Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Rating : 3.0/5
Reason for Reading : Something About Me Challenge and Book Awards Reading Challenge

Bill Bryson is mostly known for his travel writing, but in this book he takes a turn at popular science. It covers everything from research into the Big Bang, how the measurements for the earth were derived, plate tectonics, the evolution of humans from apes, Darwin's theories of natural selection, the discovery of DNA to extinction. It crams in a lot of information about the main scientific discoveries into a managable book.

It's interesting that a lot of scientists who put forward theories that are now celebrated as genius and essential, were ridiculed and disbelieved at the time. A lot of the time they were ignored due to petty jealousies between the scientists themselves... It seemed a mostly unbiased look at the ideas and the people making the discoveries themselves which was interesting (usually you only hear about Watson and Crick in the discovery of the structure of DNA but this included Wilkins and Franklin).

I enjoyed half of this book. The chapters between 14-26 andthe final chapter were the most interesting to me. I am not so into physics or geology and it didn't really hold my interest. The notes at the end of the novel were interesting citing where the references came from in the main text. My problem with it though was that they were not referenced in the main text. A lot of books will put a superscript number where citations are so you can check the notes at the back.

Monday, October 29, 2007

So it's time to sign up for another reading challenge for next year! This one is hosted by Joy at Thought's of Joy It is running throughout 2008 and the aim is to read 12 Young Adult books. As I read lots of them anyway it should be really fun. I have snuck in a couple of children's books which I hope is ok. My list is below:

1. The Goose Girl - Shannon Hale
2. The Looking-Glass Wars - Frank Beddor
3. Coraline - Neil Gaiman
4. New Moon - Stephenie Meyer
5. Gathering Blue - Lois Lowry
6. The Wee Free Men - Terry Pratchett
7. The Amulet of Samarkand - Jonathan Stroud
8. Goddess of the Night - Lynne Ewing
9. A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
10. Peter Pan in Scarlet - Geraldine McCaughrean
11. the Worst Witch Saves the Day - Jill Murphy
12. The Black Tattoo - Sam Enthoven

Rating : 4.0/5
Number in Series : #2 in Varjak Paw series
Raeson for Reading : Four-Legged Friends Challenge, to complete the series

It follows on directly from Varjak Paw with the Mesopotamian Blue cat now living on the streets with Tam, Holly and Cludge. They are hungry and finding it very difficult to find food in the winter months. To make matters worse in the quest for food, Sally Bones' gang are claiming all the best food by law even in the neutral areas of the city. If you aren't in Sally Bones' gang, you don't get any food.

Varjak and his friends go to the wise Mrs Moggs for advice on how to deal with Sally Bones. Like Varjak, Sally Bones knows the Way taught to him by his distance ancestor Jalal and she is the best fighter in town. Mrs Moggs isn't a great help only passing on childhood tales and legends. As a result of Varjak causing trouble for her gang, Sally Bones declares him and anyone helping him outlaws to face her terrible punnishment.

A really good follow up to the first book. The illustrations were beautiful again and the new characters fitted in well. It was again very dark in places and I wouldn't recommend it for younger readers (maybe save it for teenagers). I liked that Jalal was in it again offering more wisdom to Varjak when he sleeps and it was interesting to find out how Sally Bones knew the way and her place in the scheme of things.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Off to Egypt!

Right I'm about to rush off to the airport to go to Egypt for a holiday. Back on 29th so have fun while I am away and speak to you all soon. Will be taking as many photos as humanly possible so will have lots to show when I get back hopefully...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rating : 4.0/5
Number in Series : #1 Varjak Paw series
Reason for Reading : Four-legged friends challenge

Varjak Paw is a pure-bred Mesopotamian Blue kitten living with his family in the Countesses house. One day a strange man with two black cats arrives and the Countess is nowhere to be found. Varjak leaves his family to venture to Outside to enlist the help of a dog to drive away the Gentleman. All he knows about dogs is they are big enough to kill a man, their breath is fowl, their sound deafening and they fill your heart with fear.

On the way he is helped in his dream by his ancestor Jalal who teaches him The Way (a type of cat kung-fu); Open Mind, Awareness, Hunting, Slow-Time, Moving Circles, Shadow Walking and Trust Yourself. Also aiding him are Holly and Tam, two Outside cats who start to teach him the way things work living on the streets. They have their own problems with the Vanishings to contend with, but take Varjak reluctantly under their wings.

