October 15, 2011

These Books Have Nothing In Common

I tried to think of a theme, but no, they really don’t have anything at all in common.  

We’ve been on another Cressida Cowell tear in the nightly read-aloud department with my daughter.  She liked the first Sister’s Grimm book okay, but since then it’s been Book Six and Seven of the chronicles of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III.  Next up, The Chamber of Secrets.  And yes, she’ll be an awesome Hermione for Halloween. I'm sure there will be pictures.

Finally finished Richard Holmes’ The Age of Wonder.  I’m a slow reader and it’s a big book, so give me a break.  It was great.  Incredible, really, and I’m a little bereft at finishing it.  I loved the science, the history, the connections to literature, the beginnings of The Royal Sociaty. Thankfully, I posted a review on Powells.com and it was chosen for their Daily Dose newsletter.  That means I got a $20 gift certificate which I immediately used to pick up Seeing Further.  This one is a beautifully illustrated collection of essays about...The Royal Society, edited by Bill Bryson.  Some of the contributors include Margaret Atwood, Alan Lightman, and Neal Stephenson.  Physically, it’s a gorgeous tome and I knew when I came across it at a bookstore that I'd never even think of getting it on my Kindle.  I added it to my library queue instead.  But thanks to the Powells editors I have my very own copy, gratis.  The normally mostly sensible folks over at Goodreads had some disparaging things to say about it.  But most of those people either got it on their e-reader and were disappointed it’s not as awesome as the real thing or thought they were getting a Bill Bryson book and ended up with what looks like a textbook to them instead.  Do your research before buying a book people!  Especially an e-book.  There’s a reason they let you download those free samples.

I also listened to a few audiobooks over the last month or so.  Everyone else likes the children’s book Chasing Vermeer but I was not a fan.  Yes, I've looked at the physical book too and enjoyed all the illustrations and some of the puzzles. The teacher in the novel seemed too Mary Sue-ish to me.  The characters were unrealistic.  The ending seemed tacked on.  But the kids on my Reader’s Rally team are into it.  I tell them if they like this, then they’ll really like The Mysterious Benedict Society series.  I started another book for the team, but it’s from the point of view of an animal and it was bugging the bejabbers out of me, so I had to quit that one.  Oh, and I listened to Tina Fey read Bossypants.  She’s funny and of course a perfect candidate for reading her own book.  There’s plenty of pictures in the book version, so on the audio they add a pdf you can download and refer to to crack yourself up at the right moments.

I'm sure I'll take forever to read Seeing Further since it doesn't lend itself to being carried around. So you might be hearing about sections of that over more than one future post along with more Reader's Rally audio books. The next one I have queued up is Every Soul a Star by Wendy Maas which has three readers for the three different main characters. Looks much more compelling than the talking animal book anyway.

What are you reading and how are you liking it?