Top Ten Tuesday: Revisiting

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Today’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) asks us to reflect on those characters we’d like to visit again as an adult.  With the arrival of my daughter a few weeks ago, I’ve been reflecting on this question a bit lately as I ponder the books I want to read to her/have her read.

  1.  The Cat in the Hat — It’s been years since I’ve read these classics by Dr. Suess and I look forward to visiting them again.
  2. Hamilton Duck — One of my favorite books as a child.  My mom still has a copy for me to share with Shortcake when she’s old enough.
  3. Mr. Pine — From Mr. Pine’s Purple House
  4. The Quimby family — To say I loved the Ramona books growing up is an understatement.  I also give an honorable mention to the Henry Huggins.
  5. The Hatcher family — Judy Blume’s family that gave us Peter and Fudge.
  6. The Great Brain — I read these a lot as a child and I’m curious to see if they hold up and will interest Shortcake.
  7. Encyclopedia Brown — I can trace my love of mystery novels to these books.
  8. Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables.
  9. Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird — Yes, it’s a long ways off, but this is on my “must read” list for Shortcake.
  10. Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn — I’d love for her to read these before they’re required reading.

Of course, when it comes to pop culture, I definitely want her to meet The Doctor, Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise and Marty McFly and Doc Brown (just off the top of my head)

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Review: Better Get to Livin’ by Sally Kilpatrick

 ByBetter Get To Livin'The Happy Hour Choir made me a fan and Bittersweet Creek put Sally Kilpatrick on my “must read” list. With her third novel Better Get to Livin’, Kilpatrick has ensured that her books join the likes of Stephen King, Elizabeth George, Laura Lippman and Peter David on my list of “authors I will read their latest offering first no matter what other books are on the to-be-read pile.”

Presley Cline left her small hometown in Tennessee for the bright lights of Hollywood. But just as her fortunes are about to take a turn toward that goal, she’s caught up in a Hollywood scandal that has her not only embarrassed but headed home to try and hide out with her mother for a while. Those plans quickly go awry when her mother’s trailer is destroyed by a tornado and Presley and her mother take refuge at the local funeral home, run by Declan Anderson.

Like Presley, Declan has his own “big dreams in a small town.” He’s been holding down the fort on the family business for a couple of years now while his brother is off in Atlanta, going to school. The two had an understanding that once school was over, the brother would come back to town, take over the day-to-day funeral home operations and let Declan pursue his own dreams. Continue reading

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Audiobook Review: Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric by Ian Briggs

Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric: A 7th Doctor NovelisationSince the beginning of the Target audio book range, there have been a couple of the classic Doctor Who adaptations that I really wanted to see get the audio treatment. So imagine my delight when the range included several of those titles last year, including my all-time favorite Doctor Who serial and one of my favorite adaptations, “The Curse of Fenric.”

The Doctor and Ace arrive in World War II at classified naval base where one of the first computers is being used to break the German coded ciphers. But with the arrival of a group of Russians, it soon becomes clear that a bigger game is being played — one that the Doctor has known was coming ever since he met Ace.

To number the ways I love “Fenric” could take all the characters I have left in this review and it wouldn’t even crack the surface. While the storytelling in the late 80’s wasn’t quite as serialized as we see in many of the television series today, seasons 25 and 26 did insert a loose character arc for Ace. Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday: Humor

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“Humor, it is a difficult concept.”  
— Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Being funny on the printed page looks easy but is deceptively difficult.  Writers like Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams make it look so easy, when it reality it can be very, very difficult.  Just look at the myriad of people out there who have tried to  be funny like Pratchett and Adams are, but just don’t quite make it.

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) asks us to list some of our favorite funny books/authors.  Reading my introductory paragraph, odds are you can guess two.  Continue reading

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Welcome little girl

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Our daughter arrived at 5:18 am April 9.  She is 6 pounds and is 19″.

Her first day was a big one!!

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Review: Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay

Disappearance at Devil's RockThinking her fourteen year-old son Tommy is spending the night at one of his best friend’s house, Elizabeth Sanderson in disturbed to receive a phone call saying her son has gone missing. As the shock sets in, Elizabeth can’t help but feel that history is repeating itself. Tommy’s father vanished in the night years before. Could it be that her son has followed in his father’s footsteps?

The answers are far more compelling and interesting than that and they make this book one that was, at times, next to impossible to put down. Add in an element of the potential supernatural and you’ve got the another winner from Paul Tremblay — an author who after reading just two of his books has been put onto my “must read anything he writes list” and whom I eagerly seeking you his back catalog.

Paul Tremblay’s Disappearance at Devil’s Rock starts with a heck of hook and doesn’t let up until the final page is turned. The question of how well you really know your kids and your family haunts every page of the novel and drives much of this superlatively told, suspenseful mystery. Like his earlier haunting A Head Full of Ghosts this is one of those novels that defies categorization beyond “a really good book that everyone should read.” Continue reading

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Why Shouldn’t We Read What We Want?

Year ago, I worked with a young lady who seeing that I was reading the latest best-seller from a popular author noted that she only picked reading material from the “classics” section of the bookstore.

When I asked her why she did this, she replied that if it was a classic, it must be good and that she felt obligated to read it.

But are you enjoying them, I asked.

She told me that didn’t matter.  What mattered was she was making herself a better person by reading these books — even if she didn’t enjoy the experience.

As someone who loves reading, that statement depressed me a bit.  To feel like you were being forced to read from only an accepted list of classics — and not for the sheer pleasure of reading — made me a a bit sad.  It also made me feel a bit sorry for the limited scope of reading material that might be available to my friend. Continue reading

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