I really enjoyed this book. The illustrations by Dave McKean are beautiful and really bring the story to life. I will definately be reading the next one soon to hear more about Varjak Paw and the mysterious Sally Bones.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Rating : 5.0/5
Number in Series : #1
Reason for Reading : Something about me challenge, Book awards reading challenge

The story is set in a society filled with rules, no real feelings and an emphasis on interdependence. Jonas is an Eleven about to become to Tweleve. Each age group recieves something new when they collectively move up a level and are all one year older. Twelve is where they recieve their Assignments (jobs) after being carefully monitored through their earlier life so a mistake is not made. Jonas is nervous about what he will be Assigned as he has no idea what he will get. Nothing called to him specifically during his voluntary work hours and he tried a lot of different things out.

At the ceremony something special happens to him that will change his life forever. A whole new world of pain, anger, love and colour are opened up to him along with different climates and the concept of hills. The community made a decision some time ago to opt for sameness and only now does Jonas realise that that took away all of their choices and freedoms in life.

A really interesting look at a utopian/dystopian society. Quite creepy in places, you know when they take about the old being "Released" that it isn't as pleasant as it sounds. Learning about the society and the different stages growing up was fascinating. For example until a certain age children have jackets that fasten at the back to learn to rely on others. Later on they get their first front fastening coat and then later one with pockets as they can now be trusted to be responsible for their own small personal items. The family unit idea and surpressing "Stirrings" was another interesting idea. I will definately be reading the next two in the series to see what happens to Jonas next...

On Saturday last week I met up with Nymeth to go to a book signing with Terry Pratchett. I was waiting out front for her to arrive and noticed Terry Pratchett standing about a metre away from me on the phone. I decided to let him be as he looked busy and I was going to meet him later anyway. We had to wait in line for about 3 hours but met some cool people whilst standing around. I took the photo below on my phone camera when the group standing behind us all sat down to read Making Money (his newest book) together. I really like the photo, it's lovely to see people all reading together.

The photo below shows me and Nymeth waiting in the queue. I am the one with the red hair and glasses. Funnily we were wearing the same coloured tops, I guess we both love purple and Tim Burton style stuff!

I took this of Terry signing books for the person in front of me as I knew I would be too busy chatting while he signed mine. I got him to sign his new book for my husband. As it is to be a christmas gift I asked him to write "Happy Hogswatch"which he did so it will be extra special. I got one signed for me. It was a cool day and then I got to buy a bunch of books afterwards!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Rating : 4.0/5
Reason for Reading : Something about me challenge, Book awards challenge, I really like the author and wanted to read some more by her

The story of Annemarie Johansen and Ellen Rosen. Set in 1943 in Copenhagan, Denmark during the Second World War. King Christian X of Denmark has decided to surrender to Germany. They are a small country with not much of an army and giving in will allow many Danish to live who would have died had they put up a fight. The downside is that there are now German soldiers on every corner and the Danish are doing without a lot of basic items like cream and coffee.

One day a local Jewish family who own a ribbon and button shop are no longer there. Annemarie's best friend Ellen is Jewish, but as they don't own a shop they feel safe. On going to the synagogue the following Saturday their Rabi informs them that the Germans have taken all their records with all the names of the Jews and where they live. The Rosens have to find safety and Annemarie and her family do a very brave thing stepping in to help.

It was a very well written tale that didn't take long to read. There were definate hold my breath moments, waiting to see if they would be caught and "relocated". The afterward at the end was really interesting as well, setting straight which parts of the tale were true and which were fictional. Another great tale by Lowry.

Other reviews: Maw Books

Rating : 2.5/5
Reason for Reading : Guardian 100 greatest books of all time challenge, Books awards reading challenge

Focusing on the time when black people were kept as slaves by white folks in the South of North America. It follows Sethe and her family alternating between present day and past events leading up to how they got there. Sethe started off in Sweet Home along with the Sweet Home men (Paul A, Paul D, Paul F, Sixo and Halle) where they are owned by the Garners. There they are given a restricted kind of freedom, the men are allowed to carry rifles and they are never beaten. Everything changes when Mr Garner dies and Mrs Garner calls in the help of Schoolteacher and his nephews to help run the farm. He has the attitude of most white people at the time and treats Sethe and the others like little better than animals.

