Meredith's Challenge 2.0

52 books, one year. Stay tuned for more details.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Can you handle the cuteness?

Drum roll please.... Introducing Orion, the Wonder Rabbit.

Give me all your carrots, or else!

Want another?

We found this cutie-pie here. He gets whatever he wants. I'm a sucker for a cute face.

#42 Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire

See here for my theory on pretty much all of Maguire's novels, beacuse at this point, I have read all but one. Miss S keeps giving them to me to read and I can't help myself. No mas, S, no mas. I'm done.

Wicked could have been a brilliant book. It wasn't. Son is like all the bad parts of Wicked thrown together and the "surprise" ending isn't really a surprise for anyone, besides Liir, the main character. That's it in a nutshell.

Stuff happens, talking Birds (not a typo), mysterious pregnancies and a half Elephant(also, not a typo)-human princess. Um, yes. As for what happens with all of the (almost) political upheaval that occurs throughout the book? Totally dropped. Not important anymore. Sorry you just spent almost all of this book reading about and trying to keep straight. Sucks to be you. Maguire really needs to learn to either not place a huge emphasis on a plot line that goes nowhere, or not include it at all. Crikey.

Coming soon, hopefully tonight, a picture of my gorgeous-sis new 'do and, I really mean it this time, the cutest bunny in the world. Can you handle it? I thought not.

****Upon re-reading this post, I realized how horribly disjointed it is. Eh, it's almost lunch and gurgle, gurgle, gurgle, I need to leave the office before my brain turns into a pile of mush.****

Monday, November 21, 2005

#41 Book the Twelfth: The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket

I love the crazy narration style of Snicket (which I hope you realize is a pen name for Daniel Handler, and not someone's given name), the strange asides he makes, the glimpses into his mysterious identity, the laugh-out-loud definitions he gives for the readers who may not know the "big" words he uses. My sister thinks that it's condescending but I think that it's just part of the bizarre charm of the series. And it is charming, despite my lackluster review, albeit, in a very bizarre fashion.

It had been a while since I read Grim Grotto, so I was a bit lost in the beginning as twelve picks up right after eleven. Book the Twelfth is not nearly as clever as its previous brethren. I felt like Peril didn't further the series's plot, and because it was missing out on that certain Snicket je nais sais quois, seemed longer than it was, which is the longest book in the series yet. While I thought that the series would never end, I was wrong and this really is the penultimate. I wonder if the Baudelaires will ever meet up with the Quigleys, if they'll ever be safe from Olaf, if Poe will ever stop coughing...

Here is a great example of why Snicket is so near and dear to me. The back story behind this quote is the Baudelaires are given blindfolds before their trial because "Justice is blind." They question this logic. just so you know, Sunny is less than two years old. This is the conversation that follows:

"The verdict of the high court was to take the expression literally," said the manager, so everyone except the judges must cover their eyes..."

"Scalia," Sunny said. She meant something like, "It doesn't seem like the literal interpretation makes any sense," but her siblings did not think it wise to translate.

Soon to come: the next nine books, goddess willing, but more importantly, pictures of the cutest rabbit in the whole world taken with my brand-spanking new digital camera.

Have a fantastic holiday everyone. Eat lots of yummy things.

Friday, November 18, 2005

13! (Updated: 14!)

Enough with the murder and mayhem, eh?

What's your LQ? I'm at 13 (nope, 14) and feeling ig'nant because I haven't heard of two of the awards and a good amount of the books. Let me know how y'all fared.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

#40 Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness in the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson

I hear that sleep is nice. So is not dreaming about long-dead serial killers who get off on torturing their unknown but very large number of victims and then dissecting them and selling their skeletons. I also am under the impression that wandering around your house in a state of disgust, fear and more disgust is not desirable. I did figure out though why I was feeling so crappy last night; it wasn't that difficult really.

Yuck, yuck and more yuck. Not only was this book oddly split and strangely narrated, the conceit didn't work. I liked reading about the World's Fair and all the new! and exciting! inventions that came from it (shredded wheat, Ferris wheels, and pancake mix, oh my!), however, for obvious reasons, I never needed to find out how Jack the Ripper arranged one of his victims or how one can gas small children locked in a trunk. Maybe, I'm being naive, but I feel like there is all ready so much hate, anger and violence in the world, I don't need to know all about it to understand that it exists. This is the same reason why I refuse to watch or read any scene that has a graphic assault, except those that are "educational" (for instance, yes, I saw Boys Don't Cry and read Lovely Bones. No way in hell am I ever going to see either of the Kill Bills.)

This novel really felt like two books mushed together for no apparent reason. It seemed like the serial killer story was added to spice up the Fair aspect, which a) it didn't and b) is a cheap (and repugnant) trick. I think that the Fair story could have stood on it's own. I am in the minority though. Devil got loads of great reviews. Some people like to know all the gorey details (on the Amazon page, someone complained about there not being enough photos, good lord like I need something else to picture when I about to go to sleep), obviously, I am not one of them

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

#39 At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill

I took a Modern Irish Lit class a few years ago and I really liked it. My final paper was about the history of queer identity in Ireland and if I read this book then, it would have fit in very well. I also could have asked my very Irish professor for help with the history. True story, one of the funniest things I've ever heard was this professor, who had a bit of a brogue talk to his wife in Italian. Also trilingual? Damn, I'm really behind. This took the author 10 years to write and won numerous awards, which is why I read it of course.

I think that I'm too ignorant about Irish history to appreciate this novel. I liked the relationship between Doyler and Jim but the historical aspect went right over my head. It takes place right before and during the Irish Easter Revolt in 1916, which holy crap, sounded like a bloody mess. Even though I didn't really get into the story until the end, there were tears anyway. Just a few though, because the boy was in the room and one must keep her womanly secrets, no? (i.e. I'm a big softy and will cry at a drop of a hat, not really secret for anyone who's seen a movie with me).

So, Meredith is a cry-baby, doesn't know enough about world history and will probably not reach her goal of 50 books this year (sob!). I am in the middle of Devil in the White City, and I get the feeling that I'm going to wish that I could un-read it by the end. I think no more bed time sessions with that one, otherwise I may never go to sleep, again, ever.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Slowly but surely....

Hi. Still alive. Maybe. I very foolishly started two big books at once. One is about a boy growing up gay in Ireland which is good but hard because Irish people use a lot of words I don't know and the other is about a grad student studying an 18th century poet. Why am I reading this book? I don't like 18th century poetry or literature studies at a grad student level or, um, cold weather(?). Because it was on a list! And I must read every single book that was on a list ever! Which is going to take a long time and will be mostly unsatisfying. I need to hurry the heck up because it is November and I have 12 more books until I hit my goal. My present to myself if I do complete this madness is this >>>>
In other news, I will post a picture of my Halloween garb as soon as someone (you know who you are) sends me a photo of it. It was super fantastic and I am very sad that I cannot go around all day like that. Also, my dear friend N is newly betrothed and I am so ridiculously happy for her and her beau. Congratulations cuties!
Eventually this site will be about books again. Thank you for your patience.