Felicia Day, Queen of the Geeks. Or, slightly awkward nerd girl you think would probably be a pretty good friend, but you might have to calm her downFelicia Day, Queen of the Geeks. Or, slightly awkward nerd girl you think would probably be a pretty good friend, but you might have to calm her down a bunch, but still probably cool. I discovered Felicia Day in a round about way. I knew that The Guild was a thing, but I’d never seen it. I didn’t play MMOs, so that obviously wasn’t for me. (Also, I’m really uncomfortable with awkward humor.) I knew she’d done guest spots on shows I was aware of, but always after I stopped watching them (Buffy, Season 7 anyone?) But then, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog happened and I now knew Felicia Day and I cared about her. Luckily, she had a backlog of stuff on the internet for me to consume. For free.
And now, a memoir, so I can find out more than I ever should have wanted to know about the origin story of Felicia Day. I don’t read that many memoirs. At the end of the day, unless you’re really unusual, I just don’t care that much about your life. I’m sorry! I’m sure you’re really nice, but “slice of life” stories kind of bore me. However, exceptions can be made for certain people (usually women) I admire. Or, if you did something really, really awesome like Julia Child being a spy during WWII. Felicia’s life story is pretty interesting in a quirky and awkward way. She didn’t have a background like mine, but I could see hers from here. I wasn’t homeschooled, mostly because my mom had to work full time and she was worried I’d become a shut in. But I thought it would be awesome. I didn’t get big on the early internet because we couldn’t afford the hourly rates and by the time AOL discs with 500 free hours started to liter the landscape, I was at boarding school with no dialup access. And I was NEVER going to be a musical prodigy. I just wasn’t that good at anything except reading. catBut, I can still identify with lots of the things Felicia talks about in her book. Feeling lost the first time she went to a dance and was WAY overdressed. Being put into ALL the lessons because her mom didn’t really know what to do with her. Retreating into fantasy worlds because real life was difficult. I had books, she had video games. And Perry Mason books. Apparently. I listened to the audio version of the book, read by Felicia, which was fun, but a little bit weird if you’ve heard her talk a bunch. Her cadence is different when she’s reading the book than when she’s recording a vlog, so that threw me just a little. It’s not bad, just different. The book is charming if you’re willing to be charmed and frank about the difficulties she’s had growing up in an unusual way and then issues she had due to the pressure of success as well as illness. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who has those “please love me” thoughts every time I meet a new person or put something I did out into the world. If someone like Felicia Day can have them, then maybe it’s ok that I do too. After all, she’s the Queen of the Geeks.
(This review originally appeared at medusaslibrary.com)...more
To give you an idea of how bad my book situation is, I’ve had an ARC of this on the shelf since 2010 and never gotten around to reading it. So, I grabTo give you an idea of how bad my book situation is, I’ve had an ARC of this on the shelf since 2010 and never gotten around to reading it. So, I grabbed it off the shelf today and sat down with it for a bit. Paige Turner (her parents are authors who think they’re clever) has recently moved from Virginia to New York. She had to leave behind her friends, her school, and her easy access to nature in favor of a brownstone in Brooklyn and a school full of strangers. In order to help find herself, she buys a sketchbook and tries to commit to her art. She’s a little geeky, very shy, and has “Little Mermaid hair” she can hide behind. As these things go, she finds friends, a little romance, and starts to develop her sense of self. Paige has the same sort of worries that most kids have experienced at some point. She’s afraid of being too much in her own head, of being a bad friend, fighting with her mom, doubting her talent and her focus. The story is the sort of thing I probably would have loved a while ago, but I think I’m coming to it when I’m a little too old and cynical and also too close on the heels of I Am Princess X. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. It felt… light. Not trivial, not empty. The story is about a teenage girl figuring herself out. That’s valuable. It just wasn’t compelling for me. The illustrations are all black and white and alternate between glimpses of the sort of surreal life inside Paige’s brain/sketchbook, and the crisper work indicating external reality. Gulledge’s art is definitely worth picking the book up.
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I picked this book up when I was on vacation in Reykjavik. I don't read too much poetry anymore, but I do love epics and mythology, so this was a goodI picked this book up when I was on vacation in Reykjavik. I don't read too much poetry anymore, but I do love epics and mythology, so this was a good fit for me. There was one section that struck me especially: The sun in the depths lit a glitter in the ripples
illumining my eyes in the water
and the chain round my neck
father's love in each link
The edition I have has the original Icelandic along with the English translation, which is very cool to me despite the fact I can't read the original.
This volume also has tremendous amounts of white space, each page has just a few lines and the emptiness works very well with the narrative the book is telling. ...more
**spoiler alert** I actually picked this book out from the library at school yesterday. I had a little time to wait while a class finished up a lesson**spoiler alert** I actually picked this book out from the library at school yesterday. I had a little time to wait while a class finished up a lesson, so I started to flip through this charming graphic novel. Upon first opening the book, it's easy to see why Phelan won the 2012 Eisner Award for Best Reality Based Work. The illustrations are lovely. They feel delicate while conveying everything that they need to. The book itself is divided into three narratives, each based on one person who made an unusual circumnavigation of the globe. stevensThe first story is that of Thomas Stevens, who was a miner left the mines to ride a bicycle around the world in 1884. He rode a big-wheel bicycle, which were notoriously unstable, but managed his trek across the globe in just under three years. He wrote a book, Around the World On a Bicycle, detailing his trip. Phelan frames the story as that of a man who wants more out of life than to live and die down a mineshaft. The story is at times funny and always very sweet and kind to its subject.bly The second section covers the exciting race against time undertaken by the famous female reporter, Nellie Bly. Nellie set out to race against the famous story by Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days. She determined to do it in less time. And she did, setting the record at just over seventy-two days with nothing but one carpet bag as luggage. Nellie's journey was a sensation and catapulted her paper into massive circulation. Bly herself received little more than a pat on the back when she returned, but wrote a bestselling book about her adventure. slocum The last person in the book is Joshua Slocum who circumnavigated the globe on a small sailboat named the Spray. He was the first person to single-handedly sail around the globe. Slocum was over fifty when he set out on his adventure, but was a very experienced sea captain. He chose to use dead reckoning for his journey and carried very few navigational tools beyond a cheap tin clock. Phelan speculates a bit about his motivations, but links much of Slocum's desire to be alone to the death of his first wife, Virginia. Her ghost is present in several of the panels. Although, there is also an incident where Slocum is poisoned by some cheese and hallucinates the ghost of Christopher Columbus steering his ship safely through a storm. Slocum took the Spray out on a final trip in 1909 and was never seen again.
