First up, Part Two of The "Uglies" Series, "Pretties," by Scott Westerfeld.
Tally's a Pretty!! Oh Nos! WHY? You'll have to read it. *snicker*
I also am part of a Postal Letterbox ring involving books. You take your favorite book, carve a stamp and create a log book based on the book. The 3 items get sent around to a ring of people. I think there are 6 of us so I will get 5 other books to read, stamps to stamp in my log book and I get to sign their log book. Anywhoo, the first set I received is S. Morgenstern's "The Princess Bride (The Good Parts Version, abridged by William Goldman)"
It has been a while since I have enjoyed a book so much. Let me tell you, Mr. Goldman's one funny guy. The movie version, with the grandpa reading to the sick kid is based on Mr. Goldman's experience with pneumonia and his father reading him this book years and years ago. When Mr. Goldman tried to get his son to read it back in the 70's, and his son had no interest past the first chapter, Mr. Goldman was stunned. He could not believe it. He sadly picked up the book, began to read it, and stopped dead at chapter 2. Chapter 2 dealt with 60+ pages of Prince Humperdink's ancestry, political risings, who "begat" who. What was all this stuff?
Apparently, his father had decided to skip all the boring stuff! Mr. Goldman never knew. So in the 70's he took it upon himself to abridge the book, with only "the good stuff" in it.
He does a bang-up job, mixing his thoughts in the text, telling asides about what he cut out. Example:
Me again. Of all the cuts in this version, I feel the most justified in making this one. Just as the chapters on whaling in 'Moby Dick' can be omitted by all but the most punishment-loving readers, so the packing scenes that Morgenstern details here are really best left alone. That's what happens for the next 66 1/2 pages of The Princess Bride: packing.
What happens is just this: Queen Bella packs most of her wardrobe (11 pages) and travels to Guilder (2 pages). In Guilder, she unpacks (5 pages), then tenders the invitation to Princess Noreena (1 page). Princess Noreena accepts 1 page). Then Princess Noreena packs all her clothes and hats (23 pages).
He is quite funny, and the fact that he hated the same chapters in 'Moby Dick' as I did is a plus.
I am surprised at how spot on the movie was, but I guess I shouldn't be; Mr. Goldman wrote the screen play.
I read it in a day and a half (including work, mind you) and had great fun.