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Watch This Space

 

Publishers stumble upon my review website, Jandy’s Books, and offer books for review. I accept some of them, but not all by any means. I have my normal pleasure reading to do as well. I’ve also been offered support for author interviews and other marketing strategies that I politely turn down. For almost 15 years this has been a hobby site for me. (Hmmm, that’s half my daughter’s life. Odd to think of it in those terms.)

This week I had an offer I can’t pass up. Jody Lynn Nye took over Robert Asprin’s M.Y.T.H. World before he died. Her newest one is MYTH Quoted. This is one of those charming humorous fantasy series with puns, word play, and pratfalls to keep the reader chuckling or laughing out loud. I quickly agreed to read a copy of the new one for review. I haven’t read a M.Y.T.H. book in a while although I often recommend them when I see other people interested.

I was also offered the option of an interview or Q&A session and a give away. So…

In the next couple days, you should be seeing that. Watch for a MYTH Quoted contest and enjoy the M.Y.T.H. world with me. If it goes well, perhaps I’ll accept other offers.

Rube Goldberg Reading Device

 

I think I saw this in a Tweet from LeVar Burton. No matter, I know I saw this on Twitter and had to share. This is a hoot. But I wonder what turns the burner off again…

Yes, I laughed out loud in my office and immediately emailed it to my daughters when I saw it.

Redshirts Redux

 

redshirtsAfter I finished Redshirts on the plane, the gentleman sitting next to me observed that I must have liked the book. (I kept chuckling out loud.) I asked him if he knew scifi culture or Star Trek. He didn’t. I was able to explain just enough for him to understand my appreciation. We had a nice chat after that. He works with a small theater company in Portland. His only connection with the world of science fiction or fantasy is through there. They’re putting on Ursula Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness at the end of their season. Since I’ll be reading that for the Coursa class I’m starting, I asked more questions. It looks like I’m going to try to return to Portland next May so I can see it. Scalzi gives an entertaining ride to the reader. The three Codas at the end tie up some of the stories that are necessarily left hanging during the storyline itself. Laugh at yourself and have a rolicking time with Redshirts.

What Every Mother Wants

 

While reading this morning’s newspaper, I found the (ahem) perfect Mother’s Day Present. There was an ad to give Mom a termite house treatment! Now that’s a gift.

Uh, no, I don’t think so.

Today’s Chuckle

 

Currently at work I am doing research on different genetic testing and cancer treatments. One common treatment appears to not be effective when a certain gene is present (this is what I gleaned from reading abstracts – but I’m not the doctor). I had to laugh at this wording:

“and seem to derive inferior therapeutic benefit from…”

Is inferior therapeutic benefit worse than no therapeutic benefit????

The Spellman Files

 

Have you read any of the Spellmans series? If you haven’t found this cozy, hysterically funny mystery series, you’ve got to check it out – especially if you’re a fan of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. (And yes, I’ve said this before.)

Isabel Spellman’s whole family is – strange? weird? unpredictable? They are a family of private investigators (except for the older brother, David, who is a lawyer). While they take care of their clients, they spy on each other as well. If you haven’t read these, run to your nearest library and check out the first one, The Spellman Files.

After I finished the marvelous Physics of the Impossible Friday evening, I picked up the final book in the Spellman series, The Spellmans Strike Again. Despite the fact the family was coming here today for dinner and the house cleaning I had to do, I still tore right through this book.

By now the narrative style Lisa Lutz uses in these books is no longer new. Yet it’s still fresh and I still found myself laughing out loud at the family’s antics. These books are family friendly reading – no bad language, no questionable bedroom scenes, no violence. I’ve recommended these books from my mother-in-law and my mother to my youngest daughter and anyone who can read at this easy adult level. Age doesn’t matter – although you might not want precocious younger teens reading these. They’ll get lots of ideas to disrupt everyone’s life.

I’m sorry the stories are ending, yet they end in a good way. Everything is tied up as well as life ever lets up tie up our stories. Thanks, Ms. Lutz, for these great books.

19th Century Wit

 

My book club is reading Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell for December. I hadn’t heard of Ms. Gaskell before this. I’ve since learned a little about her, including the fact that Charles Dickens liked her work and included some of it in his weekly publication Household Words.

I was reading this while I was at the library bookstore last night. I kept chuckling out loud, although I tried to stay quiet. I had two different customers give in and ask what I was reading. I am charmed by Gaskell’s dry, biting, observant wit.

Cranford is about the “Amazonian society” of aristocratic women who run the small English town of Cranford. The men in their lives have died or are off to sea or away on business or whatever. A few are spinsters. These women have their strict societal rules.

This is one scene that so tickled me last night:

“…I would fain have looked round at the merry chattering people behind me, Miss Pole clutched my arm, and begged me not to turn, for ‘it was not the thing.’ What ‘the thing’ was, I never could find out, but it must have been something eminently dull and tiresome.”

That certainly gave me a good view of the ladies of Cranford.

This book was a miniseries on PBS in 2007. It is being run again on Masterpiece Theater later this month starting December 20th. Since Cranford was chosen back in July, I’m sure whoever nominated the book didn’t expect this scheduling coup. Isn’t it cool when world forces come together (or one saying goes “God works in mysterious ways…”)?

Huh? Headlines

 

Are full or empty beer bottles sturdier and does their fracture-threshold suffice to break the human skull?

Someone recently did a study on the usability of beer bottles as a weapon. A full one is more dangerous than an empty one…

If I haven’t mentioned this before, there is a wonderful blog, NCBI ROFL, that features odd, funny articles that appear in the medical and scientific journals. Today’s is a study “To document risk-taking behaviors by girls during beach week.” (spring break week).

Edward Cullen Meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer

 

Twilight is a huge phenomenon right now. I discovered the books before I knew their popularity, and have recommended them myself. Since the movie, Edward, the main vampire, has become a heart throb, a hottie, sweetheart, or whatever the current term is.

Back in the day (ten years ago) I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy’s mission was to kill vamps. Both the early television show and movie were campy fun although the television show later took itself way too seriously.

Someone finally took the two – the Twilight movie and the Buffy tv show, and mashed them together. It’s a hoot.

(Speaking of Buffy, the reason I started watching Bones on television was because of David Boreanaz…)

Choreography to Make You Laugh

 

No, this doesn’t have anything to do with any of my reading, library groups, or anything along those lines. It’s just funny and worth watching.

Thanks to my old neighbor for linking to this in Facebook. If you look through YouTube it appears there are more of these. When I have an hour to waste I’ll have to check them out.

Journals and Cell Phones

 

No, this isn’t about my normal reading, but more about the frustrations of being a librarian dealing with journal vendors.

The Krafty Librarian has given a wonderful rant that we can all identify with. I had to pass it on.

Journals and Cell Phones