Very quick reviews: December 2015, part 1 (picture books)

One of the nice things about working in an elementary school library (and in the children’s department at a public library) is that I have the opportunity to check out lots of nifty picture books. I tend to go for ones with quirky art and/or a quirky story– bonus points if it takes place in a library! Here’s some quick reviews of about half of the picture books I read in December.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

I read this book because of Jenny! Jenny and Jenny, actually, of Reading the End Podcast. They did a combined review/discussion thing about Where’d You Go, Bernadette in their very first episode1, and ever since then it’s been on my to-read list. It’s SO GOOD. I liked it so much I accidentally read it all in one night. I love epistolary novels anyway, but I especially love ones that combine multiple forms of communication. Letters, Read More …

A Hero at the End of the World by Erin Claiborne

A Hero at the End of the World has been getting lots of positive reviews lately, and for good reason. It’s funny and cute and hugely enjoyable; past me, why were you so slow getting to this? You’ve had a copy in your possession since October! For shame, past-me. Present-me is totally gleeful, though, because I had such a good time reading it! I found myself highlighting like a fiend in the first ten pages Read More …

REVIEW: Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar

This was my first foray into surrealism as a child, and though it wasn’t my favorite thing ever, I did enjoy the weird stories of the Wayside School kids. As an adult I can appreciate them even more– they’re sort of like tiny brain-teasers, or brain-twisters! They’re not just surreal, they’re surreal in a way that makes you THINK. I shouldn’t have been surprised to find out that Louis Sachar wrote Sideway Stories, but I Read More …

Mort by Terry Pratchett

Mort audiobook by Terry Pratchett

Not my favorite Pratchett book, sadly enough. I do so hate it when I don’t like a book from a favorite author. It’s SO awkward! Possibly part of my problem is the audiobook itself– Nigel Planer does wonderful male voices, but his female ones tend to sound a bit…shrill? (Or maybe it’s just the ones in THIS book.) For example: Ysabel, Death’s daughter, who is already an annoying person, is made even more annoying by Read More …

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

What a fabulous book! It’s funny, of course, but not because of any puns. Mostly I found humor in the absurd situations. I mean, hello, a big warrior/scary-father god get stuck in a tiny turtle body. And THEN he spends the entire book bullying a monk into doing his bidding– until he gets bullied back. It reminds me of Nation, actually, because it talks about a lot of the same things re:gods and humanity’s relationship Read More …

Thud! by Terry Pratchett (reread)

Thud is basically chess, only played with trolls and dwarves instead of knights and queens and whatever. It’s a totally cliched thing, even in the context of the story which has got political maneuvers and whatever up the wazoo. But it still works as a story device, and it doesn’t overwhelm the greatness that is the characters. In all the Night Watch books, the characters start off as one thing and slowly evolve into something Read More …

Making Money by Terry Pratchett (reread)

Now that I’ve finally read Going Postal, the first Moist von Lipwig book, I definitely like Making Money more than I did the first time I read it. Let this be a lesson to you– don’t rely on TV show versions for background information in a book series! You miss out on a lot, and some of the changes they make in televised versions mean you’ll be very confused when you read the sequel and Read More …