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text 2017-05-01 08:10
April Reading in Review
Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman
Fast Women - Jennifer Crusie
The Haunted Grange Of Goresthorpe - Arthur Conan Doyle
Her Brilliant Career: Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties - Rachel Cooke
Roger, Sausage and Whippet - Christopher Moore
The Delight of Being Ordinary: A Road Trip with the Pope and the Dalai Lama - Roland Merullo
The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures - Carla D. Hayden,Library of Congress

I had 2 weeks of school holidays and Easter weekend in my favour this month, but unforeseen events put a hitch in my gitalong at the end of April.  Still I had a solid reading month and I'm not complaining at all.

 

28 books  / 7,511 pages read.

 

2 Five-star reads this time, although one of them is a re-read.  Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman  was so good in audio, I went out and bought a print copy for my shelves.  Fast Women by Jennifer Crusie is one of my all-time favourites and it never gets tired.

 

3 out of the 5 4.5 star reads were non-fiction, but one of those, Roger, Sausage and Whippet by Christopher Moore, a glossary of WWI terms, snuck a narrative in that was riveting, if only in its unexpectedness.  Her Brilliant Career: Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties by Rachel Cooke was great too, although as I said in my review, I'm not sure some of these women could be called roll models.  The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures by Carla D. Hayden, Library of Congress is one of those books you either appreciate, or you don't.  Obviously, I did.  

 

The Delight of Being Ordinary: A Road Trip with the Pope and the Dalai Lama by Roland Merullo is the fictional equivalent of The Card Catalog - it's not going to be for everyone, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and it left me chewing over more than a few things.

 

But by far, the breakout star of my month was The Haunted Grange Of Goresthorpe by Arthur Conan Doyle, a short ghost story that is believed to be one of the first Doyle wrote but was never published in his lifetime.  The only reason I dinged it 1/2 star is because the introduction is 30 pages longer than the story itself, and spends a lot of those 30 pages excusing the weakness of the story itself, which, by the way, isn't weak at all; it's a ripper of a ghost story.  If you like Doyle or ghosts, or both, you should find this story and read it.  

 

May your May be full of extraordinary reads.  And I don't mean maybe.  (sorry.)

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review 2017-04-12 03:37
Roger, Sausage & Whippet: A miscellany of Trench Lingo from the Great War
Roger, Sausage and Whippet - Christopher Moore

When I first picked up this book, I figured I'd flip through it, stopping at words that caught my eye along the way and be finished up with it in a few hours; it's a glossary, after all.

 

But then I discovered that each lettered section begins with the reproduction of a letter from the front; a man named Charles, writing to his parents, his brother and his nephew.  These were good - they were better than good, they turned a freaking glossary into a narrative, and in addition to learning new words (and meanings for old words), I had to keep flipping so I could find out what happened to Charles next, always sure that I was going to get to 'Z' to find a bad news telegram or something.  I didn't.

 

I knocked off 1/2 a star because, while Charles makes it to 'Z', you never find out what happens to him in the rest of the war.  A letter at the very start makes it clear he survived, but with 2 years of the war left, 'Z' leaves the reader with something of a small cliffhanger.

 

Still, way better than your average glossary for readability!

 

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review 2017-03-03 12:56
The Stupidest Angel ★★★☆☆
The Stupidest Angel Unabridged Cd: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror - Christopher Moore

A dimwitted and incompetent angel loses a bet and picks a town full of zany characters in which to fulfill it. Hijinks and frantic hilarity ensue.

 

I found it entertaining enough to occupy my mind while running errands. Audiobook version via Audible. Good performance by Tony Roberts.

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review 2017-01-09 22:49
Midly amusing book.
How to Speak Brit: The Quintessential Guide to the King's English, Cockney Slang, and Other Flummoxing British Phrases - Christopher J. Moore

This short little book looks at some common (and not so common) British words and phrases. It's arranged roughly by theme with words associated with that particular theme (food, people, language, manners and mannerisms, etc.). The explanations are relatively short (a paragraph or a bit more) and moving onto the next entry.

 

That's basically it. It's perhaps more helpful if you've not as familiar with some of the words/phrases and might make a good gift for someone who is going on a trip to the region/studying abroad, or someone who has a particular interest in language/linguistics. It isn't exactly groundbreaking though and you can find other books of a similar nature (I think 'Stuff That Brits Like' is very similar to this in format).

 

Not much more to say. I bought it cheap and am glad I did so. Otherwise I'd recommend the library but I wouldn't rush out to read it either.

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review 2016-12-21 15:22
Lamb: The Gospel according to Biff, Christ's childhood pal - Christopher Moore
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal - Christopher Moore

I loved, loved, loved this book! Definitely one of my favorites of the year! <3

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