Sunday, February 18, 2018

8:100 Remedial English for Reanimated Corpses by S.G. Browne

Even at Bela Lugosi University, a school for the monsters of movie and nightmares, there has always been a hierarchy that has seen vampires and werewolves at the top and zombies as the lowest of the low.  They are the targets of the pranks by the vampires, taunted (and sprayed on) by the werewolves, no one stands up for them against any of this. It's just the way it has been and always will be. But one day things come to a head after one "joke" too many goes too far. Now the zombies are marching for justice..if only someone could understand what they are saying.

A fun tale of what a monster university could be like but I also feel like with much of his work, he is tackling some underlying cultural themes that are dominant today.  I think this could be the set-up to a much longer piece that would be hilarious and thought-provoking to read.  I can only hope.  It's been too long since we've had a new S.G. Browne novel!

Page count: 20p/1,250p ytd/293,271p lifetime

Monday, February 12, 2018

7:120 Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher's first memoir based on her hit stand-up routine (and for some reason the third of her memoirs that I read).  Her wit and style changed very little between the three (this, Shockaholic, and Princess Diarist) and is refreshingly honest and droll.  She talks about her childhood as the child of two Hollywood icons, their divorce and subsequent remarriages, her stepparents, growing up Fisher, how she found drugs and how they got their hooks into her, you know, the usual stuff. 

I grew up with Princess Leia being MY Princess.  The one who stood up to Tarkin and Vader, the one who strangled Jabba, the one who would save herself or die trying but not just give up easily.  I wasn't even 3 when Star Wars came out but she inspired me and now as an adult and reading about her life and her struggles, she inspires me even more. I only wish she were still here but her words live on and they will continue to inspire.  She has become more than our Princess, she is now our General.

Page count: 177p/1,230p ytd/293,251p lifetime

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

6:120 History of US vol. 9: War, Peace, and All That Jazz by Joy Hakim

Review from 2013:
Middle-School History covering 1918-1945.  Model T's, wood-frame airplanes, radios, Prohibition, jazz, the Roaring Twenties, Babe Ruth, flappers, the Depression, and two World Wars...all in a thirty-year span.  That pretty much gives a good summary of what you find in this book.  I've noticed that now that things are getting closer to modern times, the jumping around is much less and the author makes it a point to detail a lot more than what I remember learning about from my history classes, middle and high school.  I knew there had been a WWI but had no idea who it concerned or how it ended much less that it had paved the way for WWII.  I had a basic knowledge of Jazz and it's roots but not the bigger picture that was shown in this book.  I knew about the Depression and Black Friday but not the events that had led up to it.  That to me is what is truly important about history, not just knowing about the big events but how those came about and what they caused.

Page count: 220p/1,053p ytd/293,074p lifetime

Monday, February 5, 2018

5:100 The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

Review from Feb. 2013:
Edward and Lucy along with their cousin, Eustace, fall through a painting and land about Caspian's ship, The Dawn Treader, as Caspian and his crew search for seven lords who had been sent away by Caspian's uncle, Miraz, since they were intensely loyal to Caspian's father and Caspian himself.  Many adventures are had as they sail to the ends of the known world and beyond to find all seven of these lords.  In the end, they are all located (although not all are still living) and the children return home but are told by Aslan that they will not be returning to Narnia again.  

Continuing to study the Narnia series with Jon.  It's a better adventure book although towards the end some of the stuff with Aslan gets pretty deep into the religious overtones.

Page count: 248p/833p ytd/292,854p lifetime

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

4:100 The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Today is the day the world ends, maybe for everyone, maybe just for Essun and those in the Sanze empire.  Essun doesn't really care. Her entire world ended, shattered, when she came home and found her young son brutally murdered by his father who has taken off with their daughter. To get her daughter back safely, to get revenge on her husband who murdered their son, Essun will do anything including shedding her guise as a normal human and start embracing her status as orogene, one who can wield the power of the Earth as a weapon.

On this same day, a madman has unleashed destruction on the empire of Sanze, an destructive force that has not been seen for centuries. A great rift has opened up at the heart of the continent. A Fifth Season, a season of destruction and desolation, has begun and no one knows how long it will last this time.

As Essun starts her journey, she meets with others who are unique as well. Their journeys merge and blend as they must figure out how to survive in this Season, how to find others who will not seek to destroy them for their differences but embrace them. How to help Essun find her way back to herself because she might just hold the secrets that can save or destroy them all.

This was an amazing book that deftly weaves it's story across time and lives into an incredibly deep and intricate universe.  It was so easy to read, to get lost in, to lose time in..and then you blink and realize it's been hours and you aren't sure where they went. But when you do surface, you are gasping for air to reconnect with this world because the other is so rich and alive it's hard to pull back from.  I'm very thankful that I discovered this amazing author and even more so that this trilogy is done so as soon as I can find more time to read for me, I can dive back into this universe. I have to find out the rest of Essun's story.

Page count: 498p/585p ytd/292,606p lifetime

Monday, January 22, 2018

3:100 Write in Water by Seanan McGuire

Patrick just wants to be left alone to tinker and dream of Dianda and what can never be when Sylvester shows up to drag him to Court for a party. Unfortunately, it's not just any party but the party celebrating Dianda's engagement.  Patrick is broken and disappears into the kitchens as quickly as he can to find some peace. Dianda, remembering his custom ends up there as well and boy is she pissed.

I'm really loving the Patrick and Dianda stories and seeing how they finally get together was just perfect.  I hope even though they are now together, we continue to get occasional stories about them as they are one of the more fascinating couples.  Unfortunately, their stories always come with a side of Simon and that is just sad seeing how he was and what could have been had he chosen other paths.  

Page count: 10p/87p ytd/292,108p lifetime

Saturday, January 13, 2018

2:100 In Deepest Consequence by Seanan McGuire

Cailin needs a teacher and Tybalt will always go to the ends of the Earth and Faerie to do what is best for his niece. In this case, it means handing her over to September Tourqueville and hope that the girl he knew and loved growing up is still wanting to be outside the politics of the Courts and can be trusted to keep Cailin's secret safe.

I always love the Tybalt stories but I keep wishing I could like Cailin more. I get why she's so spoiled but still, it's getting annoying.

Page count: 14p/77p ytd/292,098p lifetime