Tag: Mary Poppins

Aug 08

The Fireman by Joe Hill

Plague, Post-Apocalyptic Fiction 12

Hidey Ho Bookworms!

Have you ever thought to yourself, “there really should be more books centered on spontaneous human combustion”? I’m assuming you answered with a resounding “OBVIOUSLY” because why wouldn’t you? Well, you, me, and Joe Hill are totally on the same wavelength. If it weren’t for peer pressure, I probably never would have read The Fireman. Many thanks to Care for organizing the #FiremanAlong AND for sending out fun snail mail along the way. It’s always more fun to read a book with a Twitter squad, you know? And then to get mail that’s not a bill? That Care, I tell you what.

You're MY favorite person, Care!

You’re MY favorite person, Care!

As I mentioned, The Fireman is about a plague wherein those who fall ill also eventually burst into raging infernos with little to no warning. Colloquially known as “Dragonscale” the spore to blame for this ailment is mysterious and super deadly. It’s troubling, to say the least, what with people dying left and right and taking out large swathes of town and country with them. Our protagonist, Harper, is a nurse with a bit of a Mary Poppins obsession. (And believe you me, I understand where Harper is coming from. I’m really excited that discussing this book is giving me an excuse to use Mary Poppins gifs.) After the outbreak, Harper volunteers in a hospital among the infected… Until it burns down. Because SPONTANEOUS HUMAN COMBUSTION.


As you might expect, it’s not too long before our do-gooding nurse notices tell-tale signs of Dragonscale on her own skin, shortly after discovering she’s pregnant. Soooo. That makes things a bit complicated. PLUS, her husband goes off the deep end in a BIG WAY and their little New England town devolves into a terror filled hellscape. Your typical plague apocalypse nightmare scenario. Plus fire. The book reaffirmed my general fear of mob mentality. People in groups just get so DUMB sometimes. Quoting “Sister Suffragette” is perfect in such cases, seeing as people are typically lovely on an individual level, but when they congregate in large groups? Watch out.


This miiiight be my favorite song ever.

If you’re thinking this book sounds a lot like The Stand (review), you’d be right. As it turns out, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Joe Hill is totally Stephen King’s son. BUT! Hill tempered his horror with a good dose of humor and the most delicious pop culture references. For a brick of a book, The Fireman is a quick read. If you’re in the mood for something plague-y and frightening but ALSO happen to love Mary Poppins? THIS IS YOUR BOOK!

Talk to me, Bookworms! What’s your favorite plague-apocalypse scenario? My plague book list is looking a little light these days. 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*



Jan 20

It’s a Jolly Holiday with Mary: Mary Poppins by PL Travers

Children's Fiction 34

Cheerio Bookworms,

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but you should know before we start that Mary Poppins is my favorite movie of all time. Of course, I used to turn it off right after the crew finishes yucking it up on the ceiling because the whole chimney sweep bit used to frighten me as a kid, but I digress. I think I always knew somewhere in the back of my head that Mary Poppins started as a book, but I was never especially interested in reading it until Saving Mr. Banks was released. Sadly for Disney, it didn’t inspire me to go see the movie, just to pick up the book. It’s alright. Disney has gotten more than enough of my money.

I had heard that PL Travers’ Mary Poppins was quite a bit different than the Mary of the movie I so adored, so I was nervous going into it. Really, I was mostly nervous that the dancing penguins were a complete Disney fabrication. I am pleased to report that my nerves were wholly unfounded. Yes, PL Travers’ original Mary Poppins
was rather different than the movie. Many of the adventures played out a bit differently, but I found the spirit of the stories remained the same.

Mary Poppins descends on 17 Cherry Tree Lane one blustery afternoon. The FOUR Banks children (that’s right, Jane, Michael, and a set of infant twins named John and Barbara) are immediately in her thrall. Though she’s somewhat vain and not particularly snuggly, Mary manages to put a bit of magic into the mundane.


Mary spends an afternoon with Bert (who is not a chimney sweep) jumping into a chalk painting, and though no penguin waiters present themselves, they have a lovely tea regardless. Jane and Michael are treated to flavor changing medicine, laugh themselves up to the ceiling with Uncle Albert, and we learn that Mary can converse with animals. Mary’s Doolitle-y talents lead to a particularly entertaining birthday celebration at the zoo featuring the loveliest PENGUIN poet you can possibly imagine (I breathed an audible sigh of relief when he showed up!) Oh yes. And do you recall little Andrew, the tiny dog in the sweater? He lives a more fascinating life than I ever imagined!

Though it’s rare for me, it sometimes happens that I can enjoy a book and its movie adaptation equally, but for different reasons. Mary Poppins is destined to be utterly charming in any form. I highly recommend you read this, and if you have little ones, get it in the bedtime story rotation.

Alright, Bookworms. What was your favorite movie as a kid? Was it based on a book? Have you read that book? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I intend to use it to purchase a new umbrella in hopes that someday one will allow me to fly.*