Thursday, April 30, 2009

Aw ... a lovely book award :)

From a lovely blogger _ Karen Beth at

Here are the Rules...
1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.
3) Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
Wow. Okay, well, the award is really flattering and makes me smile, but the truth is I don't think I have discovered 15 new blogs lately. I kind of wish I had, because it would mean I was doing something more useful than googling Adam Lambert and obsessively reading the Idol forums. Yes ... I'm going through puberty a second time. Because the first one was ever so much fun!
Anyway. I'm sure that I can come up with at least three new (or new-ish) blogs to me _ I tend to be the same way about my Subway sandwich (chicken fillet on roast garlic bread with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo and salt and pepper) that I am with the bloggers I read: I have a few that I read every day and kind of stick to them. Which doesn't make me elitist, I promise.
Just lazy.
Anyhoo, three new(ish) to me blogs are:
1) Jodie at We did one of the Dewey mini-challenges together, and now I regularly check out her updates :)
2) Chris at Who isn't exactly new-new to me, but I've only recently started tracking his posts and commenting more. :)
3) Who I only just started reading recently.
Great blogs, all. And thanks again :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

The reading week

The question asked every Monday at

This past week I finished books 2 and 3 of the Mortal Instruments trilogy by Cassandra Clare. I'm still reading Soldier in the Mist by Gene Wolf, because I keep putting it down and accidentally starting other books. Also still reading The Matriarch, by Witi Ihimaera, at work, but that's going pretty slowly as well.

Yesterday I accidentally started Smoke & Mirrors by Neil Gaiman; so I'll probably finish that next, if I don't buckle down with Soldier in the Mist.

I'm also trying to break this weird hoodoo, where I don't read my favourite authors. I love Charles de Lint, for example, but don't remember when I last read one of his books. I remember what it was _ Spirits in the Wires _ but I don't remember when. And he's not the only one.

Happy reading week everyone. :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Short review - books 2 and 3 of Mortal Instruments trilogy by Cassandra Clare

Spoilers, probably. You Have Been Warned.

I took advantage of having the house to myself today and got stuck into both books. I finished the second one; and started and finished the third. It's late here, so these will be potted thoughts, but I wanted to get it done.

Book 2: City of Ashes:
For me, this is the most action-packed one. The parents of Isabella and Alec _ and Max _ a nine-year-old that Clare keeps forgetting is there _ even to the point of leaving him completely home alone at one stage in the book _ come into the action, but only periphally. However. The Inquisitor shows up who, for me, bore a striking resemblance to Dolores Whatsername from Order of the Phoenix. She's bonkers. But, as it turns out, Tormented. This is the book that has much in the way of Revelation, and Sweeping Tragedy. Seriously _ a lot goes down, and in a lot of ways I liked it better than the first book Fewer similes, for one thing. And the aforementioned action.

However. Clary. Clary Fray is one of the most annoying fictional female characters I have ever come across _ and I am including Bella Swan. Clary just reacts. All. The. Time. Then she goes dashing off, does stupid things and has to be pulled out of them by Jace and the other Shadowhunters.
Still. Clare is pretty good at pacing, which makes the book page-turnery enough to want to keep going.

Book 3: City of Glass
If City of Ashes is Revenge of the Sith (and it kind of is, just in terms of the amount of action that goes on _ ROTS has more action than the previous two incarnations, Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones put together) then, sadly, City of Glass is Phantom Menace. There's a lot of Talking. And a lot of Menacing. And, to be honest, with pretty much nothing happening for the first 200 pages or so, I was sorely tempted to put it aside. But that would have meant getting up off the couch and finding something else to read, and I had a very lazy day. So I persisted and there is some good stuff in it. It's just very well-hidden. The scenes with the angels are particularly well-drawn, I thought _ sad, and somewhat magnificent all at once.
Part of it is a little jarring, because I thought Valentine's motivations were ... not suspect, because the bad guy's motivations are always suspect _ they just didn't make any SENSE, and he's been written, I think, as someone extremely cold, and logical. I actually said out loud to my cat at one point, "But that doesn't make any SENSE!" Yes, I talk to my cat. What of it?
He's called on the demon hordes, to destroy the Shadowhunters' Clave _ purify it, so they don't sign Accords with Downworlders [vamps, werewolves, etc]. He basically says to the Clave that it's their fault he's called on demons to destroy them all because the would side with filthy Downworlders. Only .... the Clave hasn't really by that stage in the books. And I will admit that maybe I missed something, but it really made me go ... huh? and kind of pulled me out of the story because I kept going back over that part.
Still doesn't make sense to me though.
I don't hate myself quite so much for Mortal Instruments like I did for the Twilight series. They're readable, and set a pretty good pace, apart from the first half of the last one, and Clare's secondary characters are, I think, better drawn than Meyer's. Apart from wee Max. It's almost as if she just shoved him in in odd places, because she kept forgetting that she'd created a younger brother for the Lightfoots (Lightfeet?). So, okay, but I'm happy to lend them out and not get them back any time soon.
As always, with reading, onward!!!

