Classic book written in the same vein as Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media. This book is a must for anyone wishing to understanding what modern s...moreClassic book written in the same vein as Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media. This book is a must for anyone wishing to understanding what modern society has become. While other books of Neil Postman go deeper into his perspective and philosophy this is a good one for people new to his writing.
For more of his thoughts on the philosophy of technology, i.e. what technology means and how it changes us read Technopoly. For more of his understanding of education... well, you have your pick, really.
Excellent book by an excellent author. Only becomes more relevant as time goes on.(less)
Man, I had forgotten so much about this book. I remembered the Adderhead to be sure, but not Firefox and Slasher... I'd forgotten entirely about the b...moreMan, I had forgotten so much about this book. I remembered the Adderhead to be sure, but not Firefox and Slasher... I'd forgotten entirely about the bulk of the Inkworld characters (including, I am sad to admit, Cosimo and a good deal of Resa's character.) I'm embarrassed that it all slipped my mind so easily.
Many complaints have been lodged about the relationship between Meggie and Farid, and I have to agree. It felt too rushed to me (couldn't it have been present a bit more in Inkheart if it was going to be such a large point in Inkspell?) I was tempted to rate this book four stars, especially due to Fegnolio and his... handling of things. The last act of the book however, with the Castle of Night, Fegnolio's plan ans how it all turns out... It redeemed it for me. I love the character's too much to downgrade this book based on some minor annoyances, and all in all it held up rather well in spite of how much I had forgotten.
Why on earth did I remember a glass man shattering? That didn't happen...(less)
So, I'm sitting with my boyfriend and we're sharing a good beer (seeing how good people drink good beer) and he's explaining to me all the books that...moreSo, I'm sitting with my boyfriend and we're sharing a good beer (seeing how good people drink good beer) and he's explaining to me all the books that he's put into my birthday present. He mentions Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail and I feel compelled to make a shameful confession.
This book is pure Hunter S. Thompson, an author I dearly love. It's insanity, complemented by the illustrations of the inimitable Ralph Steadman and loads of wit and insight. Looking for the American Dream? Yeah, if you look hard enough you'll find it here. Looking for answers? They're here. Everything is in there, caught up in the whirl and the mad mad world that only Hunter S. Thompson could see clearly and deliver with the gonzo journalism.
Basically - give it a read sometime, everyone.(less)
I don't believe anyone should go through life without at least giving this book a browse, or becoming slightly familiar with the works of Joseph Campb...moreI don't believe anyone should go through life without at least giving this book a browse, or becoming slightly familiar with the works of Joseph Campbell. The Hero With a Thousand Faces isn't so much about what it's like being human, as what it means to be human. His works inform not only the way we think, but the way that we live and understand our lives.
The Hero With a Thousand Faces along with The Power of Myth are the two most easily accessible books of Joseph Campbell. The latter is an interview that examines the most basic aspects of his theories of the monomyth and the psychological reasons we tell stories and rely upon them. This book, however, delves rather a lot deeper into these concepts.
The beliefs of Joseph Campbell and the work that he has done now permeate our everyday lives and Western culture. We learn about The Hero's Journey in our classes, and we watch for it in our films, books, and videogames. It even gets referenced in cartoons now. To read this book is to better understand now just our stories, but our own lives.
I can't recommend this book enough, and I can't accurately describe just what Campbell's works mean to me as a person. I can only say read it. I can only hope it changes your life and informs your perspective like it did my own.(less)
Jonathan Carroll more than any other author lures me into the worlds he creates. The mixture of wonder and cynicism in his work draws me deeper and deeper into the magical realism of Vienna and Prague, Rondua and half-recalled dreams. The more I visit the mind of the author the more I get inspired to continue my own writing.
Sleeping in Flame touched me in a rather vital way, and reminded me of all the things I adore about Jonathan Carroll in the first place. His unusual use of language and his strange reality mixed and lodged within my brain until there was just one thing I wanted to say.
I know exactly who it is that I want to steal horses with.(less)
Wow was the first word I could think to say upon finishing this. Finder isn't so much of a graphic novel as it is an experience. Finder immerses you w...moreWow was the first word I could think to say upon finishing this. Finder isn't so much of a graphic novel as it is an experience. Finder immerses you within Speed's world, and it is not only a world: it is a world with a history, and fully developed cultures that all must interact with one another. It's a world that you get no introduction to, you're simply thrust within it and expected to keep up. I think I suffered culture shock while reading it, it's really THAT complex.
I for one cannot wait to get my hands on the remainder of this series. If an anthropologist ever quit their job and decided to put all of their experience and expertise into a graphic novel, Finder would be the result.(less)
While the previous volume in the Finder series gave me a small case of culture shock, this volume was all of the culture and none of the shoc...moreUm. Wow.
