Saturday, July 09, 2011

Mr. T and Me: The Somebody Kid

Yup, that’s right, I read Mr. T and Me: The Somebody Kid Yup, a Mr. T book. It’s a children’s book. Yup, a children’s book. It only took me about five minutes to read. It was hilarious, the way the children spoke, Mr. T’s dialect and the moral at the end. It was difficult to take seriously. A kid wants to be somebody, ie: he wants to get attention. He does only negative things and ends up getting negative attention. In the end, the moral is obvious; Mr. T corrects the kid’s negative behaviour and then tells everyone, including the troublemaker, that they’re somebody. I didn’t see the God bit coming at the end though and that through me off a bit.

The Somebody Kid was funny in its simplicity and language, but I doubt that I’ll ever read it to my kids… at least, not until they are older, learn who Mr. T is and can enjoy its silliness with me.

[This is a pre-scheduled post.  I figure that I'll have a newborn by now.]

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Dead Reckoning

Minor Spoilers. I don’t think I really give anything away, but just in case…

Dead Reckoning is the latest (eleventh!) book in the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. Originally, this series was called The Southern Vampire Mysteries and when I reviewed each installment, even though it had become common to call them the Sookie Stackhouse series, I kept to the first series title. Today I don’t really want to. Where was the mystery in this installment? In previous books, though there are several different storylines, the main mystery has been something like, “Who killed Lafayette?”, “Who’s shooting shifters?” or “Where is Jason?”. I thought the mystery of Dead Reckoning was going to be “Who attacked Merlotte’s?” but that was discovered pretty quickly.

The book also wasn’t sexy enough. I know that’s not a complaint I often have about books, but this is Sookie Stackhouse. They’re the basis of the HBO series True Blood. There’s a reason the show is the way it is. This book lacked that sex appeal that the previous books had. It’s an aspect of the series I’ve come to expect. With the lack of mystery, the lack of sexiness was even more apparent

Dead Reckoning was all about enemies. There were past enemies, present enemies and dead enemies all causing problems for Sookie. Some were minor, some were major, in a terribly deadly way. Sookie spent the novel trying to figure out how to get rid of her enemies. There was a lot of death, gruesome bloody death, that was telling of how Sookie’s character has changed since way back when she dated Bill Compton.

One thing I did like is that we get to learn more about Sookie’s family history and where her telepathic gift/curse came from. We learn about her fairy heritage in some major ways. I also really liked the evolution of Dermot as a character. Though a fairy, I think he has the potential to be one of Sookie’s closest friends.

There were so many loose end at the end of this novel; Harris listed them all at the end. Sookie has to figure out a lot of different things. There were loose ends at the end of Dead In The Family that other readers complained about, but I didn’t mind the ending. I thought it was fine. It wasn’t a complete story the way some of the previous books had been, but I liked the ending. That’s not what I found at the end of Dead Reckoning. It ended with a checklist.

Though probably least favourite of the series, I still enjoyed Dead Reckoning. It gave me what I was in the mood for, supernatural mayhem. It took me only four days to read. There was a lot of action and adventure. The book was never boring. There is no way that a tangle of loose ends is going to put me off of this series. I’m itching to know what happens next to Sookie and the people in her life.

Other Reviews:
The Phantom Paragrapher  
All The Books I Can Read

If you have a review and would like me to add it, please leave a comment below.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Doing What You Believe In

This week, the Broke and The Bookish want to know who our Top Ten Rebels In Literature are. They can be characters or authors. So, like my Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Book Blogger/A Bookish Person post, I’ve split this into two sections. They aren’t five and five like the last one, but I think they’re all great rebels, characters and authors. The list also isn’t as detailed as I normally make it, but hopefully the links answer anyone’s questions as to why I picked these particular people.

1. Gale & Katniss from The Hunger Games trilogy (for different reasons).
2. Drizzt from The Legend of Drizzt series.
3. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice / Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
4. Laila & Mariam from A Thousand Splendid Suns.
5. Elphaba from Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.
6. Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series.
7. Horton from Horton Hears A Who!

8. Salman Rushdie: Bounty on his life.
9. Margaret Atwood: Oh no! A Feminist!
10. The Romantics: Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, etc.

Hope you liked the list. Who are your favourite rebels?

Also, I hope I’m having a baby today. I’m more than ready. Ugh.

Monday, July 04, 2011

The Ballad of the Great Yukon Puke On, by noodleepoodlee

That’s right, the author of this “short story” is noodleepoodlee. noodleepoodlee runs a blog, a political [satire] American blog from what I gather. On it she (I think it’s a she, forgive me if I’m wrong) has posted this fictional account of an ousted Sarah Palin campaign worker. I was led to this story by a blogger friend, Ahab. I read his comments on the story and thought it would be an interesting read and an interesting addition to Short Story Monday. The title also has “Yukon” in it, so that was another reason I had to give it a try.

