During times of stress, I read either kiddie lit, mysteries, or horror. The planning for Eagle Court of Honor has sucked up all available time, and these last few days have been frantic. Fortunately, the COH is Saturday at 3 p.m. and after that, my life should be my own again!
Book #31: The Chronicles of Chrestomanci: Vol I by Diana Wynne Jones. Had never read any Wynne-Jones, though she had been recommended to me by several folks. This book contains two stories--both of which I enjoyed, though I thought the second one was better. She also writes of a world where magic exists--folks with abilities alongside folks who do not have them. The Chrestomanci is sort of the magical "enforcer"--the guy who is supposed to oversee the use of magic and insure that the magical folk don't enslave the non-magical. Time is very convoluted. The worlds people exist on are convoluted. In every way a much more indepth writing than the Harry Potter series. These are definitely Young Adult books, not juvenile fiction. I enjoyed the book a lot, but if you are the Anti Harry Potter type, you shouldn't pick up this book. I warned you.
Book #32: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. Received 2 Booker Judges' Special Recommendations and was voted one of the International Books of the Year by the Times Literary Supplement, if that means something to you. Supposedly a mystery, it is only hiding in that category. It is really a story of Precious Ramotswe, of Botswana, who sets up her detective agency with the money her father left her. It is a wonderful book, and I highly recommend it. McCall Smith has done for me what few authors have done lately--come up with a character that I forget is actually fictional while I'm reading the book.
Book #33: The Wide Window, Book the Third by Lemony Snicket. Okay, so I'm late for the Lemony Snicket party, but Zteen is too old for them (I thought) and McBaby is too young. I picked up two of the books (#3 and #4, since #1 and #2 were checked out) because a quiz I took not long ago asked whether I preferred Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket.
Anyway, these books are hysterical (I'm halfway through Book #4). It is making PapaC mad, because I'm snorting and laughing while reading in bed and he can't sleep. And I'm driving Zteen nuts because I keep walking down to his room to read "just one paragraph."
I don't understand why children would find them funny. I think any parent reading them to a kid would be laughing out loud while the kid looked on in puzzlement. In a way, they are funny in the way Hank the Cowdog is funny--funny because we, as adults, see behind the words to the absurdity of the situation. I'm not sure kids see the same things. But maybe they are funny on two different levels--in a way like the best of the Disney comedies used to be funny.
Anyway, here's a little excerpt from Book #4 of the Lemony Snicket series, which I am right in the middle of:
The children could tell, from Phil's statement about everything and everybody having a good side, that he was an optimist. "Optimist" is a word which here refers to a person, such as Phil, who thinks hopeful and pleasant thoughts about nearly everything. For instance, if an optimist had his left arm chewed off by an alligator, he might say, in a pleasant and hopeful voice, "Well, this isn't too bad. I don't have my left arm anymore, but at least nobody will ever ask me whether I am right-handed or left-handed," but most of us would say something more along the lines of "Aaaaah! My arm! My arm!"
Love it, love it. However, just to warn you, I think "Get Fuzzy" is the funniest comic in the paper, so judge by that whether you share my tastes.