I love this edition. I bought it at Poe House in Baltimore maybe a decade or so ago... and got it signed by a wonderful Poe impersonator. What a great...moreI love this edition. I bought it at Poe House in Baltimore maybe a decade or so ago... and got it signed by a wonderful Poe impersonator. What a great birthday that was. :)(less)
Right from the mouth of Doug Sandom, what more could you ask for?
I was lucky enough to talk to Doug before the book was released, and I'm forever grat...moreRight from the mouth of Doug Sandom, what more could you ask for?
I was lucky enough to talk to Doug before the book was released, and I'm forever grateful for having had that opportunity. Doug is a brilliant storyteller, a very sweet man, and indeed the sort of person who not only you can imagine sitting in a pub with while he tells he stories... but a great many of people get just that opportunity. The fame that Doug has only served to define what a wonderful person he is. He's remained as humble as ever, though he's quite open about how he regrets leaving the band to this day.
The book holds within it many stories not heard before, and actually does a far better job of showing what The Who was like at that time than any previous Who biography. Doug captures the exhilaration that was felt as they became more famous, how they dealt with that rise in different ways, and the subtleties of the personalities that soon would go on to a massive stardom. He captures the camaraderie in a way that other biographies tend to glance over in favor of emphasizing the spats - which yes, there were - but the violence was never there from the start.
For fans of The Who? This is a indispensable book. It's right up there with Dougal Butler's recent revision of Full Moon, I'd argue, in terms of capturing The Who from those who were here with the band.
Get it, cherish it. If you've a chance to see the man himself, do so. He's a truly wonderful fellow.(less)
Hugh Warwick has managed to write a book that is simultaneously informative and deeply entertaining. His passion for the humble hedg...moreWhat a great book!
Hugh Warwick has managed to write a book that is simultaneously informative and deeply entertaining. His passion for the humble hedgehog shines through in every page, and it's impossible to not have some of that rub off on you while reading this book. Indeed, it's impossible not to fall a bit in love with the animal the second you 'do the nose to nose thing' with them.
The hedgehog is an inherently silly animal, but there's something in its industrious and utterly benign nature that attracts both passion and obsession. There's something fascinating in the tiny creature, and what a joy it is to witness that love ignite in everyone I introduce the spiny beasts o. To see those emotions beautifully highlighted in someone else's words is heartwarming. To see it paired with a deeper scientific understanding of the animal was plain beautiful.
I've already passed this book on to two other people, and I honestly can't wait to encourage still others to read it. Save the hedgehog, save the world as the author put it. Any way an animal can be better loved and understood is a good one, and I've seen firsthand how passion for one creature can extend to all the others in our lives.(less)
This was a very, very good retelling of the mysterious full family murder of the Robinson's.
Mardi Jo Link meticulously goes through all of the evidenc...moreThis was a very, very good retelling of the mysterious full family murder of the Robinson's.
Mardi Jo Link meticulously goes through all of the evidence in the case, considering each of the theories that came up regarding who might have done it. She relies greatly on primary evidence, turning to secondary only when it's not available. She keeps her notes clear, and keeps herself largely outside of the story. By the end of the book I had drawn my own conclusions, and was genuinely curious whether or not anything new would ever come forth.
My only complaint about the book is the very ending, when she goes back to describing Good Hart and it's current demeanor rather than ending it with the final evidence of the murder. It did serve to lighten the mood, yes, and to show how thoroughly Good Hart was affected by what happened. Still, it would have served better during the initial description of the town rather than being part of the epilogue itself.(less)
Dogsbody was first laid before me by my first librarian in elementary school. She offered me the book, what with the c...moreAh, well, we meet again my love.
Dogsbody was first laid before me by my first librarian in elementary school. She offered me the book, what with the chilling rendition of the cold dog on the cover. Fur as white as snow, ears as red as blood, in mid leap towards the front of the cover. I devoured the book more quickly than anything, and left with a part of me stolen by the story. I could relate to Leo, to Sirius, to whatever you choose to call him. I had my rages, had my temper. Rereading it all these years later, yes, I've had my ill-chosen love. I felt I understood him, and understood the love that Kathleen had for him and the emptiness she felt towards the end.
