The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell

Title: The Wordy Shipmates

Author: Sarah Vowell

Publisher: Riverhead Books 2009

Genre: History

Pages: 272

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Perpetual (Nonfiction Adventure); Mount TBR

To this day, America views itself as a Puritan nation, but Sarah Vowell investigates what that means-and what it should mean. What she discovers is something far different from what their uptight shoebuckles- and-corn reputation might suggest-a highly literate, deeply principled, and surprisingly feisty people, whose story is filled with pamphlet feuds, witty courtroom dramas, and bloody vengeance.

Finally finished this book in the early morning hours. I always love a good history book where I learn something. Thankfully Vowell dives deep into the Puritans to get a good look at the people, their lives, and their beliefs. I enjoyed reading the back and forth between John Winthrop and all of his adversaries. I knew some about Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, but this book expanded my knowledge. My only issue with the book is Vowell’s deviations into current times. Those passages felt a little too long for how short this book is overall. I wanted more time in Puritan New England and less time in the 20th century…

Pretty Deadly Vol. 2

Title: Pretty Deadly Volume 2

Author: Kelly DeConnick, Emma Rios

Publisher: Image 2016

Genre: Graphic Novel

Pages: 152

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Graphic Novel

Sarah Fields is dying and her children strike a bargain with the Immortals: give them one month, until the moon is full again, to find her son. The boy is far away, in the trenches of France, stalked by the Reapers of Vengeance and Cruelty. Collects PRETTY DEADLY #6-10

I think I liked the second volume more than the first. I think the storyline was better with the appearance of Fear and War and Grace. I loved how they bookended the volume with Sarah’s death. It was a nice connector. Still really liking the storyline and not loving the art…

Pretty Deadly Vol. 1

Title: Pretty Deadly Volume 1

Author: Kelly DeConnick, Emma Rios

Publisher: Image 2014

Genre: Graphic Novel

Pages: 120

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Graphic Novel

KELLY SUE DeCONNICK (Avengers Assemble, Captain Marvel) and EMMA RÍOS (Dr. Strange, Osborn) present the collected opening arc of their surprise-hit series that marries the magical realism of Sandman with the western brutality of Preacher. Death’s daughter rides the wind on a horse made of smoke and her face bears the skull marks of her father. Her origin story is a tale of retribution as beautifully lush as it is unflinchingly savage.

This volume was highly anticipated series for me. Unfortunately, while good, this didn’t completely blow me away like I hoped. I was intrigued by the story and characters. I’m still intrigued by the story line. I was sucked in by the idea that Death had a daughter and there is an epic struggle for the position of Death and probably other things. I loved the character of Sissy and Alice is fascinating. What I didn’t love was the art… The cels felt way too messy and unclear. I don’t like the idea that I have to stare at a cel for many many moments before figuring out what is going on. I think I will be continuing the story but I have my reservations.

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Title: Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Feiwel andFriends 2015

Genre: YA Scifi

Pages: 220

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Fairytale Retelling; I Love Libraries

Pure evil has a name, hides behind a mask of deceit, and uses her “glamour” to gain power. But who is Queen Levana? Long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress in The Lunar Chronicles, Levana lived a very different story—a story that has never been told . . . until now. New York Times –bestselling author Marissa Meyer reveals the story behind her fascinating villain in Fairest, an unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes a special full-color image of Levana’s castle and an excerpt from Winter, the exciting conclusion to The Lunar Chronicles.


In a sense, I didn’t like this book. Levana is such a horrible person that of course I didn’t want to have any sympathy for her. And I don’t have any sympathy for her even after reading her story. She has always been a cruel person manipulating people to cover her own insecurities. On the other hand, I did enjoy getting more story featuring the characters we know now including Jacin, Winter, and Selene. Overall, a very interesting story…

The Lunar Chronicles

Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs

Title: Tales of the Peculiar

Author: Ransom Riggs

Publisher: Syndrigast Publications 2016

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 160

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Popsugar – With pictures; I Love Libraries

Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars. A fork-tongued princess. These are but a few of the truly brilliant stories in Tales of the Peculiar—the collection of fairy tales known to hide information about the peculiar world, including clues to the locations of time loops—first introduced by Ransom Riggs in his #1 bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.

Cute little collection stories briefly mentioned or alluded to in the Miss Peregrine series. I loved the little asides and commentary from Millard. My favorite story was the first story “The Splendid Cannibals.” It was such a weird story, but I loved it. Overall a good collection of stories.

Miss Peregrine:

The Very First Damned Thing by Jodi Taylor

Title: The Very First Damned Thing (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #0.5)

Author: Jodi Taylor

Publisher: Accent Press 2015

Genre: Science Fiction

Pages: 74

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Mount TBR

Ever wondered how it all began? It’s two years since the final victory at the Battersea Barricades. The fighting might be finished, but for Dr Bairstow, just now setting up St Mary’s, the struggle is only beginning. How will he assemble his team? From where will his funding come? How can he overcome the massed ranks of the Society for the Protection of Historical Buildings? How do stolen furniture, a practical demonstration at the Stirrup Charge at Waterloo, students’ alcohol-ridden urine, a widowed urban guerrilla, a young man wearing exciting knitwear, and four naked security guards all combine to become the St Mary’s of the future?

Loved learning how St. Mary’s was founded. We get bit of time travel adventure, a fun appearance by Max, and more importantly, introductions to most of the major players. A short short story, but definitely a good addition to the series. Now to move on to book #2 in the series.

