Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Winter Re-readathon Day 10 Update

Pages Read:
105 in Under the Skin by Michel Faber
88 in Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
193 Daily Total
1010 Running Total

Books Completed:
Zoom by Tim Wynne-Jones
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire

Challenge Progress: 
Re-read the first book you remember reading (Zoom)
Read a stand-alone (Persuasion)
Read a book by your favorite childhood author
Read 6 books: 4/6

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Winter Re-readathon Day 9 Update

Pages Read:
23 in Under the Skin by Michel Faber
43 in Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
66 Daily Total
817 Running Total

Books Completed:
Zoom by Tim Wynne-Jones
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu

Challenge Progress: 
Re-read the first book you remember reading (Zoom)
Read a stand-alone (Persuasion)
Read a book by your favorite childhood author
Read 6 books: 3/6

Monday, December 29, 2014

Winter Re-readathon Day 8 Update

Pages Read:
26 in Under the Skin by Michel Faber
56 in Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
82 Daily Total
751 Running Total

Books Completed:
Zoom by Tim Wynne-Jones
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu

Challenge Progress: 
Re-read the first book you remember reading (Zoom)
Read a stand-alone (Persuasion)
Read a book by your favorite childhood author
Read 6 books: 3/6

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Winter Re-readathon Day 7 Update

Yesterday, I didn't fit in any reading, but I did see the final Hobbit movie, so... that has something to do with books.

Pages Read:
25 in Under the Skin by Michel Faber
39 in Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
64 Daily Total
669 Running Total

Books Completed:
Zoom by Tim Wynne-Jones
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu

Challenge Progress: 
Re-read the first book you remember reading (Zoom)
Read a stand-alone (Persuasion)
Read a book by your favorite childhood author
Read 6 books: 3/6

Friday, December 26, 2014

Winter Re-readathon Day 5 Update

Pages Read:
4 in Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire (impressive, I know)
23 in Carmilla (equivalent of 3 audiobook chapters) by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu
27 Daily Total
605 Running Total

Books Completed:
Zoom by Tim Wynne-Jones
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu

Challenge Progress: 
Re-read the first book you remember reading (Zoom)
Read a stand-alone (Persuasion)
Read a book by your favorite childhood author
Read 6 books: 3/6

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Winter Re-readathon Day 4 Update

Pages Read:
43 in Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
101 in Carmilla (equivalent of 13 audiobook chapters) by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu
144 Daily Total
578 Running Total

Books Completed:
Zoom by Tim Wynne-Jones
Persuasion by Jane Austen

Challenge Progress: 
Re-read the first book you remember reading (Zoom)
Read a stand-alone (Persuasion)
Read a book by your favorite childhood author
Read 6 books: 2/6

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Winter Re-readathon Day 3 Update

Not a very impressive day since a lot of Christmas happened...

Pages Read:
19 in Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
19 Daily Total
434 Running Total

Books Completed:
Zoom by Tim Wynne-Jones
Persuasion by Jane Austen

Challenge Progress: 
Re-read the first book you remember reading (Zoom)
Read a stand-alone (Persuasion)
Read a book by your favorite childhood author
Read 6 books: 2/6

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Winter Re-readathon: Day 2 Update

Pages Read:
142 (the equivalent of 13 audiobook chapters) in Persuasion by Jane Austen
52 in Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
194 Daily Total
415 Running Total

Books Completed:
Zoom by Tim Wynne-Jones
Persuasion by Jane Austen

Challenge Progress: 
Re-read the first book you remember reading (Zoom)
Read a stand-alone (Persuasion)
Read a book by your favorite childhood author
Read 6 books: 2/6

Monday, December 22, 2014

Winter Re-readathon: Day 1 Update

Pages Read:
96 in Zoom (a bind-up of the Zoom Trilogy) by Tim Wynne-Jones
98 (the equivalent of 11 audiobook chapters) in Persuasion by Jane Austen
27 in Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
221 in Total

Books Completed:
Zoom by Tim Wynne-Jones

Challenge Progress: 
Re-read the first book you remember reading (Zoom)
Read a stand-alone
Read a book by your favorite childhood author
Read 6 books: 1/6

Christmas Booktube-a-thon Wrap Up

I did it!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Are Video Games Literature?



