November 16, 2015

Recent Reads

130. The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances
I gather that the Oatmeal has a Web presence, but he is not someone I knew anything about before picking up this book.

This graphic novel elaborates on the title of the book, and is a fun quick read. If you are looking for a serious running book look elsewhere, but if you think running might be for you, this book has some motivational tips with a fun digression on Japanese giant hornets. Rating: 3 stars.

131. El Deafo
The author lost her hearing when she was young, and this graphic novel memoir is about how she dealt with that loss, and how she negotiated starting a new school with a huge hearing aid strapped to her chest.

This book is targeted at the 8-12 year old reader, and gently explores themes of friendship, being different, and learning to appreciate who you are. The art is cute and colorful, and I liked the stylistic use of large bunny ears to underscore the importance of hearing, or lack there, of to this story.

This is a fun and quick read of this period of the author's younger years, and would be good book for the young readers in your life. Rating: 3 stars.

132. Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops
This book could best be described as "a miscellany of hilarious and peculiar bookshop moments."

You know how when you are sitting in a cafe sipping your drink and pretending to read a magazine, but what you're really doing is eavesdropping on conversations around you? Oh, you don't do that? Sure. Right. Whatever. Anyways, this book is like that. A collections of snippets of conversations in a book shop, between a customer and a book seller, or between customers. 

Some snippets made me laugh out loud, some made me smile, some had me shaking my head, and a couple I'm not sure I really understood. This book will take you about forty minutes to read, and I'd suggest it as ideal reading material for your next dental appointment or while waiting for a flu shot. Rating: 3 stars.

133. The Dragonet Prophecy (Wings of Fire #1)
"It is seriously so good! You have to read it before you die!" So declared my 10 year old nephew, Jonah. How can one resist such a recommendation? 

This is the first book (of eight) in the Wings of Fire series, and it's a story about dragons. There is a dragon war, lots of bad things happening, but there are these five young dragonets who are destined to save the day. Or are they?

This book starts with a map of the land, which is of course shaped like a dragon. Then there is a list of the types of dragons, their habitats and such, complete with drawings. And it all starts out with a prophecy. What's not to like?

There is nothing special about the writing, though the plot is quite fast paced with lots of intrigue and murder, and I can see why my nephew loves this series. The story explores themes of family, loyalty, friendship, courage, and teamwork, and is a rollicking fun ride.

I enjoyed this well enough, and look forward to discussing it with Jonah, but do not plan on continuing with the series. Though, don't take my word for it - many adults seems to love this series as much as my nephew. Rating: 3 stars.

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