Saturday, May 31, 2008

2008 book 75

Kate Atkinson's Human Croquet
While waiting for a slew of library books to come in, I've been rereading books off of my shelves. I figured I had liked this book, since I still owned it, but actually I really don't like it nearly enough to keep. It's about a teenage girl in England whose mother has disappeared, and her family is eccentric, and she keeps slipping back through time. The ending, however, is totally lame. B-.

Friday, May 30, 2008

hp3 discussion thread (2008 book 74)

Here's the place to post comments on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

2008 books 72 ad 73

I reread two classics today:

Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife
I think it had been like four years since I last read this, and it was jsut as good on reread. I remember that after I recommended it to Christina, she was mad b/c it was kind of a sad book--but I think I like books like that. I think it's rare for bestsellers to be such interesting and well-written stories, and this was a pleasure to reread.

Dianna Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle
Of course, there's nothing wrong with happy endings! Rereading this makes me disappointed again in how the movie came out--and I love Miyazaki. But he did kind of drop the ball with this hilarious and touching twist on fairy tales.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy
I think everyone was knitting this like three years ago, but it seemed like the perfect project for the new Noro Matsuri yarn! One caveat for those using this colorway--three of my six skeins didn't have any blue. It was a really fun project--perfect for Memorial Day weekend!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

2008 book 71

Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens
I started watching that tv show Reaper recently, and it made me want to reread this for the umpteenth time! It never stops being entertaining.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

2008 book 70

Michele Martinez's Cover-Up
Federal prosecutor Melanie Vargas and her love interest and colleagues are back in action when a tv tablod reporter is brutally murdered. I'll say this for Martinez--she's pretty good at building suspense. Terrible at writing gang-related dialogue, though. I'm pretty sure this is the last book in the series before Notorious, but it feels like a whole book is missing in between them. Anyway, B+.

Monday, May 19, 2008

2008 book 69

Michele Martinez's The Finishing School
The local public library doesn't seem to have the first book in Martinez's mystery series, so I started with the second, which involved the OD deaths of two rich private school girls, one of whom is the stepdaughter of a senatorial candidate. Of course, as usually happens in these stories, nothing is as simple as it appears. What's nice is that although there are references to the earlier book, Martinez doesn't give much of that story away, so if I do get a chance to read it, I won't be totally spoiled. B+.

hp discussion series: book 3

We'll be discussing HP book 3, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on May 30th--so start rereading now!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

2008 book 68

Geraldine Brooks' Year of Wonders
I was raving about Brooks' People of the Book recently and a coworker recommended this to me--it's a historical novel about a small town in England and what happens to them when the plague hits in 1665. There were a few nice plot twists, but the ending was a little far-fetched. B+.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

2008 book 67

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
I almost forgot that HP book group is this week! Look for an entry lunchtime-ish tomorrow where we can post our comments.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

2008 books 64, 65, 66

Sandra Dallas' Buster Midnight's Cafe
I read this after seeing that Susie Cupcakes enjoyed it (and because I remembered liking Dallas' more recent novel Tallgrass). This was a fun read--an aging woman in small-town Montana reminisces about her childhood growing up with a girl who became a famous Hollywood actress/sexpot and a boy who became a champion boxer--and the murder the two were involved in. I really liked the characters, but a few days later I was trying to remember what book I'd just read and couldn't. Still, A-.

Lee Martin's River of Heaven
At first I really enjoyed this--an elderly man builds an awesome house for his dog, befriends his neighbor, reflects on the death of a childhood friend, etc . . . but the ending was just SO outlandish. It was billed as a mystery but really wasn't. B.

Michele Martinez's Notorious
I rediscovered this advance copy from ALA and told my mom about it--it turns out she's a big Martinez fan, so of course I had to read it. It's clearly the second or third book in a series, but I didn't feel like I was missing too much. It's about a woman who's a federal prosecutor (as Martinez once was) whose opposing counsel on a case involving a prominent rapper is assassinated right in front of her. As in most mysteries, lots of adventures ensue. An enjoyable read, on the whole. B+.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy
Today JB helped me do the laundry!

Actually he got quite annoyed when I attempted to remove these towels to fold them.

Friday, May 09, 2008

why cash cab is awesome

I can't believe I didn't see the episode that mentioned that President Buchanan was probably gay. (He's also the only president from my home state.) I had a prof mention this in one of my college history classes--it's one of the few things I remember about American history and one of my favorite things to babble on about.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

2008 book 63

Thomas Maltman's The Night Birds
This is a compelling story about a little-known chapter of history--the Dakota uprising in Minnesota during the Civil War. Actually, like the book I just read, events are precipitated by an aunt suddenly arriving from an asylum (only, in this case, she was confined for being epileptic). She tells her family's story, and the story of their Dakota neighbors, to her troubled young nephew. What I presume is supposed to be a twist ending is obvious from very early on, but I liked this book anyway. A-.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

2008 book 62

Maggie O'Farrell's The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
In this novel, a young woman is told her great-aunt is being released form the asylum where she has spent the majority of her life--a great-aunt the yong woman never knew existed. I enjoyed this, especially the flashbacks to the great-aunt's childhood in India, but thought the end was somewhere between predictable and kind of lame. B+.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

2008 book 61

Sarah Dessen's Lock and Key
I think of Dessen as oe of those reliable YA authors whose books I'll always enjoy, and this one was no different. Even when I thought it was veering into cheesy predicability, it suddenly changed course and surprised me. I suppose it's the mark of a good writer that I'm sorry when the book ends b/c I want to know what happens next--which is how I'm feeling now. A-.

2008 book 60

Lauren Groff's The Monsters of Templeton
Brief version: Awesome novel about an archaeologist/PhD student who returns to her childhood home (where she is the descendent of the town's founder and his famous author son, all based loosely on Cooperstown and James Fenimore Cooper), pregnant and brokenhearted, and discovers that her heretoore unknown father is actually a town resident and does all sorts of family history and sleuthing to figure out who he is; meanwhile, the novel is narrated by various historical personages and other members of the town, which is in an uproar since the monster living in the lake surfaced, dead. Yeah, it's hard to explain it briefly, but it's really good. A.