This Sanderson was way better. I despair that I have started yet another Sanderson series - what am I up to now, four? - buthttp://tinyurl.com/h5473ey
This Sanderson was way better. I despair that I have started yet another Sanderson series - what am I up to now, four? - but I am glad I finally got around to this one. (In fact, I may give the rest of Mistborn a miss to concentrate on this one and Stormlight. Wait, there's only one left of Mistborn? Well, ohh-kay.)
I didn't expect Sanderson to actually bow to pressure and write something with true steam-punk flair! It shouldn't really surprise me, since his books are so very close to this genre to begin with (those Mistborn coats, as case in point). But here he takes it one step closer to something super geeky.
At first, it just makes no sense. Wait, I can draw a line on the floor in chalk and stop a bullet? Excuse me? But there's something about this book that isn't only a specific depiction of a faith-filled, and question-filled, world. I think it's because for the first time since Stormlight, I've read characters of his that are this enticing.
It's not perfect. I would have liked Joel to shut up already about not being a Rithmatist. I would have preferred a little less evil-looking professor. I would have far preferred being given more of a primer on what the hell Nebrask is, why it exists, what the history is there. He's sketched the world here, but at least the characters are fully realized.
And Melody. Thank you for writing Melody. Up with brassy, moody chicks!...more
I should be well familiar with Atkinson's style of über-description, and not be distracted by it at the beginning of the boohttp://tinyurl.com/hjlknd2
I should be well familiar with Atkinson's style of über-description, and not be distracted by it at the beginning of the book. I do feel like she went to the school of "go off on a tangent when you get the chance" and also the school of "don't worry, the reader will love it". Only, I don't always love it. It makes reading the book go both fast and slow. Fast because that description is always fascinating, and slow because I get irked that she is not getting to the freakin' point.
Regardless, I did enjoy the novel, even with its bizarre plot. The first three chapters throw you for a loop (don't be dissuaded by them, though), and it's not even obvious until a few more chapters in that there is a protagonist to this story, and that he will actually be a central focus. Well, central focus is putting it a bit strongly - he will be integral to the completion of the story. Well, completion may be putting it too strongly...
OK, now I'm just teasing. It is, after all, a mystery and the best mysteries are not wholly finished. Especially if one is planning a series around them. This Atkinson does in spades. I didn't love the ending - but not because the story wasn't wholly finished. I just didn't like what she ended up creating as a lifestyle for Jackson (our protagonist), as if this was what he would always have wanted....more
Wow, it's been a long time since a fantasy book affected me that much. Especially a fantasy book about dragons.
It's because Novik knows how to create good characters. Strangely, her main human character is deeply loyal and empathetic to his fellow humans and dragons, but he lacks... enjoyment in things. In other words, he's a little bit too austere to be completely likable. I believe Novik has done this on purpose, to create weakness in her main character, but I'm not wholly convinced it has worked the way she wants it to. It's true that she's created that as well in her main dragon, who's just a touch too bloodthirsty and doesn't quite get the concept of loyalty to king and country right off the bat.
Novik worldbuilds well - the Napoleonic Wars with "aviators," that is, teams of men and women who ride dragons - and provides just the right amount of tension between the good aviators and the bad aviators (on both sides of the Channel). When the person you end up hating the most gets a bit of what's coming to them, you want to fist pump the air. That's surprising because I've read a lot of stories like this and not been as moved by these moments as in this book. This could be the effect of the book's voice - posh, and definitely 1800s, and building the plot slowly in layers - which belies its power in terms of storytelling.
I keep forgetting I finished the book, and get excited that I'll be able to sit down and read more of it, followed by deep disappointment. Fortunately, there are 8 more till the conclusion!...more
I wanted to re-read this for book club but couldn't find the time to do that outside of lunch time at work today. Panic! Whehttp://tinyurl.com/zzkj22k
I wanted to re-read this for book club but couldn't find the time to do that outside of lunch time at work today. Panic! Where can I quickly scan this graphic novel so I can recall what I thought when I read it years ago. Oh, right, I work in a library, duh. Yay, libraries!
In many respects, I doubt this story is different from any told during a revolution. Young people's ideals are tossed about like ships in storms - you hear things, learn they are not true, get educated (formally or informally) about things that are more akin to the truth, add all those things together, plus anything you personally experience, and this becomes how you approach the world. In some circumstances, the truths you learn about are either vastly diverse or non-existent. Either way, you build a personal view of how the revolution affects you, your family and your country.
