Friday, January 6, 2012

Daunting Goal

60 books a year.

I must have lost my mind.

Well, I have to begin somewhere so I am currently reading Ted Dekker & Tosca Lee's novel entitled Forbidden.

Here I go...


Monday, January 2, 2012

That Long???

I cannot believe I have not reviewed a book since July. Then again, this has been one of the hardest semesters of my life (which I passed with flying colors) so it makes sense.

Lately, I have been trying to update my profile on the social site Goodreads. Every person is able to come up with a challenge. The number of books they plan on reading for this year. I have decided that for 2012 I will read (at least) 60 book. Entered the number into the challenge and there is the announcement on my page for all the world to see.

Only after I posted my challenge did I really sit and do some math. 12 months a year that means an average 5 books a month which means less than a book a week.

I may have to reconsider this goal, but for now I will let it stand.

60 books in 2012.

Here goes....


Monday, July 25, 2011

The Strain By: Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan

My next group of reviews were scheduled to be graphic novels. However, reading has taken over writing and I have yet to compose those reviews. In order to avoid an even bigger backlog of reviews I decided to start reviewing a book as soon as I have finished reading. Why did I not think of doing this sooner ? Chalk it up to a combination of my late night reading tendency (resulting in books being finished at 5am with sleep riddled eyes) and simple procrastination. Now onward with the book reviewing.

This novel is one of those books that I promised myself I would read either via nook or when it hits paperback, then forgot about the book. I recently found a hardcover copy in the bargain stack at my local Borders express (sad thing about Borders closing, but that is another entry.) The low price coupled with my previous fascination for the book made this purchase inevitable.

The Strain tells the tale of a plane that lands at JFK airport with all passengers dead. In a post 9-11 New York, authorities cannot help but to expect the deaths to be the result of a biological terrorist attack. However, the pathogen here is the result of an ancient evil of the blood sucking variety. When Dr. Goodweather of the CDC Canary project begins to investigate the case he is dragged into a world of vampiric lore that challenges the stereotypical ideas of holy water and crucifixes all the while chronicling the journey of a man fighting for his family and a Holocaust survivor's lifelong mission against evil.

In an age when novels romanticize the idea of blood sucking creatures, and vampires sparkle, The Stain was a welcome reminder of the blood and gore that was once associated with these creatures of the night. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone who remembers Stoker's Dracula, Leroux's Phantom of the Opera, or any other bloody monster tale that made one a little weary of night time noises and a little anxious to turn off the lights.

Happy Reading!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Graphic Novels Galore

I need to get back in the habit of writing reviews as soon as I finish the book. Although there have been no updates in almost a month, take heart fellow readers as I have still been reading almost a book a day. However, I have been so eager to jump into my next read that I have not sat down and completed my book reviews. As such, I have decided to post some reviews of the books I have been reviewing based on various categories. First up, graphic novels.

I LOVE graphic novels. Call me a geek, I do not care. There is just something to be said about a great story that is told in such vivid imagery. From V for Vendetta to Neil Gaiman's Sandman to manga such an Inuyasha, if there is a good story I will quickly trek into the world of animated squares. There have been quite a few graphic novels that I have read lately. As such I will review those first.

For those who love graphic novels the way I do, I am sure you'll find some interesting reviews. For those who do not read graphic novels, take a look. You might be surprised and before you know it, you will sucked into this world as well.

Happy Reading!


Monday, May 30, 2011

Books with Friends ~ Book 4: Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Originally read and written July 31, 2010
Recommended by Jen (among others)

I am many years behind the trend. Almost a decade since "Potter Mania" swept the world, I just read the first book in the popular series. One of the advantages of reading this book as the mania has calmed is that I was able to read without hyped reviews that could potential jade my view of the book.

My thoughts? I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Rowling is truly a gifted storyteller and writer. Her details are incredible yet simplistic. Gone are the page filled adjectives that many writers deem necessary to describe a boat and yet I could still picture the huge chessboard. No, it has nothing to with the movie as I have yet to see the film.

This book is what I call "popcorn" reading. It is light, filling, and good although not necessarily meant to be a meal. I engage in similar fare when I happen across some of the books of my youth such as The Babysitters Club and Nancy Drew.

Speaking of which, as a child who loved to read, libraries and bookstores did not offer as much in the way of serial novels. I was in the 4th grade when I was reading Ann M. Martin's The Babysitters Club. As I outgrew those books (and read through most of Ronald Dahl, C.S. Lewis and Madeline L'Engle) I began reading Nancy Drew. Once I read everything in that series in the libraries I had nothing left and as such began my foray into the works of Mr. Stephen King (I know, really big jump) My point is that young readers are offered a wider variety of novels geared towards them. Most thanks to a selection of artists who thought of younger readers. One such writer is J.K. Rowling.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Books with Friends ~ Book 3: 1984 by George Orwell

Read July 27, 2010
Recommended by Kelli

1984 is one of those books that are always on the shelf as "required reading." I had never read it in school as I had read Orwell's Animal Farm instead. When my friend Kelli put this book on my Books with Friends list, I told her that I love her for giving me a reason to finally reading this book.

George Orwell's classic provides the reader with a indepth look at a world where government controls society, economy,and the every day even down to your very thoughts. With Big Brother ruling Oceania all must agree to the Party's 3 rules:

1. War
2. Ignorance = Freedom
3. Intelligence = Slavery

The protagonist lives and operates within the parameters of this world, but is on a search for an outlet. It is this search that is chronicled through the novel.

I finished this book at the crack of dawn and immediately fell asleep. After finishing this book, I did not sleep well. In my dreams, I saw interrogations and other scenes courtesy of this novel's description.

What I also found frightening is some of the modern day similarities such as the hope in the lottery by the lower class, and the nonchalance of the middle class.

Not a long novel but not an easy read. However, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in political satire and anyone curious as to what happens when the masses are willing to sacrifice free will for security.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Books with Friends ~ Book 2: Jurassic Park

Completed on July 25, 2010

For many years my friend Amanda has suggested I read Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park. For many years I have refused. It was never that I had anything against the author. In fact, I consider myself a Crichton fan, having read Congo, Airframe, The Andromeda Strain etc. The truth of the matter is that being such a fan kept me from reading this book.

I had read The Lost World (the sequel to Jurassic Park) a very long time ago. Absolutely loved it and was thoroughly disappointed in the concept of the film. As such, I did not want to read Jurassic Park as I loved the movie so much I did not want to do anything that would ruin the film for me.

However, I recently buckled down and read the book for this project. My thoughts?

Although I originally had trouble removing my expectations based on the film, I soon found the twists in the novel so different that I was able to visualize the story in and of itself. I came to like this book. After reading, I purchased the movie on dvd (my copy was a vhs) and have come to the conclusion that the book outshines the movie. Crichton was able to include details and a story arch that was not limited to a PG13 rating or a 90 minute time frame.

Amanda and I discussed the book pointing out characters that survived in the novel but died in the film and vice cersa. There were vital characters in the novel that made little or no appearence in the film, characters I loved in the filn anbd characters who annoyed me in both mediums.

My final word, Great story! Interesting plot and imaginative details, I would highly recommend to anyone who has an interest in dinosaurs, thrillers or both.