Thursday, April 28, 2016

Plince And Pies

In honor of my childhood fave Beverly Cleary's 100th birthday, I decided to read one of my old school favorites by this delightful author.  I chose Emily's Runaway Imagination which has always been a favorite of mine as I can relate to having an imagination that can easily run amok.  This was a pretty quick read, as always SPOILERS AHEAD!
Emily is a girl around 10 years old who lives in a little town in Oregon that is on the brink of modernization.  This is a time where automobiles are a novelty that are just starting to become affordable, farms are still mostly worked by horses, electricity is becoming a bit more mainstream and young Emily is growing up in the middle of it all.  Emily also has an imagination that any child would be proud of.  The book follows Emily through many adventures starting with helping her spunky mamma start a neighborhood library.  Through out the book Emily bleaches a horse, wins a costume contest by accident, get's her dog renamed Plince, gets the hogs drunk, invents a new pie, and makes friends with the neighbor Fong Quock and in general has many adventures fueled by that crazy imagination of hers.  In the end everything comes out all right and the town gets its library.
Like I said this was a pretty quick read so I'm gonna forgo my usual detailed rambling in favor of a more free flow version.  This book is great for the same reason all the other author's books are great, she seems to remember what it was like to be a young person.  I very vividly remember getting into trouble, or having anxiety of really weird stuff that only made sense to my 9 year old self.  Emily's adventures are both specific to the time period, and totally relateable to anybody who has ever been a kid.  I remember reading this when I was a kid and totally understanding why Emily would bleach a horse, or being terrified of looking ridiculous in front of other people.  I also remember causing my self no end of troubles when my imagination took off into the most impossible of places...oh wait it still does :-)  I also identify with Emily's love of reading, and still love a super spooky book.  Overall even as an adult this book still appeals to the runaway imagination in me and I recommend it to pretty much everybody.  I give it 7 out of 10 to big high heels.
Happy Reading Everybody!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ummm...Not Tonight...

Hi All, Got way to many good books just begging for my
A real post tomorrow I promise.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

What Did I Just See On The Bookshelf ?!?

I am in a really weird mood right now...a whole bunch of bourbon and S'mores may have a wee bit to do with it...but anyways...what was I saying...Oh yeah!  To celebrate my mood of weirdness here are a couple of the weirdest books I have ever seen on a bookshelf (DISCLAIMER I have not actually read these so they may be awesome...).
What's Your Poo Telling You?
With expert advice on everything from the color to the "floatiness" of your poo, you will be completely covered in the feces area...bonus activity book sold separately (no seriously, there is an activity book!)
The Pantyhose Craft Book
To be honest I don't even remember the last time I wore pantyhose...much less made a windcatcher out of them...
How to Sharpen Pencils
Because apparently we have all been doing it the wrong way?
The Beginner's Guide to Sex in the Afterlife
For those of us who can't bear the thought of going without...even after we have shuffled off this mortal coil.
Be Bold With Bananas
So many ways to go with many innuendo' much weird!

Ok I'm sure you have all had more then enough of my weirdness just go ahead and tell me the weirdest book that you have ever read/seen.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Paid To Read...Sort Of

One of the perks of my job is that on a few very rare occasions, when we have a weird day that people have decided to stay healthy for a couple of hours, I get to chill at the station for a couple of hours.  When these treasured chunks of time happen, I go straight for my books.  I absolutely LOVE it when this happens because in some ways it's like a dream come true...I'm getting paid to read!
 Now I realize this is not 100% accurate because reading for fun is not in my job description, but the expectation is if we get those rare gaps, as long as my unit is cleaned and stocked, my CME's are up to date, my station is spotless and there are not other pressing issues, we can use our hoarded down time as we please.  My favorite way to look at it is if I can can get an hour or so of reading time in, then in general the book I am reading is essentially paying for itself...which considering my book addiction is actually very helpful.  I am seriously trying to figure out a way to get paid for all my reading...but until then I'll take what I can get.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Adding To The Pile

