I like interpretations of mythology and mythological characters, and Kally Jo's story is poignant and romantic. If you like this type of fantasy romanI like interpretations of mythology and mythological characters, and Kally Jo's story is poignant and romantic. If you like this type of fantasy romance, it's worth the read....more
The Last American Vampire takes up from where Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter ends, but I don't think it's necessary to haARC received from NetGalley.
The Last American Vampire takes up from where Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter ends, but I don't think it's necessary to have read the first book prior to this. There are references to the first book, but LAV takes the reader in a different direction. Where Lincoln basically covered the years of the president's youth and administration, LAV is a more ambitious work and spans the post-Civil War to nearly the present day, with the possibility of a third book if that's how you interpret the ending.
Henry Sturges is a vampire created during the first English settlement of the New World, and his life is a "Forrest Gump"-style panorama of adventures, in that he connects with many of the noted people in their respective eras. We find a few of history's greatest mysteries and tragedies are actually attributed to vampire involvement.
I liked ALVH, but I think I enjoyed this book more because with the expanded time gaps there's more to do. When you discover Henry's prime nemesis it's rather clever how that ties into specific events. It's a horror in the gory sense, though. Some very bloody scenes....more
We can argue whether or not Purple Rain remains the pinnacle of Prince's lengthy career, but in a short period of time when a handful of perf3.5 stars
We can argue whether or not Purple Rain remains the pinnacle of Prince's lengthy career, but in a short period of time when a handful of performers took that step from gold record to legend (Springteen, Madonna, Michael Jackson), Prince seemed destined to fill out that musical Rushmore. In 1984 he simultaneously had the top film, album and single in the nation, and I don't know if that feat's been matched. Maybe in the UK with the Spice Girls, but likely not here.
Author Light was one of the few journalists with access to Prince in the 80s and 90s. Though Prince contributed nothing new to this book, Light includes archived sound bytes and new insight from former members of The Revolution, Questlove (who taught a course on Prince's music at NYU), and others involved in the film's production. The story of how Purple Rain the film came to be greenlit, and how Prince convinced his entourage of musicians to come into this medium with no acting experience could make for an equally interesting, if not more dramatic, film. When you peel away the aloof exterior (gossip at the time pegged Prince at various points on the egotistic spectrum, from mysterious to cold-as-stone to unprintable) you find a performer determined to work twenty-fours without sleep if it means expanding his reach beyond R&B radio, where record labels seemed content to place him. That he succeeded in negotiating a movie deal in tandem with new music speaks for his determination and savvy, and for the good insight of certain people in the industry.
Light tells the story well in Let's Go Crazy - it's not a lengthy book but the cast and crew only had so such time to film. Purple Rain takes much of the focus in this microhistory of the 80s music scene and even clarifies a few misconceptions of Prince's character (read: the "We Are the World" debacle). I do take off a few points for the instances where Light injects personal bias into the story. Light admits his admiration and fan status, but in a few places the book treads into memoir territory, and that might turn off a few people. Other than that, I liked this book for its nostalgia value (though I feel pangs for reaching an age where I can be nostalgic about anything), and one of these days I'll get to see the movie on the big screen as intended....more
I've read some of Weir's non-fiction works on the Tudors, and my interest in the subject attracted me toARc received from the publisher via NetGalley.
I've read some of Weir's non-fiction works on the Tudors, and my interest in the subject attracted me to her fictionalized account of Elizabeth I's reign. Any novel depicting the first Elizabeth's reign is going to be ambitious, and while Weir covers a vast amount of territory the focus holds on the lengthy cat and mouse game the queen played with numerous suitors.
Naturally her relationship with Robert Dudley takes up the most pages, yet rather than imply political reasons are the motive for Elizabeth remaining unwed, Weir suggests other concerns - how intimacy triggers memories of all the marital strife and difficult childbirths (usually resulting in the mother's death) Elizabeth witnessed in her life. While all this is happening, Elizabeth contends with Mary, Queen of Scots and her supporters. Mary doesn't appear fully as a character here, which disappointed me a bit. Then again, Elizabeth's courtships served as the focus of this story - Mary versus Elizabeth could comprise its own book.
