Thursday, April 30, 2015

Archie Archives Volume 5, 223 pages

It's kind of disturbing to see the very early days of Archie, the characters are similar but different enough to be off-putting at times.

After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn, 304 pages

This was a fantastic book. Imagine growing up the child of two superheroes, but with no powers of your own. Basically going through life as Hostage Girl, living in the shadows of  your parents. To what lengths would you go to get your own life?
This was a great take on the superhero genre, very well-written and intriguing. I finished it in less than a day, couldn't put it down.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Archie Archives Volume 4, 227 pages

I was very glad to have something light-hearted and humorous to read after my last book.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, 218 pages

My kids had raved about this book and I had heard many other people talk about how amazing it was, so I finally picked it up. WORST BOOK EVER! Not because it was badly written, or anything like that, but because it totally pulled me in and then gut-punched me at the very end. I'm not going to go into plot details in case anyone else hasn't read it, but this is a book I won't soon forget.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

World War Moo by Michael Logan, 309 pages

The zombie apocalypse started by cows, what's not to enjoy.

Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn, 231 pages

Read because of Night Owl Reviews, I enjoyed it. I'm thinking about picking the other mysteries by this author.

Old School by Tobias Wolff, 195 pages

A read because of Readers Without Borders book club. 1960s boys boarding school, meant to be intellectual, not my favorite read.

Archie Archives Volume 3, 229 pages

Some of the issues from the early 40s were a little racist.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The World According to Mister Rogers, by Fred Rogers, 189 pages

A great collection of quotes, songs, and inspirations by everyone's favorite neighbor.

A Light In The Attic, by Shel Silverstein, audiobook

I love Shel Silverstein, so when I saw this in our children's cd section, I had to give it a listen! I loved hearing him read the poems and the music and sounds that went along with it. Very cool.

Beauty by Kerascoet and Hubert, 150 pages

This was a very interesting graphic novel. Beauty as a curse and a weapon.

The Rocky Horror Treasury by Sal Piro and Larry Viezel, 48 pages

A look at one of the movie that stands as the top cult movie of all times. I loved the little musical song clips buttons on the side. I hadn't realized that Tim Curry played Dr. Frank-n-Furter in the original play production.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Some Luck by Jane Smiley (395 pgs)

I am not quite sure how to describe how I feel about this book.   I can't really say I enjoyed it, but, at the same time, I needed to finish reading it.  I renewed, returned and then checked out again to get it read. 

It is the first book in a planned trilogy.  The layout of the book is that each chapter is a year starting with 1920 and ending with 1953.  The trilogy is set to cover 100 years, so it is interesting to note that it plans to cover years that have not yet happened.

"Some Luck" follows the lives of a family starting with Rosanna and Walter Langdon and then their children.  The perspective of the story from person to person changes with little warning and it took a while to get the hang of what was going on...especially when the perspective was of an infant.

It was slow for me to read and yet I gradually got caught up in the story and enjoyed the history happening in the background (notably WW2 and the Red Scare).  I have a feeling that I will read the next two books as they come out.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Listen Up, Girlfriends: Lessons on Life from the Queen of Advice, by Mother Love with Connie Church, 185 pages

I came across this while perusing the shelves, and picked it up for its catchy title and awesome author name. I liked the author's "voice' and although I felt that she was telling good biographical stuff about herself, sometimes it was hard to relate to or see how it pertained to me.

Even This I Get to Experience by Norman Lear (448 pgs)

As a fan of "All in the Family", "The Jeffersons", and even "a.k.a. Pablo" (Yes, I watched all six episodes), reading Norman Lear's autobiography was an easy choice.  He tells the stories of his lives (his choice of plural) over his 90+ years in open and honest fashion.  We see the good and the bad and watch him work through the twists and turns of his relationship with his father. 

I loved the chapters that covered the wonderful t.v. shows that he made, but his life has so very much more to it.  For example, I don't know why I never made the connection before, but connecting McCarthyism to the Moral Majority to the Tea Party seems so obvious, but it never clicked before.  Fascinating person and an interesting read. 

Esther Royal Beauty by Angela Hunt, 348 pages

A new look at an old Bible story. The author did a great job of bringing the story alive, using researched historical details. An interesting aspect is that the story is told from the perspective of "Esther" and a palace eunuch.

And So It Goes Volume 2 by Dan Trogdon, 128 pages

Another collection of cartoons by a local author. They were pretty funny.

And So It Goes by Dan Trogdon, 128 pages

This was an author at JPL's latest local authors book signing. His book is cartoons that remind me of Far Side. I really got a kick out of them.

The Green Mill Murder by Kerry Greenwood, 192 pages

I may have to slow down on these books, otherwise I'm going to finish them all and then have to wait for the author to write new ones.

Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood, 164 pages

My new favorite obsession.

Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood, 151 pages

Another fabulous entry in a great series. This is one of those odd occurrences, where the television show is just as good as the books.