Ariel's Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFLD6...
VSauce talks about books vs. the internet (starts around : 6:54) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scWj1...

Monday, December 1, 2014

Winter Re-readathon TBR

'Tis a video today: 



The Goodreads Group: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/147866-winter-re-read-a-thon
Sign up here: http://diaryofbooklover.blogspot.com/2014/10/winter-re-read-thon-sign-up.html

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review: Summerfall and Winterspell by Claire Legrand

Ermahgerd, you guys.  These books have made me realize how boring my life is.  Most of the novels I read fall into one of two categories:

  1. Slow, contemplative stories, with a big focus on character development and a touch of mystery, like The Meaning of Night or My Cousin Rachel
  2. Stories based on witty and clever insights more than plot, with fairly blatant social or moral commentary, like A Series of Unfortunate Events or the Discworld novels
But Winterspell was an action-packed, fast-paced, emotional roller coaster.  I often found myself thinking, "Oh my, somebody's getting punched - this is quite exciting!" like the 80-year British lady that I am, deep down.


 
Series rating: 4.5
Recommended for: potential fantasy fans who are afraid of getting bored by world building
Summary: Winterspell is an adaptation of the Nutcracker story, mostly taking its cues from the ballet.  Clara Stole is the daughter of the mayor of New York City at the close of the nineteenth century.  Her father seriously needs to get his act together because he has gotten in way over his head with the city's crime syndicate that probably brutally murdered his wife.  Fortunately, Clara is learning how to kick ass from her godfather.  Then, on Christmas eve, basically everything bad thing that could happen happens, and Clara ends up in a far away land that makes NYC and its mob look like the county fair.  Now our heroine must fight to save her father, and apparently help restore the prince to the throne (who as it turns out, is an actual alive and sometimes naked person, and not a dreamy statue), although that's really not why she came here, guys.
Summerfall tells the story of the parents of Winterspell's villain, and provides some necessary background on the land of Cane.  Get ready for a lot of forbidden love and a lot of racism.


So, first things ...er... second, at this point: what order should you read these books in?  Normally, I read prequels after the original, but Summerfall was published several weeks before Winterspell, and I took this as a hint from Ms. Legrand that it should be read first, and I'm glad I took the hint.  Winterspell is the story of a kingdom that has gone to hell, so you'll appreciate the degradation and misery so much more if you have something to compare it to.  Alternately, you could read the Part One of Winterspell, which is set entire in New York and not in our fantasy world, then go read Summerfall and learn about Cane, then return to Winterspell.  But you have to promise me that you'll be able to stop reading at the end of Part One - it will be difficult to resist. The  world of Summerfall is basically straight-up fantasy, with your magic and your elves, but Winterspell is more of a hybrid of fantasy and stempunk; you've still got the magic, but there's also video cameras, railways, and drugs.  Just imagine a fantasical early Renaissance setting where Leonardo da Vinci turned evil and took over the world.  Awesome sauce, right?

But the awesome does not stop there.  Claire Legrand gets some many point from me because this series has an LGBT element.  As a bisexual lady, one of my favorite things is when an artist can craft a protagonist who has meaningful and plot-related romantic relationships with people of different genders (see also: Thirteen in House M.D. and Damisa in Ancestors of Avalon - although the rest of that book was crap, so maybe not worth it.)  This type of exploration was perfect for Winterspell because it is about sexual awakening and be assertive with your sexual sovereignty (to go all English professor-y for a moment), and limiting that it heterosexuality can cripple the impact.