Sometimes when I get in a rut, or am tired, or bored or whatever, I like to find new books to add to
my To Be Read List.  This is the tab on my blog that has the list of books I have or would like to acquire at some point and of course read.  In fact sometimes I joke that the real reason I have this blog is so that I could have access to my TBR list when I'm at the bookstore.  Sometimes just the act of searching out new books to add to the list help give my brain a break.  I use several sources to add to my list, blogs, lists, recommendations, complete and utter random searches, cool book covers, and whatever else piques my interest.  I love researching new books to add to my pile as it gives me little glimpses into possible future reads and lets me pursue through various genre's, authors and pretty much whatever else has caught my eye.  Ok enough talk, lets go find more books!  Happy Reading Everybody!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Second Star To The Right

Hola my favorite readers!  So my firehouse book club strikes again.  This time my a rather unusual version of my favorite Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie was slipped into my locker.  What made this version remarkable...and hence the loaning of it to me, is the very cool and interactive illustrations by MinaLima a British duo who met on the set of Harry Potter and now share their unique vision and love of books with the rest of us.  Ok, who's ready to ramble?  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
I'm sure that most of you know the story of Peter Pan, but if not here we go.  Mr. and Mrs. Darling are the slightly beleaguered parents of Wendy, John and Michael.  The children are looked after by a huge dog referred to as Nana.  One night, after poor Nana is banished from the house in disgrace over an incident with some nasy medicine the children are visited by the infamous Peter Pan.  Peter Pan along with his companion the sassy fairy Tinkerbell have come to the Darling children's window to look for his shadow.  He finds it and tries to put it back on with soap, getting himself a light teasing from Wendy when she wakes up.  She assists him in sewing the shadow back on and after some exchanges of kisses and thimbles agree's to go with him to Neverland and tell the Lost Boys stories.  John and Michael come along and after a bit of pixie dust they are on their way.  The jealous Tink almost gets Wendy killed when she convinces Tootles, the sweetest of the Lost Boys that Peter wanted them to shoot her.  Lucky for all involved it hit a button and bounced off, so instead of a funeral the boys build her a little house.  Many adventures are had involving the Indians, mermaids, Lost Boys, fairies, flying, hunting and all kinds of wondrous things that appeal to the young...and those of us who never really grow up.  Eventually Wendy tires of playing house with Peter and decides to take her brothers home.  Peter Pan is upset, but passes it off and sends them on their way along with the rest of the Lost Boys who want to come home and be adopted by the Darling family.  What the crew doesn't realize is that the notorious Captain Jas. Hook is waiting with his pirates above ground to capture them all. See there has been a great dislike between Captain Hook and Peter Pan ever since Peter cut off Hook's had and fed it to a crocodile...along with a clock that warns Hook when he is near.   Wendy and the boys are captured and the Captain slips poison onto Peter's medicine.  Peter wakes up and changes his mind about Wendy leaving and goes to drink his medicine.  Tink in an effort to save Peter, drinks the poison instead and almost dies.  Lucky for us we can bring back a fairy by clapping our hands.  Peter and Tink set out to rescue the rest of the lot.  There is much bravery, fighting, crocodiles, hooks, baiting, switching and all around mayhem and finally Peter prevails.  The children minus Peter all head home to the distraught and anxious arms of their parents.  After the whole story comes out, the parents agree to adopt the rest of the Lost Boys.  Peter continues to come back on occasion to take Wendy to Neverland for brief amounts of time, but his sense of time is skewed and one time he comes back and she is an adult.  Peter continues to come first for Wendy's daughter and then later her granddaughter.  This continues to this day.
World Building - This is a children's fantasy story set in old school London, and mostly in the amazing Neverland!  The world is built by the author in a way that makes you feel like you are talking to a young child.  The world is both very complete and everchanging according to the whims of the children.  Peter especially can change his little corner of dream land giving us a complete yet ever changing landscape on which the imagination plays out.  Seriously though, Neverland has it all, pirates, mermaids, fairies, natives, a group of Lost Boys, magic, mystery adventure, it is the ultimate fantasy destination.

Story - The whole story of Peter Pan always feels like an ongoing dream to me.  I like how the story for this book is pretty complete, the way it is told makes you feel like there were tons of stories before this one, and plenty to come.  The story of the Darling children is very fun, and exciting and keeps a readers interest no matter the age.  It is different in style then most modern day books, and has a definite tongue in cheek feel that I adore.  The author is able to both make one feel like he remembers being a child very well, while at the same time able to point out some of the absurdities of both children and adults.