This book is a fascinating mix of all that with the bonus of clarifying and illuminating illustrations. These illustrations are starkly designed and drawn, which brings us closer to the terrifying aspects of this particular revolution(s). They also stop short of telling the whole story - meaning that there is another volume about Satrapi's childhood that completes the tale. The impact of the revolution on Satrapi can't be wholly felt unless both books are read. ...more
Having seen this twice, and now read the book, it's like I've lived it myself. Perhaps it's silly to continue to read the rehttp://tinyurl.com/zsh3ahw
Having seen this twice, and now read the book, it's like I've lived it myself. Perhaps it's silly to continue to read the remainder of the Kurt Wallander series for that reason, but they are so very well written.
This is a novella, something short and sweet that I think Mankell created as an afterthought, and thus it is in Wallander's world, but doesn't exactly fit the timeline. There are a lot of twists and turns for a short book, which means there's a little less time to hear about how Sweden and the world are all going to pot. Don't get me wrong, this is part of what makes this series so enjoyable - there are no punches pulled, and how the Swedes live as a community is always eye-opening - but in this book there are no wasted words. In fact, the final surprise happens so fast that you barely have time to register who the villain really is. I wish he'd developed this one a bit more fully.
However, I still have the 4 middle books of the series to finish, so there's that to look forward to. ...more
It's pretty rare that I want to read the next book in a series right away, but Stiefvater is clearly a master of series writhttp://tinyurl.com/hr5ox9h
It's pretty rare that I want to read the next book in a series right away, but Stiefvater is clearly a master of series writing. I'm only familiar with her solo book, The Scorpio Races, and I picked up this series on the strength of that writing. Now I better be careful or I'll scarf down all 4 in a row.
Stiefvater answers just enough of the mystery to make the ending of this first book palatable, and leaves just the right kinds of threads dangling. What in the world will happen to Adam? What is this mysterious connection between Gansey and Blue? What really occurs when you "disappear" someone by mistake? As in The Scorpio Races, I adore how she creates something that is magical but completely rooted in our existing world, so that you have to work a little to understand where the magic is occurring in the story and when you get your nose out of the book you still feel like you're in there.
I was surprised that she is also able to write using a different language and style. This world is a current one, in which people act like teenagers, wear usual teenage clothes, and live (mostly) regular teenage lives. It's not rooted in a culture of far away and super traditional. Of course, I loved them both, and I'll be sitting on my hands not to jump into the next book right away....more
I am faintly disturbed that this book won ALA's Alex award (for books of special interest to 12-18 year olds). That seems ahttp://tinyurl.com/zcov66s
I am faintly disturbed that this book won ALA's Alex award (for books of special interest to 12-18 year olds). That seems a mite too young to be reading a book like this. But what do I know? Life has changed immeasurably since I was a kid.
Obviously, this is pretty fluffy nonsense, but it's fluffy in such a decided manner. Let's build a Victorian England, but make werewolves and vampires a real, recognized, and accepted part of society. And then add a woman who can take all those supernatural powers away. Plus! Let's just make it a romance, while we're at it. The author is deliberate in her world-building, and confident in her ability to make us live inside that world. Consequently, a delightful read.
The one thing I did not enjoy was that the scientists were the bad guys. There are a few nods to these only being the crazy scientists, not the normal ones, but there is still a highly unfortunate undertone to all of it. Especially if this book is designed for a particularly young age group. In the same way that watching Prometheus drove me nuts because scientists would never just reach out and prod something on an alien planet, it drives me nuts when the evil scientist is the only bad thing you read about in a book. Characterize scientists correctly, please!...more
There's no question that this is a valuable book to read. For no other reason than that it surfaces all sorts of feelings inhttp://tinyurl.com/jzrj8ku
There's no question that this is a valuable book to read. For no other reason than that it surfaces all sorts of feelings in yourself and makes you re-evaluate how you react to any kind of person that doesn't look or act like you.
It's certainly written for teens and pre-teens, and I'd value its inclusion in the appropriate school curriculum. But probably mostly as a teaching tool, and an aid to further discussion. It provokes a lot of thought, so the writing has to be commended to some degree for that. However, I did find the description of many of the children to be somewhat facile. I think it's done deliberately, there's no question of that, and for decent reasons.
