Stop whatever you're doing and GO GET THIS BOOK!!! Hands down the most intriguing, morbid, hilarious, insightful, and absorbing nonfiction book I may...moreStop whatever you're doing and GO GET THIS BOOK!!! Hands down the most intriguing, morbid, hilarious, insightful, and absorbing nonfiction book I may have ever read!!!! This book was impossible to put down. I never thought I would have any interest in reading about human remains, but holy hell, now I know everything there is to know about them. Who knew cadavers could be soo interesting?
Mary Roach takes a seemingly dull and morbid topic and spins it into the most intriguing journey imaginable. Mary researched the many uses and functions of cadavers, and fills you in on everything you ever wanted to know about what really happens to our bodies when we die. Embalming, decomposing, cremating, organ transplants, crucifixion, cannibalism, donating your body to science, composing, melting, and soo much more.
Mary Roach has a great sense of humor and I was often laughing out loud at her witty stories. Some of my favorite parts were: the debate on whether you die when your heart stops or your brain stops, the fact that men are more likely to survive a plane crash, heads that still twitch up to 10 seconds of being guillotined, eating butt-cheeks, that's just to name a few. I really loved it all!
I'm a very squeamish person but I was able to handle this book pretty well there were a few parts I cringed (all the animal testing stories and the embalming process got to me) but overall I was too intrigued to be grossed out.
Officially the BEST book I have read this year! Simply stunning and fantastical! The world that Ernest Cline creates is unique and so damn imaginative...moreOfficially the BEST book I have read this year! Simply stunning and fantastical! The world that Ernest Cline creates is unique and so damn imaginative. Why have I waited so long to pick this up?! I literally DID NOT want it to end!
Had I read this in paper form I probably would have read the whole damn thing in one sitting, but I instead opted for the audiobook version read by the super talented and super sexy and super geeky Whil Wheeton (Stand by Me and Star Trek Next Generation star among many other talents). Overall, it took me about a week to get through 13 discs. Even though it takes longer to listen to than to read I would HIGHLY recommend the audiobook version because Whil Wheeton does a superb job of narrating. It's easily the best voice narration I've ever listened to in an audiobook.
So what exactly is this hella amazing book about you're wondering? Well let me try to tell you. It's like the fantasy classic "Snow Crash" mixed with every 80's pop culture reference, video game, nerd trivia, and Goonies like adventure. In the not to distant future everyone escapes the falling to shit planet by logging into the "oasis," a virtual reality world that lets people forget about their problems. It contains thousands of planets, quests, schools, entertainment options and literally everything you can imagine.
When the famous creator of the Oasis dies he leaves behind a golden egg hidden in the virtual reality that contains his ENTIRE fortune, billions and billions of dollars. Nearly everyone on the planet spends years trying to find the three keys and gates that will lead to the egg. In order to decipher the riddles and clues these searching souls must be well versed in 80s pop cultures, nerd lore, video game history, and other things the eccentric billionaire was interested. After years people begin to give up hope that the egg will ever be found and interest wanes. That is until a dirt poor teenager named Wade discovers the first key. "Ready Player One" is the story of his quest, the friends he meets along the way, and the discovery that living in the virtual world may not and should not be a substitute for living in reality.
GAHH!! Amazing!!! I loved the first Jasper Dent book (I Hunt Killers) so I assumed I would like the sequel. Wrong! I LOVED LOVED LOVED it! It may even...moreGAHH!! Amazing!!! I loved the first Jasper Dent book (I Hunt Killers) so I assumed I would like the sequel. Wrong! I LOVED LOVED LOVED it! It may even be better than the first one. Seriously so good.
This time around the story follows not only Jazz, but his hot black girlfriend Connie and his best friend, Howie. The three of them all have adventures of their own to deal with it, adventures that are more connected then they realize.
Jazz shoots off to New York where the NYPD have asked for his expertise on the serial murderer, the hat-dog killer (i'll admit at first I was skeptical that NYPD would ask for a teenager for help but as the story went on it did seem plausible). Jazz uses all the knowledge his dad (the worst serial murderer of all time) imparted on him to help out as much as he can. Back in his home town, Howie and his aunt look after Jazz's seriously crazy grandma and Connie starts to get weird texts asking if she wants to join the game.