And I do believe that means I've completed Quest the First for Once Upon a Time III. Yep, I have. But five is just a number, and I'm not done yet. :)

Weekly Geeks

Full explanation here:

This week you are asked to share books (fiction or nonfiction) and/or movies which center around an animal or animals.

Which are your favorites?
Um. I don't have one. I love animals (obviously, as we have 10 cats) but I find animal-centred stories a little hard to read, or watch. Especially if I think the outcome is going to be bad. I even get upset when I see horses hurt/killed in movies or TV shows.
I did like Watership Down, though. And The Wind in the Willows, although that isn't the same thing, I guess. Also, many years ago, Tad Williams wrote a cat-centred book called Tailchaser's Song. Which I do remember enjoying, and I still have my copy of it.

Which touched your heart the most?
Uhm … Watership Down, I guess.

Which have found their way onto your wish lists or TBR stacks?
The only ones I can think of are the Ratha books, that Nymeth at

Is there a childhood favorite?
Only if you count The Wind in the Willows.

Have you ever named a pet after an animal from a book or movie?
Three of our cats are named after book characters. Fagin is fairly obvious, even though I don't get on with Charles Dickens. Our Fagin was a stray, who came to my ex and me when he started stealing our then-dog's food. Scout is named after Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, and Merlin after … well, pick your Arthurian tradition. :) Mostly it's Merlin for the very prominent “M” on his forehead.
You get the idea! Have fun with this; use your imagination. Share your thoughts!As an adjunct to this post, consider sharing photos of animals (domestic or wild) which have inspired or thrilled you, or graced your life with their presence.
I apologise for my lack of skills in this area, but below are pictures of all of our cats. As for wild cats, my most favourite animal is the tiger. Well. White tigers. And snow leopards. And little wild cats, like margays, and ocelots. Um. Never mind.
Cat photos!




Fagin (left) and Piper

Chloe (pale grey),
Sam (ginger)
and Casper



Happy Weekly Geeks everyone. Live long, and prosper. :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I need distractions as my boys _ large and small _ left today for five days in the North Island. It's where Jeremy is from, and his parents still live there. Apart from his mum and one of his sisters, they've never met Patrick. He'll be meeting his grandad for the first time. So it's a good thing, but man the house is quiet!!!!!!
So I totally stole this from Chris at

