I like this verse because it reminds us that when all seems hopeless and like there is no love left in the world, there is always hope and that we are part of making the world better. If we just try to bring about peace in our own part of the world and if we offer good-will to all, perhaps that hope can spread. Plus I really enjoy singing “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Peace and Good Will to all of you.
The fourth book in Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series, “Something Rotten” is an absolute romp. After reading the fantastic second book, Lost in a Good Book, I couldn’t wait to read a book set entirely in the wacky world of fiction but The Well of Lost turned out to be a disappointment. Thursday’s return to the real world – well, Thursday’s real world – in Something Rotten was the antidote to that disappointment. There wasn’t a moment where I could honestly I wasn’t confused by the insane intricacies of Thursday’s world but it was so much fun that it didn’t really matter and it was all explained with much promise for the following books.
Mixed in with all of this absurdity are some very real messages about politics and human nature that can only be illustrated through this fantasy style. But my favorite thing about Fforde’s novels is probably the hidden (and not so hidden references) to literature, culture, and history peppered and spoofed throughout. I’m pretty sure there was even a Star Wars reference when Thursday and her pals used the Ovinator to get into Wales. I’ve piqued your interest now, haven’t I?
I have yet to find a novel or series comparable to Something Rottenbut I absolutely recommend reading the whole Thursday Next series starting with The Eyre Affair.
I’m not saying the third book in the Thursday Next series is bad. It is just such a disappointment after the first two. Especially the second Lost In a Good Book, which had a much faster pace and tighter plot line than this one. I think Fforde took his title too seriously and got lost in his own plot. There was just too much going on, ruining an intriguing concept.
After a disappointing 2014 in which I read more than a book a week but didn’t really enjoy any of them, 2015 was a pretty good reading year for me. I revisited an old favorite, finished a wonderful series, started a couple of new ones, and discovered some new authors that I plan on reading more of. You can see the complete list of books I read this past year by clicking the source link at the bottom of the post but I’ll cover a few of the highlights here.
Early in the year, I read the beautiful first book of Juliet Marillier’s Sevenwaters series.
I will definitely be reading the rest of that series in the near future and anything else Ms. Marillier has written. I read a couple of books written by favorite authors that were disappointing but no one can be brilliant all the time. Right? Then I slogged through Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.
I don’t recommend it. At the recommendation of my mother and one of my librarian friends, I read Ruth Reichl’s first novel, Delicious. That one I would recommend. It has lovable characters, history, romance, self-discovery and lots of food.
The All Souls trilogy is a magical series filled with romance, history, and magic. My favorite installment of the series was the second, Shadow of Night because of all the historical characters Diana and Matthew encounter. This summer, because I am a massive St. Louis Cardinals fan, I deviated from my usual focus on fiction to read Mike Matheny’s wonderful The Matheny Manifesto.
I continued Jasper Fforde’s Tuesday Nextseries with the second book, Lost in a Good Book, which I enjoyed much more than I had the first book of the series. I also really enjoyed Katherine Reay’s second novel, Lizzy & Jane, which is a touching and humorous story of sisterly love.
And I discovered Gail Carriger and her delightful Parasol Protectorateseries; another new series I plan on reading more of this year.
With so many great reads from 2015, it should be difficult to choose my favorite but only one can be my favorite read of the year. As it turns out, the choice wasn’t that difficult. A couple of years after it was such a big hit with a slightly younger audience, I finally read Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.
I don’t remember the last time I identified so thoroughly with a character. I recognized myself in Cath so I appreciated her journey of self-discovery and growth immensely.