July 18, 2011

Short & Sweet Book Reviews

Max by James Patterson (Maximum Ride #5)
I obviously enjoy the Maximum Ride series by Patterson since I am on my fifth one. I just really like Max's intelligent, yet witty and snarky personality. I also have found I like the fantasy genre more than I once did. I like that these six kids are human-avian hybrids. You can't say you run into that scenario in every third book on the shelf like you can about, say, vampires. I like reading about vamps, but it does get old after a while. I listened to this one while driving to the beach and I enjoyed the narrator. She did a very bad low voice but I have to say that I do too. I talk like a little girl. People call my phone and want to speak to my mom haha. So I guess I can't complain too much about her low voices. I am looking forward to reading Fang, which is the book about one of the other kids, and the other leader besides Max, in the flock.

Skinny by Ibi Kaslik
An emotionally-charged book about a young woman with an eating disorder, Giselle, and her athlete little sister, Holly. They deal with the death of their father, Giselle's ever-shrinking body, the boyfriend Sol, school, and their mother. The ending was good, yet less satisfying than I was hoping. I thought it needed a little more closure. All in all a good first book for author Ibi Kaslik.

Does Anything Eat Wasps?: And 101 Other Unsettling, Witty Answers to Questions You Never Thought to Ask by New Scientist
I was a little disappointed in this book. It was not what I expected. I thought that the writers at New Scientist had answered the questions, only to discover that this was only a collection of "The Last Word" column they publish, where readers answer scientific questions from other readers. While I have to say they seem to be accurate (I looked up some by random and other questions had several answers which all seemed to match up), I was still a little weary. I did like a lot of the questions and they were questions I probably never would have thought to ask, such as "How fat do you have to be to become bulletproof?" and "Is there a way to tell how much water is in a rain cloud?" Others I skipped over, like "Why do rubber bands spontaneously melt?" because never have I ever seen this happen nor do I care why they melt and, "Is it okay to eat green skin on a potato?" because there is no way I would even want to eat that, safe or not. It is just unappetizing to me.

Coffee with Shakespeare by Stanley W. Wells
I read Coffee with the Buddha by Joan Oliver Duncan in 2009 and loved it. Naturally, I thought I would like another one in the series. Well, not this one so much. I liked learning about Shakespeare, but I did not care for the weird modern voice they gave him. He still had some lovely language, but it was impossible for me to imagine having coffee with Shakespeare without the Old English language.

Naked by David Sedaris
Sedaris is a pretty funny writer. This was his take on the ever-popular memoir. He had some very funny jokes and humorous stories in there to be sure, but there were also long stretches of boring, monotonous writing that I could not figure out why he had left in the book. I would like to try another one of his books, namely Me Talk Pretty One Day.

365 Zen: Daily Readings by Jean Smith
I read this much quicker than the year I was supposed to allot for it, considering it was 365 daily readings. However, one, I do not think I have ever not read more than one daily reading at a time in any daily reading book, haha. Two, I had to keep reading because many of the readings did not resonate with me at all. I did not feel a sense of zen from them. In fact, many of the readings did not seem to fit the supposed theme of the book at all. And three, these were mostly short quotes, not readings, so I could not think or meditate on them very well. I love Buddhism and I have read about Zen Buddhism, but this, in my opinion, was not it.


  1. Well darn, I was hoping to see that the Wasp book was better than that.

  2. I was excited when I saw Coffee with Shakespeare on this list, but why would you give Shakespeare a modern voice? That sounds soooo annoying.

  3. Kathy- It is a bestseller so says the book, so apparently I am in the minority. See my comment back to you on the former post about what eats wasps :)

    Heidenkind- Yea it was super annoying only a couple dozen pages in. I guess it is trying to make Shakespeare appealing to a different crowd but I was not happy with the results.


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