Character - I love the characters in this book, they all play a role and are all special in their own way.  My favorites are of course Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Tinker Bell.  I love the sheer wild abandon of Peter Pan.  While he very much embodies the eternal child, selfish, willful, petulant when he doesn't get his way, he is more then that.  He is a wild spirit that can't bear to be tied down, he is freedom itself for good or bad and I totally identify with his good points and his bad ones as well.
 Captain Hook has always been one of my favorite villains.  To start with the guy is a pirate...which is always a good thing in my book.  He is also apologetically mean and violent towards pretty much everybody, but the author does give him several moments of reflection in the book.  There are multiple places where we see Hook reflect on how and why he got to where he is.  We see him be strong and anti-heroic and we see him hurt and scared, a very well rounded villain.  Tinker Bell is just a sassy ball of energy and she is my role model teeheehee.  I mean the girl has attitude like nobodies business, defends what's hers, flies AND shows bits of bravery and selflessness when really needed..yep my kind of girl.  So yeah, good characters.

Editing - The style of the book is the omniscient narrator who talks directly to the reader.  It works perfectly for this book as the narrator is snarky guy who sets the tone perfectly.  The editing is well done and the book flows perfectly and simply as befitting a children's book.

Quotes - Peter Pan is one my favorite books to quote.  I could fill pages and pages with the most perfect little gems.  "Second star to the right and straight on till morning"  "To die will be an awfully big adventure" "When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.”  “Never is an awfully long time.”  “All children, except one, grow up.”  “Oh, the cleverness of me!”  “Pan, who and what art thou?" he cried huskily. "I'm youth, I'm joy," Peter answered at a venture, "I'm a little bird that has broken out of the egg.”  I could go on and on, but then I would pretty much just retype the whole book.  I just love the phrasing of so much of this book, it really appeals to me.

The Play - This book actually started out as a play that the author expanded into book form.  As a theatre junkie AND a huge fan of this story one could say that it is a match made in literary heaven.  I have seen the play live many times and my Mamma bought me the Mary Martin version on VHS for me to watch over and over and over again.  This is the definition of pure imagination to me and I love every fairy assisted drop of it.

Illustrations - I have several versions of this book all with different and amazing illustrations.  Since this post was inspired by the MinaLima version that is what will be used to illustrate this particular post...there will probably be other posts with other illustrations.  This book lends itself to so many styles of art and interpretations that I could probably collect a thousand different artistic versions, all with their own amazing takes on the various characters, places and situations.  This particular version not only has some very cool illustrations, but there are also many interactive elements that really add to the atmosphere of the books.

Overall Impressions - This is with out a doubt one of my absolute favorite stories.  It has everything I love about reading, fairies, mermaids, pirates, adventures, quests all of it.  I love the huge scope of imagination, I love the unlimited potential for pretty much anything to happen, I love the mix of children and adults, I love the idea that you never have to grow all the way up.  I just love it!  I give this book 10 out of 10 never birds and will read it over and over again.
Happy Reading Everybody!

Monday, April 18, 2016


We all know I LOVE reading  and we all know I LOVE dragons so....
Thanks Mamma for finding this gem.
Happy Reading Everybody!

