In a hospital in England, the anti-Christ is born, making unlikely allies of the demon Crowley and the angel Aziraphale. They've both spent quite a biIn a hospital in England, the anti-Christ is born, making unlikely allies of the demon Crowley and the angel Aziraphale. They've both spent quite a bit of time on Earth and they actually kind of like the place. They're not ready for the End of Days. So they set out to make sure it doesn't happen.
I read this book about half a lifetime ago, which makes me feel a little old. I really enjoyed it. When I saw that it was going to be adapted for radio by the BBC and we could stream it on our side of the pond, I was excited.
I think I was a little distracted as I was listening to it. I only listened to it around the house so I could stream it over our wifi. And of course I was puttering around as I listened. I laughed in all the right places but it felt disjointed to me. I think that's at least partly because I would get focused on whatever I was doing for a minute or two and then try to pick up the thread of the narrative again. Also, the BBC app is terrible. I could only listen to five minutes at a time before the audio started whistling at me, so then I'd have to exit completely out and go back in to listen to the next five minutes. That shows some sort of dedication on my part, doesn't it, that I listened to the whole thing like that?
Also, (I'm afraid to say this), I tend to love Neil Gaiman's books but I've never been a huge Terry Pratchett fan. My sister has tried to get me to read the Discworld books forever. I've read a few. I enjoyed one and the others were just too random and over the top for me. That's how Good Omens felt to me now. I don't know if my taste has changed or if it just stood out to me more in this format.
The adaptation was very well done though. I haven't listened to many (if any) other radio adaptations, and I liked the full cast and the sound effects. I can't think of any weaknesses in that aspect of things.
I don't know if this is still available, but fans of the book should definitely check it out. I think I just had too many other things going on because I really should have loved it....more
Mary Roach has a gift for making science accessible and--dare I say it?--even funny. In this book, she tackles the digestive system.
Covering topics raMary Roach has a gift for making science accessible and--dare I say it?--even funny. In this book, she tackles the digestive system.
Covering topics ranging from thorough chewing (as in 700+ chews for One. Freaking. Bite.) to the miraculous properties of spit, from being eaten alive to the possibility (or not) of chewing your way out if you are, from "The alimentary canal as criminal accomplice" to *ahem* flatus, and ending up with bacterial transplants to treat intractable digestive ailments, this book asks everything you might possibly have ever wanted to know on the topic but were afraid to ask.
I have a pretty juvenile sense of humor, so all of the fart jokes, and spit jokes, and *ahem* "criminal accomplice" jokes had me at least giggling. In the two chapters devoted to flatulence, I was quite honestly laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. Not that it was necessarily that funny but because "Oh my gosh, I can't believe she went there. And there. And there!" I'm almost ashamed of myself. Almost. Luckily my husband and I have the same sense of humor so he just kept playing whatever game on his phone as I laughed myself silly and waited for me to catch my breath and report so he could share in the joke too.
I've worked in healthcare for years, so I've developed a pretty strong stomach (though I'm not a nurse or CNA and haven't ever had to wade into the trenches, so to speak), so nothing in here bothered me. That will obviously not be the case for all of you. If you can stomach it (heehee!), I do recommend this. If it doesn't seem to be your kind of thing, it's probably not....more
Bernadette Fox is an...eccentric...mother and wife living in Seattle. Her daughter, Bee, is an excellent student and has asked for a family cruise toBernadette Fox is an...eccentric...mother and wife living in Seattle. Her daughter, Bee, is an excellent student and has asked for a family cruise to Antarctica as a reward for earning all A's (or her school's equivalent) throughout her middle school career. Bernadette and her husband, Elgin, can't think of a reason to say no so the planning begins.
Bernadette is in a fragile place mentally due to a Huge Hideous Thing that happened when she was still living in L.A. The stress of planning the trip, or having her virtual assistant in India plan it, added to the stress of the terrible parents at Bee's school and the general anxiety Bernadette experiences every day prove to be too much; Bernadette disappears. This book is a collection of emails and other ephemera as Bee tries to figure out where her mom went.
