I've been a book worm for pretty much my whole life. I've read many types of books over the course of my life, but currently the sorts of books I enjoy the most are fantasy and science-fiction. I particularly like it if these genre's are mixed with comedy like the style of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. I definitely can enjoy more serious fantasy and science-fiction though. I also enjoy vampire books, but not quite as much as I did when I was younger.

This blog is mainly for my book reviews, but I also post quotes and other random book related things. If you'd like to know more about the books I've read and am planning to read, I'm a member at several different book sites, and links to my profiles are listed under My Pages.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Review of The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett has lots of witty humor and hilarious imagery. It takes place right where The Colour of Magic left off and continues the adventures of Rincewind and Twoflower and this time the fate of the Disc is at stake. It was a very enjoyable read and made me laugh so many times. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys silly British humor.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

"The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp."

 ~Terry Pratchett, The Light Fantastic

But I can’t pick just one!

Monday, August 19, 2013

I feel like this all the time!

In addition to this I’m also thankful that I’m able to carry hundreds of books around in my bag.

Well I don’t actually have a bedtime, but there are so many nights I read much later than I should.

Thankfully I never watch reality shows, unless you count documentaries which in my opinion are the only “real” reality shows(and maybe the news, but that’s usually too depressing for me to watch).

I so wish this was true. Then my doctors would stop nagging me about exercising.

It's an addiction!

I definitely can't limit myself to just five favorite books.

I’ve heard some people can actually see what’s happening in books like movies in their heads. I’m so jealous of those people. I definitely hear a voice narrating in my head and sometimes separate character voices as well, but as for picturing what is happening in the book, it’s usually just still images that aren’t very vivid color-wise.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I know I have a real problem when I spend more time on book sites looking for more books to read than I actually spend reading.

I really need to follow this advice more, but sadly life often gets in the way.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Review of The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett is the first book in the Discworld series. This book details the adventures of Twoflower, the Disc's first tourist, and Rincewind, a failed wizard who acts as his guide, and lots of other humorous characters. This book is extremely funny, both in the events, and in the imagery used. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys British style humor.

Review of Strata by Terry Pratchett

Strata by Terry Pratchett was a quick but entertaining read. It's about a company that manufactures planets much like Magrathea from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The main character is contacted by a stranger who claims to have found a flat planet seeks to hire her to investigate this flat "discworld". She joins up with this stranger and other crew members on an expedition to explore this planet to try to determine how it was built and by whom.

It's been many years since I read this book so most of it was like reading it for the first time. There were some bits I remembered though and laughed at them just as much as I did the first time. I especially liked the ending. I don't recall if I was as surprised by the ending the first time I read the book since it was so long ago, but it really wasn't what I was expecting and I thought it was very clever.

On the whole I enjoyed it very much and would recommend it to fans of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. The disc planet in this book is not the same one that is featured in the Discworld series, but it gives you a glimpse into how Pratchett first came up with the concept of Discworld, so I like to consider it a sort of unofficial prequel to the series.

The only thing that bothered me about the book was that there were some parts where it felt like events weren't quite in order, especially towards the end. Eventually I figured out that this was due to flashbacks and it wasn't immediately clear that's what was happening as I was reading it. It's possible this is just due to the way my ebook is formatted, but I don't feel like digging out my paper copy to thumb through it and check.

Review of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell is an enjoyable albeit a challenging read. My first impression of the book is that I think I would have had a very hard time getting into it if I had not seen the movie first. This is mostly because the beginning of the book to be rather slow paced and because it took place in the 1800's the language was often hard to follow(many words the built in dictionary in my Kindle didn't even recognize). I think though that anyone who has had a lot of experience reading classic literature shouldn't have too much trouble with it. Ironically I had hoped that reading the book would help me understand the movie better, but in reality the fact that I had seen the movie helped me understand what was going on in the book better than I would have otherwise. If I had not seen the movie first, I believe I would have given up before I finished the first part. However since I knew what I had to look forward to, I pushed on and really enjoyed later parts of the book.

For those not familiar with the movie, Cloud Atlas is a series of interconnected stories that all take place during different time periods. Three stories take place in the past, one story takes place around the present, one story takes place in the future, and one story takes place far in the future after the fall of civilization. For those that have seen the movie I would say that much of the content is the same, but of course there are differences. One major difference is with the formatting. The stories in the book do not go back and forth nearly as much as they do in the movie. In the book you are presented with the first half of the first five stories, then the sixth story is told in full, then you have the second half of the first five stories told in reverse order. There is a reason it is done this way and I think it's a very interesting literary device. The only annoying thing is that once I got to the second half of each story I'd have to go back to the end of the first half and reread a few pages to remind myself where the story left off.

