July 1st, 2010

Zombies - Neighborhood Watch

Books 18-21 Of 2010

18. Max Brooks, The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, 142 pages, Graphic Novel, Paperback, 2009.

Twelve tales of zombie attacks all around the world from pre-history to modern day are presented in gorgeous graphic glory. The book may be thin, but the stories are very much in the vein of Brooks’ World War Z - not graphic retellings of those tales, but 12 tales of zombie sightings leading up to that event. The art is quite good and the stories are fun for those into zombies. I was particularly fond of the ancient Egyptians and the hypothetical reason for removing the brain during mummification.

19. Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead, Book 2 (Issues #13-24), Illustrated by Tony Moore & Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathbone, 304 pages, Graphic Novel, Hardback, 2007.

20. Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead, Book 3 (Issues #25-36), Illustrated by Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathbone, 304 pages, Graphic Novel, Hardback, 2007.

21. Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead, Book 4 (Issues #37-48), Illustrated by Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathbone, 304 pages, Graphic Novel, Hardback, 2008.

These books are dubbed “a continuing story of survival horror” – it follows a group of survivors of the zombie apocalypse. The zombies are drawn incredibly well, but the focus of the writing is on Rick, a cop who woke up from a coma to find the world a much different place, then manages to meet up with his wife and child and others during the search to find supplies and safe havens. It’s done well, but sometimes it is very abrupt in the shifts between different character stories; more than once I had to check to see if I missed a page or two of transition. And while the zombies are gruesome, the real horror is between those still human – which means there are some extremely violent scenes (torture) made even harsher by the stark black & white graphics. Book 2 finds our intrepid gang clearing out a prison full of undead in order to create a defensible fortress, a safer place to call home. Book 3 is the building of a new civilization inside the prison walls and with their first encounter with another survivor camp. Book 4 is birth, death, and war with an ending that calls out for Book 5 to be purchased immediately – I do not know how they go from there!

#21- 27

21. “The Strain” by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan.
I love that even after all the Vampire movies/books/ TV shows that have gone before, Vampire stories can still be new, exciting and really scary. Although Vampirism as a contagion isn’t a new premise this story felt new, I like the cross between the old lore of the Vampires in a modern setting and context. Can’t wait to read the next one.

22. “Human is?” by Phillip K. Dick
A collection of short stories that I hadn’t come across. The man was a genius. Pure and simple :D Highly recommended.

23. “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman
Unquestionably one of the best books Gaiman has ever written. I couldn’t put it down. I always liked children’s books that don’t spare the gory details; it makes the story so much better.

24. “The private memoirs and confessions of a justified sinner” by James Hogg
I am amazed that this book is not better known, it could fall so neatly in line with such greats as “Jekyll and Hyde” and “Frankenstein”. The book is written in two parts- the first part is an “editor’s narrative” recounting unfortunate events between two estranged half-brothers. The narrative recounts all circumstances surrounding one brother’s fateful end in a historic manner. The second part contains the memoirs of the vindictive and zealous younger brother and his account of supernatural events that led his end. I liked this format; it makes any supernatural account a lot. It is terrible and utterly readable! :D

25. “Nation” by Terry Pratchett.
After reading and loving so many of Pratchett’s Discworld novels it was quite strange to read one set in something resembling Earth! :D This book was just brilliant. Read it. ‘Nuff Said.

26. “Monstrous Regiment” by Terry Pratchett
I couldn’t stay away from Discworld for long! :D A new setting but some familiar faces from previous novels appear. This was funny and serious all in one; there were actually some surprisingly sad bits too. You don’t have to have read any of his other books to love this. Being a huge Pratchett fan already it just made me love him even more.

27. “The Vesuvius Club” by Mark Gatiss
This is the most enjoyable book I’ve read this year.
I am madly in love with the Edwardian gentleman Spy, Mr Lucifer Box.
Spending his time between his painting and working for her majesty’s secret service, he is tasked with unravelling the disappearance of Britain’s leading Vulcanologists. This book is cheeky, funny and written in the perfect style. It also has some of the best character names I’ve ever seen. Read it, read it, read it! lol
  • Current Music
    Amanda Palmer

Books 7-9

 7. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Summary:  William Goldman’s beloved novel has sold over one million copies. A movie, released twenty years ago, perfectly captured the spirit of the book and has introduced new fans to its pages ever since. In 1941 a young boy lies bedridden from pneumonia. His perpetually disheveled and unattractive father, an immigrant from Florin with terribly broken English, shuffles into his bedroom carrying a book. The boy wants to know if it has any sports. His father says, "Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passions. Miracles." And the little boy, though he doesn’t know it, is about to change forever. As Goldman says, "What happened was just this. I got hooked on the story." And coming generations of readers will, too.

Genre: Wow um I guess Romance, Adventure, Humor, Fantasy....

