spirithorse21: (Copywriter)
I have a library card again!

While we were living in McCordsville, we did not have a library anywhere near us and it made me very sad. It also meant I didn't get much reading done in the last six months. But now we are in Hamilton County and I am right between two very nice libraries. I'm in media heaven!

I've already checked out two books, I'm back here for the second time today (yes, doing this from a public computer in the library), and I should be going home with a movie for me and the hubby too. It's amazing how something so simple can make one so happy. :)
spirithorse21: (Copywriter)
I have a library card again!

While we were living in McCordsville, we did not have a library anywhere near us and it made me very sad. It also meant I didn't get much reading done in the last six months. But now we are in Hamilton County and I am right between two very nice libraries. I'm in media heaven!

I've already checked out two books, I'm back here for the second time today (yes, doing this from a public computer in the library), and I should be going home with a movie for me and the hubby too. It's amazing how something so simple can make one so happy. :)
spirithorse21: (Copywriter)
I don't often do book reviews, and I'm not sure I'll be as adept as [livejournal.com profile] wldhrsjen3 or [livejournal.com profile] buymeaclue but this particular author deserves some recognition.

The Fourth Bear

Jasper Fforde has become one of my favorite authors, ranking right up there on my list with Hemingway, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Robert Wrigley. His books are quirky and require a bookish nature to pick up all the allusions he makes to other pieces of literature. The man is obviously well read and has a splendid way of bringing characters to life.

The Fourth Bear is the second book in a series called "The Nursery Crime Division." Really, if you're going to read this book, you should actually start with Ffrode's Thursday Next series, starting with The Eyre Affair (yes, that is an allusion to Jane Eyre). You cannot fully appreciate this nursery crime book if you do not first get a grasp on Fforde's world, which is well laid out before you in the Thursday Next series.

Fforde's books, The Fourth Bear included, fall into the comedic detective category. They seem to be a relative to the old 1930s film noir, such as The Maltese Falcon. Of course, that also means Fforde's books are a relative to the written parent of the film as well. *grin* The crimes that need to be solved are bizarre at best and quite surreal. The man doing the detective work is himself a Nursery Character and has quite an unconventional way of solving crimes. But Fforde has written his rules well and his characters all stay within the lines, making them enjoyable. I always feel invested in Fforde's characters and what fate they will meet, even though they are clearly unreal.

The Fourth Bear was a little slower than the other books. It took me a while to get invested and I considered setting the book down and picking it up later when I was more in the mood. But I persisted a bit more and suddenly found myself wrapped up in the story line as the pieces finally began to connect. It opens with a mystery surrounding the death of Goldilocks, and leads us to the three bears, who are experiencing marital problems; The homicidal psychopath, The Gingerbread Man; and 50 kilo cucumbers that are mysteriously exploding. Yes, it's all quite surreal.

But DI Jack Spratt and his assistant Inspector Mary Mary are right on top of things, and they realize they are only on the tip of a very dangerous iceberg. As they uncover more clues and more seemingly unrelated threads, they find themselves in deeper and deeper trouble. While I can usually follow Jack's reasoning (as bizarre as it is), it was puzzling this time. So, just as you think they're juggling too many balls with no way to keep them all in the air, the whole plot comes together and you begin to see all the quirky connections. It finally makes sense and that lightbulb goes on. Then, you'll be rooting for the two inspectors and their crazy plot devices (yes, they're actually referred to as plot devices!) as the come to the wire and solve the crime.

If you enjoy a mystery, and comedy, give Fforde a try. It helps if you are well read and appreciate allusions, and can suspend your beliefs on the real world to let the literary characters lead you through their world. They are quirky books, on par with authors who enjoy using puns, but much more clever and tightly written.
spirithorse21: (Copywriter)
I don't often do book reviews, and I'm not sure I'll be as adept as [livejournal.com profile] wldhrsjen3 or [livejournal.com profile] buymeaclue but this particular author deserves some recognition.

The Fourth Bear

Jasper Fforde has become one of my favorite authors, ranking right up there on my list with Hemingway, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Robert Wrigley. His books are quirky and require a bookish nature to pick up all the allusions he makes to other pieces of literature. The man is obviously well read and has a splendid way of bringing characters to life.