Friday, April 15, 2016

A Rant Of Thrones

Just finished watching season five of Game of Thrones and now I need to rant really obnoxiously and what better place to do it then on my very own blog YAY.   Anyways.  We all know I have read all the currently written books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series and I've already rambled on about what I liked and didn't like about them.  I have also already stated my opinion on how I feel about the tv series out running the yeah essentially this bookworm has a ton of opinions about this book series and let's have some more.  My rant essentially comes down to this.  (SPOILERS FOR BOTH THE BOOKS AND TV SHOW AHEAD).  The books are should I say this...graphic, twisted, crazy, and all around gasp inducing.  These books have way more then their share of violence, sex, language and some of the most shocking scenarios I have read in a mainstream series.  This is not a bad thing, it is what the books are known for and it is a bit exhilarating and terrifying knowing that pretty much ANYTHING can happen to ANYONE at ANYTIME.  
So we have established pretty well that the books are pretty much up for anything, so here I am watching the show and WTF!  Seriously I know that in TV I have to be willing to accept some deviations from the books and that is fine...and truth be told I even enjoy some of the changes the show made.  Then they went completely off the rails, changing the story completely, having characters in situations that they were no where near, and at some points making this season borderline unrecognizable as coming from the books at all.  This is disappointing as I thought the first couple seasons stuck at least with the story line fairly well and this complete departure is jarring and sad.  I think the worst part though is how the show has taken the already over the top horror show that is the books (again, this is not a bad thing...well usually not) and going above and beyond what even the author has written.  I think the final straw came when Stannis allowed his young daughter to be burned alive, screaming and pleading as he watched her die a painful death.  This did not happen in the book, though there was talk of killing an infant, John Snow along with the very brave Gilly came up with a plan to save the kid...but nope the show decided that all the sex, violence and insaneness of the books were not up to the viewers standards of the sick and twisted and so we get a father murdering his daughter.  I found this and a couple other unnecessary over the top scenes just sickening and distracting and didn't even have the saving of grace of being in the book.  I don't know why the people behind the show felt the need to add these extra scenes and scenario's.  I feel there was plenty of gory, twisted material to work with in the books and  this is just wrong.   After that rant you may think that I am going to boycott the show...I'm not...mostly 'cause I want to see where the "story" goes now that we don't have any more books to follow...not that we have been following the books anyways.  I will however reserve the right to write long rambling posts on my complete and utter disgust if it continues to disappoint.  Rant Over...for now.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Happy 100!

One of my favorite childhood authors the fabulous Beverly Cleary turns 100 today!  This author of the famed Ramona series, among other gems has lived, written and just made kids lives awesome for the last 100 years.
Seriously folks 100 absolutely awesome and amazing is that.  I want to wish this classy lady many more awesome years and thank her for making my childhood an amazing experience.  Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Hail The Lack Of Shooting, Stabbing And Flame

Hey guess what I got in the mail the other day?!?  My newest Incryptid book  Chaos Choreography by Seanan McGuire!!!!!  This is one of those series that no matter what I'm currently reading I promptly ditch it in favor of devouring the latest series installment and this book was no exception.  Was it worth interrupting my reading cycle?  Let's find out shall we?  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
First off, if you haven't read the first four books this is gonna be confusing as I'm not gonna recap either go read these excellent books or go read my ramblings...go on...ok you all caught up...good.  After a couple of books with Alexander Price we are back with our girl Verity.  While we were away she has married her ex-Covenant boy Dominic in a shot gun Vegas wedding and headed back to the family home in Oregon.  Verity gets a phone call from the producers of a dance show that she was on in her alternate persona of Valerie Pryor.  They are doing a reunion show and want her back.  Surprisingly her family supports her decision to give her ball room dancing shot at normalcy one last go so off she and Dominic go to California.  Verity is reunited with some of her fellow contestants and friends from previous seasons and gets right into the swing of things as Valerie on the dance show Dance or Die which is a very very very thinly disguised homage to the show So You Think You Can Dance (Which on a side note I adore!).  We learn that Brenna is actually a dragon princess and she has a favor to ask Verity.  Brenna's nest of dragon princesses is desperate for a male and wants Verity to help broker a deal with the New York dragons to obtain one.  Verity agrees to help and recruit's a disguised Dominic to help.  More rehearsal, competing and dancing ensue.  The night after the third elimination a very disturbing discovery is made by a couple of Verity's cryptid friends/fellow competitors.  It seems that the eliminated contestants were brutally and ritualistically murdered for some reason.  Verity discovers some very sketchy runes and sends them to her family for some help and they in turn send her, her grandmother Alice Price-Healy...who due to travelling through various dimensions appears to be the same age as her granddaughter Verity.  The rough and tumble Alice, Verity and Dominic along with the various friendly (and not so friendly) cryptids proceed to investigate the murders.  After every elimination, the eliminated pair gets murdered in an ever increasing complicated ritual.  The team discover that the rituals once completed will culminate in s giant snake god/demon/being coming through from another dimension for reasons that are definitely not good.  Most of the rest of the book is a combination of Verity as Valerie attempting to be a normal contestant and Verity with her team trying to save everybody.  We get to the big showdown and find out that Verity as Valerie's partner Ander's is actually the producers son and he along with one of the judges are the the "masterminds" that assembled the snake cult.  The snake comes through the inter dimensional portal after one last brutal murder and blood and chaos ensue.  There is an epic fight...all caught on camera and now Verity is exposed to the Covenant and all the other cryptids who happen to be watching...can't wait for the next book!
World Building - The setting is urban fantasy mostly placed in and around the set of Dance or Die.  The world is built through out the series and continues to build in this installation.  The author does a great job really getting us into the thick of the new setting that we plop our people in.  What I really like about this author is how she gives us plenty of touch stones and frame work through out the series while still managing to give us new and interesting places in each book that are fully realized. The cryptid world is fairly consistent, varied and well thought out.  Love it.