This was hilarious but it was also so sad at the same time. The parents at Bee's school were horrific beyond words. One in particular took helicopter parenting to an entirely new level. No wonder poor Bernadette calls them "the gnats." She tries her best to just lie low and let them do their thing but they won't let her. All parents must be joiners! All parents must volunteer in the classroom! All neighboring parents must keep their backyards in the condition that chief helicopter mom dictates! Holy cow.
Bernadette herself was an enigma. I liked that she just kind of gives the other parents the finger but it was obvious that something just wasn't right with her. She would go on huge rants about how she hates Canadians and 5-way intersections, both of which are apparently innumerable in Seattle. She seemed to be most honest in emails with her virtual assistant. She chose a house that used to be a girls' school and then let it crumble down around her family's ears. I couldn't figure out what the heck was going on with her. And then I found out what the Huge Hideous Thing was and I just had to gasp out loud and sit back and process it for a minute. It was nothing that I had ever expected at all. Once I knew what had happened, I had much more sympathy for Bernadette.
I flew through the first half of the book with all the emails and notes and twists and turns. The second half is more of a straightforward journal written from Bee's point of view. I can't say that I lost interest but my reading definitely slowed down. I think it had to be written this way but I preferred the first half.
I highly recommend this funny romp through the lives of a modern American family....more
Percy Jackson finds himself entering a camp of Roman demigods near San Francisco with only the vaguest memory of who he is. The Romans accept him andPercy Jackson finds himself entering a camp of Roman demigods near San Francisco with only the vaguest memory of who he is. The Romans accept him and he finds himself on a quest with Hazel and Frank, a couple of other demigods. They must make their way to Alaska, "The Land Beyond the Gods," defeat a giant, win back the Roman standard, and free Thanatos, aka Death. All in about four days. No sweat.
As much as I loved reading Percy Jackson in print, I have to say that I love listening to Joshua Swanson's narration of this spin-off series even more. He sounds as excited as I feel to find out what's going to happen next. He does a great job of voicing all the different characters, and he makes all these smart alecky demigods sound as smart alecky as they really are. I can't recommend this series on audio highly enough!
I do really like this series so far. I seem to have never reviewed the first book, The Lost Hero, but I did enjoy it. I mostly listen to audio books in the car but I had to bring this one in the house with me and listen as I cooked or cleaned or even just got all my stuff ready for the next day. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next.
Percy sounds a little older and wiser in this book. He's kind of filling a big brother role for Hazel and Frank. He's been on enough quests to know how it works, even if he has lost his memory. He doesn't dominate the other two; he acknowledges that Frank is the leader and he lets Frank make the tough calls. I respect him for that. He's still hilarious though and I just love him.
I felt bad for Hazel but I liked her a lot. She's carrying around some serious baggage from her past. She sees this quest as a chance to correct some mistakes she's made. She's a tough warrior in her own right and wise beyond her years.
Frank's pretty cool too. His demigod ability is awesome! He's been going through a rough time as well. It was nice to watch him dealing with that and growing past his insecurities and into his abilities.
The book is full of action and humor and is a fast read in any format. Rick Riordan fans will not be disappointed. I'll be picking up the third book pretty soon, I'm sure!...more
I don't even know how to begin to describe this plot. Garnell Lee Ray is an assassin for hire. She has a grudge against greedy developers and she's taI don't even know how to begin to describe this plot. Garnell Lee Ray is an assassin for hire. She has a grudge against greedy developers and she's taking one group of particularly dirty specimens out. She likes to use gravity to her advantage. Detective Krontz realizes that Garnell is tied to these deaths in some way, but he can't quite figure out how. This Yankee cop sure as hell isn't going to let a cute little Southern girl get away with murder though.
That sounds oh-so-serious. Zany, unpredictable, and hilarious are probably the best words to describe this Western North Carolina tale. Written by 12 local authors, each getting a chapter, this seems to be a competition to see which one can throw the biggest curveball out for the next author to catch. They each did an admirable job. I would come to the end of one chapter, think, "There's no way we're working through this," and the next author would not only work through it but also raise the stakes. The story's so twisted and turned it could probably be a study in knot theory for a mathematician with time on his or her hands.
