Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
Evan’s ESS = 8 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = 8.5 out of 10
Content = PG-13 (Violence, Adult Content, Violence, Drunkenness, Hovercrafts)

“Happy Hunger Games!  And may the odds be ever in your favor.”

Why:  Okay, it might be a tad presumptuous to take on three books in one review, however due to some difficult staffing decisions here at Two Bibliomaniacs, we must boldly confront this challenge.

We should really begin by saying that The Hunger Games trilogy lived up to the hype (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay).  This statement should not be taken lightly considering the torrid love affair that the blogosphere has enjoyed with these novels.  The series really is YA dystopian fiction at its best. 

Imagine a country with absolute government oppression, where the population is split into 12-ish districts and children are pitted against one another in an annual death match.  Such is the nightmarish reality for Katniss Everdeen and everyone else living in bizarro North America.  In one of its many displays of power, the Capital hosts an annual televised event where 1 girl and 1 boy are randomly chosen to participate in the ultimate fight for survival.  With these brutal games as the backdrop Katniss’s personal struggle quickly becomes even more significant than she could have ever imagined.

This series held us captivated from start to finish.  Looking back, there was even a comical 2-3 hours where we frantically tried to locate a copy of Catching Fire.  We’d like to officially apologize to the elderly woman and two small children who were slightly injured in our search... 

To be honest, it took us a few days before we could pass any final judgment on this series and we still don’t know how to feel about some components of the ending.  The subject matter in The Hunger Games is weighty and pleasantly thought provoking.  There’s love, action, force-fields, and hovercrafts.  Yep, we said hovercrafts...  The characters were also very complex, forcing us to wrestle with many of their choices throughout the series.  Yet, every time we questioned Katniss (which was rather frequently) we were reminded that she was forced into an arena and left to brutally kill or be killed by her peers.  It wasn’t hard to give her and a few of the other characters (Haymitch) a free pass.

Alright, who’s ready to rebel against the Capital with us?  Fine, but we’re still in the mood to rebel against something... Got it!  Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights.  Seriously, who’s with us?!

Editor’s Note:  Rest assured, we were only kidding about the aforementioned staffing decisions.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Top 10 Authors who Deserve more Recognition

Question: Top 10 authors who deserve more recognition?

Answer: At this point in our reading endeavors we’re very loyal to the reading list produced by the BBC’s Big Read campaign.  Needless to say, most of these authors aren’t struggling with name recognition, although we did try to avoid some of the really BIG names.  While you may recognize some of the below authors, we believe they deserve even more recognition.  Links to our reviews are highlighted.

  1. Jasper Fforde (The Eyre Affair)
  2. Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
  3. Louise Rennison (Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging)
  4. Carlos Ruiz Zafon (The Shadow of the Wind)
  5. Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
  6. Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
  7. Marian Keyes (Sushi for Beginners)
  8. Francine Rivers (Redeeming Love)
  9. Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale)
  10. Andrea Levy (Small Island)

Have a great week and head on over to The Broke and the Bookish to join the fun!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Book Blogging Videos (The Other Boleyn Girl)

The wait is over... BOOK BLOGGING VIDEOS has finally arrived! 

As we described last week, the rules are eerily simple: Participants should substitute one written book review every other week with a video review.  Any genre is acceptable and frankly, as long as the video is related to bookish topics, we want to see it (reading off camera while your cat sits on the couch IS acceptable)!

We’re not promising anything with our video and we’re fairly confident no new achievements in cinematography have been achieved.  In fact, we’re hoping we didn’t embarrass ourselves too badly. 

Enjoy the train wreck, as we review (in our own way) - The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory.

Please enter the link to your Vlog in the below linky so we can visit your masterpiece!!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Blog Hop and Follow - 3/25

Thanks to Crazy-For-Books and Parajunkee’s View for hosting these fun events. On to the questions!

