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)
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)
There are certain books that are forever a comfort to us; certain books whose beauty touches us, and demands a reread or two - if not just to capture...moreThere are certain books that are forever a comfort to us; certain books whose beauty touches us, and demands a reread or two - if not just to capture the feeling of the first read, than perhaps to discover a deeper truth within it. To me, Horse's Neck is that book.
Horse's Neck is, as Townshend states in the forward, a search for beauty. In truth, it is more a search for a kiss. Throughout the stories within it, one sees the different forms that beauty and love can take - not all of them beautiful by any stretch of the imagination, but all strangely valid if sometimes disturbing. The book is a spiritual quest, a study of questions, and a surprisingly insecure search for validation. Every story is tinged with Townshend's gift for songwriting, for character and atmosphere.
This book is not for everyone. It is disturbing at points, and troubling. It takes a certain kind of person to truly grasp some of the emotions it evokes and the points that it makes. I can say that this book is for me - and for anyone who has felt truly out of place and inadequate. Like Quadrophenia not all of the themes it explores are comfortable, but isn't art meant to put us out of our comfort zone on occasion? (less)
This book is truly incredible. King captures what it is like to be a child frighteningly well and drags it on into the inexplicable loss that all enco...moreThis book is truly incredible. King captures what it is like to be a child frighteningly well and drags it on into the inexplicable loss that all encounter as childhood fades. He taps into fears and the importance of desire, of creation, and in it gives us a book that's sense of loss is as great as the gain.(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)
Inkdeath wrapped the trilogy up in a blood-stained bow and presented it at the reader's feet. It made up for the awkwardnes...moreGosh, I adore this trilogy.
Inkdeath wrapped the trilogy up in a blood-stained bow and presented it at the reader's feet. It made up for the awkwardness of the love-story subplot in Inkspell and carried on with the politics and rivalries of the Inkworld in a beautiful way.
The question of who the author of the story it was was never really resolved, but was brought up multiple times in an intriguing way. Frightening villains, wonderful questions, and beautiful writing.
What's not to like? It did the story justice, which is all you can really ask of a book.(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)
Thus begins Michael Nesmith's folkloric tale of the importance of respecting knowledge above ignoranc...moreHere, let me lay down a tale of Neftoon Zamora...
Thus begins Michael Nesmith's folkloric tale of the importance of respecting knowledge above ignorance - of spirituality beyond power and earthly means. The most important things in life are often the things that we overlook. Simplicity is often better than complexity - and oh so much more precious.
Nesmith's prose is like his music - beautiful in its simplicity and apt to sneak up on you with a laugh when you least expect it. Nesmith's brilliance shines through in his writing and in his insight into some of the most overlooked aspects of the human conditions.
While The Long Sandy Hair of Neftoon Zamora may not change your life, it will certainly make you think a little harder. It will allow you to question some previously held tenets of - if not your life, then certainly the lives of others.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who can get their hands on it. While some elements of it come forth only after multiple readings, the basic premise and nature of the piece is well worth at least one go around.(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)
I'd wanted to reread this book since it was mentioned in Inkdeath, though not by name. I grew up reading Shel Silverstein as I'm sure many others have...moreI'd wanted to reread this book since it was mentioned in Inkdeath, though not by name. I grew up reading Shel Silverstein as I'm sure many others have by now, and the illustrations stick in my memory as clearly as some of the poems. I still wonder about Ickle Me, Pickle Me, and Tickle Me too. The poems are so bizarre.
The rating is a bit biased, as for me I was transported to my childhood with the poetry and pictures. I can recall the basement library where I first heard some of the verses and the time we were meant to memorize a poem to recite it to the class. I can remember the cover of the book and how many hours I spent imagining just what the end of the world would look like, with the sidewalk jutting briefly over it.
As far as poetry goes? This is an amusing bit of verses that's pretty good, but not great. The illustrations can be likewise rated. As far as nostalgia goes? It's tops, for me. It's one of those books you'll love if you grow up with it and kind of struggle to understand fully if you didn't...(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)