The Chronicles of St. Mary’s:

  • #0.5 The Very First Damned Thing
  • #1 Just One Damned Thing After Another
  • #2 A Symphony of Echoes
  • #2.5 When A Child is Born
  • #3 A Second Chance
  • #3.5 Roman Holiday
  • #4 A Trail Through Time
  • #4.5 Christmas Present
  • #5 No Time Like the Past
  • #6 What Could Possibly Go Wrong
  • #6.5 Ships and Stings and Wedding Rings
  • #7 Lies, Damned Lies, and History
  • #7.5 The Great St. Mary’s Day Out
  • #7.6 My Name is Markham
  • #8 And the Rest is History

The Daily Show: An Oral History by Chris Smith

Title: The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff, and Guests

Author: Chris Smith

Publisher: Grand Central 2016

Genre: Nonfiction – Media

Pages: 459

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Perpetual (Nonfiction Adventure); I Love Libraries

For almost seventeen years, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart brilliantly redefined the borders between television comedy, political satire, and opinionated news coverage. It launched the careers of some of today’s most significant comedians, highlighted the hypocrisies of the powerful, and garnered 23 Emmys. Now the show’s behind-the-scenes gags, controversies, and camaraderie will be chronicled by the players themselves, from legendary host Jon Stewart to the star cast members and writers-including Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Steve Carell, Lewis Black, Jessica Williams, John Hodgman, and Larry Wilmore-plus some of The Daily Show‘s most prominent guests and adversaries: John and Cindy McCain, Glenn Beck, Tucker Carlson, and many more.

I loved The Daily Show under Jon Stewart and was looking forward to learning more about the inner workings of the show. I liked that the book included interviews with all peoples involved and some show transcripts. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed that the book skipped over some big events and issues in the show’s history. The book seemed to skim over a lot. And the book would definitely not be interesting to those who did not watch at least some of the episodes.

Runaways: Complete Collection Vol. 1

Title: Runaways: Complete Collection Vol. 1

Author: Brian K. Vaughan; Adrian Alphona; Takeshi Miyazawa

Publisher: Marvel 2014

Genre: Graphic Novel

Pages: 448

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Graphic Novel; I Love Libraries

They were six normal teenagers linked only by their wealthy parents’ annual business meeting…until a chance discovery revealed the shocking truth: their parents are the secret criminal society known as the Pride! For years, the Pride controlled all criminal acti vity in Los Angeles, ruling the city with an iron fist…and now, with their true natures exposed, the Pride will take any measures necessary to protect their organization – even if it means taking out their own children! Now on the run from their villainous parents, Nico, Chase, Karolina, Gertrude, Molly and Alex have only each other to rely on.

Picked this volume up on a whim. I love it when I pick winners and this definitely is. Another comic that takes the well-known narrative and turns it on its head. Of course we all the know the first twist on the story, but the really interesting part is the dynamic between the main characters. I think Nico was my favorite of the six, but all had a very interesting path through the volume. I think I might just pick up the second volume.

High Rise by J.G. Ballard


Last book of 2016!

Title: High Rise

Author: J.G. Ballard

Publisher: 1975

Genre: Science Fiction?

Pages: 208

Rating: 4/5 stars  Movie: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Book to Movie

When a class war erupts inside a luxurious apartment block, modern elevators become violent battlegrounds and cocktail parties degenerate into marauding attacks on “enemy” floors. In this visionary tale, human society slips into violent reverse as once-peaceful residents, driven by primal urges, re-create a world ruled by the laws of the jungle.

Wow! I am still reeling from this slim volume. Ballard packs a seriously intensive punch in this story. At first everything thing in the high rise seems about right. But quickly things break down and then things get crazy. I was not expecting the intensity or pace of this one. Reminded me of a more adult version of Lord of the Flies. Ballard raises some very interesting questions about the nature of humanity and constructs of society. I would not recommend this book to everyone, but I very much enjoyed the journey.


The movie definitely changed some aspects of the books, but kept the spirit of the story. I think the changes made sense when it came to adapting a very strange book to the screen. The movie created a bit more plot to move along the storyline and character development. You get a little less introspection and narration, but make up for it with more screen time for some of the other characters. My favorite parts of the movie were the set dressing and overall look and the editing. The super imposing structure of the high rise is carried through to the interior sets. Very eye catching! I especially loved Laing’s apartment juxtaposed with Wilder and Helen’s apartment. Finally, the editing was fantastic. The movie starts with traditional-length scenes and slowly devolves into almost a montage-like pace. As the society in the high rise devolves we get more and more sharp cuts and fragments of scenes. Definitely an interesting movie! I can’t believe that it only got two stars on Netflix.

Book to MovieSignature

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Title: Bossypants

Author: Tina Fey

Publisher:Little, Brown and Company 2011

Genre: Memoir

Pages: 277

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Popsugar – Written by a comedian; 52 Books – W52; Perpetual (Feminism #33)

Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon — from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

A very enjoyable read for this Christmas holiday. I’ve been wanting to pick this one up for awhile and finally got it from the library. The first half the book focusing on her younger life was interesting,but I feel like the book really picked up once she started sharing stories and lessons from her professional life. The insights into the improv world, writing, and producing shined. I think I preferred Amy Poehler’s book, but that may be because her humor is more like mine. I still loved Fey’s lessons. I ended up reading this in three days. High praise as my reading time currently is limited.