by velocibadgergirl

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Bomb That Followed Me Home by Cevin Soling

I wasn't sure what to expect when I agreed to accept a review copy of this book. I suspected that the story of the "cute" stray bomb that followed a little boy home would be sort of morbid and maybe even a little pretentious in that wanna-be avant garde way that "edgy" books often are. Instead, I was surprised to find that the book is actually pretty good. It's weird, for sure, but I thought it was clever and in several places very funny.

The illustrations are fantastic, and even though several reviewers on Library Thing complain that the book uses too many big words, I think that's fine. I don't agree with declaring a book is inappropriate for young readers because they might not understand the "big words" in it (like, no joke, coniferous and deliberate). Are kids not allowed to have dictionaries? Or parents that can help them look up words that they don't know?

That said, I don't think the book is intended for the very young. Saying that it's morbid and inappropriate because the book ends with some grumpy neighbors meeting an untimely end is not surprising, but let's take a moment to think about all the so-called classic children's tales that involve violence and / or untimely death. Also, the nearly-constant presence of slapstick violence in cartoons and other kids' shows.

In tone, the book reminded me a lot of Neil Gaiman's recent children's book, The Dangerous Alphabet, which involves a little girl being kidnapped and chained up in a dark sewer by creepy and unsavory characters. To be honest, I thought Soling's book was a little less creepy than The Dangerous Alphabet. The Bomb That Followed Me Home would've amused me as a child, while it would've horrified my sensitive sister.

The letter that came with the book indicates that the story contains social and political commentary, and I suppose I could examine it and write a really in-depth piece on what it's telling us about tolerance or something. But I would prefer to just take the book at face value and declare that it was amusing enough, and that I liked it more than I expected I would. I would recommend the book as long as you have a sense of humor, don't take things too seriously, and take the time to read and judge the book for yourself before you pass it on to any kids you know.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

A special giveaway

Today is a very good day, because today I get to give away a book written by someone I know and love. My homegirl Stephanie Snowe, also known as That Chick Over There, is officially a Real Live Author. Her first book is entitled Meeting Mr. Wrong:  the Romantic Misadventures of a Southern Belle, and it's available on Amazon for the ridiculous bargain price of $9.95.

Of course, I encourage everyone to go buy Steph's book, but you can also leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a copy. To enter, you can either tell me a funny bad date story, or go check out Steph's blog and then tell me about an entry that made you laugh. If you do both in two separate comments, I'll give you two entries in the random drawing.

For a review of the book, go here. For a sneak peek at the first four chapters, go here (it's in PDF form). You may not want to read the sneak peek at work, unless your coworkers are used to you snorting with laughter at your desk.

Steffus, my sista-chica, I am so! damn! proud! of you. SMOOCHES.

Details:  This is also cross-posted at my regular blog. I'm giving away one book, and you can comment here or there. The contest is open to everyone (everywhere) and closes at midnight on February 2nd February 4th. The book comes out on February 3rd, and I'll ship the winner's copy as soon as it arrives from Amazon. If you decide to buy a copy for yourself (which I hope you will), you can still enter to win and pass the book on to someone else or give it away on your own blog. And if you don't win, please buy the book, because everyone needs to read the chapter about the guy with the pet birds. TRUST ME.

Winner!  Congratulations to Megan at Write Meg! Thanks to everyone who entered. I enjoyed cringing at all your bad date stories. You guys have had some interesting encounters.

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 15, 2009



Saturday, January 10, 2009

Buy this book! Support a blogger / first-time published author!

My dear friend Stephanie / Chick's book is available for pre-order on Amazon as of today:

The more orders she gets, the better she'll do in the rankings. She's a first-time published author, and trust me when I tell you that she deserves all the success in the world. Her book's only $10, and I promise it'll make you laugh. Please consider pre-ordering, and pass the word on to all your friends who like books, laughing, and doing nice things for people!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Books Read in 2009

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

A Walk for Sunshine by Jeff Alt (review)

Husband-Coached Childbirth:  the Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth by Robert A. Bradley

The Lake That Stole Children by Douglas Glenn Clark (review)

Twinkie, Deconstructed by Steve Ettlinger

Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

Homer's Odyssey:  a Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life With a Blind Wonder Cat by Gwen Cooper (review)

The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet by Reif Larsen

The Dangerous World of Butterflies:  the Startling Subculture of Criminals, Collectors, and Conservationists by Peter Laufer

Red by Ted Dekker

Darwin Slept Here by Eric Simons

Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich (review)

Little Pink Slips by Sally Koslow

Take Your Shirt Off and Cry:  A Memoir of Near-Fame Experiences by Nancy Balbirer (review)

Black by Ted Dekker

The Seance by John Harwood (review)

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Debbie Harry Sings in French by Meagan Brothers

Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce

The Mystery of Grace by Charles De Lint

It Sucked and Then I Cried by Heather B. Armstrong

The Late, Lamented Molly Marx by Sally Koslow (review)

The Ghost in Love by Jonathan Carroll

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Coraline by Neil Gaiman (review)

Meeting Mr. Wrong:  the Romantic Misadventures of a Southern Belle by Stephanie Snowe

Terrier by Tamora Pierce

Not Quite What I Was Planning:  Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure by the editors of SMITH Magazine

The Daily Coyote by Shreve Stockton

Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak by Writers Famous and Obscure by the editors of SMITH Magazine

The Mighty Queens of Freeville:  a Mother, a Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them by Amy Dickinson

Buffalo Gal by Laura Pedersen (review)

My Best Friend's Girl by Dorothy Koomson

Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich

Bloody Jack:  Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L.A. Meyer

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

My Latest Grievance by Elinor Lipman

Total books read:  43