But the children often seemed unrealistically described. I don't think most children have such good intentions and thoughtful hearts and minds - then again, I don't have children so I very possibly know nothing! We saw some of the conflicts described, but I would have appreciated Palacio providing some differing points of view. Perhaps bringing one of the "poisoned heart" children around would have helped the storyline. Anyway, the unrealism didn't bother me enough not to finish it! In record time, too. ...more
I can still recall how visceral the movie felt to me. How could it not: two stellar actors, both with oodles of history betwhttp://tinyurl.com/gu8uy5r
I can still recall how visceral the movie felt to me. How could it not: two stellar actors, both with oodles of history between them, aging themselves appropriately, working their butts off? It's way more than that, of course, since it's dependent on the strength of this writing. But I couldn't read the play without seeing Taylor and Burton every step of the way.
I do wonder what it was like to see on the stage (veteran actor Uta Hagen said she would play Martha twelve times a week, if given the chance). It must have been unbelievably vital, raw, scarring and despondent when seen in the flesh. Pure gold for theatre actors, and usually very hard to translate to the screen (one-room plays lose vitality as moving pictures).
But the written play! Well, obviously I wouldn't still remember the movie or want to see it on stage if I didn't think the writing was stellar. But it's a hard read - a knock-down dragged-out fight that will have you so uncomfortable you want to go look at unicorns and rainbows for a while. The perfect illusory antidote to a play that rips illusions aside.
A final note... my book club recently got me into reading plays. Almost kicking and screaming, but not quite - I think I expected them to be more like poetry, which I find even more difficult (another friend is working on me in that regard as well). In each case, I've read a play that I've already seen as a movie, and the stage directions in particular are fun to contrast and compare. As are any potential changes I might notice between the two, which are usually surprisingly few....more
This purports, and seems to follow through, on its claim that it is the final Old Man's War book. At least in the current sphttp://tinyurl.com/z8djxf4
This purports, and seems to follow through, on its claim that it is the final Old Man's War book. At least in the current spate of Colonial Forces - Conclave - Earth novels. I'm pleased with the ending; it is neither foregone nor depressing.
Which doesn't mean I'm pleased with all four novellas in this latest volume. (Novellas, short stories, you decide.) The first one felt like I'd read it all before - either by Scalzi or by someone with even more caché to his name - and I was, in fact, confused as to whether I'd read this book already. If I were Scalzi, that comment would give me pause. I mean, he did give us two renderings of the same Old Man's War story before (meaning he reaped money for both renderings) so you understand my confusion and my concern that this was happening yet again.
That particular story had a satisfying ending, but the noodling throughout was dull-o-rama. The rest of the stories were quite good, especially the last one. But, if you've never read a Scalzi book, you better know two things - they are chock full of a) sarcasm and b) political meanderings. In fact, don't get caught up in the sarcasm, because if you do, you'll lose track of where you are in the political meanderings and then, oh boy, you're in trouble.
Anyway, all told, this was enjoyable in a completely Scalzi way, and consequently I had a good time reading it (well, 80% of it)....more
For perhaps the first time ever after reading a Mitchell book, I wished he hadn't set it in the same fantastical world as ahttp://tinyurl.com/guoh2sg
For perhaps the first time ever after reading a Mitchell book, I wished he hadn't set it in the same fantastical world as a previous novel (i.e., The Bone Clocks). Mitchell is such a good writer, and I don't really want to read a series by him, I want to read unique and diverse offerings.
It's not that I wasn't intrigued by where he was going here. You feel the angst and the horror and the thrill and, above all, the oddness of this story. Plus he gets to give a fabulous speech on the deficiencies of humans who can't remember their own history, which, if it wasn't hugely depressing would have had me smiling. But the story became, well, repetitive, and when the final solution reveals itself, it's rather deflating.
I'll give him a bit of a break in that this book feels more like a novella than a true novel. It's possible he wrote it as a short story and then developed it into a short novel? I don't fault him that, but I do hope he writes something wholly different next time around....more
I was forced to put this book down because my loan ended, and by the time I did, I was a little irritated at the lack of prohttp://tinyurl.com/he27k9e
I was forced to put this book down because my loan ended, and by the time I did, I was a little irritated at the lack of progress. Atwood is generally fabulous at spinning a yarn, and maybe I was extra irritated because I always expect more from her.
