Very few people know this about me, but I use to be a huge nerd…. a very specific type of nerd. I was an anime nerd (yes… it’s true.) It didn’t matterVery few people know this about me, but I use to be a huge nerd…. a very specific type of nerd. I was an anime nerd (yes… it’s true.) It didn’t matter what it was, I would WATCH THEM ALL. It all started when with Sailor Moon and Dragonball Z, and just grew from there. I began watching everything on Toonami (REMEMBER TOONAMI EVERYONE?) And from there to Adult Swim, until I began to branch out on my own. At some point I started getting into live action dramas (which were basically anime but with ‘real’ attractive people.) This continued for a while, (I don’t feel like saying how long exactly… thought Benij would know) and then it stopped. I didn’t have time anymore to watch with the dedication I once had. I had midterms to take, finals to study for, and parties to go to. And I just got sick of the amount of energy it took to actually find some of these shows. There were just many other things I’d rather do.
So, you may be asking yourself, what does this have to do with The Wind Up Bird Chronicle?
I have a soft spot in my heart for anything Japanese made… I probably will for the rest of my life. So this book may be alienating to many other readers. But I found it brilliant.
Which is change, since I was not particularly fond of 1Q84.
Murakami is dark, somewhat magical and mysterious in his prose. The story of an unemployed man becomes the story of the search for his wife, while meeting a bunch of weirdos along the way. The weirdos tell their stories in separated chapters that all seems to makes sense somehow.
But it’s about the cruelty of war. A forgotten war, where the Japanese had formed a colony on Mainland China (which is why the Chinese hate them so much.)
My only qualm with this novel was Murakami’s tendency to have a teenage girl become uncomfortably close to a 30 year old man, the same problem I had with 1Q84. (IN FACT, now that I have just read my second Murakami novel, I’m starting to see a pattern. Are all his books basically the same?!?! If so, the Wind Up Bird Chronicle does it better.)
Anyway, I think this book is worth a read even if you are not a former nerd like me. But to all my fellow nerds out there, READ IT. READ IT NOW.
Recently I have been 'reading' a lot of photography books. (But let's just face it... no one actually READS these things. Honestly, it just takes up sRecently I have been 'reading' a lot of photography books. (But let's just face it... no one actually READS these things. Honestly, it just takes up space between the pretty photos.) These books to me are like the adult version of picture books you read as a child. They are really pretty to look at, but also they trick you into learning things.
DAMN YOU BOOKS!! Always trying to teach me things.
About the book itself, I would highly recommend for the frequent library user (or if you work in a public library like me.)
And I wish I had thought of this book before our author because this just seems like the best job ever.
I honestly have no desire to learn Chinese, but I am a big fan of Shaolan Hsueh as a graphic designer. I love that she decided to incorporate two loveI honestly have no desire to learn Chinese, but I am a big fan of Shaolan Hsueh as a graphic designer. I love that she decided to incorporate two loves of hers, the Chinese language and design. The book is pure eye candy, and some of the character designs are quite clever. I have no idea how the book functions as a tool for learning the actually language... this may be why I gave it such a high rating.
I guess I would have to say that this book is worth a look, but I might just leave the learning of Chinese to Rosetta Stone. ...more
I must confess I read this book because there was a section on one of my favorite shows of all time, Community, and I thought the author must be a claI must confess I read this book because there was a section on one of my favorite shows of all time, Community, and I thought the author must be a classy individual due to his love of the show as well. (I’m still angry that they cancelled that show! I have no idea what I shall do with all my free time now that Community is out of my life. Maybe go outside and enjoy nature…. DAMN IT.) While I did learn a lot about the “sitcom” and the history of television in general, the book was far from perfect. The chapter dedicated to Community felt very rushed, to the point where unless you had seen the show yourself, summaries included about Community episodes would seem disjointed and unclear. The author had a tendency to swear randomly throughout the FUCKING book that honestly had no GOD DAMN place and was jarring at times. I mean, this isn’t salty bar talk, where you ramble incoherently to your friends about all your vast knowledge of sitcoms until they tell you to shut up cause they can’t really hear you anyway. I just picture our lovely author yelling “DID YOU KNOW THAT THE HONEYMOONERS ONLY RAN FOR ONE GOD DAMN SEASON AND IT WAS PRETTY MUCH ALL FUCKING AD-LIBBED?”