I did have to just sit back and let the story take me where it wanted though. If you have a logical, ordered mind, this might not be the book for you. But if you're willing to shut down the rational brain and enjoy the ride, it's a book that will have you laughing out loud.
I don't know how big an audience this would have outside of Western North Carolina. I think you probably have to know a little about the area and the people to really get it. I think if you're coming to visit us though, this would be a fun book to pick up while you're checking out Malaprop's (because if you're a reader, you have to stop by Malaprop's while you're in Asheville) and see what makes our corner of the world tick. It's a fun story made all the funnier with all the kernels of truth buried within the farce. ...more
I have mostly been able to follow Christopher Moore into his craziness with success. He makes a joke and I laugh. It might be the weirdest thing everI have mostly been able to follow Christopher Moore into his craziness with success. He makes a joke and I laugh. It might be the weirdest thing ever (Humpback whales with "Bite Me" on their tails?), but I get it. But then there was Fool. And now there is Sacre Bleu.
I got so tired of having absolutely no freaking idea what on earth was going on. I mean, zero idea. You probably have a better idea what's going on than I did. Notice that I didn't write a synopsis? There's a reason.
Individual elements worked well for me. I liked coming across all these painters and seeing them...misbehave. Especially Monet. I read a book about him once. I liked Lucien and Henri a lot. They had been left a little broken by the women in their lives, but they were still young painters (Or bakers. Or counts.) out on the town having a little fun. And sex. And alcohol.
Paris is always a good location to read about. I'm not sure how much I really want to go, but reading a book set in the city always has me ready to pack my bags. And then I think that I would stand out like a sore thumb in chic Paris. And I mentally unpack them again.
I loved that the ink of the book is blue and that so many prints of paintings were included. In color no less! I hate reading a book that talks about a real work of art and there's no print in the book. Call it laziness. It just seems like it should always be included.
I really appreciated that there is a section at the end explaining what is fact and what is fiction. I was a little surprised by what bits fell under which heading. I knew about van Gogh's ear. I did not know that he shot himself in the chest on purpose and then walked a mile to the doctor for help. That truly is some craziness.
But then there's the whole thrust (hee hee! Are you proud, Mr. Moore?) of the story that centers around The Colorman and Bleu. Who the hell are they and what the hell are they doing? I didn't know. I have a better idea now, but I'm still confused. Maybe my sense of humor is broken at the moment. Maybe my attention span is about as long as that of the hummingbirds that are starting to show back up at my house. But I just couldn't follow anything about them. And they really are the entire point of the story.
I have a feeling that if you liked Fool, you'll understand this better than I did, so go ahead and give it a try if you're interested.
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy for review.
Gumdrop Coal has gotten the axe. Founder of the Coal Patrol, those elves who deliver coal into bad little kids' stockings, Gumdrop is out on his ear wGumdrop Coal has gotten the axe. Founder of the Coal Patrol, those elves who deliver coal into bad little kids' stockings, Gumdrop is out on his ear when Santa decides that every child deserves a real gift on Christmas. Gumdrop takes it hard. His methods might be harsh, but he believes they're fair and they mostly get results.
He's promised Santa that he'll stay away from children, but he hasn't made any promises about parents. Let's face it--someone is responsible for little monsters turning out the way they are. After a few violent encounters, parents and children have changed their ways for the better.
Then one of the parents Gumdrop roughed up is found dead. Everyone in Kringle Town thinks Gumdrop did it. Gumdrop sets out to clear his name. Can he nab the culprit before his own goose is cooked?
This was fun, if a little hard to sustain over the length of a short novel. I can't say that I've actually read any noir, but I'm somehow familiar with the tropes, either through movies or the collective subconscious. Harmon stayed true to what I know. The good-looking dame with questionable motives. The hard-boiled MC. Over-the-top villains. Very cool.
What was a lot of fun was seeing how Christmas lore fit into the book. There can't be many Christmas songs and stories that Harmon didn't work in here. Tiny Tim, Ralphie, It's a Wonderful Life, "The Twelve Days of Christmas"--he really covered a lot of ground.