Rereading it now, I understand the subplot of the Irish Troubles, the prejudice that I missed completely when I first read it innumerable times. I understood the mythology of the Hunt, and better the desire to chase and destroy and mourn and love that was all wrapped up within it. I understood the difference between the wild and the tame, the intelligence and the cruelty. There is so much in this book that just... it's almost like we were given only a brief snapshot of what could have continued on for ages. The world built was beautiful, cruel, confused and haunting. We were given so much in this book to explore, and so much was just viewed through inadequate eyes.
I think I'll always love this book, and I know it will always have stolen a large part of who I am. It's my favorite for a reason, and I spent years trying to find it for a bigger reason still. This book is an under-appreciated classic, and one I'll always hurriedly recommend to anyone who asks me. (less)
I think I got more out of this book by reading the extensive notes and introductions than by reading the book itself. The book was so full of allusion...moreI think I got more out of this book by reading the extensive notes and introductions than by reading the book itself. The book was so full of allusions to political situations, changes in speech and text depending upon what was being mentioned, legitimate philosophical meanderings and religious commentary. Well, it was a piece of work.
I think it would be an easier read a second time around, bearing in mind all I learned from the first poke through it. It's one of those books you know you should read and contemplate, but doing so alone is a bit difficult. A bit like listening to a lecture and having your mind blown away - listen again, and you can begin to pick at the subtleties.
I do agree that the most fascinating bit about Utopia is the fact that there would be no way to enforce it had the structure not already been in place. Yes, it sounds great from the outset, but knowing freedom and having experienced this level of it (impinged upon as it may be these days) we'd not take too kindly to having it all stripped away. It truly is No Place as much as it may be a Good One (which can be thoroughly argued, seeing how flawed the system in place is.)
The commentary is great, the concepts novel at the time and still rather fresh now. Not to mention the dystopia genre does hinge upon this singular text, written and published so many years ago.(less)
I first read this book in high school, having been looking for a good biography of Syd Barrett and seeing this as being the most accurate out there at...moreI first read this book in high school, having been looking for a good biography of Syd Barrett and seeing this as being the most accurate out there at the time. I'd be interested in finding a revised copy, if one was ever released after the poor man's death. It would be interesting to hear what others, in particular Breen, had to say about him then and whether or not his life in the end was a contended one.
This biography is short, easy to read, and fascinating. It dispels some of the more harmful myths about Syd, and unfortunately confirms some of the worse aspects of his character. It's a humbling read for those who idolize Syd, and a sad reminder of just how damaging drugs can be to an already troubled personality.
I'll always wonder what Syd could have achieved had he not been destroyed as he was, but shall take some solace in the fact that at least for even a little while he was happy in his solitude.
This concise book is a collection of well known quotations from his work, organized loosely by topic. The beg...moreAh, who doesn't love William Shakespeare?
This concise book is a collection of well known quotations from his work, organized loosely by topic. The beginning features a nice biography of the author, although it does report some stories that are more likely inventions than truth. It does, however, quote some of the better Ben Jonson mentions of Shakespeare.
All in all this book, as previous reviewers have commented, is a bit too PG rated to be truly good fun. It is a good quick reference to various quotations, and a decent introduction to the life of the Bard.
All in all, quite fun, but a bit too whitewashed.(less)
I'm a big fan of Hyperbole and a Half, and from that knew well enough that I would be a fan of this book. It collects some o...moreWonderful, wonderful book.
I'm a big fan of Hyperbole and a Half, and from that knew well enough that I would be a fan of this book. It collects some of the most memorable stories from the blog, and adds several new entertaining ones. While I would love to see a book that collects all of the posts, this is still a very good start.
Allie Brosh's artwork is distinctive and hilarious, her writing both poignant and clever. While the subject matter at times does get dark, this book is still one of the funniest and most truthful ones I've ever read.