Question: If you could physically put yourself into a book or series... which one would it be and why?
Answer: This is easy!  If we could absolutely pick only 1 book or series, it would be The Hobbit / Lord of the Rings.  The world is endlessly vivid and there are so many amazing things to discover.  Ideally, our visit would not coincide with the height of Lord Sauron’s reign.  We’d love to visit the Shire and Rivendell! 
Well, that’s our pick and we’re sticking to i..... Oh, but Pride and Prejudice would be great too.  And Harry Potter...  Oh, and we completely forget about The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  And Gone with the Wind.  And speaking of wind, the book cemetery in The Shadow of the Wind.  And The Other Boleyn Girl...
Sorry, we cheated a little bit this week.......
Question:  Five book related silly facts about you.
Answer: First of all, nothing we do is ever “silly”, it’s always super cool and hip.... 

1.       Whenever reading a hard cover we always remove the dust jacket
2.       We are continuously reorganizing our home library, which is a huge stress release
3.       We are unable to read in any type of moving vehicle
4.       Second hand book stores are a favorite “date night” location
5.       We love collecting interesting magnetic bookmarks

Don’t forget to check back on Monday when we officially kick off BOOK BLOGGING VIDEOS!  An epic new meme where Vloggers can share their video reviews!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Color of Magic

The Colour of Magic (Discworld, #1)The Color of Magic – Pratchett, Terry
Evan’s ESS = 6.15 out of 10
Erin’s ESS =  out of 10
Content = PG-13 (Adult Content, Language, Violence, Imaginary Flying Reptiles, Epic Board Games)

“My name is immaterial,” she said.
“That’s a pretty name,” said Racewind.

“No, what he didn’t like about heroes was that they were usually suicidally gloomy when sober and homicidally insane when drunk.”

Why:  This absolutely kills us to admit, but we…  Wow, this is more difficult than we thought... We just don’t get what all the hoopla’s about.  Yes, it’s hilarious that The Color of Magic is set on a disk balanced on the back of three elephants, all balancing on a giant turtle.  And the footnote technique utilized is almost always funny, but…  We may very well be the only 2 people within the literary fantasy community that didn’t like this book, which is just bizarre considering only one of us has actually read the novel. 

Okay, we’ll stop apologizing for our tastes.  On the surface, The Color of Magic seemed like a literary match made in heaven.  We envisioned long walks on the beach together and late night rendezvous under the bed covers (with the lights on).  This novel has everything:  Wizards with questionable talents, upside-down mountain ranges and heroic enchanted luggage trunks.  Even Zephyrus, one of the gods controlling the fate of the main characters is a hoot considering that he holds the power over slight breezes.  Unfortunately for us, the honeymoon only lasted halfway through page 14.  For whatever reason we got lost in the overly zany plot and the humor missed its target. 

All that being said, we’re determined to press ahead.  Terry Pratchett’s written close to a zillion novels about the Discworld and maybe our second visit will be the charm.  Plus we’ve already committed to reading Mort in the 2nd challenge.    

Editor’s Note:  Our European reader’s should please be aware that this review is actually referring to The Colour of Magic.  Sorry for any confusion.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Book Blogging Videos!!!

The world of Vlogging is both intimidating and alien to a pair of technologically challenged bibliomaniacs such as us.  Yet, intrigue is beckoning us ever closer to this mysterious world... 

For this reason, Two Bibliomaniacs is about to kick off a brand new Vlogging meme-ish sort of thing.  BOOK BLOGGING VIDEOS!!! The rules are eerily simple:  Participants should substitute one written book review every other week with a video review.  Any genre is acceptable and frankly, as long as the video is related to a bookish topic, we want to see it (reading a script off camera while your cat sits on the couch IS acceptable)! 

We saw several 2011 blogging resolutions related to increased Vlogging and the goal of Book Blogging Videos is to step out from behind the keyboard and embrace the spoken word!!!    

