July 3rd, 2013

plot bunny hunter

June 2013 Reading

June 2013 Reading:

28. The Menace from Earth, by Robert A. Heinlein (189 pages)
A good variety of stories were included in this anthology. A few were only okay, but most of them were quite enjoyable. I liked how the stories sometimes left off for the reader to wonder what happens next.

29. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy (287 pages)
The journey through this dead world is riveting. This was a surprisingly fast read, with lyrical language that resembled poetry. I loved how we never really found out exactly what caused the apocalypse. We're left to guess, as I'm sure most of the survivors are.

30. Across the Universe, by Beth Revis (398 pages)
I really enjoyed this sci-fi dystopia. I think the most disturbing idea was the tyrant's claim that difference and individual thought are bad. The idea people had been taught that Hitler was a great man. The disturbing change to the Gettysburg Address and history in general. A "whitewashing" of sorts to history to make it work for the tyranny's purposes. No, actually, the disturbing part of this is how true it rings.

June pages: 874

Pages to date: 8,733

Progress: 30/50

June 2013 Comics/Manga Reading:

165. Iron Man: Extremis, by Warren Ellis (160 pages)
166. The Walking Dead: Volume 14, by Robert Kirkman (136 pages)
167. Record of a Fallen Vampire: Volume 9, by Kyo Shirodaira (264 pages)
168. Fables: Volume 12, by Bill Willingham (173 pages)
169. Kamisama Kiss: Volume 7, by Julietta Suzuki (200 pages)
170. The Walking Dead: Volume 15, by Robert Kirkman (132 pages)
171. The Wallflower: Volume 7, by Tomoko Hayakawa (192 pages)
172. Jack of Fables: Volume 2, by Bill Willingham (144 pages)
173. Boys Over Flowers: Volume 20, by Yoko Kamio (208 pages)
174. Loveless: Volume 7, by Yun Kouga (200 pages)
175. Kamisama Kiss: Volume 8, by Julietta Suzuki (200 pages)
176. Bleach: Volume 18, by Tite Kubo (208 pages)
177. The Walking Dead: Volume 16, by Robert Kirkman (136 pages)
178. D.Gray-Man: Volume 20, by Katsura Hoshino (200 pages)
179. Boys Over Flowers: Volume 21, by Yoko Kamio (208 pages)
180. Detroit Metal City: Volume 2, by Kiminori Wakasugi (200 pages)
181. Nana: Volume 11, by Ai Yazawa (192 pages)
182. Case Closed: Volume 14, by Gosho Aoyama (208 pages)
183. Tail of the Moon: Volume 10, by Rinko Ueda (200 pages)
184. Tail of the Moon: Volume 11, by Rinko Ueda (200 pages)
185. Tail of the Moon: Volume 12, by Rinko Ueda (200 pages)
186. Tail of the Moon: Volume 13, by Rinko Ueda (210 pages)
187. Tail of the Moon: Volume 14, by Rinko Ueda (210 pages)
188. Yami no Matsuei: Volume 4, by Yoko Matsushita (184 pages)
189. Tail of the Moon: Volume 15, by Rinko Ueda (232 pages)
190. Kekkaishi: Volume 9, by Yellow Tanabe (208 pages)
191. Zombie-Loan: Volume 5, by Peach-Pit (176 pages)
192. Ceres: Volume 3, by Yuu Watase (200 pages)
193. The Walking Dead: Volume 17, by Robert Kirkman (132 pages)
194. D.Gray-Man: Volume 21, by Katsura Hoshino (200 pages)
195. Kamisama Kiss: Volume 9, by Julietta Suzuki (200 pages)
196. Case Closed: Volume 15, by Gosho Aoyama (208 pages)
197. Boys Over Flowers: Volume 22, by Yoko Kamio (192 pages)
198. Bone: Volume 5, by Jeff Smith (128 pages)
199. Jack of Fables: Volume 3, by Bill Willingham (126 pages)
200. xxxHolic: Volume 4, by Clamp (176 pages)
201. Nana: Volume 12, by Ai Yazawa (192 pages)
202. The Wallflower: Volume 8, by Tomoko Hayakawa (177 pages)
203. Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: Volume 8, by Naoko Takeuchi (232 pages)
204. Durarara!! Saika Arc: Volume 1, by Ryohgo Narita (176 pages)
205. Black Bird: Volume 14, by Kanoko Sakurakouji (194 pages)
206. Gunslinger Girl: Omnibus 3, by Yu Aida (320 pages)
207. Kamisama Kiss: Volume 10, Julietta Suzuki (200 pages)
208. D.Gray-Man: Volume 22, by Katsura Hoshino (200 pages)
209. D.Gray-Man: Volume 23, by Katsura Hoshino (200 pages)
210. Kamisama Kiss: Volume 11, by Julietta Suzuki (200 pages)