But these are my only complaints. It is definitely worth a read if you are as big of a fan of sitcoms as myself.
RIP COMMUNITY I mourn your untimely cancellation until I can fill the void with another sitcom. (I have a feeling I will be waiting for a while.)
Community has been renewed for a 6 season! Hooray! I almost had to find a new show... ...more
I must confess I read Saints before I read Boxers. I found this graphic novel to be more enjoyable after I read Boxers, although I am glad I read SainI must confess I read Saints before I read Boxers. I found this graphic novel to be more enjoyable after I read Boxers, although I am glad I read Saints first, considering the ending was not spoiled for me. I have read other reviewers on here who have said that the author Yang, is a devote Catholic, and I did get that vibe from the WAY he wrote about Catholicism. While he does not seem to relay the idea that all catholics are perfect, he seems to suggest that Catholicism filled a void for a certain type of Chinese, like Four Girl, who did not fit in the confides of their feudal society.
The most powerful part of the novel (view spoiler)[ When Vibiana is murdered by Bao after refusing to revoke her faith and cites the Lord's prayer (hide spoiler)]to me is more moving than Boxers, and Vibiana/ Four Girl's journey to find a loving family is more relatable.
(view spoiler)[ I also found the ending with Bao citing the Lord's prayer to save his own skin at the end an interesting twist, like Yang is saying the greatest heroes/marauders are lost to history. (hide spoiler)]
Anyway, if you want a good cry, read this series. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Norman Rockwell is what us illustrators consider a success. He is what the art world considers a propaganda artist, in the same vein as Thomas KinkadeNorman Rockwell is what us illustrators consider a success. He is what the art world considers a propaganda artist, in the same vein as Thomas Kinkade; saccharine, kitschy and AMERICAN. He was an illustrator during a time where illustration was not considered “high art,” yet he was a household name. I too must confess that I found him to be a droll and not thought provoking. A “he keeps the masses happy” AKA the Jerry Bruckheimer of illustration. So I am glad that I read this book, because I found that I related to his process and art more than I expected to.
While I found most of this enjoyable, I will say that this book had a tendency to drag on. The author decides to investigate his life year by year, which leads to a 400+ pages of him going and coming from California, marrying women he was not sexual attracted to, and forming unusual strong bonds with men. This ‘attraction’ to men was also another issue I had with the author. While this assumption may be true, the era in which Rockwell lived was one of a male obsession with manliness. This was the era of Sigmund Freud, who never gave a second thought to women other than having ‘penis envy;’ Thomas Eakins was famous for painting active men and boys at swimming holes, playing baseball, etc. I feel that Rockwell was more product of this time frame (which seems like a reaction to the women’s suffrage movement) when intense friendships with men were the norm.
Other than these issues, I found that I learned a lot about Rockwell and a little bit about myself in the process. And isn’t that what reading is about anyway? ...more
I have come to the opinion that an ending to a story is more important than anything else. The conclusion is the last thing a writer leaves her readerI have come to the opinion that an ending to a story is more important than anything else. The conclusion is the last thing a writer leaves her reader. She may choose to leave behind a sweet aftertaste, or a bitter one, and it lingers on the readers tongue as they close its pages forever (well, I mean you can reread it, but it’s never the same.) I recently had to say goodbye to one of my favorite shows, How I Met Your Mother. The ending left me bitter and reeling, angry and unsatisfied; but more importantly, it unmasked a truth: this show may not be as clever as I once thought. My favorite show felt polluted, and I would never be able to watch my favorite gang without the shadow of the finale weighing on my mind (YES I HATED IT THAT MUCH. GOD DAMN IT TED MOSBY!)
I also felt the same about the Divergent series, because in my opinion, the conclusion revealed just how much of a amateur writer Veronica Roth is, and she spoiled her first two books, which were good/ passable to me.
So OBVIOUSLY I feared reading the end of this series, which I was more invested in than Divergent.
To my surprise and relief,
I LOVED IT.
SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT.
As last we left of heroes, Karou and Akiva, they have come to some sort of understanding. No more pointless bruiting, there are more pressing matters at hand. Jael has flown to the human world in order to gain weapons to wipe off the remaining Chimera off the face of Eretz, and to start a war with the Stelians, another race of Seraphim. (I think he just doesn’t like their faces, but whatever.) The Misbegotten and Chimera join forces, but not without a little drama, killing, and a resurrection. The group hatches a plan to save humanity and Eretz from this brother slaying emperor.
