Photopost: The Snow Rabbits of Allston

A snow mound in front of my place of work has become a gathering place for at least five rabbits (there could be more but rabbits can’t count beyond four).

Book Review:The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

AuthorNeil Gaiman 
TitleThe Ocean at the End of the Lane
Narrator: Neil Gaiman
Publication Info: [New York] : Harper Audio, 2013.
Previously read by the same author:

Summary/Review:

This novel is a mix of fantasy and horror, as a seven-year-old boy’s life is turned upside-down by a supernatural being that invades his home by way of his body taking the form of the superbly creepy Ursula Monkton. Fortunately, the equally mysterious but benevolent Hempstock women live on a farm nearby, and he’s able to go to them for aid.  The book is full of mystery and atmosphere, and captures the feel of childhood when new things can be a source of joy and discovery and the familiar can suddenly be horrific.  Neil Gaiman’s narration on the audiobook is excellent as his diction and delivery add to the feel of a child experiencing the horror and mystery.

Favorite Passages:

“I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I took joy in the things that made me happy.”

“I lay on the bed and lost myself in stories. I liked that. Books were safer than other people anyways.”

“Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences. I was a child, and I knew a dozen different ways of getting out of our property and into the lane, ways that would not involve walking down our drive.”

“Monsters come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometimes monsters are things people should be scared of, but they aren’t.”

“Oh, monsters are scared, said Lettie. That’s why they’re monsters.”

“I’m going to tell you something important. Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. The truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”

“Different people remember things differently, and you’ll not get any two people to remember anything the same, whether they were there or not.”

Recommended books: Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, and The Boneshaker by Kate Milford.
Rating: ****

Book Review:A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

AuthorGeorge R.R. Martin
Title: A Storm of Swords
NarratorRoy Dotrice
Publication Info: Random House Audio (2012)
Previous books in the series: A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings
Summary/Review:  The high fantasy series continues with the grim and deadly doing of Westeros, a place where weddings are more dangerous than battlefields and being a king doesn’t offer much job security.  Dotrice’s narration continues to make the series for me, providing an old-time storyteller’s feel to the tales of adventure, intrigue, betrayal, and occasionally friendship and love.  I’ve watched the tv series, and it appears for the most part that the tv series has only depicted events up to the end of this books, so I look forward to reading the next two published books completely unspoiled.
Rating: ***

Book Review:The Journey That Saved Curious George by Louise W. Borden

Author: Louise W. BordenAllan Drummond (Illustrator)
TitleThe Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey
Publication Info: HMH Books for Young Readers (2010)
Summary/Review:

This brightly-illustrated book tells the true story of the creators of Curious George, Margret and H.A. Rey.  Much like their monkey creation, they had to escape from some sticky situations.  The couple lived in Paris on the verge of World II and made their escape from the city by bicycle hours before the German army marched in.  It’s a fascinating story, and this book left me wanting to know more.

Rating: **1/2

Book Review:The Bluffer’s Guide to Beer by Jonathan Goodall

Author: Jonathan Goodall
TitleThe Bluffer’s Guide to Beer
Publication Info: Bluffer’s (2013)
Summary/Review:I received this ebook through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program.  Presented as a guide to faking knowledge among beer snobs, this book presents a snapshot of the beer brewing process, insights into different beer cultures around the world, and a bit about each of the most notable styles of beer.  It’s full of fun facts and suggestions for enjoying new types of beer.  While full of comical suggestions on how one might interject beer facts into conversation, this book is actually full of a lot more detail than I’d ever remember (especially if I’d been drinking for a while). It makes a good introduction to beer and beer culture.

Recommended booksBeer: Tap Into the Art and Science of Brewing by Charles Bamforth
Rating: **1/2

Song of the Week: “Baby Fat” by Redtenbacher’s Funkestra

Time to get funky and dance toRedtenbacher’s Funkestra‘s “Baby Fat”.

Beer Review: Ballast Point Wahoo White

Beer: Wahoo White
Brewer: Ballast Point Brewing Company
Source: 12 oz. beers
Rating: **** (8.2 of 10)
Comments: This is a cloudy, straw-colored beer with a bubbly, thin head.  The aroma is a fruity spice, while the taste is orange and spice with a malty happiness.  This is a spectacular beer with a nicely-balanced, mellow flavor and is a new favorite.

 

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