June pages: 8,834

Pages to date: 42,248

Progress: 210/250


I finished my stack of Erik Larson books on the train. Book Review No. 14 features The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America.  Perhaps it's a more interesting story than In the Garden of Beasts, or perhaps there are enough familiar people to make it more compelling.   It's not just Daniel Burnham and his World's Columbian Exposition, confirming in the minds of many in the east the excessive boosterism that produced the Windy City moniker, making those plans.  There's also a con-man concealing in a shabby hostelry near the exposition site the means of getting off on killing people, making his plans, and an engineer with an idea to out-Eiffel the Eiffel Tower, making his plans.  Chicago political intrigue is nothing new.  Bureaucratic inertia is nothing new.  Cost over-runs are nothing new.  The fair wasn't ready on time.  And nobody can ballyhoo and make money like a circus impresario.

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(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)

Book 121: Capital by John Lanchester

Book 121: Capital.
Author: John Lanchester, 2012.
Genre: Contemporary. Relationships. Social Issues.
Other Details: Hardback. 577 pages.

Pepys Road: an ordinary street in the Capital. Each house has seen its fair share of first steps and last breaths, and plenty of laughter in between. Today, through each letterbox along this ordinary street drops a card with a simple message: We Want What You Have.

At forty, Roger Yount is blessed with an expensively groomed wife, two small sons and a powerful job in the City. An annual bonus of a million might seem excessive, but with second homes and nannies to maintain, he's not sure he can get by without it. Elsewhere in the Capital, Zbigniew has come from Warsaw to indulge the super-rich in their interior decoration whims. Freddy Kano, teenage football sensation, has left a two-room shack in Senegal to follow his dream. Traffic warden Quentina has exchanged the violence of the police in Zimbabwe for the violence of the enraged middle classes. For them all, this city offers the chance of a different kind of life.
- synopsis from UK publisher's website.

This is very much an ensemble novel in the same vein as Amanda Craig's Hearts and Minds and J. K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy where contemporary society is examined through the lens of the day-to-day lives of a cross-section of inhabitants in a South London street over the course of a year. Of course, this kind of novel isn't new as Charles Dickens used a similar format to address the social issues of his day.

The above publisher's synopsis isn't inclusive of the all characters found in the novel, who each have their own stories. Lanchester had to focus on a small group even within Pepys Road and then use them to tell the larger story of London and its inhabitants during the period. The novel is set in 2007/2008 and so deals with the state of the nation during the financial crash of 2008.

I certainly enjoyed this novel though not quite as much as I did Amanda Craig's Hearts and Minds, which I felt was tighter in its pacing. The novel proved a good reading group selection as it allowed for discussion on a number of social issues as well as how the author used his narrative to capture a snapshot of London. It was well received by us all and we talked a fair amount about the strengths and weaknesses of various characters.

The novel was selection by The Guardian for its own Book Club earlier this year. I've included links to the relevant articles under the cut.

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