Non-fiction and history are genre weaknesses for me, but reading "Detroit: An American Autopsy" was painless in the sense that it was an easy, quick rNon-fiction and history are genre weaknesses for me, but reading "Detroit: An American Autopsy" was painless in the sense that it was an easy, quick read and since it's a current topic, I was already familiar with the subject albeit in only a superficial sense.
What's not easy about this book is that it's true life. LeDufff investigates how Detroit, a city of opportunity and industry, devolved into one of corruption, murder, and absolute failure. As you dig deeper in to the pages of the book you can't help but feel a combative sense of hopelessness and anger as you read on about the outright shameless corruption of politicians who do nothing for the citizens of this city, for the body count that keeps going up, and for the nightly fires that terrorize residents. As LeDuff goes over these stories in his straight-forward, no ****s given style, you can feel this city breaking him and his family down.
Reporters are sleazy and Charlie LeDuff is no exception. Throughout the second arc of the book everything makes for "front page news" or "great copy" for him. While it's crass, what else can you do for a city that's crumbling other than to exploit it? But perhaps if he didn't do an expose on Detroit we wouldn't know what was truly going on in this city of death.
Is there any hope for Detroit? Yes. It's a very sorrowful subject, but if phoenixes can rise from the ashes, I'm most certain that Detroit will flourish again in the future. At least, that is my hope. ...more
I think I'm going to continue exploring some of Gaiman's more adult-oriented novels versus his children's books (e.g. Coraline). I was impressed withI think I'm going to continue exploring some of Gaiman's more adult-oriented novels versus his children's books (e.g. Coraline). I was impressed with the depth of American Gods and enjoy the fact that it's a cross-country road trip across America...an homage to On the Road, if you will, with the addition of some of the oldest gods known to mankind. I'd recommend getting your feet wet with this novel first before any of his other books. I'll probably try to get my hands on a copy of Stardust or Anansi Boys next. ...more
It's been a week since I finished this novel and I still can't stop thinking about it. First of all, if you were born and raised in the 1980s, you'llIt's been a week since I finished this novel and I still can't stop thinking about it. First of all, if you were born and raised in the 1980s, you'll recognize most, if not all, of the pop culture references (e.g., WarGames, Joust, John Hughes, etc). If you weren't a child of the 80's or aren't familiar with 80's pop culture, you can still appreciate the novel for what it is and the direction it'll take you down the virtual rabbit hole.
I’m not familiar with Ernest Cline's work; in fact, the only other thing I know he penned was the screenplay for Fanboys, which received a fairly mediocre reception when it was released in theatres which is pretty disheartening because I feel it's one of the more underrated buddy films of the last five years. Ready Player One reads like a cinematic adventure: it's fast-paced, features a few action cut scenes, some drama and romance, and some side scrolling. ;)
I don't want to go into the synopsis of the story since that will definitely lead me to spoiling everything for you, but I will tell you this: each chapter is so good I was scared to move forward with the next chapter. Why? Let's just say I liked the suspense, but really, it's because I knew that I'd be one chapter closer to finishing this fantastic novel. I seriously did not want it to end!
I'm also glad that there were no loose ends at the conclusion of Ready Player One. Lately, I feel that the authors of the last few books I've picked up ran out of time (or steam) and had to come up with a conclusion in two pages or less. Cline did an excellent job working his way up to the final showdown in a span of a couple chapters.
Cline's novel is a story that will hold well ten, definitely twenty years, down the road. I will definitely reread it in the future. ...more
This is a fast-paced novel, kind of like The Da Vinci Code minus all the constant running. A number of characters are introduced throughout the novel,This is a fast-paced novel, kind of like The Da Vinci Code minus all the constant running. A number of characters are introduced throughout the novel, many who serve as just passing characters who offer a glimpse into their lives after the Flight 753 incident, the eclipse, the vampiric virus epidemic, etc. There's really not much room for character development, but I'd like to see whether the authors will give us a more in-depth look into the psyches of our heroes, particularly Ephraim's son, Zach. Thankfully I won't have to wait long for the second book since I already own it.
3.75...though at times it felt like a 3.5 kinda read. Regardless, it was a fun read. Take it with you on your next plane ride overseas! ...more
What a smart, mind-blowing, f'ed up, heartbreaking, and fascinating read! Every kid I've known who's read Ender's Game from middle school to college rWhat a smart, mind-blowing, f'ed up, heartbreaking, and fascinating read! Every kid I've known who's read Ender's Game from middle school to college raves about how great the storyline is, and I can finally see why.
