Monthly Archives: June 2016

Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m a Supervillain by Richard Roberts

Penelope Akk, the daughter of two superheroes, is waiting not so patiently for her own superpowers to come in. When they do, she is surprised to discover she’s a mad scientist meaning she’s a supervillain. When The Inscrutable Machine (Penny and her two sidekick friends) begin showing up (and winning), her parents come up with all sorts of reasons not to believe Bad Penny is their daughter, constantly assuring her her complete powers will come in eventually.

Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m a Supervillain is a silly, fun book. Penny always wants to switch to the hero side and the fights they get involved in tend to be pretty innocuous. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the heroes and the villains. I read the book out loud to my 8 and 9 year olds and they loved it (and I read it to them on the recommendation of my 14 year old son and husband, both of whom also loved it). We’ve already moved on to the second book in the series. I highly recommend this book!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 66
Pages Read in 2016: 17,488
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale

Becky Jack is just an ordinary 30-something year old Mormon housewife from Utah when the completely unexpected happens. She somehow manages to sell a screenplay and then chances to meet her Unattainable Crush of a movie star, Felix Callahan. They hit it off and soon become best friends. They even end up starring in a move together (screenplay written by Becky). But happily ever after does not immediately follow since life, after all, is not a movie. Becky’s husband battles cancer, there are kid troubles, extended family issues. And then there’s the pesky little question of whether or not it is possible for members of the opposite sex to be platonic best friends at all.

Beginning with the fantasy of meeting your famous crush, and actually becoming friends with him, The Actor and the Housewife seems light and fluffy on the surface. While it is not too deep to be an enjoyable escape, it does deal with some weighty issues. What is the line that should never be crossed by friends who are married to other people? How do you deal with rumors and innuendo? What do you do when the person you love the most gets cancer? How do you grieve and help your children grieve at the same time? When (and how) do you move on with your life? I really enjoyed reading it, even though sometimes it was quite an emotional rollercoaster. I highly recommend reading this book!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 65
Pages Read in 2016: 17,114
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Shave My Spider! by Tony James Slater

Tony James Slater and his wife Roo spent six months touring six countries (Borneo, Vietnam, Mongolia, China, Laos and Cambodia). As always, crazy situations followed them around. I love Tony’s writing. First of all, he is flat out funny. I have a tendency to read multiple books at once, switching between them on my Kindle, and every time I’d laugh out loud while reading, various members of my family would ask if I was reading Shave My Spider! again. I also quite enjoy the bits of history he includes along with the anecdotes he tells. There either wasn’t as much swearing in this book compared to his previous ones or I’ve gotten used to it (I’m pretty sure there is less). There are a few (very few) times words in sentences are repeated, but not enough to be overly annoying. I wholeheartedly recommend Shave My Spider!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 64
Pages Read in 2016: 16,775
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Tik-Tok of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Tik-Tok of Oz, the eighth book in the Oz series, introduces some new friends (such as Betsy Bobbin and Hank the Donkey) and brings back some we already knew (such as Tik-Tok and the Shaggy Man). The friends are on a quest, along with Queen Ann Soforth of Oogaboo and her army, to Ruggedo the Nome King’s domain to find the Shaggy Man’s brother. It’s another fun Oz book with delightful wordplay, but it drags along sometimes. I do recommend it to all who love the Land of Oz.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 63
Pages Read in 2016: 16,198
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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The Lantern Bearers by Rosemary Sutcliff

A couple more generations have gone by and now Aquila is part of the last Roman soldiers in Britain. He feels more British than Roman and so decides to desert and stay with his family when the soldiers sail away. The Saxons attack his family home, carry off his sister, leave him for dead, and kill everyone else. Aquila ends up a slave. He manages to escape and becomes a soldier and companion to Ambrosius in battles trying to drive out the Saxons.

The Lantern Bearers progressed so incredibly slowly. There were short bursts of action, but mostly it was just dull. Sometimes it was hard to keep track of who was who mainly because I simply didn’t care about any of them. I don’t particularly recommend this book.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 62
Pages Read in 2016: 15,916
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Johnny Cakes by Paisley Ray

Rachael O’Brien is back at college for her junior year. She still doesn’t know who shot Billy Ray and Jack Ray has been sighted around her school making her a little nervous. Agent Cauldwell confuses her and Stone confuses her even more. She just wants to have a normal school year for once, but Schleck forcing her to do some more interning, roommate drama (Living with Sheila? Did she really think that was a good idea?), her crazy mother, and Nash continually turning up ensures that junior year is just as nuts as the previous two.

Johnny Cakes is the fifth in the Rachael O’Brien Chronicles. There are lots of twists and turns and surprises. Some questions are answered (like who shot Billy Ray), but others come up (like just who or what is Stone involved with). It wasn’t quite as good as some of the others in the series (it tended to drag at times), but I still recommend this book to Rachael O’Brien fans.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 61
Pages Read in 2016: 15,636
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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The History of the Medieval World by Susan Wise Bauer

The History of the Medieval World spans the history of the world from the conversion of Constantine through the first Crusade (picking up where The History of the Ancient World left off). It is told in a conversational, and sometimes very funny, format with lots of footnotes, endnotes, references, charts, pictures, and maps. I quite enjoyed reading it and am very happy to have learned so much about a time period I was previously a bit shaky on. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in world history.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 60
Pages Read in 2016: 15,303
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under History, Non-Fiction