This book is so fast paced and amazing that you don't even realize it's over 500 pages. You fly through it and wish there was more at the end. Seriously must read. I am eagerly eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. This is hands down one of the best books I've read this year. A real nail biter that leaves you wanting more. Barry Lyga really does his homework and the details, the graphic crime scenes, intricate plot lines, and super amazing characters makes it hard to believe that this book is for young adults. (less)
"The way is never shut if the light you seek is bright enough. If you are feeling a little dark, you can always change the bulb. Never let the limits...more"The way is never shut if the light you seek is bright enough. If you are feeling a little dark, you can always change the bulb. Never let the limits of your understanding dictate how far you can go. We can be better."
Personally, if you had told me that a high school drop out, former addict, and heavy metal rock star had written that I would have laughed at you, but I guess I like to be proven wrong. This book was nothing what I expected, but FANTASTIC none the less. I had imagined that this book would be a rock and roll biography but I was happily proven wrong when it turned out to be a collection of essays on the "7 deadly sins" and why they aren't really sins and aren't deadly. It was pure unadulterated genius.
Corey Taylor writes like a mix between Hunter S. Thompson and Chuck Klosterman, all over the place and full of pop culture references making it impossible to put down. This book reads like part biography, part philosophy, and is all around kick ass. It really challenges you to think about what sin really is and how do we identify or grow past it. Are there new more current deadly sins? You bet! Taylor identifies what he thinks are our societies biggest pitfalls at the end of the book, his choices are actually spot on.
I highly, highly recommend this read, it's full of great quotes and stories, and insights on our society today. I truly hope that Corey Taylor doesn't put the pen down and starts working on another. Bravo.
LOVED this book!! It was easily the best historical fiction I've read all year. One of the reasons I loved this book so much was the fact that it took...moreLOVED this book!! It was easily the best historical fiction I've read all year. One of the reasons I loved this book so much was the fact that it took place in St. Petersburg and I just visited there over the summer and knew pretty much all the palaces and sites they described. It was like reliving my trip!
The story follows Rasputin's daughter, Masha, as she copes with the brutal death of her father and the overthrow of the Tsar. She and her sister are exiled along with the Tsar's family and in their confinement she becomes close with the Tsar's son, frail Aloysha. To pass the time as they await their fate, Masha weaves beautiful stories for the bedridden tsaravvitch, about the history of her family, her father's past as a healer and the young love of Nikolay and Alexandra (Aloysha's parents and former rulers of Russia).
It's beautiful, sad, and exquisitely written and it will inspire you to check out more about this horribly misunderstood chapter of Russian history. Too often we villify Rasputin as a sorcerer (in Hollywood and in history) but this tale humanizes him and his family and brings to life the distressful last days of the Tsar's family (we all know what happens, but we still power through in this novel hoping that magically history will indeed change itself and save their family).
An absolute must read. You won't regret it! (less)
Tales From Outer Suburbia is easily my favorite book that I have read for class this semester. I loved everything about it, from the goofy yet impactf...moreTales From Outer Suburbia is easily my favorite book that I have read for class this semester. I loved everything about it, from the goofy yet impactful story, to the utterly fantastic drawings. Needless to say, I just placed an order from Amazon to make this book part of my collection.
This fantasy novel is a collection of short stories, poems and drawings about "outer suburbia." It is a place where giant marine animals can show up on your front lawn, missles are part of everyone's yards, stick figures roam the streets, and you can make pets out of garbage. Pretty much anything goes in this imaginative and inventive collection of short tall tales. It doesn't contain all the fantasy story motifs that Tunnel et al mentions but it is definitely chalk full of fantastic objects and magical elements. The illustrations that accompany the stories practically jump off the page and into your imagination, they really stick with you!
As an adult I loved this book, although if I was a small child though I would probably be scared of some of the drawings and stories. One of the lines that stuck out to me was, "... in the olden days... they got the bends because they didn't know about decompressification and how it turns your blood into lemonade." It's a pretty creepy thought, and it gave even me the heebie jeebies. I agree with the School Library Journal review that ranked this novel as fourth grade and up. This book is not intended for the very young.