The idea of using children to fight against intergalactic space bugs in a war for humanity seems:
1. unlikely 2. ridiculous and 3. like a movie directed by Paul Verhoven
kind of threw me off in the beginning. But I was hooked after I read the first chapter knowing that the protagonist, Andrew (Ender) Wiggin, was a smart (to say the least) 6 year old who had it in him to WIN (and kill) at any cost (this includes fights both at school on Earth and during the games at Battle School where he would fight with and eventually lead his own squadron).
As you're reading through the story you get to grow up with Ender up to about his teenage years. You get to experience what it was like for Ender to be alone, to feel unloved, and as a result, compensate for that lack of affection and parental/sibling love by being the best in Battle School. However, to coincide with that desire for acceptance Ender constantly fought against the idea of serving as a pawn for the benefit of his teachers at Battle School (e.g., they want me to win but they keep changing the rules, so I'll go ahead and finish the game by ending it early). It's messed up with the teachers do to essentially break Ender down, but in the end is it any different than a parent or teacher pushing you to be the best that you can be?
I'm curious to see how Card ended the saga and will definitely check out Speaker For the Dead and Ender's Shadow in the future. ...more
Well, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell certainly falls under the category of "fratire" for there's copious amounts of alcohol being consumed in every chWell, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell certainly falls under the category of "fratire" for there's copious amounts of alcohol being consumed in every chapter, along with plenty of salacious details about the women Tucker Max has bedded since college.
The epistolery style is very straightforward and there is no real "story" or plot here other than the fact that Tucker's a real douche. Seriously, if we could capture the essence of his douchiness and put it in a can, we can call it "MAX AXE." Degrading women (and insulting men, but mostly women in general) is part of Max's nature, which means this book is DEFINITELY NOT FOR: feminists, women who have self-respect, men who view women as equals and NOT as sexual conquests, the monogomously challenged, some polygamists, children, teens who are thinking about going to college for an actual education, your church going mom...and for people who have no sense of humor. However, alcoholics, single guys who have no intention on being in a committed relationship, and guys who keep reliving the glory days of their high school/college youth would definitely consider this the Bible of their unclean existence.
The book's dirty, and I have to admit, it was REALLY difficult for me to really READ it without feeling hungover and believing the book was just one big catalogue of every STD known to mankind. However, once you accept the fact that every story will involve alcohol, sex, and douche-baggery, it's a lot easier to get through the book real quick.
Parts of the book are funny, especially the stories where Max gets screwed over in the end (KARMA!!), but I wouldn't read it again. In fact, I can't believe low budget Hollywood even made a movie about this book. Seriously?
Anyway, if you must read this book I suggest doing so while you're sitting on the toilet...it'll help pass the time. ...more
On the Road is a wonderfully inspiring, coming of age novel that's up there with Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. I'vOn the Road is a wonderfully inspiring, coming of age novel that's up there with Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. I've read a couple different reviews and "dissertations" about this novel, but let me give you my explanantion and feelings about this American classic:
From what I gathered, Kerouac wrote this novel as a semi-autobiograpical work based on his cross-country travels with his friends immediately after or soon after the end of World War II and just before the Vietnam War. Most stories written after a period of war and feature the youth of America as the protagonists are usually centered on the following themes: loss of innocence, the search for the true meaning of existence, and forging an identity. Ernest Hemingway was referenced a couple times in the first act of the novel, where coincidentally, his novel The Sun Also Rises shares the same aforementioned themes.
Perhaps this is why I enjoyed On the Road so much; I regarded this novel as a coming of age tale where two friends go on four wild cross-country tours to "get their kicks", "make girls", and "dig" the different people they meet along the way. This may all sound like superficial frills and thrills but underneath this fast-paced exterior (and past the drugs, sex, and couch surfing) lies a spiritual journey on a road that takes our two protagonists, Salvatore "Sal" Paradise (Jack Kerouac) and Dean Moriarty (Neal Cassady), from New York to California and back, and New York to Mexico. Friendships are forged and tested, women are loved, and although innocence is lost, life and the experience it offers plant the seeds of maturity and immortality, even though our heroes will never lose their grip on their child-like naivete. Kerouac's dreamlike, stream of consciousness style of prose further adds to the sense of wild abandon that our heroes face during each life-changing, mind altering trip, both figuratively and literally.
