Archive for February, 2012


Bunnybean’s #CBR4 Review #8: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More by Roald Dahl

This is a book made up of seven short stories by Roald Dahl, who also wrote great books like James & the Giant Peach, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and Fantastic Mr. Fox.  I loved this book so much.  I think it was the best book I’ve ever read.

The stories in the book were: The Boy Who Talked With Animals, The Hitchhiker, The Mildenhall Treasure, The Swan, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, Lucky Break, and A Piece of Cake.  The stories that stood out for me were The Swan and The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.

The Swan is a story about two boys who kill a swan and then torture and bully a little boy named Peter who tried to stop them.  It was really a sad story, because they killed a beautiful swan, and they really hurt Peter who was just trying to be nice. It wasn’t my favorite story, but I’ll always remember it because of how Peter stood up to the bullies.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is about a man (named Henry Sugar) who is rich and greedy.  He is 41 and not married because he doesn’t want to have to share his money and gold with a wife!  He goes to visit a friend a reads a book that changes everything for him.  The book is about a man in India who can see with his eyes closed, and can see through things.  Henry decides he has to learn to do this — he thinks he could make a lot of money in casinos if he could see the cards.  After years and years, he teaches himself to see without his eyes, but then learns that all his money can make other people happier than him.  He starts to give away all his money and everyone thinks he is a hero.

The rest of the stories were good, too.  I want to read more of Roald Dahl’s books!


Scootsa1000’s #CBR4 Review #7: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

I really love Mindy Kaling’s Kelly Kapoor character on The Office.  I get a good laugh out of her willingness to bully 15 year olds on Facebook, her obsession with reality TV, and her ridiculous relationship with Ryan.  She’s great on twitter (@mindykaling). I used to love her old blog (Things I’ve Bought that I Love) and enjoy her new one  also, even though it was sort of a tie-in for her book.  I also like that she is a smart girl from Boston who respects and loves her parents.

I had high hopes for the book, really wishing it would be a strong successor to last year’s Bossypants, but was mildly disappointed.  While Kaling has lots of great anecdotes and silly stories to write about, the book as a whole just didn’t do it for me.

My favorite parts were the early chapters, where she describes her childhood.  Her tales of unrequited crushes and mean boys in junior high were fun and entertaining.  I enjoyed her stories about making and losing high school friends, and how she went to Dartmouth and met her best friend there.  I love her descriptions of what qualities are needed in a best friend (absolutely, look for someone who would fill and pick up a prescription for you in the middle of the night!).  I enjoyed her life in New York as she attempted to start her career, with many bumps along the way.  I wish I had seen her play “Matt and Ben”, as it sounds truly absurd.

I also appreciated that she got her job as a writer/actor/producer on The Office through hard work, not through connections or luck.  As a parent, I love that she constantly heaps praise on her own parents for helping her become the success that she is today.  And I love that she gives advice to young girls who may be like her — not the most popular or the most beautiful, and tells them that its ok to be smart or funny, because life doesn’t really begin until way after high school.

I liked everything that Kaling had to say, but I just didn’t love anything that she said, or how she said it.  Granted, I’m not quite the demographic for her book, but I was just left feeling some opportunity had been missed with this book.  Mostly, I just wanted to laugh more.  I’m still a big fan of Kaling, and hope she has a bright future, but I just thought her book was ok.


Scootsa1000’s #CBR4 Review #6: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

The Uglies is the first in a four-book series, and I can tell you that without a doubt, it will be the only book in the series that I’ll read.

The Uglies tells the tale of Tally Youngblood, who is almost 16 and can’t wait to turn pretty.  In this futuristic dystopia, all citizens are given a special operation at 16, which turns them flawless and beautiful — symmetrical and perfect in every way.  Literally nothing from their old appearance survives.  These children are taught from birth that the way they look is wrong (they are even called Uglies), and that life will be great once they turn pretty.

Of course, shortly before her birthday, Tally meets Shay, a new best friend who just might not want to turn pretty.  Shay tells Tally of a group of rebels living in an area called “the Smoke” who have refused the operation and live on their own in nature.  And then Shay disappears, off to the Smoke.

On Tally’s birthday, the government gives her a choice: Find Shay and bring her back for the operation, or Tally will never be allowed to turn pretty.

And so, Tally goes off on a quest to find her friend.  She finds the Smoke and is at first disgusted by all of the “old uglies” living there, but then, of course, quickly changes her mind.  She falls for David, a leader of the Smoke, who thinks Tally is beautiful just the way she is.  And then Tally discovers that maybe the operation isn’t what it seems, as certain members of the Smoke have information about the government and why they do the operation.

And in finishing the first book, I realized that I didn’t care why the government does the operation, or why everyone wants to look the same.  The book bored me (although I did like some of the futuristic details, like the hoverboards and the floating buildings), and I can’t imagine I’d ever pick up the next story.


Bunnybean’s #CBR4 Review #7: Judy Moody and Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt by Megan McDonald

In this story, there are two kids: Judy Moody and her little brother Stink.  They start out on a ferry boat with their parents and end up on Pirate Island. They meet a Pirate named Scurvy Sam, who tells them about a buried treasure on the island.

They try to find the treasure all over the island and follow clues that Scurvy Sam gives them.  They go all over the place: people’s houses, restaurants, and even gardens.

In the end, they find the treasure, and everyone on the island cheers.  My favorite part is when Judy and Stink are surprised by Scurvy Sam and yell out “Ahh! Who are you? Where did you come from?”

There are lots and lots of Judy Moody books.  Stink has his own books, too.  I’ll probably read some more.


Bunnybean’s #CBR4 Review #6: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is a story about a boy named Peter and his two-year old brother named Fudge.  Fudge is ridiculous!  He thinks he can fly and he loses his two front teeth trying to be a bird.  He smears mashed potatoes on the wall of a restaurant and pours a bowl of peas on his head for no reason.  He ruins Peter’s school project that was due on Monday!

When Fudge turned 3, he had a birthday party.  Peter wanted to leave and be with his friends, but his mom said that he had to stay and help.  One kid threw up, one kid peed on the floor, and the third kid cried the whole time.  It was a disaster!

Peter feels like Fudge gets all the attention all the time, and that he is nothing compared to Fudge.

In the beginning of the book, Peter got a pet turtle at his friend’s birthday party.  The turtle’s name was Dribble and Peter took really good care of him. One day Peter got home from school and was ready to feed Dribble, but Dribble was not in his bowl.  Peter looked everywhere, and then he asked Fudge.  Fudge started smiling and said “in tummy”. It turns out that Fudge had eaten Dribble!  He had to go to the hospital to get Dribble out.  Peter was very mad and sad — mad at Fudge for eating his turtle and sad that nobody cared about Dribble, only Fudge. In the end, Peter’s mom and dad feel sorry for him and his dad comes home with a big box.  Its a dog!  Peter named it Turtle, to remind him of Dribble.

There are three more books about Peter and Fudge and I’m going to read them all.



Just this.


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