Overall, I thought that this was a fantastic book. It was given eight major book awards including: Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 2007, New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2007, and a School Library Journal Best Book of 2007. A great addition for any collection!(less)
The Watch had me from the very first paragraph, hell, I was in near tears at the end of the first chapter. A simply phenomenal book. Impossible to put...moreThe Watch had me from the very first paragraph, hell, I was in near tears at the end of the first chapter. A simply phenomenal book. Impossible to put down, and even harder to stop thinking about. The Watch opens with a young Middle Eastern woman traveling far across the mountains to an American military base in order to collect her brother's body after a failed attack on the fort (retaliation for the bombing of her village) and bury it according to Muslim custom. Arriving at the base she is met with hostility because they believe her to be a terrorist or a "black widow" and they refuse to give her her brother's body because they think he is an important figure in the Taliban. However, after a few days the men at the base start to empathize with her plight and it throws them into a deep dark depression. What were they here fighting for really? Weren't they supposed to be helping this country? Why were they having to deny this young injured native woman her brother's body? Each chapter has a different narrator, from the young girl to the lieutenant, doctor, first lieutenant, translator, to captain. The story gains more significance as it is viewed through each character's eyes.
Overall, absolutely stunning. You feel as though you are with them in the blazing hot desert and you feel all their pain and helplessness. It's a truly gripping tale that exemplifies all the important questions about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the lasting consequences it will have on the country's citizens and on the American soldiers when they get back home. Seriously, what an amazing read. 5 out of 5 stars.(less)
Books like this make me want to get back into reading young adult novels. This was utterly fantastic. I thoroghly enjoyed learning about Charlie's str...moreBooks like this make me want to get back into reading young adult novels. This was utterly fantastic. I thoroghly enjoyed learning about Charlie's struggles though his "anonymous" letters. It was a unique format and Charlie bared his soul to a stranger in hopes that an outsider might understand and refrain from judging him.
While quite humourous at times, this novel also managed to be poignant and heartbreaking as Charlie tries to overcome his emotions and become accepted amongst his peers and within his own family. High school is tough for everyone, but for someone without friends it's even worse. How does one fill the time? Thankfully, Charlie encounters Sam and Patrick. The brother and sister duo take it upon themselves to take Charlie under their wing and help him enjoy his first year of high school. They're not the only ones however. Charlie's english teacher gives him extra readings and assignments, something which Charlie enjoys. The books Bill gives him help him better understand his life and those around him. As the year progresses he starts to become one of the group but he still goes through emotional trials. From trying drugs, to covering the fact that his best friend is gay, and being secretly in love with Sam Charlie learns how important it is to be honest with those around you, but more importantly how to be honest with oneself.
All in all this was a FANTASTIC read and I cannot wait to see the movie staring Emma Watson next month, I really hope it follows the book closely!(less)
Oh. My. Gosh. Words cannot describe how thoroughly I enjoyed the book. It was creepily poetic and the illustrations were amazing. They really helped m...moreOh. My. Gosh. Words cannot describe how thoroughly I enjoyed the book. It was creepily poetic and the illustrations were amazing. They really helped make the entire story. I started to read a chapter last night, and the next thing I know, BAM covers closed I finished the whole damn thing. It was that good!
The story follows Conor, a 13 year old boy living in England trying to deal with his mom's increasingly worse cancer symptoms and the nightmares it inspires. One night however, he realizes that he really is being visited by a monster. The monster (beautifully illustrated in the book, I might add) doesn't necessarily want to hurt Conor, but does he want to help him either?
Please, please give this book a chance. Definitely, one of the best books I've read this year!!(less)
If I could give this book more than 5 stars I totally would. Holy hell it was fabulous. So amazing in fact that I almost became enraged at my grandmot...moreIf I could give this book more than 5 stars I totally would. Holy hell it was fabulous. So amazing in fact that I almost became enraged at my grandmother for interupting my reading so I could get her some much needed groceries. I did not want to put it down, I read it in 1 day. Spoiler alert, this book will make you have emotions. You will care for these characters more than any others you've read in a long long time. And you will cry, if you don't it's possible you have no soul. I sobbed/bawled my way through the last 50 pages. My eyes were on fire (thanks mascara), my hair was soggy, and I'm pretty sure I was the epitome of beauty (not!). This book made me FEEL and I haven't had a book do that in a while. I literally cannot stop thinking about this book, it's just too good.
