some kooky tenants. He has somehow managed to win the heart of beautiful Rachel and she has just given birth to their daughter Sophie when the book begins. Charlie can't believe his luck, and, with typical Beta Male imagination, believes that Sophie has eleven toes or a tail or something--good things just don't happen for Beta Males. After Sophie's birth, weird things start to happen to Charlie. People drop dead in front of him, objects glow with an eerie red light, and he hears evil voices coming from the sewer drains. Enter Mr. Minty Fresh. He explains what is going on to Charlie. Basically, they are Death Merchants. They collect objects from the dead and dying that are imbued with the dead person's soul. Then they hold onto the object until the soul's next owner comes along and buys it. If they screw up, or if they have contact with other Death Merchants, the Forces of Darkness will rise and the World As We Know It will end. No pressure.
I think I had laughed out loud four times in the first four pages of this book. Moore's sense of humor is a perfect match for mine. I've been trying to think of the word to describe it. Not exactly crass or crude, it's more like the not-exactly-for-polite-company jokes that you make with your best friends and maybe even your family, but you probably wouldn't say in front of your in-laws or your boss. I had a few "I can't believe he had the nerve to write that!" moments in some of the funnier parts. Here are a couple of my favorite quotes:
"'There's no g*****n tail , you doofus! Look!' She pulled down the blanket and aimed baby Sophie's bottom at him like she might unleash a fusillade of weapons-grade poopage such as the guileless Beta Male had never seen."
"Don't be ridiculous, Charlie, people love the parents who beat their kids in department stores. It's the ones who just let their kids wreak havoc that everybody hates."
While the book was definitely an irreverent comedy, there were some very nice parts where Charlie is reflecting on death and loved ones. Probably one of the nicest passages was about hospice workers, calling them "benevolent Valkyries, midwives of the final light." These nicer parts are few and far between, but it was nice to have them in there.
The characters are all quirky but loveable and you just can't help rooting for Charlie as he comes to terms with fatherhood and his new status as a Death Merchant. Charlie's employees and tenants provide a comedic sideshow that I loved.
The plot is so different that I never had much of an idea where Moore was going with this. And I mean that in a good way. I like well-written unpredictable books and this fit into that category.
The humor isn't for everyone, but if it sounds like your brand of humor, read this one. It's a lot of fun. ...more
Stephanie Plum is back and this time she's trying to hunt down Kenny Mancuso. Kenny shot one of his best friends in the knee and then returned later tStephanie Plum is back and this time she's trying to hunt down Kenny Mancuso. Kenny shot one of his best friends in the knee and then returned later to finish the job. With the help of Morelli, Ranger, and the ever-loveable Grandma Mazur, maybe Stephanie can catch Kenny before Kenny catches her.
This book is just as fun and funny as the first of the series. Stephanie isn't a perfect heroine, but that's what makes her so appealing. And Morelli...what is there to say about Morelli? What a smokin' bad boy! Grandma Mazur makes a lengthier appearance in this book, and she is on a roll. Who wouldn't love a grandmother who can take a potshot at a pickup truck with a .45 without blinking? And who has Dirty Harry's famous speech memorized? Oh my gosh, she is too funny.
If you like your mysteries with a dash of humor and a whole lot of spunk, pick these up....more
The adventures of Thursday Next continue as she seeks refuge from the evil designs of the Goliath Corporation and Yorick Kaine inside the Book World,The adventures of Thursday Next continue as she seeks refuge from the evil designs of the Goliath Corporation and Yorick Kaine inside the Book World, most specifically, The Well of Lost Plots. She's pregnant, her pet dodo is hatching an egg in a slightly muddled way, her husband has been eradicated (back when he was only two years old) and the little sister of her defeated arch-nemesis is slowly erasing and/or changing all of Thursday's memories. She's also investigating crimes as an apprentice agent for Jurisfiction, an internal book policing agency. Mentoring her at Jurisfiction is Miss Havisham. Yes, that Miss Havisham. The Miss Havisham of Great Expectations fame who now spends what little spare time she has competing against Mr. Toad to try to set a new land speed record.
Do you get the picture? This book is not for those without a sense of humor, or at least a sense of whimsy. I am amazed at Jasper Fforde's literary knowledge and imagination. It feels like there is some sort of literary reference or pun in at least every paragraph. It's really probably every sentence, but I don't know enough myself to "get" them all.
I love the whole concept of a secret, hidden world within books. What do all those characters get up to when their stories aren't being read? A lot, as it turns out.
This book also seems to be where another of Fforde's books, The Big Over Easy started out. Now that I've read The Big Over Easy, it was interesting to see where the idea began, knowing where it wound up.
I think it only got three stars because I did read it before a few years ago. I do enjoy Jasper Fforde's books, but I don't think they stand up all that well to re-reading. The fresh ideas aren't all that fresh anymore.
That being said, I do highly recommend these to people with the sense of humor to appreciate them....more