Thursday, January 22, 2015

If You Give a Pig a Pilot's License (Or the Day I Bought a Kindle)

Yes, you read that title right.

After years of staunchly defending the paperback, I, Ashley Martin, have purchased an e-reader.

And I love it.

I feel like I should mumble that last statement into a cough and then smoothly change the subject to something that will distract everyone from such a shocking admission.

How 'bout them Seahawks?


YES, OKAY, I LOVE IT. Are you happy? Some of you are gloating right now. The rest of you no doubt are doing something like this:

Who are you?

I've actually been secretly considering an e-reader for a while now. I did a ton of research and determined that the Kindle Paperwhite was definitely the one I wanted...if I ever decided to buy an e-reader...which I wouldn't....because REAL BOOKS.

Oh, how a substantial amount of Christmas cash can change a person.

I can blame thank my husband, really. He was the one to suggest the idea. And since my "they're just so expensive" excuse was no longer an issue, resistance proved futile. I ordered the Paperwhite on the final day of the post-Christmas sale (in addition, I went for the one that comes with special offers for $20 cheaper) and was cautiously excited. Honestly, I still wasn't totally sure if I would like it, but once I had it in my hands, I couldn't deny its awesomeness.

I also couldn't deny my feelings of guilt. It was like cheating on all my beautiful hardcovers. And what would this do to my street cred?

Just a couple days after my Kindle arrived, I was faced with the harrowing choice I'd feared for so long: Did I purchase the ebook version of the new Flavia de Luce novel, or buy the hardcover? To pass the time while making this difficult decision, I linked my Kindle to my Goodreads account, downloaded and devoured the newly discovered Flavia de Luce short story (available only in ebook format), purchased a children's book for bedtime reading at the insistent pleading of my seven-year-old, and checked out a book from the library without having to wait until I had time to go to the library.

At which point I decided guilt be damned. I SHALL READ ALL THE BOOKS.

And to answer your question, of course I ordered the hardcover. Psh. What kind of crazy person do you think I am?

Pigs may be flying, but you-know-where hasn't frozen over yet.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson

Hilary Westfield dreams of being a pirate. But there are a few minor problems standing in her way, such as The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates' refusal to allow girls to join their piratical ranks. Instead of heading out to sea, Hilary, along with her dearest friend, the gargoyle, finds herself being shipped off to Miss Pimm's Finishing School for Delicate Ladies. In an effort to escape a life of waltzing and crochet hooks, Hilary answers an ad for a pirate crew and is soon swept up in a seafaring adventure involving a rather secretive map, a magical treasure that may or may not exist, a rogue governess, and the most treacherous--and unexpected--villain on the High Seas.

Pirates, magic, a talking gargoyle...what's not to love? If you're looking for a story that is everything a children's book should be (fun story, fast pace, perfect voice, vibrant characters, AND it's hilarious!), The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot is very definitely it. It's the type of book that insists you read a snippet out loud every five minutes to whoever happens to be in the room--the brilliance MUST BE SHARED. Best of all, in a book that could have been filled with cliches, I found a refreshing array of unexpected characters and plot turns. The perfect end to my 2014 list of books read, this one shoots right to the top of my favorites for the year. And if the grin on the face of my nine year old is any indication, she's enjoying it just as much as I did.

Verdict: If you're looking for a great start to your 2015 literary treasure hunt (for you or your kiddos), consider this the X that marks the spot.