I read this book whilst I was in England in 1997. (I bought a handful of "classics" since I hadn't read many at the time. It was this, Great ExpectatiI read this book whilst I was in England in 1997. (I bought a handful of "classics" since I hadn't read many at the time. It was this, Great Expectations, and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I surprised myself by liking all of them, this one best of all.) I don't remember a thing about it (except maybe a thing about sending notes -- it was the first time I realized that back in the day, you could send a letter and if your recipient was in the same city, they would receive it the very same day) but I do remember that it was beautiful. And stream-of-consciousnessy. There may have been a passage about a park, and/or a tree.
I want to read it again.
(Also there's a chance I'm confusing this with To The Lighthouse.)...more
It's honest and it's funny (I laughed) and it's true (oh how I cried) and it's smart and kind. Women should read iGUYS GUYS YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK!
It's honest and it's funny (I laughed) and it's true (oh how I cried) and it's smart and kind. Women should read it because it's partly about being a woman and men should read it because it's partly about being a woman. It's positive and encouraging and interesting and funny (I don't want you to think it isn't funny at all; it is. Girl cracks my shit right up).
I listened to this as an audiobook; it is of course narrated by the author, with cameos from Seth uhhhh that dude from Weekend Update not Green . . . not Rogan . . . shit, that guy with the late night show that is boring . . . Meyers! Seth Meyers. He has a chapter that is kind of boring but says a wonderful thing about Ms. Poehler. Michael Schur chimes in on the Parks & Rec chapter, that is hella key and I'm glad he was there. Mr. & Mrs. Poehler give some advice on being parents/married, and there are cameos from Patrick Stewart, Carol Burnett, and Kathleen Turner.
Anyway, yeah, listen to this, you guys! It is great. It's the first book I concluded in 2015 and I'm hoping that it bodes well for the rest of my reading year....more
Still good, though maybe not quite as funny as the first one. Also where the hell did Trillian go?? I guess I'll have to go back and listen to the endStill good, though maybe not quite as funny as the first one. Also where the hell did Trillian go?? I guess I'll have to go back and listen to the end of the first one to find out.
There's another bonus thing with this one, it's an interview with Douglas Adams. It's extremely boring and long-winded and I wouldn't bother listening to it if I were you....more
This is the original radio show, the OG on which the book and subsequent everything were based. It's been re-mastered or whatever. (It does sound greaThis is the original radio show, the OG on which the book and subsequent everything were based. It's been re-mastered or whatever. (It does sound great, you'd never know it's however many years old.) I'm not even sure it should really be on GoodReads, to be honest, as it's not actually a book. But I won't tell if you don't.
I think I was in middle school when I read the first four books of the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy (Mostly Harmless came out a little later, and I just found out five minutes ago, whilst searching for this record, that there was apparently a sixth book as well). (Further research indicates that the sixth book was written by someone else altogether, therefore it obviously does not count.) I liked it then, it was funny and smart and clever and British (I love those things!) but man, that was a long time ago, you know? Things do not always hold up so well from middle school to now, so I was a bit concerned about how well I'd like this.
I need not have worried. This is still really great. HHGttG was never laugh-out-loud funny for me -- well that's not entirely true, it's "Ha" out loud, like sometimes someone will say something silly (usually it is The Book) and I'll say "ha!" so that happens. But with a lot of British stuff (John Allison's Bad Machinery and his other comics come to mind) it's not, like, guffawing hilarity, it just produces a bubbling sense of amusement in me, and I think it's lovely.
Because this is the original format -- that is, not an adaptation of a book -- it flows really well and I don't feel as though I'm missing anything (which I would otherwise feel with "dramatized productions," which is why I avoid them). The voices are all great (although I can barely tell the difference between Arthur and Ford, they all just sound like English blokes to me) (I know that me saying "blokes" sounds affected, but I can't really say "dudes" in this context, it just doesn't seem right) and the sound effects are adorable (and sometimes funny). I like the theme music and I like the credits at the end of every episode. It was a VERY enjoyable experience and I've already bought all the other "phases" (aka seasons, aka serieses probably if you're British) from Audible.
Highly recommended, especially if you haven't read the books in fifteen or twenty years and want to be reminded of how much you liked them the first time 'round. RIP Douglas Adams, who is on my Mount Rushmore of Dudes/Blokes Who Went Too Soon along with Jim Henson, Phil Hartman, and Iain Banks.