I'm sure some of you are interested in this series because you love the ballet and you're wondering: how does this compare? I used to be a dancer, and have performed the role of Clara (or "Marie" in our production), so I consider myself qualified to answer this question.  As you may know, the last two thirds of the ballet are basically plot-free, so Claire Legrand had the opportunity to go crazy.  The main constant between the two interpretations is the character of Drosselmeyer - he was spot on for me: eye-patch, interested in mechanics, loving to his god-daughter, and also not at all pedophile-y, as it can be played (we've got a whole other character to be the creepy sex-offender).  The rest of the story was either original or heavily adapted.  Our big bad is not the Mouse King, also some R.O.U.S's do show up at midnight on Christmas eve.  Cane isn't populated by candy, but everyone is addicted to sugar.  And the one that makes me the tiniest bit sad: Nicholas is in no way a nutcracker.  He was a statue for quite a while, couldn't he have falled over at some point and cracked open a walnut someone had left on the floor?  Could he like to eat nuts?  I'd take anything, really.


But that's not enough to drop my rating, so por que no 5 stars?  None of these issues would prevent me from recommending this series, but I do wish to document my grievances for future writers.
  1. I got the impression that Summerfall was meant to be a full novel.  Scenes would be flowing along smoothly, and then all of a sudden I'd run into "Three months later..." and I couldn't help but think "really, did nothing interesting happen to our characters in those three months?"
  2. Winterspell suffers slightly from what I call the "born to die" problem.  We get introduced to some characters fairly late in the book, and quickly get some character building thrown at us so that we feel sad when they die.  I always say, either have the balls to kill off some main characters or trust the reader to have the compassion to feel sad when some random bloke dies, if you really do need to show some death.
  3. As Winterspell progressed I noticed some things about our male romantic interest, Nicholas.  He spent about 15% of his screen time, as it were, doing interesting, plot-advancing things, another 15% doing or threatening really horrible things to our protagonist, and the other 70% apologizing profusely to her and saying that he knows she has no reason to trust him, but he would never hurt her again even if it kills him.  So, get ready for a several pages of that toward the end.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dewey's Readathon: THE END!

Pages read this hour: 6
In these books: Winterspell

Total pages read: 796
Completed books: The Courage Consort, Through the Woods, Summerfall


1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
Definitely hour 21, when I had to wake myself back up.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
Both of my Claire Legrand books (Summerfall and Winterspell) were very ac
tion-packed.  Thorugh the Woods might scare you out of sleeping if you read it later in the day.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
No, this is perfect!

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
Variety of social media platforms.

5. How many books did you read?
Three in their entirety, and three partials.

6. What were the names of the books you read?
Finished: The Courage Consort, Through the Woods, Summerfall
Progress made: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, The Distant Hours, Winterspell

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
Imma go with Summerfall.

8. Which did you enjoy least?
I guess The Courage Consort, but it was still good!

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
n/a

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
Definitely reader again, but I might cheer for a few hours, too.


Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Dewey's Readathon: Hour 23 Update

Pages read this hour: 32
In these books: Winterspell

Total pages read: 763

Completed books: The Courage Consort, Through the Woods, Summerfall

So close, so close.

Dewey's Readathon: Hour 22 Update

Pages read this hour: 18
In these books: Winterspell

Total pages read: 731

Completed books: The Courage Consort, Through the Woods, Summerfall

I can't believe there are only 2 hours left.  I've filled up on cream of wheat (which at this point tasted like the nectar of the gods) and I'm ready to power through!

Dewey's Readathon: Hour 21 Update - I'm back, baby!

2:00-4:30, that's enough sleep right?  And, of course, now my book is tempting me my reminding  me how nice it is to curl up with your man, especially when it's so cold (the snuggie has been recruited.)

Pages read this hour: 12
In these books: Winterspell

Total pages read: 713

Completed books: The Courage Consort, Through the Woods, Summerfall

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dewey's Readathon: Hour 18 Update

Pages read this hour: 31 or thereabouts
In these books: Winterspell

Total pages read: 701-ish

Completed books: The Courage Consort, Through the Woods, Summerfall

See you when I can hold my own head up, guys, I believe in you!

Dewey's Readathon: Hour 17 Update

Pages read this hour: 11
In these books: Winterspell

Total pages read: 670

Completed books: The Courage Consort, Through the Woods, Summerfall

Okay, self, I'll make a deal with you.  There's 30 pages left in part one of Winterspell.  There's 30 pages left until the nice round number of 700 total pages.  Just get there, and then you can take a nap.  Deal.

