Pride and prejudice and zombies: the classic Regency romance -- now with ultraviolent zombie mayhem! by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.
Jane Austen’s classic story of Elizabeth Bennet and her relationship with the overly proud Mr. Darcy is retold – using much of the same text and style of the original – with a twist: zombies. England has a horrible plague of the undead, who roam the country in search of brains to consume. Elizabeth and her four sisters have been trained as warriors, their deadly skills outweighing their notable beauty.
I will admit; I’ve never read Pride and Prejudice. This makes a comparison of the two books a bit difficult. However, I did enjoy this one thoroughly. The following is, in my ever so humble opinion, one of the best paragraphs I’ve ever read. I enjoyed it so much that I showed (or read) it to many other people:
In her kind schemes for Elizabeth, she sometimes planned her marrying Colonel Fitzwilliam. He was beyond comparison the most pleasant man; he certainly admired her, and his situation in life was most eligible; but, to counterbalance these advantages, Mr. Darcy had a considerably larger head, and thus, more brains to feast upon. (Page 142)
Full of tongue in cheek humor and wonderfully written fighting scenes, this book makes my list of recommendations.
The Oxford Project by Stephen G. Bloom and Peter Feldstein
This non-fiction book is unique. In 1984, photographer Peter Feldstein set up his equipment and put the word out. He wanted to photograph every willing citizen of the small town of Oxford, Iowa. Nearly every one of the 670 or so residents participated.
Fast forward twenty years. Feldstein again set up his equipment and invited the original participants back, this time to also be interviewed by author Stephen G. Bloom. Some had moved or passed away in that time period. Many were still there.
This project has been turned in to a snapshot (pun not intended) of life in small town America. It is a view of how much life changes – and how much life stays the same – over twenty years.
The size of this book makes it a little unwieldy for continuous reading, but the topic and the layout make it perfect for browsing.
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
Cimorene is not a typical princess. She doesn’t look like a typical princess. She definitely doesn’t act like a typical princess. She would much rather learn sword fighting, or cooking, or Latin or magic than learn how to embroider, or courtly manners or dancing. But, this is not how a princess acts.
Upon finding out that her parents are going to betroth her to a neighboring prince, Cimorene decides to flee…and offer herself up to be a dragon’s princess. Of course, that is something else that is just never done. The dragon Kazul takes up Cimorene’s offer, and is delighted to find that Cimorene is the perfect addition to a dragon’s home. She cleans, organizes, and generally runs Kazul’s cave with much efficiency, all while deftly dealing with all those pesky princes and knights who keep showing up to “rescue” the princess. Not to mention dealing with a little wizard problem as well!
Somehow I missed this book when it was published years ago. So, I’m now discovering the series as an adult. It is one of those tales that I think my younger self would have loved. Cimorene is a wonderful character. She’s smart, strong and knows how to deal with what is thrown her way. What a great heroine for young girls to idolize!
I enjoyed the tale so much that I’m already halfway through the second book of the series (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles), Searching for Dragons.
Rise of the Evening Star : Fablehaven #2 by Brandon Mull
It’s nearly the end of the school year, and something fishy is happening in Kendra and Seth’s school. A fairyland creature has infiltrated Kendra’s class. After taking up a mysterious man’s offer to help rid them of the creature, they find out just how sneaky the Society of the Evening Star can be. Once school is finished, the siblings find themselves racing back to Fablehaven to help their grandparents yet again. Can the family keep the Society from taking control of the artifact? Who among the group of experts staying at Fablehaven is working for the other side? Will they all survive the summer unscathed?
This sequel to Fablehaven is exquisitely written. The suspense remains intact throughout the whole of the book, something that isn’t easily accomplished. Kendra and Seth’s characters continue to grow and learn, making them even more real. I can’t wait to start the third book!