Cubbyhole Beneath The Stairs

The Journal Of A Very Lazy Reader Who Yearns To Read More

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Name: B. Dragon

"Watch your step. Spoilers are like Kraken around here..."
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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Vampire Chronicles Collection Volume 1 by Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, The Queen of the Damned)

The Vampire Chronicles Collection: Volume 1 by Anne Rice

The Vampire
Chronicles Collection
Volume I:
Interview with the Vampire
The Vampire Lestat
The Queen of the Damned


ISBN: 0-345-45634-3




Witness the confessions of a vampire. A novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force, it is a story of danger and flight, love and loss, suspense and resolution, and the extraordinary power of the senses.


Once an aristocrat from pre-revolutionary France, now a rock star in the decadent 1980s, Lestat rushes through the centuries seeking to fathom the mystery of his existence. His is a mesmerizing story - passionate and thrilling.


Akasha, the queen of the damned, has risen from a six-thousand-year sleep to let loose the powers of the night. She has a marvelously devious plan to "save" mankind - in this vivid novel of the erotic, electrifying world of the undead.

My Opinion Is...

I enjoyed Interview with the Vampire. I don't know if it's because I loved the movie. I kept recalling scenes from the movie as I read through the book. I had no problem reading through this book.

The Vampire Lestat was okay. I pretty much plowed through this book. What a vain character... *smirks*

I had a love/hate relationship with The Queen of the Damned. Pre-Concert had various versions of what happened with several vampires. I was pretty sick and tired of The Queen, The King, Mother and Father, The Twins... Some nights got so bad that I could only stomach five or six pages before I got bored and walked away. I really did start to think that maybe I should quit and just post the first two books to get it out of the way. After the Concert, some parts picked up again but there were more boring events before it got interesting again, etc etc... I finally finished it. Woohoo!

I do not see myself buying the rest of the books any time soon. I kept saying to myself, "I just *know* this third book will stop in the middle of this whole mess and I'll need to buy the next book to see how it all plays out". THANK GOODNESS that The Queen of the Damned DID wrap up the story so there's no need to get the next book any time soon.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Centaur Aisle (Xanth - 4) by Piers Anthony

Centaur Aisle by Piers Anthony

(Xanth - 4)


ISBN: 0-345-35246-7


The magic of Xanth was useless
in Mundania - until Dor tried honesty!


Dor was having troubles growing up to the be the next Magician-King of the magic Land of Xanth. He wanted no part of running the Kingdom. But now Good King Trent was leaving on a trade mission to non-magical Mundania, home of such weird beasts as horses and bears, so Dor had to take over as King for a week.

A week passes. No Trent. Then three weeks. King Trent still hadn't returned. Surely, something terrible had happened; he was apparently held captive in some foul dungeon, unable to escape. Dor was left with the burden of ruling - and with Irene, who was entirely willing to be his Queen.

His only hope was to enter Mundania and free King Trent. But how could it be done without the powers of magic? Nevertheless, he started forth bravely - together with Irene, a golem, a centaur, and a young ogre - heading for the far south of Xanth.

The entrance to Mundania, of course, lay to the north.

My Opinion Is...
A book of homonyms. Gotta love it.

This book takes place four years after Castle Roogna. Again, Dor is the main character. King Trent decides to head to Mundania to a certain period in time so that a trade route can be established. When King Trent and Queen Iris doesn't return, Dor and cast are forced to head to Centaur Isle before they head off to Mundania - and even that wasn't easy!
Parts of the book slowed down but it was a good read.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Castle Roogna by Piers Anthony

Castle Roogna by Piers Anthony

(Xanth - 3)


ISBN: 0-345-35048-0



Millie had been a ghost for 800 years. But now, restored by the magic of Xanth, she was again a maddeningly desirable woman. She could have had any man she wanted... except the one she did want, Jonathan the zombie. To grant Millie her desire, and to prove his right to rule Xanth in the future, young Magician Dor embarked on a quest for the elixir which would restore Jonathan to full life.
But the potion could be found only in the past... so, through a magic tapestry, to the past he went, taking over the body of a barbarian warrior. The first person he encountered there was Jumper, a giant spider - a nightmare monster, but a staunch friend and much-needed ally in peril-haunted, ancient Xanth.

Then Dor met Millie - 800 years younger, but just as lovely. And he realized that, in his new body, he was no longer twelve years old...

My Opinion Is...
Castle Roogna is the third book in the Xanth series. It focuses on Dor, 12 year old son of Bink and Chameleon, who is sent off into the past due to a mission by King Trent.

Right away, I loved Jumper. One may think the giant spider is a weird companion but Jumper has been extremely helpful - mostly because he's an adult. That's what Dor struggles with a lot - trying to understand what it is to be mature. He learns a lot from Jumper.

