Jane Austen: Cover to Cover

On our last trip to the library, they had a big display of Austen (and Austen related) books. I glanced at it but didn’t see anything I hadn’t read or anything I hadn’t read that looked interesting… until I spotted a bright and shiny looks like it has never been checked out book called Jane Austen: Cover to Cover.

I’m no Janeite so I almost didn’t check it out. But I’ve always found it hard to resist a bright and shiny never been checked out looking library book before, so I grabbed it. Gosh, I’m glad I did. It was a lot of fun to read on a lazy Monday holiday.

As expected, my favorite covers were all of the most recent Penguin specialty editions and also as expected, there have been some truly awful Austen covers over the last zillion years. It made me kind of want to collect them, hahaha.

Get this book. It’s fun. Seriously.

Necessity

The Thessaly books are so darn interesting and Necessity was pretty much what I expected, though it would have been nice to see more about the human contact there at the end. Sigh.

I also kind of wish I hadn’t read these until they were all available at one time — so complicated and it was always a little difficult to remember who was who after waiting so long for the newer books.

I still think Plato is stupid… lol

The Witches of New York

Sassymonkey is the BEST and I’m so glad Ami McKay is her internet girlfriend because it means I was gifted with a signed copy of the Canadian version of The Witches of New York, for Christmas. (The link goes to the American version that is available for pre-order.) MONTHS earlier than I’d have been able to get the American version. Also, SIGNED. WOOT.

I stayed up way too late finishing it the other night because I had to find out how Beatrice got out of the… place she was in… and once I read that part, there wasn’t much left so I figured I should keep reading. And I did and it was awesome.

I loved all of our witches and the supporting cast. Loved Perdu. Loved the spirits (and demons) and dearlies.

I know it’s a silly, tiny little thing that meant very little to the story but I loved the addition of Georgie, towards the end. Nice touch.

I also wouldn’t mind a sequel to this one (even though Ami hasn’t really done sequels.) I mean seriously, NYC — suffragists, mediums, witches, demons — and three very strong, independent female characters. It would be awesome.

Thanks, Sassymonkey (and Ami!)

Smoke

It took me a very long time to read Smoke because of the holidays and this darn flu that won’t go away. I almost want to read it again because I’m pretty sure there were some sections that just didn’t “stick” because I was distracted or unwell.

I liked it. I liked it a lot. But, there were a lot of moving pieces and there was a lot of missing info about the Smoke itself both of which caused me to feel a little frustrated by the ending.

And, as I was grabbing a link to throw in here, I realized that some people are calling this YA but… I’m not sure it was intended to be YA. Hmmm. YA is weird that way, ya know?

Talking as Fast as I Can

I actually bought Lauren Graham’s audiobook version of Talking as Fast as I can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls because Gilmore Girls and because Lauren Graham!

It’s a really short audiobook and there’s not a lot of “substance” here but it was fun and it made me unreasonably happy to listen to it during all of our trips to/from the airport after Christmas and it was especially nice to listen to something I loved while I was really, really sick.

One problem, though. She refers often to “photos” included in the book and of course we were in the car listening and had no photos. This is always annoying about audiobooks and I commented on that. Then, I realized after we finished that there is supposed to be a PDF included that has all of the photos. Err, umm, oops? I suspect I threw it away just thinking it was a random piece of paper. Gah. So annoying.

I think I’ll buzz all of the kids and ask them if they want to listen to it — they can make a round robin of it and pass it to all of their siblings.

Related: Didn’t you think the ending was more of a cliffhanger than an ending? Didn’t you????

Life of the Party

Life of the Party: The Remarkable Story of How Brownie Wise Built, and Lost, a Tupperware Party Empire was excellent but it pissed me the hell off. If Earl Tupper was still alive, I’d take my ass down to Costa Rica and tell him off.

Dumb ass.

(It also made me think about Tupperware and home party sales people and stuff a lot more than I expected it too, lol. I might have also, almost, considered having a Tupperware party.)

I’m Judging You: The Do Better Manual

I finally made time to sit down with Luvvie’s Im Judging You: The Do Better manual. As expected, Luvvie nailed it all. This is shit some of y’all don’t know and SHOULD know. You should just go ahead and read it right now. And give a copy to your family members who should know better and don’t.

You should also follow Luvvie on FB and Twitter. Immediately.

Small Great Things

Damn Jodi Picoult (in a good way.)

If you’re not generally a fan or you used to be a fan but got tired of the formulaic stories, characters and writing … you need to read Small Great Things — particularly if you are WHITE. Particularly right now with P45 choosing White Supremacists for his team. (Have a clueless WHITE mom or sister or friend who loves to read? Buy her this book for Christmas… just sayin’.)

This is not a perfect book. It’s still formulaic. It’s still got everything a Jodi Picoult novel has, that you may not love or may be tired of, but it is a must read RIGHT NOW. (And, do yourself a favor and follow her on Twitter, as well. She’s done a very good job of speaking up and speaking out. I respect that and appreciate it.)

The Fog Diver

My expectations for The Fog Diver were low. Another post-apocalyptic/middlegrade/ya/adventure book. Ho hum? OK not ho hum, because I LIKE this genre but still… turns out, this was one of the better ones.

Really clever cultural references gone wrong, gone very very wrong. Likable characters. A plot that moved fairly quickly. Mostly it was the cultural references that got me.

***

Off-topic but not really: I’m considering not doing the Cybils Challenge next year. Or ever again. It’s not that I don’t love these books, I do. But, so many of them are series’ books and I just can’t keep up with the series’ while also reading a bunch of newly introduced series. When I try, I find myself reading nothing but YA and Middle Grade fiction/scifi/fantasy. I need to find some sort of balance. So… stay tuned, this may be the last full shortlist challenge I attempt. Figures, since odds are high that I’m not going to successfully complete it, for the first time – ever.

Four Graphic Novels

Lion of Rora was the graphic novel that I expected to like the least. Turns out, it was pretty darn good. Well drawn and well written.

I also really enjoyed Secret Coders #1 but was so annoyed when it ended. I understand cliffhangers but geez, really? You couldn’t give us just a tiny bit more??? Oy. (Also, those birds are kind of creepy.)

Ms Marvel was excellent, as expected.

And, the big winner for me was The Marvels. This was really well done. All graphic novel in the beginning and then text at the end. Beautiful. Also, sad.