Saturday, January 31, 2009

January '09

Today is the last day of January, and I still haven't gotten used to writing "2009." I'm tallying up my books and page numbers to see how much I was able to read this month, and I'll post the full tally either tomorrow or Monday. I still have a good twelve hours to go, and who knows how much I will get done today? :)

I was looking at my posts, and I think I need a better system. So I will think about that, and it will be good. Especially for you, my dear readers...all three of you.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

City of Ember...continued

So...I finished all four books. They were entertaining enough, I suppose, but I'm probably too old to be truly amused. I kept thinking of how unlikely it would be for a bunch of scientists to set aside a group of people to survive the upcoming apocalypse and then leave them without any sort of survival training whatsoever. "Let's just take care of all their needs for two hundred years or so and then kick them out. Also, we won't tell them that they live in a cave so that they won't feel bad about not having a sky, even though this leaves them pretty much ignorant of how the world works. Winter schminter, at least they won't miss having grass." Bother.

The third book ("The Prophet of Yonwood") didn't even feel like a part of the series. I felt cheated by it, since it was so indirectly about Ember. That may have frustrated me more than the gaping premise, actually.

In conclusion, I think that this series was less than fantastic. Let your kids read it, maybe read the first book, but don't feel like you're missing out if check out something else instead. Read "The Lightning Thief," by Rick Riordan. That's a good one.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Two Castle Books

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

I had seen the Miyazaki film adaption of the book before I even knew that the book existed. Of course they were different from each other, but they were also both very good. Although the book is complete by itself, I have learned that there are at least two more books featuring the same characters. Sophie, Howl, and Calcifer are definitely interesting enough to merit more of my time. (Sidenote: I'm not certain when the book was written, but I'm pretty sure that Howl was a forerunner of the metrosexual movement.)

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

I always wondered what it would be like to live in a castle, and I think the answer is that it would be cold. And dark. Especially if you're poor and have to use the British monetary system (which still makes no sense to me). But if you also happen to be seventeen and have a fierce need to improve your writing skills, then aren't you just so lucky. And so are your readers.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

City of Ember

I just finished the third book in the Ember series, and I will postpone complete judgment until I read the fourth (and last) book. All I will say is that it has got to be pretty darn amazing in order to pull out of this dive.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Friday Night Knitting Club

by Kate Jacobs

My mom is a knitter and I've been known to turn out a scarf or two, so this book about a knitting club had me just a little bit curious. And with lots of people checking it out from the library, I wanted to know what the fuss was about. (Yeah, I sometimes read books based solely on title and what?)

It was a good read. No, you do not have to know how to knit in order to appreciate the story, but if you are a knitter, you will probably be better able to relate to the characters. Maybe the book will make you cry, maybe it will make you want to be a better friend, maybe it will make you want to join a club or learn how to knit. Maybe none of those things. It might just make you think, "What kind of a name is Darwin, anyway? Certainly not Chinese." As for me, I did at least two of those things.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Reading Books

This year I'm making a list of every single book that I read. Well...maybe not picture books. But I love making lists and I love reading books, so we'll see how many I can do. I think it will be interesting to see in which months I get the most reading done, and how many books I read in a year. I will post monthly reports, for my convenience. If you have any guesses for how many I will end up with, or any suggestions for really awesome books I should read, let me know. I can't guarantee that I will use book suggestions immediately, though, since I have several extremely long lists. But what good is a list if you don't add to it every once in a while?

Monday, January 5, 2009

It's been a while...

Sorry for the blogging lapse. I was preparing to go out of town, and then I did. When I got back this whole writing-on-the-internet thing felt like a foreign concept. Anyway, here's my new favorite thing on the internet: