Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl

I feel as if I’ve been reading a lot of kids books these days. Huh. Must be all the Nancy Drew books. Anyway, I listened to the audio book and I must say, the theme music was phenomenal. Douglas Hodge did a wonderful job narrating the story. But kudos to the sound technician! 

When we last saw Charlie Bucket, he and his family were on Mr. Wonka’s glass elevator. This book picks up from there. And boy do they go on a wild adventure. The first half of the story they’re all floating around in space and getting chased by aliens. The next half of the story, they’re back at the Chocolate Factory but some shenanigans ensue. 

This book was very different from the first one. I liked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This one not so much. The magical elements of the first are still present. But the morals! It seemed more like political satire. (As a child, President Gilligrass was so stupid, Nanny decided he would make a great politician). Did I laugh? Yes! I was still uncomfortable listening to it in a children’s book though. 

Basic message of the story: listen to Mr. Wonka!

It’s an okay read that kids will no doubt love. But I’m not a child. So I didn’t enjoy it. 

Ugh, sequels have been letting me down lately. Not cool. 

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Once again, I am very happy that I went the audiobook route. I don’t listen to many because I feel like I don’t retain as much information that way. But when it comes to a memoir, I like listening to the person that wrote it. Their personality shines through. And that makes that experience enjoyable.

In her second book, Mindy delves more into her life as a celebrity. We get more stories from her childhood. She talks about her relationships with various people. And she has more essays about life in general that endear her to the reader. 

I thought her first book, Is Everyone Else Hanging Out Without Me?, brilliant. This one, though entertaining, did not have me laughing like the first one. There were also essays that seemed like puff pieces. They weren’t really necessary but yet, there they were. Filling space. 

I don’t know.I did like it. But it was a bit of a letdown.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? By Mindy Kaling

​I have been listening to this audiobook for the past few days. Mindy Kaling has been next to me while I washed dishes, cleaned the bathroom, got ready for work. And I have loved every second of it. Never have I been so damn excited to get my household chores done. 

This is the first celebrity memoir I tackle and I’m thrilled it was this one. I’ve never watched The Office (I know, please don’t start), but I have watched her show The Mindy Project and enjoyed it. So I thought “hey, why not read her book?”. And here we are. No regrets.

This book is hilarious. Mindy’s charming wit really shines through. I felt like I was having a conversation with one of my best friends. I was scrubbing the bathtub and cackling like a madwoman. I can’t remember the last time a book made me laugh so much.

I’m kind of glad I went the audiobook way. I feel that I would not have enjoyed this book as much if I had actually read it myself. Mostly because of Mindy’s perky tone as she read. 

So, I have her next book all queued up and I am ready to listen.

Nancy Drew (#7): The Clue in the Diary by Carolyn Keene; Performed by Laura Linney


Listening to the audiobook. Once again, what a wonderful job done by Laura Linney. The music does such a good job of building the drama and suspense! Ha. I like it. 

Bess and George are back. This time around, Nancy and the cousins are driving home from a carnival when they see a house on fire. As they quickly rush over to help anyone who might be trapped inside, Nancy sees a mysterious man quickly hurry away. Near the ruins of the fire, Nancy finds a diary written in Swedish. Nancy sets out to uncover the culprit who set fire to the house, decipher the diary and perhaps find a clue to the whereabouts of the missing homeowner.

Swedish. Of all the languages. Not one day after finishing the Millennium Trilogy. Maybe it’s a sign to put Sweden on my bucket list. 

Alright. So…

Ned Nickerson!!! Nancy meets Ned! You can tell he is smitten. And Nancy’s first impression of him is possible car thief. Ha! I’m still giggling over that. Yes, giggling. When I read these books I am once again a preteen girl. But I’m confused. I thought she knew him already? Wasn’t it mentioned two books ago that he was in Europe? What gives? 

A side note.

There is a point in the story when Nancy is getting the diary translated. She has a conversation with a Swedish baker about famous diaries. And of course, the first one that popped into my head is Anne Frank. He goes on to mention many famous examples. But no Anne Frank. I was miffed. So I did a little research. This book was originally published in 1932. Way before Anne Frank ever put pen to paper. I always assumed these stories were published postwar. Boy was I wrong. In 1962, this story was revised. A subplot was added, but still no mention of Anne Frank. Why? Her diary is famous after all.

Okay. Moving on.

This is one of my favorite Nancy Drew stories so far! Because Ned has finally appeared. And Mr. Drew asks Nancy whether he should ask Ned what his intentions are. Which not only gave me second-hand embarrassment but made me crack up. Ah, I loved it.