Showing posts from February, 2010

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I'm kinda sick so this one will be quick. Yesterday i finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. I actually only knew it was a mystery, in Sweden. It's a murder mystery, a locked room mystery, as well as a financial mystery. I really liked it. a 6.

What is amazing is that this book has been out since September 2008 and there are still 92 holds on the library's 31 copies. WOW! Just a comparison, Under the Dome came out November 2009 and there are just 55 holds on the 31 copies. so Larsson is twice as popular as King? Maybe books like this will get more americans reading books in translation. I just put the second book, The Girl Who Played With Fire, on request and there are 59 people in front of me. ah well.

Weird Sci-Fi Graphic Novel

Transmetropolitan, Vol. 1: Back on the Street by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson is a sci-f dystopia story. It is really strange. Day glo colors, a crazy, anti-hero journalist, body modification take to it's extreme of species modification. The City is a dystopia and Spider Jerusalem, journalist/author, hates everything about it. He's spent 5 years, and his publisher's advance for his next book, living in the mountains outside the City. He only comes back because the publisher is threatening to sue. Once he returns, he gets a job writing a column and the rest of the book is the story he follows to write said column.

I did like the art; it is almost an adult "where's waldo" in every panel. all the Cityscape is overstuffed. This future is one of extreme sensory overload, which i feel might be a way we are headed. The writing is good and the story comes along in the last couple issues of the volume. In the final issue covered i even liked Spider, just…

More Movies!

second round of movies!

The Man Who Knew Too Much- 5, more Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart.

Wolverine- 4, ok, ugh. i mean i get that this was not going to be too faithful to the series but i was pretty disappointed. although...Hugh Jackman is lovely so that is what gives this a 4. nice to see Dom Monaghan in a big movie, even if he was the same wisecracking guy as on LOST. far too many interesting side characters that deserved way more screen time.

Dial M for Murder- 7, awesome! i was rooting for literally every character at one point or another. the Mastermind, the Cheating Wife, the Inept Killer, the Police Inspector. my favorite Hitchcock so far this year.

Mirrormask- very pretty, 5. fantasy movie about a teen, Helena, who has a fight with her mother and says that dreaded line in these movies "i wish you were dead!", and shortly thereafter the mother passes out and is rushed to the hospital. Helena draws and retreats into a fantasy world created from the drawings to save a queen …


I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly and JM Ken Niimura is one you don't want to know much about going in. Here are some basics. It's a graphic novel, black and white. Barbara Ann is a 5th grader who doesn't get along with her classmates or teachers. She lives her life as a D&D campaign, refining her knowledge of creatures and ways to defeat them. She knows a giant is coming and she must be at her best to defeat it.

I was intrigued by Nymeth's review of this book. I had it on my wishlist for a bit and when i got a coupon for Powell's decided to buy it. I'm very pleased i did! the art is great and the story is sad and touching and good! i give this a 6! and this counts in the Bad Bloggers category of the TwentyTen Challenge!

A strange hard-boiled detective

so today i finished my read of Paul Tremblay's The Little Sleep. The title, of course, is an homage to The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler's first novel featuring the detective Philip Marlowe. Tremblay's detective is Mark Genevich who lives in Boston, not L.A. He also suffers from narcolepsy, with symptoms that range from falling asleep in cabs to having intense hallucinations to automatic behavior. How can a detective, how can any person, operate when what they see may not be real and there are gaps in your life that you don't even know exist?

Genevich's normal cases involve research and internet surfing, which minimizes the effect his condition has on his work. One day he gets a visit from an American Idol star who claims that her fingers have been stolen. Genevich later realizes that part is one of his hallucinations but there are real pictures on his desk of a naked woman who looks a lot like the star. Genevich starts trying to piece his case together before…

