This Blog is Dedicated to our dear friend Karen.
When she left this life she left a hole in our hearts as well as several to be read books.
We, her friends, will read these books for her.
This blog will be a sort of book club for us to post our thoughts and feelings about the stories and feelings we have of Karen while we read.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

#50 The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion


Definitely mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, for what it is - a romantic comedy about a man with (undiagnosed) Asperger Syndrome and his project to find the perfect mate - it's very well written. It's fun, at times funny, and romantic in places.
On the other hand, it often feels like Don's autism is used solely as a vehicle for comedy. And, while I'm not an expert in the subject, I question some of the information shared. Don feels the need to follow a strict routine; any deviation from the schedule causes him extreme discomfort (typical among those with autism). But the author implies that, with just a little effort, schedules and routines can be broken without any lasting repercussions. From my (limited) knowledge of Asperger's, I doubt that's the case.
It seems that Simsion had an opportunity here to tell a funny, engaging story, while at the same time giving factual information about autism; it appears (at least to me) that he didn't manage to do that.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

#418 The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett


I've only ever read two other books by Terry Pratchett - Good Omens, which he cowrote with Neil Gaiman, and the first Discworld book, The Color of Magic. I really liked Omens, but at the time, I was all about Gaiman, so (because it was not entirely a Gaiman story) I didn't *love* it. And I didn't quite get Pratchett's humor when I read Color of Magic.
But, approaching this book, I was more receptive to the funny bits. This is (I think) partly because it's a Young Adult book, but it's also partly because of the Wee Free Men themselves - the Nac Mac Feegle. I mean, they help around the farm, like pixies, but they speak with a brogue, they wear kilts, and they're blue - they're not pixies, they're *pict-sies*! They're hilariously written, and they're a big part of why I enjoyed this book so much.


#288 The Lost Hero by Rick Riordon


Riordan's first series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, dealt with the demigod children of the Greek gods. In this newer series, we're introduced to the idea that those Greek gods and their Roman counterparts are just different aspects of the same beings. This first book introduces us to three new kids - Jason, Piper, and Leo - and the chapters in the book alternate among their points of view. We're also introduced to a lot of new supporting characters, from other campers in the various cabins at Camp Half-Blood (give it up for my brothers and sisters in the Hypnos cabin!) to various gods and other figures from Greek mythology - most of whom are damaged versions of their legendary selves. Riordan does a good job of teaching readers about the true mythological figures and stories, while entertaining us with new action and humorous situations.

My only real complaints are that the story felt a bit slow at times, and that the girlfriend/boyfriend stuff between Jason and Piper was unnecessary.