But that’s not the part of the story I was particularly drawn to, and I would give this a three star at best. No, the storyline that I found engaging was anything dealing with the fallen angels. It disturbed me the fuck out, it was slightly "trippy" and had a resemblance to Neil Gaiman. So, of course, I LOVED IT. (view spoiler)[ I liked the idea of the Seraphim as explorers through dimensions, that they carried it too far and unleashed a darkness that threaten to eat everything that was light, also how time is not linear but circular, and that a myth we have heard before may not yet have come to pass. (hide spoiler)] But I have always been one for slightly ambiguous endings, since it gives me something to think about time to time on my long commutes. As much as I hated the novel A Sense of an Ending, I still wonder what the narrator discovered about his lineage that he decided not to share with his audience, two years later. There is something to the unsaid, the space between novels, that ambiguity, that while immediately may cause distress, in the long run prompts a reread.
So IN CONCLUSION, unlike the creators of How I Met Your Mother, I will read any future endeavors by Ms. Taylor. And let's face it, an author who can write a good ending is a rare find. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
So you see, my fellow book lovers, I have a problem. How I feel about Stephen King's novels is how I feel about UGG boots. What I'm trying to say is,So you see, my fellow book lovers, I have a problem. How I feel about Stephen King's novels is how I feel about UGG boots. What I'm trying to say is, I don't hate UGG boots or people who wear UGG boots. They just are not my type of boot. Frankly, I find these boots to be kind of pointless. There are a lot better boots out there, you know, like waterproof boots; boots that are actually functional boots. Now this doesn't mean if someone gave me a free pair of UGG boots I wouldn't wear them and proclaim my superiority. I see the appeal. They are comfortable and easy to put on (no laces there!) But I certainly wouldn't wear them outside on a snowy day or rave about them saying: THERE IS NO OTHER BOOT I SHALL WEAR. I would reserve my wearing of UGG boots to when I am lazy and preferably not traveling anywhere.
So basically what I saying is I found this book to be ok.
BEWARE: spoilers beyond this point.
Maybe I am like most people, but when I think of Stephen King, I think of The Shining. I know this is unfair, since the man is a writing machine. He has produced quite a few of novels in his lifetime. But The Shining maybe the only novel of his that disturbed me and left some sort of impression.
So when I heard that Stephen King was making a sequel, my initial reaction was mixed. Would Dr. Sleep be like Batman Begins (surprisingly good and unexpected?)
And the answer was no.
This book was like how I felt about the Tim Burton remake of Alice in Wonderland. It was an unnecessary sequel that ruined a childhood memory.
So this book picks up where The Shining left off, and we see that Dan and Wendy now have to pick up the pieces from the aftermath of a horrendous death boiler explosion. So what does the kid with the amazing shine and so much potential do? Become a raging alcoholic. And to be fair, he's had a pretty shitty life so far. He is haunted, quite literally, by ghoul/ghost creatures that he has to lock in his mind. He discovers that boozing keeps the nightmares away. So he keeps drinking, till he meets a girl named Deenie and her little boy, whose appalling circumstances makes him realize that he has a problem. After a few more years of boozing, he stumbles into a town and finally gets the help he needs. Then we are introduced to Abra, a young girl with crazy super powers who can apparently do anything with her mind. I do have to admit, one thing I enjoy about King is he is not afraid to have strong female characters, whether villainous or righteous.
We are also introduced to the villains, the True Knot, which is suppose to be a pun about they are tied together forever. They feed on steam that comes from death and torture, especially on children with the shine.
I'm pretty sure you see where this is going. And that's the problem I had with this Stephen King novel. I don't even need to finish summarizing this book because I know YOU KNOW how this is going to end. And sure, there are a few twists and turns along the way, but this book still has a happy ending. So what I want to know is:
WHERE IS THE SUSPENSE? WHERE IS THE HORROR?
WHERE IS THE GIANT BOILER EXPLOSION!?!?!
My recommendation: if you like Stephen King, you like this book. If you loved The Shining, you'll be MEH about Dr. Sleep.
BUT DON'T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. Check it out for yourself then come and comment on this review and tell me how wrong/right I am.