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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Hot diggity dog!

Chet is half of the Little Detective Agency, the one who sniffs out the perps.  Bernie is the other half, the thinking half.  Together they make a great team.  So what makes Spencer Quinn’s book stand out from all the other detective duo stories out there?  Well, for starters, it’s told from Chet’s point of view…Chet the dog.

Most of the cases that come to the Little Detective Agency are divorce cases.  But one day a woman asks Bernie to find her missing daughter Madison.  Hot on the scent, the determined duo hunt for the girl.  They suspect kidnapping but don’t know the motive so they go sniffing around her father’s business.  To Chet (and Bernie) something smells awfully fishy.

Throughout the book I was engrossed in solving the mystery but had quite a few laughs at what Chet was saying.  At one point, Bernie says to Chet, after checking out a suspect, “Exactly what I was afraid of…a wild-goose chase.”  Chet thinks, “That was a wild-goose chase?  No geese?”  The book is peppered with clever narration like this.  Bernie uses common human expressions from time to time, often ones that Chet doesn’t understand.  Chet also gets distracted when conversations between humans drag on and he sometimes repeats things, usually with a “did I already say that?” afterward.  Overall when I read the book, I got the sense that what I was reading was exactly how a dog would think and act.  Spencer Quinn is now on my list of favorite authors and I can’t wait to read the other books in which Chet and Bernie star.  Any animal lover should check them out.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2011 in Literature

 

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Looking forward to the rest of 2011

As I often do, I was browsing upcoming book releases on Amazon. There are some books coming out this year that I’m excited to read. Below is a list of what and when by authors I’ve already read (and really enjoy). I’m sure there will be more exciting books from new authors but I don’t know what they are yet. If you know of an unreleased book that’s getting some buzz, drop me a comment and let me know!

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
March 22nd

Bumped by Megan McCafferty
April 24th

If You Were Here by Jen Lancaster
May 3rd

Ordinary Beauty by Laura Wiess
June 14th

Uncommon Criminals (A Heist Society novel) by Ally Carter
June 21st

Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner
July 12th

The Dog Who Knew Too Much by Spencer Quinn
September 6th

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
August 30th

The Death Cure (Maze Runner Trilogy #3) by James Dashner
October 11th

Crossed by Ally Condie
November 1st

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2011 in Literature

 

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No rest for the wicked

For my birthday and Christmas, Fred bought us tickets to see the musical Wicked.  It’s a twist on Wizard of Oz, from the viewpoint of Elphaba (aka the Wicked Witch of the West).  Basically, the first half of the play tells why she is green and how she came to be known as the Wicked Witch and the second act brings about her demise (and the making of the Tin Man and the Scarecrow as well as the ruby slippers).

[While I don’t want to spoil anything for those who want to see/read it (yes, it was a book first), I do want to share my thoughts about it.  I will do my best not to spoil anything but my apologies if I do.]

The set and costumes were beautiful.  I can best describe it with the word “steampunk”.  The set was made up of clock gears and hands.  A metal dragon resided over the stage and was brought to life by the flying monkeys at the start of the play.  Glinda floated in on a “bubble” in the opening song, wearing a sparkling ball gown and waving a wand.  I was awestruck as soon as the first chord was struck and the metal dragon opened his mouth.

This was the first time I’d heard the music and, while some of it was hard to understand, I still enjoyed it.  Among my favorite songs are “Popular” (sung by Galinda) and “Defying Gravity” (sung by Elphaba and Galinda).  But what I loved most about the play was the underlining themes: be yourself, stand by your beliefs, and fight for those who can’t.  Elphaba was cast as wicked when all she did was stand up to those who oppressed animals.  Personally, I love stories like this, people rising above their oppressors or fighting a small group that holds all the power.  So, when Elphaba belted out the last chorus of “Defying Gravity,” chills ran down my arms:

And if you care to find me, look to the western sky.
As someone told me lately,
Everyone deserves a chance to fly.
And if I’m flying solo,
At least I’m flying free.
To those who’d ground me,
Take a message back from me.
Tell them how I am defying gravity.
I’m flying high defying gravity
And soon I’ll match them in renown.
And nobody in all of Oz,
No wizard that there is or was,
Is ever gonna bring me down!

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2011 in Entertainment

 

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