Story - The story was well done.  It combines the ongoing story of the Price family, with the "story of the book" which while being ANOTHER snake cult, was still well done and made sense in the context of this book and the overall series.  We finally got to see Grandma Alice which gave us some glimpses into the overall family story which is at the heart of this series.  Good solid story.

Character - I feel that the characters are the biggest strength in this series and this boo.k does is not any exception.  Verity and Dominic were awesome as always.  I loved Pax and Malena and the weird dichotomy of them being completely "normal" dancing contestants and really weird mythical
creatures.  It is this two sided coin of characterization that makes this book tick.  Alice was just pretty much the awesomest thing ever!  Having her show up and really show us where the Price psychosis comes from was great...also her dedication to her husband is pretty great too.  Yeah pretty much I love every character in the book and how they all have motivation, depth and a sassy sense of humor to boot. The only objection I have is that I want so much more Antimony!  Seriously where is her book?!?

Editing - This series is in the dreaded first person, in this case we see it through Verity's eyes.  For the most part this isn't as bad as a lot of first person but even as awesome as she is...we still get stuck in her head on occasion.  Other then the occasional angst and introspection from Verity, the overall story flows.  The book is consistent with the rest of the series and I didn't need to flip back and forth to figure out where I was in the story.  The pacing was great and the ratio of dancing and the cryptid stuff was pretty spot on.  Good job.

Dance or Die - I can tell that the author loves the show So You Think You Can Dance and this book is seriously a direct homage to the production.  Since I also love the show, this book made me happy happy happy.  I liked how much music and dance that was in the book.  Since I have a theatre background which includes dance, all the nuances and details really made this book pop for me.  Verity realizes that both of her loves, dance and the family business are mutually exclusive.  To be a professional dancer would take up so much of her time that it would be the only real thing she could do.  On the flip side, the family business takes up just as much time and dedication.  It was nice to see her get into her dance and for us to see her love for it.  It was also good to contrast her current position with other dancers who have no other concerns and how that affects her decision.  Anyways this book really appealed to many parts of my own self so YAY!

Aslien Mice - I love the mice!!!!  There quotes, rituals, and record keeping make these little dudes essential to each book.  In this book they get to travel with Verity to California and the little guys make the most of it.  One of the things I most look forward to in these books is finding the best quote for the post title.  They also provide a way to catch us readers up on various Price family history.  There is also the most perfect timing of humor with my rodent friends.

Marriage - I like how marriage is treated in this book.  Getting married to Dominic did not in any way shape or form reduce Verity, her strength or her personality.  Dominic also did not completely lose him self to the dominating Price family either.  We see Grandma Alice spend most of her life
traversing the various dimensions to find her husband who was lost.  Verity's parents are both smart, strong and in love with each other.  It's really nice to see an author who does not discount love and marriage as a giving up, or a diminishing, but rather a vibrant part of life.  I truly believe if you find the right person, marriage turns into an adventuring partenership with some really awesome benefits and this book seems to share my views.