1. What author do you own the most books by?
Agatha Christie, I think. I have 19 omnibuses that have three novels each in them.
2. What book do you own the most copies of?
The Hobbit I think, although I only have two. Oh wait _ I have two copies of The Lord of the Rings and The Wind in the Willows as well.
3. Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
Nah :)
4. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Odd Thomas. Although my teenage crush was Legolas.
5. What book have you read the most times in your life?
The Lord of the Rings
6. What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
Ten? Um ... The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan maybe? Oh wait no. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The Dark is Rising came later. :)
7. What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?
I don't know. If I'm not enjoying something I tend not to finish it. I found Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult annoying, though.
8. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. And Un Lun Dun by China Mieville. And American Gods by Neil Gaiman. And The Vintner's Luck by Elizabeth Knox. Hmmm .... that's more than one. I was always bad at maths.
9. If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
Un Lun Dun, because I don't think enough people have.
10. Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for literature?
I'm with Chris on this one _ Neil Gaiman :)
11. What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
I don't know ... I'll have to muse on that a bit.
12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
Once again, I agree with Chris _ American Gods by Neil Gaiman. But I think it could be a great TV series.
13. Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
Okay. This is going to make me sound like a total stalker. And Paula Abdul, because describing dreams always makes me sound like Paula Abdul. I dreamed that Neil Gaiman was at my house, to sign my copy of The Graveyard Book, but I couldn't find my copy. I had a copy, it just wasn't mine. He kept insisting that it was okay, he'd sign that one, but I was determined to find mine. Then I woke up.
14. What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?
Define lowbrow. :p Star Trek novels, I guess? I read them for fun sometimes.
15. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?
Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
16. Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
I have no preferences. They both have rich histories, and literary traditions. :)
17. Roth or Updike?
Haven’t read either.
18. David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
Once again, I haven't read either, although I got a David Sedaris book at Christmastime as part of the Book Bloggers exchange. So Sedaris, because I have one of his books to read. :)
19. Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
Chaucer. I did three years of Medieval Literature at uni, and LOVED it. But Shakespeare is a very close second. Then Milton.
20. Austen or Eliot?
Jane Austen, although I haven't read Eliot.
21. What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
Um. New Zealand fiction. I do read some, but not as much as I would like.
22. What is your favorite novel?
I'm a walking cliche, but The Lord of the Rings.
23. Play?
24. Short story?
October in the Chair.
25. Epic Poem?
I'm not big on epic poetry. They kind of make me want to cross my eyes. So The Waste Land by T S Eliot, which isn't LONG long.
26. Short(er) poem?
Going with Eliot again: The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock. And No Ordinary Sun by Hone Tuwhare. Oooh! And I'm Nobody by Emily Dickinson.
27) Work of non-fiction?
Um. The last non-fiction book I finished was Up Till Now by William Shatner, but my favourite is Richard Ellman's Oscar Wilde biography.
28. Who is your favorite writer?
Is it weird and stalkery to say Neil Gaiman again? I have this weird thing, though. As soon as I find a writer that I love, I stop reading their books. So I don't want to jinx Mr Gaiman.
29. Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
Wouldn't have a clue. :)
30. What is your desert island book?
Um. Um. Something long and involved that I can read, and then use to light a fire. War and Peace? (Never read it).
31. And … what are you reading right now?
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare; The Matriarch by Witi Ihimaera and Soldier in the Mist by Gene Wolfe.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Reading Week

The Reading Week
What are you reading on Monday? Is a question asked every week here:
Wow, the readathon was something else, wasn't it? Fun, I think, tinged with a little bit of sadness. For the readathon I managed to get through Under the Mountain, by Maurice Gee, and The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien.
Under the Mountain is a very short YA science fiction novel about 11-year-old twins Theo and Rachel Matheson, who find out that they are the key to defeating a terrible, alien evil that's about to awaken and destroy the world. Their ally is Mr Jones, another alien, who has been striving against the evil aliens, The Wilberforces (yes, really) for centuries. It's a bit of a Kiwi classic, and a good, short read.
There was a TV series made when I was but a little reader, and the movie is now in production.
The Hobbit, of course, needs no introduction, and is just as magical now as it was the first time I read it at about age 12.
Apart from that, I still have Soldier in the Mist by Gene Wolfe on the go. I was reading Fernleaf Cairo as well, but will most likely set it aside for now, although I do plan to finish it. So I'm thinking of picking up one of my other would-be readathon reads. Howl's Moving Castle, maybe.
The good news is, I'm on track for finishing a challenge! With Under the Mountain and The Hobbit read, I think that makes … four? Books that qualify for Once Upon a Time III, with City of Bones and The Adoration of Jenna Fox. One more, and I will have finished my first challenge.
How's everyone else's week going? Sleep well?

If you click on the pic, you'll be able to read it. Just a little silliness for Monday. :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Readathon - last meme

Only 10 minutes or so to go; I finally finished The Hobbit. Which pretty much took all day!!

