Well, it is official, the summer has ended. It really ended for me last week, as there was inservice and new teacher orientation to be attended to, but this week it is truly over as today was day two in school for kiddos.
Gone is the ability to read for hours and do nothing while soaking up the sunshine. Instead I have to start planning lessons and finding ways to get kids a little bit excited about literacy. Let’s face it, sometimes that is a tall order. Because of this, I have not been reading as much lately, and I definitely have not been thinking of writing blog entries either. So these will be short, and sweet, and very vague as my brain capacity seems to have shrunk this week. Really, it’s amazing I am even awake at this point, regardless of the fact that it is only 6 pm. This is what the first week of teaching does to you.
The Infernals by John Connolly
2011, 309 pages
Sadly, The Infernals is just not quite as good as The Gates. My theory is that the first one was so well done that there was just nowhere for the second book to go. In this version, instead of the demons coming back to Earth, it somehow ends up that some Earthlings, mostly characters from the first book, find themselves in Hell. Naturally, it is a depressing place. And the story is a little depressing too.
All in all, read the first one, skip the second one. While there are some interesting parts, there just isn’t enough to save it from being mediocre at best.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 bedazzles
Free Range Chickens by Simon Rich
2008, 176 pages
This book is described as a series of jokes. And some of them are jokes, while others are more like short stories. Either way, they were all hilarious. I was going to include my favorite bits, but I think you should just read the book and find them for yourselves. It’s less than 200 pages, you can do this, reader!
Rating: 4 out of 5 bedazzles
New York by Edward Rutherfurd
2009, 862 pages
This is the book that has been sucking up all of my spare time. And I totally skimmed the last couple of chapters. But the book is a freaking doorstop! It’s sooooo long. If you remember, I reviewed Paris, which is similar to this one in that it explores the history of the city through a select number of families, with all of them crossing paths at one point or another.
New York does this as well, but the majority focuses on the Master family, descended from one of the original Dutch families that settled New Amsterdam and which later became New York. It includes quite a few chapters before we even get to the American Revolution, which I thought was interesting just because I had no idea.
Anyway, it goes up through 2008. Yes, there is a chapter on 9/11. And lots and lots of other stuff. It was interesting. But long. And my attention span can’t handle that much longness.
Rating: 2.75 out of 5 bedazzles