A useful reference on using so-called toy cameras with emphasis on the Holga and Diana (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holga & http://en.wikiped...moreA useful reference on using so-called toy cameras with emphasis on the Holga and Diana (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holga & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana_ca... for more information). Bates, who has used a Holga for the past 20 years, provides a good overview of the history and the work that can be created from these cheap, nearly entirely plastic cameras. As she notes in the introduction to this second edition, much has changed in the world of toy camera photography. More exhibitions and competitions have emerged as a result of the renewed interest in this family of cameras, and medium format film remains in production, despite the continued decline of film photography. "Plastic Cameras" distills much of the available advice online into a readable text. While Bates does cover many of the processes involved in film photography and film processing, do not expect technical discussions on f-stops, ISO, and the like. This book is aimed at anyone who owns a Holga and/or Diana camera and wants to learn more about their limitations, how to work around them, and how to use them for one's artistic ends.(less)
(3.5 stars) I haven't read many novels aimed at "young adult" or teen audiences since I was a teen so it's hard to evaluate "The Hunger Games" and Suza...more(3.5 stars) I haven't read many novels aimed at "young adult" or teen audiences since I was a teen so it's hard to evaluate "The Hunger Games" and Suzanne Collins against other authors of similar work. This first book of a trilogy moves at a brisk pace with its plot and character development. Collins drops really effective cliffhangers at the end of each chapter, which reminded me of serialized fiction, superhero comics, and manga. Having said that, I found myself wanting a little more stylistic flair, given that this is a dystopian science fiction tale set sometime in the future. Collins sets forth many great ideas and establishes a mood of realistic cynicism that is surprisingly refreshing. To me, the ending was rather predictable once the outcome of the Hunger Game was determined. Does "The Hunger Games" live up to the crushing weight of the hype? Yes and no. Was this book compelling enough to encourage me to continue on with the trilogy? Yes, but with some reservations.
Random notes: 1. This is a rare instance where I actually read the book before I watch the movie. 2. Poor, poor Peeta.(less)
Arcudi does not present any easy answers in this skewed look at Eric, a human being — complete with flaws and possible delusions of grandeur — who is...moreArcudi does not present any easy answers in this skewed look at Eric, a human being — complete with flaws and possible delusions of grandeur — who is suddenly and mysteriously granted superpowers. The story is told from the perspective of his best friend, Sam, another person who is all too human. Snejbjerg matches Arcudi's story with panels and pages filled with just enough darkness as they reach the tragic climax. What happens when a regular person is given powers beyond that of human beings? Arcudi and Snejbjerg present one possible, sobering answer along with questions seldom asked of other superhero comics or of ourselves.(less)
Quick points: - Easy to see how each story reflects Oates' personal history, which seems to influence her own writing - All worthwhile reads but here ar...moreQuick points: - Easy to see how each story reflects Oates' personal history, which seems to influence her own writing - All worthwhile reads but here are the stories that stick with me: "The Identity Club" by Richard Burgin; "Delmonico" by Daniel Handler; "Jack Duggan's Law" by George V. Higgins; "The Shooting of John Roy Worth" by Stuart M. Kaminsky; "Until Gwen" by Dennis Lehane; "The Shoeshine Man's Regrets" by Laura Lippman; "Case Closed" by Lou Manfredo; "Public Trouble" by Kent Nelson; "Officers Weep" by Daniel Orozco; "The Last Man I Killed" by David Rachel; "One Mississippi" by Joseph Raiche; "The Love of a Strong Man" by Oz Spies. - I'm not going to attempt to provide a summary and analysis of these stories. I mean, how do you compete with Oates? Especially when she takes Edmund Wilson (!) to task for his characterization of mystery stories as being overwrought and focused too intently on the plot. (less)
This volume is surprisingly quiet in that there is not much dialogue, but in its place are beautifully, surprisingly drawn action scenes, the highligh...moreThis volume is surprisingly quiet in that there is not much dialogue, but in its place are beautifully, surprisingly drawn action scenes, the highlight of which is the briskly paced two-part story, "Battle."(less)