Wednesday, May 20, 2015


ed. by John Zmirak

Why You'll Like This Book:
  • This book can help save you from intellectual destruction. The series of essays ranges from "Sentamentalism" to "Utilitarianism", taking on Hedonists, Relativists, Cynics, and more.
  • There is a great recommended reading list at the end of each essay. More books to read! (In fact, I think this is my favourite aspect of this whole book.)

And Why You Might Not:
  • A bunch of the essays are a bit simplistic and not as nuanced as they could be. The necessary shortness is part of it, of course. But still, many just go over the basics of an opposing point of view, without trying to either add more depth to make it interesting or add other points of view to make it balanced and accurate.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Gone Girl

by Gillian Flynn

Story Summary: Don't want to give anything away. This is a thriller with definite twists. But to sum up briefly: Nick and Amy are having trouble in their marriage, Amy disappears, media starts to suspect Nick, everything goes wrong, twists happen.

Why You'll Like This Book:
  • Unreliable narrators!
  • Plot twists!
  • Very gripping! (At least the second half.)

And Why You Might Not:
  • Two main characters who are both rather unpleasant people.
  • And both kind of sexist too. Towards both sexes.
  • And most of the other characters are unpleasant too. (Although I liked Go.)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Handbook for Dragon Slayers

by Merrie Haskell

Story summary: I left this review way too late. It's been about two months since I read this, and I forget most relevant details. So I'll just quickly say that it's about a lame princess and some dragons, and then point you to the Goodreads summary.

Why You Should Read This:
  • Disabled princesses!
  • Plucky young heroines with a passion for writing!
  • A positive portrayal of a priest!
  • And last but not least: Dragons!

And Why You Shouldn't:
  • It is a children's book. Although I love children's books, this has the kind of writing that I think is a bit more exciting when read at a younger age. (Not that it's juvenile by any means. In fact, almost the opposite--sometimes in my ancient age of mid-twenties, my brain is too tired to grasp the slower sublties of Middle Grade novels. Seriously. C.S. Lewis even wrote an excellent essay on something like this.)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw

by Christopher Healy

Story summary: The League of Princes is on the run, since all the bards in the kingdom have made up songs about how nasty they were for killing Princess Briar (which they didn't), and the citizens of this part of the world are really into bards. "Giant mongooses will be battled, brain-melting beetles will be run from, dozens of feathers will be plucked, and perhaps, kingdoms will finally be saved, now and forever." (quote from the Goodreads summary)
Sequel to A Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom and A Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle.

Why You Should Read This:
  • It's really, really funny.
  • The illustrations are awesome.
  • It has a lovely, light storyline, with battles and romance and friendships and pirates.
  • Did I mention the pirates? And the captain is awesome.
  • There's someone with an absolutely hysterical name. I laughed out loud when I read it, but mostly it was due to the surprise of finding it, so I won't tell you.
  • You will meet the "ffff"! Not going to spoil that one either.

And Why You Shouldn't:
  • It's a little bit too long, especially for a Middle Grade novel.
  • There are still some loose ends, despite being the last in the trilogy, as far as I know.