While the previous volume in the Finder series gave me a small case of culture shock, this volume was all of the culture and none of the shock. The non-linear story was far less jarring now that I knew what to look for (for instance, Jaeger's tattoo fading, his hair growing, the different body shape of Brig, etc.) and it was easier to understand now that the initial introductions are all complete.
The artwork is gorgeous, the story engaging, and even moreso - I find myself thinking about the world that it inhabits. I'm very curious about the next volume, King of Cats, because the Nyima from the first volume greatly intrigued me.
The more I read of this series the more I want to immerse myself within the world. Speed has really created something worth diving into.(less)
Getting away from Jaeger's story this volume focused greatly on the conflict between the Ascian and Nyima cultures. It delved deeply into the differen...moreGetting away from Jaeger's story this volume focused greatly on the conflict between the Ascian and Nyima cultures. It delved deeply into the different cultures as well as the classic counting coup that was utterly hilarious to watch fall out. I liked this one better than the Sin-Eater volumes story-wise, though that may just be because I'm getting used to Speed's world now.
Highly recommended, either way. This series has not failed to deliver yet.(less)
Finder never disappoints. Dream Sequence ends up being a discussion of the difference between virtual reality and real life - and more, the question o...moreFinder never disappoints. Dream Sequence ends up being a discussion of the difference between virtual reality and real life - and more, the question of originality. How much of a person goes into what they write, and can any work be anything but derivative? When critiquing something - how much did the author truly intend, or is the reviewer writing something that's more like fanfiction? A lot of high brow questions, a lot of interesting thoughts. It's just a fascinating read.
The artwork, likewise, is beautiful. I'd recommend this book, and more, all of Finder to anyone who takes an interest in writing. This series is a wonderful example of good world-building. The series inhabits a consistent world, and each installment tends to view a chunk of it. The characters change, explanations are given, but we never truly get to see everything. It's good story telling.(less)
Vary, a prostitute in training, is in love with two of her professors, one of which happens to be a laeske (a sentient winged lizard), and the other m...moreVary, a prostitute in training, is in love with two of her professors, one of which happens to be a laeske (a sentient winged lizard), and the other may or may not be blind and has prosthetic laeske legs. Welcome to the sixth book of Finder.
Honestly, this series has never failed to deliver. As someone who adores anthropology, this book tickled me in a myriad of ways. Without spoiling anything, a lot near the ending will crack up anyone with even a passing interest in other cultures.
As always, McNeil has expanded her world and made it even richer than before. Her characters all have become better and better developed as the series goes on, which is saying a lot, because they were well developed from the start. My love of this series knows no bounds.
So get it. Read it. Enjoy it, and pass it on. I've said it before - this is the only graphic novel I know that's got footnotes, and it needs them. This is literature, folks, and it doesn't get much better than this.(less)
Yes, yes, I'm a massive fan of Finder. I've not met a volume in this series that I haven't loved, and this is no exception.
This volume largely dealt w...moreYes, yes, I'm a massive fan of Finder. I've not met a volume in this series that I haven't loved, and this is no exception.
This volume largely dealt with the internal politics of the Anvard clan societies. When a semi-public figures son is kidnapped, and found dead by Jaegar, there's a question of what is to be done. Ascani testimony is no good in court, and the 'official' detectives lack the skills needed to solve the crime.
The intricacies of the society are fascinating, and at no point interfere with the characters and the plot of the story. Info-dumping just doesn't happen, the facts are revealed as it goes along. McNeil is a master of speculative fiction, and truly an inspiration when it comes to writing about any world or culture.
"No matter how hot you are, no matter how rich, how smart, how cool you are, somebody, somewhere is sick of your shit." Thus begins Five Crazy Women.
I...more"No matter how hot you are, no matter how rich, how smart, how cool you are, somebody, somewhere is sick of your shit." Thus begins Five Crazy Women.
It is difficult to describe the experience of reading Carla Speed McNeil's Finder to someone who has yet to read it. The story's wrap themselves around you, the characters whisper in your ear. The phrases make you smile, make you do a double take, and finally, make you laugh out loud. The first fifteen pages of this one alone had me laughing to the point of tears.
If you've not yet read Finder, take the opportunity to pick up the collected Finder Library.. if you have already read Finder.. then friend me. Immediately. Seriously. Pass the book along. Let the wonder that is this graphic novel series fill up the vacancies that series such as Preacher used to occupy.