I mostly liked the way that familiar sayings had a Christmas twist. "Son of a blitzen." "I didn't know it yet but someone back at the North Pole was about to start playing reindeer games for keeps." "For a little while, things seemed too foggy even for Rudy's schnoz and the whole tale was about to get more twisted than a cheap string of lights." It did get a little old if I read the book too long at one time. But when I put it down and came back after a little break, I was entertained again.
I was surprised that there was a true Christmas message worked in, with talk of the Child, and the First Gift, and the true meaning of Christmas. I liked it.
As for the mystery, I didn't really follow all the twists and turns. I went with it, but now that I'm sitting here thinking about it, I'm not sure that everything really worked together. That might be my fault for reading without thinking too much, I don't know. It happens.
If you're looking for a different kind of Christmas read, go ahead and check this out. It's a nice change from the sickeningly sweet fare that's usually offered up at this time of year. ...more
Jill Conner Browne writes a fictional account of how the Sweet Potato Queens came into being and how they truly became queens through some terrible deJill Conner Browne writes a fictional account of how the Sweet Potato Queens came into being and how they truly became queens through some terrible decisions and heartbreak.
I absolutely loved the first chapter of this book. It was sheer perfection I tell you. It starts when the queens are in high school and haven't really figured out that they're queens yet. They are always being looked down upon by the high school beauty queen, a bitch if ever there was one. I was shrieking with laughter and doing a corny little fist pump all alone in my car by the time the chapter ended. "You tell her, Queens!" I was repeating the last few sentences of that chapter to anyone who would listen for days, complete with my best Southern drawl.
That was by far my favorite part. The Queens seem determined to make every mistake it is possible to make when it comes to love. There were still definitely some funny parts, but I had gotten so attached to these characters in that first chapter that I just wanted everything to go right for them. But I think Browne's ultimate message is that we are all Queens, no matter what horrendously bad decision we have made in our lives. We just need to pick ourselves back up, dust off our crowns, and start singing "Tiny Bubbles" again.
I am torn between recommending the print or audio versions. I listened to the audio, read by Browne herself, and had a blast listening to her. I am definitely a Southern girl, but up here in the Southern Appalachians, we have more of a twang, and Browne definitely has a drawl. I could listen to her talk all day, I swear. No matter the slight differences in accents, I think that Southerners all have a similar rhythm to our storytelling, so listening to her read this book just felt deeply right.
On the other hand, there were so many quotes I wanted to mark, but there was no way for me to do that! Maybe I'll check the print book out of the library and look for the best bits. One that I can sort of remember is something like, "She was letting that word fly. You know, the one we called the firetruck word back then because it began and ended in the same letters."
For a laugh-out-loud, ultimately feel-good book, go ahead and pick this up in whatever format tickles your fancy. It might not have quite lived up to the high expectations I had after the first chapter, but it is definitely a girl-power book, and we all need to read those every once in a while....more
Wayside school is just a little different. The builder built the school sideways, so it's 30 classrooms stacked on top of each other. Mrs. Jewls's claWayside school is just a little different. The builder built the school sideways, so it's 30 classrooms stacked on top of each other. Mrs. Jewls's class is on the 30th floor. That makes for a long hike for her students. The students at Wayside are a little different as well. One boy has a literal compulsion to pull a girl's braids. One student sleeps all the time. Everyone calls a new kid by the wrong name and he never corrects anyone. One new kid shows up wearing a raincoat and there's a huge surprise when he takes it off. The teachers at Wayside are a little different too. The first teacher is horrible and when she disappears, the students get a teacher who is just as wacky as they are. Yes, life's a little different at Wayside, but that's the way they like it.
I can remember my 4th grade teacher reading the first book to my class. We thought this was the funniest thing ever! I had high expectations going into it, and I wasn't really let down. It wasn't as funny to me now as it was to my 9-year-old self, but I can definitely see why I loved it back then. Don't get me wrong--it was still hilarious, but I found myself giggling or smiling instead of laughing out loud.
I wasn't too sure about Louis Sachar as the narrator at first. He's not terribly exciting but he grew on me. He has an earnest voice that perfectly set up the crazy things these kids did in all seriousness.