(Oh and P.S. At the end there's a thing about making the show, with interviews and whatnot, and that was interesting too.)...more
I am not normally a fan of "noir," because to me it conjures thoughts of grumpy, hard-boiled detectives; hookers with hearts of gold; rain; doin' it wI am not normally a fan of "noir," because to me it conjures thoughts of grumpy, hard-boiled detectives; hookers with hearts of gold; rain; doin' it with beautiful ladies who are up to no good. The Clear Case is definitely noir, but it turns the genre on its head: the detective, Gance, is a little mopey, but also has a cute cat, and is kind; there is nary a hooker in sight; San Francisco is foggy, I will give it that, but it sets the mood well, and the author is obviously in love with the city; and -- well all right, there is a femme fatale.
Mostly it's the protagonist Gance that makes this a different sort of story. He's interesting and kind and has a sense of humor. He's not a misogynist, but neither is he so "PC" that it takes you out of the story. He also seems pretty handsome, which I can get behind. I also liked his secretary, they were both extremely likable. I didn't like his client, but I'm not sure I was supposed to, so that's okay too.
So it's a very nice mystery (that I didn't solve ahead of time, but I'm not good at that anyway). And I really liked the way the author wrote about San Francisco. I'm not sure how to describe it, but it felt very real (and very wet). Recommended. (It is like the opposite of Altered Carbon, which was also contemporary noir, and which I hated.) (And I solved THAT mystery right off the bat, so maybe I am good at that.)
Man, I almost want to give this four stars because I enjoyed it so much! But it's still just fluff, I don't know if I can give fluff four stars. We'llMan, I almost want to give this four stars because I enjoyed it so much! But it's still just fluff, I don't know if I can give fluff four stars. We'll see. It's a solid 3.5 though. (And I should say, in addition to fluff, there was definite actual WAR in this one. Like, people and dragons dying in horrible terrible ways that reminds one that war is a real thing, even if dragons are not, and it's fucking terrible.)
So Laurence was in a funk for much of this book because he's a traitor and whatnot and that's depressing, especially for a man as honorable as he. But about half of the book was told from Temeraire's "perpsective" (that is, still told in third person but from his viewpoint, you knew what he was thinking etc, I'm sure there's a term for that) and that was pretty fun. I like that dragon.
And there's so much ACTION in this book! I thought I didn't care much for reading about battles and such, but it was a blast! I don't know why these books aren't movies. I asked that question aloud the other day and Chris was skeptical and I said "but dragons! People love dragons!" and he said "but it sounds cheesy" and I said "but people love cheesy!" And they do! Man, and so many dragon-on-dragon battles in this one! These would all make awesome movies.
Anyway, yeah, dragons! If you are looking for a fun series that will take your mind off of whatever it is in your life that is stressful right now, you should read it. Washu recommends. Ah screw it, I'll give it four stars!...more
So I ended up liking this book more than I thought I would, because it was mostly about Zeb and Adam, and those are two interesting and likable characSo I ended up liking this book more than I thought I would, because it was mostly about Zeb and Adam, and those are two interesting and likable characters. Actually all the characters who are supposed to be likable are likable in these books. That makes them very easy to read.
All in all, this was a very enjoyable post- (and during- ) apocalyptic story that I definitely recommend to people who like that sort of thing. It's not going to change your life, but it's certainly worth your time....more
Anne Brontë was the daughter of a clergyman who worked as a governess for a time. This book is about the daughter of a clergyman who workYyyyyyeah no.
Anne Brontë was the daughter of a clergyman who worked as a governess for a time. This book is about the daughter of a clergyman who works as a governess for a time. If I hadn't known the author's background, I might have been okay with the protagonist being oh-so good and perfect and kind and moral. I might have thought that I was supposed to be critical of how perfect she is. But since I do, I think that Anne Brontë thinks an awful lot of herself.
Everyone she encounters (except, of course, for her family and the requisite love interest -- who is a clergyman, natch) is cruel and insipid and thoughtless and haughty et cetera et cetera. She is so much BETTER than all of them, don't you see? Only Agnes and her boring Mr. Whatever (I finished it less than three hours ago and have already forgotten -- Mr. Winston? Mr. Watkins?) are kind and thoughtful and Good.
I mean, the other Brontë books I have read (Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre), I didn't like either. And those pretty much enraged me because the people in them were so, so, so so horrible. I guess I'm glad that the people in this book weren't so so so so horrible (except for the kids in the first bit, who delight in finding nests full of baby birds so that they can torture them to death in interesting ways, but they weren't around for too long, thank goodness) as all that. They're mostly thoughtless and arrogant, as opposed to being actively unpleasant and, like, rape-y. But that only means that they're also super boring.
