September 30th, 2015

Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

Over the weekend we took a walk on the new side of the Claremont Village, and I popped into the comics shop there that I rarely visit, and got my hands on a graphic novel that I'd be hearing about for some time. I picked up the first of the books, Queen & Country: Definitive Edition: Volume 01. It was a good fast read; various artists, but the feel is there with each of them.

I'll be going for the second book as soon as I can.

books 66 through 71: picture books

I convinced my niece, as a part of the "let's reclaim my mother's condo from a hoarder's clutter" project, to go through her books and select ones that she has out-grown to be donated to the library "so other kids can have a chance to read them and she can make room for new books at her reading level".  I'm a bit OCD, so I have been reading them prior to passing them onto my mom for final approval.

book 66:  Santa's Toy Shop by Michelle Andrews

This is a very short pop-up Christmas book.  The few pages that it has are colorful, but that is about all it has going for it.

book 67  Roar of a Snore by Marsha Diane Arnold

This picture book is quite adorable and has the kind of rhyme and repetition that makes it fun to read out loud.  A family tracks down the source of a loud snore in the middle of the night...

book 68:  Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle

This picture book was a re-read for me.  I think it was originally on a banned-book list, although I can't imagine why.  The story was okay, but nothing inspiring.  The page at the end where the author told the story behind the story was more interesting.

book 69:  Momma, Will You? by Dori Chaconas

book 70:  Job Site by Nathan Clement

This could be a decent picture book for a child who likes looking at big vehicles (not so much my princess and animal-loving niece).  I liked that it paired the name of the vehicle and its job with illustrations.  Now I know the difference between a bull dozer and an excavator.

book 71:  Big Brother, Little Brother by Marci Curtis

This book used photography of actual siblings, which was amusing, but I think it would probably be more amusing to the adult than the kid.

  • Current Music
    library rustles of paper
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books 72 through 80: more children's picture books

Continued reading from books my niece decided to donate to the library.

book 72:  Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

book 73:  Kung Fu Panda Magnetic Story Book by DreamWorks

book 74:  Tale of Pip and Squeak by Kate Duke

This one was okay.  The illustrations were cute, but the story was very predictable.  It was about two brothers who didn't get along learning that cooperation can make things more fun.

book 75:  Autumn Leaves Are Falling by Maria Fleming

book 76:  Read to Tiger by S. J. Fore

This was a cute idea.  If someone is bothering you, instead of getting mad, find a way to involve them in what you are doing.

book 77:  Three Gifts by Kathie Lee Gifford

I didn't find anything that special about the story (concerns the angels at Jesus' birth), but it was nice that she donates all proceeds from the book to a charity to prevent child abuse and neglect.

book 78:  Story of the Nutcracker Ballet by Deborah Hautzig

Accurate and simple telling of the story, but I felt like it lacked the magic that I feel when I watch it.

book 79:  Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson

This was a re-read.  I love it.  It's a politically correct retelling (or side-by-side telling) of the Cinderella fairy tale.  It has some great moral truths and humor in it.  Unfortunately, little girls are still saturated with the ideal of being a beautiful princess and probably won't appreciate the valuable message Edna has to offer.

book 80:  Raindrop, Plop!  by Wendy Cheyette Lewison

This is a counting book.  The illustrations are cute, but the bad grammar in truncated sentences made me cringe.
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    chatter from the tutor's table nearby
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Book #46: Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

Number of pages: 373

I've read criticism for Terry Pratchett's final Discworld novel for adults (the last book, The Shepherd's Crown is aimed at young adults), and unfortunately it does seem to be well-founded.

This book is the third one to star Moist von Lipwig, who was introduced quite late in the series, and is definitely not my favourite character. This story tries to add a "steampunk" element to the series by having Lipwig commission Discworld's first railway. So, most of the book is about the development of the railway, with added references to "Dwarf terrorists" and Moist having to help protect royalty on the train, with assistance from the City Watch, who seem to be in almost every recent Discworld novel I have read.

Terry Pratchett's best take on the concept of public transport was in Witches Abroad when the three witches inadvertently started thinking about setting up their own airline. Unfortunately, this felt slow and tedious with jokes about bureaucracy and also constant references to typical British habits on board trains.

There seemed to be a lot of stuff in this book that had been done far too much previously, such as references to goblins and dwarves being victims of racial discrimination and the notion that all Dwarves appear to be male. I noticed that, like with the previous Discworld title I read, Snuff that Death did not appear at all, although maybe Pratchett hadn't wanted to think about the subject any more.

I'm not going to criticise the late Sir Terry Pratchett for this too much, since I know that he had Alzheimer's when he wrote this book, but the later Discworld titles show a definite decline in quality. I like the older books a lot better.

Next book: Why Believe in God? (Michael Goulder & John Hick)

Book 91: The Ape Who Guards the Balance by Elizabeth Peters

Book 91: The Ape Who Guards the Balance (Amelia Peabody #10).
Author: Elizabeth Peters. 1998.
Genre: Adventure. Historical Mystery. Egyptology.
Other Details: ebook. 578 pages. Unabridged Audio (15 hrs, 12 mins). Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat.

Prospects for the 1907 archaeological season in Egypt are looking somewhat dull to Amelia. As a result of Emerson's less-than-diplomatic behaviour, they have been demoted to examining only the most boring tombs in the Valley of the Kings - mere leftovers, really. And then, in a seedy section of Cairo, the younger members of the Peabody Emerson clan purchase a mint condition papyrus of the famed Book of the Dead, the collection of magical spells and prayers designed to ward off the perils of the underworld and lead the deceased into everlasting life.

But for as long as there have been graves, there have also been grave robbers - and so begins a new adventure into antiquity. The season rapidly switches from dull to deadly as Amelia strives to untangle a web woven of criminals and cults, stolen treasures and fallen women - all the while under the unblinking eye of a ruthless, remorseless killer. -
- synopsis from UK publisher's website

Another in this wonderful series of mysteries set in Egypt. This mystery saw the return of some old adversaries and also drew on a real life event in Egyptology during this season. As with the last book the younger members of the family come to the fore with insertions into Amelia's narrative from Nefret's letters and Ramses' writings about various events.

As with others in the series this was my audiobook-in-the-car for about six weeks and I then read the corresponding pages on my Kindle at the end of the week. As always Rosenblat did a brilliant job of narrating. The audiobook ended with an interview with Peters and Rosenblat, which provided some interesting background information.