On the Road is the perfect example of how the people in your life, the roads you travel, and the decisions you make affect who you will become. Being able to reflect on your own life experiences and learn from them without a cynical point of view is, in my opinion, how you forge your own identity. Beautifully written and truly a timeless classic - a definitive read for anyone who appreciates great literature or is new to Beat literature. Also, if the version you pick up has an introduction by Ann Charters (Penguin Classic version), I suggest you read it especially if this is your first Kerouac novel as it offers some terrific insight regarding the Beat period and Kerouac's journey in getting this novel off the ground. ...more
I was surprised at how much I liked this book considering I'm a noob when it comes to the sci-fi genre. The writing style and prose were simple and eaI was surprised at how much I liked this book considering I'm a noob when it comes to the sci-fi genre. The writing style and prose were simple and easy to follow, with a few foreign words thrown in here and there, but not enough to make me stumble along while reading. What's great about Bacigalupi's writing is that I really did feel like I was in the midst of Thailand during the country's futuristic, steampunk era. Believe me, I was always craving sweet, juicy fruit and could feel the stickiness of sweat collecting pools on my skin whenever I opened this novel. The Windup Girl is a great read, filled with politics and action (especially in the third act), and overall giving the novel a very cinematic vibe. ...more
Easily breezed through the first part of the book (Things That Are True) and really, really enjoyed it mainly because I love reading about musicians,Easily breezed through the first part of the book (Things That Are True) and really, really enjoyed it mainly because I love reading about musicians, bands, and has-been actors. The second part of the book, Things That Might Be True, is comprised of articles Klosterman has written for GQ, SPIN, and the like. Also enjoyable, but more anecdotal than anything. His last piece, Something That Isn't True At All, is (I feel) Klosterman's attempt at writing fiction. It was OK, not the way I would want to end the book, but readable nonetheless. Overall, a really quick and good read. ...more
**spoiler alert** Before my Goodreads buddy Jennie handed the book off to me, her words were, "It's not what I expected, but it's good and I still lik**spoiler alert** Before my Goodreads buddy Jennie handed the book off to me, her words were, "It's not what I expected, but it's good and I still like it." That was the most concise review I came across for Room.
My friend was right; the book was not what I expected and yes, I did like it. BUT, I'm glad I borrowed it. Here's why:
You already know that the story is narrated through the eyes of a five-year-old boy named Jack, but did you know that the entire story doesn't take place in the 11' x 11' Room? (oh yeah, spoiler). Yes, Ma and Jack eventually find a way to escape from the prison that is Room and try to adjust (or in Ma's case, readjust to society after 7 years) to the Outside world. Once Outside, Ma thinks that she and Jack should be able to achieve a life of normalcy, but that's hardly the case.
They stay at Room Number Seven at the Cumberland Clinic (temporarily) so that the doctors can keep an eye on both Ma and Jack's mental well-being. Life is confusing for Jack at this point; he wants to go back to Room because that's all he ever knew, but he's also discovering that people are real and not just on TV, sausages and pancakes are delicious, and that needles hurt. Ma, on the other hand, suffers a mental breakdown of sorts and tries to commit suicide. Don't worry, there's a happy ending after all this adversity with everything coming to full circle. Both Jack and Ma experience the closure they need to get on with their lives anew in the Outside world.
Overall, Room is a super quick read, especially since it's told through the eyes a child. There's enough detail to let you know what's going on, and according to the author, it adds a much more innocent approach to the underlying horrors of the story. But because the voice of the character is so distinct it'd be difficult for me to reread the book without having to revert back to the young child that is Jack. I want to be able to grow and age with the character and with Jack, I simply cannot do that again.
The book is worth reading once. It gives us an idea that the author is talented at creative writing, so much so that I may even check out her historical fiction works down the line. Overall I'd probably give the book 3.5 stars but since Goodreads doesn't seem to do halfsies, I'll be generous and give it a 4. ...more
Honestly, this book felt and read like a student project. I couldn't quite relate with the characters and in fact, I felt emotionally distant from eacHonestly, this book felt and read like a student project. I couldn't quite relate with the characters and in fact, I felt emotionally distant from each one, including Susie. The story itself is heart-wrenching, which is what originally drew me to this novel, but I just couldn't shake that feeling of disconnect. Luckily, I sold this book to someone I'm sure will appreciate this novel more than I can. ...more
You know, I'm not really all that into inspiration, "live each day as if it were your last" type books. I know plenty of people who enjoyed this book.You know, I'm not really all that into inspiration, "live each day as if it were your last" type books. I know plenty of people who enjoyed this book. It wasn't for me, but I will say that it was a very quick read. ...more