Overall Impression - As with the previous books, I devoured this one in a couple of days.  It kept up the energy, the spunk, the adventure and the humor that I have loved so far.  I am ready for an Antimony book, but I still love any book set in this series.  I recommend it for anybody who needs a great read, strong characters and likes a bit of urban fantasy.  I give this book 8 out of 10 barley there fringed dresses and can't wait for the next book.
Happy Reading Everybody!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Sick Day

I got sent home today with a migraine so bad I had to concentrate on not throwing up.  Med's and a three hour nap later I can now function like a semi-normal human.
The upside however is that once I could keep my eyes open without the excruciating pain of a thousand angry knives stabbing me in the head I got to cuddle in my bed with the rain pouring down the window and finish my yay that.  Hopefully I'll have a better day and a rambling for you all tomorrow.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Alternate Exploration

If you go through my rambling list I am sure you will notice that my favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy.  I think one of the best thing about these genre's is their ability to explore real world issues without "offending the masses".  Ok reading that it sounded a little bit pretentious and snotty...let me see if I can try this again.  Sometimes when an author tries to to write about a legitimate issue, too much political correctness tends to overshadow the message they are trying to get across.  In science fiction and fantasy we can create whole worlds, governments, races, societies and situations just to address a specific (or in really good books several) issues that may be a bit
sticky to tackle in a real world.  In fantasy we see old school epic kingdoms play out human history with people and countries that don't exist.  In science fiction our fears and questions of the future are played across worlds.  The addition of magical and/or alien races give us a group of people that we can apply stereotypes to...then hopefully destroy them without the message getting lost in cultural appropriation, whitewashing, and other problems that plague certain mainstream novels.  In these imaginary spaces we as humans feel more comfortable exploring the things that make us uncomfortable in the real world.  We can explore why these issues and problems exist, ask the questions that maybe don't have answers, and offer possible solutions that we can work out in the sandbox of imagination.  I have read many older science fiction and fantasy books that set forth idea's that during their publication time were weird or out there and are now taken for granted as normal.  I hope I am getting my point across here.  I'm not trying to do anything other then point out that along with all the other wonderful genre's science fiction and fantasy allow us to truly explore our real world in a way that may not be possible in real time.  Ok enough philosophizing and back to reading.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Read It Out Loud.

Got to spend some one on one time with my youngest nephew N.  He is just 8 weeks old and the cutest most adorable chunky monkey.  N loves to be held, like 24/7 likes to be held and in all honesty he is not the best conversationalist yet so I decided to read my current book to him.  Oddly enough as soon as I started reading, he settled down.  He alternated between watching my face and checking out the turning pages as I read.  This does not really come as any surprise as his family makes sure he, and his big brother E get plenty of reading time.  E is awesome 'cause he LOVES it when his Auntie or Uncle read to him and we have spent many hours with him avidly following along in his books as
we read to him.  Our nephew G is getting so good at reading that his little brother L goes to him when he wants a book read.  The nephews K and R now skype us to read out loud, fighting over who's turn it is to read.  I love that reading has become interactive for my boys.  I really feel that reading out loud to each other, especially when you have short people running around is such a great bonding experience, not to mention it has been proven to smarten up those wee brains.  I still have wonderful memories of being read out loud to by my parents and in turn reading to my younger siblings.  Now everybody go read to somebody.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Forty Two

