Totally, totally different from what I expected. I've only read a handful of zombie books but this was such a different approach. I almost gave it thr...moreTotally, totally different from what I expected. I've only read a handful of zombie books but this was such a different approach. I almost gave it three stars because I started to lose interest, especially towards the end. Really I was never really interested, more intrigued. I was intrigued with Brooks' ability to step outside the box of what is traditional and jump head first into what is real, which is why I gave it four stars. From beginning to end the war was covered. Anytime you thought "well but that doesn't make sense," when reading other zombie novels, he covered it. Whenever you thought, "but what about?" he covered it. Going back to the realism, that was my favorite part. It was so real I could see it actually happening and the way it happened. The politics, the military, the camaraderie and violence with one another. Honestly, though the movie appears to be very different (based on the trailer) from the book, I'm stoked to see it. I think I'll be reading his Zombie Survival Guide book. Very out of the box this book was, while still being in the box. Meaning he didn't follow the styles and approaches that other zombie novels do but he stayed in the box because he kept it real. I can commend that for sure!(less)
Brooks, you spoke right to me. I have now read three really fantastic books on writing. Each one offers different things, different lessons. With each...moreBrooks, you spoke right to me. I have now read three really fantastic books on writing. Each one offers different things, different lessons. With each we must take what works for us. No one method works for all, no one lesson is a lesson for everyone and no one rule should be followed by everyone. We are all different.
As far as personality and approach to writing I feel that I relate the most to Brooks, and yet I haven't read a Brooks book (which I plan to reconcile!).
Sometimes I read what another author says and I say, but that's just not me...I must not be a writer. Then I realize what a garbage attitude that is. With that said, it was nice to stumble upon things that are me or would fit me, as far as an approach to writing. For example, he talks about writing as stemming from dreaming and questioning. I'm a dreamer and a questioner. I wonder what if, and then what if that what if comes true, and so on. My mind also wonders, playing out scenes (that tend to be horrific) and then snapping back to reality. For some reason this tends to happen most when I'm driving.
What made me really say, that's me!, was when he talked about his formula for writing which goes like this:
Every writer will tell you that to be a good writer you must read like crazy and read all genres. Also, most writers (like Brooks and King said in their books) you must first be an observer both in the real world but also when you read you are observing. Outline is where some authors disagree. King, for instance, says that you should just sit down and write and that an outline just gets in the way of the creative process. Brooks, a highly popular fantasy author, is adamant about outlines. He reminds us of those stories where the plot just falls short, or part of the book is good but the rest isn't which is all the result of no outlining (aka no organizing). But in the end he says that it depends on you. Like he said in his book, and what most authors say about their writing- who don't outline, those who do not outline will revise, revise, revise, revise. He does an outline and revises once. So it's really a matter of do you want to do the bulk of the work in the beginning or end? By sitting down and just writing, you chose to do the more challenging part in the end. By doing an outline before writing you do the challenging part in the beginning. So there is no one absolute. Some people will say, "but you must just sit down and write." That's not necessarily true. You have to know you and decide if that will work for you.
All in all, I love to read about writing. I pull bits and pieces from each one and I thoroughly enjoyed what Brooks had to share. I greatly benefited from reading it. As always I feel inspired after reading about writing because, well, I just love the topic of writing which is why I finished this book in a day. I just couldn't put it down (except to eat that is). (less)
After having read and loved Gone Girl and Dark Places I had to finally read Flynn's first novel. It's quite different from the other two. I re...more3.5/5.0
After having read and loved Gone Girl and Dark Places I had to finally read Flynn's first novel. It's quite different from the other two. I really felt the suspense in the other two and this book focused more on the story unraveling. It's possible that I got a bit spoiled by the other two and I did enjoy this one but liked those more. I kind of saw the ending coming, so that could have had something to do with it, but that didn't stop me from enjoying reading it and finishing it in a day. I'll read anything Flynn comes out with!(less)
After having read so many books on writing (and I will read many more) much of the ideas and suggestions begin to overlap. So there was that. T...more3.5/5.0
After having read so many books on writing (and I will read many more) much of the ideas and suggestions begin to overlap. So there was that. There were parts where I felt the author had a "this way or the highway" attitude, but it was also his fearless, no-nonsense, entertaining attitude that kept me reading.(less)
I swore off all Orson Scott Card books but I already owned this one. It has been sitting on my bookshelf for at least a couple of years now, unopened,...moreI swore off all Orson Scott Card books but I already owned this one. It has been sitting on my bookshelf for at least a couple of years now, unopened, unread. Yet I knew deep down, that it would help my writing greatly.