Next Monday we’ll post our first ever video book review and we’d love to see yours too!  We’ll include a Linky with the post and plan to run this feature biweekly.    

Join us as we embrace the future... or at least embarrass ourselves on camera.

Sound fun?  or no way, no how?  

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient ExpressMurder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie
Evan’s ESS = 9 out of 10
Erin’s ESS =  out of 10
Content = PG (Violence, Adult Content, Pointy Moustaches, Lying)

“The impossible cannot have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.”

Why: For us, Murder on the Orient Express felt a little bit like the board game Clue. Although, come to think about it, maybe Clue was modeled after similar murder mystery novels, in which case, Murder on the Orient Express has a feel much like Murder on the Orient Express... It should also be known that we’ve never actually completed a full game of Clue, which proves once again, we have no idea where we’re going with this opening... Sorry.

Agatha Christie rules! This was our first experience with the queen of murder / mystery novels and the gal did not disappoint. The story takes place on the Orient Express with internationally acclaimed detective, Hercule Poirot as one of the passengers. As you can probably guess, a murder eventually takes place in one of the first class passenger compartments. Dun-dun-dun, dun. Poirot and his legendary moustache are on the case at once, though it will take every ounce of their combined wit to identify the murderer.

Murder on the Orient Express was thoroughly enjoyable. The personalities on the train are fantastic, none to be outdone by Mrs. Hubbard. The investigation was very structured and conducted in specific stages including personal interviews. It really allowed us to try and solve the mystery in real time. It should be noted however, that our guess was completely wrong when the veil was finally lifted (it turns out that neither Colonel Mustard or his candlestick were even on the train).

Editor’s Note: We have several personal cases we’d love Hercule Poirot to solve. So far, whenever we interview the kids, it’s always the same person: Mr. Nobody. Some day we’re going to catch that wretched breaker of valuable objects...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Blog Hop and Follow Friday - March 18th

Thanks to Crazy-For-Books and Parajunkee’s View for hosting these fun events. On to the questions!

Blog HopDo you read only one book at a time, or do you have several going at once?

Answer: Multiple books at one time, however, reflecting on this question may have highlighted a slight problem. A recent day in the reading life of one of the Two Bibliomaniacs can be found below:

The Pickwick Papers – MP3 while getting ready for work in the morning.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell – Book on CD while driving to and from work.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – Nightly bedtime story read with 5 year old son.
The Hole in Our Gospel – Night time spiritual growth read.
Titan Groan – Night time fiction read.

On paper 5 books could almost seem like too many. In practice the key word is almost...

Follow FridayHow did you come up with your blog name?

Answer: Our blog name was decided during a late night internet search of book terms. Our hope was to incorporate the term Bibliophile (love of books) into our name; however most variants were already taken. This led us down a dark path of book obsession terms. In the end we decided against Bibliophagy (book-eating) and Bibliotaphy (book-burying). At the very least Two Bibliomaniacs confronts our slight (yet very healthy) book collecting obsession.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ulysses Read-along (Part 4)

Ulysses – James Joyce (Read-along)
Evan’s ESS = 3.5 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = out of 10
Content = R (Adult Content, Language, Sexual Content, Incomprehensible Narratives, Mother of all Run on Sentences)

Why:  It’s no secret that Ulysses has been having his way with us over the past month.  Today however; let the joyous news be spread, the wicked old witch at last is dead!!! 

Two months ago, in our considerable naivety, we committed to undertake the oft esteemed Ulysses.  While this turned out to be the most troublesome read of our short literary endeavors, we owe a debt of gratitude to Fizzy Thoughts for hosting this painful event.  Had it not been for the accountability of a few other brave readers, we’d never have made it across the finish line.  Thoughts of abandonment tempted us throughout, yet in the end we are proud of our accomplishment.  Not entirely sure what we accomplished, but at least it’s out there.