By the time I got the loan again, we were starting to flashback to the school and work days, and while flashbacks can be even more frustrating in a narrative, in this case they were absolutely necessary. Snowman sitting on a beach, barely surviving and talking to the air was not creepy, it was boring. Snowman recalling his childhood - however seminal to the story, really - was as pitiful as sitting on a beach, etc., so also boring. You can't tell a post-apocalyptic tale without explaining how your protagonist actually factors in, and talking about his childhood goes nowhere fast. Snowman recounting his redeemable features as an adult - that I could get behind because it made me wonder what he had literally done to get himself into the mess he was in, not just why his family life was crappy.
There's nothing wrong with writing about what happens when viruses go haywire - Station Eleven is a more than excellent example, Stephen King's The Stand a little less so, The Walking Dead is a beast unto itself. But social and environmental moralizing and post-apocalyptic stories told together leave a bad taste in my mouth. Atwood works too hard at it, and there's too much "duh" and not enough nuance....more
I didn't really expect a clone of a Nicholas Sparks novel. Albeit one set in an exotic locale.
It was clear from the get-go that this author has spent a lot of time in Burma (Myanmar) and treats this novel as a way to say what he likes and doesn't like about the country. To do that, he wraps up descriptions of the people, culture, landscape and (apparently terrible) food in a completely unrealistic love story.
I'm really, really okay with the "two people fall in love and struggle with some obstacles to stay together" trope. Because it's mostly realistic, it happens to a lot of us, and putting some good literary chops behind that can make for the best of all novels. But, this guy wants us to believe that his particular love story is the most special of them all, frankly, because it involves one blind person and one crippled person. And that these two have a love that transcends everything and anything. Horsepucky. No one's love is like that. I expect I could have treated this book like a fairy tale, but I live in the real world, and fairy tales only work for me in Fantasy fiction.
And the secret ending that he's hiding from us all along? Might as well yell it from the rooftops at the beginning, it's so obvious....more
Maybe I shouldn't read too much King in a row. This one was just a slog for me.
I think there's a point in an author's career where s/he doesn't get as much love from their editor as they should. Meaning, it is assumed that at a certain point, whatever a popular author writes will be basically well received by the fans, even if s/he starts a new series, takes an entirely different thematic tack, etc. Therefore, more words are a good idea! I appreciate that to some extent, but it results in logy tomes, if nothing else.
In this first Harris Stuyvesant novel, at least the first 2/3 of the book is encumbered by ultra-detailed description of settings and scenes, as well as pages upon pages of thought process that, frankly, was already detailed 50-100 pages before. There was only so many times I could handle Harris wondering what Carstairs was up to, or Grey musing on how difficult his life was, or Carstairs himself being a schmuck. I actually started skimming these parts.
Yes, the ending is pretty decent (although I saw two major plot points coming because, again, she wrote too damn much about them in advance), but I won't be continuing on to the next book. I'll stick with the magnificent Russell/Holmes series instead.
Also, you can't use the name Carstairs unless you actually are channeling the CIA director from Dorothy Gilman's mystery series. I couldn't read that name, each and every time, without thinking of Mrs. Pollifax. Not quite the same feel, these two series!...more
While I didn't think this was as stellar as All the Light You Cannot See, it's not really a fair comparison. These are novelhttp://tinyurl.com/hwrjryg
While I didn't think this was as stellar as All the Light You Cannot See, it's not really a fair comparison. These are novels with vastly different approaches.
All the Light You Cannot See is mostly about the similarity of experiences of citizens and soldiers on both the German and French sides. The Nightingale relies on true-life stories of French resistance fighters, those in it from the beginning and those who had resistance thrust upon them. I will completely agree with anyone who says that Hannah knows how to weave stories, because she kept me reading late at night, wondering what the next heart-stopping or unthinkable circumstance would be. I admire how she told parallel stories - both sisters in distinctly different circumstances and how they survived - and brought them together and apart as it befitted the storyline. She has built something wonderfully complex as well as mostly recognizable, and that is worth some kudos (for bravery, if nothing else).
I did wonder at her choice to include the concentration camps towards the end of one of the sister's storylines. This was barely 15 pages long, and that kind of short shrift is surprising in a WWII novel, if it's being told at all. I felt a little like Hannah had run out of steam but that she felt she had to add this in or it wasn't close enough to the truth of WWII, in general.