I felt the first book was the best but the other two were worth checking out as well. The end of the second one got waaaay weird and ended in a not-very-happy place. I was surprised. But readers will have to pick up the third book to see how things work out for the Wayside Schoolers, so I guess it was effective marketing.
I think the books work so well because, well, kids are weird. For real. They start learning pretty early on what is and isn't acceptable, so they don't do half the weird things they want to do. The Wayside Schoolers have no inhibitions. They just go for it and it's fun to live vicariously through them.
The books, especially the first, don't really have one big plot. Each chapter is more like a short story about a kid in the class. I happen to like short stories so this worked for me. I think kids will enjoy dipping in and out of it as well. Others might consider it choppy.
I don't really know what most adults will think of it unless they remember it fondly from their elementary school days. Kids with a kid's sense of humor should love it. A great read for both girls and boys....more
George Beard and Harold Hutchins are the 4th grade pranksters at their school. They change school signs around to say funny things, they fill cheerleaGeorge Beard and Harold Hutchins are the 4th grade pranksters at their school. They change school signs around to say funny things, they fill cheerleader pom poms with black pepper, and they fill footballs with helium. Perhaps their favorite pastime, though, is writing comic books. They steal into the school office and make copies to sell when the secretary's back is turned, then sell their comics to the other kids at the school. Their best superhero is Captain Underpants, who fights with Wedgie Power. "Tra-la-laaa!"
Their mean school principal, Mr. Krupp, really dislikes Harold and George for all the chaos they cause in his school. He blackmails them into behaving, but George and Harold find a way to fight back. Mr. Krupp never knows what hits him.
Oh my goodness. What a fun book! I was giggling away reading this by myself at the age of 33. I would have laughed to the point of tears as a child. But then, I've always loved a good fart joke. Unsophisticated, I know, but farts happen. Might as well get a laugh out of them.
George and Harold are a couple of comic geniuses. They have a talent for getting into trouble but their real talents lie in getting out of trouble. Their imagination and creativity seems to be limitless!
And what they do to Mr. Krupp... I loved it! What kid, no matter how well-behaved, doesn't dream of rebelling against some authority figure? If we're honest, we never lose those dreams. It feels so good to see someone acting out like that, even if it is just in the pages of a book.
There is one chapter that features flip-o-rama. I had such a good time with this! The book has reached a crashing climax and all of a sudden you get to sort of activate it yourself and watch the action take place. It was a lot of fun and I played around with it longer than I should probably admit to. When my husband got home, I made him watch as I flipped the pages to make the illustrations look animated. He even had to chuckle a little and admit that it was "pretty good."
I really, really enjoyed this and recommend it for parents who don't mind the potty humor. For parents struggling to find books for their sons to read, this would be a great one to try. ...more
Elliot somehow finds himself appointed King of the Brownies (not the kind you eat--the kind that likes to clean your house as you sleep. I'd be happyElliot somehow finds himself appointed King of the Brownies (not the kind you eat--the kind that likes to clean your house as you sleep. I'd be happy with either of them in my house). He first came to the Brownies' attention after he saved one of them from some evil Goblins on Halloween night. That night, Elliot also started a war between the Brownies and the Goblins, so I guess it's only fair that he has to lead the Brownies. The problem is that the Brownies have no concept of how war should work. They just go about their business as usual, expecting to be eaten or scared to death by a Goblin at any minute. Well, Elliot might be young, but he knows that something has to change.
This was cute. It really was. My biggest problem was the frequent breaks for "Now, Reader, if you don't like to read about people being scared to death, you might want to stop reading right here. For serious. You've been warned. The last person who continued reading was eaten by a platypus." (Paraphrased) It was kind of funny the first time or two, but it seemed like there was one of these in every chapter. Kids might like it, but I thought it got tedious.
Other than that, it was a fun little story. Elliott and the Brownies (sounds like a pop group from the '50's) got themselves into some tight spots, but it was amusing to see how the Goblins mostly managed to defeat themselves. I have to own up to a very juvenile sense of humor when it comes to smelly feet jokes and the like, so I actually thought it was pretty funny in parts.