Our thoughts on the final check-in (Part 3 of the novel) are pretty much the same as before.  If Mr. Bloom or Stephen ever invited us on a night out on the town, we’d decline on the spot.  Actually, if either Mr. Bloom or Stephen’s phone numbers appeared on our caller ID, we’d ignore the call and leave town immediately. 

Part 3 contained more incoherent ramblings as the characters retreated back to Mr. Bloom’s house after a night of debauchery, paranoia, and hallucinations (at one point a Hobgoblin made an appearance, which was awesome).  Episode 17 should be highlighted for its uniqueness, considering the entire narrative was written in the form of questions and answers.  And then there was Episode 18 – Stream-of-Consciousness in its most evil form.  No punctuation.  No coherent thought.  No way we’re reading anything authored by James Joyce ever again.             

Throughout the novel, the question on the table has been James Joyce – Insane or Genius?  Our response is, YES – followed by a few other additives that are unfit for this blog.  Ulysses was an exercise in anger management, perseverance, and lunacy.  Honestly, we’re just ready to be done.  Good riddance!         

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Top 10 Book Character Family Members

Question: Top 10 Book Character Family Members

Answer: It turns out that choosing a hypothetical family from the world of literature is much harder than it sounds.  For your convenience, we’ve included links to any of the below novels we’ve reviewed.

  1. Atticus (To Kill a Mockingbird) – Atticus is the greatest dad in all of literature.  We imagine Atticus will make quite a few lists today, so if he’s already overcommitted, we’d consider him for some kind of mentor role instead.
  2. Molly Weasley (Harry Potter series) – Okay, she’s a little overprotective, but when it comes to fighting for her family, few can compare.  Her magical skills would always keep housework interesting and as long as her listening to Celestina Warbeck could be minimized, she’d make a great mom.  Also, we’d have to respectfully decline any homemade sweaters.  
  3. Bilbo (The Hobbit) – We can’t think of anything more exciting than heading over to Grandpa Baggins house and hearing his exciting tales.  Frodo would be another cool grandpa, except we can’t picture Elijah Wood aging.  We also think Bilbo might be a little more sufficient in the storytelling department.    
  4. Agnes (David Copperfield) – We’ve read about her considerable work as a loyal friend and daughter, we can only imagine how great she’d be as a sister.
  5. Firedrake (Dragon Rider) – Most families would be content with a dog, a cat, or a few fish, but personally, we’d prefer a dragon.  Firedrake would be perfect - good with children, high marks for home defense, and a convenient alternative to airline travel.
  6. Jo (Little Women) – Jo is a proven great sister.  She’d be fun to have around the house and we’d always be anxious to read her next literary endeavor.  Plus if necessary, she’d sacrifice her hair for the family.
  7. The Walker children (Swallows and Amazons) – Actually, if it’s agreeable with all parties, we’d just assume enter into the walker family.  Specifically, we want to go on one of their adventures to Wildcat Island.  We’d be willing to put up significant collateral for this privilege.
  8. Charlie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) – Charlie has many wonderful attributes, however it’s impossible to ignore the fact that he recently inherited a chocolate factory.  Having the heir to a chocolate empire in your family could cause some tension, so we’d settle for his second cousin once removed.  Close enough that we’d be allowed to pop in every now and again to replenish our stash.
  9. Jeeves (Very good, Jeeves) – Not sure if we’re allowed to include a family butler, but Jeeves would be downright helpful in a pinch.
  10. Ben (Magic Kingdom for Sale - SOLD!) – While the lack of modern amenities associated with castle living would prevent us from taking up any kind of permanent residence here, it would be super cool to spend a long weekend with Uncle Ben at his Landover estate.
Have a great week and head on over to The Broke and the Bookish to join the fun!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the SeaThe Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
Evan’s ESS = 6.5 out of 10
Erin’s ESS =  out of 10
Content = G (Prejudices, Fishing Metaphors, Epic Man vs Marlin Battle)

“Let him think that I am more man than I am and I will be so.”