The skill with which Carla Speed McNeil weaves the world of Finder never ceases to amaze me. Every installment in this series brings out new informati...moreThe skill with which Carla Speed McNeil weaves the world of Finder never ceases to amaze me. Every installment in this series brings out new information, new cultural information, and elaborates upon old characters that we may only have met for a second three volumes before. McNeil's imagination is vast, and I feel truly blessed to be given the chance to delve into it through these volumes.
Unlike previous volumes, Voice focuses more heavily upon the Llaverac clan and the way in which one becomes a full member of it. Rachel is the focus, much as Marcie was the focus of Talisman and the Llaverac beauty pageant is something that would put Toddlers in Tiaras to shame. The questions of beauty, of authenticity, and of personal identity are all delved into.. as are certain questions of societal mores. The footnotes that I love so in these comics also have grown more confident, and elaborate.
Also: how can't you love a comic book that questions why society is increasingly finding it all right to wear underclothes as normal day to day clothing (i.e. t-shirts.)? I love that she thinks of these things.(less)
Normally, I would begin this review with a summary and then go into what I liked or disliked about it. This time, I don't quite feel safe summarizing...moreNormally, I would begin this review with a summary and then go into what I liked or disliked about it. This time, I don't quite feel safe summarizing anything. Suffice to say, yes, this is a post-apocalyptic book about vampires. Yes, this is the first book in a series. It is horror, it is sci-fi, a lot of comparisons can be drawn between Cronin and Stephen King.. and yet? This is something entirely different.
Justin Cronin does not avoid the tropes of this genre, and in fact plays into them on several occasions... only to sidestep the stereotypical way of bringing it off and deliver something new and exciting. This is a book that you have to trust going into it. It constantly surprises, and every time I was tempted to put it down, it brought out something new to keep me thoroughly engaged. The pace is quick, and then it drags, lulling you into a false sense of security before excitement strikes again. In a lot of ways, it is a perfect horror novel.
Don't be dissuaded by the fact it is horror. Unlike the stereotype of this genre, the book is perfectly literary. It has something to say, and it does so with a distinct lack of pretension and bluntness. It never delves into the realm of inaccessible language or layered meanings, but rather, delivers on a more subtle scale. The book was well researched, well delivered, and is as respectable in its content as it is intimidating in its size.
I recommend this book one hundred percent to anyone who feels up to the challenge of its 766 pages. I recommend this book even to those who don't feel that they could read something of this length; this book is deceptive, and in the best way possible. This book has given vampires back their balls.(less)
This is my second time reading the first volume of the series, a sort of catch-me-up since I got the res...moreOh, PREACHER. Where have you been all my life?
This is my second time reading the first volume of the series, a sort of catch-me-up since I got the rest now. Rather than the official collection, I've been reading the original releases (editor columns and all) and oh man, what a pleasure this is.
The story is wonderful enough, but the letters are just golden. From the "send in your favorite curse word" to the "Arseface lookalike contest" this stuff is plain fantastic. I can't wait to read the rest of this run, and quickly hunt down everything else Ennis and Dillon have done. (less)
I tip my hat to Beatrix Potter for managing to perfectly capture the benign and industrious nature of the hedgehog and turn...moreBeautiful, beautiful story.
I tip my hat to Beatrix Potter for managing to perfectly capture the benign and industrious nature of the hedgehog and turn the humble insectivore into a cultural landmark for us all to love and cherish.(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.
I should probably begin by saying that this book isn't for everyone. While the language is easily accessible to laypeople, therefore making this one o...moreI should probably begin by saying that this book isn't for everyone. While the language is easily accessible to laypeople, therefore making this one of the few books focusing on cognitive ethology that gears away from more specialized language, that doesn't mean it's going to appeal to the general public. While this book did see high sales, a quick perusal of the different GoodReads reviews shows a great number of people who found themselves bored to tears. Personally, I found this book both enthralling and difficult too put down. Comparative psychology is also one of the topics I find most interesting.
This book is written with a keen wit and a loving attention to detail. Alexandra Horowitz intersperses anecdotal evidence culled from her sixteen years with her mutt Pump along with case studies from both prominent scientists in the field of ethology and up-and-comers to explain the umwelt of a dog. Earlier chapters primarily deal with separating the truth from fiction behind canine evolution (i.e. just because dogs evolved from wolves doesn't mean they still view the world the way that wolves do) while later chapters delve into... well, more doggy-ness. Eventually the book makes strides towards explaining just what it is that dogs do know, while not doing dogs any disservice for, well, being dogs.
This book marks the first step towards a more scientific understanding of man's best friend, and hopefully will spearhead more thorough analysis in the years to come. I am as surprised as Alexandra Horowitz was that more studies haven't been done on dogs, though she does make a very fine point towards the end that there are some things that simply can't be studied objectively. Nonetheless, the bond between dogs and humans is very well explained in this book. I certainly will be looking at the dogs I see with a keener attention and doing what I can to interact with them on their own terms more often in the future.