This book is an excellent collection of Peanuts comics, and the comics themselves are added to by the beginning Foreward and In...moreGosh, I love this book.
This book is an excellent collection of Peanuts comics, and the comics themselves are added to by the beginning Foreward and Introduction that relate a number of anecdotes about Charles Schulz' life and writing/drawing techniques. Where he got his inspiration, what he wondered about his own characters - it's fascinating, and I'd love to read a biography of the fellow I admire so much.(less)
The fondness I have of this book comes mainly from having read it (and having it read to me) as a child.
Stuart Little himself isn't a terribly likable...moreThe fondness I have of this book comes mainly from having read it (and having it read to me) as a child.
Stuart Little himself isn't a terribly likable character. He is capricious at best, and although he's helpful he's also terribly aloof and fickle in his cares. By the last third of the book he has run away from home to find Margalo whom he loves, but has no qualms about asking another girl out for a night of canoeing. He didn't even bother to write home to explain to his family what he was about. What a guy.
Yes, it also is troublesome that a woman gave birth to a mouse. I still don't quite understand that matter...
The ending of the book is bittersweet, beautiful, and altogether worth the read. It reminded me oddly of the ending of The House at Pooh Corner or the Piper at the Gates of Dawn in The Wind in the Willows. There's a sense of wonder and a sense of loss, and I feel considerably the images evoked by the endless trek North that Stuart Little has embarked on. Will he find he Margalo? Will he ever return to the New York he loved so well? It's debatable, at best, but with the imagery of the water and Stuart's seafaring ways it's safe to say he'd never settle in one place for too terribly long.
Beautiful book, even if perhaps an undeserved classic. Not E.B. White's best, but there are far worse fates than growing up with this story.(less)
Got to give this book a ton of stars. Oh, my childhood.
I grew up near the Potomac and spent a ton of time in the places described by these stories. I...moreGot to give this book a ton of stars. Oh, my childhood.
I grew up near the Potomac and spent a ton of time in the places described by these stories. I bought the book itself in one of the houses described in the stories... They're fun, they're short, and there are a lot of them. It's irrelevant to me whether the stories are true or not, they fascinated me as a child either way.
Can't wait to give this book to my nephew and continue the cycle of late nights spent poring over ghost stories and wondering what's out there. :)(less)
Now and then one comes across a writer whose every word titillates and entices. Readin...moreHarlan Ellison, I have the deepest of writing crushes upon you.
Now and then one comes across a writer whose every word titillates and entices. Reading their stories, regardless of what they are, is a pleasure: even their 'just ok' writing makes you think, makes you wonder, makes you hungry for more. I've a handful of authors I can think of that do that for me. Unquestionably, Mr. Harlan Ellison is one of them.
Spider Kiss is a rock and roll fable, effortlessly splicing together the various stories of a down and out kid and his meteoric rise to fame. Where Spider Kiss differs from other stories of this nature is not only the fact that it predates the now cliche trope becoming trope... it also is nowhere near the heartwarming story one is used to hearing. Real life often isn't that way, and Ellison certainly doesn't shy away from depicting real life.
Character flaws are abundant, and for that the character's come off as rather more human. The fable is a fable, and as such the stereotypes do exist within the text. All the same, the stereotypes reinforce what audiences have been sold for ages now. It's incredible to think that this book was written in 1960, and it's more incredible that this book isn't better known.
Music fans? You gotta read this, if only for how well it mirrors the stories we all know so well.(less)
This book I got many years ago from Quarwood of all places. It's one of the books I own from John Entwistle's personal library, and it is an exception...moreThis book I got many years ago from Quarwood of all places. It's one of the books I own from John Entwistle's personal library, and it is an exceptionally beautiful book. It is worth five stars for the pictures alone, but the accompanying text makes it all even better.