Why: Every now and then you come across a book where you pretty much know what the plot is going to be about before you even crack the spine.  The Old Man and the Sea is a story about, well, an elderly man and his adventure at sea.  That being said, the story could also be appropriately titled:  The Old Man and the Really, Really Huge Fish.  

As to the actual content of The Old Man and the Sea, there is little to say.  The novella is only 127 pages, yet we were pleasantly surprised.  Nothing ground breaking, but we could really understand the motivation and emotions of the main character.  The relationship between the old man and the boy (another possible title) is also very touching and real.  Overall, we came away from this story feeling satisfied and with a pleasant smile pasted on our face.  There was suspense, there was tragedy, and the plot was tied up nicely.  Next up on our Hemingway reading list: For Whom the Bell Tolls.  

Friday, March 11, 2011

Book Hop and Follow Friday - 3/11

Question:  "If I gave you £50 (or $80) and sent you into a bookshop right now, what would be in your basket when you finally staggered to the till?"
Answer: For us, this question is easy.  We’d drop everything (including our parental responsibilities) and head to our favorite used book store.  For us the issue is more about what’s available on the shelves.  We have a list of our favorite books and if we could somehow manage to come across a dream used bookstore with unlimited inventory, our shopping cart would be filled with the following hardcover novels: Ender’s Game, Matilda, The Count of Monte Cristo, Catch-22, Never Let Me Go, Swallows and Amazons, Atlas Shrugged, Very good, Jeeves, Bridge to Teribithia, The Well of Lost Plots, and Persuasion.  These titles represent the best of what we don’t already have in our personal library and we’d be willing to contribute to the pot of money if necessary!
Soooo, not to sound presumptuous, but is the money coming in the mail, or what?

Question: Who are You the Boy/Girl, instead of You the Blogger?
Answer: Two Bibliomaniacs is the brain child of two married thirty somethings from the great state of northeast Indiana.  We (Evan and Erin) have been married for 10.5-ish years and have two young children.  We love Jesus, each other, and our kids, and are currently nursing a minor addiction to “Lost” and “Parks and Recreation”.  Yea, we’re kind of late to the game, but with the help of Netflix, we can boldly proclaim, “it’s better late than never”.  Oh, and we also like to read.  Everything else you need to know about us (or everything else we’re willing to reveal) is captured on this important (and not very well executed) PSA.  Click anywhere on this sentence to watch the video.

Thanks to Crazy-For-Books and Parajunkee’s View for hosting these fun events.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larrson
Evan’s ESS= 5.4 out of 10
Erin’s ESS= 3 out of 10
Content = R (Violence, Language, Adult Content, Nudity, Illicit Sexual Acts, Mythical Animal Tattoos)

Why:  If you couldn’t already tell from our somber facial expressions, we’ve got some major issues to discuss in this post.  For the past few months we’ve tried to get swept into the hype associated with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  And with all the excitement surrounding the novel, this wasn’t difficult.  We were impatiently waiting to watch the Swedish film adaptation and follow the latest casting drama surrounding the American remake.  Hopefully by now you can see the HUGE hole in our master plan.  We kind of assumed that the novel would deliver on its hype...  oops. 

We’ll try not to get ourselves all worked up in this review, but at this point, we’re not making any promises.  Just so everyone’s clear, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo follows the exploits of a hard hitting journalist recently convicted of libel against a corrupt Gazillionaire industrialist.  Discredited and humiliated, Mikael Blomkvist agrees to take on a unique assignment writing a family biography while at the same time investigating a questionable missing persons case from 40 years earlier.  It doesn’t take long before Blomkvist solicits the help of an eccentric and hardened female who happens to possess a Dragon Tattoo.  Together, the pair expose plenty of skeletons and encounter more than one life threatening exchange.    

