Discworld 13: Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
"Let there be another lettuce!" And lo, there was.
This is one of the greats. Pratchett is in top form all the way through this, and his satirical tools are sharp. You grow to love the characters, and even though he works hard to send them off with several additional codas, you still wish there was more to read. I'm not going to summarize the plot or anything here... I'll just say, you gotta read this story.
8.5 out of 10 lettuces up.
Discworld 15: Men At Arms, by Terry Pratchett
This was a fun whodunit with a stellar cast. Pratchett's books are always very dialogue-driven, and this one is loaded with scenes of mismatched characters having heated discussions, cracking jokes, stumbling over clues, bugging each other, and eventually learning to cooperate. In other words, it's like a whole set of buddy-cop movies tangled together. You really get the sense that Pratchett is not just filling out characters here, but evolving them.
On the other hand, Nobby is always Nobby, and Colon is always himself. They don't evolve, and that's the way it should be. The whole point of them is that the universe throws an endless variety of amazing and random events in their path, and they somehow find a way to Nobbes and Colon their way through them unchanged.
7.5 haunted firearms out of 10 up.
The Canterville Ghost, by Oscar Wilde
This brief story starts out as a lampooning of bull-headed americans and over-polite brits in equal measure, and it's fun to see the author play around in that sandbox for a while, but then the plot takes a few sideways turns and becomes a kind of standard-issue quest, ending on a sweet note of resolution. I get the impression that Oscar Wilde knew his story would never catch on if it didn't satisfy the reader's more conventional taste for a tale with a beginning, middle, and end, so he took his potshots, had his fun, and then folded the whole thing up into a harmless origami hat.
Seven out of ten rattling chains up! WoooOOooo! *clank*