ORD (On the Reference Desk)
There are quite a few websites, books and authors dedicated to the seeing the humorous aspects of working the reference desk. Sometimes you have to poke fun at the ridiculous to maintain your sanity. But not everything that happens in the library is sarcasm-inducing.
Just recently, I had a regular patron let me know that he was unable to attend the monthly writer's group because he was meeting with the actresses for the play he wrote that is being performed in town the upcoming weekend! How exciting! I wish him the best and hope that his writing is not only fulfilling personally but that it takes off and he finds success flowing from his pen.
Friday, 16 September 2016
Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms by Lissa Evans is a fun children's book I have had the pleasure of reading. It was a surprise gift from a friend that arrived in the mail one afternoon with the inscription, "This just seems like your kind of book". It was (grin). The main character is about 10 years old so the ages of interest would probably range a few years above and below that (quite a few years above, in my case) and I have passed it to my 11 year old daughter to enjoy.
This was a fun adventure, racing around town with Stuart Horten (a boy of small stature with the misfortune to have his name be S. Horten) as he discovers his great-uncle's legacy of mechanical magic-show mechanisms.
I loved April, May, and June... not the time span but the triplets who both vex and befriend our intrepid hero. I especially felt sympathetic with April and her fight with her vision and glasses--that's been a pain for me since I was 7!
There is a satisfying 'bad guy' who is actually a lady. And just enough action to keep the story moving along but not so scary that you don't want to read what's coming next. I also think this would do well as a read-aloud for a wide variety of ages. Super fun! Now I'm ready to read the next one, Horten's Incredible Illusions.
p.s. you know you've got the right kind of friends when a surprise book shows up just after you mailed one off to them for their birthday. I got a book for my friend's birthday and that's just awesome!
Monday, 12 September 2016
My 13 year-old son put it perfectly when I was trying to describe how this book, a fantasy book, is still very ordinary and expected. He asked, "Oh, it stayed within the parameters of every fantasy trope?" Yes! That's it! (In explanation, E is a word-lover and began compiling his lexicon at a very early age)
It's not that the book was boring, exactly, it's just that it seemed to take every current trend in tween/teen pop culture and jam it into to the target time period. I have dabbled in the steampunk fashion but not too much more into the realm. I understand the pull I just think the characters and their attitudes were too anachronistic and too "teenage dream" to really consider this great writing. I'll give the sequel series a try (The Mortal Instruments) and see if this latter-written prequel is just vying for more publicity and money and the original is more inspired. But, it's not going to be too high on my reading priority list.
Tuesday, 6 September 2016
My initial reaction as I read was that it was very well-written fan fiction. Which it essentially is.
I started to get sucked in toward the middle and then... well, I vacillated between enjoying the plot (and trying to keep up with it) and being turned off because the characters seemed flat.
There were a few conversations that can only be described as "sappy" and some overlap with "out of character" and there was at least one instance of modern comedic one-liner-and-close-the-scene dialogue which was very out of the style of the original.
If this had been a stand-alone story with other characters and one not aligned with such a beloved icon of literature, I'd say it was pretty good. As an attempt at an addition to the original canon, I say.
But, as always, you need to read it to decide for yourself!