Ella Minnow Pea (Mark Dunn)

This is one of the best fiction books I’ve read in a while. It was just so clever, and I could not put it down!

Title – Ella Minnow Pea: a novel in letters

Author – Mark Dunn

Page count – 208

Rating – Buy. I will definitely read this again and anticipate recommending it frequently.

Ella Minnow Pea is a teenager living on the fictional island of Nollop, just off the coast of South Carolina. The island is named after Nevin Nollop, the (again, fictional) creator of the sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” (This sentence is a pangram, meaning it uses all the letters of the alphabet at least once.) This sentence is spelled out in tiles on a statue of Nollop, but as the tiles suddenly start to fall off, the islanders are forbidden to write or speak using those fallen letters. The book is written as a series of letters/notes between the inhabitants of the island, including Ella. As more letters fall from the statue, the letter-writers have to get creative with how they communicate to avoid using the forbidden letters.

A quick thought: Sometimes I find the use of long or complex words in a story as the author just wanting to sound smart. I didn’t get that vibe here. The characters simply seem to appreciate selecting exactly the right word to express what they mean. And it helps to highlight the change in language as certain letters become forbidden.

**Some SPOILERS ahead for minor plot points, but I won’t give away anything major or the ending. You should experience that fresh for yourself** Continue reading “Ella Minnow Pea (Mark Dunn)”


The Fate of the Tearling (#41/50)

This book was published literally less than two weeks ago. You may remember that I read the first two books in this series almost a year ago. As soon as I found out when the final installment was scheduled to come out, I requested it at the library and put my name on the waiting list. People close to me know well my disappointment in the final installments of recent three-part series (*cough*DivergentHungerGames*cough*), but I’m pleased to say this one was different.

Title – The Fate of the Tearling

Author – Erika Johansen

Page count – 475

Goodreads rating – 5/5 (it was amazing)

**SPOILERS warning – nothing for this book, but I will include information/events from the first two**

Kelsea is the Queen of the Tearling, and she spent the first two books ascending to the throne and learning how to rule amidst discontent within her kingdom and threats from the neighboring Mort kingdom. At the end of the second book, Continue reading “The Fate of the Tearling (#41/50)”

The Handmaid’s Tale (#33/50)

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.

Title – The Handmaid’s Tale

Author – Margaret Atwood

Page count – 311

In short, this book is about a society where women’s lives and bodies are controlled and valued for the sole purpose of procreation. Here is the description from the back of the book (for reference, it was published in 1985):

“Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food market whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable…” Continue reading “The Handmaid’s Tale (#33/50)”

The Book of Phoenix (#31/50)

So I’ve said before that there’s not any book genre I actively dislike, but I’ve never been especially interested in sci-fi/fantasy. I’m still not convinced it’s my cup of tea, but this book was an interesting take on the ubiquitous dystopian novel and provided a nice change of pace from my usual selections.

Title – The Book of Phoenix

Author – Nnedi Okorafor

Page count – 232

This book is difficult to summarize because it’s so “out there.” Our main character is Phoenix, a woman with supernatural powers (no spoilers). She begins life Continue reading “The Book of Phoenix (#31/50)”

The Invasion of the Tearling (#1/50)

So I did end up reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but I started it right after I put up my last post. And seeing as it is the shortest in the series, I finished it before the end of 2015. Then, I realized I still had a couple books I’d picked up from the library and decided those were a more pressing priority. Because due dates. The rest of HP will come later, but for now, here is my first selection for my 50 Book Challenge:

Title: The Invasion of the Tearling

Author: Erika Johansen

Page count: 511

This book is actually the second in a trilogy. It follows The Queen of the Tearling, which was also fabulous. Go read it. Like The Queen, Continue reading “The Invasion of the Tearling (#1/50)”