I really liked that hidden inside this fun little story was a message about bullies and finding the strength to stand up for yourself. That doesn't mean fighting, but it does mean drawing the line. There's even a bit about forgiveness and second chances.
Recommended for the 9-12 year olds who can appreciate the humor....more
Three Bones, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone, are run out of Boneville after Phoney Bone tries to pull a scam on the townspeople. They get sepThree Bones, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone, are run out of Boneville after Phoney Bone tries to pull a scam on the townspeople. They get separated in a desert. Fone Bone, the most honest of the bunch, eventually finds marooned in a beautiful valley. All is not as peaceful as it appears, however. There are rat creatures trying to eat Fone Bone and an enigmatic dragon who keeps saving his skin.
This has potential, but it didn't really get anywhere in this first installment. I had more questions when I finished it than I did when I started it. I can't think of one question that got answered. That's the biggest reason I rated this three stars.
I did like the artwork. It reminded me of the cartoons I watched as a child.
I don't really have anything else to say. I don't feel like I know enough about what's going on to add anything else.
Readers more patient than I am will probably like this more than I did. I just want to have something explained....more
Nate Quinn has spent his entire professional career following humpback whales around the ocean, trying to find out exactly why the males sing. He's cuNate Quinn has spent his entire professional career following humpback whales around the ocean, trying to find out exactly why the males sing. He's currently in Hawaii, where the whales spend the winter, still researching. His world is rocked on the day that he is taking pictures of one singer and sees BITE ME clearly written across the whale's tail. Did he imagine it? Was it there? Surely he got a picture of it. He heads back in to get his film developed, only to find that someone has completely trashed his lab. So begins a lot of inexplicable events.
Oh my gosh. I'm pretty sure Fluke just replaced A Dirty Job as my favorite Moore novel, and I can't help but wonder if it's because I listened to Fluke.
I have never been interested in audio books. I don't take things in all that well just by listening. I've tried them a time or two, and while I found them interesting at the time, I never had any desire to turn the book back on and finish it. Then, about 6 months ago, I realized how much my new job was eating into my reading time. Out of desperation, I tried an audio book during my commute, and I haven't looked back. I'm now one of those people who sits in my driveway listening to my book, because I have to know what happens next.
Still, the printed word is my first love.
I wasn't too sure about this narrator, Bill Irwin, at first. His voice was a little dry. It didn't seem to fit Moore's laugh-out-loud, over-the-top, usually raunchy humor. Oh, but I was wrong. Somehow it was even funnier. I would be driving along, something outrageous would come out of this guy's mouth, and I'm looking around, "What? Really? He did not just say that." And then I'd start laughing like a crazy person alone in my car. Or, my favorite was when I was mowing our yard, which seems bigger every time I mow it, dripping sweat as I pushed our mower along, and just howling with laughter. Miracles happen every day.
Kona was probably my favorite character. He's a Rastafarian stoner who acts like he's a native Hawaiian when he's really a white boy from New Jersey with some ridiculous name like Spencer. (Nothing against Spencer, but Spencer and Kona are worlds apart). I loved Irwin's voice for him. Just perfect. I was worried that I wouldn't understand it when I first heard it, but I quickly got the hang of it. He slips in and out of the Rasta-talk with ease. When Kona learns that they eat kitties in China, he is crushed. "Kitties? Cute kitties?" You can hear the tremble in his voice and so picture his lip trembling as well. Poor burned-out Kona with his big heart.
Now, the story.
The story came within a fingernail width of going over the top for me. I seriously considered making a "crazy_shit" shelf here and putting all Moore's books on it, with this one being the craziest of the crazy shit. The first half is fine. And then--. And then. Wow. I had to consciously decide to just let go and let Moore take me where he wanted to. I've only been disappointed in one of his books so far (Fool, if you're curious), so I thought if I could just reserve judgment, I probably wouldn't regret it. I obviously don't. It was so close though. I can see how some people would just hate this one.
