Category Archives: Book Reviews

Books

Just wanted to blog about a few books I have read recently.

A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck: This is a re-read for me. I love this book. It written simply, but it is extremely funny. It is about a brother and a sister who spend one week every summer with their Grandma. Each chapter is one week/summer, and each one is a mini story that could just stand on its own. The grandma is my favorite part. She is exactly who I want to be when I am old, one of those crazy, do anything, dry humor grandmas. If you haven’t read it yet, you should. It is a super quick read and there is also a sequel. Here are some of my favorite quotes that will give you a taste of the story:

“Are my all my memmories true? Every word, and growing truer with the years.”

” Never trust an ugly woman. She’s got a grudge against the world,”

“She said she never slept, but she had to wake herself up to go to bed.”

“She was by many years the oldest person we’d ever seen up till then. Bald as an egg, but she needed a shave. And not a tooth in her head.”

“If I could pop all the corns on my toes,” she said, ” I could feed a famine.”

“Kissen’ don’t last. Good cookin’ does.”

“When cupid sends his arrow home, I hope it Mrs. you.”

Queen of the Road by Doreen Orion: This was a funny book for me. I really enjoyed it, and I didn’t all at the same time. This book is about a husband and wife who close up their house and put their jobs on hold to go on a year long trip around the US in a converted bus. It took me about halfway through the book to realize it was a true travel log, and that the Doreen in the book is Doreen the author.

What I didn’t like: It gets a a little dry and boring and the author repeats a lot of stuff especially at the beginning. She also talks about how she is a fashion queen and all this stuff, and I just don’t get that from her at all. She is also one of those people who call her pets her kids…instead of having actual kids. Pets aren’t kids, they are pets. Doreen is also extremely lazy. She works from home, in her PJ’s, never goes outside, makes her husband clean and cook and do everything else. Okay maybe I am just jealous.

What I loved: When she would talk about her husband and his “project nerd”. Pretty much anytime he was fixing anything she called it his “project nerd”. I also love how she would throw in historical stories about the places they visited. In the back of the book she even categorizes the places they went through, just in case you want to stop by. Also, the food they ate made me so hungry, I loved the food descriptions. This book made me want to travel the US like they did, sounded so fun!

Austenland by Shannon Hale: I heard not so good things about this book, but I really enjoyed it. It is about a woman who goes to England for a three week Jane Austen “experience”. She is required to live just like Jane Austen characeters would have lived. There are other people like her there, but their are also actors to fill in, but you don’t know who is who. It was a little crazy at the end, but other then that I thought it was funny and entertaining. If you like Jane Austin, you will probably really enjoy it (plus it is Shannon Hale: Goose girl, Princess Academy)

And of course I have to throw in some of these:

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Just Finished

The Host. This is the new book by Stephenie Meyer. I did enjoy this book, just not as much as the Twilight series. It was really hard to get into. I wasn’t sure where the story was headed, and it was a little boring. But then, it took a turn I did not expect and I was pleasantly surprised. The rest of the book was very enjoyable. I think Meyer does an excellent job of creating story lines and characters that you can really involve yourself in.

Near the end, I started skipping paragraphs because things got a little repetitive, and I was thinking ” Yah, I get it, move on”. Also the end “shocker” was totally predictable. What I liked most was that I was expecting the worse in certain situations, and in the book as a whole, but then I was relieved to know that nothing super terrible happens. I always enjoy movies and books like that.

Overall, I liked it. When I first finished I though, “well, it was okay, and I probably won’t read it again”. However, hours later, I decided I did like it and I will read it again. I guess I have been thinking about it a lot today. (Also, I think I was in a grumpy mood when I finished it).

So, I am already to meet Stephenie Meyer tomorrow night! I am pretty excited to have my books signed, but not excited to wait in line…

The Mysterious Benedict Society

I just finished a great book called The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. It was recommended to me by a friend, and I am so glad I picked it up.  Here is a brief synopsis: Reynie Muldoon is a gifted child who lives in an orphanage.  He is not neglected, just lonely with only his wonderful tutor offering him conversation.  When the two of them discover an ad in a newspaper looking for gifted children, Reynie jumps at the chance to be tested.  This decision takes him away from the orphanage and into a world of spies, espionage, international danger and intrigue.

This book reminded me a little bit of the books, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and The Series of Unfortunate Events. I highly recommend this book, it was very enjoyable. The story was very unique, and the characters are likable. The way the book starts out draws you in immediately. Plus, it is sort of a mystery book, so it keeps you thinking and guessing up until the end!  I am curious to know if anyone else has read this, or if you do read this, let me know!