Overall I think I really enjoyed the book even though it was a challenge for me and I would say that my favorite parts of the book matched my favorite parts of the movie. I really enjoyed reading about the stories in greater detail than was shown in the movie and I thought that the themes of reincarnation and overthrowing oppression were just as strong in the book as they were in the movie. The only thing that disappointed me somewhat is that the endings of each story didn't seem to be as powerful as they were in the movie.

Review of Gaspar The Thief by David A. Lindsay

I decided to read Gaspar the Thief after I read the prequel Gaspar and the Fantastical Hats which I really enjoyed, but unfortunately I found it to be fairly disappointing. I guess the biggest problem was that the book really didn't read like a novel at all. It felt more like I was reading a series of short stories that only builds upon the one before it by mentioning some of the history here and there. Each story seemed to have a conclusion, but there didn't really feel like there was much of a conclusion to the book as a whole, probably due to the fact that there wasn't that much of a central plot. Another way to put it is that I felt like I was reading episodes of a TV series in which each chapter was an episode with a short "here's what happened last time" section at the beginning. BTW I was glad that there were chapters in this book, but some of them seemed entirely too long, especially towards the second half of the book. I guess technically they weren't really chapters at all though, just the start of the next short story.

It did dawn on me as I was coming closer to finishing the book that the style of writing used was very similar to Douglas Adams' in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which is one of my all time favorite books. In The Hitchhiker's Guide, Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect escape the Earth being blown up and then you read about the random adventures they have afterward. In Gaspar the Thief, Gaspar and his friends have to flee the city after Gaspar gets into some trouble and you read about all the random adventures they have. So if I think that the writing in this book is so similar to one of my favorite books then why didn't I like it that much? I think the main answer to that question is that Gaspar the Thief isn't nearly as funny as The Hitchhiker's Guide or even its own prequel which I rated 4 stars vs the 3 stars I rated this book. Though it does stand to reason that the prequel might be an improvement since it was written after the original book. Another factor is that there just didn't seem to be enough transition between the chapters which I think is why it felt more like a series of short stories rather than an actual novel.

I'm not really sure if I'd recommend this book or not. I suppose it might be a decent read if you are looking for a fantasy adventure book and aren't expecting more than occasional funny bits and don't mind that it reads more like a series of short stories rather than an actual novel. I think I might have enjoyed the book better if I'd known what to expect going into it. Then again if I'd known what to expect I might not have purchased the book at all since I was looking for something funny to read. If the author comes out with a sequel, then I might give it a chance considering how much I enjoyed the prequel.

Review of Gaspar And The Fantastical Hats by David A. Lindsay

Gaspar and the Fantastical Hats by David A. Lindsay is a short story prequel to Gaspar the Thief. I enjoyed the book for the most part. It was quite amusing in the typical British humor sort of way and the setting reminded me a lot of Terry Pratchett's Discworld(perhaps a little too much).

There were just a couple of things that irked me a bit. One was the lack of any chapters(the one thing that bugs me about most of Terry Pratchett's books). I suppose a short story that's only around 100 pages might not need chapters, but I prefer them as it provides a good stopping place. Then again I'm often forced to stop reading before I hit the end of a chapter anyway, especially if the chapters are long. The book did have separating symbols to indicate scene changes though, so that helped to make up for the lack of chapters.

The other thing that bugged me was the use of a D&D term without explaining what it meant(this was done in Gaspar the Thief as well). After googling it, the term did make sense in context, but I feel like the author shouldn't have expected people to know what it meant when it wasn't a book set in a D&D universe(as far as I know).

Overall it was a fun read and I liked it enough to try Gaspar the Thief afterward.

Review of Blood Canticle by Anne Rice

Blood Canticle by Anne Rice is the last book in her Vampire Chronicles series. It picks up right where Blackwood Farm left off but this book is narrated by Lestat rather than Quinn Blackwood. I thought the first chapter of the book was absolutely hilarious and it was worth reading just for that. There were some parts of the books that kind of dragged on a bit and I didn't feel like they added much to the story, but things definitely picked up again three quarters of the way through the book. This book also continues the story from the end of the Mayfair Witches trilogy so it was nice to find out what happened with the Taltos after that.

Review of Blackwood Farm by Anne Rice

Blackwood Farm by Anne Rice is the 9th book in her Vampire Chronicles series. This book has characters from the Mayfair Witches trilogy so it might be helpful to read those books first(plus Merrick), but it isn't strictly necessary. In the style of many of her books most of the story is the main character recounting their history and past events leading up to whatever is going on in the present. I found some of the history to be a bit tedious to get through, such as going over family genealogy, but the book got better once I got past this part. I enjoyed the book overall and gave it 4 stars.