Life and Stuff

I am now, officially, off on weekends! And Wednesdays for that matter. I've not had weekends off since spring 2007. I'm so excited about this.
Still seeing B, still ridiculously smitten. I want to post pictures but I've not taken any of us together and i don't know if he would want me to post the ones i've taken of him. they are fine! just casual. Part of the excitement over the schedule change is that now we will have a day off together. he's cute and sweet and funny and bought me flowers! We just sync up so well. ok, done gushing.
I'm such a geek i want to go to the Harry Potter theme park.I've loved the snow and cold weather we've gotten but the last 3 days have been warm and beautiful too. in a couple week my friends D and C and I will be going snow tubing!
I've managed to avoid being ill this winter as well; i am pleased.I decided to join my CSA again but at a half share this time. Last year i split a box with R and we had way, way …

New to Me Tolkien

How I found this book: I'm doing the LOTR readalong and the only copy i have of The Lord of the Rings is a big paperback of the three novels. I went to the library to grab a copy of Fellowship of the Ring that will fit more comfortably in my bag and i saw a book i'd never heard of, Farmer Giles of Ham.
It's an adorable story that i recommend to every Hobbit fan! I would say it is a straight fairy tale. The book starts with references to how long ago this story takes place in ancient Britain. Giles is a farmer with a talking dog, Garm. Talking dogs were apparently common then! One night a giant gets lost and wanders onto Farmer Giles land. Garm alerts the farmer, who doesn't really believe the dog but loads up his blunderbuss with cutlery and goes to take a look. through a couple of lucky chances, Giles happens to shoot the giant who then leaves the village. Hailed as a hero, Giles enjoys his local fame and the King even sends him a present of an old sword. When a dra…

Umbrella Academy

I read The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba last night. It starts with dozens of women, none of whom thought they were pregnant, delivering infants all around the world. An eccentric billionaire, Reginald Hargreeves, finds seven of the children and takes them to be raised as a superhero team. He's a pretty lousy father figure, even telling Seven that "there's just nothing special about you' when she seems to have no powers like her siblings.

We see an adventure the kids go on as 10 year olds, which reminded me a bit of the X-babies issues of X-men. Then we jump 20 years in the future to Hargreeves death. the team is all split up due to a falling out over the death of a member. we find out various bits and pieces of the story as we go back and forth to current events and flashbacks. I just think there were too many unexplained bits. Where are all the other special kids? Why do chimps talk in this world? How did Number 1&#…

Her Fearful Symmetry

I haven't read The Time-Traveler's Wife so Her Fearful Symmetry is my first experience with Audrey Niffenegger. I knew this one was a ghost story and had heard some middling comments on the book, that it was just ok, the characters weren't very likable. I would both agree and disagree with the characters being good and bad.
We start the book with a woman named Elspeth dying. She has a terminal cancer and dies just as her partner, Robert, has left the room. She is a Londoner and has an identical twin sister, Edie, in America. Edie has two identical twin daughters, Julia and Valentina. Edie and Elspeth had some sort of falling out over the twins' father Jack and Edie married him, went to America, and hadn't seen her twin since. When Elspeth dies, she leaves her apartment and a good deal of money to the twins, with the stipulation that they must live in the apartment for a year before it could be sold.
Julia and Valentina go to London. They've lived their…

Yeah, i hated that commercial too

it was just so full of anger and rage. It's the kind of stuff you imagine goes through a guys head right before he decides to go on a rampage and kill his wife, their kids, then goes to his job and guns down a few more people.

The Dew Breaker

A few weeks ago i read several posts about diversifying your reading, taking in things from people from different countries, of different races. It seemed to start making the blog rounds as people responded to Bloomsbury's whitewashing of the Magic Under Glass cover. Posts on Shelf Love, A Striped Armchair, My Friend Amy, and The Book Lady's Blog made me realize how much i don't pay attention to the race, gender, or ethnicity of the authors i read and characters i read about. I mean, unless you count "British" as a different ethnicity i can only think of 2 books offhand that i read with either a main character of a different race or an author who was. I want to change that. I signed up for the People of Color reading challenge and will read 10-15 POC books this year.

Today i finished The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat. It is sort of a novel, sort of a series of interlaced short stories. I really enjoyed it and give it a 6. The opening chapter is about a y…

BTT for 2/11

I'm going to weigh in on this one, even though I've no children.