If you're brave enough to let go and enjoy the ride, I do recommend Fluke, especially on audio. It has been a while since I've laughed as much at a book....more
Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has been given the task of bringing in Maxine Nowicki. It should be a straightforward job. Maxine has a clean record andBounty hunter Stephanie Plum has been given the task of bringing in Maxine Nowicki. It should be a straightforward job. Maxine has a clean record and she only "stole" her boyfriend's car. But Maxine proves strangely elusive. Stephanie's job gets harder when Joyce Barnhardt, a new bounty hunter, starts tracking Maxine as well. Stephanie and Joyce have been rivals before, when Joyce was banging Stephanie's husband. Stephanie is determined that she's not going to lose this time. With the help of Lula the giant ex-prostitute; Sally the drag queen; Morelli, everyone's favorite Italian cop; and Ranger, everyone's favorite Cuban bounty hunter extraordinaire, Stephanie just might be able to get her woman.
I always remember that I love this series, but somehow in between books, I forget exactly how much I love them. It doesn't take me long to remember. This is how this one played out.
My husband was cooking something for me (he's great that way), and I cracked this book open just to take a quick glance. And I started reading. And grinning. On the first page. My husband said my name (I think only once, but I can't be sure), and when I looked up at him, he asked, "Wow, what is that grin all about?" Me: "I forgot how much I love Stephanie Plum!" and with a giggle and a little wiggle of glee, I dove back into the book, at least until my grilled cheese was ready. I am a giggler, but I'm not a wiggler. Stephanie brings it out in me. Or should I say Morelli? *winkwinknudgenudge*
My giggles and wiggles continued throughout the book. I've enjoyed the entire series so far, but I did like this one a little more than Three to Get Deadly. Grandma Mazur doesn't have as large a role here, and I did miss her, but Lula stepped up her game and Sally the drag queen stepped into the limelight. They all just crack me up! Seriously!
Morelli is smokin' hot in this book. For serious. There were times when I was fanning myself and cheering Stephanie on. I think mostly in my head, but again, I can't promise that. In the last few pages, my husband had to look at me again. "What is it this time?" I was giggling and fanning for all I was worth. "Morelli. Hot. Damn." And that's about all I was capable of. My husband is a patient, long-suffering man. He's used to these little outbursts when I'm reading. He just said, "Oh. Okay." And went back to Scramble With Friends. He's learned not to ask for explanations because he will get them.
For a fun read with insane sidekicks and hot leading men, pick up this series. I just have a blast reading them....more
In this very slender graphic novel, Marjane Satrapi gives us a peek into the lives of Iranian women. Well, the romantic and sexual aspects of their liIn this very slender graphic novel, Marjane Satrapi gives us a peek into the lives of Iranian women. Well, the romantic and sexual aspects of their lives anyway.
I felt like I was sitting in this roomful of multi-generational women as they gossiped about themselves, each other, and friends they knew. I think all women have sat in a group like this, when there aren't any men around, and said just exactly what we really think. It's not all ladylike and demure. This is the chance to be as ribald as you'd like.
I laughed so hard at some of these stories! They were hilarious!
Others were heartbreaking. I might not be able to relate to tales of arranged marriages, but I think most of us have enough imagination to understand how horrible it could be.
What I mostly took away from this is that, despite some cultural differences, women are women and men are men the world over. We have much more in common than we think.
If you aren't embarrassed by women talking frankly about sex and love, go ahead and pick this up. It only takes an hour or so to read, but it's very enjoyable....more
Alexia Maccon, née Tarrabotti, is awakened one morning by her husband bellowing out orders and questions. He doesn't take time to answer her questionsAlexia Maccon, née Tarrabotti, is awakened one morning by her husband bellowing out orders and questions. He doesn't take time to answer her questions, but of course she finds out what's going on later. Something or someone has found a way to completely negate whatever magic makes supernatural beings, well--supernatural. This has London in an uproar. When the phenomenon seems to be traveling north to Scotland, Lord Maccon sets out in that direction too. He wants to investigate further, plus he needs to check in with his old pack. Alexia just can't be left behind, so one dirigible ride later, she joins him up there to find the pack in disarray.