Card proved with this book what a master he is at the craft of writing and how important understanding and observing human interaction is to good characterization. I walked away from this book with a deep DEEP knowledge of characterization, of approaches to character building. I started my first novel during NaNoWrimo 2012 and got a good 10k words written. I haven't gone back to it since. There was something off about my novel- I just felt it, but it wasn't the story. I love the premise, the idea, the intent. I felt something off with the POV and characterization, not the characters but the characterization. I knew first person isn't the approach I wanted for this first book and so I took the third person approach. What Card made me realize is that there are different types of first person and third person. He explains three different types of third person POV, all of which I have read, make complete sense and I hadn't really differentiated until now.
Basically what he taught me in this book, especially the very beginning and the very end will help revive my novel and get the ball rolling in a way that I am content, well more than content with, in love with. I can't list all that I learned in this book, but it's quite a lot. Also he gave me a confidence I didn't know I had underneath all that self-questioning. He would mention things that I already did which really boosted my feelings in my writing ability. I have much more writing to do to start to master this craft but I feel that this book just gave me a bucket of shiny tools that I'm just thrilled to start working with!(less)
So I've only read two Gaiman books now but what I am enjoying about his writing is that it's not just this underlying element of fantasy but it has a...moreSo I've only read two Gaiman books now but what I am enjoying about his writing is that it's not just this underlying element of fantasy but it has a fantastical element. One can argue they are the same thing. Fantasy is a genre. It's a setting. But a story that is fantastical is storytelling that is magic itself, not just one that has magic. That's Neil's writing. I also adore the diversity of his writing and look forward to reading all the rest and the many different stories I'll get myself into. I enjoyed this one. I agree with the blurb, it really is a dark modern Alice in Wonderland. Alice in Wonderland wasn't one to take me in but I liked Gaiman's own take and direction on that type of storytelling.(less)
What a raw, up front, in your face read! There were no holds bars in this GN. So if you're afraid of some honesty, nudity, and cursing, then you're on...moreWhat a raw, up front, in your face read! There were no holds bars in this GN. So if you're afraid of some honesty, nudity, and cursing, then you're on the wrong boat captain because this has it all. Plus, it's a dystopian read and who doesn't love those?! It's messed up in all the right ways. There are so many underlying messages, behind all the awesome humor and hate, and boy where the graphics killer! Loved it!(less)
The Elements of Style is high school English 101 in a compact and well organized book. English was one of the classes in high school where the 'rules'...moreThe Elements of Style is high school English 101 in a compact and well organized book. English was one of the classes in high school where the 'rules' sunk in pretty well for me. I couldn't recite, then or now, what grammar terms are what. If the teacher handed out exercises saying, point out the intransitive verb, I normally couldn't unless I had just studied it or we just went over it. When the teacher said, pick out the sentence that is worded the best I could. A lot of this book I found to just be common sense but I know that it is not and that is why it had to be written.
At the same time, I would like to stress that some of the greatest writing breaks the 'rules.' Art is not meant to follow rules. I think the best piece of advice is to write in a way that makes sense, doesn't confuse, clutter or add unnecessary words or wording. Simply write like you would talk and your writing will typically have that natural tone, flow, and sound to it. The best way to test that is to read it out loud.(less)
First off, I'm not sure why I didn't read this book sooner. Second off, there is no questioning why Clinton was impacted by this book. Third off, read...moreFirst off, I'm not sure why I didn't read this book sooner. Second off, there is no questioning why Clinton was impacted by this book. Third off, read this book (though I would start with The China Study) even if you don't know a single person with heart disease or affected by it (which is highly unlikely) because it will impact you.
