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Not Dead, I swear

October 4, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

I can vow to fellow Papernauts out there, I am not dead – just working on book stuff, music stuff… and you know, WORK stuff. But I’m still trying to read when I can, and there are a few books I read that I really dig recently:

– N.K. Jemisin’s second book in The Inheritance Trilogy – The Broken Kingdoms is awesome. Loved it even more than the first book, and can’t wait for the final book, The Kingdom of the Gods. 

– John Scalzi’s The God Engines: balla. That’s a good thing.

– Stephen R. Boyett took 25 years to write the sequel to Ariel, but I will tell you this much… I’m enjoying the shit out of Elegy Beach. A world where the introduction of magic to Earth has pushed mankind to extinction, the friendship between to two boys can change the fate of the world. My regular subway read these days.

More stuff to come soon, promise. In the meantime, the twitter feed get slightly more updates. Slightly more.

The Hunger Games Comes to the Big Screen

Logo on fire

That’s right, as I am sure any enthusiast of the 12 colonies knows, The Hunger Games is getting a Hollywood makeover and coming out in March 2012.  Will it be great or will it dissapoint all the loyal fans?   It is hard to know, but equally hard not to be excited.  I am not thrilled by all the casting choices, I admit, but I am willing to give them a try.    … Continue Reading

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

A world on fire

 I read this book on a recommendation from a friend. To be fair, it is not a book I would have picked up on my own, but then such was the case for my friend. This book, for both of us, was an anomaly. But what an anomaly it was. On the surface, this book is exactly what it claims to be. Through multiple first person accounts, the reader is invited to experience the first and hopefully only, Zombie War. Just hearing that, I’m sure you might expect to hear an account that might start, in the movies

“ In a World where disease has racked the land,…. the dead…don’t stay that way….”

Maybe the trailer would then cut to the scene of an innocent child, surrounded by wreckage…who turns with a bloodthirsty grin, seeking its next victim.(I know, I just stole that scene from Walking Dead, but is so iconic and unforgettable.

But World War Z is much more than a book of scare tactics and this is why I highly recommend people who have not discovered it for themselves, to read it. … Continue Reading

A Reader’s Dilemma

February 12, 2011 Books, Musings 2 Comments

Being back in school is great.  The semester has started pretty well, there is just one little problem I am having:  there is just SO much reading to do.  Readers of this site know that I love to read, but I am not enjoying this workload.

Much of the reading I have to do is textbook reading which is very boring.  Unless you find that certain textbook author (whom I have yet to come across) textbooks are pretty lifeless.  Even if they are describing something amazing.

The textbooks aren’t really the issue for me, though.  I skim them, rather than get in-depth with the reading assignments.  It’s being forced to read other books–in the case of my Literature class, they are classic novels.  Reading for pleasure is one thing, but being required to read a novel, with time constraints, is another animal altogether (when coupled with other readings, there just never seems to be enough time).

There are three novels I will be reading for my class: The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton, A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway and Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston. I am also reading, for my Anthropology class, a fascinating look at the ancestors of humankind called Our Kind, by Marvin Harris.

We received our assignment for The House of Mirth just days ago.  I am halfway through the novel, and need to be done by Tuesday.  I just can’t bring myself to stick with it.  I feel like my brain is rebelling.  Does anyone else have this issue?  I’d like to hear about how you wonderful readers deal with it.

The good thing about this assignment is, that it’s a book review.  After I finish (Fates willing) The House of Mirth, I get to write a review of it.  If there is one thing I enjoy, is reviewing!  And getting a grade for it can’t hurt.

Dreadnought Review

February 3, 2011 Book Reviews, Books 1 Comment

Looking back, I admit I was a little too harsh initially on Boneshaker, Cherie Priest’s zombie/steampunk hybrid novel. While it turned out to be a good book, I thought the story started too slowly for me; probably because I was too anxious about the zombie swarm goodness I knew was bound to happen. With Dreadnought, the second entry in the Clockwork Century series, I am happy to report I have no complaints about this gunslinging sequel. Priest expands and builds on her wild take on Civil War America, complete with train heists, battling mechs and of course, more zombies. … Continue Reading

The Sheriff of Yrnameer, a review

January 20, 2011 Book Reviews, Books No Comments

The cover of my copy is silver... Not that that means anything

So, I missed a post last week because I was pretty sick from Thursday on.  Feeling much (much much!) better now, and decided to get on here and do another review.  I am not exactly sure how regularly I will be writing starting next week, as the semester starts back up, but I’ll do what I can!

The Sheriff of Yrnameer was the very first novel by Michael Rubens.  It is set in the distant future.  It centers around a fairly pathetic space pilot/smuggler named Cole.  He’s one of those characters that aspires to be Han Solo like, thinking he’s got everything going for him, but he’s more like Fry from Futurama.

In fact, the whole of Rubens’ future is similar to Futurama–in a good way.

Basically all the worst things happen to Cole.  He is captured by an alien bounty hunter who wants nothing more to lay his eggs in Cole’s brain; the girl of his dreams leaves him for his alien sidekick; and his precious ship is vaporized because he didn’t make it to the parking meter in time.  All of this terrible stuff happens in the first few chapters.

When Cole overhears his rival’s plan to take on a cargo and a couple passengers, he decides he wants in on the action.  After knocking his rival out, he steal his ship, and begins an adventure that takes him out of civilized space.  The group, with a cargo of freeze-dried orphans in tow, encounter cannibalistic business men, ornery grey aliens, and the same bounty hunter that was after Cole from the start.

… Continue Reading

The Story of Sushi, a review

January 6, 2011 Book Reviews, Books No Comments

I’ll be completely honest, when I picked up Trevor Corson’s book, The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice, I expected a grand historical account of sushi throughout the ages.  What I didn’t expect, and what the book offered to me, was a story–though true to life–about a young woman’s struggle at a school where sushi chefs learn their trade.

I picked it up, a little wary.  I’ll admit that I didn’t read what this book was about.  I honestly decided to read it, hoping for some history on sushi.  After the first few pages, I was hooked.  That lase sentence may come across as a terrible pun, considering the book has a fish on the cover.  For that, I apologize.

The story is set in California.  More specifically, the California Sushi Academy in a restaurant called Hama Hermosa.  It follows a few students, and the instructors, of what was the last class the Academy held before Hama Hermosa was closed.  (It’s since moved to another restaurant.)

Corson does a wonderful job of blending the story aspect, following the students/instructors, and giving his readers a history lesson in sushi.  When a new fish, or sushi style is introduced, the chapter it appears in tells about how it came about to be a sushi topping or style.  Corson did a lot of research for this book, and it shows.

I enjoyed the blending of the two styles.  It was written like it was half novel and half sushi encyclopedia!

After reading it, I learned that Corson also has a book called The Secret Lives of Lobsters. I am eager to find a copy, and read that one, as well.

The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear, a review

December 30, 2010 Book Reviews, Books No Comments

“A bluebear has twenty-seven lives.  I shall recount thirteen and a half of them in this book, but keep quiet about the rest…”  So begins one of the most creative books I have ever had the chance to read. The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear, written by Walter Moers, is touted as “Equal parts J.K. Rowling, Douglas Adams and Shel Siverstein.”  This description is absolutely true.

The story begins with a preface from the good ol’ Captain, and soon begins with his adventures just after birth.  Each of the chapters following, delve into on of Bluebear’s “lives”.  By life, the author means different ways that Bluebear has lived and learned.  He starts by…well…being born, of course.

… Continue Reading

Semester’s end…

December 10, 2010 Musings No Comments

Today was officially the last day of lecture on campus.  And I am quite happy.  While my jubilation might be a bit…early (I still have finals to contend with), I am looking forward to the winter break.  It’s going to be a great time to spend reading and catching up on some movies/TV/whatever have you that I haven’t been able to read/watch/etc.

I will some fodder for articles here on the site after Christmas (since I asked my mother for some new books to read as gifts).  You can look forward to–and I know this, because I had to place the order for the books–reviews for The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing by Tarquin Hall (another in the Vish Puri series that I covered before), The Sheriff of Yrnameer by Michael Rubens and The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice by Trevor Corson.

I look forward to reading these books, and sharing my opinion of them with you.  Until then, I am going to try to post here and there to keep myself writing for the site, and let you know what’s going on.

Yeah, Write – Champagne Wishes

December 10, 2010 Musings, Yeah Write. No Comments

NaNoWrMo was kind of a bust… kind of. While I spent most of November laying out templates and character arcs/ideas – some good, some utterly worthless – the actual concept of writing month slipped away from me. I was just supposed to write, dammit. Mistakes, typos and all. I really only got one particularly good thing out of it all, and even good is a subjective term at this point.

I got a novella started.

I know. Because that’s exactly what I needed added on to my goals: another book, right? While contextually speaking it is canonical to the overall novel, the theme, subject matter and even the culture of it is entirely different. Pieces of it will be in another language. It definitely calls for some research (which thankfully I have already enlisted in the form of a person). There’s nothing better than personal experiences to add some life to a story.

This thing is going to be written in big chunks, just to keep me from devoting too much damn time to it. Plus the plot is simplistic in nature, so I’m hinging all the value on character and dialog emphasis. Fingers crossed that I can get this thing going somewhere, because I’m kind of excited by it.

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