Sethe manages to get her children out to her mother-in-law (a freed slave) and after suffering a horrific ordeal, follows them alone and heavily pregnant on foot. 28 days after arriving safely Schoolteacher shows up to claim her and the children so in defence she commits infanticide believing it the only way to save her children. Years later when Paul D shows up out of the blue to visit, Sethe and her remaining daughter Denver are sharing their house with an unhappy young ghost.

It was a beautiful book filled with cruelty, based on a true story it shows one womans desperate struggle to do the best for her family. It was very unsettling and in places it was almost too much to endure. The violence and beatings are told without much emphasis for the most part as it was almost expected in those days. Humans can be such horrible creatures, I hope we never resort to slavery again in the future. I gave this book a low rating as I just couldn't enjoy it despite being so well written, it was just a bit much for me.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Rating : 4.0/5

The latest film from writer/director Quentin Tarantino. It stars Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike, an ex stuntman who gets his kicks from killing young girls in his "death proof" car. He basically spots a set of 3 or 4 girls he likes and follows them around for a while, getting to know them from a distance and taking photos of them. Sometimes he introduces himself before going after them, sometimes all they see is his car lurking before he goes in for the kill.

It's a pretty brutal film. The film takes a while to build up to the actual car chase scenes which are very well done. Stuntman Mike is such a creepy character and his car has a presence about it as well, Kurt Russell does a great job. The girls are all beautiful yet spunky, like in most Tarantino films. The dialogue is thick and fast, given with attitude and you really warm to the different characters, even Stuntman Mike later on a little.

It's funny and very well filmed, really capturing an older film era whilst still being in a modern setting. You get to see more of Taratino's foot and pot belly fetish with lots of close ups of feet and long legs. The bad reviews seemed mostly undeserved, it had the audience laughing and cringing in all the right places. Granted the dialogue isn't as memorable as Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, but it is still a damn fine film. Without telling you why or giving it away, I will just say I loved the ending. Definitely worth seeing on the big screen.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I have decided to participate in the Themed Reading Challenge hosted by Caribousmom where you pick at least 4 books sharing a theme. The dates for the challenge are 1/1/08 - 6/30/08. The books I have picked are all anthologies collected by the same authors Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow. They are all fantasy based with a fairy tale theme I think judging by the titles:

1) Black Heart, Ivory Bones
2) Black Thorn, White Rose
3) Blood Red, Snow White
4) Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears
5) Black Swan, White Raven
6) Silver Birch, Blood Moon

Live and In-Person

I said in August, when we talked about fan mail, that I planned on expanding that to live meetings when the time was right. Well, that time is now!
Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? Gotten their autograph?
How about an author you felt only so-so about, but got their autograph anyway? Like, say, at a book-signing a friend dragged you to?
How about stumbling across a book signing or reading and being so captivated, you bought the book?

I think I have been to two book signings on purpose and one by accident. One was a lady called Fiona Horne who writes on paganism and the other was Doug Naylor and the cast of Red Dwarf when a new Red Dwarf book came out. Both sets of people were really friendly and it was a lot of fun. Fiona did a talk first and answered questions (I can't remember what I asked her as it was about 5 years ago). I ended up giving the Red Dwarf book to my dad as a christmas gift.

The accidental one was Robert Rankin who writes comedy fantasy books. He was at a sci-fi convention I went to recently so I got his autograph. I am not a big fan of his, but my husband really likes his books so I got it to annoy him mostly! As it happens I should be going to meet Terry Pratchett with Nymeth on Saturday to get his new book signed. It is going to be a christmas surprise for my husband who is a bigger fan than I am (I really hope he doesn't read this...). It should be fun and I get the bonus of meeting Nymeth for the first time which I am looking forward to.

This time the cat is Merlin. He's been extra thirsty lately and decided to steal my water when I left a glass on the table. I had to keep remembering not to drink from it for the rest of the day and I left it out in case he needed more.

Rating : 5.0/5
Reason for Reading : My new favourite author, Seconds Challenge, RIP Challenge

A collection of short stories by the wonderful Charles de Lint. The stories all involve teenagers as main characters although it isn't specically aimed at teenagers. It is billed as the perfect primer to his writing and I would have to agree. I haven't read much of his work yet, but I definately plan on doing so (he has now been added as the final author in my top five list of all time). It covers some of the different cities and worlds many of his stories as set in.