This book was boring. Don't bother. Oh, but it was short! That was good....more
Hey, I really liked this book! Even more than the first one! I think that's because Jimmy was the protagonist of the first book, and he was an idiot.Hey, I really liked this book! Even more than the first one! I think that's because Jimmy was the protagonist of the first book, and he was an idiot. And obnoxious. This book had two female protagonists. Toby is NOT an idiot, she is practical and capable. I LOVE reading about practical and capable women. And Ren is naive, but not so much so that you want to shake her.
I immediately borrowed the next one from the library, though I fear I won't like it as much as the first two. Everything's going to come together and make sense, and that's not as fun as figuring stuff out.
So, without giving too much away, the first book talks about the events leading up to an "apocalypse" of sorts, from the perspective of a rich person. This one ends up covering basically the same time period, but from the perspectives of two women who were not rich. (Maybe that's another reason why I liked them more.) And you learn a lot more about the God's Gardeners. And, sure, they're a little bit wacky, but not really all that wacky when you get down to it. They're a practical religion. I could see myself being a Gardener.
Another reason why the post-apocalypticness of the series appeals to me is that (view spoiler)[it seems at first like maybe almost EVERYBODY really is dead. I think that's more interesting than, like, a burgeoning society rising from the ashes. But then by the time we get to the end of this one, it's clear that there really are a fair number of people out there. So let's hope it holds my interest. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Disclaimer the first: I won this ARC in a Good Reads First Reads giveaway.
Disclaimer the second: when I entered the GoodReads First Reads giveaway, IDisclaimer the first: I won this ARC in a Good Reads First Reads giveaway.
Disclaimer the second: when I entered the GoodReads First Reads giveaway, I thought it was a memoir about Ken Burns, the documentarian. Whoops!
So, I don't think that I've ever actually seen an Ed Burns movie. I remember my parents liking The Brothers McMullen when it came out, but I think I was too young at the time to have an interest in it.
That being said, this book wasn't half bad. Burns comes across as very sincere, and very passionate about writing and making movies. I truly believe that he's in the business not to get rich, but just because . . . well, because he likes making movies. The process of writing and shooting movies. Then again, the man is a professional writer and actor, so maybe he's foolin'.
The book is definitely only a movie-making memoir . . . he only mentions personal milestones (like getting married or whatever) if they're context for a career-related decision he's making. I think that if you want to make movies, this book might be helpful? But what do I know, I'm an engineer.
I tell you what though, this dude sure is Irish. And he likes his dad a lot. Those were two takeaways.
So yes, if you think that this book might be interesting to you, it probably will be! If you are like "wait who is Ed Burns again?" then I don't know if this book will make you care too much. Although I am sort of curious to see The Brothers McMullen now. Sort of. Also he had a new series coming out on TNT next year about Irish cops and also Irish mobsters, and I'm sort of intrigued? I mean not intrigued enough to watch it (I'm over white dudes' stories for the most part at this point in my life I think) but intrigued enough to see how it's received. But yeah, a nice, honest book, by a guy who seems sincere and likable. Also a pretty quick read....more
This was once again a very nice little book. This one takes place in Africa for much of the time, which is funWhaaaaat now that is a cliffhanger! Man.
This was once again a very nice little book. This one takes place in Africa for much of the time, which is fun. And it has a lady admiral! I know I've bemoaned in the past the lack of female characters in this series. But I have to admit that Novik is pretty good at having our hero be a product of his times, without being a huge dick. He seems more bewildered by women being able to, like, DO and THINK things, than really objecting to it. Which works for me because you're not whitewashing the past too much, nor are you giving us an unrealistic character for the times. (It's like what my brother said the other day about how people in period movies still sort of have the hair and makeup of whatever year in which the movie was actually made. And how that's not very noticeable at the time, but twenty years later you're like, "dude.")
And I like how lady airmen are like "I can't get married because then I'd have to obey you, and I can't be down with that." Like, not trying to change the institution of marriage really, just saying "my life won't fit in with that" and then not doing it. (view spoiler)[Although Harcourt DOES get married, and to a pro-slavery dude, even, so we'll see how that goes. (hide spoiler)]
It ends on a hell of a cliffhanger, but I don't want to rush through these so I might read another audiobook or two before getting back to it.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This is a hard book to review! I feel exactly the way my friend Kevin does. The first most of the book was quiet and plotless and nonlinear, and I couThis is a hard book to review! I feel exactly the way my friend Kevin does. The first most of the book was quiet and plotless and nonlinear, and I couldn't wait to find out more about the game this dude was writing, the "accident" that happened when he was seventeen, etc etc. There wasn't much of a plot but that's okay because I don't need plot, really. Since present day and a few years ago and twenty years ago are intertwined (with no indication of where in time we are at any given paragraph; that's okay too though, I don't mind that sort of thing, though many people do) it's the kind of book where you almost can't wait to get to the end, so that you can go back and start at the beginning again, and see how everything fits together.