I will attempt to decribe this book without giving too much away or making it sound depressing. The story follows Hazel, a sixteen year old girl with terminal cancer. Her best friends are her parents and she hasrelaxed into a routine that involves not doing much of anything. Her parents desperate to get her out of the house make her go to a cancer support group for kids and it is there that she meets Augustus. Augustus is in remission but his battle made him lose a leg. He doesn't dwell on it though, he uses his charm (and good looks) to befriend Hazel. In no time at all they're inseperable, they read the same books, help their friend Isaac get through the loss of his eyesight, and try to make the best out of being sick. I think I enjoyed this book so much because it isn't about the poor sick little cancer kid that needs to be pitied, this is the other side if the story, this is what it is really like for these kids living with cancer. They don't need to be pitied, they need to be understood.
Again, this is a must read. It is without a doubt added to my list of all time favorites and I cannot wait to read his other works. Side note, for all you Hoosiers or Vonnegut lovers, there is a Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. reference in here. So it goes :)(less)
I'm glad to say that I enjoyed re-reading this book as much as I enjoyed reading it for the first time when I was in fifth grade. My goal was to have...moreI'm glad to say that I enjoyed re-reading this book as much as I enjoyed reading it for the first time when I was in fifth grade. My goal was to have this finished before I saw the Hobbit in the theaters, but alas, I ran out of time. Regardless, I thought the movie was fantastic and now that I've finished the book I am quite pleased with how much it aligned with the film.
Personally, I always enjoyed this tale more than the Lord of the Ring's series because it was more straightforward, easier to understand, and much, much shorter.
This story tells the tale of a young hobbit named Bilbo Baggins who is cajoled into going on an adventure with thirteen dwarves and a wizard as they try and reclaim the Lonely Mountain from a treacherous old dragon named Smaug. Along the way they have to battle off goblins, elves, trolls,giant spiders, and suffer through fantastically cruel landscapes just to get to the mountain. Along the way, Bilbo learns a great deal about himself and and the world around him and is drastically changed for the better.
This is a fantastic adventure story for the young and old alike, it is a timeless tale, of bravery, hardships, and friendship and is a must read for all.(less)
After re-reading this for a third time I picked up on so many new elements that I had somehow overlooked the first two times. I know the character, Ki...moreAfter re-reading this for a third time I picked up on so many new elements that I had somehow overlooked the first two times. I know the character, Kilgore Trout, shows up in most Vonnegut novels but I had totally missed the fact that Howard J. Campbell, the American Nazi war criminal from "Mother Night," makes a few brief appearances in here and so does Eliot Rosewater. I feel like an idiot for missing key pieces like that! I'm getting rusty!
Anyways, this is probably one of the best instances of Kurt Vonnegut's literary genius. It's a staple in every collection and is one of the best "anti-war" books there is. Vonnegut is a master at conveying the absurdity of war and does a brilliant job of getting his point across by introducing the unforgettable Billy Pilgrim. Billy has come unstuck in time and "Slaughterhouse Five, or the Children's Crusade" is Billy's journey back and forth through different parts of his life. Billy surviving the fire bombing in Dresden during World War II, Billy marrying his wife, Billy being abducted by aliens, and Billy practicing optometry. The prose and the back and forth of all these moments is brilliant and some of Vonnegut's most memorable quotes are found in these pages.
If you haven't read this already, what are you waiting for?(less)
Very rarely do I wish that a book would get turned into a movie, but this one is quite the exception. It's always been one of my favorite Vonnegut boo...moreVery rarely do I wish that a book would get turned into a movie, but this one is quite the exception. It's always been one of my favorite Vonnegut books and re-reading it has only made me appreciate it even more.
Good ol Kurt Vonnegut Jr. is most definitely a laughing prophet of doom and this spin on the Armageddon cements his well deserved place in the literary world. In the style of Dr. Strangelove, this tale brings many questions to the table and questions the moral responsibility of scientists and the discoveries they make, or rather unleash.
In this tour de force John (call me Jonah), is working on a memoir of the family members of Dr. Felix Hoenniker, father of the atomic bomb. Getting entwined with this family has more consequences then he can ever imagine, as the late great scientist Felix passed on one more deadly scientific weapon to his three children, Ice-9.
A must read for everyone, and an essential Vonnegut novel :)(less)