The Fourth Bear is the second book in a series called "The Nursery Crime Division." Really, if you're going to read this book, you should actually start with Ffrode's Thursday Next series, starting with The Eyre Affair (yes, that is an allusion to Jane Eyre). You cannot fully appreciate this nursery crime book if you do not first get a grasp on Fforde's world, which is well laid out before you in the Thursday Next series.

Fforde's books, The Fourth Bear included, fall into the comedic detective category. They seem to be a relative to the old 1930s film noir, such as The Maltese Falcon. Of course, that also means Fforde's books are a relative to the written parent of the film as well. *grin* The crimes that need to be solved are bizarre at best and quite surreal. The man doing the detective work is himself a Nursery Character and has quite an unconventional way of solving crimes. But Fforde has written his rules well and his characters all stay within the lines, making them enjoyable. I always feel invested in Fforde's characters and what fate they will meet, even though they are clearly unreal.

The Fourth Bear was a little slower than the other books. It took me a while to get invested and I considered setting the book down and picking it up later when I was more in the mood. But I persisted a bit more and suddenly found myself wrapped up in the story line as the pieces finally began to connect. It opens with a mystery surrounding the death of Goldilocks, and leads us to the three bears, who are experiencing marital problems; The homicidal psychopath, The Gingerbread Man; and 50 kilo cucumbers that are mysteriously exploding. Yes, it's all quite surreal.

But DI Jack Spratt and his assistant Inspector Mary Mary are right on top of things, and they realize they are only on the tip of a very dangerous iceberg. As they uncover more clues and more seemingly unrelated threads, they find themselves in deeper and deeper trouble. While I can usually follow Jack's reasoning (as bizarre as it is), it was puzzling this time. So, just as you think they're juggling too many balls with no way to keep them all in the air, the whole plot comes together and you begin to see all the quirky connections. It finally makes sense and that lightbulb goes on. Then, you'll be rooting for the two inspectors and their crazy plot devices (yes, they're actually referred to as plot devices!) as the come to the wire and solve the crime.

If you enjoy a mystery, and comedy, give Fforde a try. It helps if you are well read and appreciate allusions, and can suspend your beliefs on the real world to let the literary characters lead you through their world. They are quirky books, on par with authors who enjoy using puns, but much more clever and tightly written.
spirithorse21: (CSA)
Today I have learned about dairy cows, keeping dairy herds on grass pastures, and seasonal dairying. I have also learned about several different organizations I can and will contact to help me with this venture. No. 1 on the list was my local extension agent ... I just sent her an email. I asked her to give me more information of grass-based and seasonal dairying, as well as alerting her that I wanted more information on starting a CSA in general.

It's all very exciting. My reading list for the next two years appears to include almost nothing but non-fiction books about farming. spiffy.

Who needs a degree in higher education? The public library is my new best friend (actually, it was already a very good friend), and I will be getting in touch with all kinds of experts on this that and the other, all concerning agriculture ... and a few business executives too. Cool.
spirithorse21: (CSA)
Today I have learned about dairy cows, keeping dairy herds on grass pastures, and seasonal dairying. I have also learned about several different organizations I can and will contact to help me with this venture. No. 1 on the list was my local extension agent ... I just sent her an email. I asked her to give me more information of grass-based and seasonal dairying, as well as alerting her that I wanted more information on starting a CSA in general.

It's all very exciting. My reading list for the next two years appears to include almost nothing but non-fiction books about farming. spiffy.

Who needs a degree in higher education? The public library is my new best friend (actually, it was already a very good friend), and I will be getting in touch with all kinds of experts on this that and the other, all concerning agriculture ... and a few business executives too. Cool.

Books

Sep. 10th, 2007 08:43 am
spirithorse21: (Natural Horsemanship)
I'm quite certain I've asked this before, but I can't find the post that had the answers, so I'll ask again. I would like a few book recommendations on natural horse keeping and natural hoof care. And this time I'll go straightaway and add them to my amazon.com wish list so that I don't forget them and can buy as the money becomes available.

Books

Sep. 10th, 2007 08:43 am
spirithorse21: (Natural Horsemanship)
I'm quite certain I've asked this before, but I can't find the post that had the answers, so I'll ask again. I would like a few book recommendations on natural horse keeping and natural hoof care. And this time I'll go straightaway and add them to my amazon.com wish list so that I don't forget them and can buy as the money becomes available.

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