Review of Blood and Gold by Anne Rice

Blood and Gold by Anne Rice is part of her Vampire Chronicles series. The majority of the book is just recounting the events of the life of the vampire Marius. I found a lot of the book to be repetitive. Many of the events described were things that were told of in previous books in the series, though I suppose it was somewhat different being told from a different viewpoint. Still I found it somewhat tedious to be rereading the same stories again. There were new stories in the book from Marius' life that did keep me interested, but I felt like way too much time was spent on stuff that had been gone over in previous books. While the new material was interesting/entertaining to read about, I'm not really sure it added much to the series and it felt a bit superfluous to me. I ended up rating the book with three stars, and I'd probably only recommend it to those who are big fans of Anne Rice's vampire books and really like the characters of Marius, Armand, and Pandora.

Review of Merrick by Anne Rice

I really enjoyed Merrick. It's part of the Vampire Chronicles series and it focuses on the history between David Talbot and a witch named Merrick. The history is all background story of course in the fashion that Anne Rice often does in her books, but the main plot of the story is that Louis wants to contact Claudia's ghost and David gets in touch with the witch Merrick to request that she use her magic to do this. Personally I found the background story more interesting than the actual main plot. This book does involve the Mayfair witches so if you have any interest in reading the trilogy about the Mayfair witches, you should probably read them before you read this book.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Review of Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips is about Greek gods/goddesses living in modern London and all the antics they get up to. It wasn't as funny as I expected it to be, but it had its moments and I enjoyed reading it.

Review of Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw

Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw is a very silly fantasy book that reminds me of Terry Pratchett's Discworld in some ways except that it takes place inside of an MMORPG. The NPCs in the game become self aware and the main characters set out to find out what is going on when they observe outside forces doing strange things to their world. I really enjoyed this book and I encourage anyone who enjoys British humor to give it a read.

Review of Year Zero by Rob Reid

Year Zero is a very funny book and I absolutely loved it. This book makes fun of the music industry and copyright laws. The basic premise is that the rest of the universe is obsessed with Earth music, but before they became familiar with Earth laws they had already pirated so much Earth music that the universe owed all of its collective wealth to Earth in fines.

I gave this book five stars and would recommend it to anyone who likes humor/satire mixed in with their fantasy and sci-fi. Fans of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series will really be able to appreciate the author's use of humorous footnotes throughout the story.

Review of The Road to Mars: A Post-Modem Novel by Eric Idle

The Road to Mars by Monty Python's Eric Idle is a comedic sci-fi book similar in style to the Hitchhiker's Guide books which is about two comedians trying to travel to Mars to make it big and their robot who is continually studying their work to find out if it's possible for machines to learn and understand comedy. It's a very funny book and I definitely recommend it.

Review of Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams & Mark Carwardine

Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine isn't sci-fi or fantasy. In fact it isn't even fiction, but since I've been on a Douglas Adams kick lately I decided I wanted to give this book a chance. The book basically details the travels of Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine around the planet to visit/research endangered species. It makes for a very good story and it is quite educational and humorous. I think anyone who is a Douglas Adams fan would enjoy reading about his real life adventures.

Review of Douglas Adams's Starship Titanic by Terry Jones

Starship Titanic is a sort of spin off of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. It was a collaboration done between Douglas Adams and Terry Jones of Monty Python. Douglas Adams did the computer game and Terry Jones wrote the novel. It's not the first time I've read this book, but I found it just as enjoyable this time around as from previous reads. I think it keeps very much in line with the style of the Hitchhiker's Guide books and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the series.

Review of And Another Thing... by Eoin Colfer

For those that don't know, And Another Thing... is the 6th book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series that was written after the death of Douglas Adams.

At first I was a little put off reading it because it felt as if I was reading fan fiction(which I suppose it technically is) due to the style not quite meshing with that of the original books. It also felt like it was written for a younger audience which I guess is somewhat understandable given that the author has mostly written books for young adults. There were a few other minor things that annoyed me such as the use of abbreviations and nicknames that were never used in the original books. An example of this is that pan galactic gargle blasters were often shortened to just gargle blasters.

However, the book seemed to get much better after the third chapter as far as style and reading level goes and the annoying abbreviations/nicknames were also much reduced in frequency. So I'd say that overall I rather enjoyed the book and gave it a 4 star rating, though I was quite disappointed that Marvin did not make an appearance in this story.

I would definitely recommend this book to those that are fans of the original five books especially since this one has a much less bleak ending than Mostly Harmless. As a side note, I am glad I decided to read The Salmon of Doubt before I read this book as it helped me to get a joke made regarding something that happened in the childhood of Douglas Adams. It's a rather minor thing though and it is by no means necessary to read The Salmon of Doubt before And Another Thing...

Review of The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time by Douglas Adams

There were some parts of the Salmon of Doubt that I found interesting, funny, and enjoyable, but on the whole I found the book rather tedious to get through. I'd still recommend it though to any Douglas Adams fans.

Review of Pandora by Anne Rice

I quite enjoyed reading this book. One thing I should note though is that this book really should be read before The Vampire Armand for reasons of continuity.