I also thought it was a bit of a cheat not to let on to which sister was telling the tale from old age, because I don't think that layer of mystery was necessary or added to the plot in any way. It also made me snort that a dying woman would insist on walking around Paris in high heels. But I did live in Italy, and that does seem to be the case on the continent. Nothing would keep you off heels on cobblestones, not even if you were dying!...more
It may be a little bit cheesy and a little bit nerdy, but any book that starts off by mentioning "Old School" by Tobias Wolfhttp://tinyurl.com/q6nr3tn
It may be a little bit cheesy and a little bit nerdy, but any book that starts off by mentioning "Old School" by Tobias Wolff and finishes by mentioning "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell has a million of my votes.
The plot is nothing complex, and I think the author knew she had to keep it that way because her characters are so rich, vibrant and amusing. Summary? Depressed bookseller finds new loves and finally ends up understanding what living is all about.
This book is very, very obviously a book for voracious readers. It reminded me of reading "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" except that I think this one is better written (or at least doesn't have as hysterically wacky a plot-line). Even though there's one big hole in this novel (I'll give you a hint, it's a police matter), it was so enjoyable to read a book by an author who loves to read and who made me remember how important reading is to me (yes, sometimes I actually forget!). Zevin loves to read all over the map in terms of type and genre of novel, she has very specific opinions about her likes and dislikes, and she has channeled those straight into the book. It's just a joy to read. I was smiling, if not laughing, for at least 2/3 of it....more
Instead of bemoaning the fact that I hadn't gotten around to reading Butler until this month, I'll just say that there are ahttp://tinyurl.com/qesphbc
Instead of bemoaning the fact that I hadn't gotten around to reading Butler until this month, I'll just say that there are a lot of books I have never gotten around to reading. It's not about winning some game by reading ALL THE BOOKS. It's about discovering good avenues for finding good books and having a method for getting those in the queue. Butler was just the next one!
On the other hand, damn, Butler is good. I have a love/hate relationship with this book, which I'll detail below.
1. The second our protagonist goes back in time (I'm not giving anything away here, it happens within a few pages of the beginning), I knew what I was in for as a reader. My mind shied away from that, because I knew it would be brutal. 2. I also knew that it was damn important to read it and recognize how a black female writer would portray her ancestors' history. I knew that I couldn't put myself in her shoes, ever, and that she needed to describe what slavery felt like in words that would sink in. 3. And, jeepers, she sure does that. Again, it's brutal. It's also gentle and scared and conflicted and sad. It's definitely not one-note, and that speaks to its power. 4. But because I knew what I was getting into, it was very hard for me to always stay in the story, and not kick myself out and realize the teaching moments. I would not call the novel didactic in any sense, but as a white reader, it is difficult not to realize, constantly, that it is teaching me something. That's very likely not a bad thing. 5. But it can slow down the progress of a novel. I found that happening to me at times, but because Butler's writing is so good, it didn't truly bother me. As if being aware of it made it all okay.
Folks told me to start with this novel of hers, and now that I know a little bit more about her and her writing, that seems smart. This novel delves into the past, while her other novels showcase different futures. Now I can't wait to see what she does with that....more
Karr sets up the entire point of this memoir (and, apparently, the next two memoirs) via the introduction by pointing out thhttp://tinyurl.com/hoxnnr3
Karr sets up the entire point of this memoir (and, apparently, the next two memoirs) via the introduction by pointing out that all families are dysfunctional, in some way, mainly because we're all human and we all have secrets and we all have things we fear. It's the degree of dysfunction that makes her particular life so engaging to read about.
Now, there are parts of her life story that are abysmally awful, that no one would wish upon anyone. They are, likely and sadly, common tales, especially from young girls - tales of sexual abuse. Karr treats these parts of her story differently from stories about her mom and dad and sister. She just... describes them. And lets the reader decide how he/she feels about their impact on Karr's life.
Everything else is treated so differently - poetically, in fact. It's not surprising that Karr is attempting to wring meaning out of why her mom would throw all their dresses on a big bonfire. Or what it meant when her dad told slightly fallacious stories to his friends at the Liars' Club. Or how her sister's personality helped shape who Karr is as a person, inside this family.