Okay, onto our thoughts...  When reading a novel, there are a few “nice to haves”.  Most importantly, we need to actually like the main characters, or at the very least, understand their motivation.  For all the back story given to many of the corporations and their CEO’s, couldn’t a little more time have been spent explaining why Blomkvist felt the need to be a self proclaimed horrible father?  Also, it would have been nice to know why Lisbeth (the girl with the dragon tattoo) has a gigantic bag of Doritos attached to her shoulder.  We’re given some clues, but very little prior to her encounter with that slime ball, Bjurman (maybe more to come in book 2 & 3???).  We also want to know why she has zero concern for anyone’s privacy.  Both characters felt zero remorse for any of the carnage left in their world-beating wake.

We also have some major issues with the anticlimactic bad guy car chase scene near the end.  Really, why all the build up if things are just going to end like that??? 

Our final issue with the novel was the blasé attitude towards relationships and intimacy.  Everyone’s perfectly comfortable sleeping with everyone else.  It doesn’t matter if adults in question are married or even if children are involved – everyone and everything is fair game (okay, maybe not everything). 

We really need to wrap things, and frankly we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the suspense and intrigue that was also prevalent in the story.  On more than one occasion we found ourselves reading well past midnight.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo also deserves credit for taking on the serious and real topic of sexual abuse against women.  Honestly, if this novel wasn’t sooooo hyped, we probably would have enjoyed it more.  In the end, we were just hoping for more...  or a little something different...    

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ulysses Read-along - Part 3

Ulysses – James Joyce (Read-along)
Evan’s ESS = TBD out of 10
Erin’s ESS = out of 10
Content = PG (Adult Content, Very Mild Language, Inappropriate Spying, Frequent Bar Hopping)

Why:  We apologize in advance for the brevity of this update, but if we don’t focus all our energy on completing Ulysses, we risk dropping out of this read-along.  The good news is that we’re only 1 episode behind, however, the bad news is that the episode in question happens to be a whopping 181 pages long. *Gulp*

Impressions for this third section?  Pain.  Pain and suffering.  We’ve tried to remain optimistic and have found some comfort in the fact that the reader isn’t supposed to understand Ulysses.  Why James Joyce?  Why?  Special thanks to our friend Lisa who recommended some very interesting resources.  Still, our head is about to explode. 

On the bright side (or the not so depressing side), it has been interesting to see what the next Episode is going to bring – stream of consciousness, incomprehensible garble, play script.  While we didn’t understand many of the events, the dialogue in Episode 14 was at least interesting, plus “The Citizen” is a really cool alias.  We also encountered our first action sequence, albeit brief, when Mr. Bloom experienced a brush with death in the form of a maliciously thrown tin box...

Okay, back to the reading... hopefully we’ll emerge next week with a smile on our face.  No guarantees.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Top 10 Dynamic Duos

Question: Top 10 Dynamic Duos.

Answer: We’ve been waiting all week to get our hands on this topic.  Yes, it’s only Tuesday, but it already feels like if should be closer to Thursday.  Anyway, there are soooooo many great dynamic duos in literature, sadly, we can only highlight 10.    

