The Princess Bride

TW picked up The Princess Bride a couple of weeks ago and I was perplexed. Turns out, it was a good impulse selection since it was the 2013 version with the beginning of Buttercup’s Baby included. Of course, this just means I want to read the entire Buttercup’s Baby, sigh.

Another note… good lord this book is heavy. They’ve used nice, heavy paper and while it was a joy to turn the pages — it was like reading a 1300 page chunkster because it was so heavy!

226 Books in 2013

I beat last year by 5 books but there were weeks when I didn’t finish a single book. I can do better. Here’s how it shaped up:

– I finished the Cybils Shortlist Challenge – barely. Had to buy the last book in order to finish because it was not available at my library.
– I only read one book from the Nancy Drew Challenge, which is really annoying – and I probably wouldn’t have managed that if Texasebeth hadn’t sent me a Nancy Drew book. I’m going to do better with that in 2014.
– The Book to Movie Challenge didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped. It wasn’t BAD but I never managed to watch the last movie, for a book I didn’t particularly love. I thought I’d watch it with Chris and Michelle over the Christmas break but the darn iPhone/iTunes madness got in the way. Maybe I’ll watch it this weekend — it won’t count toward the 2013 Challenge but I’ll feel better about it. I read three books but only watched two movies. Darn it.
– From the Stacks? 4 — Pathetic, as usual.

* 18 were audiobooks.
* 35 were YA.
* 83 were non-fiction.
* Of the non-fiction, 19 were about art, journaling, crafting etc. 2 were cookbooks. 12 were travel books. 6 were short stories.
*15 were graphic novels.
* Only 12 had a significant queer storyline or characters (though a lot more books had queer characters tossed in for fun.)

* I think I quit more books this year than I ever have — at least six, that I can think of.

* I loved 74 and hated 6.

I’m definitely going to remember 2013 as the year of Maisie Dobbs (and the year of children’s picture books, since I read so many with JMP.)

Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore

Oops. I forgot to blog Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore. I finished it before Christmas. Before the kids arrived. Hmmm the 19th? The 18th? Something like that.

I read it really quick — almost couldn’t put it down. Mysterious bookstore in San Francisco — lots of geeky google stuff, silicon valley, codebreaking, social media, libraries, cool stuff like that. I really had fun with this one.

Maisie Dobbs: Among the Mad

I sound like a broken record here, don’t I? Among the Mad was excellent. Another great Maisie Dobbs book. I keep waiting for a bad one. Or a not excellent one. A mediocre one. You know there are always a couple that just aren’t amazing when you’re reading a series.

I think I’m going to call 2013 the year of Maisie Dobbs because I’ve enjoyed these so darn much.

Maisie Dobbs: An Incomplete Revenge

Another great Maisie Dobbs, on audio. I love these. An Incomplete Revenge was awesome — I loved the setting, hop picking in Kent (fascinating) and the Roma. I also loved B.T. Drummond. I love the way the book ended. I just plain loved everything about it.

I Quit Another Book

Ghost Writer — it was on some list of creepy books I saw around Halloween. I’d never read it. I reserved it. It stunk.

So slow.

I tried to get through it. I gave it a full week and was half way through and for two days I just couldn’t bring myself to pick it up so I quit and it’s back at the library where I hope it finds someone who enjoys it. That someone would not be me.

Snowflakes, Sunbursts, and Stars

Jenna tweeted me about Snowflakes, Sunbursts, and Stars so I had to reserve it at the library. What she doesn’t know is that I’m a horrible quiller and an almost equally bad origami and kirigami person. I love all of the papercrafts but I’m not meticulous enough for them and I get frustrated. I also have problems understanding written origami directions. TELL me which fold to make and I’m good — show me in diagrams and I’m probably going to screw it up 15 times.

This book is GORGEOUS. Every single star, sunburst and snowflake. I wanted them all and I loved the project ideas in the back. It was almost gorgeous enough to make me want to try a few projects. Thankfully a good night’s sleep was enough to knock that idea out of my head. However, I think Elly might be game to give a few a try so I’m going to try and find my papers and see if I can convince her to make me one for Christmas…

Wish me (her? us?) luck — we’re going to need it through no fault of the book, which is really really beautiful.

And All The Stars

I decided to go ahead and buy And All the Stars since I finished the book I took to the hospital on Sunday and was book-less. (Though I’m guessing I’d have broken down and bought it eventually because I really don’t like leaving my Cybils shortlist unfinished.) And now… I’m officially done with this year’s Cybils Shortlist challenge. Yay.

And All the Stars is an Australian book and I find Australian books to be odd, in general. There’s just something about the voice… I guess maybe it’s an Australian voice? hah. I dunno. Just odd. And when it’s SciFi or Fantasy, it’s even odder.

This one was pretty odd. Aliens and blue skin with stars vs green skin people and weird powers and just mayhem. A bunch of kids save the world, which was fun. There’s also some gender stuff in there and some strong female characters.

Overall, I liked it. Not my favorite of all of the Cybils but I certainly didn’t hate it.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays

I wasn’t in the mood to start a new book on Sunday morning (which turned out to be a good thing since we ended up at the ER) and The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays was due back at the library soon so I figured I’d just relax with that for awhile til I was ready to start something else. Very good choice since it was the perfect thing to enjoy last night after the ER exhaustion.

The thing about Ree’s books … they always make me want to cook, which is ridiculous since I never want to cook. I also tend to say things like “mmmmm, I want to eat that right now” which leads TW to say “but you don’t like…” and I have to say “yes I do” which leads us to argue about the foods I do and don’t like.

Anyway. That’s what happened here. I want black-eyed peas salsa and alllllllll of the potato skins and allllllll of the different french toast casseroles and I want the red velvet pancakes even though TW hates that idea and I want grilled corn in eleventy different ways.


PS. The photos in the book are also awesome. Gosh the kids are getting so big. How did that happen (which is what we said when we saw them in person earlier this year. Kids should not grow so quickly, should they?)


I grabbed Relish to take to the hospital yesterday when we took TW’s mom to the ER — and I finished it before the doctor had even made his way in to see her. It’s a super fast read, as graphic novels often are.

I liked it, though not as much as I’d hoped — based on whatever reviews or reading list I read that caused me to reserve it last week. But, it was good — I just had super, super high expectations.