Another fun entry into The Parasol Protectorate! I swear I smiled and giggled the whole way through. Alexia is just as hardheaded and Lord Maccon is just as Alpha. Yum-mmmeeeee. *Waggling eyebrows lasciviously* Alexia is settling into her role as the Woolsey pack's Alpha female with ease. It's a role she was practically made for. There's one confrontation with a member of the pack who has just returned from India that left me laughing. She handled him as only Alexia can. She manages to get herself into even more trouble this time around, believe it or not.
A strange French inventor, Madame Lefoux, makes an appearance too. We're never quite sure what her role is in everything, but she had me hopelessly intrigued. She is to Alexia as Q is to Bond. Talk about a tricked-out parasol! She hooks Alexia up! MacGyver would be jealous of this thing! She's wonderfully eccentric and I couldn't help but love her even as I wondered about her loyalties.
Ivy Hisselpenny and Alexia's sister Felicity have a much-larger role in this book, and all I have to say about that is, "Poor Tunstell. He didn't stand a chance." Ivy's hats are even more garish, Felicity is even bitchier, but their catty spats with each other and Alexia are priceless.
I had an idea what was going on with the mystery and wondered why no one even thought to consider it until the end.
Speaking of the ending...
That's really what knocked this back a star. It's a cliffhanger, it came out of the blue, (Well, sort of. I knew part of what was going on), and it relied heavily on miscommunication. I know miscommunication happens but it irritates the heck out of me when a whole new plot turns on it.
Still, highly recommended for fans of this kind of funny, character-driven, supernatural mystery. I'm anxiously awaiting Blameless. Darn cliffhangers....more
There are roughly 30 years of Jesus's life that are unaccounted for. Oh, there's the one story about him teaching in the temple when he was 12, but otThere are roughly 30 years of Jesus's life that are unaccounted for. Oh, there's the one story about him teaching in the temple when he was 12, but other than that, he was born and then he started his ministry around the age of 30. Christopher Moore has fun imagining what exactly Jesus--or Joshua, as Moore chooses to use the Hebrew name--might have gotten up to in the in-between years.
I know what I'm thinking but I'm having trouble finding the right words. I think if you're going to be offended by this book, the title will turn you off right away. And that's obviously okay. But there might be a few people out there like me, who are thinking, "I'm pretty open-minded. I think I can handle it. But I do have lines that I don't want to have crossed, and Moore could cross them easily." I was okay with what he wrote here. Joshua is still absolutely the Son of God, without sin, sent to save mankind from our sins. That is never questioned. If it had been, I would have had to put the book down. But he does have fun, love, and learn from people from many countries and religions. That's the best I can do as far as the is-it-offensive-to-Christians thing.
On to the good parts!
I loved Biff! I wanted to reach into the pages and smack him upside the head a few times, but usually when that happened another character stepped in and smacked him for me. He was a horny, cheerful smartass who could teach dogs a thing or two about loyalty. He spends his entire life following Joshua around and trying to make sure that he stays out of trouble. He can always get Joshua laughing when he falls into a funk. I was laughing right along with them. Oh! And he taught me a new word: doofuscosity. I've already used it on my husband.
The angel Raziel was fun too. He's the one making Biff write his gospel as they sit in a modern-day hotel room, and his TV addiction is hilarious! He doesn't understand that soap operas aren't real, so he cries and gets upset when bad things happen to the characters. My favorite part is when he becomes a wrestling fan and starts talking smack. Then there was a whole passage of Biff asking questions like, "How many peeps in a posse, how much booty before baby got back, do you have to be all that to get all up in that, and do I need to be dope and phat to be da bomb or can I just be 'stupid'?"
Biff and Joshua spend a lot of their time on a quest, and their adventures were full of laughs. Well, Joshua is busy learning, but Biff gets up to all kinds of misadventures.
It was kind of fun to play "spot the scripture." I'm a Christian, but no one would ever accuse me of being a Biblical scholar. I probably missed some things, but it was fun to see where Joshua gets the ideas for things he later puts in parables and sermons.
I had a good time reading this, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually liked it. If you're curious, I would conditionally recommend it. But you read that part already....more