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? About 3am, when I decided to get some sleep and then couldn't properly. Kept dreaming about blogging, and Twittering.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I loved re-reading The Hobbit. Also Under the Mountain is good, and short. :)
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope. You guys are great. :)

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Having the blog updated every hour, and the feeds.

5. How many books did you read? Two ... eventually.

6. What were the names of the books you read? Under the Mountain by Maurice Gee and The Hobbit by Tolkien.

7. Which book did you enjoy most? The Hobbit.

8. Which did you enjoy least? I only read two, and did enjoy both.

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? Stay enthusiastic, and find a way to keep track of the readers you visit. I totally lost track. Also Twittering is a good way to keep up and stay motivated.

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? Very. What role would you be likely to take next time? Hybrid, same as this time. :)

Readathon _ Eva's mini-challenge

Remembering Dewey.

On this Weekly Geeks post I said I wouldn't be able to do the readathon, because of Patrick. But Dewey said hey, why not be a cheerleader? So I was, for that readathon, and the next one as well.

I really wanted to read for this one, so I've been doig a little bit of both. I think Dewey would be so pleased with this readathon. I certainly wouldn't have met so many great books bloggers if not for her Weekly Geeks.
Godspeed, Dewey.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Readathon update of sorts

That, in the middle, is what happens when you try to read with toddler in the same room. Yes, that's my copy of The Hobbit he's got. On the left is me and Patrick. Yes, I do have seven chins and dinner-lady arms.

I'm still picking away at The Hobbit, I'm in the last 2 or 3 chapters. I may get either Howl's Moving Castle or A Guide to the Birds of East Africa started, but if I get The Hobbit finished, I'll be fairly pleased with my progress.

As always, onward!!!!!!!

Readathon Creativity Challenge

Here is my effort, put together with Patrick's blocks - the book I have read and the book I'm still reading, although I had intended to finish it by now. I'm nearly there, however. Onward!!!

My husband helped with the engineering part _ ie: he built the "mountain."
Probably not a lot more reading unti later tonight when Patrick is in bed. So I will do some Twittering, and some cheerleading. :)

Readathon mini-challenge

Hour 13's mini-challenge is a mid-event survey.

Here we go:

1. What are you reading right now?

The Hobbit

2. How many books have you read so far?
One and a bit

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
Uhm ... Howl's Moving Castle

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?

No; just working around family :)

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

Just the usual - family, food, sleeping ... just carry on :)

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
How much fun it's been, being a reader :)

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

Nope. You guys are Made of Awesome.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?

I'd start earlier, given that my start time is midnight.

9. Are you getting tired yet?

A little bit

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? Just keep on going. :)

Edited to add: right. Need to charge the laptop, and get back to some reading. Goooooooo everyone! :)


I'm up, I'm up! I piked about 3.30am, as I expected, got a little bit of (crappy) sleep and now I'm doing this quickly before I go and hunt some toast and tuck up with The Hobbit this morning.

I managed almost-a-chapter before I went crosseyed.

Thanks for the lovely comments everyone. :)

All of our cats are moggies: we have three black and whites (Marx, Scouty - yesterday's cat - and Piper - above); two grey tabbies (Merlin - above, and my avatar - and Casper); one ginger tabby (Sam); two dilute calicoes (Misty and Chloe); one black longhaired (JD) and one white longhaired (Fagin).

Right. Spot of cheerleading, spot of breakfast, and reading.


Readathon - one book down and a meme.

Where are you reading from today?
My couch, under some cats. Possibly bed in a bit, so if I accidentally fall asleep, I do apologise.

3 facts about me …
Um. I'm 37, have 10 cats and love chocolate.
How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?
I'm hoping to cheer on everyone's blog at least once. Beyond that, I'm flexible.

If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time?
I'm reading for the first time but I was a cheerleader for the past two. I found having the feed open in two windows and working one from the top down and one from the bottom up helped.

Just finished Under the Mountain by Maurice Gee. It's a short book _ less than 160 pages, but pacey and with a good story. Here's a potted synopsis: When twins Theo and Rachel Matheson go to their aunt and uncle's for a holiday, they find out there's a lot more in store for them than just a spot of swimming.

