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.

domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home

I won my copy of domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home from a holiday giveaway from A Beautiful Mess and I was really excited about that. (I had hoped the book would arrive before Christmas so I could gift it to one of the kids but that didn’t happen so maybe that kid will receive it for another holiday… we’ll see.)

I enjoyed reading it, though the type is WAY too small and WAY too light (read other reviews, it’s not just me who felt that way.) I didn’t love a lot of the rooms that were shown but it was interesting to flip through and pick out bits and pieces that I did love. There’s one page with an orange wall… I need that orange wall… and another with a pink wall that I really loved, which surprised me. (It’s not pink pink, it’s a reddish pink but still… pink, who’d have thunk it?)

If you like domino magazine, you’ll like this book. Definitely.

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????

2 Cybils Non-Fiction/Poetry

These might be the last books I read from this year’s shortlist. The year has run out of days and I’ve run out of interest in reading books that I’m just not THAT interested in. I might pick them up later if the mood strikes me. Or, I might not.

Finishing with these two non-fictions makes me pretty happy, even if I didn’t finish the full challenge. Both were excellent and I’m really glad I read them.

I Will Always Write Back made me yell a lot, about clueless white people. It also caused me to pull out my wallet and make some donations.

House Arrest was pretty darn good but it made me want to break things. It also made me just a little bit weepy.

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.

3 Non-Fiction

Make: Over 40 Fantastic Sewing Projects is what happens when you’re in the library and see a pretty cover and the word “MAKE” in really big letters a completely misleading sub-title, (Please, click the link and look closely at the title of the book vs the sub-title visible on the cover… you wind up with a book about sewing projects that has absolutely no interest for you. Whatever.

Tinkering: Kids Learn By Making Stuff was awesome. Perfect for “Grandma Camp!”

Your Sharpie Style was a perfectly fine Sharpie project book.

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.

The Useful Book: 201 Life Skills They Used to Teach in Home Ec and Shop

The Useful Book is a pretty useful book, especially if you’re a younger person or someone who just never learned much about cooking and homemaking. That section was pretty detailed. The section that covers “Shop” was not quite as robust but was still pretty useful for things like “How to Clean Your Gutters” and “How to Replace a Light Fixture.”

It feels like an excellent book for a college student or a young person getting her/his first house/apartment.

2 Cybils Non-Fiction

There was a time when I never quit a Cybils book but this year, I’ve quit two. The most recent, Symphony for the City of the Dead was… I just couldn’t read it. I tried, I really did. TW read the whole thing, and I give her props for that. I cannot imagine any kid reading this who didn’t have to. (Unless he/she had some great fondness for Russian history or Shostakovich, I guess.) Ugh.

Thankfully, Bayard Rustin: Invisible Activist was better. In fact, it was excellent. Everyone should read this one.