So the difference in treatment comes down to this - you can't wring meaning out of sexual abuse. It happened, and if you're lucky, you can move on. But the family memories - of what you did together as a family - those make you who you are and help you grow and understand yourself throughout your life (and their lives)....more
Reading one of the first of a genre is something special. (Although in fact this novel is one of the last that Chandler wrothttp://tinyurl.com/j3uynkt
Reading one of the first of a genre is something special. (Although in fact this novel is one of the last that Chandler wrote, it's still the first one of his that I've read. And he was at the top of his game in defining the genre by this point.)
We've all seen some version of film noir, whether it's the incomparable Maltese Falcon or the super classic The Big Sleep. The world of film noir - and if the film is based on a novel, the noir detective novel - is essentially grumpy. Everyone in it thinks the world is going to pot, whether it's the gumshoe, the cop, the gangster or the blonde. And the private dick is the one with the moral conscience - others don't ever get to rate as highly as he does - consequently, he is your anti-hero. A grumpy old puss with a heart of gold.
What Chandler does differently in this novel is put himself in it. He adds a victim - of circumstance, of his own making, of both - who is a novelist. One of those novelists who writes really long books because that's what the public wants and who is quite the hack writer, adding sexual innuendos wherever he can. It adds a nice bit of humor to the whole grisly affair, although of course what happens to this victim is not particularly funny.
There is a sequence about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way in where Chandler describes the different kinds of blondes in the world. I started the scene getting my feminist hackles up and ended it in complete amazement of his craft. That's why you read Chandler. ...more
Oh y'all, Mindy Kaling. Now, I didn't read her first book, and that may make some of what I say seem obvious, but I'm in lovhttp://tinyurl.com/gmm7uyb
Oh y'all, Mindy Kaling. Now, I didn't read her first book, and that may make some of what I say seem obvious, but I'm in love with this book. Here is why:
1. She never apologizes for what she is or does. I enjoyed the memoirs by Poehler and Day to varying degrees but they constantly apologized for themselves. For not being there for their families, for their insecurities, for not understanding the zeitgeist well enough. Kaling couldn't be bothered. Her attitude is: here I am! like it? great! hate it? not listening.
2. She accurately uses the term "entitlement". You'll see.
3. She CORRECTLY describes why it's hard for her to lose weight. In other words, she explains that there are those of us who love to eat. Eating is a big thing for us. Passing delicious food by is completely wrong on all counts. Trying to lose weight is torture. So, if you eat right and exercise (I'm not completely convinced she has a handle on this) who the fart cares what you weigh or how you look? Give the folks who body shame you by looking you up and down the same evil eye back. It's all relative, baby. (Also, she talks about how hard this all is to do in this culture, but... onwards and forwards.)
4. She is so freakin' funny. Again, I've laughed out loud in other memoirs, but she's funnier than most. And that mini-TV-pilot about the schoolteacher in Manhattan. MORE, please.
My new outlook on life is to be more like Mindy Kaling. Onwards and forwards! ...more
At first, I was oddly offended by the concept of this book. The stilted manner in which it was written (for a reason, naturahttp://tinyurl.com/na4ckvl
At first, I was oddly offended by the concept of this book. The stilted manner in which it was written (for a reason, naturally), combined with what seemed to be a manner of making fun of our protagonist, was pushing all the wrong buttons in me.
But, about halfway through it grew on me. Probably because the plot takes an amusing turn, and at the same time, our protagonist begins his actual "hero's journey", that of envisioning a potentially better way of surviving in a world that seems mostly strange to him. There are ups and downs in this process, as there should be, and he tries things that simply will not work for a person with his behavioral disorder. I was sufficiently pleased with the ending to believe that the writer is not blowing smoke at us but does understand the difficulties faced by folks on the far side of the autism spectrum.
I think what I enjoyed the most about the book (and these come towards the end) are the following: - Empathy is not the same thing as love. Love is illogical, it defies reason, it doesn't "mean" something in particular. You don't have to cry in movies to feel love. This isn't something the world needs to understand per se, but it is very helpful to understand as an individual. - From the point of view of people with autistic tendencies, the rest of the world looks really weird and people act super weird. In other words, "normal" people think autists act strange, and tit for tat. The world would run a lot smoother if more people recognized that. If nothing else, we'd have... wait for it... more empathy....more
I Felicia Day. Not that I didn't before I read this book, but now more than ever.
