I participate each year in a 52 Books in 52 Weeks book challenge with a wonderful group of ladies via an online message board. Pretty much I view my books as my friends, I like to revisit them often, rarely straying out of my comfort zone reading of fantasy and Regency romance. Over the last few years that I have been participating in this challenge, I have stepped out of my comfort zone a few times and broadened my horizons. There are always way more books to read than I have time for.
This year myself and a few friends (in real life LOL) are going to start getting together each month to share what we've been reading. I'm really excited about this as Robin and I have been discussing doing this for a long time. I'm looking forward to our first get together in February!
January was a slow reading month for me! Getting ready for my scrapbook weekend with Cheryl took some time, as well as The Princess Bride becoming a longer read than I thought possible! Here's what I've finished, though, along with a short review.
As You Wish by Cary Elwes was a perfect book to start off the New Year! I was so excited that Dan bought it for me for Christmas. It was not only humorous but touching as well. I thought he wrote with a captivating voice. Robin said Greg just listened to it on audio, and it was read by Cary Elwes. I was thinking last night that I might just pick that up and listen to it again! He really did a great job of pulling you into the making of the movie, making you feel like you were there and that you were just one of the family. My favorite parts were Andre’s fart, Chris Guest, hitting Westley on the head (and sending Carey to the ER), and
sharing his "As You Wish" moment with his grandfather. I have a new
appreciation for some of the movie scenes, especially the two mentioned above.
I can say that the work that he and Mandy Patinkin did to prepare for the
duel at the top of the Cliffs of Insanity was unreal! That whole scene
was done by the two of them in its entirety (well, minus the acrobatic flips on
that bar). What an impressive feat! I can't wait until my family reads
this so we can talk about it, though I have to admit to not being able to keep
myself from sharing the part about Chris Guest knocking Cary out. I rarely read non-fiction, so
not only did I start my year with a non-fiction book, but I'm rating it EXCELLENT! A MUST READ! for any fan of The Princess Bride. Cary
Next, I read The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami. Murukami was the author of the month in my Book a Week group. I loved the typewriter font and felt the physical book itself was a great little package. However, it was a strange tale. I didn't find it terribly spooky or creepy, though, and I'm a wimp. When I finished it, I thought, "That's it!?!" Where was the rest of the story? Was I missing some profound meaning? Was the girl actually the boy’s beloved starling? I actually had a theory halfway through the book about what was going on but was not even close. After mulling it over for a day, I think that many short stories are abrupt, leaving questions unanswered. It doesn't make me want to read one of his chunksters (especially since I don't think they are PG), though I found his writing easy to read. I would hate to put that much time into a book that is 7x the size and still come out with that unsettled, unfinished feeling. I'm glad to say that I read a Murakami, even though it's a short one. INTERESTING but the absence of a concrete ending leaves it lacking for me!
I was excited to read The Princess Bride by William Goldman after finishing As You Wish. However, it took forever to read!! I don't know if I'm disappointed in the book or in the fact that it took such a long time! Days later I still had mixed feelings. While I enjoyed the actual story of The Princess Bride, I did not enjoy Goldman's narrator voice. No matter how many times I told myself that Goldman's interruptive narrations were fictional, I still found myself thinking they were real. Ugh. That was so annoying. I also found Buttercup a little vague and insipid. Robin Wright did a great job of giving her balance and spunk in the movie. I love princesses and fairy tales, and happily ever after, but some of the interactions between Buttercup and Westley were over the top. On a positive note, as far as the fairy tale part of it goes, it was a fun read. I liked getting the back story on Fezzig and Inigo. The Zoo of Death was an interesting, and intense, part that they left out of the movie. Although I'm glad I read it, the movie was far superior to the book! I would categorize this as an OK read but I’m not sure I would recommend it. Skip to the movie!
Per the recommendation of the Book a Week girls, I picked up and finished Neil Gaiman’s Fortunately, the Milk. It was cute. I think that Madi and Makenna will enjoy it as a read aloud. This was my third Gaiman. I read The Graveyard Book last year, and Stardust a few years ago. I can’t say that he is my favorite writer but I certainly applaud his unique stories and creativity! When you pick up one of his books, it’s like you know that you are not going to get a formulaic story. I appreciate that. In fact, The Graveyard Book still floats its way into my mind now and again. I think I may have liked it better than I thought. But back to the milk! I chuckled at the reference to the pink pony with a pale blue star. Obviously the author is familiar with the My Little Pony craze J And the image of the nice, handsome, misunderstood wumpire also gave a chuckle. All in all definitely a CUTE book that is a great read for the kids!
Sometimes I have a favorite quote or two from a book. This quote reminded me of Matt Smith's Doctor. I could see him saying this! Favorite quote: “We have spoons. Spoons are excellent. Sort of like forks, only not as stabby.”