The book is a lovely chronicle of three unusual people who did extraordinary things. As I said before, the art is beautiful and it's a very quick read overall. If you've got a little time, I highly recommend picking it up.
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Daniel Carter was a cop in New York who stumbled across a deeply strange case that resulted in his partner and the perpetrator dead and his dreams beiDaniel Carter was a cop in New York who stumbled across a deeply strange case that resulted in his partner and the perpetrator dead and his dreams being haunted by the strangeness of it all. Emily Lovecraft is the last direct descendant of H.P. Lovecraft and works in her uncle’s bookstore in Providence, RI. There’s no reason these two people should ever meet until a suspiciously high priced lawyer tells Carter that he has inherited said bookstore. That’s fine and dandy. He doesn’t really need a bookstore, but it’s a nice piece of backup income to supplement his PI business. But then, he gets a call from a man who is afraid for his life. When Carter arrives in the parking lot to meet his new client he finds the police already there and the client dead in his car under impossible circumstances. The more he looks into it the tighter he and Lovecraft are drawn into a strange web that seems to have come straight out of HPL’s books.
(This review originally appeared at medusaslibrary.com) I listened to this one on audio and I’ve got to say, pick up the hardcopy instead. It’s not that the narrator is bad, but I really didn’t care for the way he voiced Lovecraft. It was just weirdly drawling. It just didn’t work for me. Overall, I enjoyed the book, but I’m hoping it’s the start of a series rather than a standalone. I feel like the ending is a great setup for a second book, but a little unsatisfying if it’s just the end. It was a little odd to read this so close to Maplecroft. I kept thinking about the way the scary things worked there and mixing them up with the events in this book. Also, Howard confirmed my suspicions about a certain type of grad student… ...more
The female serial killer is not something seen much in popular media. Josie Schuller isn't a serial killer though, she's something a little more familThe female serial killer is not something seen much in popular media. Josie Schuller isn't a serial killer though, she's something a little more familiar, she's an assassin. She's also a wife with two young children. It is, as we all learned in "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," very difficult to balance a family life with a busy schedule as an assassin. But she's doing ok. At least, until her boss starts to question her loyalties. This is the sort of story I love, and I know how weird that makes me sound, but I really do. Women in unusual roles. Women who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty. Also, I'm a fan of anything with 1950's dresses. This is sort of the hitman version of Aberford, the 1950's zombie fighting game I was really excited about a few months ago. Sadly, that didn't make its funding goal, but I've got this awesome series I can appreciate. Lady Killer manages to dodge some of the "Dexter Problems" that made me uncomfortable with that show. Josie's husband isn't willfully blind, she's just that good. She isn't, as far as this story tells us, the victim of some childhood trauma that altered her morality. She just seems to be very good at killing and not too fussed about it. She's more Martin Blank from "Grosse Point Blank" than she is Dexter. She's good at what she does and if she gets sent after you, there's probably a reason. The art is beautiful! Josie is sexy and well put together without being over-sexed. She doesn't feel exploited. She is attractive with a great body, but her proportions aren't unbelievable. I also love that she'd drawn with a very strong musculature. For the sorts of things she's doing, she would have to be physically strong. I don't recommend this book if you've got a problem with violence. The deaths are pretty much on screen. The colors are muted, but there's still blood and violence. The cover is Josie standing in a kitchen awash with blood, so that pretty much should warn off anyone who might be upset by the content. (This review also appears on my site, Medusa's Library)...more
Well, I finally finished Modern Romance. This took a while because I was listening to it on audio and I got distracted listening to podcasts (mostly aWell, I finally finished Modern Romance. This took a while because I was listening to it on audio and I got distracted listening to podcasts (mostly author interviews with Cherie Priest, Ursula Vernon, or Seanan McGuire) and so my audio time was taken up with that. On the whole, the book was interesting, but I would definitely recommend getting the print edition rather than the audio. For one thing, the print edition has (apparently) charts and graphs that you can’t see with the audio edition. For another, Ansari, who voices the audiobook, frequently abuses the listener for being too lazy to read the book themselves. It’s kind of funny the first time, but not really. There are plenty of reasons someone might need to or simply prefer to listen to an audiobook and there’s no need to mock that even if you are a comedian. The information in the book is presented fairly well, but I don’t know that much of it is revelatory. People are waiting longer to get married, taking longer to settle down in general, and the online dating networks have given us more choices, but also made it harder to make a decision. Ok. Cool. I’m not sure that my life has been changed by this book, but it was interesting. If I were more of a sociologist or a cultural anthropologist it probably would have been very illuminating, but I like archaeology and books, so it wasn’t right in my wheelhouse.
(This review originally appeared at medusaslibrary.com)...more