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The Paper Gardens

I've been reading since I was 3, and I haven't seen any reason to stop. I'll read pretty much anything I can get my hands on, though I will admit to a crippling addiction to fantasy and YA books.

Currently reading

Ozma Of Oz
L. Frank Baum
Progress: 45 %
Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
L. Frank Baum
The Divide
Elizabeth Kay
A Clash of Kings
George R.R. Martin

The Road to Oz

The Road to Oz - L. Frank Baum
"The Love Magnet! Why, what's that?"

"I'll show you, if you won't tell any one," he answered, in a low, mysterious voice.

I am sorry to say that Dorothy does not get turned into a skin suit in this book, after all.

The Road to Oz is much more character driven than the previous stories. While each book introduces its own cast of characters, and brings back new ones, this story focused a lot more on the characters than it did on the fairy adventure - which was really a just a road trip to get to Ozma's birthday party.

A whole mess of characters are introduced in this book, including the Shaggy Man and his Love Magnet, Button Bright, who, little known fact, is related to Jon Snow...


...Polychrome, the Rainbow's Daughter, and several rulers of other fairy lands.

Including Santa Claus.

That's it. The Santa card has been played.



Funny Jokes (FREE Joke Book Download Included!): 125+ Hilarious Jokes (Funny and Hilarious Joke Book for Children)

Funny Jokes (FREE Joke Book Download Included!): 125+ Hilarious Jokes (Funny and Hilarious Joke Book for Children) - Johnny B. Laughing This book is a collection of jokes, organized by topic.

A good portion of the jokes are reliant on puns, so if that sort of thing gets on your nerves, you probably won't like this book. At times, it was pushing it with me. There are only so many variations of "aardvark" I can take before I start wanting to bludgeon people.

The best thing about this book is that all of the jokes are child friendly, and generally inoffensive. There are no blonde jokes or Yo Mama jokes here.

My biggest takeaway from this book was the realization that joke writers for kids love giving themselves ridiculous names. It almost seems like a necessity.

[a:Johnny B. Laughing|7430345|Johnny B. Laughing|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-d9f6a4a5badfda0f69e70cc94d962125.png], [a:C.U. Giggle|7244596|C.U. Giggle|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-d9f6a4a5badfda0f69e70cc94d962125.png], [a:Lottie Laffs|7392222|Lottie Laffs|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-d9f6a4a5badfda0f69e70cc94d962125.png], [a:T.E. Chuckles|7711352|T.E. Chuckles|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-d9f6a4a5badfda0f69e70cc94d962125.png]...

Good times.

Minecraft Jokes for Kids: Hilarious Minecraft Jokes, Puns, One-liners and Fun Riddles for YOU!

Minecraft Jokes for Kids: Hilarious Minecraft Jokes, Puns, One-liners and Fun Riddles for YOU! - Minecraft Books This was actually a smarter collection of jokes than what I'm used to from the free junk available online.

That being said, it's not exactly brilliant, either.

A good portion of the jokes in the first part are creeper jokes, with the punchline being a word or phrase heavy with the trademark creeper "ssssssss" in them. If it wasn't a creeper joke, then it was probably a joke about turkeys and cobblestone. I've got no idea.

One of the jokes is seriously just:

Why did the enderman cross the road?
He didn't, he TELEPORTED!

There's also a Hitler joke in there. Dead serious.

I enjoyed a lot of the more meta jokes - there's one that starts as a contest between Notch and God, and one that references the Slenderman. Which is kind of insane, now that I think about it. It's a joke referencing a reference. We're done here. The joke has come full circle.

There's a Minecraft image section in the middle, which is filled with Minecraft-themed pictures presumably gathered by doing a Google search for "funny Minecraft pictures". Several images are repeated, just in slightly different context. I swear those square melons kept popping up.

This one. This exact one.


I'd ask if anyone got permission to use any of the images, but I know better than to expect that.

The riddles try too hard to keep up a rhyme, but are otherwise decent.

That's the problem though, I guess. The best I can say about this book is, "It's not terrible."

