DoughnutDoughnut by Tom Holt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Theo recently lost his job.  Since he blew up a very, very large supercollider and the part of Switzerland it sat under, he isn’t likely to get another job in his field anytime soon.  His wife left him and his inherited fortune is gone.  To make things worse his mentor recently died and left him the contents of a safe deposit box – an empty bottle, a powder compact, and an apple.  That’s when things really start to go wrong for Theo.

This book is odd and takes some thought to follow.  It gets into multiverse theory which is mind-twisting.  The characters are wonderfully absurd and the dialogue is laugh out loud funny at times.  It reminded me a bit of Tom Robbins books.  I can’t necessary summarize the plot for you but I had a good time reading it.

From the Kitchen of Half TruthFrom the Kitchen of Half Truth by Maria Goodin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All of her life Meg’s mother told her fantastic stories about her childhood.  She was told that when she was born she was small and the doctor said she had to be kept in the oven to bake longer.  Her mother told her about runner beans escaping in the kitchen and running all over.  When she got to school and repeated some of the stories she was laughed at.  She decided to put fiction and fantasy behind her and to deal only in truth.  Now, her mother is dying and it is Meg’s last chance to find out the truth about her life.  Who is her father?  Why can’t she remember anything about her early childhood?  What really happened?  As her mother gets sicker and sicker and will not deviate from her fantasy stories, Meg’s decides to try to investigate herself.

I loved this book.  I found myself getting frustrated along with Meg as she tries to get her mother to tell her the truth.  I wanted to know what had happened.  Once you find out, you are left trying to figure out with Meg if it was better to know the truth or the lies.

Speaking from Among the Bones (Flavia de Luce, #5 )Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley  (Audio)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The church at Bishop’s Lacey is digging up their saint.  St. Tankred is buried in a crypt under the church.  Flavia de Luce is on hand when the upper part of the crypt is opened and the former organist, Mr. Collicut, is found.

This is part of the Flavia de Luce series of mystery novels.  I think the overall story of the family and their descent into genteel poverty is more interesting than any of the mysteries and that is what keeps me listening.
Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth EntitlementCleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement by Kay Wills Wyma

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Fed up with kids that expect clothes to mysteriously be cleaned and food to miraculously appear on the table, the author set out on a 1 year mission to make her kids work. 

One thing I absolutely despise about my stepdaughter is her sense of entitlement.  The kid does nothing for herself.  She won’t even open a door for herself unless forced to by the adults in her life standing behind her and saying, “You don’t have servants.  Open the door.”  I grabbed this book as soon as I heard about it.  I love the ideas in here and I’d love to try them all but since I only have the kid a few days a month there isn’t much I can do.

We did institute month two though.  Cook dinner for the family.  Saturday night she had to make dinner.  This is a kid who can’t even use a knife and fork properly and who once declared that any food made in a home kitchen is unsanitary and not fit to eat.  She chose to make spaghetti.  I talked her through it.  I literally taught this kid to boil water.  We learned how to get the pasta out of the box.  Her first handful went on the floor.  Then she learned that when you break spaghetti in half, your hands move down towards the pot not up.  That was a spectacular explosion of spaghetti pieces.  She had to set the table and clean up afterwards.

She was quite proud of herself.  I was proud of her absolute indignation when she realized her father hadn’t taken his plate to the sink.  “He just left it there!  Does he think we’re his maids??!!”  We’ll be keeping this new tradition for whenever she is here.