  1. Frodo and Sam (Lord of the Rings) – Few duos can boast a bond as dynamic as these two hobbits.  Together they destroyed the ring of power and helped defeat the Dark Lord Sauron in an epic struggle for Middle-earth.
  2. Jeeves and Bertie (Very Good Jevees) – This pair isn’t exactly saving the world from Topannihilation, although some of Bertie’s mishaps are epic
  3. Sayuri and Mameha (Memoirs of a Geisha) – This pair was able to dethrone and humiliate one of the most arrogant and selfish Geisha we’ve ever read about.  It’s impossible to say Hatsumomo without wanting to throw something across the room.
  4. Dirk and Al (Atlantis Found) – It’s literally impossible to count the times this pair saved the world.  Whether their hanging out at the beach or in the midst of a gun battle against an army of Nazi extremists, they never miss an opportunity to employ a witty one liner.
  5. Mary and Dickon (The Secret Garden) – Together this duo could have easily hosted a successful HGTV show.  We’re thinking “Fix and Flip your Garden”.  These green thumbs also cured one of the most disagreeable personalities in all of literature.  
  6. Holmes and Watson (The Hound of the Baskerville) – The finest pair of detectives this side of dystopia, using reason and logic to solve complex problems.  Not sure how their reason and logic would work in a few of the dystopian novels we’ve read, hence the distinction... 
  7. Katniss and Peeta (The Hunger Gmaes) – In our humble opinion, any pair skilled enough to survive a single, last person standing death match should be commended.
  8. Pi and Richard Parker (Life of Pi) – While this duo is a little unconventional and purely a result of circumstance, rarely have two beings been able to survive 227 days at sea – even in a fictitious story.  In fact, we’d almost consider inviting a fully grown Bengal tiger on our next sea expedition, almost...
  9. Atreyu and Falkore (The Neverending Story) – Not too many pairs can boast defeating Nothing and helping to save Fantastica and scaring three bullies into a giant trash bin.  Oh, wait, that last part only happened in the movie, sorry...
  10. Artemis and Holly (Artemis Fowl) – One of the few times a child criminal mastermind and elite LEPrechon elf have teamed up to become a highly effective FTBRW (Force To Be Reckoned With).

Have a great week and head on over to The Broke and the Bookish to join the fun!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows (Puffin Classics)The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
Evan’s ESS = 7 out of 10
Erin’s ESS =  out of 10
Content = G (Intense Animal Drama, Cross-Dressing Amphibians, Speed Addiction)

"I'm going to make an animal out of you, my boy!"

Why: Ah, what a lovely tale of adventure, innocence and friendship.  For countless readers this book conjures pleasant images of a bygone era and serves as a fond reminder of childhood.  For us however, The Wind in the Willows stands as one of those books we missed in our youth and therefore provides us with zero preconceived ideas.  We’re not really sure where we’re going with this, but we’re now caught in a reflective mood.  Okay, it’s passed.  Onto the review... 

The Wind in the Willows tells of the exploits of Mole, Ratty, Mr. Toad, and several other unique animals.  Their adventures together are as infamous as Mr. Toad is vain.  Actually, most of the exploits are centered on Mr. Toad’s wildly eccentric behavior.  What else would you expect from an amphibian with a fascination for automobiles and speed?  One in such circumstances can only hope to have as caring and thoughtful friends as Mole and Ratty.  Plus, all’s well that ends well, right? Not that this novel ends well... although we’re not saying it doesn’t either.    

In spite of its acclaim, we were only mildly impressed by The Wind in the Willows.  Is it bad that we wanted Toad to suffer a little more retribution?  Maybe that says something about us (oh, who are we kidding, of course it says something about us).  Don’t get us wrong, this novel is definitely above average, but we were just hoping our emotions would be poked and prodded a little more.  The characters were great and the moral lessons are worthy.  Who knew there are so many rules that govern the animal world? 

We’re curious to hear what others thought of this novel, especially those who read it in their youth.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Book Blog Hop - March 4th

Blog HopWho’s your all-time favorite book villain?

We here at Two Bibliomaniacs love to hate our book villains – the nastier the better.  We do however, like to see our villains defeated in the end...  It’s impossible for us to sort through the nastiest of the nastiest, so below you fill find our top 5 least desirable people to encounter in a dark alley (in random order).

  1. Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter series)
  2. Max Devore (Bag of Bones)
  3. William Hamleigh (Pillars of the Earth)
  4. Corrine Dollanganger (Flowers in the Attic)  
  5. Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights)

We can’t wait to see the all the other nasties that we forgot, so leave a comment so we can visit your blog!!!  As always, thanks to Crazy-For-Books for hosting this fun event.