The Time Machine

The Time Machine - H.G. Wells I needed a break from my freebie werewolf romances, so I decided to browse through my Kindle to find something different to read. I needed something decently written, yet short - I had to squeeze in some reading time while the baby was taking her afternoon nap.

The Time Machine fit my needs perfectly.

The plot wasn't very complicated - a man travels through time to the year 802,701 AD, and gives an account of his time there to a variety of learned men. It was short, and more of a study of sociology and human nature than an actual story.

Credit must be given to the book for its contributions to the science fiction genre in general, though. I've also got to give the book props for setting the events in such a far off year - as opposed to something like, say, [b:1984|5470|1984|George Orwell|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348990566s/5470.jpg|153313], we don't have a chance to sit and laugh about how people of the past expected we would turn out.

People of the year 802,701 - please feel free to laugh at our ridiculous notions of what your time is like. If the planet even makes it that long.

By far, the best part of reading this book for me was the fact that Ellie woke up before I could finish, and started fussing because I wasn't reading to her. So I started reading where I had left off, with the Morlocks and the forest fire, and the baby just started wailing. I'd stop reading about the Morlocks, and she quieted down. I'd start up again, and she'd start back up crying.

Finally, I told her that the Morlocks all quickly got sent to a farm in the country, and finished reading the book by myself.

Fifty Dates with Captain Cavedweller

Fifty Dates with Captain Cavedweller - Shanna Hatfield This was a cute idea, although it was a bit repetitive in practice.

Most of the dates ended up falling into one of five categories:

- movie night
- football game
- go for a drive
- shopping
- something touristy

There were a few outliers, sure, but pretty much every date night was one of the above activities.

I'd love to try something like this with my husband, except that we both hate going outside, into the terrible humidity that comes with living in the South, and we're both habitual procrastinators.

The Halfwit Knight

The Halfwit Knight - Najeev Raj Nadarajah Good lord, is this book offensive and morbid! There's definitely a dark humor to this that probably not everybody would take very well.

In a world full of fairy tales, Uncle Jeever takes the absolute worst interpretation of every single story, and throws it all together into a fourth-wall-breaking mess.

You've got a man who wishes he had a son, and gets one by buying what he thinks is a misshapen loaf of bread.

You've got your simple and bumbling, but well-meaning hero, who manages to ruin everything he touches.

There's Mary (who's legal, Uncle Jeever swears!) and her little lamb, Hansel and Grettel, who are inadvertently eaten by the hero and a witch (including a double entendre that is in no way subtle), a clever fox, and a tortoise and a hare that don't get much character development. There is also a cow.

The story is narrated by Uncle Jeever, who often interrupts things to correct a remark, clarify a statement, or change things around a bit.

The illustrations are a mix of professional looking sketches, and a bunch of stick figures, thrown in when Uncle Jeever changes things and has to quickly incorporate something new into his tale.

Like I said, this book probably isn't for everybody. But if you can handle disgusting and offensive stories, there's a certain level of amusement to be had.

The First (The Returned)

The First (The Returned) - Jason Mott The First is a novella of [b:The Returned|17182421|The Returned|Jason Mott|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1372089735s/17182421.jpg|21762912], and as the title would suggest, the story is about the first of the Returned.

This short story, as well as the other two stories written in this mini-trilogy, take a look at the various ways people cope with death. That isn't me reading anything into the meaning of the stories, or making an interpretation. There's a preface that explains the purpose and meaning behind the series of prequels.

The story is supposed to be a more in-depth account of the first person to return from the dead, and the emotional reaction of Emily, who had just started to move past her dead fiancee, but nothing about it was very in-depth. Edmund just sort of returns, and while Emily reacts to his return, the two don't meet up until the very end. There's no real build-up of the emotions that are running through either of their heads. We're told what they're feeling repeatedly, but the story isn't long enough to really delve into the subject.

I'd say that maybe their story gets more attention in the actual book, but if that were the case, then this short story wouldn't really have a purpose.

