ningerbil (ningerbil) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books 27-31

27. Best of One Tank Trips, by Neil Zurcher. This was a fun book. Zurcher, who recently retired, is known in this area for his One Tank Trips feature, a segment where he would find fascinating and unusual destinations that could be done in a day. Most of his trips are in Ohio, but a few go out of state. Anyone looking for a good day trip that’s not too far from home should get this book, but even if someone doesn’t like to travel, Zurcher gives you a written tour of the many places listed. Some highlights include a ride-through wildlife park, a place where you can legally drag-race in the family car; an Amish hardware story that only sells non-electric tools, appliances and toys; and the only World War II submarine still in original condition. In addition, this travel veteran shares tips on what to do before venturing out, and gives some of his own anecdotes on his adventures (and even a couple misadventures; one of his final stories had me laughing so hard I had to put the book down for a moment).

28. True Tales from the Buckeye State, by Linda Lehmann Masek. Another book readers may want to consider if they are looking for interesting trips, or even just interesting facts, about Ohio. Masek shares stories about some of the fascinating attractions around Ohio, as well as her own experiences in the buckeye state. Masek goes into the stories of the traffic light, the sea serpent of Lake Erie and the Cat Museum in Alliance. In addition, she also includes a collection of her own poetry, plus information on other interesting historic tidbits not connected to Ohio. These last inclusions were a bit puzzling given the title of the book but were informative.

29. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. This was disappointing. Three-quarters of it was… OK. A bit rough around the edges, especially the beginning, but I did note that the book was branded as a rehearsal copy, which means that it probably wasn’t the final, polished draft. Also, I realize that you can only get so much reading a script. A play was meant to be seen, not just read. So, for the first three-quarters I was willing to give this script some leeway. I noticed a couple minor inconsistencies, but for most of the book I was enjoying the trip back to the Harry Potter universe. The action concerns Harry Potter’s son, Albus Severus, who tries to set right a terrible event from Harry’s past, but unwittingly creates far more problems. The premise is good, for the most part. Not sure I like Ron’s portrayal as a bit of a dolt- he could be smart in canon. But otherwise, it felt like a good, working draft, something with potential. Then- we get to the final one-quarter, where a revelation about a character takes this work from “needs polish but generally pretty good” to REALLY bad fanfic territory. I just lost all enjoyment after this reveal. Not sure I could stomach even watching it on stage now. A pity, because it had such potential.

30. Get Smart, by Christopher Sergel. This is a stage adaptation based on the series created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, and was the show I was supposed to be in. For those not familiar with the television series, the story lines revolve around secret agent Maxwell Smart, who tends to be more lucky than smart. Smart and Agent 99 work for Control, which always has to attempt to thwart the evil of KAOS. Those familiar with the series will see a lot of the classic lines and moments in this stage adaptation, and the script does an excellent job capturing the spirit of this hilarious series.

31. The Hudson Library and Historical Society. This was a photo book of the Hudson Library and Historical Society. My feelings were mixed. On one hand, the photos are lovely, and capture the beauty of what is considered to be a gem in this area. But I also felt there were missed opportunities as well. There was no cutline information to go with the photos, and no statistics or information about the library as it was depicted in this relatively recent publication. 50 years from now, few if anyone will remember who was pictured, and what the context was.

Currently reading: The Midwife’s Tale, by Sam Thomas, and The Agency: A Spy in the House, by Y.S. Lee.
Tags: history, play

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