OMG I was so excited to find out she was publishing a book! There are many undeserving blogs that have made it into book form. THIS ISN'T ONE OF THEM!...moreOMG I was so excited to find out she was publishing a book! There are many undeserving blogs that have made it into book form. THIS ISN'T ONE OF THEM! So deserving! Allie has a natural talent for storytelling. Her personal experiences hit a note everyone can relate to and her superb, simplistic MSPaint drawings manage to coax emotions and nuances that you wouldn't expect. I haven't read the book yet, so I won't rate it until I do...but I'm starting the ARC right now. Everyone else should go to her blog immediately and start reading. ********************** Review of the ARC: Some of my favorite stories are included and there's also a lot (I really want to use "alot", thank you Allie) of new material. It really focuses on some of her more serious topics, like depression, identity and self-worth. Luckily, she deals with these beautifully and can even see some humor in it. I would have liked to see more of her older stuff and maybe some more light-hearted stories for balance. Hopefully this collection will find Ms. Brosh some new fans and please her faithful blog readers too. My only real complaint is that I want MORE!
The most awesome thing happened! I've really been pushing this book at the bookstore where I work, because it deserves to be read by many. Got this in the mail:
I am so excited to get a new book from Toby Barlow! The density of language in Babayaga is quite a contrast to the scarcity found in Sharp Teeth...bot...moreI am so excited to get a new book from Toby Barlow! The density of language in Babayaga is quite a contrast to the scarcity found in Sharp Teeth...both are amazing books and show the versatility in writing that Barlow has. It’s near impossible to summarize the various story lines that are going on in Babayaga; espionage, Russian witches, jazz, advertising, memories of Detroit and transmogrification, all with the backdrop of postwar Paris. Everything is woven together perfectly, and we get some surprising glimpses of humanity in all its ambiguous morality, love, hate and questionable decisions. Another reason why this book is amazing - I am not a fan of France, a bad experience as a young exchange student left a bad taste that has not gone away. This book takes place in Paris, which I immediately was annoyed by - BUT, I have to say, the descriptions of this Paris made me feel like giving it another chance. That’s HUGE for me...I try not to even eat french fries :) (less)
I'm still thinking about this and my rating. There was so much I loved, but I still had some issues following all the characters and how abruptly we w...moreI'm still thinking about this and my rating. There was so much I loved, but I still had some issues following all the characters and how abruptly we went from group to group. Also, having read The Passage as an ARC...so over 2 years ago, I feel like I could have used a refresher. Even with my uncertainty, I am already looking forward the the 3rd. I'll be reading the previous 2 in the series before it comes out. Back to back reading of all three books will put a whole different feel to it. It's a great, convoluted story with wonderful characters.(less)
Totally awesome! I loved this book! You do not have to be a child of the 80's or a computer-playing, arcade-going geek to appreciate it, but it would...moreTotally awesome! I loved this book! You do not have to be a child of the 80's or a computer-playing, arcade-going geek to appreciate it, but it would probably help. Enough people have been raving about it that I don't have much to add. Ernest Cline is my new hero for using all his obscure 80's knowledge to make money, and he deserves it. I'll be buying a copy for myself when it comes out :-)
I also wanted to add that one of the first things Ernest Cline bought with his book advance money was a Delorean and then installed a flux capacitor. He lives in Austin, where I am also from, but I have yet to spot the car...I'll keep you updated on my search.
I have now met both the author and the car. Mr. Cline was super nice and funny, a guy who enjoys geeking out. The car is awesome, duh, with a stuffed gremlin on the dash and an ECTO(some number here) license plate. I'm not trying to be secretive, I just forgot...maybe 66. I rarely would recommend an audio book over the real thing...but Will Wheaton reads this so it might be worth it. Ernest (I'm pretty sure it's Ernie, but that sounds too familiar and Mr. Cline so adult-like) told us a funny story how Wil Wheaton didn't know he was in the book, and he reads them aloud without reading them first when recording, so it was pretty funny when Wil comes upon himself in the book.
