21 December 2009

GTTBRPU200 Booklog #2: Books 5 - 8

...And with this post, I say a temporary farewell! I've decided, since my laptop/internet still continue to have Problems, that I will follow the lead of other book industry bloggers and take a break from now until the new year. I'll be back on January 4 with the obligatory yearly recap :)

Until then, I'll schedule some reruns of old posts that were popular. I hope you all have a very happy and safe holiday season! Blessings for you all :)

So, the effort to get the pile of books I own-but-haven't-read down below 200 continues. I'm quite sure my efforts shall be thwarted by in-coming books at Christmas, but so far I'm going okay - I read 6 books in the first 5 days of the attempt, which for me is pretty insane. This last week's been a bit slower, but still, 8 books in two weeks is pretty good for me :) And I still have 6 weeks to go, so that's potentially another 24, which means I'd be below 200.........

GTTBRPU200 #5: Deep Trouble, by Debi Gliori

The first hint that something's wrong for the Strega-Borgia family is when their butler fails to show up to take them home from the airport. When they find him lying inert on their doorstep and smelling faintly of sulphur, they might not realise how much trouble they're in - but Flora (), the children's nanny and fully-fledged witch, most certainly does.

You know how sometimes you form a preconception of a book? Well, for some reason, I didn't expect to enjoy this one a whole lot. But, I was WRONG!! It's fantastic :D Written in cleverly-done omni (it only annoyed me once, right at the end of the book) with multiple character POVs, this book is a really fun and surprisingly compelling read.

Featuring Baci, the mother who's training to be a witch but is dismally pathetic at it (she's responsible for the herd of naked princes that appeared in the airport, but we won't tell anyone else that), Damp, the two year old who already is a witch (though nobody knows it), brother and sister () and Pandora, and a whole host of monsters including (), the moat crocodile, and Ffup, the dragon who desperately wants the Loch Ness Monster to hurry up and give her a ring so their engagement can be Proper, nanny Flora has her hands full trying to keep them safe and out of trouble.

GTTBRPU200 #6: Deep Ocean, by Tony Rice

So, I decided it was time to mix things up a bit and read some of my non-fiction. This one is a 90-page pop-science book exploring the creatures of the deep ocean. It's easy to read, very comprehensible, but not dumbed-down at the same time. There were quite a few interesting snippets about life in the deep sea that I pricked my ears up at and tucked away for some day in the future when we see the underwater side of the How Not To Take Over The World world (Magic Eyes world, for short). Full colour illustrations, charts when applicable, and easy-to swallow text made this book a surprisingly quick and informative read.

GTTBRPU200 #7: Paradise Lost, by John Milton

Yes, this one's a bit of a cheat, because to be fair, I'd already read most of it a couple of years ago. But, confound-it-all, I wanted to finish the horrible thing so I could have a sense of closure. So on Tuesday I forced myself through the final two books (out of twelve), and can officially call the thing Read. Woo hoo!!

To be fair, it's not actually that horrible: it's an exceptionally clever piece of literature, the entire story of the Biblical fall set in blank verse (that's non-rhyming iambic pentameter, not to be confused with 'free verse', which has no particular structure). It has lovely imagery and, like I said, is very clever. It's just... long. Like, we're talking a 303 page piece of 16th century poetry here. Oi.

GTTBRPU200 #8: Wild Horse, by Sharon Siamon

Cute book about girls and horses :) *adores horses* While I'm still not sure if you're actually supposed to like one of the MC's, this one was a fun, quick read.

When Alison's parents finally carry out their threat and sell her magnificent $50,000 horse Duchess, she's utterly distraught. Determined to make them relent, she refuses to eat or sleep or study - or even ride. When one of her best friends (and cousin), Becky, mentions that she's heading east to spend a week with their mothers' cousin, someone whom Alison's parents despite, Alison realises this is the perfect plan: threaten to go spend the week under the 'corrupting' influence of Terri unless they buy her horse back.

Only, of course, they don't; instead, they take advantage of the situation and gallivant off without her on a ten day cruise. Now Alison's stuck in a tiny dump of a house with people who actually expect her to work - and ride.

The omni POV and consequential dips into everyone's thoughts was a little clunky, especially compared to Deep Trouble; Alison is a spoilt brat; and the ending is a little too convenient, and I don't think Alison really learns her lesson at all. But other than that, a light-hearted, fun "friendship" story.


Anonymous said...

Paradise Lost is great, but yes...long. I think it's a genius masterpiece, though.

Have a good time on your well-earned break, Inky!

Yunaleska said...

See you in the new year! Got the first book - havne't quite read it yet. Will do soon :)

Inkblot said...

Scott - thanks very much :) I plan to do lots of reading and - nothing :D

Yuna - Good luck with all your reading! :)

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