As Tudor fiction compared to other novels I've read, The Marriage Game holds up in terms of historical continuity. Elizabeth as a character seems driven more by emotion than cunning - she strings Dudley along for decades and pouts when he finally gives up. I liked the story, but as a Tudor fan I would probably read more of Weir's non-fiction given the choice.
I had said after reading The Heart of Christmas that I was pretty much done with Whiskey Creek, but I received a copy of This Heart of Mine from the pI had said after reading The Heart of Christmas that I was pretty much done with Whiskey Creek, but I received a copy of This Heart of Mine from the publisher. Another reviewer liked it, so I figured okay, one more trip because I'm a stickler for closure at times.
If you'll read my thoughts on the previous two books in the series, you'll know I wasn't happy with specific side plots involving two characters, Chey and Dylan. BRIEF SPOILER BELOW -
Chey and Dylan do not figure into this story at all, only the briefest of mentions. Assuming Novak continues this series, I suppose we'll see that subplot resolve eventually.
Therefore, I'm reviewing this book as it stands alone, and I enjoyed it. The focus of Heart is Riley, who we've seen in other books. We've known for a while he flinged with a girl who went to prison for the vehicular homicide of another girl he dated. Here we get deeper into that story, and Novak tells it well. Phoenix, released after serving nearly two decades, struggles to connect with the son she had to leave behind yet is reluctant to get too involved with people in town. Riley has carried the guilt of neglect which we see for the first time - he's felt bad for breaking up with her due to parental pressure, and he sees Phoenix for the kind soul she's always been. Phoenix carries physical and emotional scars but isn't deterred from healing them - it's just her attraction to Riley that's the biggest challenge.
If you were put off by the previous two books of this series, Heart is an upswing and hearkens to the storytelling I enjoyed in some of the older Whiskey Creek books.
I had mentioned I thought Baxter should get his own story (he's barely mentioned in this one), and that wish remains....more
So I had a free Audible credit, and I saw Joan had been awarded a posthumous Grammy for this. You wish she had lived to accept the trophy; I'm sure shSo I had a free Audible credit, and I saw Joan had been awarded a posthumous Grammy for this. You wish she had lived to accept the trophy; I'm sure she had an "interrupting Kanye" joke at the ready.
Anyway...in terms of audial quality, it's okay. Joan sounds her age here, and the delivery isn't like that of her stand-up act, where she flows freely with the one-liners and insults. She's reading and I'm guessing she left no room for improvisation. There are moments of halting speech that take away from the experience. I haven't heard the other Grammy finalists this year, but I can compare it to the Martin Short audiobook I listened to last month, and I'll be surprised if he's overlooked next year for this award.
In terms of content...eh. I've only read one other Joan Rivers book, the Heidi Abromowitz one. That was vulgar and funny, and I think I liked that more because Heidi is fictional and Joan's tone 30 years ago wasn't as blue. Here, there were a few moments when I did smile, but many of these jokes are plain mean-spirited.
Yeah, they're just jokes, lighten up, yada...but even insult jokes should be funny. Those influenced by Joan declare even at 81 she wasn't done yet, but she got rather crotchety toward the end.
If you have a high tolerance for blanket insults of race, creed, and celebrities, enjoy. ...more
I was a fan of Hall's Sniglets bit and some of the skits he did on SNL. I found this by chance at the library - it's a mixed bag of short stories thatI was a fan of Hall's Sniglets bit and some of the skits he did on SNL. I found this by chance at the library - it's a mixed bag of short stories that range from the absurd to darkly funny. The highlights for me included a piece on a girl's MySpace popularity and a woman trying to save her hotel. Some of the longer stories proved a bit tedious. ...more
Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs are two of my favorite books, read years ago, so I couldn't say why it took this long to read the final book.Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs are two of my favorite books, read years ago, so I couldn't say why it took this long to read the final book. The third for me was meh, and I understand the film version of Rising was panned, so that probably contributed to my reluctance.