Thoughts: I absolutely love the movie. Whenever it's on beginning, middle or end I tune in. I gotta say I was a little bit disappointed in the book. The "good parts" version as Goldman calls it is missing the...humor. I mean the great scenes of Buttercup dreaming she was married and the boy(Goldman) interrupting his father telling him that he read it wrong is there along with the Fire Swamp, Vizzini's battle of wits with the Man in Black. I mean it's all there I just was a little underwhelmed. I don't think I've ever thought this but I think the movie is slightly better than the book. *shrug*

Rating: 3 out of 5. 

8. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Summary: In her first published novel, Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen presents us with the subtle portraits of two contrasting but equally compelling heroines. For sensible Elinor Dashwood and her impetuous younger sister Marianne the prospect of marrying the men they love appears remote. In a world ruled by money and self-interest, the Dashwood sisters have neither fortune nor connections. Concerned for others and for social proprieties, Elinor is ill-equipped to compete with self-centered fortune-hunters like Lucy Steele, while Marianne's unswerving belief in the truth of her own feelings makes her more dangerously susceptible to the designs of unscrupulous men. Through her heroines' parallel experiences of love, loss, and hope, Jane Austen offers a powerful analysis of the ways in which women's lives were shaped by the claustrophobic society in which they had to survive.

Genre: Classic, 19th century fiction

Thoughts: O.k. this was a re-read, "sort of." I started reading this when I was working on my B.A. .....3 years ago?? I never finished it I don't remember why. Anyway I enjoyed it. It's no Pride and Prejudice or Persuasion....*sigh* Captain Wentworth. For some reason this story more than any of the other Austen novels reminds me of a soap opera...random I know. Take Willoughby for example, all his shenanigans past and present. The one thing missing from Austen novels...no fights. God, I wish someone would of just decked him.  

Rating: 3 out of 5

9. The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Summary: The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway's most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal -- a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Here Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss. Written in 1952, this hugely successful novella confirmed his power and presence in the literary world and played a large part in his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Genre: American Literature

Thoughts: Umm yea I don't like Hemingway. I tried, I really did. But first there was Catherine( The Sun Also Rises) "I'm nothing I don't exist without you" bullshit! I mean Farewell to Arms was o.k but now this... I just don't get it. Old incredibly unlucky fisherman fighting with a big fish, eating dolphins! I dunno I really enjoyed Hemingway's short stories. Maybe I'm not reading the right books for me. I'm wondering if I'll like To Have and To Have Not. I don't know this was a total miss for me.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Currently reading A Tale of Two Cities.
  • Current Mood
    hungry hungry

Books 39 & 40

Book 39: Academ's Fury - Jim Butcher

Genre: Fantasy

Plot: The political situation in Alera is at boiling point. The First Lord is still without an heir and the High Lords are scheming. It is up to Tavi and his friends to foil their murderous plots, while Bernard and Amara must work together with the Marat in the attempt to destroy a foe that threatens the entire kingdom.

My thoughts: A definite improvement on book one. The plot thickens! I got so absorbed I missed my train station stop.

Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)

* ~ * ~ *

Book 40: Cursor's Fury - Jim Butcher

Genre: Fantasy

Plot: The plotting of the High Lords continues but one of the High Lords has allied themselves with enemies of the realm. Will this dangerous alliance help achieve the ultimate coup or will it end in disaster?

My thoughts: Wow! This series gets better as it gets going. The plot still is a little obvious - reminds me of that quote about there only being six plots - but there were some surprises and I like the way the action is fast paced. However, Amara is starting to annoy me as a character - I don't care about the effect of scars on your life! - but the cattiness of the High Ladies is amusing.

Rating: 3.5 (out of 5)

40 / 50 books. 80% done!

Collapse )
bear jew

(no subject)

Title: The Adoration of Jenna Fox
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Year of Publication: 2008
Genre: YA, sci-fi
Pages: 265
First Line: "I used to be someone."

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox has just awoken from a year-long coma -- so she's been told -- and she is still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. But what happened before that? She's been given home movies chronicling her entire life, which spark memories to surface. But are the memories really hers? And why won't anyone in her family talk about the accident? Jenna is becoming more curious. But she is also afraid of what she might fin out if she ever gets up the courage to ask her questions.

What happened to Jenna Fox? And who is she, really?

Source: Back of book

Review: Not spectacular but not horrendous. The writing style was vaguely annoying, and I hated the poems that were sprinkled around, but it didn't ruin the book. None of the characters were very dynamic but they weren't awfully flat, either. Just a mediocre book in general, I think. The idea was interesting but I think it would have been executed better by another author. Scott Westerfeld comes to mind, specifically because of the Uglies series. Probably not worth the time unless you're really stuck for something to read.

Worst part: The lack of description of technology other than what was directly related to Jenna's story was annoying. It made it difficult to imagine her world. Also, the Dane thing confused me.

Best part: I liked Alyss a lot. She was a cool character.

Grade: C+

Other Books by This Author: The Miles Between, A Room on Lorelei Street, Scribbler of Dreams and David v. God

49 / 50 books. 98% done!

Collapse )