Flying Too High by Kerry Greenwood, 156 pages

I'm totally hooked on these books. I love the writing (the costume descriptions make me drool), the characters are fantastic, the dialogue is witty, and the plots are wonderful. I love discovering a series after there are several written, gives me lots to look forward too.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Beasts of Burden Animal Rites by Evan Dorkin & Jill Thompson, 182 pages

A graphic novel for my Comics and Cocktails book club. This was dark and humorous, well written and drawn. A great read, all in all.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Prudence, The Custard Protocol by Gail Carriger, 357 pages

A fun continuation of the steampunk Regency romance series started with Soulless. It's interesting to see the children grownup and having their own adventures.

Friday, April 10, 2015

A King's Ransom by Sharon Kay Penman, 694 pages

I got a chance to review this for Night Owl Reviews and jumped at it. I loved anything that covers English history, and had read the first book by this author covering King Richard the Lionheart up to him finishing the Crusades. This was an outstanding book, very well-researched, with characters that were brought alive on the pages.

Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg, 226 pages

Texts between literary characters, I enjoyed the Hamlet ones but the others were just eh, okay.

Death of a Liar by M.C. Beaton, 261 pages

Another solid entry in the Hamish Macbeth series. I always enjoy Beaton's books, she writes a funny, solid mystery every time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman (596 pgs.)

Shadow Scale is book 2 following Seraphina.

Seraphina seeks out the other ityasaari (half human/half dragon).  On her travels we learn more of the other countries in this world and of their histories.

Seeking to save the uneasy peace and end the dragon war as quickly as possible, this journey is of utmost importance, but how can Seraphina fight the one who can invade minds?

I was lost in the story from the beginning and read through like I haven't gotten through a book in a long time.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Archie: The Complete Daily Newspaper Comics by Bob Montana, 301 pages

I hadn't realized that Archie ran in the newspapers ever day starting in the 50s.

Archie Archives Volume 2, 226 pages

This collects the Archie comic books from the very earliest appearances. Jughead looks like a gangster from the early movies and Betty and Veronica are drawn like pin up girls. It's interesting to see how the artwork has changed.

The Wilde Album by Merlin Holland, 192 pages

This looks at Oscar Wilde's life through photos. He was a fascinating man, and a pretty much a self-promoted celebrity, almost a Kardashian but with talent and a better fashion sense.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

One for the Books by Joe Queenan, 244 pages

This is a basically a love letter to books, explaining one person's obsession with books. Joe Queenan is a much more high-falutin' reader than I am, but no less of a voracious reader. I especially agree with his thought on how much of our love affairs with reading and books are tied up in the physicality of books, it's not the same with a Kindle. I myself have books that I have more than one copy of because of where I got it, or what I was doing when I read it, or the appearance of the book itself. I've referred to a copy of a book as "my reading copy" when talking about multiple copies. I do have to disagree with his dislike of libraries or borrowing books. I realize he's an author and depends on royalties from books sales, but considering I read 300+ books a year generally, I can't afford to buy all the books I read. I also thought the author should have cut about 44 pages or so from the book because anything over 200 pages is fluff (inside joke.)
Because I found myself nodding and agreeing in some sections, and getting upset and almost vocally disagreeing in other sections, I wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone who considers themselves a bookaholic. I would start a support group but it would cut into my reading time.

The Complete Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist, by Diane DiMassa, 400 pages

Such a great comic: thought provoking, intriguing, colorful characters. Hothead Paisan is a homicidal lesbian whose television has literally driven her insane. When she encounters misogyny in the streets, she blows her top and pushes back in her own way (which generally involves chopping off appendages of chauvinists, rapists, etc.) Her cat, Chicken, is a fantastic character who brings spirituality to the series, and her blind best friend, Roz, is a voice of love and peace. I adore everything about this comic and highly recommend it to anyone.

The Misadventures of Benjamin Bartholomew Piff, by Jason Lethcoe, 215 pages

We've had a copy of this on our bookshelf for a long time, and I needed something handy to read, but... I have to admit, I was sooooo bored with this book. I didn't care about the characters and felt like it was a chore just to get through it.

Waiting for Normal, by Leslie Connor, 290 pages

Addie lives with her "all or nothing" mom in a mobile home that her ex step dad provides for them. She misses her half sisters, but also feels like she has to be responsible for her mom. She just wants a "normal life."

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The King's Marauder by Dewey Lambdin, 355 pages

My husband is a big fan of the Dewey Lambdin books and we were lucky enough to get to meet him a few years ago. So when I had a chance to review one of his books I took it. I've only read his first book so I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy reading book 20, but there was enough background given so I didn't feel completely lost. These are good solid reads, with lots of historical detail mixed with humor and adventure.

Murder and the First Lady by Elliott Roosevelt, 227 pages

A murder mystery featuring Eleanor Roosevelt written by her son? I was fascinated to discover this series. The first one was well done and I didn't see the ending until pretty much the last chapter. I'm definitely planning on picking up the next one in the series to see if I enjoy it as much as the first.