This book wasn't as graphic as I had expected, but an okay introduction to Hannibal's. It reads quickly, but as a thriller in this series it didn't blow me away....more
Another great novel in the Garden of Allah, with the story taking us through World War II and the very beginnings of the Communist witch hunts in HollAnother great novel in the Garden of Allah, with the story taking us through World War II and the very beginnings of the Communist witch hunts in Hollywood. This has been such a fun series to read....more
Bought mainly to read Snodgrass, as I'm a sucker for Beatle-inspired fiction. It paints a grim alternative history of the band with John leaving on thBought mainly to read Snodgrass, as I'm a sucker for Beatle-inspired fiction. It paints a grim alternative history of the band with John leaving on the cusp of stardom, living out a meager, dull existence. Still leaves it up for the debate who is worse off in this scenario - John for walking away from untold riches, or the Beatles for puttering along for decades as a popular band but not a spectacular or influential one. Quite good....more
What a terrific book. It's different from the Fool's Gold stories that Mallery writes - it's a three-fold story braided inARC received from Harlequin.
What a terrific book. It's different from the Fool's Gold stories that Mallery writes - it's a three-fold story braided into something strong.
Nicole, Shannon, and Pam are friends - each woman represents a different age and situation, and while there appears to be little in common they are bonded by loyalty and friendship.
Nicole, in her 30s, may as well be a single mom for all the (lack of) attention her aspiring screenwriter husband brings. Shannon, close to 40, has the career but wants the family and picket fence. Pam, in her 50s, wants to reignite passion with her husband. They complement each other nicely in a tight story.
Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2015: Audiobook Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2015: Memoir
As others have recommended here, get the audio version. If youBook Riot Read Harder Challenge 2015: Audiobook Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2015: Memoir
As others have recommended here, get the audio version. If you prefer to read, check out the audio to listen in tandem. All the voices, some music, and a thorough history not just of Short's life but a great age in improvisational and sketch comedy.
I picked up the audio version of Martin Short's I Must Say on the recommendation of another person taking the challenge. "He does all the voices," and it's all I needed to convince me to one-click.
I might be one of the few people in the world to admit that the Dick Ebersol season of Saturday Night Live, Short's only season as a regular, was my gateway to the show. I was vaguely familiar with Ed Grimley by way of an occasional SCTV episode running either on syndication or on MTV, but on a black and white portable TV on low volume - headphones in the jack - I stifled laughter at the full spectrum of bizarre characters. Grimley, Jackie Rogers Jr., Irving Cohen, Billy Crystal's Fernando and masochistic, high-voiced Willie to Chris Guest's Frank.
I figured eventually I'd read Short's book, but I'm glad I opted instead for the audio, which is unabridged and enhanced by the parade of voices woven throughout - not just his creations but dead-on impersonations of Larry David, Nick Nolte, etc. I don't listen to audiobooks because I am visual reader and prefer to have the words in front of me. I don't think I Must Say would lose anything if read, but if you have a choice get the audio.
If we can get Martin to read Fifty Shades of Grey as Ed, I'll buy that, too....more
I can relate to Patton's obsessive movie-watching behavior as recounted in this short book (quite short - so you know the last twenty pages c3.5 stars
I can relate to Patton's obsessive movie-watching behavior as recounted in this short book (quite short - so you know the last twenty pages comprise a list of every film Patton saw in the time these stories happen). Somewhere in the house I have a scrapbook in which I kept every stub from every movie I saw from high school graduation to college. One day I'll tell the stories of greater film obsession:
The drive from the Westside of Jacksonville to Neptune Beach to see The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover because that was the closest theater showing it. To this day, I'm sure I'm the only person in my graduating high school class that's seen it.
The drive from Athens, GA to Atlanta to see the uncut, four-hour version of Branagh's Hamlet.
Practically living at the theater in the student union at the University of Georgia for the opportunity of seeing an endless stream of cult films and foreign releases: The Red Shoes, Shaft, Before Stonewall, Casablanca.
My current goal to see every Best Picture. More challenging than one would think.
Enough about me, though. Silver Screen Fiend isn't a memoir in the traditional sense, or a book of film criticism. In a way it's a story of addiction in a time Patton's career puttered steadily through comedy clubs and small entertainment jobs. Movies served as a teaching tool and a comfort zone, a way to temporarily forget an unfulfilling gig at MadTV. Patton doesn't discriminate with movies, either - he'd see anything and everything available as a way to educate himself for directing aspirations. You can guess he'd seen a lot of crap.
If you're expecting a book written along the lines of Patton's stand-up humor, don't. It is a well-written book, more intellectual than his KFC bowl or Christmas Shoes bits. It's definitely worth the read for the chapter on The Day the Clown Cried and his wish list of movies never made that should have been....more