Like Campbell, Esselstyn has a way of writing scientifically but putting it in layman's terms. He even makes it fun. I couldn't put it down and finished it in hours (and I don't consider myself a fast reader, at least not compared to my mom ;) ).
If you want to be free of disease, be in control of your body, you can! Campbell and Esselstyn give many examples how this diet does just that. Esselstyn starts out the book with a group of people who are basically on their death bed because of heart diease and the one woman in the group was even told to get a rocker and rock away the end of her life. She said no and joined his study. The results of his study are amazing. I already knew a bit about this book and about Esselstyn from research, from his son's book The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds and from the movie Forks Over Knives (watch it). Esselstyn was a surgeon, clinician and researcher. He has more than the credentials and his results speak for themselves. Consider reading it! Also, he prepares you by providing many recipes! Got to love it!(less)
I'm not really sure where to start. I feel totally wiped of all energy, every bit of it immersed in this story. All I look for in a book is for the au...moreI'm not really sure where to start. I feel totally wiped of all energy, every bit of it immersed in this story. All I look for in a book is for the author to take me on a journey, take me away. Oh Sanderson, what a job you've done.
Not long after reading The Wise Man's Fear and falling in love with Patrick Rothfuss' writing, I sought out another book that would take me on such an epic journey. A nice hefty book I'd want to spend days with. And, for some reason, it just always comes back to epic fantasy, a sub-genre I'm falling deeper in love with every passing story I read. The current top three writers of such stories are George R. R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss and Brandon Sanderson (in my humble opinion). Having read Rothfuss (now my favorite author), and planning to read Martin, I knew, after a recommendation from a friend and watching interviews with him, that I just had to read Sanderson's work. The Mistborn series is probably his most well known work and, for me, it lives up to the hype.
It has everything I want in a story and more: strong female characters growing into their strength, people who I feel and hope for, eager to see what's next, turns I'm not expecting and even the 'evil' character was probably one of the more fascinating I've read. And holy magic system Batman. My gosh is that magical system so fascinating and intricate. I am in complete awe. I think I was 50 pages into this book when I went to the store and bought the next two to complete the series. I was hooked, and that says a lot because I'm a cheap bastard who relies much on the library. But this, my friends, is an author to send your money to. I can't wait to read the next one. Though I'm so exhausted (a sign of a good story - to suck you in so far you sometimes forget to breathe) but still diving into the next. I'm just thrilled to have found such an author and boy will I read everything he has and will write.
I agree with other reviewers, it is starting to get a bit like Lost. Where the idea behind it is great and it was set up well, but the follow through...moreI agree with other reviewers, it is starting to get a bit like Lost. Where the idea behind it is great and it was set up well, but the follow through takes a bit to long to get to the result. However, I liked it enough to move on to the next one. (less)
This was my second Punisher GN, and I was not disappointed. I love the characters Ennis creates, the villains and the good guys. I love the dialogue....moreThis was my second Punisher GN, and I was not disappointed. I love the characters Ennis creates, the villains and the good guys. I love the dialogue. More importantly, the Punisher himself. Ah, sweet revenge. ;)(less)
I liked this book. It's a great guide to NaNoWriMo, by none other than the founder himself. I still have to read the last three chapters...more3.5/5.0 stars
I liked this book. It's a great guide to NaNoWriMo, by none other than the founder himself. I still have to read the last three chapters on weeks 2-4 but he said not to read them until I get to those weeks, so that is what I'll do. Otherwise, it's a good book, funny at times, and gives hope to all.(less)
Another blogger that I follow made a post about this book, how she was currently reading it and enjoying it. So, I immediately requested it from the l...moreAnother blogger that I follow made a post about this book, how she was currently reading it and enjoying it. So, I immediately requested it from the library because 2013 is my year of action and tackling my dreams (with love)! But I'm not going to lie, the title of this book was a bit deceiving because it's quite cliche and cheesy. That and most of the things on the cover (ie lose weight, stop smoking, get out of debt, fall in love, get organized) were just not applicable to me. However, I put those aside and read the heck out of it.
