Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle



The unicorn had lived since before memory in a forest where death could touch nothing. Maidens who caught a glimpse of her glory were blessed by enchantment they would never forget. But outside her wondrous realm, dark whispers and rumors carries a message she could not ignore: "Unicorns are gone from the world."
Aided by a bumbling magician and an indominable spinster, she set out to learn the truth. But she geared even her immortal wisdom meant nothing in a world where a mad king's curse and terror incarnate lived only to stalk the last unicorn to her doom. . .

This is one of my all time favorite books, a book that is worthy of multiple readings. It's a classic as far as I am concerned, and no self-respecting fantasy genre addict would skip it! Read it, just go out and get it. Working in a library, I am well informed about the new books coming out. I am sad to say I think we have hit a rut in the book world. There is nothing I am extremely excited about on the horizon. Everything seems to be a sequel - because apparently every book needs a sequel, even those that suck! Now there are some non-series books coming out but they all seem to be clones of books that already exist. Time to read what came before and jump into the classics. This book is a great place to start.

Haunted House Dressing

Writing, comics, and an odd in a neat little way - Welcome our new tenant Haunted House Dressing: the official site of writer Jeremy C. Shipp. Click on our link and check it out, there is something for everyone.

Monday, February 27, 2006

A Birthday and a Good-bye in Wonderland.

My best friend had her birthday this weekend, with a party on Saturday in her New York apartment. The party was very nice and it was just amazing to see her and all the people I know. I can't believe we've been friends almost 12 years. Happy Birthday L! She has been my best friend, editor, book club, and ghost hunting partner. I would not be who I am if not for her. Sometimes I am jealous of her life - she is living the dream I had when we were in college. I am happy with the choices I made but I am happy to see her live that dream regardless.

Also this weekend, my father and his wife moved on to Florida - I didn't expect this to hit me as hard as it did. I mean, my parents have been divorced since I was little and I never lived in my father's house. Surprising as it was, his move hit me hard. A few years back, my grandmother sold the house I grew up in. She moved to Florida and my mom moved out to the eastern end of the Island. Not long before, my other grandmother passed away after years of bitter fighting in the family. Now, with my father's move, the chapter has ended on my childhood.

All the places and people that contain my childhood memories are removed from me. I know it's not the places that are important. I know "home" is now the place I live with my husband. I know "home" is now in Connecticut. Yet, just sometimes, I am homesick for Long Island and my childhood. The Island is different then it was when I left 6 years ago. I don't belong there anymore. This became perfectly clear as we drove away from my dad's on the day he left. Everything has changed and grown away from me. I am slowly losing my reasons to return to the Island. My mom and her sisters are all that remain. My friends, father and his family - all have moved on to different venues. Places and people have moved on. I no longer belong to the Island but I really don't fit quite right with New England. I am a woman trapped between both, which I guess puts me right in the middle of the Long Island Sound!

L's party was great and my father's move is going to do wonders for him, but both have made me a little nostalgic and sad. The ups and downs of living in Wonderland!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Curiouser and Curiouser 2/24/06

Winter Recess. No children. No teachers. No one at all. Just me and the copy machine with a death wish. Still saving the world with the roommate, husband and puppy still want attention. Shock and loss ensue at the tea party. The brother remains among the missing. So much going on while so little happens.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

Synopsis: Alyss, born in Wonderland, is destined to be a warrior queen. After a bloody coup topples the Heart regime, Alyss is exiled to another world entirely, where she is adopted into a new family, renamed Alice and befriended by Lewis Carroll. At age 20 she returns to Wonderland to fight her wicked Aunt Redd.

Such an interesting idea - such a disappointing book. As many people know I am enamored with all things Wonderland. When the dormouse came back from England, this past summer, she brought back a selection of books for the school library. This was one of them. I was instantly obsessed with reading it. Of course, reading for me works this way. I meet a book and fall in love before I even turn to the first page. It's not always a sweet love affair. More often than not, the romance goes sour as the book turns on me. Looking Glass Wars was a huge betrayer. The premise of "fracturing" a fairytale is nothing new. So a new spin on an old favorite can be a great thing. Gregory Maguire does this very well with many of his books - Confessions of an Ugly Step-Sister and Wicked come to mind. The story is decent but the writing just doesn't live up to it. There are moments where a better story can almost be felt - it's in there but I just can't tell where. A better version of a twisted Wonderland can be found in American McGee's computer game Alice, where the plot and characters are more developed. It's a sad world for a bookaholic like me when a video game is more alluring than a book, but in this case it's true. Now headed for publication in the US - I won't be planning on adding this title to my library.

Friday, February 17, 2006


I have been hooked on the sarcasm and wit of Coffeestoned since finding it renting on the Rubbernecker. So I was thrilled to find out they wished to rent with me! Click over and read. Go ahead - I'll wait. As for BE tourists, just stopping by for the required 30 second -click on this week's renter but make sure you open it in a new window so you don't stop the surf! :)

Curiouser and Curiouser 2/17/06

During the week of hearts, we were hit by piles of snow. The dormouse left the tea party to go off on vacation. . .Lucky! The library was quite. The husband suffers for attention; so does the puppy. The roommate and I teamed up to save the world. Finally, there is a copy machine in a Connecticut school that is going to find itself hacked into little pieces if it doesn't learn to fly right.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Curiouser and Curiouser 2/10/06

Everything that could break down at work - did. Also, the Duchess came for an overnight visit. I was shocked. She did call and ask but she's done that before. She's always cancelled. Not this time. She showed up and it was really pleasant. Still, it was a shock.

The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks

I just finished reading The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks, while at work yesterday. Apparently there was a lot of hype built up around this book when it came out this summer. The reviews have been mixed. Many people have named it as the greatest book they have ever read. Just as many say it doesn't come close to the hype created around it. I never even knew this book existed until I found it on a shelf in my local bookstore. I never heard the hype. I didn't know the catch phrases. I loved this book! It's not the greatest book I ever read. I'm not sure it can be called a modern classic, as I've seen it billed on one website. I thought the characters were fairly well developed, especially Maya - our reluctant heroine. I thought the plot was interesting, if not a little disturbing with all the modern technological paranoia running rampant inside the book's pages. It kept my interest. I wanted to read it. I didn't want it to end. Which I guess is a good thing since this is the first book in a proposed trilogy. Stories like this have been done before, both in books and on the silver screen, but it's a fast pace novel that does well with what it has.

Read below for a more detailed description:

Annotation - Gabriel and Michael Corrigan have been shaped by stories that their father was a Traveler –one of an elite group of prophets able to attain pure enlightenment. They have always lived "off the grid"—that is, invisible to the intricate surveillance networks that monitor people in our world.

Maya is attempting to lead a normal life in London. She wants to ignore the fact that she comes from a long lineage of Harlequins –a band of warriors pledged to protect the Travelers at all costs. When Maya is summoned to Prague by her ailing father, she learns that the Corrigans have just been located in California and they may represent the last surviving Travelers. They are in need of protection from the Tabula –ruthless men who are determined to inflict order on the world by invisibly controlling its population. Maya must fly to California to find the brothers before the Tabula do. She must become involved in the looming battle that will reveal a secret history of our time.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Curiouser and Curiouser 2/3/06

Ahhhhhhhhh! That's all I have to say about it.