Dewey's Readathon: Hour 16 Update

Well, with fuzzy head and bleary eyes, we on the east coast round the corner to tomorrow.  Since I'm reading a Nutcracker adaptation, I'm monitoring my wooden, hinge-jawed friends for signs of life (yes, I have a collection of nutcrackers; it's not weird), but fortunately it looks like we will have a quite mouse-free evening.

Pages read this hour: 24
In these books: Winterspell


Total pages read: 659
Completed books: The Courage Consort, Through the Woods, Summerfall

Dewey's Readathon: Hour 15 Update

Pages read this hour: 18 (it's 11pm, and I'm starting to slow down)
In these books: Winterspell

Total pages read: 635
Completed books: The Courage Consort, Through the Woods, Summerfall



This hour’s mini-challenge: Book Spine Poetry.

This is my beautiful creation; it's about growing old.


Small gods lost 
through the looking glass.
Metamorphoses: The Truth under the skin.

Dewey's Readathon: Hour 14 Update

Pages read this hour: 8 (these challenges are keeping me busy)
In these books: Winterspell

Total pages read: 617
Completed books: The Courage Consort, Through the Woods, Summerfall



This hour’s mini-challenge: Color Cover

My lovely red collection consists of:
  • The Devil's Dictionary
  • The Crimson Petal and the White
  • Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony
  • Going Postal

Dewey's Readathon: Hour 13 Update

GUYS, I AM SO PUMPED.  There are a lot of reasons for this:

  1. A fresh shot of caffeine has just entered the system!
  2. Summerfall blew my mind!
  3. Cosplay mini-challenge is the best mini-challenge!
Excuse me while I go have a heart attack!


Pages read this hour: 32
In these books: Summerfall


This was so intense!  Cannot wait to get into Winterspell!

Total pages read: 609

Completed books: The Courage Consort, Through the Woods, Summerfall

This hour's mini-challenge: Casual Cosplay

Now, I'm a historical costumer, so I have get-ups like this gushing out of my closet.  I've dressed up as Esperanza Gorst from The Glass of Time.  She's a lady disguised as a lady's maid to do some justice (or is it vengeance?)  Also, this is day wear, not evening wear, so that counts as casual, right?  It's cool if it doesn't, I just wanted an excuse to doll myself up.




Dewey's Readathon: Hour 12 Update (Halfway there!)

Pages read this hour: 26
In these books: Summerfall

Total pages read: 576
Completed books: The Courage Consort, Through the Woods



This hour’s mini-challenge: Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now?
Summerfall, by Claire Legrand

2. How many books have you read so far?
Two.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
The late addition: Under the Skin.  It wasn't in the original line-up, but I watched the film last night and feel like it's time for a reread.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Fortunately not.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
How hungry I've been.  I mean, I keep eating, but just the idea of staying up all night seems to be draining.

Dewey's Readathon: Hour 11 Update

Pages read this hour: 30
In these books: Summerfall
  
Total pages read: 550

Completed books: The Courage Consort, Through the Woods 

Dewey's Readathon: Hour 10 Update

Pages read this hour: 41
In these books: Summerfall


Total pages read: 520

Completed books: The Courage Consort, Through the Woods 

Dewey's Readathon: Hour 9 Update

I spent this hour making some progress in the books I had started before the readathon, lest they feel neglected.

Pages read this hour: 31
In these books: The Distant Hours, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
  
Total pages read: 479
Completed books: The Courage Consort, Through the Woods

Dewey's Readathon: Hour 8 Update

Pages read this hour: 138
In these books: Through the Woods

Favorite quote from Through the Woods: [it would be a spoiler!]



Total pages read: 448
Completed books: The Courage Consort, Through the Woods



This hour’s mini-challenge: Show It Off!

These are my lovely 1946 illustrated editions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.  They were originally Christmas gifts to my grandmother from her father, and then given to me over 50 years later.


Dewey's Readathon: Hour 7 Update

Pages read this hour: 114
In these books: The Fahrenheit Twins (in The Courage Consort) and Through the Woods

Favorite quote from The Fahrenheit Twins: 

"It was a husk, no longer truly their mother - more like their mother's most treasured possession, which had been given to them as a parting gift."