Ha I am totally amassing a new TBR pile, except I'm gonna have to call this one my To Be Rambled pile.  I have finally caught up with my reading and am now ready for some rambling.  Um...hmmm...let's start with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.  This book is beloved by many people around the world, and especially by weirdo's like me.  I had not read it in a while and wanted to see how it stood up to the test of time.  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
Arthur Dent is having a really bad day.  His house has been zoned for demolition to make way for a highway bypass and he is not happy about it.  Arthur does what any reasonable homeowner would do and lays down in front of the bulldozer.  Meanwhile his friend Ford Prefect comes along and convinces Arthur to have a quick mid day drink with him.  What Arthur is soon to find out is that Ford is actually a very human looking alien who has been chilling on Earth to work on the new edition of the titular Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  Arthur finds all of this out when Ford informs him that the planet Earth is slated for destruction to make way for an intergalactic bypass.  The two hitch a ride on an unsuspecting Vogon ship...which is not really a pleasant place to be.  Ford pops a translation fish into Arthur's ear and the language of the galaxy is now accessible to him...just in time for him and Ford to be blown out of an airlock by a very shout happy Vogon.   Against all odds (two to the power of two hundred and seventy-six thousand, seven hundred and nine to one against to be exact.) the duo are picked up by an impossibly amazing ship called The Heart of Gold, which had been conveniently stolen by the galactic president Zaphod Beeblebrox of the two heads and three arms and his current girlfriend, the Earth girl Trillian.  Arthur and Ford are escorted by the depressed robot Marvin to the bridge and the four embark on a mission to find the lost planet of Magrathea, where an advanced race used to make custom planets for the insanely rich.  Upon arrival to the mysterious planet all kinds of craziness it does in these types of books and Arthur is separated from the group.  Eventually he finds out that his planet and people were actually custom made to be the ultimate computer in which trans-dimensional beings would use to find the question to the answer 42.  Unfortunately the planet Earth was blown up right before the computing was to be completed, bummer.  The beings (who appear to humans in the shape of mice) try to convince Arthur to donate his brain so that they don't have to start all over again.  Arthur understandably refuses and the four make their escape with the help of the eternally depressed Marvin.  The four hop back on their ship and head off into the universe for more adventures.
World Building - The book is set in various ships, planets and places through out the galaxy.  It is a bit sci fi, a bit humor, and a bit tongue-in-cheek.  Each environment is unique and painted clearly enough to give us some flavor without boring us with unending detail.  The little bits and pieces of the Guide interspersed through out the book also add to the world building of this book in a consistently humorous way.  The way the book is written, a completed world building is not needed as the humor is the over arching structure for the book.  It is just the right amount for the story.

Story - This book is less about the story and more about idea's and humor.  There is an overarching story line that gives the book a sort of beginning middle and end, but I think it is the overall flavor of the book that really shines.  It is silly, irreverent, meandering and just plain fun.  It is the type of story you want when you just want to relax and enjoy what you are reading with out too much effort.  It is a story of inside jokes and anybody who reads it and enjoys it is instantly admitted to a club where the members can have whole conversations just from various quotes from this book.

Characters - The characters in this book are super fun, and really pretty much every person, alien, ship, robot, computer and animal have some sort of distinct personality.  The various interactions, asides and outrageousness of them all are really what make this book so special.  I also really appreciate that as light hearted and chaotic as this book is, all of the main characters are remarkably consistent in their portrayal.

Editing - This book is all over the a good way.  The main story itself is pretty straight forward and simple, but it is the asides and sidetracks and interruptions that give this book it's humor and charm.  The chaos is intentional and well thought out.  I have read books that try and use this style and fail because they get to muddled, this book however worked well in that even with the craziness it still flowed pretty well.

The Guide - My favorite part of this book is the excerpts from the Guide through out the book.  It is fun to see the various descriptions, opinions and just plain weirdness that these little snippets provide.  Many times they relate directly to the story, giving us an extra bit of world building and info, but sometimes it's just random stuff for fun.

The Movie - There is a movie based on this book and I have to say I don't hate it.  It's not perfect, as a book to movie rarely is, but I thought they did a decent job.  What I liked best was the casting, I felt that each character was more or less cast fittingly.  I especially like Alan Rickman as the voice of Marvin and now every time I read the book I here his voice...I miss that guy.

The Camaraderie - This is one of those books that instantly makes you part of something.  It is a book that people read and love and quote and pretty much once you have read it you become a part of it.  I love that a book, especially a weird little book like this, can bring the most random of people together.  This just continues to prove the power of the written word and how people from all walks of life can read it and instantly bond over it, makes this little bookworm happy.

Overall Impression - This book is just fun.  That pretty much sums it up for me, it is a book I read when my brain needs a break and I just want to turn pages of a good book.  Oddly enough for as easy a read as it is, there are definitely some thought provoking ideas within the pages if that's what your in the mood for, so pretty much this book works all ways.  I would recommend this book to anybody with a sense of humor, likes writing with a twist, or just wants to be part of the club.  I give it 8 out of 10 Improbability Drives.

Happy Reading Everybody!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Hey Big Spender

Sooooo today is a bonus day off for me.  I don't get them often so guess what this bookworm be doing?
Yep, BOOK SHOPPING!!!!  'Cause I don't already have a 40 ft TBR pile already...oh well.
Happy Reading Everybody!