Something evil, and slimy, is waking up under the volcanoes around Auckland.

I've read it before, more than once, and it was made into a fairly iconic Kiwi series when I was a kid. The movie is now in production.

Good stuff. :)

Um ... The Hobbit next, I think.


I'm jumping the gun and starting a couple of hours early; so I'm not picking up my first book and starting to read at midnight. My plan, then, is to go and be a cheerleader for a bit, then maybe do some more reading before getting some sleep. Reading/cheering in the morning and then playing it by ear from there because of Patrick. Hopefully I'll manage about 12 hours or so of reading, and another solid 2 or 3 of cheering. We'll see.

I'm starting with my shortest book, Under the Mountain by Maurice Gee, which is less than 200 pages. It's a YA novel by one of our best authors, about twins with mysterious powers. I read it years ago, but haven't picked it up for a long time. Then it's The Hobbit, which I also haven't read for a very long time, and three novels I've never read.

My main goal, for now, is to ge through the first two and see how I go from there. Will also be doing sporadic blog/twitter updates.

Let the games begin!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


It's a pathetically small pile, isn't it, but then, my ambitions for the readathon are pretty small too.
I'll be cheerleading as well, on and off, so I anticipate sporadic commenting and pompom shaking (no short skirts, though _ I wouldn't do that to you all). So I figured I'd stack up a (small) pile of books that I maybe have half a chance of getting through.
Plus also, I think the readathon starts at midnight on Saturday my time.
Which is good from one point of view, as the boy will be in bed, and the husband gets up for him on Sunday, so theoretically, I could read all night.
However, I and all mothers of small children would trade all of their worldly goods for one thing: more sleep, so I won't be doing the full 24 hours. I'll do as many as I can, and try and keep track (although I'm really bad at that kind of thing) and you know, cheer on the real hardcore readers.
Oh! If you can't see the titles, this is my "pile":
Under the Mountain by Maurice Gee
The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
Howl's Moving Castle by Diane Wynne Jones
A Guide to the Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson
Shamefully small, isn't it? It's okay _ you can say it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Reading Week

Did you know that Twitter is completely addictive? No, really, it is. I scorned it at first, and I'm still trying to avoid micro-posts like “I'm watching TV right now”, but otherwise … I'm fully hooked on the damn thing.
Um. That's not why we're here. We're here for the weekly What Are You Reading on Mondays? Event hosted here:
What am I reading? Well, Monday, and invisible internets people, that's a bloody good question.
Not a lot, but I am reading, which I consider to be progress. So on the go, I have The Matriarch by Witi Ihimaera, which I'm reading on my breaks at work, when not distracted by evil gossipy magazines, and Soldier in the Mist, Book 1 of the omnibus Latro in the Mist by Gene Wolfe, which is about a Roman soldier, in 479BC, who has lost his short-term memory. Every night, he forgets what has happened, so he writes everything down.
I'm not very far into it, but I suspect greatness is going to ensue.
The Matriarch is considered a classic of New Zealand literature and hey! I just thought of something! I bailed on my April classic, which was supposed to be The Jungle Book. I can totally count The Matriarch though.
I mean, um, the only book I read last week was City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare.
Laptops and lullabies. :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: review

Technically speaking, I don't think this was on my list for Once Upon a Time III, or my own catch-up challenge, but I'm totally counting it anyway.
I have a terrible feeling I shouldn't have started reading Gene Wolfe straight after this one, because I keep comparing them in my mind, and it's like comparing apples and Clydesdales.
It's not that City of Bones is bad, it's just that I suspect that Mr Wolfe is Made of Awesome.

I read books one and two of The Book of the New Sun, many years back, and indeed still have my brother's copies of said books. Now I'm reading Soldier of the Mist; part of an omnibus edition of that book and Soldier of Arete. It's a little slow, but the writing is …. mmmm.... writing ….

Whoops. Um. This is a review of City of Bones. Swearz.
Spoilers may follow, if you haven't read the book … You Have Been Warned

Here's the thing. And it may be a little spoilerific, but it's also pretty much telegraphed early on: It's Star Wars goes to Hogwarts.