Total pages read: 310
Completed books: The Courage Consort



This hour’s mini-challenge: Gah! I don't have time to make a book tower!

Dewey's Readathon: Hour 6 Update

Pages read this hour: 35
In these books: The 199 Steps and The Fahrenheit Twins (in The Courage Consort)

Favorite quote from The 199 Steps:
 "That's why those ruins are ruins, can't you see that?  It's got nothing to do with hurricanes, or Henry VIII, or German warships taking potshots at the abbey in 1914.  It's got to do with society growing up - evolving to the point where we realise we don't need a bunch of sad old perverts telling us we'll go to hell if we enjoy life too much."



Total pages read: 196
Completed books: the first and second novellas in The Courage Consort



This hour’s mini-challenge: Name your read-a-thon.

And yea, verily, in the tenth month of the two-thousand-and-fourteenth year, there was a great read known as The Distant Winterspell & His Educated Consort.

Dewey's Readathon: Hour 5 Update

Pages read this hour: 35
In these books: The 199 Steps (in The Courage Consort)

Total pages read: 161
Completed books: the first novella of The Courage Consort



This hour’s mini-challenge: Book Staging

I staged One Perfect Rose.  My flower is a little more shriveled than the one on the cover, but it's from my wedding bouquet, which makes it perfect.


Dewey's Readathon: Hour 4 Update

Pages read this hour: 31
In these books: The Courage Consort

Total pages read: 126
Completed books: the first novella of The Courage Consort



Dewey's Readathon: Hour 3 Update

Pages read this hour: 33
In these books: The Courage Consort

Favorite quote from The Courage Consort (the novella, not the collection):
"Look, I didn't cast my boat out on the dangerous sea of a cappella music ... to sing 'Obla-di, Obla-da' to a crowd of philistines in funny hats." 

Total pages read: 95
Completed books: the first novella of The Courage Consort



This hour’s mini-challenge (and the one I seemed to miss last hour)

But first, lemme take a shelfie!

And for the weird reading position challenge, I managed to get an impressive amount of myself under the bed (also GIANT HAND):

Dewey's Readathon: Hour 2 Update

What is it about knowing that it's an inconvenient time to eat that makes you so bloody hungry?

Pages read this hour: 28
In these books: The Courage Consort

Total pages read: 62
Completed books: none yet

Dewey's Readathon: Hour 1 Update

Pages read this hour: 34
In these books: The Courage Consort

Total pages read: 34
Completed books: none yet

This hour's mini-challenge: Coffee or Tea?

I do keep caffeine in my arsenal, but as a nuclear weapon, only to be used in the direst of circumstances (like reading for 24 hours straight), so #TeamTrollope it is!


Dewey's Readathon: Opening Meme

Here we go, guys, here we go.

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Reston, Virginia

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
How dare you ask!  I love all my babies equally!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Reese's! (I get one every three chapters)

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I attempted to be stylish today, but the only things that were clean and comfortable were a dark blue sweater and pink/yellow plaid pajama bottoms.  It's quite the look.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
This is my first one!  I'm looking forward to rereading my posts tomorrow and enjoy all of the hilarious typos caused by my haste and exhaustion.  Let's go readathong!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon: TBR

15

Call me crazy, but I've signed up for my first readathon, Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon, on October 18.  The first issue that I need to address is how easy it is to type "readathong" instead of "readathon."  Seriously, I'm 0/3 in this post so far.