That's finally it, no revisiting this review...just go out and get it already! (less)
I loved this! A perfect mix of adventure, mystery and plot. Vanessa Monroe is a woman who can get information that others can’t and her services are m...moreI loved this! A perfect mix of adventure, mystery and plot. Vanessa Monroe is a woman who can get information that others can’t and her services are much sought after. Much of the book takes place in Africa. This is an Africa you don’t see in all those nature documentaries. Corruption and poverty, violence and also love and loyalty. The author’s unusual childhood circumstances have give her a unique perspective on world affairs. This comes through in her writing - The authenticity is palpable.(less)
This doesn't happen often, but I'm pretty sure I liked this more than the original trilogy. Bartimaeus is a great character and I would love to hear m...moreThis doesn't happen often, but I'm pretty sure I liked this more than the original trilogy. Bartimaeus is a great character and I would love to hear more of his early escapades.(less)
These stories blew me away. Tim Johnston manages to catch fragments of life filled with humanity and fleeting moments that change everything. The writ...moreThese stories blew me away. Tim Johnston manages to catch fragments of life filled with humanity and fleeting moments that change everything. The writing is dark, beautiful and bare. He manages to say more in 7 pages than some authors do in entire novels. My favorite is probably Water or Things Go Missing...or maybe Irish Girl - damn, they're all so good and unforgettable. (less)
It's possible one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much was to learn that I am not alone. I am not the only person in their mid (okay, late) thir...moreIt's possible one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much was to learn that I am not alone. I am not the only person in their mid (okay, late) thirties that still loves video games, often loses sleep because of them, and may have even called in sick to work once to finish a "mission". One of the reasons I have such a fondness for the author Mary Roach (Stiff, Spook, Bonk) is her ability to write about non-fiction subjects, specifically science, and entertain and amuse the reader at the same time as educating her. Tom Bissell has this ability too. I caught myself laughing out loud and often, in complete mental harmony with his love/hate relationship with the video game.
Extra Lives reads like a collection of essays, each section focusing on a specific game or company. The author sticks with console games, mainly first-person shooters and other fighting games. I myself am strictly a PC gamer, playing RPG's and adventures. This seemingly opposite attraction in no way detracted from my enjoyment, understanding and identification with so much Tom Bissell has to say. I actually think he may have piqued my interest in some areas I would never have looked at before. His emotionally wrought "Headshots" section discussing his first Resident Evil experience was hysterical! He painted such an accurate picture that I read over 10 pages with a big stupid, understanding grin on my face before I realized that a couple at another table were beginning to stare. The interviews and conversations with game designers were some of my favorite parts. There are people & companies out there who are not all just money-hungry capitalists churning out game after game with no thought or innovation. They have a real love of the video game and the technology and are constantly striving to expand the capabilities of games.
I'm not sure Extra Lives actually proves the statement that video games matter, but it brings up compelling discussion points on the video game as art, as a medium of story-telling and as an ubiquitous, even important, cultural staple. I found the discussions on narration and ludology especially interesting and enlightening. The video game has so many similarities to a narrative story or a film, but can't do exactly what they do, and can do what they can't (the author puts this much more eloquently). He examines the beauty of games and the experiences they can help to create along with their faults and short-comings.
"We're going to change the world and entertain in a way that nothing else ever has before." - Sir Peter Molyneux
Excerpts from a 2009 interview between game designer Sir Peter Molyneux and author Tom Bissell:
MOLYNEUX: I think the expression wheel worked because it allowed people to make their own stories up without it being totally encapsulated by what I wanted to do. And that is an amazing place for us to get to.
BISSELL: I can tell you that when I played Fable II I became a slutty lesbian bigamist who had tons of children, all of whom I abandoned.
I discovered Charlie Huston late and am devouring all his books. I haven't been disappointed yet. The main character in The Mystic Arts of Erasing All...moreI discovered Charlie Huston late and am devouring all his books. I haven't been disappointed yet. The main character in The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death, Web, manages to be a complete asshole and wonderful at the same time. Mystic Arts... is phenomenal! Interesting characters, razor-sharp dialogue, insane situations, shocking violence & humor all rolled up into this flaming ball of a novel. You heard me...a ball of fire!
Huston manages to write hard characters with heart. One sentence plot summary: Former elementary school teacher, Webster Goodhue, takes on new job of crime scene clean-up...adventure & misadventure ensue. A really fun read - I like this guy! (less)