Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

A Continuous Book Review and Vocabulary Assignment

October 11

Comments: 2

The Sunday Salon, Sunday Sketch 0.7, and RIP IV Short Story Sunday

by Ann-Katrina

I felt like the monster truck announcer guy writing that title–Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

Anyhoo, moving right along.

Just got back from the store and since it’s so difficult to leave the store without purchasing at least one book, I decided to get four. (There was some logic in that sentence when I heard it in my head, but it escapes me at the moment.)

New Books Oct. '09

I nabbed the Norman Rockwell and Michelangelo books because I like art and I figure someone who likes art can’t have too many books on the subject. The Real Life Renovating I picked up, not because I plan on renovating anything (as if getting electrocuted installing a new ceiling fan wasn’t fun or anything), but because the pictures were phenomenal and it would help greatly in visualizing homes for my characters. And I got the Baby Animals book because…well…they’re baby animals, *squee*.

I’ve already read both the Norman Rockwell and Baby Animals books and discovered that I really would have loved to share a cup of coffee with Mr. Rockwell and that baby giraffes, when they’re born, drop seven feet to the ground—what a way to start your life.

Sunday Sketch 0.7

I’m going to cheat a little bit…

Instead of doing a scene from one of the books or stories that I’m reading, I’m going to do a sketch from the Baby Animals book because…(do we really have to go over this again? They’re baby animals, *squee*.)

I wanted to draw the baby rhino because 1) he’s adorable, and 2) they rarely receive love for their cuteness because they kind of stop being cute when they’re all grown up, but then I saw the baby field bunny.

Field Bunnies Sketch

I was tempted to color it, but I decided to save that for another day.

RIP IV Short Story Sunday

In order to get my short story fix, I incurred a book avalanche. Yeah, you heard me correctly. You remember that neat stack of books I created for my 24 hour read-a-thon book pool? Well, the book I wanted to read was halfway down the second stack and I decided it might be fun to try my hand at Jenga. It didn’t work out so well. At least I’ll have an easier time restructuring my book pool should the need arise.

Since I was out and about for a bit today, I only had enough time to read one short story: The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds from M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman.

Scary this story was not. It was, however, quite charming in a cute way. It took all the familiar nursery rhymes we heard growing up and transformed it into a noir whodunit featuring Little Jack Horner as the private dick and Humpty Dumpty as the victim.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to get in at least a few more tales from this book, if not all of them.

Now…I’m going to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas and going to bed. :)

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September 29

Comments: 8

Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

by Ann-Katrina


From the Back Cover of Coraline

When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous. But there’s another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Coraline will have to fight with all her wits and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

Three Quick Points About Coraline

  • Point 1: This book is absolutely riveting. Who knew I’d ever use the term riveting to describe a short novel penned for third-graders?
  • Point 2: I’m sure some children will wind up with nightmares after reading it (or having it read to them). I can’t deny that I’m a huge fan of horror and creepy stories; my library as a youth (and even today) tells this tale. But, reading Coraline definitely sent a few chills up my spine…more so than some of the adult novels I’ve read.
  • Point 3: Coraline is a splendid reminder that we (children and adults alike) are all capable of great courage. Coraline has a real child’s personality–not some fantasized version of one–which made her courageous adventures incredibly relatable. I was able to see much of myself, when I was a child, in her and watching her dig deep to find her courage made me want to dig deep and rediscover my own.

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