I found it so funny to learn what an overachiever she is. I'm not sure why I'm ever surprised to hear that about a celebrity at this point. But her overachievement is WAY out there. It's like ultra-overachieving. She should have majored in overachieving and got a 4.0 in it!! (Remember: , and humor is hard, but I'm trying.)
It was less funny to read about her struggles with anxiety, and all the conundrums that come from becoming successful. I think it's safe to say that her struggles are relevant to anyone, not just folks working in Hollywood. Even overachievers struggle a lot - take all of you who want to do anything with your lives!!
What I really didn't get was her eventual embroilment in Gamergate. Specifically, nothing about that "movement" makes sense to me. I looked it up on wikipedia, gawker, everywhere, and all explanations fail to get me from "Zoe Quinn" to "concern with ethics in video game journalism". I'm glad she took action, and she should definitely continue to create adorable pictures of her pets that will melt the of any mean-spirited person. RIGHT? Definitely.
[P.S. Day embodies everything I love about the Internet, especially how we can write in all caps for KICKS and add weird emojis and use multiple exclamation points!!!]...more
You just couldn't pick a better beach read. Sun, sand, waves, and lots of hot sex. The last bit in the book, of course, nothttp://tinyurl.com/oeend72
You just couldn't pick a better beach read. Sun, sand, waves, and lots of hot sex. The last bit in the book, of course, not literally on the beach.
Which is why I enjoy reading Amos' romances. She adds as much humor (and gravitas, see below) into her romances as sex scenes. Case in point, you will learn what "literally" actually means by the end of the book. Every book should have one lesson, no?
I don't read romances on a regular basis, so I enjoy her world-building as much, if not more, than the lover's quarrels, make-ups, quarrels, make-ups, etcetera etcetera. I admit I missed the interior design aspect of the first book in the series, but this second book provided its own share of fun facts, mostly in the form of motorcycles.
I felt it did skimp a tiny bit on the Knots and Bolts get-togethers (but I can see why) and that it had a surprisingly dire denouement, but that won't keep me from reading the last book in the series. Firefighters? Accountants? Non-profit tutoring centers? Perhaps a slightly mousier protagonist? Count me in. I want to see where she can take all that....more
I like a good zombie story. I especially like one that plays a teeny bit with the rules, which this one does. I guess I don'http://tinyurl.com/o9wmjk3
I like a good zombie story. I especially like one that plays a teeny bit with the rules, which this one does. I guess I don't much like one that has a not-so-hidden agenda that I find boring and obvious.
Whitehead lives in NYC. He loves his town. He describes his town, in both its fantasy and its reality, to all and sundry in this book. He is the master of asides, meaning that there is a plot but it is obscured by description. This is my least favorite thing in books, which is probably why I've never been a fan of Joyce or Faulkner or Melville or novelists of that ilk. Perhaps this is my pragmatic nature coming through, but give me plot over poetry any day. Give me Hemingway and be done with it.
So, I love that he separates the zombies into two different types, that he calls them by names that haven't yet been used, that he channels the world as it would exist after this catastrophe (the hopes, the personalities, the obvious violence). This is all fun and engaging. I just wish he hadn't tacked an overwrought love letter on top of it....more
Unfortunately, another Sanderson that I feel like I slogged through to some degree. Why did it feel sloggy? It wasn't that thttp://tinyurl.com/jubbevv
Unfortunately, another Sanderson that I feel like I slogged through to some degree. Why did it feel sloggy? It wasn't that there wasn't a lot of action, and there was nothing wrong with it taking me back into the world of Mistborn. I think that it boils down to these four things:
- I don't care about Wax! He's pompous and overblown and no one much likes him in the books either. Why should I, again? - The theme of the book felt way too much like the ending to Battlestar Galactica (the remake). That is, the "here we go again" ending that everyone hated. Our protagonists are talking to the gods, and the vibe from them is "rats, I thought we'd fixed all this, but I guess we hadn't". No, no, no! I loved the trilogy precisely because it showed that even if you despair, there is still some hope things will get much better. And I loved thinking that the class system was fixed (too much to hope for, I see). - It was a teeny weeny bit too religious for me. I love Sanderson's work because it talks about faith in such interesting ways. But, in this book, he seemed to be proving an agenda, and it was an agenda I didn't want forced down my throat. - Also, quit it with The Village. The stereotyping is abysmal....more
Oh, terrible, truly terrible. It's like he forgot how to write (dude, way to telegraph at least two major parts of your endihttp://tinyurl.com/pj4cse3
Oh, terrible, truly terrible. It's like he forgot how to write (dude, way to telegraph at least two major parts of your ending, ugh) and just remembered that he was supposed to speak geek to his particular audience. I don't have much else to say - I mean, if you enjoy figuring out what geek he's referencing, you'll have fun, but otherwise, just stay far, far away....more
For some reason, I didn't really care much about this final installment in the Reckoners trilogy. For some reason, where thehttp://tinyurl.com/h5p3qnx
For some reason, I didn't really care much about this final installment in the Reckoners trilogy. For some reason, where the characters were going and why they were going in particular directions wasn't enough to keep my interest. For some reason, the conclusion seemed foregone, like too much had been revealed already in the previous two books, so we aren't left to wonder about anything.
