Saturday, February 26, 2011

First Among Sequels

First Among Sequels (Thursday Next, #5)First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Recommended by Rhon
I wasn't sure at first when I picked up the book and discovered that there was a 14 year time lapse between books. A few chapters in I discovered the brilliance of the plot and was sucked in. There were drastic changes made in Thursday's world and I liked them. The character that I enjoyed in the first book - and felt was missing in some of the other books - was back. As always, Fforde did a brilliant job with word play, humor and plot twist.

Book Series: Thursday Next Book 5

Synopsis: Jasper Fforde returns to BookWorld in this New York Times bestselling installment of his Thursday Next series Jasper Fforde has thrilled readers everywhere with his gloriously outlandish novels in the Thursday Next and Nursery Crime series. Now, after a two-year hiatus, the demand for Thursday Next has more than tripled. And with Thursday Next: First Among Sequels, Fforde’s famous literary detective is once again ready to make the world safe for fiction. Thursday Next is grappling with a host of problems in BookWorld: a recalcitrant new apprentice, the death of Sherlock Holmes, and the inexplicable departure of comedy from the once-hilarious Thomas Hardy novels, to name just a few—all while captaining the ship Moral Dilemma and facing down her most vicious enemy yet: herself.

Recommended Reading:
Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde
Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde
The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Sorrows of Young Werther

The Sorrows of Young Werther and Selected Writings (Signet Classics)The Sorrows of Young Werther and Selected Writings by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked up Goethe because it's classic German reading, and I have a love for all things German. It took me so long (about 6 months) to read this for two reasons: 1) I kept the book in my bathroom and b) the writing was so heavy I could only read a few pages at a time.
The first part of the book was the story of Werther. It's written as a series of letters from Werther to his friend William, which makes it easy to pick up and put down whenever I felt like reading. This book is filled with moving images of nature, emotion, perhaps even some truth to the vindictiveness of human nature. I really felt for Werther's despair over loving someone who could not love him the same way in return.
The second part of the book was two biographical (?) notes by Goethe. I found these to be interesting, but dull. He tends to start to tell one story and then meander of into a series of others before he returns to the original story.
The third part of the book was two fairy tales. I enjoyed the first story of a romance between a mortal and a pixie. The second story was simply so strange and outrageous that it was terrible to read - although honestly I don't know if this was a poor translation of the story or the story is just that bad.

Synopsis: Tragic masterpiece explores mind of an artist in alternately joyful and despairing letters recounting an unhappy romance. Goethe addresses issues of love, death, and redemption in an influential portrayal of a character who struggles to reconcile his artistic sensibilities with the demands of the objective world.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Something Rotten

Something Rotten (Thursday Next, #4)Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Even though I have read this book before, I remembered very little (okay, nothing) about this book. I think this might have been one of Fforde's more complicated plot lines that came together brilliantly. A handful of mini-plots came together to solve the main plot of the story. The characters were well done, I thought Thursday was more like the character written in the first book. This was a good read and I'm looking forward to finishing the series.

Series: Thursday Next Book 4

Synopsis: Detective Thursday Next has had her fill of her responsibilities as the Bellman in Jurisfiction, enough with Emperor Zhark's pointlessly dramatic entrances, outbreaks of slapstick raging across pulp genres, and hacking her hair off to fill in for Joan of Arc. Packing up her son, Friday, Thursday returns to Swindon accompanied by none other than the dithering Danish prince Hamlet. Caring for both is more than a full- time job and Thursday decides it is definitely time to get her husband Landen back, if only to babysit. Luckily, those responsible for Landen's eradication, The Goliath Corporation- formerly an oppressive multinational conglomerate, now an oppressive multinational religion- have pledged to right the wrong.

But returning to SpecOps isn't a snap. When outlaw fictioneer Yorrick Kaine seeks to get himself elected dictator, he whips up a frenzy of anti-Danish sentiment and demands mass book burnings. The return of Swindon's patron saint bearing divine prophecies could spell the end of the world within five years, possibly faster if the laughably terrible Swindon Mallets don't win the Superhoop, the most important croquet tournament in the land. And if that's not bad enough, The Merry Wives of Windsor is becoming entangled with Hamlet. Can Thursday find a Shakespeare clone to stop this hostile takeover? Can she prevent the world from plunging into war? Can she vanquish Kaine before he realizes his dream of absolute power? And, most important, will she ever find reliable child care?

