#16: Breathers: A Zombie's Lament
- S.G. Browne (2009, 310 pages)
The dead are living among us, and wouldn't you know it, they have feelings too.
Three days after he and his wife are brutally killed in an automobile accident, Andy Warner finds himself undead and part of a society that loathes his very being. He helps deal with the situation by attending weekly Undead Anonymous meetings, where he meets a group of friends who help inspire him to stand up for his rights and show that the undead are humans too.
S.G. Browne came up with an amazing tale in Breathers
. I can't say that I'm aware of any other novels that tackle zombiism from the zombie's point of view. Not only is the idea clever, but so it the book's plot, as Warner finds himself becoming the poster boy for zombie rights. But will all his hard work pay off?
I really love this book. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but Browne hooked my interest pretty early and pulled me swiftly throughout the narrative. His concept and characters are great, making this book such a wonderful read. I highly recommend it, which is why I give it four out of five shuffling undead.
#17: Lost on Planet China: The strange and true story of one man's attempt to understand the world's most mystifying nation or how he became comfortable eating live squid
- J. Maarten Troost (2008, 382 pages)
After living in I-Kiribati, Vanuatu and Fiji, J. Maarten Troost decided it was time to head a little further to the north as he spent several months traveling through the largest country in the world.
From the get-go, Troost accepts the fact that he is a laowai
(foreigner), but the rest of his travels through China did take some getting used to. Troost takes on China, starting in its largest city, and finds himself moving from province to province, visiting some of the most revered sites in the country. His stops are guided by locals, American ex-patriots, fellow travelers and even a few of his friends who either live in the country or are stopping in for a visit.
Troost is braver than brave in this particular feat. Not only is he tackling the country alone (having left his wife and two sons back in California), but he is more than willing to try things that might make others squirm, including eating live squid but also eating mystery meat as Chinese people "eat everything with four legs except the table, and anything with two legs except the person."
I really enjoyed this book, though it was a bit of a slower read at the beginning. Troost has such a delightful sense of humor and adventure that you cannot help but feel as though you're traveling right alongside of him, experiencing his awe, fear, amusement, and other emotions along the way. I do recommend this book, giving it a healthy four out of five live squid.
#18: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
- Seth Grahame-Smith (2010, 336 pages)
It was only recently that Abraham Lincoln was discovered to have a second life. By day, he was the devoted family man and eager politician wanting to make a difference in the world. By night, he was one of the most fearsome vampire hunters this country has seen.
Seth Grahame-Smith contends that he was given access to Lincoln's private diaries, which not only recount the stories Americans have come to know about the 16th President, but the story of how he came to fight the vampire hordes after his mother and several relatives were killed by vampires seeking revenge. Lincoln is soon recruited by a vampire named Henry, who begs Lincoln to help save the country not only the Civil War but from the vampires who are pushing to allow slavery to continue, as the practice provides a great source of food for the bloodsuckers.
I wasn't sure what to expect. I loved Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
and enjoyed Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters
, even if they were a bit slow, but they pale in comparison to this book. I absolutely adored seeing this side of Lincoln - the action, adventure and fiery passion - and Grahame-Smith did a wonderful job of putting together this story. It's a fun romp, which I give four out of five extended fangs.Total Books Read:
18 / 50 (36 percent)Total Pages Read:
6,068 / 15,000 (41 percent)