It never ceases to amaze me that we can interact with animals as well as we can.(less)
Preacher can do no wrong. Seriously. It's the Tarantino of comic books, when that was still a compliment to pay. Preacher can imitate nothing but itse...morePreacher can do no wrong. Seriously. It's the Tarantino of comic books, when that was still a compliment to pay. Preacher can imitate nothing but itself, and it is not even close to running the risk of being overly cliché.
My only complaint about the Locke & Key series is that each new volume is just too short. I want these stories to go on forever, but alas, the qua...moreMy only complaint about the Locke & Key series is that each new volume is just too short. I want these stories to go on forever, but alas, the quality would probably deteriorate if they did. Either that or I simply would be incapable of processing the sheer cleverness of such a fantastic series. One or the other, I'm sure.
The third entry is both darker than the last two and a bit more fantastic. The incredible artwork of The Tempest performance in Volume 2 is formed into the evil shadows in this entry. Duncan, my favorite character thus far, is absent - but enter Scott Kavanaugh, a character that harks back to, say, Cassidy in the Preacher series. In characterization, at least, as I am fairly certain he's not going to admit to being a vampire anytime soon.
The pace of the series is picking up, even as the content becomes a bit less dense. You can almost feel the world of Locke and Key become larger and larger, even as the focus becomes narrower and narrower and the characters deeper. I can't wait to pick up the next volume, and only wish that they were being released far faster than they currently are. (less)
I won this book through first-reads, and from the very mention of Firefly on its cover knew it had a lot to live up to. Compa...moreOh, dear lord, this book!
I won this book through first-reads, and from the very mention of Firefly on its cover knew it had a lot to live up to. Comparing a book to Firefly? Having to review something compared to Firefly when I consider myself a pretty devoted Browncoat? Well. I opened the book with a dose of skepticism, pretending that I hadn't just texted my sci-fi (and fellow Browncoat) loving boyfriend that I just got that ARC I'd been telling him about. I hyped it up sufficiently in my mind.
This book delivered beyond my wildest of expectations.
The book was fast paced with a healthy underlining of wry humor. This is one of the few books that has made me laugh out loud on more than occasion... Every character is lovingly crafted, they each have their quirks and their tongue-in-cheek moments - it's incredible that it never comes off as false or heavyhanded. Katy Stauber has faultlessly delivered on a nearly impossible task: she's given us a novel that draws upon the cult classic of Firefly without being mere fanfiction - in fact, she's created something lovingly unique.
That this is a scifi adaptation of The Odyssey is also apparent, as if the cover doesn't give it away. She's morphed the tale into something that encompasses Rasta Nation colonies (marijuana bombs!), entirely creepy genetic splicing experiments, rogue orbitals, and everything else under (and on level with) the sun. She's made The Odyssey freshfaced and deadpan, and Cesar Vaquero is a much, much more lovable protagonist than the cunning Ulysses.
I can't praise this book enough, nor how many people I want to throw my copy at so I can chat with them about it. I can't wait to pass this book on, and only hope that it will get the recognition and acclaim it well deserves.
Keep writing Katy Stauber! I'll be reading your every word for certain. You've found a great fan in me!(less)
Here's a horrible confession: I liked Year Zero more than Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. There, I said it. I enjoyed it more, and I felt that it resonated far better with my generation. The book was hilarious, truly inspired, and had enough geeky references that I'm certain it'll cause even the most cynical Farker or Redditor to laugh out loud.
The book was fast-paced, intricately woven, and irreverent as hell. It had me laughing, and thinking about it even when it wasn't in my hands. Seriously, get this book as soon as possible and read it. You will enjoy it. I guarantee it. I can't think of a single person who wouldn't laugh at this book.(less)
I'm a fan of self-help books, generally because I enjoy improving myself. A good number of self-help b...moreI won this book through the first-reads program.
I'm a fan of self-help books, generally because I enjoy improving myself. A good number of self-help books, though, tend to focus upon immediate improvement and immediate gratification. Well, immediate results tend to be rare, and don't last. Luckily, this book not only acknowledges that fact, but celebrates it.
This book is divided into 52 different short tips that you can execute fairly easily. Everything from napping (Einstein did it) to slowing down your practice is discussed, and in such short snippets that it never feels pedantic.
I, for one, know that I'll be taking these tips to heart... one at a time, and probably for 8 weeks at time waiting for it all to sink in. I think this is a helpful guide for just about anyone, though. Who doesn't enjoy improving their skill sets? :)(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)