Friday, February 22, 2013

February Book Club -- Wyrd Sisters

Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6)Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett
My enjoyment rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source:  Personal copy
Genre:  Science Fiction; Fantasy
Objectionable material:  Not a single thing.

Double, double toil and trouble
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble. Macbeth Act 4, Scene 1

When Duke Felmet kills King Verence and names himself the new King of Lancre, Verence's ghost haunts the castle and his young son is smuggled out of the kingdom and taken to a coven of three witches for protection. These witches bestow three gifts upon the baby and place him with the owner of an acting troupe. The new king is an evil one, and the entire kingdom (animal, vegetable, and mineral) expresses its displeasure. How could the witches possibly refrain from using their magic skills to meddle in royal politics, place the rightful heir on the throne, and set things right?

This was my first foray into Discworld and the writings of Terry Pratchett. All I can say is – what took me so long!

Every character is uniquely hilarious:
• The three witches – Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick – can ride circles around the kingdom and lead wayward kings back home to their kingdom.
• Fool – aide to the current King – but not as foolish as the royal couple might think.
• Tomjon – an actor by trade, but a noble by birth, he’d much rather be on stage than on a throne.
• Hwel (Will?) – playwright extraordinaire, with a passing familiarity to the Bard.
• Death – he’s always there, waiting.

The story is a clever lampoon of Shakespeare from the opening scene onwards. It's a fast-paced romp through a parody of scenes, themes, and lines from Macbeth, Hamlet, Richard III and many more. Pratchett also throws in references to Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty (not to mention others I have probably missed). Not only is it a spoof of Shakespeare – but also a mash up of Shakespeare in Love, The Princess Bride and Monty Python.

I haven’t howled reading a book in a very long time. Dare I say, I was bewitched?

It was wickedly funny.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Mother Daughter Book Club -- Cinder

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)Cinder by Marissa Meyer
My enjoyment rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
February Mother Daughter Book Club choice
Source:  Personal Copy
Genre:  YA; Dystopian (12 and up)
Objectionable material:  mild violence; use of guns

Remember Jaime Sommers? The Bionic Woman? One day, happily dating Steve Austin, on the way to being married, when she is tragically hurled to earth in a catastrophic sky diving accident. When she awakens from her injuries and surgery – she has been repaired: new ears, new arm, new legs – bigger, better, stronger.

That’s how I envisioned Cinder, Marissa Meyer’s spunky heroine, in her dystopian mashup of the fairy tale Cinderella: Cinder, hurled to earth to be saved from the Lunar people, rebuilt with mechanical parts that make her a Cyborg (was Jaime really a cyborg afterall?), trying to save her planet and her Emperor (who also happens to be super cute).

Surprisingly – I liked this.

Cinder was an easy character to embrace: she was dogged by her stepmother and step sister, bullied by the mainstream humans – but yet, she was able to rebuild robots, droids and cars, flirt with the hottie Prince, had an awesome sidekick, Iko, and was able to withstand the evil Queen Levana. She was one tough cookie.

I knew going into this that it was a series (Scarlet #2 in the Lunar Chronicles) – so the ending wasn’t really and ending. Which rots. I’m not sure I’m that invested in Cinder to read the remaining to see what happens…but I would like to know how it ends. Oh well.

This was our Mother/Daughter book club choice for February.

We haven’t met yet – and normally I wait and post my thoughts until I get feedback from the girls. But, there is a significant chance we won’t be there on Tuesday.

Daisy daughter still hasn’t finished this. It’s totally NOT in her literary comfort zone (not a single cupcake was baked). We shall see.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Book Review -- The Secret Keeper

The Secret KeeperThe Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
My enjoyment rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source:  Copy provided by publisher (I was not compensated in any way for my review)
Genre:  Literary Fiction; Historical Fiction
Objectionable material:  None! (So refreshing!)

What do your children know about your past?

Your work experience? Your pastimes? Who you dated?

Your secrets before you were their mom?

In Kate Morton’s, The Secret Keeper, we delve intimately into those questions and the mysteries that surround Dorothy Smithson Nicolson, who on a beautiful summer’s day murdered a stranger who visited at her English countryside home. What Dorothy doesn't realize was that her teenage daughter, Laurel, was the only witness to Dorothy’s actions. Now 50 years later, as Dorothy’s health declines and her memories become random comments voiced to her children, Laurel is determined to find out more about her mother’s past, her family, and ultimately, why she made such a fateful decision that day.

No mincing words – I loved this book!

In vintage Kate Morton fashion, she weaves a story using mothers and daughters, past and present, mystery and secrets, to create an epic WWII historical drama that kept me reading every waking moment.

It’s impossible to even try to talk about the story line, without the risk of unveiling any of Ms. Morton’s literary twists – but for a week, I was oblivious to anything 21st century.

Truth be told…I loved this MORE than The Forgotten Garden.

View all my reviews