Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Speaking of books

Since we're talking books (and because I'm so frusturated with my paper right now I don't think I'm going to get much more done today...) I had a question for those in the group that read Inkheart (Jennifer recommended during knitting so I know at least one other person in the group has read it). Did anyone read the second book of the series, Inkspell? Did you like it? Although I enjoyed Inkheart quite a bit, I did not like Inkspell very much and I was wondering if anyone else felt this way or if I was in the minority. I will still read the final book whenever it comes out to see how she ties things up, but I'm not exactly looking forward to it, if you know what I mean.

Also, I find that I really enjoy young adult/teen/children's literature for relaxing reading. Does anyone have anything good to recommend?


Jenny said...

I liked "The Blue Sword" and also "Ella Enchanted." I think Lisa suggested a series of books involving underground elves and a really smart kid, but I cannot remeber the titles or even a better description (but enjoyed them).

Jennifer said...

Hi Abby,
I agree with you about Inkspell. I did not see that Inkheart really needed a sequel and the ending of Inkspell seemed very abrupt and contrived. Like she really just needed a cliff hanger so people would read the third book. That said, I will definately read the third book when it comes out.

Abby said...

I think my problem with Inkspell was that Meggie (and several of the other characters, but Meggie particularly) rubbed me the wrong way (i.e. she seemed like a brat to me). I still love Mo and Farid as characters, but pretty much everyone else, not so much. Apparently, it was an unplanned sequel which is probably why you have some trouble with it. The last one of the trilogy, Inkdeath, just came out in Germany this week, so we will probably get the translation within a year or so.

Jenny, I've read Ella Encanted and liked it enough to read other books by the same author, and I've read most of the Artemis Fowl books (which is the one from Lisa that I think you are talking about). I have not read "The blue sword" i'll have to look that up.

Sparkling Squirrel said...

I'm with everyone on Inkspell. It was missing lots and lots of the charm of the first book, but I still generally enjoyed it and will still read the final one.

"The Blue Sword" by Robin McKinley is one of my (and Jennifer's) all time favorite books (although we have lots of books we say that about, it always makes the list). Her other works are very good also-- Spindle's End, Beauty . . . but the Blue Sword is the best.

I was not a huge fan of Artemis Fowl, but I'm glad you thought of it, because I would have had no idea which book involved a smart kid and underground elves.

Jennifer lent me two fabulous books last year, and I've seemed to forget the titles of both-- one involved wee blue people and the other was a weaver with a polar bear (the cover looked like one of the Philip Pullman books but it wasn't). Help Jennifer?
I assume that everyone has read Lloyd Alexander's Pyridian Chronicles, but if you haven't they are fabulous (the first is "The Book of Three"), as are Ursala LeGuin's series, and, in the adult range, I highly recommend The Time Traveler's Wife and Grass for fun and very different books.

Abby said...

I didn't love Artemis Fowl, but they were short and interesting enough that I've read most of them. My advisor is giving me the ones I haven't read yet as she seems to love them.

If anyone is looking for a really fast, fun read you should try the Maximum Ride series. It's very light and a bit preachy at the end, but it's action-packed and fun. Plus, Fang (the main romantic interest for the female protagonist) is very cool in the fact that his masculinity is not at all threated by having a woman in charge which I thought was cool. I picked this up at the airport and it was great travel reading.

Jennifer said...

The blue men are in two books by Terry Prachett
"A hatful of sky" and "The wee free men". I don't remember which comes first.

The polar bear and weaver book was called "North", I think. It was really good.

I still need to read the Time Traveler's Wife.

And if you have not read the "Blue Sword" you really need to. It will always be on the top of my favorites list. I do need to get a copy of that book.

Jennifer said...

Sorry, not North, but "East" by Edith Pattou.

Jenny said...

If you still need more, I also liked "The Dark is Rising" sequence by Susan Cooper, or "Trickster's Choice" and "Trickster's Queen" by Tamora Pierce. Abby, I'm glad you remembered the name of the "really smart kid" series. I just remember reading them while writing my thesis but didn't remember anything else about them.

Sparkling Squirrel said...

For excellent non-fantasy books, I highly recommend The Pushcart War and The Toothpaste Millionare by Jean Merril (both a bit dated but excellent), Maniac Macgee, all of Madeleine L'Engle's books (and I'm actually a bigger fan of the Vicky Austin and Poly O'keefe books than the Wrinkle in Time trilogy, but that could just be the order I read them), the Anne and the Emily books, and, perhaps my all-time favorite book, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Roald Dahl's The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Danny the Campion of the World are as good as (and in my opinion better than) his better known fantasy works.

Irene said...

Roald Dahl books are always good fun. So is anything by Terry Pratchett, whether kid-oriented or not.

Someone mentioned the Philip Pullman books... I think the trilogy is called "His Dark Materials." I liked those quite a bit.

For old-fashioned fantasy that will keep you occupied for a while (longer series) I can recommend the Deathgate Cycle by M. Weis and T. Hickman, and the Dragonlance books by same. Along the same vein, stuff by R. A. Salvatore is kind of entertaining, especially if it involves an elf named Drizzt.

Beth said...

I recently read all of the Tamora Pierce books (my friend Anne lent the whole set to me) and they were good. I also like the Neil Gaimen children's novels like Stardust and Coraline. Also in the Blue Sword theme - the rest of her books (last name begins with an M) are also really good. Denis McKiernan has a bunch of retelling of fairy tales (Autumn, Winter, etc) and a bunch of books that are fun slightly stolen versions of the LOTR series - or at least in a similar world.