Suggested by Barbara H:
How can you encourage a non-reading child to read? What about a teen-ager? Would you require books to be read in the hopes that they would enjoy them once they got into them, or offer incentives, or just suggest interesting books? If you do offer incentives and suggestions and that doesn’t work, would you then require a certain amount of reading? At what point do you just accept that your child is a non-reader?
I can only speak from the experience i have as being the oldest of 5 kids. The youngest two in our family are 12 and 18 years younger than me so i don't know that their experiences match up with me and the two brothers closest to me. Our habits were built in the 80's; we didn't get a Nintendo or a vcr until we were 12, 10 and 8 respectively. we had 1 tv, in the living room, and the parents used that in the evenings. The three of us were used to entertaining ourselves with …

The Book Thief

Rarely, very rarely, i read something and it makes me want to stop reading. I read something so wonderful and good that i don't want to spoil it by reading anything bad after it.

I read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak today. The narrator is Death and the book is set in Germany between 1939-1944 so i wasn't expecting a happy tale! Leisel is our book thief. She is nine when she steals a book she finds in a graveyard where her little brother is being buried. They were on the way to their foster home when the little boy died. Leisel finishes the trip and ends up at the home of Rosa and Hans Hubermann, an older couple with two grown children and no other foster kids. Rosa is loud and an expert in profanity while Hans is quiet and calm. They live in a suburb of Munich and are relatively poor.

As she begins to settle in she makes friends with her neighbor Rudy Stiener. Leisel learns to read from her new papa Hans and learns to steal with Rudy and the other kids in the neighborh…


After i got home after watching the Superbowl i finished the last couple chapters of Martian Time-Slip by Philip K Dick. It's a 60's sci-fi novel set on Mars, which has been pretty lackadaisically colonized. The novel starts off so mundane; we follow a few characters about their daily lives. Jack Bohlen is a repairman making his rounds. I thought for a while that the time slip was literally going to be his time card for work! His father Leo is traveling to Mars to buy land that Jack thinks will be worthless. Jack is also struggling with a returning schizophrenic episode. During all this he meets Arnie Kott, the leader of a Union community. Arnie wants to learn the future and has decided that an autistic boy, Manfred Steiner, can see the future. He hires Jack to make contact with the boy to get information or make changes to the past.
The setting is so weird. It really seems to be a Western or could have taken place in rural Australia as it was colonized. The science o…

awww yeah!

Great game all around! Loved seeing the camera cut to Manning on the sideline in the second and third quarters looking all pouty. i was a little concerned in the first quarter but after that i got confident. unfortunately i still bit all my fingernails off. ouch! I love that for once i don't have to say "well, maybe next year..." it was great that i suddenly got half a dozen text messages from my family down there. Hope one of them gets me an authentic New Orleans Saints NFL Champion tee shirt for me! black please! I can't imagine how much fun Mardi Gras is going to be this year. Geaux Saints!

Last of the Books I Finished on My Snow Day

So the final book i finished Saturday was The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch by Neil Gaiman and Michael Zulli. This one was a Christmas gift from B. It's a beautiful hardcover graphic novel.

I had actually read this as a short story before in one of Gaiman's collections but didn't realize it until about halfway through. The story starts as the end, as three friends are discussing what they should do about a fourth person's disappearance. We then travel back and hear how the fourth person, named Miss Finch by our narrator, departed. The three people get roped into entertaining Miss Finch, a bio-geologist, for an evening. Before going to get sushi, they head to an underground circus in London. It's more of a geek show, with various magic tricks and macabre acts. When the abrasive Miss Finch gets picked to have her heart's desire come true, things get even more strange.

The art was really lovely. Apparently Michael Zulli has drawn for Sand…

Hobbit Reread

Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway.I don't know how many times i've read The Hobbit. maybe a dozen times? a few years ago i read a big illustrated version when i went home to my parents for a week, just because it was there. i know i have listened to the audiobook at least twice too. B and i were discussing childhood books and we both followed the same pattern: read The Hobbit and loved it, tried LOTR and couldn't understand it, then came back to LOTR a couple years later and loved it. The Hobbit is so accessible, especially to youngsters. Bilbo is small, not physically strong, who wants comfort and peace. Kids can relate to being underestimated and scared in a big bad world and seeing another small, scared person overcome makes you think …