It contains 16 stories in all and a brief summary of them all is:

  • Merlin dreams in the mondream wood - Sara as a child sleeps in the wood under an oak tree when she suffers from night terrors. She meets the Green Man, an old man in the guise of a red-haired boy who lives in the tree. His name is Merlin.
  • There's no such thing - A tale about a teenage vampire and child abuse involving sisters Apples (Appoline) and Cassis (Cassandra).
  • Sisters - More about teen vampires with a bit more about his take on their mythology and origins. This is the only original tale for this anthology.
  • Fairy dust - What happens when a fairy is caught in a jar by two children.
  • A wish named Arnold - A girl called Marguerite keeps a wish called Arnold (shaped like a crow made of coal) in a brass egg she found in an antique shop. She is granted only one wish.
  • Wooden bones - Liz is a city girl who is sent to stay with her relatives in the country. She keeps a lot bottled up inside and when she starts to be haunted by fiddle music and a strange creature things get out of hand.
  • The graceless child - about a trow (Shetland troll) who gets tricked into getting involved in the battle between Gaedrian (Dream) and Nallorn (Nightmare).
  • A tattoo on her heart - an interesting dystopian world with a look at the nature of humanity.
  • Stick - a strange tale about gang warfare between humans, elves and halfbloods. Stick (human) helps those in need but accepts none himself until Manda (halfblood) turns up. The Horn Dance morris side (human) join in with their power of good luck and music.
  • May this be your last sorrow - a sad poignant tale about a runaway girl who seemed like she had everything back at home.
  • One chance - Like Susanna, Billy gets beaten up by other kids but he also faces his drunk father. When he finds a way to the Other World, will Susanna have the courage to go with him.
  • Alone - Susanna gets caught up in the mystery of how Peter Reid (a kid at school) died. He was found at the bottom of a ravine, but did he jump or was he pushed...
  • But for the grace go I - a sad story about runaway Maisie Flood who lives in a squat with her adopted family of stray dogs and retarded boy Tommy.
  • Ghosts of wind and shadow - Again fairy and music intertwine as a teenage girl who can see fairies runs away from home falling prey to human waste to escape those who don't believe her.
  • Waifs and strays - More from Maisie and her family after ghosts (emotional and physical) start to haunt her. She is trying to get her life back on track for the sake of looking after her family, but some things just don't seem to want to let her.
  • Somewhere in my mind there is a painting box - from a series of stories written in collaboration with artist Charles Vess about Lily. Twenty years ago a painter and his mentee went missing in the woods. LIly finds an old paintbox with his name on it and then a strange man appears near by.

Themes of teenagers from single parent families or who have lost a grandparent as well as music, mythology, folklore and fairy tale abound. My favourite was easily "The graceless child", but I enjoyed each and every one. I am looking forward to reading lots more by de Lint in the future and expanding my collection of his books. They truely transport you to another time and place.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Rating : 4.5/5
Reason for Reading : Seconds Challenge, to see what happened next to Alice

Alice dreams again, this time of a world through the looking-glass mirror. The world is based on a chess board and Alice starts her journey as a pawn of the White Queen trying to reach the eighth square to become a Queen herself. It loosely follows the rules of chess in movements and ideas, but only a few of the key pieces follow the chess board names (the Knights, Pawns, Kings and Queens).

Alice meets the Red and White Kings and Queens, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Humpty Dumpty and The Lion and The Unicorn. The March Hare and Mad Hatter turn up again as messengers for the White King Hatta and Haigha (pronounced to rhyme with "major"). It includes many more poems and nursery rhymes that the first one, and later on Alice points out they all involve fish (this is explained at the end).

I think I prefer this one Wonderland just. I used to play chess growing up and got to be quite good (I played for my junior school and my senior school, as well as the girls team for my city and the mixed team as well in competitions. We got to tour a little bit around the UK playing other cities which was fun). Again I loved the illustrations and the ideas behind it and remembered seeing an old animated version of it which was a pretty good adaptation it turned out. THe ending was intersting wondering if it was Alice's dream or the Red Kings. I am assuming that Lewis Carroll is supposed to be the Red King.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Rating : 4.0/5
Reason for Reading : To refresh my memory before reading Through The Looking Glass

The pseudonym of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, this is one of the best-loved children's tales first published in 1865. It went against the typical books at the time and sparkles with wit. It follows Alice when one day sitting with her sister she sees a white rabbit rush past muttering to itself. This doesn't strike her as odd until it takes a watch out of it's waistcoat pocket. She follows him as he disappears down a rabbit hole inside a tree, thus beginning her adventures in Wonderland.