Except that the ending is a dud, and there are at least three threads that go nowhere. (view spoiler)[What was the significance of Chris? Whatever happened to Lance? How come nothing ever came of the dudes in the liquor store parking lot? (hide spoiler)] Maybe the lesson is "life isn't a movie, sometimes things are unresolved!" But this is a book, dude.
So it was like a solid four whilst I was reading it, and dropped to a two at the very end. I don't even know if I'd recommend it to anyone. Pretty disappointing.
(Oh, but P.S. the cover design is simple yet fascinating. I spent a lot of time looking at it and tilting it in the light to make the title stand out. Killer design.)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I can't believe I picked the ONLY Butler that isn't science fiction. I chose it because it was a standalone, not a series, but still, that was stupid.I can't believe I picked the ONLY Butler that isn't science fiction. I chose it because it was a standalone, not a series, but still, that was stupid. I need to get over my "oh no I can't know ANYTHING about the plot!!" thing when choosing a book for Book Club. Oh well. Sorry, Book Clubbers!
I read this book my senior year of high school, in Carol's English Seminar class. The topic for that quarter was "Science Fiction."
I don't remember aI read this book my senior year of high school, in Carol's English Seminar class. The topic for that quarter was "Science Fiction."
I don't remember a lot about it. I do remember that alien saucers come to earth and hover over major cities, a la Independence Day. I also remember that I borrowed the book from the library, but then for some reason Rick Lusk borrowed it from me, but didn't return it. And when I tried to talk to him about it it was super-awkward and he wouldn't look at me when he talked to me, because we had dated three years prior? High school kids are so awkward and uncomfortable all the time, man. Boy am I glad all that shit is over.
Anyway, that's it. This is boviously less a review than a trip down memory lane, but when Ryan added this book it reminded me, so here I am....more
Hmm. This was odd, for sure. I took way too long to read it, though -- it was in my bathroom so I read it only sporadically, and it took me two and haHmm. This was odd, for sure. I took way too long to read it, though -- it was in my bathroom so I read it only sporadically, and it took me two and half months. I may have felt differently had I read it at a normal rate.
Anyway. It was an interesting perspective on an "alien invasion," but there were so many weird things going on that never really went anywhere. Like, what was up with the medium? And it felt like she had all these weird biological facts about the aliens, but I didn't think that they all gelled together by the end. Or again, maybe they did but I didn't make the connections myself because I was reading it too slowly, and forgetting things. (That also may have been my problem with the political stuff, as that seemed overly convoluted for no reason as well.)...more
This book was 3 or 4 stars at the beginning, when the narrator & Owen Meany were kids. Once they got older, and the present-day interludes with thThis book was 3 or 4 stars at the beginning, when the narrator & Owen Meany were kids. Once they got older, and the present-day interludes with the insufferable and boring narrator became longer and more frequent, it dropped to a 2. But it ended very well, and endings always count more than the rest of the book, so I'll give it a solid three.
The present day narrator honestly complained about kids these days and their rock videos. I am not exaggerating. He literally said "rock videos" and complained about them at least twice. Ugh! Give me a break! Oh gee, the US was so stupid and arrogant to get into a war with Viet Nam! All those kids died for nothing! OH SHUT UP. I mean yes, of course, I agree with that sentiment, but he didn't say anything new or interesting about it. If I want to get all depressed about war I'll read some Vonnegut or Heller. At least they're clever about it.
And the character of Hester ("the Molester," as he will never let us forget) was problematic for me. She's the only other real character their age, and she's slut-shamed from age nine to age forty-something. She was a joke. She could have been fascinating. Oh well.
Like I said though, the kids growing up in the 50s? I ate that shit up.
Oh, and I thought the narration was very good. I'm not entirely sure what a New Hampshire accent actually sounds like, but if it sounds like Maine-lite -- which seems reasonable -- then this guy had it down. Similarly, his Canadian accents seemed Canadian without being a joke. So, that was great....more
This was very nice! I don't really seek out mysteries, but I read this for book club and I liked it fine. Cadfael is a very likable character, and I lThis was very nice! I don't really seek out mysteries, but I read this for book club and I liked it fine. Cadfael is a very likable character, and I like how he thinks about religion. It's a fine little mystery with enough possible murderers to keep you guessing, and the answer doesn't come out of left field or feel like a cheat. There are a couple of interesting female characters. That's about it I guess! I wonder what they talked about at book club (I couldn't make it.)...more