Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Title: Mini Shopaholic
Author
: Sophie Kinsella 
Genre
: chick-lit, fiction
ISBN
: 9780385342049
Pages
: 418
Year
Published: 2010
Source:
public library
Rating
: 5/5
Reason for Reading: #6 of the Shopaholic series

Book Description:

Becky Brandon thought motherhood would be a breeze and that having a daughter was a dream come true: a shopping friend for life! But it’s trickier than she thought. Two-year-old Minnie has a quite different approach to shopping.

Minnie creates havoc everywhere she goes, from Harrods to her own christening. Her favorite word is “Mine!” and she’s even trying to get into eBay! On top of everything else, Becky and Luke are still living with her parents (the deal on house #4 has fallen through), when suddenly there’s a huge financial crisis.

With people having to cut back, Becky decides to throw a surprise party for Luke to cheer everyone up. But when costs start to spiral out of control, she must decide whether to accept help from an unexpected source–and therefore run the risk of hurting the person she loves.

Will Becky be able to pull off the celebration of the year? Will she and Luke ever find a home of their own? Will Minnie ever learn to behave? And…most important…will Becky’s secret wishes ever come true?

My Thoughts: I loved this most recent–only a month old!–installment of the Shopaholic series. I’m beginning to pick up on a basic pattern to the books in the series: basically Luke is a workaholic and Becky gets into all sorts of trouble, most of which is to please Luke, and he doesn’t realize it, but it all works out happy in the end. I’m not saying the books are predictable–the problems Becky gets into are pretty hilarious! One thing I particularly liked about this book was that Kinsella sort of left the story a little open ended–something to do with a shopaholic boot camp, to kick the addiction :P–which could make a pretty humorous seventh installment in the series.

I do, however, dislike the title of this one: Mini Shopaholic. It doesn’t bother me that it is not following the norm of the previous five books (this can upset me, for some reason 🙂 ). But it does say Mini Shopaholic. To me, that led me to believe that the story was going to have more to do with Becky and Minnie. And, while there was a lot about Minnie towards the beginning, she sort of faded into the background and Becky became, again, the main focus. So, the title really could’ve been “Shopaholic Plans a Surprise Party”, as that is really what most of the story was about.

My Thoughts on the Cover: I think the cover is pretty self-explanatory. It’s not like the previous five covers, which sometimes bugs me, but I think it’s been a while since the last book and this is sort of a new stage in Becky’s life, so it’s okay. However, I also want to include another cover image for this book that I like. (The one above is the cover of the edition I have from the library.) I like this other cover more than the one I have because I think it just has a little more personality and character to it.

Quote I Like:

“If the will is there, anything is achievable with enough resources.” (p313)

I would like it better if there wasn’t “with enough resources”, but I could always just quote the first part 🙂

This is my second book finished–first
whole book read–during Dewey’s 24-Hour
Readathon 😀 😀

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Title: The Haunting of Hill House
Author
: Shirley Jackson 
Genre
: fiction (“creepy” fiction)
ISBN
: 9780140071085
Pages
: 246
Year
Published: 1959 (counts towards my Years of Books goal 🙂 )
Source:
public library
Rating
: 3/5
Reason for Reading: RIP Challenge (Peril the Second)

Book Description (from back cover):

Past the rusted gates and untrimmed hedges, Hill House broods and waits…

Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of the psychic phenomenon called haunting; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant (*Note: this is untrue, she is invited, just as the other two, and has never known Dr. Montague); Eleanor, a lonely, homeless girl (*Note: she is in fact 32, not a girl, and is not exactly homeless) acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the adventurous (*Note: cowardly) future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable noises and self-closing doors (*Note: they know who closes the doors, and it is a real person), but Hill House is gathering its powers and will soon choose one of them to make its own….

While this is the official summary of the book, I think the story is very well introduced in the first two sections of the first chapter, about 8-9 pages (for that reason, I cannot copy all of it down 😀 )

My Thoughts: Well, as you may have noticed, I made a few notes to the book’s summary, which is on the back cover. It is perhaps the fact that the summary is not completely true to the story that makes me not love this book. I have read Jackson’s work before–We Have Always Lived in the Castle quite recently–and I have to say that I love her writing. Her stories just flow in a way that I love, even if I didn’t enjoy the story as much as I had hoped, in this case. I thought this book would have more creepiness to it, which is why I chose it to read for the RIP Challenge. But it just wasn’t all that creepy. I guess I had anticipated more ghostly creepiness than the creepiness associated with a person losing their mind, and being in that mind.

“No human eye can isolate the unhappy coincidence of line and place which suggests evil in the face of a house, and yet somehow a maniac juxtaposition, a badly turned angle, some chance meeting of roof and sky, turned Hill House into a place of despair, more frightening because the face of Hill House seemed awake, with a watchfulness from the blank windows and a touch of glee in the eyebrow of a cornice.” (p34)

Doesn’t that just sort of sound creepy?! But, I don’t think the story lived up to this description of Hill House. Hill House more or less made one of the main characters go insane, but not in such a direct way that would be alluded to from this quote. Hill House doesn’t really seem alive in the book, at least not to me–but it seems to be described as being alive.

I don’t know. I mean, when I read WHALitC, I hadn’t exactly realized how creepy the story was until after I had finished it and discussed it with other people on the RBC threads; especially after someone brought up a certain idea about the real existence of one of the main characters. So maybe I just need to look back into this story a little more. Has anyone else read it? What did you think?

My Thoughts on the Cover: The cover doesn’t actually look all that scary to me. The greenish glow to the sky is probably the most unsettling. But I imagined the house to be surrounded by more woods and to even be set into larger hills. The house has some weird angles, as the book described, but it doesn’t look too bad. Perhaps if it was full night- or daylight rather than dusk it would look scarier–but in dusk, it seems to be in its element.

Just another quote I liked:

“‘Fear,’ the doctor said, ‘is the relinquishment of logic, the willing relinquishing of reasonable patterns. We yield to it or we fight it, but we cannot meet it halfway.'” (p159)

This is the first book I finished during Dewey’s
24-Hour Readathon 😀

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-Thon

I have heard of Dewey’s Read-a-Thon from a few book blogger friends, originally from Michelle at My Books. My Life. But I was never really sure what it was, other than a read-a-thon, which is sort of obvious.

Yesterday, browsing through my blogroll, I finally found the origin of this particular read-a-thon from Giraffe Days. So, here it is:

What is Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon? For 24 hours, we read books, post to our blogs about our reading, and visit other readers’ blogs. We also participate in mini-challenges throughout the day. It happens twice a year, in April and in October.

It was created by the beloved Dewey (her blog has since been taken down, so the link won’t work). The first one was held in October 2007. Dewey died in late 2008. We’re still saddened by her absence, but the show must go on. The read-a-thon was renamed to honor its founder in 2009.

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon is hosted by Trish, with help from volunteers.

(If you’re interested in participating as a reader, here’s the sign-up post – or you can sign up as a cheerleader instead, we love readathon cheerleaders!)

There will be a Dewey Read-a-Thon this next Saturday, October 9th. And I think I will be participating. Unfortunately, I will be starting a little later on Saturday than most–my bridesmaids are spending that Friday night with me, helping me to put together all the invitations so they will be at my place for awhile on Saturday morning. But as soon as they leave, I am all about reading 😀 I’m not sure what I will be reading, but I do have a hefty pile from the library. So I think I’ll just stick with those. But I’ll post a list of what I hope to read towards the end of the week 🙂