Maybe there weren't as many silly metaphors in this one. Or maybe the romance wasn't intriguing any longer. Or maybe the Professor's story arc was boring, because why should we care about him, again? The conclusion was both teenage cute and moralistic, as expected. But, I'd rather get the next installment of Stormlight Archive instead. He's doing far more interesting things in that series....more
Oh, dear, the last in the series. What will I do until she writes her next one? Mourn the complete dearth of poetically-inclhttp://tinyurl.com/qc9vo3g
Oh, dear, the last in the series. What will I do until she writes her next one? Mourn the complete dearth of poetically-inclined mystery writers? So be it.
This one is really different. At first, I was not enchanted. (Hey, you must give me your tried and true formula. Silly reader thoughts!) But it very, very much grew on me. I wanted to hug it to me constantly because of its subject matter as well - teenage girls, albeit a heck of a lot smarter and less sensitive than I ever was or will be - but still, teenage girls. Dealing with everything they do, chief among them, boys. I think what I like the most about this novel is that it tries very hard not to disparage teenage boys (or even adult boys) fully. As usual, she provides a wide range of thoughts, emotions, ideas, issues of the day and time. Consequently - not a feminist diatribe. And more power to it because of that.
There are some really odd bits that had me raising my eyebrows. Almost as if I can see her gears working... "Huh, now that I'm established, I'm going to take some liberties and see if anyone notices." Heck yea we noticed! What to feel about this? You'll know what I mean when you get there.
I do wonder if she's about to take off in a new direction. She ends with a little description of careers other than police detective work, and the ending of this novel has more completion to it (at least in my mind) than the previous 4 novels. So, it's possible? If so, I know who her new protagonist will be for book 6....more
You all know I love French, so I won't bore you with more little love poems to this author, and keep this short and sweet.
Yes, it was typically wonderful in its in-depth character analysis, revealing the important aspects of the protagonist's personality and/or past at the most advantageous moments. However, I found it more procedural than her other ones, and consequently at least half the book is tied up in following police processes and rules, and that couldn't hold my attention. The basic mysteries - who is the actual killer? what the hell is with all the holes in the house? - kept me going forward to find out how French would tie them up.
As usual, she did not tie them up in a nice, neat bow, and the ending leaves you with the same feeling as the previous three - that sad sweet nostalgic feeling that our past is full of mistakes and that moving forward may be painful but there are good reasons to do so. ...more
I'm only on book 3 of the series, but this one had the strongest flavor to it. Initially, I thought maybe this one would behttp://tinyurl.com/om954a7
I'm only on book 3 of the series, but this one had the strongest flavor to it. Initially, I thought maybe this one would be more "standardized". In the sense of it being more like a regular murder mystery. A gritty setting and a time-honored plot device and a fun dialect. But wait! There's more!
This book is all about love. Now, you could say it's all about family. And sure, I would get that. But what she does so well is thematic descriptions. She describes first love in a way that makes you want to back pedal 30 years and live it all over again for reals. And of course, because there's a murder involved, it's heartbreaking at the same time as it's beautiful.
Fortunately, I had read some reviews in advance of reading this book so I knew it was going to leave a huge hole in my heart if I didn't take care. So, take care! Harden your heart a tiny bit so you can read this one without dissolving onto the floor.
Since I'm now walking around saying "Jaysus, Mary and Joseph, I'm after buying that at the shops" (oh, the Brits and their mangled English), I think I should stop with the series for a bit, and give myself a breather. It's only going to break my heart more if I fly through all these and there's nothing left to read for a whole year... ...more