I had so much fun reading Agent Gates, a parody of Downton Abbey, I decided I needed to read Downton Tabby. This was a fun quick read, with humor not just satirizing the TV series, but also grabbing puns from a variety of sources.
Fabulous book! The first half recounts the changes in human physiology, from the time we first diverged from apes (chimpanzees specifically) to modern times. Dr Lieberman discusses the physical adaptations and what they mean for the way our bodies function. Then he takes this history of the human body and shows us evolutionary mismatches between our physiology and our modern lifestyle, first starting with the foods we eat, and then discussing our bodies needs to be physically active, that we were born to run/walk long distances, and that our bodies suffer if we fail to be active. For example he notes that people that run barefoot, rarely suffer foot injuries, in contrast to runners that wear shoes (barefooters also hit with the ball of the foot first, unlike shod runners who strike with their heel). Type II Diabetes, Heart disease, and cancer are discussed in detail. I found it especially interesting how our bodies process different types of foods, how damaging starches and carbs are, compared to protein, fat, fiber, and how the composition of what you eat, affects whether it is sent for fat storage, whether it triggers insulin shock or absorbed slowly and more healthily.
Maggie lives in a world being torn apart by cohesion breaks – aka cobeys, which are breaks in reality, where chunks of space are missing. Magic has been outlawed in the Neworld where she lives, in order to cut down on the number of cobeys, which seem attracted to magic. Her own family has had there genes chopped, so that magic doesn’t become active. Then Maggie’s Mom remarries, and Maggie knows that there is something wrong with her new step-dad, (who’s come from the OldWorld where magic is still practices) – he seems to be surrounded by shadows. Then all of a sudden some huge cobeys appear right where Maggie lives. The police come out, and start hauling people away. Maggie and her friends need to figure out what is happening and how they can stop the cobeys. Like most of McKinley’s books this title could easily be continued in a series, but she doesn’t seem to pursue the potential series.
5 stories around the motif of fire beings. I preferred Robin’s tales over her husband Peter’s (big surprise, since I’d never heard of him before). The best tale was called Hellhound, about a demon who changed sides. Peter’s tales had some very excellent sections, and then other parts seemed liked they needed fleshing out (also, could have done without the sexism – no it was a made-up time, so did Not need to be part of the context).
Beekeper Mirasol is unexpectedly chosen as the next Chalice, the most important adviser to the Master. I was absolutely delighted with this tale. Previous Chalices usually used water, or some milk, rarely blood. But Mirasol’s element seems to be honey.The pacing, the worldbuilding, the level of tension, was perfect for me. I am now seeking out all of Robin McKinley’s works.
Small town librarian MauraBeth tries to ramp up programming and usage at her library, in an attempt to keep the city council-members from closing the library in order to fund development in the town. I thought this would be a little more interesting, being a librarian, but it wasn’t very. Too much HANDWRINGING and really, 1 book club that meets every 6 weeks?
A fairy tale-like story. The rulers of Montagne have been rumored to possess and use magic. But this has been only a rumor. Grandmonther (queen mother) Benificence, her two daughters Wisdom and Temperance, along with an orphan named Fortitude and a miller’s son Tips all end up at Wisdom’s wedding to the neighboring and coveting kingdom. Its a pretty fast paced, fun tale, written mostly in letter, epistolary format.
Circus daughter Helena says she hates her life and wants to have an ordinary “real” life, and that she hates her mother. Her mother falls ill with cancer. In an alternate reality – a dreamy Alice-through-the-Looking-Glass world – Helena has to set things right, in order to return to her original world. I choose this title because its a graphic novel, which is this months challenge. It was interesting, kind of showing teen rebellion and growing up. I didn’t really care for the artwork.
I wish they could get someone like Laurel Burch to do the artwork in these Graphic Novels – please add this kind of color graphic novelists!
Jo Hemlock has spent her life hiding, hiding the fact that she’s a witch, and hiding from the evil clan of witches that killed her mother, that are now pursuing her and her grandmother. Now that she’s about to have a regular boyfriend, is when the evil clan strikes again, sending her innocent father (whom she had never met) searching for her Mom and then for Jo. Fast paced, and engaging book (not deep though). I would enjoy a sequel.
The book starts out slow. It is the story of 2 youngsters trained in the magical arts as opponents in a challenge. The venue for competition is the Night Circus. Their respective masters omit informing them of important rules of the game, like how a winner is determined.
Ah – my Downton Abbey addiction can be revived! This month’s challenge is Graphic Novels, and I was lucky that my coworker recommended this title to me. It is a parody, poking fun at a variety of aspects of the show, particularly, the aristocracy’s treatment of their servants. The illustrator does an excellent job of drawing characters with distinctly recognizable physical characteristics of the TV characters. Even the names are clever. Bates is Gates, Thomas Barrow is Thompson Sparrow, Anna is Joanna, Daisy is Poppy. Funny stuff!
In post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, two highly intelligent teenagers are working for opposing sides. Rebel, Day was to have been killed when he supposedly failed his trials, but lives on the streets with, helping his family survive, as well as thumbing his nose at the Republic, by wreaking havoc. He is the Republic’s Most Wanted Criminal, Not because his crimes are heinous, but because they make the Republic look bad.
On the other side is child prodigy June, assigned the task of hunting down Day, because he supposedly killed June’s brother Metias.
This is a fast-paced action book, with a romance that is at turns cute and then annoying.
I disliked the number of torture/terrorizing scenes and thus will NOT read the 2 sequels..
What a delightful and fun read. Teenager Wade is living in the US about 2014’s, in a post energy world. He lives in the stacks – stacks of trailers/mobile homes linked together with steel poles, and whatever jetsam is lying around, his trailer is on the 32nd level, and actually receives a little sunlight. His aunt steals his food vouchers. He has found a safeplace at the bottom of a mound of abandoned vehicles (no gas left), which he crawls into every day hooks into the Oasis (FB on steroids) with a visor and haptic glove and goes to school. This is the environment. The multibillionaire, James Haliday who invented the Oasis and numerous other internet games died 5 years ago and set up a series of challenges, the winner will inherit the billions. Wade is one of several hunters searching for the 1st key. Haliday loved the 80’s so the hunters as well as the readers get to share in 80’s culture. Personally, I don’t think I’m very in touch with pop culture, but was amazed at all the culture references I caught – Blade Runner, LadyHawke, War Games, John Hughes movies, Excalibur, Gary Gygax, D & D, etc.
I REALLY enjoyed this book! and have recommended it to all sorts of people.
Wild and willful Brownwyn Hyatt is back from the Iraq war. There are omens that her mother is likely to die, and a haint is wanting to talk to her. Will it be possible to change the future and keep her mom alive. Or if her Mom does die, will Brownwyn be able to remember her musical skills in order to learn her Mother’s song. Will she be able to resist the temptation of her old boyfriend, bad-boy, Dwight? It also includes the storylines of a Christian minister trying to make inroads into this isolated community of people called the Tufa. And it includes the storyline of Don Swayback, 1/8th Tufa, who comes back to his roots.
A creative retelling of Cinderella – with a little Tam Lin thrown in. Ash becomes an indentured servant to her stepmother when her father’s debts come due. She sees fairyland as an escape from her drudgery and abuse. The fairy Sidhean who could steal her away from mortals is reluctant to do so, seemingly because he is cursed to love her and have his heart broken. Eventually, Ash falls in love with the Kings Huntress, and realizes, she might want to stay in the mortal realm. Enjoyable, fast-paced read.