It was an entertaining story as Hobo Joe tells us about his fall from grace; his fall from the inner circle of Sarah Palin. It was definitely funny. Hobo Joe was so easily influenced by the people he met, he was bound to do something dumb eventually anyway. He does realize how he came to be in his present situation. Joe isn’t someone who wonders how these things happened to him. He knows how they happened. In all this craziness, I feel as though Joe also accepts responsibility for his past and present actions. If you want a fun story that makes fun of Sarah Palin and American politics, read The Ballad of the Great Yukon Puke On.

Thanks to John at the Book Mine Set for hosting Short Story Monday.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (3D)

My hubby and I went to see Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 3D this past weekend. (I’m still pregnant, so I’m trying to get in some fun stuff while I can.) If you’re going to see the third Transformers movie, see it in 3D, I think it’s worth the extra few dollars. Michael Bay really made an effort to shoot angles that would be enhanced by 3D. I don’t think this will give too much away, but there is a scene that is essentially shot down the side of a gun. It’s as if the viewer is the one holding the weapon. There are scenes where the characters are swinging around, fighting, things blowing up, all made more interesting (in my opinion) by the 3D effects.

Now for the actually story: Transformers: Dark of the Moon was miles better than the second Transformers movie. In fact, if we could just skip the second one all together and go straight from the first to the third, I think we would. I think the first one was better, but Dark of the Moon is a decent follow-up. I actually thought the plot was interesting. It wasn’t just the Autobots fighting the Decepticons with their human allies, but we discover that the Decepticons have human allies too. So it’s not only giant robots fighting, but good and bad people fighting each other.

I think Sam could have grown more as a person, become more mature. However, I like the return to the comic relief of the first movie. I like the change in Epps. He still works with the Autobots, but he’s tired of getting shot at all the time. I like Lennox too, but what happened to his wife and daughter? They were an important part of his character’s personality in the first movie, but now they’ve disappeared. I also want to add that I love Dutch.

I’m going to geek-out a little, but hopefully not give too much away. I love the actor who did Sentinel Prime. I was surprised and delighted when I realized who it was. I actually think my favourite part of the movie is when he says his famous line… It was so cool. If you know who it is and want to leave a comment and be geek with me, that’s great. Doesn’t Sentinal Prime even look like him?

Transformers: Dark of the Moon isn’t ground-breaking or thought-provoking. It’s a good action movie that makes up for past mistakes. It’s exciting, though about 30 minutes too long. I had fun watching it and I’m glad I got to see it in 3D.

Okay, time for my non-movie related complaint. This is a people complaint that I know I’ve mentioned before. Please, can parents take better care of what they’re showing their children? There was a little boy in the row in front of me that had to be around 6 and that’s too young for this movie. It’s violent. People die. There’s human and robot blood. People disintegrate. There’s a skull practically thrown in your face. Why are you bringing your young child to the theatre, who sounds uncomfortable when he whispers to you? Again, I’m just asking parents, do not take your kid to see a movie just because you either, a) can’t find a babysitter, or b) they ask you to see the movie. You’re the parent. Please make the responsible decision. Thanks.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Do I Say That?

A few weeks ago, I saw this list over at This Week At The Library and wondered if I was guilty of using these stock phrases. smellincoffee highlighted the phrases he’s guilty of using. The original list is from and the list below was copied by This Week At The Library from their site, including the examples given and I’m passing it along. My comments are in blue.
1. Gripping
2. Poignant: if anything at all sad happens in the book, it will be described as poignant
3. Compelling  I think I use this word. Do I? Have you seen it?
4. Nuanced: in reviewerspeak, this means, "The writing in the book is really great. I just can't come up with the specific words to explain why."
5. Lyrical: see definition of nuanced, above.
6. Tour de force
7. Readable  I must have said this at some point.
8. Haunting  I’ve said that I’ve been haunted by a book, does that count?
9. Deceptively simple: as in, "deceptively simple prose"  I don’t think I would ever say this.
10. Rollicking: a favorite for reviewers when writing about comedy/adventure books
11. Fully realized
12. At once: as in, "Michael Connelly's The Brass Verdict is at once a compelling mystery and a gripping thriller." See, I just used three of the most annoying clichés without any visible effort. Piece of cake.
13. Timely
14. " X meets X meets X": as in, "Stephen King meets Charles Dickens meets Agatha Christie in this haunting yet rollicking mystery."
15. Page-turner
16. Sweeping: almost exclusively reserved for books with more than 300 pages
17. That said: as in, "Stephenie Meyer couldn't identify quality writing with a compass and a trained guide; that said, Twilight is a harmless read."  I don’t think I’ve used that exact phrase, but I think I’ve said something similar.
18. Riveting
19. Unflinching: used to describe books that have any number of unpleasant occurences -- rape, war, infidelity, death of a child, etc.
20. Powerful  I think I’ve used it too. Sometimes there isn’t another word for it, right?

Thankfully, I don’t think I used a lot of these words. Unless I just don’t notice. Do I use them? Do you find yourself using some of these common phrases?