Book Log – Packing for Mars

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach

I read this earlier this year but forgot to log it.  Don’t remember when.

I remember it was a good read for the most part.  It’s a book of essays on different aspects of how we’re planning to live on Mars, and what it will take to get there.

I skipped the biology chapters, because… gross.

Otherwise, engaging reading.

Book Log – Yes, Please

Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

Who doesn’t love Amy Poehler?

Seriously, who?  I will cut you.

She’s funny, she does one of the best female characters on television, she’s the brainchild behind the Smart Girls at the Party website (

Her book is a fine read.  She’s witty, and learning of her evolution to where she is now is a reasonably interesting story.  She has a good outlook on life, and its infectious.

Perhaps there wasn’t quite enough story to tell just yet, at her young age.  Or perhaps she could have fleshed it out a bit more.  Her years at SNL are told in little one or two sentence snippets; Perhaps if she’d told them as full stories with more detail, we could have gotten a more vivid impression of what it was like to be her in that famous writer’s room.

Regardless, I enjoyed the book.  After all… she’s Amy Freaking Poehler.

Book Log – The Land of Stories

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

This another bedtime reader.  My whole year of reading is basically reading to kids.

Land of Stories we read at the same time as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, alternating nightly.  My son much preferred this book; My daughter complained she never knew what was going on, largely because she would fall asleep halfway through each evening’s reading.

This is an okay book, the first in what appears to be a popular series.  Written by one of the kids from Glee, it documents a fairy-tale obsessed couple of siblings that fall into the world where the stories come from.  There’s a whole lot of fan-girling at storybook characters and “wow can you believe we’re really here and it’s really real?” stuff.

There’s a lot of plot machinations to get them going on a quest that will allow the writer to introduce all of the storybook characters.

All in all, it was okay.

Book Log – Mr. Gum series

  • You’re a Bad Man, Mr. Gum
  • Mr.Gum and the Biscuit Billionaire
  • Mr. Gum and the Goblins
  • Mr. Gum and the Power Crystals
  • Mr. Gum and the Dancing Bear
  • What’s for Dinner, Mr. Gum?
  • Mr. Gum and the Cherry Tree
  • Mr. Gum and the Secret Hideout

all by Andy Stanton

This is a series that the kids and I ploughed through at bedtime.  This series is by far my favorite set of kids books.  It is absurd, and ridiculously funny.

Mr. Gum is a deplorable human, with a disgusting house with “carpet the colour of unhappiness.”  We have taken to describing things we don’t like as having the colour/shape/smell of unhappiness around our house.

Each story captures the evil plot of Mr. Gum and his conspirators being battled by the forces of good, namely the bold and courageous young Polly (whose full name is half a page long) and the eccentric and possibly magical Friday O’ Leary.

The true value of the books lie in the language and word play.  Polly’s dialog and the narration are a delight to read.  The whole stories are terrifically over the top.

A must have for any kid over the age of 6 or so.