Monthly Archives: June 2011

Book Review: The Great Typo Hunt by Jeff Deck

The cover and title caught my attention at Borders and I had to read it. The book is pretty straight forward as far as the plot, but it was the writing style that made me love this book.  It wasn’t all fluff and entertainment, either.  He grew on the journey and made me laugh my head off along the way.  Here’s some non-spoiler quotes from the book to give you a flavor:

“She described to us six lanes’ worth of unadulterated fear, populated exclusively by motorists whose driving education had been paid for by the blood of pedestrians.”

“The standard clauses of the American dream only included two weeks of vacation a year.”

Content Rating: Medium. I remember it being fairly clean, but there was some language (if I remember right:)


Book Review: Star Wars Trilogy

It was really interesting to read these novels again now that I’ve seen the prequels. The first thing I noticed – the prequels don’t match up to the back story in this book. In fact, the back story from the novels was much more interesting than Episodes I, II, and/or III.

Let’s start with Star Wars Episode IV and it’s more awesome back story.
Obi-wan says, “Vader used the training I gave him and the force for evil, to help the later corrupt Emperors. With the Jedi Knights disbanded, disorganized, or dead, there were few to oppose him. Today they are all but extinct.”

How much better would the prequels have been if Vader was just power hungry and hung out with the wrong crowd? And why are there EMPERORS plural? Again, it sounds like a good guy got in with a bunch of strange politicians and used his Jedi powers for evil.

Then it says the Jedi Knights are disbanded and disorganized. There’s not many details, but wouldn’t it have been more interesting if Vader had just demonized or belittled their religion while ironically still holding on to that very same religion? Or slowly started to blame them, then label them, introduce prejudice and then systematically exterminate them? Sound familiar? Star Wars is, after all, an allusion to Nazism.

On to Episode V.

This is in the movie too, but Luke talks about having been to Degobah before. I think he has and George Lucas forgot.

Episode VI.

This book has back story in it that is the most blatant drift away from the prequels. Too bad it didn’t make it into the movie. It’s AWESOME.

Obi-Wan says, “When your father left, he didn’t know your mother was pregnant. Your mother and I knew he would find out eventually, but we wanted to keep you both as safe as possible for as long as possible. So I took you to live with my brother Owen, on Tatooine…and your mother took Leia to live as the daughter of Senator Organa, on Alderaan.”
What a great story! Secret pregnancies, Padme surviving and hiding her children from her crazy husband, and Owen wasn’t even Luke’s real uncle! Why couldn’t this have been the plot of the prequels?

Later on in the book, talking about Leia it says, “She almost never thought of her real mother – that was like a dream. Yet now Luke’s question made her start. Flashes from her infancy assaulted her – distorted visions of running…a beautiful woman…hiding in a trunk.”  I want to hear the rest of that story.
In the movie, it implies that Leia is talking about her adopted mother. But in the book it’s clear she remembers her adopted mother and her real mother.

Reading this book just made me mad at George Lucas. I couldn’t put it any better than Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.

“I prefer to be disappointed in the order George Lucas intended.”

As far as the writing in the novels goes, it was good for Episodes IV and V. Episode VI, Return of the Jedi, got on my nerves a little with his literal translations of everything Artoo and Chewie had to say. Grawrrrr and beepeiodoo lost their charm really fast.

Book Review: My Life in France by Julia Child

It made me want to cook, eat and live in France! She’s very funny and honest. It took forever to realize that when she said “marketing” she really meant “shopping at the market.” Her story was very inspiring and it was fun to know that she loved cooking for no better reason than she loved eating.  Same here!

Content Rating: Mild.  Julia swears here and there, but nothing terrible.

Book Review: Julie and Julia by Julie Powell

It made me laugh out loud sometimes, but swears so much that I wouldn’t recommend it. The movie catches the essence of what she went through in the book.  There are some scenes in the book that were funny and didn’t make it into the movie, but there are also a few gross stories that didn’t make it into the movie, either.  Overall, the writing was good.

Content Rating:  High, for strong language.

Ongoing Series I’m Reading Right Now

I like to wait for all the books of a series to come out before I read it, if I can, because I love reading a new series all right in a row over a weekend. But sometimes peer pressure gets the better of me and I have to read what everyone else is reading. Here’s a list of series I either haven’t got around to finishing or the rest of the books haven’t come out yet.