She meets a colourful cast of characters including a caterpillar smoking a hookah pipe, a Duchess, a tea party with a mad hatter, March hare and doormouse, a mock turtle and griffin, the King and Queen of Hearts and the ever enigmatic Cheshire cat (my favourite of all). She manages to change size on a regular basis depending on what she eats and drinks which is quite fun. Once she gets the hang of it she is able to control her size and so fit into places as a tiny person or grow again to her usual height.The illustrations are lovely as well.

It's a lovely tale filled with nonsense rhymes and anecdotes. The Disney film was one of my favourites growing up, and the bits it kept in were done really well (it missed some bits out and I think added in some from the second book). I am really looking forward to finally reading the sequel and seeing what happens to Alice next.

Rating : 4.5/5
Reason for Reading : Books to Movie Challenge, Book Awards Reading Challenge

The story of Jesse Oliver Aarons Jr and Leslie Burke. Jesse doesn't have many friends in school. He loves to draw and dreams of being the fastest kid in the fifth grade. The only boy in a poor family with four sisters, his life is forever changed when Leslie and her family move in next door.

She is very different from him. She is educated, comes from a family with no money troubles, is an only child and doesn't have a television. She teaches him to open his imagination and invites him to join her in their own private place, Terabithia. There they reign as king and queen and can leave their lonely lives behind them.

It's a beautiful story about the nature of friendship and overcoming your fears. The recent film was a great adaptaion of the book and fleshed out some of the central ideas, but it wasn't quite able to convey the internal struggles that the book does. I really liked his young sister May Bell as well as the puppy Leslie gets called Prince Terrien (P.T for short). I cried a little at the end, even though I knew what was coming. It definately deserved to win the Newberry Medal.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Rating : 4.0/5
Reason for Reading : Something About Me Challenge, TBR Challenge

A popular science book subtitled "The autobiography of a species in 23 chapters". It goes through the 23 pairs of chromosomes of the human body (including the sex chromosomes X and Y) and discusses one or two of the genes found on each. Topics covered include Life (where human DNA came from and its discovery by Watson and Crick), Intelligence, Disease (although he frequently reminds us that genes do not cause disease), Stress, Memory and Death (programmed cell death called "apoptosis" and it's relation to cancer).

The chapter on Eugenics was perhaps my favourite talking about chromosome 21 and Down symdrome (found when a person has 3 copies of the chromosome compared to the usual 2). It also discussed the idea of sterilising mentally retarded people and criminals which went on in America and Germany, but interestingly not the UK although Winton Churchill was a big fan. Interestingly the chromosomes on the front cover are a photograph of the authors which I didn't realise until I read the note after finishing the book.

You definately need a basic understanding of genetics to appreciate this book. The author does try to explain things without too much terminology, but it's pretty impossible in some places. I really enjoyed it and was surprised to find it is the first science book I have read voluntarily since graduating in 2004. It was a lot to take in and I will definately be reading it again in the future. I am really pleased I finally got around to reading it and although some of it is already out of date (it was published in 2000 and genetics has made so many advances in the last few years) I definately recommend it.

I love Damien Rice so was really excited to have been able to get tickets to see him in Wembley Arean, even though we were sitting right at theback. The support act was really good and she was called Vyvienne Long. She played cello mostly and sang along with 2 other cellists, a bass guitar and drummer (for one song she played piano). She was very quirky with one song about a random man on the motorway and a great cover of He Wants to Move (origianlly She Wants to Move by N*E*R*D). The only issue I had with her was that she was really quiet and obviosuly wasn't used to performing much on her own to such a massive crowd. I hope to see her again when she has either a bit more experience with larger crowds or in a much smaller venue where it isn't so daunting.