The idea behind the series is interesting enough, but based on this one story I don't know if I'd read the actual book. I've got the other two novellas waiting to be read. Perhaps they'll sway me.

Vampire for Christmas

Vampire for Christmas - Felicity Heaton There was a lot more plot to this than I was expecting, which was definitely a pleasant surprise. It's nice when I pick up a paranormal romance that's not all about the sex.

The relationship between Rafe and Shannon was the best part of the book. While what they want to be for each other isn't *technically* a forbidden love, it IS a difficult one. Shannon's dark and depressing past makes it hard for her to trust Rafe. Given what she went through, it's perfectly understandable.

...it also doesn't hold up as an excuse for very long, since Rafe has worked with Shannon long enough to be able to sense her mood by listening to her heartbeat, and knows that she's attracted to him.

What most of the romance in the book boils down to are both Rafe and Shannon waiting for the other to make the first move.

That, and all of the brooding over dark and depressing pasts makes the first half of the book drag on quite a bit. The story manages to hit its stride about halfway through, though, and ends on a sappy note.

The Witch Sea

The Witch Sea - Sarah Diemer This was a very prettily written story. I wouldn't necessarily call it a romance, though - while there's a romantic relationship in the story, to me it felt like everything was more about longing than actual love.

Meriel spends her days doing what her mother taught her to do, what her grandmother taught her mother to do. They keep an army of sea creatures-turned-human led by an angry god from destroying mankind. It's a noble goal, but a lonely one, since Meriel is as trapped as the monsters.

A seal manages to slip through her magical net one night, and is sent to plead the monsters' case to Meriel, to ask for their freedom. The visits start to challenge everything Meriel thought she knew, until she's unsure of what it is she's supposed to do.

To release them is to doom humanity, but Meriel wants more for her life than dedication to the nets.

In the end, it's longing that does in both Meriel and the beasts, but that longing also sets them free.

The book got bonus points with me for including a selkie. <3

The Emperor's Last Parade

The Emperor's Last Parade - Fernando Juan Cao, Gil Paguio The Emperor's Last Parade is a fully illustrated retelling of the fairy tale, "The Emperor's New Clothes". This version paints the Emperor in a more sympathetic light than the original tale. Instead of being too proud to admit that he can't see the clothes, the Emperor in this story is kind-hearted and beloved by the people, and is scared that if he admits that he can't see the clothes, then the evil Councilor will take over the empire, and ruin it with his hard-handedness.

The illustrations are what really make this version of the story, and I was pleased that they actually showed up on my Kindle.

It would have been very difficult to read it otherwise, since the text is incorporated into the illustrations.

The Well

The Well - Adam R. Theberge The Well had a vague Lovecraftian feel to it, almost like a mix between The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath and The Horror at Red Hook.

The atmosphere of the book was stronger than the plot. A lot of time is spent building up the idea that this is a dangerous world, and that bad things happen if you go out on your own.

The main character has prophetic dreams of a village being destroyed, and a well where some sort of magical alien creatures are attempting to seal off a portal to what I assume is the demon realm. Every time he has the dream, it ends the same way - the village gets destroyed, and a voice tells him that he's being spared, so that in the future he can return the favor.

Unfortunately, something went wrong with my download. My Kindle refuses to go past the 98% mark, no matter how many times I download and redownload the story.

I feel fairly safe in saying that that last two percent wouldn't have made a difference in my rating, though.


Pepper - Brian Borgford Pepper is a kid's book like [b:Why Kimba Saved The World|22872453|Why Kimba Saved The World (Cats in the Mirror, #1)|Meg Welch Dendler|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1407181534s/22872453.jpg|24249267], where scenes from the book are acted in out in photography in an attempt to make the story seem more realistic to children.

This would have been a cute, if dark, dog story - but I couldn't get past a series of editing errors.

At least, I'm assuming they were editing errors. I'm still trying to figure it out.

About halfway through the story, the dog, Pepper, gets taken to the pound by a dog catcher. Despite pretty constant assurances from the dog catcher that he's going to be put down any day now, Pepper gets adopted by a little girl who names him Blackie.