The second item on the table is my TBR pile.  I've got four books that I'd like to get through and a fifth that I'd like to start (and maybe finish? Ambitious much?).  There's also two books that I'm reading now:
  • The Distant Hours by Kate Morton - I'm about 1/3 of the way through now, and I plan to finish it before the readathon, but in case I don't, I'll try to get through it on readathon day.  (For the record, that was two more "readathongs" caught in the knick of time.)
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke - This one's over 800 pages, and I'm half-way through.  I've been taking this one at quite a leisurely pace, so I'd like to read a couple of chapters during the readathon, but it'll be with us for many weeks to come.
And presenting  the specially-designated readathon books:
  • The Courage Consort by Michel Faber - This is a collection of three novellas: The Courage Consort, The Hundred and Ninety-Nine Steps, and The Fahrenheit Twins.  I read it several years go, but it's due for a reread.  I wanted to start with some shorter works to get pumped for the rest of the day.
  • Summerfall by Claire Legrand - Another novella, it's a prequel to the recently-published Winterspell, which I'm thinking about reading, so I'm giving the author a test-drive.  This is an ebook, so I thought it would be a good idea to read it earlier in the day, before my eyes become completely fried.
  • Through the Woods by Emily Carroll - Because graphic novels are always good.
  • Shouldn't You Be in School? by Lemony Snicket - The third book in the All the Wrong Questions Series.  This is the book I'm most excited about, so I'm hoping that it will inspire me to power through the previous books.
  • The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett - This the only true standalone in the Discworld series, so it's a perfect low-commitment Pratchett book for a readathon.  This will be another reread, so I'm allowed to fall asleep in the middle.
And finally, I've come up with a schedule for the day; it's not a goal by any means, more of a hypothesis.  I'm lucky on the east coast, my start time is 8am, so I can wake up at a fairly normal time, and then stay up as late as I can.  I've rounded up to leave time for mini-challenges, food, and my other books:

8am: The Courage Consort
1pm: Summerfall
5pm: Through the Woods
7pm: Shouldn't You Be in School?
11pm: The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents

Good luck to everyone else embarking on this adventure!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

This review contains some spoilers but nothing that isn't common knowledge.
 
Rating: 3.5 stars
Recommended for: Science fiction scholars, fans of Emily Brontë, people trying to get into Victorian literature

With a book as well-known as Frankenstein, it’s impossible to leave your impressions at the door before you start reading.  Years of seeing the characters in movies and TV shows has given me all kinds of assumptions about this novel.  So the first thing that everyone needs to know is that Victor Frankenstein is in his early 20's for most of the book - what the what, you guys!  As a sympathetic fellow twenty-something, I give him a full pass on not having his act together.

Mary Shelley's work suffers only mildly from that famous Victorian flaw: Too Many Words (I'm looking at you, Charles Dickens).  You are going to have to sit through a couple pages of framing device before you get to Victor's story, and then Shelley will occasionally wax poetic about Swiss mountains.  The only section that I really would have trimmed is the story of the De Lacey family.  I appreciate the importance of monster's gradually education and socialization, but since those characters had no long-term payoff and disappointingly anti-climactic short-term payoff, I could have done with quite a bit less.

And that brings me to my main complaint with Shelley's writing.  She has no sense of climax.  All of the iconic moments - the monster coming to life, his first encounter with Frankenstein, the death of Elizabeth - I hardly noticed that they were happening.  So, while neither action-packed nor spine-tingling, Frankenstein is a thought provoking novel that is fairly easy to get through.  I'd say go for it.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Review: File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents by Lemony Snicket

First of all, let me state that I am not addicted to the works of Lemony Snicket; I can stop whenever I want. I just don't want to right now.

18295854

3.5 stars
Recommended for: Snicket fans, those nostalgic for middle school, readers with short attention spans

This is a charming collection of short mystery stories. Not charming like Gob Bluth, but charming like a little boy all dressed up in a suit with a big smile. They are light, cute, and undemanding. I was able to solve about half of the 13 incidents before turning to the conclusions in Sub-File B, but you shouldn't be in here for highly-developed puzzlers. That's what Agatha Christie is for. No, you are in here to hang out with your friends Lemony, Moxie, Jake, and Dashiell, as well as some other people, like the Mitchums. 

I'm pretty sure that this book isn't required reading for the All the Wrong Questions series - we don't make any progress on the Hangfire case, or what Ellington is up to, or what the S. stands for. But if you are positively apoplectic waiting for Shouldn't You Be in School?, this should quench your thirst for wit and wild hair - at least until the final story, which will make you sit straight up and stare penetratingly into the page, trying to extra every morsel of information that Snicket might be sending you, and then stare penetratingly at the calendar, since the power of your mind can most surely make September 30 arrive sooner. Surely.