The book is a broad survey of the Arthurian Legends, and how they changed over time. Each section focuses upon a different period in Arthurian literature and is complete with a survey of what was focused upon during that time, and selections from each piece of art/literature. It begins with a selection from Mabinogion and ends with one from The Once and Future King, to give an idea of how thorough it is.
All in all, a beautiful book, and from the personal collection of a wonderful man. One of my most prized possessions.(less)
The Canterbury Tales is one of those books often mentioned in any survey of classic literature, and certainly with good reason. The structure of the b...moreThe Canterbury Tales is one of those books often mentioned in any survey of classic literature, and certainly with good reason. The structure of the book itself (stories within stories) predates A Midsummer Night's Dream rather notably and Geoffrey Chaucer is with necessity a force of wit to be reckoned with.
Geoffrey Chaucer's writing still seems fresh, and more of the stories in this collection hold up to the passing of time rather than fall flat from it. The snippets of the original poetry included in quotes make me want to read it in the original, in spite of what difficulties there may be, and the notes in the back helped expediate understanding when the language did get confusing.
Chaucer's social commentary was hilarious, and his characters were all rather notable. His use of doggerel for humor was extremely effective, and his views towards women's rights remarkable for their time. Hell, The Wife of Bath's prologue regarding men is still rather remarkable to read.
All in all, an excellent collection and one I look forward to reading again.(less)
I first learned about this book through the release of the films (Let The Right One In, and Let Me In.) There was a good deal of buzz regarding the mo...moreI first learned about this book through the release of the films (Let The Right One In, and Let Me In.) There was a good deal of buzz regarding the movies, as culture had been saturated with the Twilight phenomenon, and along comes yet another vampire story...
The writing is fluid, and the characters as thoroughly developed as those in Stephen King's best stories. The historical grounding in the book (Sweden, 1981) adds to the tension in the story, as politics are discussed in passing time and again. The vampire mythos is thoroughly delved into without it being overdone - mixed with the cruelty of children, and the deviant desires that pass in and out of characters... well, this is a recipe for a horror book unlike any other I've experienced.
This book frightened me most genuinely, it disturbed me, grossed me out, repelled me, and drew me back in. Oskar is not a lovable main character at all, but he is one that is easy to understand and surprisingly his actions are believable for someone of his age. Eli, as well, ends up being quite believable and sympathetic time and again.
I will say that having finished the book I'm a bit uncertain as to whether or not I want to see the films... the images in my mind of some of the less savory points in the book are bad enough, don't know how well I'd deal with it on screen. Then again, it could be a bit like A History of Violence but somehow I doubt any blows will softened.
This is hardcore horror, and a wonderful, wonderful ride.(less)
Written for someone who already has background knowledge of the band, Johnny Black brings forth a highly readable account...moreThis is quite a worthy book.
Written for someone who already has background knowledge of the band, Johnny Black brings forth a highly readable account of the band's history from its inception through to (what for the book was) the present. Concerts and other meaningful dates are catagoried alongside quotes from reviews of the shows, and often times, interviews with the band members and roadies themselves.
Far from being simply a rehashing of other notable works ( Before I Get Old and Maximum R B's tendency to overlap comes to mind) Johnny Black draws from new interviews with previously unmentioned people, as well as interviews with Roger Daltrey and John Entwistle. The interviews with Daltrey and Entwistle are particularly interesting, as so often the history of The Who is told with an overwhelming focus on Townshend.
The book is easy to navigate, as it is divided by month and year, and contains an index as well as a bibliography of other notable books. I'd recommend this book as an entertaining history of the band. While it isn't as thorough as Before I Get Old in terms of overall band history, it does offer a differing perspective and is worth at least a perusal by any Who fan looking for just that.
Also, I'd note how this book explains just what happened in regards to Face Dances and It's Hard as well as the final dissolution of the band. Other books have noted just how awful the albums ended up being, but shrugged off the true extent of Pete's breakdown. This book gave it a truly remarkable depth and allowed me to really grasp why it all happened the way it did.(less)
I was given this book by the author, Russell Mardell, when he had an extra left from the Goodreads First-reads giveaway. So, I suppose I won this one...moreI was given this book by the author, Russell Mardell, when he had an extra left from the Goodreads First-reads giveaway. So, I suppose I won this one through the give-away. Once more, I am extremely happy that I had a chance to read this book.