There's this girl, Clary Fray, who sees something weird in a club, and suddenly finds out about this whole other world, of demons, and Shadowhunters and vampires, oh my. And her mother goes missing, and Clary finds out that she's actually a Shadowhunter and her father is _ well, never mind (but you can totally see it coming. Seriously.)

And she meets this guy Jace and _ can I just say? Making a guy an arrogant jerk does not make him cool and sexy. It just makes him an arrogant jerk that you want to smack upside the head.
Or I'm too old for this kind of thing, one or the other.

The Star Warsey bit doesn't really happen until the end, but when it did, I started humming Darth Vader's theme music and saying, in my terrible Darth Vader voice … “Luuuuuuke … I am your faaaaaaather ...”.

Also, Ms Clare has never met a simile she didn't like. It's almost as if she's worried one of them is going to feel bad if it's left out, so she's put them all in, which can make the reading a little wearing.

Having said all of that; it is quite pacy, and page turnery and if I were 20 years younger, I'm SURE I wouldn't think Jace was just an annoying dropkick.

I really need a ratings system. This book seems to be asking for one.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

On the dark side now

I've joined twitter.


I still kind of don't get it, but I like the idea of having "conversations" with people.

So, you know, if you read here, and you twitter .... um .... you could follow me, or whatever it is that twittererers do. :)

Booking Through Thursday

This week's question is here:

1): Currently, yes, I am reading more than one book. Quite by accident. I tripped. I'm reading The Matriarch by Witi Ihimaera, in my break at work, Latro in the Mist by Gene Wolfe and tonight I started City of Bones, the first novel of the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.'

2): Oops. Um. Three.

3): Yeah, this is pretty normal for me. I have a short attention span.

4): Depends where I'm reading. Near the couch, if I'm on the couch, or on the bed if I'm reading in bed.

Happy BTT :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Short reviews

Short, because the books are backing up a little. How, may you ask, can you have read three books in the past week, yet claim to have lost your mojo?

I have no idea. But that's the way it works.

Let's get started, shall we?

First: The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E Pearson

Jenna wakes from a coma with no memory of her life before. Something, however, is not right. She's recovering incredibly fast, and her grandmother seems to hate her. The family lives in an isolated area, and it's not long before Jenna suspects that it's because of her.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox is a short novel, but it certainly packs a wallop. The central theme, or question of the novel is: what truly makes us human? Jenna discovers that, after much sneaking around and surgical hijinks on the part of her parents (the novel is set in a slightly scary future and Jenna's father develops an even more scary bio-gel) there's only 10 percent of her original brain left. Which leaves Jenna with a deeply fundamental question: Who am I?

It's a very thoughtful, and thought-provoking read, although I thought it ended slightly on a down note.

Next: The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

The first adventure featuring Hercule Poirot, and where we meet his sometimes-Watson, Captain Hastings. Poirot is a Belgian refugee in an English village, while Hastings is staying at the manor house. Where, of course, there are Currents. This being an early novel, it's very easy to see where Christie's themes _ secrets, seemingly impossible mysteries and yes, even some social commentary _ started. As she goes on, she hits her stride more and more, but it's always fun to go back to the early days.

Lastly: Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

Iactually finished this in a couple of days; it was a pretty quick read. And, I have to say, I enjoyed it more than Kinsella's Shopaholic series. Lexi Smart wakes up in hospital, with no memory of the past three years. She thinks she's a loser, with a loser boyfriend (whose nickname is actually Loser Dave) and a crappy job.

However, when Lexi wakes up, she finds out that she's a driven career woman with a movie-star handsome husband and now she's the boss.

It's fairly light-hearted, and a pretty fast read.

Kittens and rainbows. :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Reading Week

It's that time of the week again, where asks bloggers what are you reading?

Here's the stark truth. Right now: nothing. I finished a book (Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella, which I actually enjoyed more than the Shopaholic series) and I'm still only reading one book at a time, so I have ... nothing. I also read The Adoration of Jenna Fox, by Mary E Pearson and The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie.

But nothing on the go, unless you count The Ladies of Grace Adieu for Short Story Weekend.