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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas AdamsTitle: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Publishing Info: December 18, 2007 by Random House Publishing Group
Source: Bundles of Books
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 19, 2012

    Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
    Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years

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This was my attempt to venture slightly out into the world of sci-fi… I’m not a big science-fiction fan. I really appreciate and am interested in the conceptions behind the genre, but most of the hard-core science fiction books are usually just a little too out there for me, and I’m not a fan of stories based on aliens.

That being said, I really enjoyed this book! It’s a little bit sci-fi, a LOT quirky, and extremely imaginative. I was very impressed with the creativity of Douglas Adams for all of his other worlds, different creatures, and strange technology out in the universe that lowly Earth has no idea about. I’m always fascinated with space and the universe because although I’m not a fan of alien stories, you’ve got to believe that something else is out there, even if we can’t reach it. Well, at least I do, to a certain extent.

Anyway, the creativity is astounding, so much so that it was over my head a lot of the time. This guy is either a genius or he’s totally nuts… Or maybe both. But in a way that it puts together such an enjoyable novel that I’m surprised I hadn’t read it sooner. I think it’s really enjoyable for everyone, as long as you can follow the zips through the universe that the story is taking you on. The second book is on my to-read list and I look forward to it!

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As a person who isn’t a fan of sci-fi, I’m a fan of this book. It’s mild enough and filled with comedy and satire so that the story itself isn’t overly intense since we’re dealing with such an intense think as exploring the rest of the universe. I’d definitely recommend trying it, even if you’re a little skeptical – I think it really might surprise those people who aren’t fans of science fiction or fantasy (think of it more as a comedy)!

If You Liked This, You Might Like…
A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’Engle — It’s another classic, but okay, so this one’s a children’s book. Want to know a secret? I never read this as a child. I read it just a couple months ago and still so enjoyable. Something that really transcends the generations. It’s another story about a simple earthling who gets whipped up into space, forced to make sense of everything in the different worlds in the universe. It doesn’t have the comedy like Hitchhiker’s does – more of a serious reflection on the galaxy and science. Very advanced thinking for a children’s book!
…OR…
The Time Machine by HG Wells — Again, doesn’t have the comedy tie-in, and although we never leave Earth on this one, still quite the creative process in creating another world simply with the advancement of time – Not to mention how wildly advanced this book was for its time. Just a quick read, but definitely worth the journey!

A Study in Scarlet – Arthur Conan Doyle

A Study in Scarlet – Arthur Conan DoyleTitle: A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Publishing Info: June 1, 1982 by Penguin
Source: Bundles of Books
Genres: Adult, Classics, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 10, 2012
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In the first of all the Sherlock Holmes stories, Dr. John Watson, discharged from military service after suffering severe wounds, is at a loose end until a chance encounter leads him to take rooms with a remarkable young man. The arrogant, irracible Sherlock Holmes is a master chemist, a talented musician and an expert on all aspects of crime. And when Watson is drawn into the investigation of a bizarre murder in which Holmes is involved, he is unaware that it is the beginning of the most famous partnership in the history of criminal detection. Here is where it all began for England's super sleuth and his faithful sidekick.

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Well, this was the first Sherlock Holmes adventure I had ever read. Not sure if I’m proud that I finally got around to it or ashamed that I’m already in my 20s and never picked one up! Regardless, I have to say that it didn’t let me down at all! As someone who was a fan of the movies and not having read any books, I was not in the least bit disappointed by the literary Sherlock Holmes and his never-ending ability to observe and conclude how the crimes occur.
This story is actually in two parts, which I was not aware of upon beginning so I was taken a bit by surprise. Personally, I’m not a fan of when authors do that because it completely takes me away from a plot and it feels like I’m reading a brand new story. Although I was slightly put off at first, the reward was worth it to hear how Holmes matter-of-factly puts the two stories together to solve the crime and pin down the murderer.

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4.5/5 stars
It usually takes a lot for me to give a book five stars. I absolutely loved the cleverness in coming up with Sherlock Holmes’ character. As this was the first episode of Holmes, I think it’s one that keeps the readers wanting more and gives them a fascinating character to root for. The language may trip some readers up, simply because it was published 125 years ago in 1887 and languages evolve so much over time, but if you don’t let the old verbiage and jargon distract you, it’s absolutely worth it to read this mystery!