Fox on Books

Book reviews, opinions, musings and ramblings. General bookish excitement!

Archive for the month “July, 2013”

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – by Douglas Adams

hitchhikerI’ve never read Hitchhiker’s before. (Believe me, I’m just as disappointed as you are in me.) But I rectified that on a plane from London to LA, last week. Here’s what I thought of Adams’ classic sci-fi screwball comedy:

Arthur Dent is having an odd day. (He never could get the hang of Thursdays.) First, his house was demolished. Then, the entire Earth was bulldozed to make way for a new, intergalactic highway. Now Arthur’s one of two humans left, scrambling around the universe with a Betelgeuse alien called Ford Prefect for a best friend and a towel for everything else. Is There Any Tea On This Spaceship?:

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Sensational Quote Sunday

Some books change your life. They change the way you see the world. They do this not only with the story as a whole, but sometimes with an idea, a beautiful phrase, or even a word, that resonates with you the way nothing has before.

Sensational Quote Sunday is my way of paying homage to those books that remind me every day why I love reading.

This week, I’ve chosen a quote from The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, because I’ve recently visited The Anne Frank Museum and re-read the book. I’m feeling a little World War II preoccupied at the moment, so allow me to indulge that.

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The Diary of a Young Girl – by Anne Frank

imageOne of the things I was determined to do in Europe was visit places I had learned about as a child and teen. I’ve always found the first and second World Wars compelling – interesting in a cautionary and sociologically worrying way. In Amsterdam, I visited the Anne Frank Museum, where the Franks hid for more than two years during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, in WWII. After touring the house, I bought another copy of Anne’s diary. I can’t think of a more pertinent time to read it.

I was about Anne Frank’s age when I first read her diary. At that age, I don’t think I could fully appreciate its importance. Or perhaps I simply understand a lot more of the context now, 10 years later. Either way, reading the Diary was a powerful experience. During my travels, I also visited Dachau, a former concentration camp outside Munich, Germany. The amount of history, the depth of sorrow, and the continuing warning provided by stories like Anne’s, and places like Dachau, make them crucial.

It’s easy to forget, when reading this diary, about all the external horrors Anne and the Franks faced. I Don’t Wanna Be:

The Book of Luke – by Jenny O’Connell

imageHoliday time – you know what that means! Beach reads. Vacation fare. Quintessential chick/YA books that are light, fluffy, and preferably not at all challenging! I was also looking for books I could leave behind on my travels when I finished with them, to lighten my luggage load. I read The Book of Luke on a train between Venice and Innsbruck for an easy holiday read – and here’s what that was like:
Emily’s always been the nice girl. The brain, who’s focused on getting into a great college, and hasn’t got time for any of that “Standing up for yourself” nonsense. But when her boyfriend dumps her on the SAME DAY her parents are moving the family out of town against her wishes, the same day, too, that her Dad announces he’s not coming with them, Emily starts thinking it might be time to stop being so nice.
Moving back to her old town means Emily reconnects with her old friends, and one of them has just been callously dumped by her boyfriend too – by email, no less. The girls hatch a scheme: to create a guidebook for future generations about what not to do when dating an awesome girl. Using the ex, Luke, as a guinea pig for research purposes, and getting to dump him as hard as he dumped Emily’s friend when they’re done with him? Well, call that a perk. Ew, As If!:

The Way of Kings (Part Two) – by Brandon Sanderson

imageTravelling means more time for reading, right?! I’ve been testing the theory, so while exploring the sights of London and Amsterdam, I was catching up on my Brandon Sanderson, with The Way of Kings, Part Two. Here’s what I thought:

Welcome back to Roshar. The landscape remains as unforgiving as the people holding Kaladin and his bridgemen; who are still defying their intended purposes by refusing to die. It’s clearer than ever to Kaladin that there’s almost no way to avoid this fate. Unless, perhaps, he changes the rules of engagement.
Dalinar, a brightlord and (formerly) one of the most respected leaders of the Alethkar nobility, remains unsure whether he is mad, or if the visions he has during highstorms are somehow real. These visions tell him he must do the impossible, and unite the Alethkar forces as one. But until he ascertains whether these are real warnings or merely delusions, Dalinar knows it is dangerous for him to remain in charge of his House. Other nobles have noticed his ailment, and sense that there may be blood in the water.
In Part Two of The Way of Kings, we see the payoff from Part One’s lengthy set up. We Were the Kings and Queens of Promise:

The Lies of Locke Lamora – by Scott Lynch

imageHello there! It’s been too long – because I’m on holidays! I’m blogging from Stratford Upon Avon right now, which seemed appropriate. For the past month I’ve been gallivanting throughout Europe, and there’s a post full of bookish goodness on the way about that. But first and foremost, a review!
The Lies of Locke Lamora was recommended to me by a bookseller in London, after we’d been chatting about The Name of the Wind and the Mistborn trilogy. It’s a debut fantasy novel that’s been getting some interesting buzz, so I was excited to try it. Here’s what I thought:
Locke Lamora has an interesting problem: he thinks too big. While this may be an admirable trait, as a thief in Camorr it’s a liability. The Gentlemen Bastards, Locke’s gang, are successful because they make sure they aren’t noticed. Little thefts, little rewards. But that’s not enough for Locke – he’s in it for the challenge, and for the win. Before long, he’s accidentally infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and attracting notice from all the wrong people.

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