I also thought it was neat to know about King Roogna of Castle Roogna as well as Magician Murphy. The Zombie Master was also pretty neat. I definitely enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading Centaur Aisle.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Myth Directions - Hit or Myth - by Robert Asprin

Myth Directions and Hit or Myth by Robert Asprin





ISBN: 0-441-00943-3


It's not a mythtake!
It's two classic books in one!


The beautiful Tanda wants the Trophy, easily the ugliest object Skeeve has ever seen in any dimension. But what Tanda wants, Tanda gets. And it will take more than luck for Skeeve to fulfill this mythguided desire...

King Rodrick takes a powder, leaving Skeeve in his place to marry his homicidal fiancee and face the Mob's fairy godfather - who makes him an offer he can't refuse...

My Opinion Is...
I enjoyed them both. As usual, Skeeve, Aahz, and Co. get into more tangles and it takes brains and magik to get themselves out!

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Great Illustrated Classics

Great Illustrated Classics


The following books are in my collection:

A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain
Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery
Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne
Black Beauty - Anna Sewell
The Call of the Wild - Jack London
Captains Courageous - Rudyard Kipling
Christmas Bedtime Stories
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
Kidnapped - Robert Louis Stevenson
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table - Howard Pyle
Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
Moby Dick - Herman Melville
The Mutiny on Board HMS Bounty - William Bligh
Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
The Prince and the Pauper - Mark Twain
The Red Badge of Courage - Stephen Crane
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
STORIES FROM THE BIBLE: Old and New Testament
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson
The Swiss Family Robinson - Johann Wyss
Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
The Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum

I found my rather dusty old collection of Great Illustrated Classics books. I remember reading them ages ago but the sad thing is, I don't have a clue what any of the books were about. Vaguely if at all! I remember trying to collect every single one I could find. Most of them came from K-B Toys in the early 90's.

To my surprise, there's around seventy of these books now! Eesh. I believe my books will be given to my nephew one day when he's old enough. I'll have to do some serious cleaning up before I give these books away.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dragonquest (The Dragonriders of Pern) by Anne McCaffrey

DRAGONQUEST: The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey



ISBN: 0-345-34024-8



DRAGONQUEST. Most Pernese are grateful to dragonkind for keeping Holds and Craftshalls safe. But some, resenting their obligations to the weyrs, have begun to complain about the privileged status of dragonriders.

When a few ambitious Lords decide that dragonmen should go to the Red Star - using their beasts' teleportation ability - in order to destroy the Threads at their source, F'nor, brother of F'lar, is intrigued. But his brown dragon needs a detailed image of a place in order to go there... and the images F'nor picks up - from an unexpected source - are terrifying!

My Opinion Is...
This is for the second book, Dragonquest.

My first opinion was that the book was merely being continued for the sake of continuing it. It's about seven years later, people fall into routine with the old timers set in their isolated ways while the people of Benden Weyr are struggling to make the old timers realize that a lot has changed in 400 years.

The introduction of the fire lizards was pretty neat but I think that's the only interesting thing I liked. The other stuff was a bit boring. I wouldn't say I struggled through the book but it was just... Eh. So-so.

I believe I'll take a break from this book and read another book. I don't want to putter out through the White Dragon.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dragonflight (The Dragonriders of Pern) by Anne McCaffrey

DRAGONFLIGHT: The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey



ISBN: 0-345-34024-8



The first humans to settle on Pern barely noticed a distant planet in the same system; their descendants couldn't afford such an oversight. For the orbit of that Red Star swept it close to Pern at perihelion - and when that happened, deadly silver Threads would fall through the skies of Pern, mindlessly searing all they touched.

To combat these invasions, Pernese bred huge sensitive flying beasts that could teleport themselves in an instant, and destroy Thread in midair with flaming breath. Men and women with telepathic ability were trained to ride the dragons, giving rise to countless heroic tales... and the thrilling saga recounted here:

DRAGONFLIGHT. In return for protection, land Holders and Craftsmen have traditionally tithed food and supplies to the dragonweyrs to which they are bound. But it has been nearly 400 years since the last Threadfall, and some people have come to doubt that the menace will ever strike again.

F'lar, rider of Pern's greatest bronze dragon, has no such illusions. The Red Star is near; Thread will fall soon. And unless the dragonmen find a new Weyrwoman - a woman of sufficient sensitivity and intelligence to bond with a queen dragon - Pern will not survive.

Then F'lar meets Lessa, last of a noble bloodline that had already produced Pern's most legendary weyrwomen. And between them, Lessa and F'lar create a new legend.

