25 February, 2012


Title: Sourcery
Author: Terry Pratchett
Series: Discworld
Genre: Fantasy/ Comedy Fiction
Audience: Adult
Format: Kindle

From Goodreads: There was an eighth son of an eighth son.  He was, quite naturally, a wizard.  And there it should have ended.  However (for reasons we'd better not go into), he had seven sons.  And then he had an eighth son...a wizard squared...a source of magic...a Sourcerer.
What I thought:  I love the wizards of the Disc World. A bunch of doddering men who's main focus is not being killed off by wizards below them! But when sourcery  comes to the disc, all hell breaks lose. Once again it's up to Rincewind and the luggage to save the world - a position Rincewind despairs to find himself in again. This is once again a classic Pratchett read. It further explores the realm of the Disc World. Pratchett's ability to play with words finds you laughing out loud frequently. Some of my favourite gems follow.

The subject of wizards and sex is a complicated one, but as has already been indicated it does, in essence, boil down to this: when it comes to wine, women and song, wizards are allowed to get drunk and croon as much as they like.

"I'm not going to ride on a magic carpet!" he hissed. "I'm afraid of grounds." "You mean heights," said Conina. "And stop being silly." "I know what I mean! It's the grounds that kill you!"

Challenges: Ebook Challenge

21 February, 2012

The Complete Peanuts 1965 - 1966

Title: The Compete Peanuts 1965 - 1966
Author: Charles Schulz
Genre: Comic
Series: Peanuts
Audience: Everyone!
Format: Book - Library

Synopsis: Volume 8 in this series takes us through 1965 and 1966.

What I thought: Yet another classic. Truly am loving this series and so good for a quick easy read!

20 February, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading/

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Is a meme hosted by Shelia over at Book Journey. A weekly check in to see what you are currently reading and what is coming up. Head over to Shelia's blog to see what others are reading this week.

 What am I reading now.

Nothing like a good bit of Peanuts when you need something light!

I'm currently listening to this as an audio book through my kindle.

What have I read recently

So here's the thing - two weeks ago I broke my ankle - in two places. This means I currently spend a lot of time sitting on the couch. You would think this would translate to a lot of reading time. However at times, painkillers don't make this so easy! The pain has eased a lot and hopefully tomorrow I get a boot to replace the cast which will make moving around a lot easier, but I still have four weeks of healing to do.

What's next?

Once our book group meets on Sunday to discuss Lightning by Koontz, I'll have to get onto March's book - The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy. I have a chequered history with classics so it will be interesting.

So what are you reading? Leave a comment, I'd love to know!

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Title: The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Author: Muriel Barbery
Genre: Fiction
Audience: Adult
Format: Book - gift

From Goodreads: Renée is the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building, home to members of the great and the good. Over the years she has maintained her carefully constructed persona as someone reliable but totally uncultivated, in keeping, she feels, with society's expectations of what a concierge should be. But beneath this facade lies the real Renée passionate about culture and the arts, and more knowledgeable in many ways than her employers with their outwardly successful but emotionally void lives.
Down in her lodge, apart from weekly visits by her one friend Manuela, Renée lives resigned to her lonely lot with only her cat for company. Meanwhile, several floors up, twelve-year-old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid the pampered and vacuous future laid out for her, and decides to end her life on her thirteenth birthday. But unknown to them both, the sudden death of one of their privileged neighbours will dramatically alter their lives forever.
By turn moving and hilarious, this unusual novel became the the French publishing phenomenon of 2007: from an initial print run of 3,000 to sales of over 2 million in hardback. It took 35 weeks to reach the number one bestseller spot but has now spent longer in the French bestseller lists than Dan Brown.

What I thought: This came to me from a friend on line, who knowing I liked reading, offered to send it to me as she was unlikely to read it. All I can say to Emma now is thank you!
The Elegance of the Hedgehog is really the story of two people living lives they shouldn't be living. Renee because she dumbs herself down to fit the stereotype and Paloma because she sees through the facade of those around her in her rich upper class apartment building. Through various turns of events, they both realise they don't have to live the lives they are, they can change.
I was pleasantly surprised by this. I often struggle with translated books, I find they often lose something. However the language in this seems to have retained it's eloquence and flow. I do think I've most probably missed things along the way, but I more than happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this.

17 February, 2012

Quotable Quotes


This quote comes from The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

The problem is that children believe what adults say and, once they're adults themselves, they exact their revenge by deceiving their own children. "Life has meaning and we grown-ups know what it is" is the universal lie that everyone is supposed to believe. Once you become an adult and you realise that's not true, it's too late. the mysery remains intact, but all you availavle energy has long ago been wasted on stupid things. All that's left is to anaesthetise yourself by trying to hide the fact that you can't find any meaning in your life, and then, the better to convince yourself, you deceive your own children.
...People aim for the stars, and they end up like goldfish in a bowl. I wonder if it wouldn't be simpler  just to teach children right from the start that life is absurd. That might deprive you of a few good moments in your childhood but it would save you a considerable amount of time as an adult - not to mention the fact that you'd be spared at least one traumatic experience, i.e. the goldfish bowl.

