Book Review: Hark! : a Vagrant by Kate Beaton


Author: Kate Beaton Title: Hark! : a Vagrant Publication Info: Drawn and Quarterly (2011), Edition Previously read by the same author: Step Aside, Pops! Summary/Review: This is the first collection of the hilarious webcomics on historical and literary themes from the brilliant Kate Beaton.  I was going to post links to my favorites but I lost the file so…

Book Review: Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde


Author: Jasper Fforde Title: Lost in a Good Book Narrator: Emily Gray Publication Info: Penguin Audio (2011) Other Books Read by Same Author: The Eyre Affair, Shades of Gray, The Last Dragonslayer, The Song of the Quarkbeast, One of Our Thursdays is Missing, and The Eye of Zoltar. Summary/Review: Rereading the Thursday Next series has its surprises…

Movie Review: Zootopia (2016)


Title: Zootopia Release Date: March 4, 2016 Director:   Byron Howard and Rich Moore Summary/Review: Set in a world of anthropomorphic mammals where predator and prey have agreed to live together, Zootopia is a comic, animated film that smartly takes on issues of inequality that appear ripped from the headlines touching upon women’s rights, Black Lives Matter,…

Webcomics


If you’re my age or older, you’ll remember the anticipation of getting the Sunday newspaper, fighting with your sibling for first dibs, and the joy of laying out the full-color comics section (a.k.a – the Funny Pages) and reading your favorite comics.  I feel that I grew up in the last golden age of newspaper…

Movie Review: Kung Fu Panda (2008)


Title: Kung Fu Panda Release Date: 6 June 2008 Director:  Mark Osborne, John Stevenson Summary/Review: Another family movie night, inspired by a visit to the zoo.  Po is a clumsy panda working in a noodle shop who is a big fan of the Furious Five kung fu warriors.  He somewhat accidentally finds himself selected as…

Book Reviews: Earth, Air, Fire, and Custard by Tom Holt


Author: Tom Holt Title: Earth, Air, Fire, and Custard Publication Info: London : Orbit, 2006. Summary/Review: This is the third in a series of J.W. Wells stories where the hapless Paul Carpenter finds himself forced to work in a company that’s really a front for the magic business of a bunch of goblins.  In this adventure…

Book Review: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson


Author:  Jenny Lawson Title: Furiously Happy Narrator:  Jenny Lawson Publication Info: [New York] : Macmillan Audio, p2015. Summary/Review: This collection of humorous essays is a laugh riot from the perspective of the author of The Bloggess which skips among topics such as depression, anxiety, marriage, therapy, and taxidermy.  Really, a surprising amount about taxidermy.  Listening to the…

Book Review: Step Aside, Pops : A Hark! A Vagrant Collection by Kate Beaton


Author: Kate Beaton Title: Step Aside, Pops : A Hark! A Vagrant Collection Publication Info: [Montreal, Quebec] : Drawn & Quarterly, 2015. Summary/Review: The brilliant webcomic Hark! A Vagrant is collected in glorious print.  Beaton’s comics tend to focus on historical and literary references with various levels of absurdity, so as a History/English major with fondness for absurd…

Strange Lyrics in Later Verses of Popular Christmas Carols


A lot of people sing the first verse and chorus of popular Christmas carols and then move on.  But if you stick around to later verses you can find some interesting attempts by the lyricist to fit in large concepts and unique rhyme schemes.  Here are some of my favorites. Carol: “Cherry Tree Carol” Lyric:…

38 Things About Me and Star Wars


38 years ago in May 1977, Star Wars made its debut changing film and cultural history.  I’ve never been a Star Wars superfan, but I liked the movies as a child and grew up alongside the franchise.  With The Force Awakens premiering this week, here are 38 random thoughts about me and Star Wars. I…

Book Review: What If? by Randall Munroe


Author: Randall Munroe Title:What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions Publication Info: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014 Summary/Review: This book contains the sentence: “Aroldis Chapman could probably throw a golf ball about sixteen giraffes high.” That alone makes it worth reading. The creator of the webcomic xkcd, Randall Munroe uses math and science to investigate…

Book Review: Shouldn’t You Be In School? by Lemony Snicket


Author: Lemony Snicket Title: Shouldn’t You Be In School? Narrator: Liam Aiken Publication Info: [New York] : Hachette Audio, 2014. Other Books Read By Same Author: The Bad Beginning The Reptile Room The Wide Window The Miserable Mill The Austere Academy The Ersatz Elevator The Vile Village The Hostile Hospital The Slippery Slope The Carnivorous Carnival The…

Book Review: When Did You See Her Last? by Lemony Snicket


Author: Lemony Snicket Title: When Did You See Her Last? Narrator: Liam Aiken Publication Info: [New York] : Hachette Audio, [2013] Other Books Read By Same Author: The Bad Beginning The Reptile Room The Wide Window The Miserable Mill The Austere Academy The Ersatz Elevator The Vile Village The Hostile Hospital The Slippery Slope The Carnivorous Carnival The…

Book Review: Who Could That Be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket


Author: Lemony Snicket Title: Who Could That Be at This Hour? Narrator:  Liam Aiken Publication Info: 9781619695375 Other Books Read By Same Author: The Bad Beginning The Reptile Room The Wide Window The Miserable Mill The Austere Academy The Ersatz Elevator The Vile Village The Hostile Hospital The Slippery Slope The Carnivorous Carnival The End The Grim Grotto…

Hipsters Go Berserk


With apologies to Sandra Boynton on her birthday, here is a parody of a her classic picture book Hippos Go Berserk that I felt compelled to write.  I originally posted this on Facebook and several of my friends contributed, including: Steve W., Susan L., Christine R., Edward H., Chris D., Debbie W., Sid S., and…

Book Review: The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde


Author: Jasper Fforde Title: The Song of the Quarkbeast Publication Info: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (2011) Summary/Review: The second book in the Kazam series returns to Hereford where dictatorial King Snodd IV is looking to corner the market on magic.  The only person who can stop him appears to be Jennifer Strange, the orphan teenager who manages employment…

Book Review: The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde


Author: Jasper Fforde Title: The Last Dragonslayer Publication Info: London : Hodder & Stoughton, 2010. Summary/Review: This is the first in a series of books for young adults by the ever-so-brilliant Welsh author Jasper Fforde.  He sets his books in an alternate universe, this time a balkanized Britain the Ununited Kingdom, specifically the Kingdom of Snodd led by…

Book Review: Sleepwalk With Me by Mike Birbiglia


Author:Mike Birbiglia Title: Sleepwalk With Me  Publication Info: New York : Simon & Schuster, c2010. ISBN: 9781439157992 Summary/Review:  Stand-up comedian,  monologist, and This American Life regular Mike Birbiglia writes about his life and sleepwalking issues in this collection of autobiographical essays.  In the early going, I was disappointed because these were the same exact stories I’ve heard before…

Book Review: Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson


Author:  Brandon Sanderson Title:  Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians Publication Info:  Scholastic Paperbacks (2008) ISBN: 9780545024938 Summary/Review: Another audiobook I downloaded based on title alone from the public library and one that shows that Young Adult literature is far ahead of grown up fiction for imagination and creativity.  Alcatraz Smedry is a teenage orphan with…