My Opinion Is...

This is for the first book, Dragonflight.

The first thirty pages or so, I couldn't absorb anything. That was discouraging. I kept re-reading paragraphs and nothing was sinking in. It got to the point that I would just glide over sentences waiting for something to be snagged in. Eventually the story DID surface and I got a handle on things before too late.

I did like the story. It was pretty neat how dragons can blink between and go places and whatnot. I especially liked it when Lessa discovered something very interesting about the between. Some people who know me would know why I liked THAT very much. hehehe.

I really liked all the weyrs and how they had to fight the Thread to try to save Pern from it during this Red Star's turn around and whatnot. I am actually looking forward to starting Dragonquest.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Just thinking...

I've been looking over my books to figure out what next to read. I guess the most obvious choice would be "Dragonriders of Pern". Maybe I can re-read the Harry Potter books one after the other. I was given a set of Narnia books that I've been meaning to read because of the movies. I read the first book but couldn't get into the second book. I can't find my Harry Dresden book. Hmm...

I did manage to get my hands on 3 more Xanth books but they're 8th (Crewel Lye: A Caustic Yarn) , 9th (Golem in the Gears), and 10th (Vale of the Vole) in the series. I'm not sure if I want to read them or just try to keep looking for 'Castle Roogna' and the others in order. The two closest used bookstores didn't have anything and the 3 Xanth books came from a book seller at a flea market.

I guess I'll read Pern next. I'll admit, I don't think I'll be interested in it. Kind of a bad attitude when heading into a book but hey, I had the same attitude before I wandered into Klah and Xanth.


The Source of Magic by Piers Anthony

The Source of Magic by Piers Anthony



ISBN: 0-345-27284-6



A quest for the source of its power
threatened to doom the Land of Xanth


As the ruler of a country steeped in enchantment, King Trent was naturally curious about the source of its magic.

It made sense to order Bink, the only one of his subjects immune to supernatural harm, to undertake a quest to discover the wellspring of Xanth's uniqueness.
From the beginning, Bink and his companions, Chester the centaur and Crombie, the soldier transformed into a griffin, were harried by an unseen enemy determined to thwart them. Even the power of the Good Magician Humfrey, together with Bink's protective talent, scarcely saved their lives.

Then when Humfrey and Crombie turned againsth im, all seemed lost. But Bink's ingenuity and luck prevailed, and he reached his goal. The King's orders had been carried out...

But the King had not expected Bink's next act - to destroy utterly the magic of Xanth!

My Opinion Is...
This is the second book in the Xanth series and pretty much a year has passed. Bink is growing bored and is missing adventure! King Trent decides to send him on a mission: To find the source of magic. Of course, heck breaks loose over and over on their way to finding the source.

The book was awesome. I loved it. My favorite character was Grundy the Golem. His little insults while translating for Crombie and others were pretty funny. "You tell 'em, twerp!"

The ending was pretty neat. I never ever expected the ending at all. I'm going to have to keep an eye out on the other books and continue to 'Castle Roogna'.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony

A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony



ISBN: 0-345-25855-X



In Xanth magic was the rule -
alas, poor Bink was the exception!...



That was the enchanted land where magic ruled - where every citizen had a special spell only he could cast. It was a land of centaurs and dragons and basilisks.

For Bink of North Village, however, Xanth was no fairy tale. He alone had no magic. And unless he got some - and got some fast! - he would be exiled. Forever!

But the Good Magician Humfrey was convinced that Bink did indeed have magic. In fact, both Beauregard the genie and the magic wall chart insisted that Bink had magic.

Magic as powerful as any posssessed by the King or by Good Magician Humfrey - or even by the Evil Magician Trent.

Be that as it may, no one could fathom the nature of Bink's very special magic.
Bink was in despair. This was even worse than having no magic at all... and he would still be exiled!
My Opinion Is...
The beginning of the book was slow. Very slow. I think it was a very long attempt to show you what was in Xanth when Bink had to find the Good Magician Humfrey to find out why he had no magic. Xanth appears to be a very dangerous place to live! It seems almost every *plant* was carnivorous there!

Once Bink was exiled, It got very interesting because he was captured by Evil Magician Trent. Through the book, I teetered back and forth. Is Trent good? Do I want to like him or is he really dangerous?

To keep this vague for people who didn't read this book but enough to explain for people who did read this book - I don't like Trent even with how the book ended. With or without Chameleon's interference, the fact remains... He made that move. That's something I can't recover from. If I was traveling with them and all, I never ever would've forgiven him. I would always remain suspicious because of how it all changed AFTER that move.

I also don't like Trent's magical ability. The way he uses it all willy nilly and then walks away without caring! *shudders*

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