Thursday, June 10, 2010

Book Recommendations

Originally written on August 3, 2007

You ever notice how, when you're with a group of people discussing a popular TV show, there always seems to be someone who will smugly announce, "Oh, I don't watch television." Yeah, like they're soooo much better than the rest of us losers who have nothing better to do than watch reruns of Seinfeld. Like they're spending nights poring over their latest experiment on a cure for cancer or something. Those people make me so angry I'd like to crack them over the head with their Nobel Prize trophy. (Do they even have trophies? 'Cause if they do, I'm totally going to do that one of these days.)

So anyway, since there's nothing on TV during the summer and I'm nearly finished watching Mom's DVDs of Monk seasons 1 through 4 (again), I've been doing a lot of reading. Like the rest of the world, I finished the 7th and final installment of the Harry Potter series two days after it was released. I won't spoil anything for those who may not have read it yet, but I thought it was arguably the best in the series.

Even though there are a number of classics I've been wanting to read, upon finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I found myself craving more fantasy fiction. A friend recommended Fablehaven and Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star, by Brandon Mull.

Our local library in Eagle Mountain has both books, but the first was checked out and I did not care to wait for it to be turned in. Luckily, I work very close to a Borders bookstore, so I spent several lunch breaks there reading a copy in one of their comfy chairs without ever having to buy it. By the time I was finished with it, I was able to get the second Fablehaven book from the library. I'm almost finished with it.

Every bit as gripping as Harry Potter, the Fablehaven series has not disappointed me so far. In Rise of the Evening Star, you learn that they have a prison called Zzyzx for evil mystical creatures. If you have ever traveled on I-15 through San Bernadino County, CA, you know where Mull got that name. I've been waiting to see if he somehow incorporates the giant thermometer in Baker, CA. Which, incidentally, what's the big deal about that thermometer anyway? It's really not "the world's largest thermometer." It's just a giant sign that displays the temperature. The actual thermometer that reads the temp is probably just regular sized. They probably bought it at Radio Shack. I'm just sayin'.

Where were we? Ah yes, fantasy fiction. Brandon Mull is, interestingly enough, an LDS BYU graduate. Speaking of LDS BYU grad authors, Stephenie Meyers' series about a highschool girl in love with a non-evil vampire is pretty good. Don't let my brief cheesy description discourage you from reading Twighlight, New Moon, and Eclipse which will be released on August 7th. If you're thinking of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, rest assured that these novels are totally different. Myers claims to have never seen an episode of Buffy. She doesn't want it to influence her writing.

In between books, I've been half-heartedly reading Brad Meltzer's Book of Fate. I'd give it a good solid "meh."

Speaking of meh, what's with those people who spend hours and hours playing video games? Don't they have anything better to do? They make me so angry I'd like to crack them in the head with my Nobel Prize trophy, if only I had one. Maybe I'll get to that right after I finish translating Homer from the original Greek. Oh, and after I finish watching this one really good episode of Buffy.

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