I very much enjoyed it. M.J. Ryan has such a beautiful way of explaining it all. Even much of it I had heard of and thought of before, but not in that way. It was also a book I needed right now, is perfect for me and what I'm working to do. If you want to make a dream come true (pick me!), change a habit (also me) and keep a resolution (again, me) then I do recommend this book. Also though, remember one thing, which Ryan mentions, which is reading a book isn't going to make you change, changing will. You have to apply what you learn, what you already knew, what you realized, what you needed to your daily life for the book to be worth anything to you. You have to do.(less)
I, an avid lover of horror, has never, until this book, read a Stephen King novel. Craziness, right?!?! (Well I read about 15% of Salem's Lot and then...moreI, an avid lover of horror, has never, until this book, read a Stephen King novel. Craziness, right?!?! (Well I read about 15% of Salem's Lot and then put it down) Who would have thought that the first book I pick up of his (a prominent fiction writer) is a non-fiction book. Yet even though I hadn't read a book of his until this one, I always had great underlying respect for him. Though I enjoyed the movies based on his books it was the interviews and quotes by him that I always loved and I know exactly why. I was drawn to his honesty. He is a very honest man and honesty wins me over in a heartbeat. So I knew there would be a day when I finally sit down and read something by him.
More than anything in this world I want to just read and write. Even reading about reading and writing always brings a tear to my eye. I get very excited about it and put my whole heart in wanting to learn more about writing and read more. When I say I'm an aspiring writer people ask me, well what genre do you want to write in? The honest answer is I don't know. I still have SOOOOOO much more reading to do to really know and as King says, to be a great writer you must read a lot and write a lot. I said it to my husband the other day and he didn't hesitate to say horror would be my genre of choice. Horror was always my go to genre with movies, it was where my mind went when it wandered because I constantly think of "what if" and it's what my dreams end up being. Who knows, maybe that will be my genre but as of now I have much more to read. Either way, who better to learn from but Stephen King, no matter what genre you wish to write in?
At the beginning of the book King gives us his history, begins the memoir section of the book (though ultimately the whole book is a memoir but not your traditional kind). Honestly I found it boring at first. Then when I learned some truths about King (like that he was an acoholic and coke adict- I never knew that) and learned about how he got into writing I became invested. Then when I hit the middle section titled "On Writing" I couldn't put the darn thing down. I wanted to hear every single thing he had to say. Often when I heard him say some things, tips on writing and what he's learned over the years, the light bulb went off or I felt like saying, "of course; that makes sense." Sometimes it was things I heard of or thought of and needed that extra bit of backing. Really, that whole section taught me more than I imagined and I'll be forever grateful, and plan to apply it all. Sure, we must take all writing advice with a grain of salt only because every writer is unique, as every person is unique, and they must tweak things to fit their style of writing. Plus if we so rigidly follow all of the rules/tips out there then our creativity will be stifled and will never be free to be what it can be. Nevertheless, his tips helped me a great deal.
And again, I enjoyed his honesty. He was very honest. You can tell, whatever he was thinking at that time he wrote down. It was as if he was talking to you and I think that's how writing should be. For that is how we become connected. Without, going on and on about this book I'll say this much. King wrote a fantastic book, especially knowing that he was almost killed in the middle of writing it, which will help any aspiring writer and it has made me want to read every single King book out there. I know exactly which one I'm going to start with. (less)
Much thanks to David for giving us the first three books in the series. I love the art and the storyline. The dialogue was great! It is a very engagin...moreMuch thanks to David for giving us the first three books in the series. I love the art and the storyline. The dialogue was great! It is a very engaging book. I can't wait to read the next one!!!(less)