For the entire time Pepper is with the little girl's family, his name keeps changing. In one sentence, the girl will call him Blackie. In the next, she and her father refer to him as Pepper. Then he's Blackie again. And then he's Pepper...I'm pretty sure he should have been Blackie throughout the entire exchange.

Otherwise, this was a fairly depressing book. The dog gets kidnapped, strangled, shot, and then put in a dog pound where we're constantly told how any day now, Pepper will be killed because nobody will ever adopt him. And that's only half of the book.

Billy Coatbutton and the Wheel of Destiny (The Sock Gnome Chronicles #1)

Billy Coatbutton and the Wheel of Destiny (The Sock Gnome Chronicles #1) - Michael James Ploof Do you like gnomes? Do you like bad puns? Do you like [b:The Borrowers|348573|The Borrowers (The Borrowers, #1)|Mary Norton|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1308945559s/348573.jpg|802336]?

Then you'll probably enjoy this book.

The first part of the book spends a great deal of time setting up the culture and society of sock gnomes. We learn about sock gnome habits, jobs, and mating rituals before we even get a glimpse of the actual story.

I actually really enjoyed that bit. It was incredibly heavy-handed world-building, to be sure, but since the introduction spent the entire time talking about an imaginary race of gnomes who take your socks, it wasn't too bad.

The story itself wasn't very long, and one of the major plot points involved convenient rhyming. I mean, really...Billy rhymes his way from a random word to salt, which he immediately associates with pepper, and realizes that if the house cat got into the spice cabinet and sneezed, its collar could have slipped off. And this ends up being exactly what happened.


At any rate, the story had a nice moral about being honest, and the sock gnome society was fun to read about. Even if they *do* have a tendency to make horrible, horrible puns about both socks, and gnomes.

And as a parting thought -

"There's no place like gnome" would probably have been a better pun to go with than "There's no home like gnome home".

13 Ghosts: Strange But True Ghost Stories

13 Ghosts: Strange But True Ghost Stories - Will Osborne 13 Ghosts delivered on what it promised to be - it was a collection of thirteen "true" ghost stories.

All of the stories in the book were older than I was expecting them to be. Most of them were stories that were originally recorded back in the 1700 - 1800s. As I learned from [b:Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds|162120|Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds|Charles Mackay|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328696270s/162120.jpg|1033191], hauntings were as popular back then as they are today, and people went through great lengths to fake paranormal phenomena.

The stories are introduced with scenes from the tales written as though they were a third person narrative, with the facts of each story following afterwards.

This was a quick read - it was interesting, but don't expect to be scared by any of the stories in the collection. Unless you're scared of historical accuracy.

Ambrose Fountain

Ambrose Fountain - Brian Sieve This was essentially [b:The Shining|11588|The Shining (The Shining, #1)|Stephen King|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1353277730s/11588.jpg|849585], except without any magical divination powers, and set in a vineyard.

Not that that was necessarily a bad thing - I just never felt any sort of suspense or horror, because I could tell exactly where the story was going.

For all of that, it was an interesting read, and well written. The story flowed fairly smoothly, and while it wasn't scary, it was definitely atmospheric in its descriptions of the vineyard and the well.

Throughout the book, I couldn't shake the feeling that it sounded like a movie...like somebody wrote a horror movie that they wanted to be like The Shining. Turns out that's pretty much what it was. According to the author's note at the end, Ambrose Fountain is part of a project called Script Lit, which takes unpublished screenplays and turns them into novels.

NOT A BOOK: The Auction Deal

NOT A BOOK: The Auction Deal - NOT A BOOK This is plagiarized from [b:A Bid for Love|380088|A Bid for Love|Rachel Ann Nunes|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1174323335s/380088.jpg|1000336].

The author of A Bid for Love, [a:Rachel Ann Nunes|21980|Rachel Ann Nunes|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1252119841p2/21980.jpg]' account of events can be read at her blog, here.

It involves a convenient car crash, contradictions, and several pretend nieces.