Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children

The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children
By Keith McGowan

192 pages
2 hours and 47 minutes listening time

Grade B+

What a great book. It's a children's book, but I loved it. Based off the story of Hansel and Gretal, this book is wonderful.

I really really enjoy when they make the main characters (when they are children) exceptionally smart. Like in the Series of Unfortunate Events, Sol and Connie, are smart and quick. I like how the book makes them out to be just incredible characters.

This book also tells the perspective of the evil witch and her plans to eat the children, and also how she gets them and how she cooks them. It is very interesting to see both perspectives.

I can't wait until Lucy is a bit older, and I will read this book to her and tell her that I know where the witch's drop off stations are so if she doesn't start behaving....well off to the glue factory if you will :P

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


By Kurt Vonnegut

288 pages
6 hours and 4 minutes listening time

Grade B-

I finished this book about two weeks ago, but I had to wait to post about it for two reasons; One, this book needs some time. You have to sleep for at least 48 hours and then think about it for at least 16. Second, I don't think this book can be reviewed sober. Not saying that I am drunk right now, but I did have two glasses of wine with dinner, so at least my judgement is skewed a little.

This is what I have gotten from Kurt while reading his books; he is on crack, or was on crack, or should have been on crack. If you go into any of this novels knowing this, then it will be easier on you in the long run. I enjoyed this book much more than Breakfast of Champions, however it will not be a book I read again. I was a little confused during most of it because I never knew where the main character was....was he in war? was he on some alien planet....I couldn't figure it out, and right when I thought I knew, he left there and went somewhere else.

I thought it pretty neat that he brought in one of his other characters from Breakfast of Champions. However it was one of the strangest characters I have ever read about.

I would say if you get a chance read this book. It's interesting enough to read, plus it isn't that long. I have also decided that I want to rename my back yard Tralfamadore, and I would like to live in my backyard (with full access to my house) and if people want to observe me doing so, I welcome it...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
By Aimee Bender

304 pages
8 hours and 45 minutes listening time

Grade F

Barf. That is one word to totally sum up this book. My biggest issue with this book is that it was read by the author. Normally, I LOVE when an author is awesome enough to read their own books. It really makes them come alive, like with Jim Belushi's Real Men Don't Apologize or with Chelsea Handler's Are you there Vodka? It's me Chelsea. This one though, baby Jesus would have cried. She sounded BORED the whole 8 hours. She never put any feeling into what she was reading, she never tried to make it seem like this was a book worth reading.

After I finished it, I decided to check Amazon for reviews, since I don't read reviews before hand (maybe this book should teach me my lesson), however everyone seemed to love it. I just don't get it. One of the reviews mentioned something about "magic realism" which I don't even know what that means. Maybe it's Na'vi (yes I just made an Avatar reference) for don't read this book.

I don't know. I didn't think there was good character building, and for baby Jesus' sake, she had almost 9 hours to build them. I thought for a minute her brother was going to end up being autistic, or something like that, and it ended up that he just disappeared, or did he turn into a chair or what? I didn't get that part. at. all. And then with the main character tasting the emotions of people through the food they cooked? Weird.

I also had some issues with the characters relationships with her parents and her wanna be boyfriend George. There just didn't seem to be any depth to any of it.

In summary, leave this one on the shelf.

And let the record stand that I am not a huge fan of Avatar, it just so happened that we were watching the movie tonight because Lucy loves the blue people, and I didn't know how to spell "klingon."

Also, I just want to remind everyone, that this month Eclipse comes out. So I will be re-listening to the whole Twilight series, HOWEVER, only Eclipse will count towards my goal because I have already read the books so many times. And the only reason why I am starting from the beginning, is because quiet frankly, after reading the Bree Tanner book, I really really miss those crazy vamps.

And on another side note (the side note to the side note of the side note), I don't know if I will be able to last until November to re-read the Harry Potter series. I catch myself periodically each week randomly thinking in my head, rapping to LL Cool J's Goin' Back to Cali song "I'm goin' back to Hogwarts to Hogwarts to Hogwarts, I'm goin' back to Hogwarts, na I don't think so."

I am a self-proclaimed nerd. Big time.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
By Stephenie Meyer

196 pages
4 hours and 12 minutes listening time

Grade B-

Oh, Stephenie.....Stephenie, Stephenie, Stephenie....There are so many different ways you could spend your finishing Midnight Sun for instance. But no, instead of giving the readers what they really want, you pick the most obscure random character in all your books to write a novella about. I mean Laraunt would have made more sense, James even....but Bree Tanner? I can't tell you how many people said "Who?" when we all heard about this book. I probably only remember because I listened to the stupid series for well over a year on repeat. And I still keep asking myself, why Bree?

However, if you skip over the absolute randomness of character selection, it's actually an okay book. You get a different side of the vampires that you don't really get in Twilight with the "vegetarians". It's even a much different side than the vamps that show up in Breaking Dawn, because you really get to live a newborns life.