The comment on the back reads "Long live misanthropy!" and the book is comprised of twelve short-stories that take place in a "town a bit to the left of reality." Mewlish Lull, said town, is indeed just a bit to the left of reality. The stories occupy the same sort of space that the more realistic Jonathan Carroll stories do... everything makes sense, and then it doesn't. You think this is realism, but it still feels slightly off... by the time I was on the third story, "Farringdon" I was madly in love with this book and the strange feeling reading it gave me. This is very British, very odd, and not a little sad. It left me feeling a bit chafed, a bit off, and yet grinning like a fool. The book is not without is humor, though its humor tends towards the morbid.
For the record, the title story is also one of the creepiest stories I've had the joy of reading.(less)
I won this book through the Goodreads First-read program.
The book's description piqued my interest in it, and then the cover sealed the deal. The per...moreI won this book through the Goodreads First-read program.
The book's description piqued my interest in it, and then the cover sealed the deal. The personal's ad at the front made me laugh, and the cheeky little sheep made me want to pick it up. Unfortunately, the rest of the cover design gave me the distinct impression that the book was geared more towards children... but then the book itself disavowed me of that notion through clever writing and some rather pointed adult references that never really crossed the PG/PG-13 line. The book was more clever than naughty, so to speak.
The cover doesn't quite do the book justice so, you know, don't judge the book by it. As the author states herself, the book is a satire, and a rather hilarious one at that. She pokes fun at the paranormal romance genre in general, as well as some of the more accepted tropes. She pokes fun at Grecian homosexuality, and more literary figures than I'd care to name. Her take on Hammurabi, though, was particularly hilarious. Her take on Lucifer makes me want to give her a high five.
Don't expect wonders from the book, as it doesn't go as in-depth as Year Zero does - this is a slim volume. Nevertheless, it's as refreshing as a glass of lemonade on a hot summer's day and is more than enough to get a grin and leave you wanting more.
I, for one, am eagerly waiting for more from Kat Lowe and her fun humor. Keep writing, keep reading, and keep that cheeky sheep on the cover. It's hilarious. :)(less)
Well, I won this book through the goodreads first-reads program.
The Joy Compass is a pocketsized book, a short easy guide towards creating a more rela...moreWell, I won this book through the goodreads first-reads program.
The Joy Compass is a pocketsized book, a short easy guide towards creating a more relaxing and optimistic day to day life. The teachings are essentially an introduction to Buddhism, but the book does manage to not be overly spiritual in its presentation. The tidbits, while simple, are also rather helpful quick fixes towards easily relaxing and approaching life in a more together manner.
So, while not life-changing, this book is a good reminder to sit back every now and then and breathe. I can think of several people in my life who would benefit from slowing down once in a while. The diaphragmatic breathing method mentioned here is also something I could use more of in general.
In essence: decreasing stress is nearly always a good thing. ;)(less)
I won this book through the Good Reads first reads program!
Terri Sjodin has truly done something novel. She has managed to write a book that concisely...moreI won this book through the Good Reads first reads program!
Terri Sjodin has truly done something novel. She has managed to write a book that concisely details what you need to do when making a business proposal, or otherwise attempting to engage someone in a remarkably short amount of time. This, the elevator speech (so called because you should be able to deliver it in the time it takes to take a trip on the elevator), is a business strategy that is the essence of short and sweet.
The chapters explain just how to write it, the back of the book has the outlines needed to draft one of your own, and there's an index for easy searchability. The book couldn't have been more clearly laid out and easier to understand. Everything you need is there, and more than that, it worked.
After reading the book I followed what it said and gave two (!) presentations to local businesses. I got both jobs, and couldn't have felt better. This book, for me, is a keeper and something very good to reference from time to time.(less)