Howl’s Moving Castle – Diana Wynne Jones (Children’s Fiction)

This was the first book I’ve ever read by Wynne Jones, and I can gladly say that it won’t be the last. That doesn’t mean I loved the book, however… in fact, I found that it dragged in a few places, and I had a hard time liking the main characters at first. After awhile, they grew on me, and I finished the book thinking “that was pretty good, I’d like another, please” – so I’ll give her another go and see how it is. I might even track down the film that was made based on this book…  I hear it’s actually quite good!

Rating: 3 coffees out of 5

Stupid American History – Leland Gregory (History/Humor)

I received this book through the LT Early Reviewer’s program, and… well… at least it wasn’t a lengthy read. At best, it’s bathroom reading material, but beyond that…? The humor isn’t all that funny, and the “stupid history” anecdotes aren’t always stupid. It was mediocre, mildly entertaining at times, and thoroughly frustrating to someone who is used to reading books that actually reference their source material.

Yes, that’s right. Gregory provides absolutely zero references for his ‘history’ book, which – even in a popular history, bite-sized information style book – is incomprehensible, not to mention just plain sloppy and ignorant. Even the Uncle Joe’s Bathroom Reader series provides references for most of the material in it. If you don’t source, how can we know that you’re telling us the truth? What if someone wants to read more about a certain ‘historical anecdote’, how will they know where to start looking for the so-called ‘truth’ that Gregory reveals?

That – plus a completely illogical way of organizing the anecdotes (ie. there was no organization) – made this ER book more frustrating than fun. Stupid American History is right.

Rating: 1.5 coffees out of 5

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