  • The Mortal Instrument Series by Cassandra Clare (This was supposed to be a trilogy and I read all three in a short time.  Then she extended it.  They’re really good, but now I’m waiting for the other TWO books to come out.  Like Inigo, I hate waiting.)
  • The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner (I’m waiting for the final book in the trilogy which comes out in October)
  • The Wolves of Mercy Falls Series by Maggie Stiefvater (The first two in the series are Shiver and LingerForever comes out in July!)
  • Wings by Aprilynne Pike (The fourth and final book comes out who knows when, but I hope it’s soon!)
  • Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (All of these books are out – I just haven’t gotten around to reading the rest of them)
  • Matched by Ally Condie (She just barely wrote the first book.  I don’t usually jump on a series train so soon, but she was at the Utah Book Festival and I didn’t want to meet her without reading her book first!)
  • The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare (This is a prequel series to the Mortal Instrument Series and she said the series don’t spoil one another, but it’s a good idea to read them in order of publication. Okay, I will.)
  • Body Finder Series by Kimberly Derting (I didn’t really like the first book and I’m having a hard time convincing myself to read the second one.)
  • The Host Series by Stephenie Meyer (This is supposed to be a trilogy, but I think Stephenie Meyer must be busy or something)

Top Ten Google Ranking

I got a Top Ten Google rank for my posts about Pottermore and my theories about what J.K. Rowling meant by “Follow the Owl.”  Here’s the screenshots! The first screen shot was for the search terms “simply follow the owl” (I’m the third one down making me #7 overall) and the second screen shot was for “follow the owl salem” (I’m ranked #2 for that one!)  Yay for my Pottermore obsession!

Reading Challenge: 2011 E-Book Challenge

Thanks to The Ladybug Reads… for this challenge!

My favorite thing about book blogging is the community and all the fun challenges!  I {heart} my new Kindle so I thought this would be a great challenge to sign up for.  I really want to reach the Possessed level which is 50 ebooks, but we’ll see 🙂  Here’s my progress so far:

  1. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  2. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
  3. The Lost Symbol: Special Illustrated Edition by Dan Brown
  4. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  5. My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud’Homme
  6. A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
  7. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
  8. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
  9. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  10. Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy
  11. Wings by Aprilynne Pike
  12. Spells by Aprilynne Pike
  13. Illusions by Aprilynne Pike
  14. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
  15. Matched by Ally Condie
  16. Beastly by Alex Flinn
  17. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  18. Kindle User’s Guide (Does this count?  Because believe it or not, I read it cover to cover)
  19. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (re-read)
  20. ?

Book Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

I was disappointed by this book – 200 pages in I was still waiting for the story to start. I had to make myself finish it. It was more teen novel with a tiny bit of super-natural sprinkled in.  That being said, I like super-natural stories and I was expecting there to be more of a super-natural element than there was.  So it might be that I didn’t like it because I had different expectations.  Lots of people like this book and it’s a good murder mystery, but I don’t like murder mysteries, either.

Content Rating: Medium, there was a long make-out section that I skipped over and there may have been some swearing (It’s been a while since I read it and I don’t remember:)

Reading Challenge: The Dusty Bookshelf

It has been my own personal challenge for the past two years to read all those books that I bought and never read, so I thought I’d give it a cute badge and a name so others can join me!  I thought of the name because some of my books have been sitting on my shelf for a loooong time – and they are collecting a lot of dust.  So the older and dustier the book, the better!  If you’re really ambitious, you can add how long the book had been sitting on your shelf before you actually read it.  I’m hosting this challenge, so if you want to sign up, go to my Reading Challenge page for all the details. If I finish my entire list it will put me at the Grungy level of 20 books.

Books I’ve finished:

  1. Star Wars Trilogy by George Lucas, Donald F. Glut and James Kahn (about 10 years)
  2. The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton (2 years)
  3. The Tough Coughs as He Ploughs the Dough by Dr. Seuss (10+ years)
  4. Positive Leadership by Kim Cameron (2 years)
  5. Bringing up Boys by Dr. James Dobson (less than a year)

Books I want to finish before the end of the year:

  • The 9/11 Commission Report (Gosh at least 6 years.  Can you blame me?)
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (5 years)
  • A Preface to Paradise Lost by C.S. Lewis (8 years)
  • Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (2 years)
  • Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained by John Milton (9+ years)
  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (2 years)
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison (2 years)
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck (2 years)
  • Our Search for Happiness by M. Russell Ballard (7 years)
  • A Marvelous Work and a Wonder by Legrand Richards (7 years)
  • Articles of Faith by James E. Talmage (7 years)
  • Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage (7 years)
  • Truth Restored/Gospel Principles by Gordon B. Hinckley (7 years)
  • The Secret of Staying in Love by John Powell (7 years)
  • The Odyssey by Homer (less than a year)

Update July 10, 2011

Book Review: Beastly by Alex Flinn

It was cute, fun, and entertaining, but it reminded me a lot of Disney’s version of Beauty and the Beast. It went back and forth between teen-angst and old-fashioned which made it feel a little inconsistent sometimes. Honestly, it veered a little into the sappy and over-the-top.  The characters were good, though, and it was fun to watch them grow.  I’m excited to see the movie because I can tell you right now without even seeing it that it’s very different from the book.

Content Rating: Medium, for swearing and crude teen humor.