Sunday, November 23, 2008


by Robin McKinley

Grade: All right

It's almost Good, because I read it all the way through very quickly, and my interest never flagged. However, I didn't love the main character very much. And even the vampire--well, he was cool, but he didn't quite cut it to make this book Good instead of All right. If there was a sequal, I'd definitely read it, though.

Spellbound: The Surprising Origins and Astonishing Secrets of English Spelling

by James Essinger

Grade: To Own

I think I just might want to own this one. It is absolutely fascinating, and an excellent resource. Here are just a couple of the points I found interesting:

--"fish" can be spelled "ghoti", says Shaw, according to the sounds those letters use in other words
--"pork" vs. "pig": the difference came with the rich Normans, never seeing the animal, calling it "pork", and the poor Saxons, never seeing the meat, calling it "pig"
--I love Norman names. Draco Malfoy is one (versus Harry Potter), and Caledon Hockley (versus Jack Dawson)
--"[T]he ruder the word is, the more Anglo-Saxon is sounds"
--I wanna go to the British Library--it sounds beautiful and wonderful and lovely
--There's a particular episode of Blackadder that I ought to watch, starring Dr. Johnson
--He didn't mention Shakespeare adding words, which I've heard to be the case. I think I might email him about it and ask him
--On page 268-9, there is a plethora of beautiful British spellings, some of which I want to adopt.

And those are but a few! Really cool book.

A True and Faithful Narrative

by Katherine Sturtevant

Grade: All right

Not as good as the last one. Mostly because I didn't like Edward. Will wasn't wonderful either, but I liked him better than Edward. So. Grade: All right.

Power of Three

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

Good thing I continued reading after what I thought was a rather dull first page, because it got better and better. As usual, she brought in the modern world very cleverly.

Believing is Seeing

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

These were good stories. Good Diana Wynne Jones. "The Master" I didn't really get, but it was interesting. "The Girl Who Loved the Sun" was sad. Sniff. I liked "What the Cat Told Me" best, probably. "Nad and Dan Adn Quaffy" was weird, and I didn't quite get it either. But it was still good Diana Wynne Jones.

At the Sign of the Star

by Katherine Sturtevant

Grade: Good

Good little book. I liked the Paul guy because he was nice, even though he didn't have a very big role. It was almost too feminist in parts, but it wasn't bad. Nice history, interesting details, and good characterization.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos

by R. L. Lafevers

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To somewhere in the middle

The person I liked turned out bad. End of story. I don't like stories where the person I like turns out bad, unless it's really fascinatingly bad, like Ben Linus or something. Otherwise, it was pretty cool.

Silent in the Grave

by Deanna Raybourn

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 190

It was very well done and intruiging, and Nicholas Brisbane had potential, but there love story was too much of the sparring that I don't like, and there was stuff at the end that bothered me. But I might re-read some of it just to find out what Nicholas's strange problem was.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Letters to a Young Mathematician

by Ian Stewart

Grade: To Re-read

If I go into math, or I'm stuck on what to go into, I ought to read this again, thus the grade.
It gave me a really good game which would be fun to play with Breann sometime: change ORDER into CHAOS, one letter at a time. (Or SHIP into DOCK if I need it to be easier.)
Also it mentions this: "Anyone who thinks computers can supplant mathematicians understands neither computing nor mathematics. It's like thinking we don't need biologists now that we have microscopes." Contradiction to an interesting video we watched recently.

INSERT: The Tough Guide to Fantasyland

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

Because it's an insert, I can't remember all the good parts anymore. But there were some very, very good parts. She very accurately and amusingly describes what's cliched with the fantasy genre.