Recommended Reading:
First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde
The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde
Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stuck!

There seems to be a log jam in my reading lately. I'm having a hard time sitting down to read, simply because I have so much to do. Here's my current list of Must Reads:
  • Text book for school. I'm trying to get a little bit ahead of the reading and quiz process so that I can focus on research and writing the next speech. It was working for me until I hit the current chapter. It's long and detailed and BORING. Done reading until after spring break. I messed up my dates and missed the quiz completely.
  • The Sorrows of Young Werther. I've been reading this since... oh, last August. Not that it's dull writing, it's very heavy writing, which makes me only want to read in 2-5 page increments. Now I'm to the point though where I need to get it done - partly to get it crossed off the list and partly because I'm starting to forget what happened in the beginning of the book.
  • Something Rotten and First Among Sequels. I really want to finish this series. I don't regret re-reading the series as there was a lot I had forgotten.
  • The Shack. Need to read this for book club. I'm dreading it. DREADING IT.
  • The Glass Castle. Looking forward to reading this one for book club. Fortunately the discussion won't be until April so I have plenty of time.
  • The United States of Arugula. Need to read this for online book club.
  • Behavior Mismatch. A book I need to read for work. My new job is taking me further into a department of men who think either 1) if you're not an engineer you're an idiot or b) if you're an engineer and you don't have a penis you're an idiot. Either way, it's going to be tough for me to get along with these guys in the new job without some serious intervention. Hopefully this book will give me some insight.
  • The Lost Hero. [ebook] The Spawn and I are continuing on with Rick Riordan books.
And this doesn't even cover the books I want to read on Oddo (which is what I've named my Nook. Don't ask. It's better if you don't know.) who I've been seriously neglecting since his arrival. Well, no, I did read a sample of a book on it when it first arrived so I could check it out. The Spawn has been reading the Rick Riordan book on it. So I'm trying to catch up on reading "real" books so that I can start incorporating reading ebooks into my library.

All I can say is that it's a good thing I go on vacation next week and have no plans other than not going to work.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Well of Lost Plots

The Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next, #3)The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In this book Fforde takes us out of the alternate 1985 he created (you know, the one with airships instead of airplanes, the gravitube and SpecOps) and into the Book World where series characters buy black market plot devices to boost sales, Heathcliff attends rage counseling, and the annual Book Awards are a big deal. [um, where do I sign up for this?] In the third book of the Thursday Next series, it seems that Thursday has lost of some of her edge and grit that made me enjoy the first two books. I did however enjoy everything else about the book. It's a carefully constructed world with its own rules and structure, but yet so familiar by the characters and plots.

Series: Thursday Next Book 3

Synopsis: When soon-to-be single parent Thursday Next emerges from her comfortable life inside an unpublished book, she steps into a new age of fictional narrative. The entire book world is abuzz with anticipation of an improved Text Operating System that moves from the 8-plot to the new 32-plot story system. But danger lurks when Jurisfiction agents keep turning up dead. When Thursday steps in, she eincounters Dickens' Miss Havisham, passes through Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, and deals with a mispeling vyrus, holesmiths, and unionized nursery rhymes. THE WELL OF LOST PLOTS---the place where all fiction is created---is an exhilarating romp through literary classics, an insightful look into how books are made, anda jewel in the long tradition of British nonsense.

Recommended Reading:
Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde
Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde
The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Why I Shouldn't Read Book Blogs II

Update from last posting:
If You Lived Here You'd Be Home Now by Claire LaZebnik (also found at Oodles of Books) is on it's way.

Added to Wish List:
Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray (Recommended by Library Girl Reads)
Haunting Jasmine by Anjali Banerjee (Recommended by S. Krishna) also entered giveaway

Friday, February 4, 2011

If I Were You I'd Be Jealous Too

I was going to wait until after I'd gotten my tax refund and paid bills and a bunch of other un-fun stuff but, really, I've been waiting long enough. So I took a little bit out of my bonus check today and bought this:

Oh, and this:

And I can't.freaking.wait for them to get here!

[commences dancing around and singing "I got a Nook I got a Nook nanernaner I got a Nook"]

Now that that's out of my system... I'm off to start a wishlist and checking out what the library has for ebooks!