I kinda liked Bree, and I kinda liked the characters that she put together. Of course in 196 pages you don't get much time for character building, but she did what she could with what she had. Even though what she had was a world created by herself.

I don't know. If you are a die hard Twilight fan, whether you want to or not, you have to read it, because Twilight to Twilight fans is like chicken nuggets to toddlers, there is no explanation on why we like it, we just do. I think it's because the pages are laced with crack.

But for 196 pages, it is not a huge investment of time, plus you know how it ends. I read it in a day, and really, had I not had a toddler in my lap begging for chicken nuggets most the day, I probably would have finished it faster. So I say, go for it. The only thing you will be left wondering it, will she ever freaking finish Midnight Sun?????

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Will Grayson Will Grayson

Will Grayson Will Grayson
By John Green and David Levithan

304 pages
7 hours and 52 minutes listening time

Grade A

This book was a hot topic on this online book club that I participate in for months. Every other post it seemed had something to do with WG WG. Since you should all know by now, I judge books by their cover and when I saw the cover to this one, I said, "Self, you do not want to read this book, it will be dumb."

I would like you all to know right now, that sometimes (not often) but sometimes, I am wrong. Yes. It is now in writing, that sometimes I can be wrong (but not often). The reason I am wrong this time, is because although the book cover is dumb, and makes me TOTALLY uninterested in actually picking up this book to read it, I thought it was amazing. It was funny, and sad, and depressing, and hilarious, and all around great.

So a quick overview, this dude named Will Grayson has a BFF named Tiny Cooper. Tiny however is not tiny at all he is 300 lbs and totally gay. And not happy gay, except he is happy too, but he is gay gay. Then there is this other dude named Will Grayson (the randomness right?) which is gay gay, but doesn't know he is gay, at least not yet. I mean he has a crush on this dude named Issac, but ends up dating Tiny, when Will and Will finally cross paths....

This means Tiny has a best friend named Will Grayson, and a boyfriend named Will Grayson, although they are not the same....(John Jacob Jingle Hiemer Smith, that's my name too, when ever we go out, the people always shout.....). Which is pretty neat that Tiny can say that he now has two Will Graysons, but to me is a little like dating someone that has the same name as your dad or brother (I would totally freak too BTW if my brother started dating someone named Randi, just a little weird...).

But in any case, I really enjoyed this book. It's a YA (surprised?), and it is about homosexuality, but it is not all about homosexuality, but is it all YA. It's a quick read, that will have you laughing a lot of the way through, so it is worth the chance, if you ever get it.

And by far, Tiny Cooper is my favorite character so far in books this year. Because, Tiny Cooper, my name is NOT Will Grayson, but I can assure you, we all love you!

A quick word from the author.....

And on a side note, I was given the Versitile Blogger Award recently from Super Librarian. I think it's pretty neat that I got this Award, because it means that one, she thinks I am somewhat awesome, and two, I actually have at least one reader. This makes me happy!

So the rules are this, I am supposed to share seven facts about myself and then pass the award on to 15 other bloggers I've recently discovered. I am going to do half of this because I have seen this award on pretty much every other blog that I do follow already...Plus everyone I follow is listed on my profile, and take it from me, they are all pretty awesome!

So on to things huh? Where do I start?

1. I decided to start this challenge of 100 books in 365 days because for two years straight, I am not joking at all here, I listened to NOTHING but Harry Potter on audio. I would start at book one, or sometimes would skip straight to book 4 and listen all the way to the end. When I was done, I would start all over. Then I was introduced to Twilight, and then I would listen to HP and then to Twilight and then go back to HP and I did that for a year. I needed change.

2. I like to garden, as you can see from my gardening blog which is here if you haven't checked it out yet. I know not many have looked at that blog because I only have one follower and it is my dad and step mom. But either way, I have never been good at gardening. I don't know what it is with this year, but I honestly cannot kill much of anything anymore, and it really makes me feel good and proud.

3. I judge books by their cover. all. the. time. as clearly stated in my WG WG post. I try not too, but in the end, if it doesn't have a great cover....I tend to look past it.

4. I started my list of books to read based on what I really have wanted to read all these years, but just to afraid to leave Hogwarts or Forks. I have also added recommendations over the months, or books that I like the covers on and end up reading anyway.

5. I fully plan to exceed 100 books this year. And by a lot, like hopefully 50.

6. Not only do I love to read, I really love to write. The more I have been reading, the more the writing bug has attacked me. I put in at least 30 minutes a week writing, and not on my blogs, but hopefully towards a book that I hope will be published and will be my cash cow so I can some day quick my day to day, and write full time.

7. I am terrified I will never find the career that makes me happy, fulfills me every day (even on bad days), and still pays all the bills. I hope that one day, whether it be writing, or a stay at home mom, or even the clerk at the used CD store (which has always been a dream of mine), I will find the job that really makes me love what I do.

And so there you have it.....7 things about me.