Thursday, January 29, 2015

As You Wish by Cary Elwes

I love The Princess Bride and, because I had a gift card, I bought the hardback of this book. I'm trying to decrease the amount of books in my home (around 1,200 now) so this was A BIG DEAL.

This is a memoir from Cary, who played Westley, that takes us from his being cast, to the making of the movie and beyond. This was such an excellent book that it made me re-watch the movie several times during the course of reading it.

There are lots of stories about the stars and the director, who all seem "incredibly nice" (Elwes was liberal with praise and compliments) but some of my favorite stories involved Andre the Giant. I used to watch wresting when Hulk Hogan, Andre and Randy "Macho Man" Savage were around (true facts!) and Andre really comes across as a gentle giant. The stories about his appetite and alcohol consumption were crazy!

I knew that Mandy Patinkin and Cary did their own sword fight, although I don't remember where I heard that. Cary depicted all the work that went into the sword fight which amazed me because... well, it was so well executed that I wouldn't have guessed that neither of them knew how to fence prior to the movie.

Inigo is my favorite character, with Westley and Fezzik running close behind. This book made me love them all and I think I need to re-re-re-watch the movie again.

4:50 From Paddington by Agatha Christie

I do believe this is my first Agatha Christie book!

Based on the Goodreads reviews, I picked one that wasn't a typical Miss Marple book. Ah, well, it was really good so the next one I pick will be awesome.

Elspeth McGillicuddy, a friend of Miss Marple's, witnesses a murder on a train that was running opposite hers. No one believes her, but according to Miss Marple, Miss McGillicuddy is "not given to hallucinations".

Miss Marple calls in friends to help investigate the murder, which really starts with finding a body to prove there was a murder, and, probably as no surprise, she solves it.

This was a fun read and actually twisty enough that when I thought I had the culprit figured out, I was proven wrong! I really enjoyed this and look forward to reading more Miss Marple books.

I'm guessing, as my friend says, that I'm just a Matlock show away from being an old woman at 39 (I already knit and now read Miss Marple....)

I'm ok with that!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich

Number seventeen, obviously, in the Stephanie Plum series, this one made me laugh so damn loud I scared the dog. Honestly, each book is roughly the same, so the numbers don't mean much to me but despite the predictability, I love reading these books for the fun of it.

Stephanie and company are back and bodies are turning up in the pit that used to be Vinnie's Bail Bonds (whose employees have relocated to Mooner's bus). It seems to be just another crime to solve until a 3rd body is dumped and caught on video. The corpse is found with a note that says TO STEPHANIE.

Now it's personal.

In the meantime, Stephanie's mom is setting her up with an old high school football player, Dave, and he cooks! Stephanie and Morelli are in an open relationship, Ranger is still in the picture and now there's cooking Dave.

I figured out pretty early who the killer was but it was a hoot reading this book. Between the geriatric vampire, the dancing bear and, my LOL IRL moment, Lula stapling a robber, I couldn't stop laughing.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman

Since I read Amy Poehler's book, I wanted to finish Nick Offerman's book. Both of these caused me to start watching Parks and Recreation starting at Season 1.

I shouldn't compare the two but I am. I liked Amy's book much more and I think I know why. I was slightly disturbed by the number of times Offerman's refers to being "baked", "stoned" or just "smoking pot". I'm well aware people do this but I have never smoked pot and don't see the point. I'm usually disappointed when someone I admire admits to smoking that much.

Outside of that, however, this was a book I would keep putting down and then picking up to read. I didn't find it terribly readable in one sitting, like I did Amy's, but I was entertained. Offerman seems like a genuinely nice Midwestern guy. Plus, the detail on how he got into woodworking and the passion that is clearly behind it was great to read.

Offerman spends quite a bit of pages on his wife, Megan Mullally, who is very funny in her own right. The episodes of Parks and Rec where Tammy and Ron interact are some of the best.

This isn't a bad book to read if you like Ron Swanson, just don't expect much of the Swanson.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue

I doubt I would have picked this one on my own but since it was part of a book club....

I'm still a bit unsure about it. At first, I thought it was a ghost store (with monsters and weirdness) but then it kept getting stranger and stranger. The ending threw me as well.

Jack Peter, a little boy with Asperger's Syndrome has become agoraphobic since he almost drowned in the ocean with his friend Nick. Leaving the house is an ordeal and causes panic and seizures. Not a very good place to start for JP, let alone his parents, Tim and Holly. The parents have differing ideas on how to help JP, Tim opting for talking and therapy, Holly turning to religion.

JP only has one friend, Nick, who becomes reluctant to keep spending time with the strange boy. JP takes up drawing and strange things begin happening, such as monsters running around and bodies appearing in strange places. JP claims he is making it happen but his parents tend to ignore him. Nick seems to believe him, however, and is witness to many of these drawings come to life.

This book is much more than a ghost story. Secrets come out into the open with a most unbelievable one appearing right at the end. (Not sure I believe it yet!)