I read this just before I went to sleep last night and it struck me. I think we do try to protect children too much - either for their sake or ours. While I don't think we should disclose every little thing about the world and the horrors of it, I think too often we do a disservice to our kids by not letting them know it's not all roses.  It's a discussion I have frequently at the moment as rumours fly over the possibility that a very well known pedophile has been moved back into the area we live in. Some feel it's best to tell the kids nothing. To me that is dangerous. I don't give my kids all the gory details, but I do believe forwarned is forarmed. They have seen his picture, they know he hurts kids (no more details than that), they know if they see him they are to go to a trusted adult IMMEDIATELY and they know if anyone grabs them, they are to kick, scream, yell - whatever it takes.
You can check out other quotable quotes here.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince


Title: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Author: J.K Rowling
Series: Harry Potter
Genre: Fiction
Audience: Children/ Young Adult
Format: Book - Personal Collection

From Goodreads: It is Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As Voldemort's sinister forces amass and a spirit of gloom and fear sweeps the land, it becomes more and more clear to Harry that he will soon have to confront his destiny. But is he up to the challenges ahead of him?
In her darkest and most breathtaking adventure yet, J.K. Rowling skilfully begins to unravel the complex web she has woven, as we discover more of the truth about Harry, Dumbledore, Snape and, of course, He Who Must Not Be Named ..

What I thought: Oh it is getting exciting isn't it??? Once again I can remember reading this for the first time and loving it. I never guessed who the half-blood prince was and was totally surprised when it was revealed. I loved the suspense that was built in this novel,  the knowledge it was the penultimate book in the series and it was all coming to a head. I also love the fact that Rowling acknowledges that even when the world is falling apart around you, nothing takes precedence over teenage hormones! And yes, no matter how many times I read it, I cry when Dumbledore dies and Snape turns out to be the bad guy. Some how you just assumed Dumbledore would be there to the end and he could never be wrong. *sigh* Keep an eye out for the last book in the not to distant future!


Title: Lightning
Author: Dean Koontz
Genre: Fiction
Audience: Adult
Format: Book - Library

From Goodreads: A storm struck on the night Laura Shane was born, and there was a strangeness about the weather that people would remember for years. But even more mysterious was the blond-haired stranger who appeared out of nowhere—the man who saved Laura from a fatal delivery.
Years later—another bolt of lightning—and the stranger returned, again to save Laura from tragedy. Was he the guardian angel he seemed? The devil in disguise? Or the master of a haunting destiny beyond time and space?

What I thought: It's been years since I've read a Koontz book. This is our book group book for February. To tell you the truth, I'm not sure what I think about it. The stranger appears at various times to save Laura, in essence keeping her alive. You work out pretty fast where he is coming from, his need to save Laura is not so clear. When the reason is revealed, I'm not sure I bought it - too simple maybe. In the end it should promote some good discussion about whether or not it would be a good idea to interfere in history if we could.

Challenges: What's in a Name

Sins of the Father

Title: Sins of the Father
Author: Eamonn Duff
Genre: Non fiction
Audience: Adult
Format: Lent by a friend

Synopsis: Schapelle Corby is an Australian girl who was accused of smuggling a large amount of marijuana into Indonesia. She has always maintained her innocence. Her family turned it into a media circus. This book examines her father's involvement in the drug trade in Australia, the families apparent hunger for media attention and whether Schapelle is as innocent as she pretends.
What I thought: This book had potential. You say the name "Schapelle Corby" to any Australian and they will have an opinion. The family, particularly her sister Mercedes, rode the media wave for a long time and still crop up on the cover of women's magazines. Debate has raged for awhile over the role of the media and Schapelle's innocence or guilt. For quite a time, the country believed she was innocent, believed she was set up, but as time has gone on, more people have questioned the truth of this. Me personally - I don't see how she couldn't know the drugs were in her boogie board bag. I don't think she was alone and I think she has taken the fall for others - most particularly her father. I also think if you are stupid enough to traffic drugs into Indonesia you cannot cry foul when you get caught. They aren't exactly secretive about how they treat drug runners. At the same time, I also believe all efforts should be made to bring her home to serve her sentence in an Australian jail.
Now, having said that, the book was not well written. It was clunky, disjointed and in real need of a good editor. What could have been a really interesting, insightful  book in the end was just frustrating.

Challenges: Aussie Author Challenge