I recently took a screen free week and got some reading done too! I've been chipping away at my to be read pile for the Mount TBR challenge. My original goal was 24 books. I'm at 15. So, I'm well on my way. I am planning on telling you about 2 books- The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver H.C. Chester and Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke.
This book tells about the lives of 4 orphans growing up in Dumfrey's Dime Museum of Freaks. They are the only children as part of his show. Pippa is sort of a mind reader, but she sometimes can only tell what is in your pockets. Thomas can squeeze into small spaces. Sam is a strong man and Max is a knife thrower. Dumfrey's museum is struggling so he brings in a new exhibit- an Amazonian shrunken head. Unfortunately, at the first show that exhibits the head, a woman in the audience dies. A reporter in the audience writes an article and suggests that the shrunken head might carry a curse with it.
This story was just "ok" to me. (Tim too) We both felt that the story had potential and that the characters were kind of fun, but the amount of deaths in the story seemed extraneous. Don't get me wrong, this is not filled with people killing each other, but we think the story could've been told without some of the deaths. Neither one of us are interested in reading the rest of the stories in the series.
This book has been sitting on my to read shelf forever! I don't even remember where I got it. My guess is that I picked it up somewhere for Tim a few years ago, but wanted to read it first to see if there is anything inappropriate that he shouldn't be reading. (There isn't)
I don't often say that I love a book, but I might have loved this one- or at the very least, liked it a lot. Who knew I'd spend my summer enjoying middle grade fantasy? I love the premise of this whole book. There is a bookbinder- called Mo by his daughter and nicknamed Silvertongue by some other characters- who has the ability to read characters out of the books that they are written in. Unfortunately, when a character is transported out of their story, someone from Mo's word is transported in. His 12 year old daughter, Meggie, knows nothing about this ability since her father has always told her that he is not good at/doesn't like reading aloud. One night, Meggie is sitting in her room when she hears a noise outside. She looks out her window to see a man, Dustfinger, in their yard. She informs her father and it becomes obvious to Meggie that her dad knows this man.The 2 men talk privately and soon we learn that a man named Capricorn has been seeking Silvertongue and a book that he is in possession of.
I don't want to give away too much of this book (even though it's from early 2000s so you may have read it!) so I'm not going to write more about the plot. Here's a few things that I loved:
1) The story in general. It's full of love for books and reading. It captures that books can take you to far away places and fill you with wonder, or scare you while you're reading alone in your room. I just felt that everything was really imaginative.
2) The characters- There is one character, Elinor, who I grew to like more within the story. She is Meggie's great aunt. She seems kind of like a bitter, old woman who is obsessed with books. Her books are kept in pristine condition in her massive house full of bookshelves and a special library. (Kind of like how my books are kept in wonderful condition within my messy apartment..lol) Elinor sees her books almost like her friends or her children and they are precious to her. Although I am not a person who is easily attached to material things, I get being attached to books.
3) The beginning of each chapter starts with quotations from other great books. I have always loved that. Is it Dean Koontz that does that in most of his books?
Read this book.