Book Review: Murder Mysteries

Book Title: Murder Mysteries
Author: Neil Gaiman
Artist: P. Craig Russell

“I am Raguel, who is the Vengeance of the Lord. I serve the Name [God] directly. It is my mission to discover the nature of this deed, and to take the Name’s vengeance on those responsible. My questions are to be answered.”
Raguel in Murder Mysteries by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell

Final Verdict: A fascinating quick read with some Neil Gaiman twists and darkness!

For the full review, click the name of the book.

Random News: American Gods, Pierce Brown, and Literacy and Scotch

Hello Lovely Readers,

Thank you for those of you who helped us celebrate our 1 Year of blogging on Monday, and my birthday yesterday! I thought I would end this week with some neat news articles and one really sweet advert for whiskey (but really about literacy and teaching old dogs new tricks!).

The first exciting news has to do with the book American Gods by Neil Gaiman. There has been a lot of talk over the past year about the possibility of HBO producing a series based on the book. However, in November it was announced that the plan had been shelved by HBO. Luckily, Gaiman just announced that a company called Freemantle will produce a series based on the book (read the article here). It is unclear as of right now when exactly this would be released or which channel would carry it, but it is forward progress. Also exciting is that the company RED has picked up Anansi Boys to make a mini series for the BBC. So there should be some good Gaiman shows soon!

Over on Buzzfeed there is an interesting article on new author Pierce Brown, who just released Red Rising. You can read the article here. It looks at who Brown is, and touches on how he got to where he is. I am excited to begin reading his book soon (just have a couple library books I have to finish first), and it was neat to see a little more about him. It also sounds like there is already talk of a movie, and there are very high expectations for this book/series. I wish Brown luck.

The last find is probably the one that touched my heart the most, which is impressive as it is actually a whiskey commercial. However, check out the really sweet video below, and if you cry easy have a tissue handy!

Until next time,

Random News: Neil Gaiman on Libraries, Literacy, and Imagination

Hello lovely Readers,

Having just seen the awesome Neil Gaiman (and taken a photo with his wife, Amanda Palmer), when I saw this article I couldn’t not share! The piece is called, “Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming.” You can read the full article by clicking on the article title. The topic is one that is very close to my heart. I am a very frequent library patron to several libraries (in at least 2 countries), and strongly believe that children should be encouraged to read anything and suffer through very little censorship.

In the article Gaiman talks about how important literacy is for our future. There are apparently links between illiteracy rates and future criminality (I haven’t checked his sources, so I cannot confirm this). There is also the scary fact that in England the older generation is more literate than the young one, which is not a good sign.  He also talks about how fiction and reading for pleasure helps with imagination, literacy, and empathy. While it was difficult, I picked a couple quotes from the article that really spoke to me, although honestly I was highlighting every word! Please make sure you read the whole essay!

“There are no bad authors for children, that children like and want to read and seek out, because every child is different. They can find the stories they need to, and they bring themselves to stories. A hackneyed, worn-out idea isn’t hackneyed and worn out to them. This is the first time the child has encountered it. Do not discourage children from reading because you feel they are reading the wrong thing.”

“Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you’ve never been. Once you’ve visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different.”

“And while we must tell our readers true things and give them weapons and give them armour and pass on whatever wisdom we have gleaned from our short stay on this green world, we have an obligation not to preach, not to lecture, not to force predigested morals and messages down our readers’ throats like adult birds feeding their babies pre-masticated maggots; and we have an obligation never, ever, under any circumstances, to write anything for children that we would not want to read ourselves.”

Until next time,

 

Random News: Listen to the Graveyard Book

Hello Sweeties,

One of the books that really surprised me recently was The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. While Gaiman is one of my favorite authors, I was not so sure about this story, but I was able to get a hold of an audiobook (read by the author himself) and gave it a listen. I really enjoyed it, and am currently working on my review of it for you guys. However, in the meantime you can give it a listen! That’s right, currently it is available for free online. Over at Neil Gaiman’s MouseCircus you can listen to Neil read the story. If you have never heard Gaiman read one of his own books you are in for a treat. Not only is he a great author, but he is excellent at bringing the story to life. Just a quick summary for those who are unsure. The Graveyard Book tells the story of Nobody. As a toddler, something happens to Nobody’s parents, and having just learned to walk he wanders into the graveyard. There the Owens, with the help of the mysterious Silas, agree to raise the boy as their son. The story follows Nobody as he grows up and learns from all the people buried in the graveyard. However, outside the graveyard, the evil that killed his family is still looking for him.

I really hope you give this book a try, especially as you can’t argue with the price! A full review will be coming here soon. And in case you need one more reason to listen, The Graveyard Book will soon be turned into a movie!

Until next time,

High Arts Corner: The Ocean at the End of the Lane Radio Play

Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane Radio Play
Novel by: Neil Gaiman
Abridged by:
Doreen Estall
Read by:
Michael Sheen
When:
July 2013“She was much older than me. At least 11. She had a soft Sussex accent, grey-blue eyes, and a freckled face.”
The Ocean at the End of the Lane Radio Play
by Neil Gaiman

Final Verdict: A good adaptation of the book, and a great reader.

Book Review: Fortunately, the Milk

Book Title: Fortunately, the Milk
Author: Neil Gaiman
Illustrator:
Chris Riddell

“‘And then something odd happened.’
‘That wasn’t odd?’ I asked.
‘Well, something odder
…’”
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

Final Verdict: A fun story that can be enjoyed by children from 2-92 (or older), and I cannot wait to buy my own copy!

For the full review, click the book title.

Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Book Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
AuthorNeil Gaiman

Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”
Lettie Hempstock in The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Final Verdict: A good, quick read, but doesn’t quiet lives up to some of Gaiman’s other spectacular stories.

For the full review, click the book title.

Random News: Free Short Story

Hello Sweeties,

As many of you have probably realized, both Frances and I are huge fans of Neil Gaiman. So it is with much joy and excitement, that I bring you the news that he has a short story available for free. It is called, How to Talk to Girls at Parties. There is also a short excerpt from his upcoming publication, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I have already downloaded my copy of this, and can’t wait for the weekend to read this!

It is available from a variety of sites in different formats. For those of you without e-readers, do not fret. Most of these sites allow free downloads of a computer version or phone versions of their platform. So everyone can read these!!

Amazon Kindle (US)
Amazon Kindle (UK)

Sony e-Reader
Barnes and Noble (Nook)

Until next time,

Frances and Lynne Adventure: Neil Gaiman in conversation with Meg Rosoff

 

 

 

 
Event: Neil Gaiman in conversation with Meg Rosoff
Place: Cambridge Theatre
Date: 29 October 2012

“Fairy tales are not true, they are more than true. Not because they tell us that dragons exist; but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.G.K. Chesteron

Final Verdict: While not the event we expected, a great time nonetheless. If you get the chance to see Neil Gaiman in person, jump at it, it is a great night out. And makes you appreciate slightly scary stories!

For the full adventure, click the event title.

Book Review: Neverwhere

Book Title: Neverwhere
Author: Neil Gaiman

You’ve a good heart. Sometimes that’s enough to see you safe wherever you go. But mostly, it’s not.Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.

Final Verdict: This book is in my top five books of all time. I would definitely recommend you read this!

For the full review, click the title of the book.