Damien was awesome (my favourite word at the moment) without exaggerating. He played all of my favourite songs and was really into the performance. He looked like he was about to cry at one point bless. The songs I remember him playing (it's funny how quick you forget afterwards) were:

The Blowers Daughter
I Remember
9 Crimes
Rootless Tree
Grey Room
Accidental Babies
The Professor & La Fille Danse

I went with my best friend who is a big fan as well and she loved it too. He did slightly different versions of some of the songs off O his first album which was interesting. It was a lot more up-beat than I thought it was going to be and certainly wasn't a depressing evening. A dickhead was sat behind my best friend though and poured a load of beer down her back near the end and didn't bother to apologise, so afterwards we both shouted at him. Still no apology but we felt better a little at least. He looks really good with his hair short and beard gone (although my friend prefers him more scruffy). He is taking a break from touring for a while now, but I hope he writes another album and tours again in a year or two so I can take my husband.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Rating: 4.0/5
Number in series: #2 in Mercedes Thompson series
Reason for reading: RIP Challenge, Seconds Challenge, to continue the series

The second in the Mercedes Thompson series about car mechanic and walker, Mercy. She is able to shift between human and coyote form and is not tied to the cycles of the moon like werewolves are. Her property backs onto the local Alpha werewolves land, a werewolf is staying with her as a house guest, one of the fae helps in her garage from time to time and she does car repairs for the local vampire and his clan.
This tale sees Mercy, the werewolves and vampires team up to take on a sorcerer who has been turned into a vampire. He is particuarly dangerous having deominc strength, extra magical abilities and enhancing violence in others human and non-human. It is mostly the same main characters from Moon Called including Bran, Samuel, Adam (werewolves) and Stefan and Marsilia (vampires).

It was fast paced and unfolded a lot more information about the nature of vampires, werewolves and walkers. I spent a little while at the start trying to remember what the main parts of this series was and what separated it from others like Laurell K Hamilton and Kelley Armstrong. Once it got going a bit, it stood out as my favourite of the urban fantasy series at the moment. I really like Mercy and prefer to other heroines in similar books. There is something likable and believable about her that slightly sets her apart. I am definately looking forward to book three (Iron Kissed) coming out next year which sounds like it involves the fae a lot more. I want to see what happens with the love quadrangle she has gotten herself into!

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Do you have “issues” with too much profanity or overly explicit (ahem) “romantic” scenes in books? Or do you take them in stride? Have issues like these ever caused you to close a book? Or do you go looking for more exactly like them? (grin)

I don't think it's really an issue for me. I mean profanity doesn't bother me too much, unless it is particularly offensive and just put in there for shock value rather than being part of the story. The same with sex scenes, it's only violent rape scenes that upset me. I came very close to givine up on American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis a few times party because of the violence and over the top sex and partly because of the really dull chapters on Genesis and cuff links inbetween... I did finish it though in the end, but I don't think I could bring myself to read it a second time. I do occassionally read erotic fiction, it's sexy and fun if you are in the mood. I don't really read romance novels though, not sure why just never found one I really enjoyed. Actually just thinking, what is sometimes annoying is reading a book where they have deliberately taken the profanities out and replaced them with words like "darn". It's usually in the more gritty teenage books or urban fantasy like Kelley Armstrong. In some of those situations, you just know the main character wouldn't hold back through not wishing to offend the reader.

My mother-in-law took the above photo (Morgaine is in the front) when the cats stayed with her for a week. Judging by the photo they had a pretty exhausting time!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Rating : 3.5/5
Number in Series : #2 in Fables graphic novel series
Reason for Reading : Seconds Challenge, to continue the series

Picking up directly where "Legends in Exile" finished, Snow White and Rose Red go to visit the Farm. Here are all the Fables not in human form. They are pretty much forced to live here so that the "mundys" do not discover them as it's obviosuly harder for them to blend in with society. This goes double for creatures like dragons and giants.

Led by Goldilocks (she choose to stay with the three bears on the Farm), the animals are about to begin a revolution and take over Fable Town in New York. Whose side will Rose Red take and will Snow White and Reynard the Fox be able to stop them. Will the cavalry ever arrive in time...

Lots more familiar faces turn up like The Three Little Pigs, Shere Khan, Brere Rabbit and Chicken Little. It's a lot more violent and disturbing than the first in the series with some great references to Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies. I enjoyed it, but not quite as much as the first in the series. I will definately be reading the next one though.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Just a quick run down of where I am up to at the end of the month as usual. I am still on track with my reading challenges. The current run down is:

Books read in September = 6, total of 69 this year
So Many Books, So Little Time Challenge = 7/8
TBR Challenge = 8/12 and 8/12 of my alternatives
Book Awards Reading Challenge = 3/18
Something About Me Challenge = 3/5 and 3/19 of my alternatives
Classics Challenge = 5/5
RIP II Challenge = 3/4
Books to Movies Challenge = 2/3
Guardian 100 Greatest Books of all Time = 20 out of 100 (going for 50)

101 Things to do Challenge = 19/101