Adult, Books, Comics, YA (Young Adult)

May Wrap Up

Today would normally be comic book Wednesday, but seeing as I have spent the last week or so moving I have not read anything of note and therefor have nothing really to talk about.  On the other hand, it is June first so maybe I should tell you what I read this month?  Mayhaps?

I have to say it was a bit of a sad month this month, at least in terms of reading.  I moved out and got my own place this month so I won’t be too hard on myself for reading four comics, one book, and DNFing one.  Lucky for you, I have reviews of all of these, with the exception of one I believe, but its an ongoing series and who needs me to prattle on about something so much.

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Going to try something new this month and rather than giving you a paragraph of ramblings on each title, you can click on the image of the title that intrigues you and it will take you directly to my review of it (or the goodreads page for that one that I didn’t review… play Russian Roulette which one is it?)

As far as my reading challenges are concerned, the sorry state of the books I read mean that I did not complete a single Pop Sugar challenge, but they did all count toward my Goodreads challenge with the exception of the DNFed book which I myself am excluding.

This brings my totals to:

Goodreads Challenge: 46/50
Pop Sugar Challenge: 19/40
#RYODB Challenge: 12/50

There it is folks, May in a nut shell.

Books, Musings

Happy New Year! 2015 Wrap Up and Top 5 Books!

Hey Guys, I have a two week streak of having posts for you.  Three times a week at least, no less.  I’m going to try and keep this up.  I’m working really hard.  Speaking of working hard, I edited three videos this week all pertaining to the year as a whole.

You will find two of those videos below but the last can only be found over on Gretchen’s Blog so please go check it out!

In this first video I talk all about the year as it pertains to you guys here on my blog as well as tell you my Top 5 Books for the year:

On top of that, Gretchen and I got together to talk about all of the things we have done together this year including: our book club videos and everything to do with Betwixt the Books.

How was your year?

What were your favorite books this year?

I hope you guys are looking forward to the new year and I hope its a good one for you!

Happy New Year!

Adult, Books

Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store by Robin Sloan Review

Book review, book review, I actually have a book review!

Let’s go!

Title: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Author: Robin Sloan
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Page#: 304
Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Secret Society

While this doesn’t really have anything to do with The Martian Chronicles (which was our book club pick of the week: watch that here) other than perhaps a near future setting and my utter adoration of the text, I really wanted to talk about this book.

If you follow me on twitter (which you should because I’m delightful: here) then you probably saw two weeks ago when I spazzed out into the wee hours of the morning throwing up quotes from this beauty (two of which were liked by two different Reddit twitters despite having no hash-tags … they watch us all!).  I am finally ready to tell you exactly what I thought about this book.

Before I get started … let’s set the mood:

I’m sitting here sipping a steaming cup of Chai tea and eating a bowl of leftover bibimbap.  I have an hour until this post is scheduled to go up.  I have finished two other books in the past week that aren’t related to book club and am making my way through the book club book with record speeds.  I am, for all intents and purposes, in a really good mood.  I am going to blame this on my excitement over this book.

If you were to ask me what I thought about this book if you found me wandering around some book store.  The only thing I would think to say is: I love it, you should read it right away.  I will say the same to you here and now.

I love it, you should read it right away!

People often talk about certain genres of music or a specific film as the zeitgeist of a time.  I honestly feel that this book is the zeitgeist for myself and my particular group of friends as we are right now.  This book perfectly captures our perspective.  That is the perspective of nerds, and English nerds at that, in the age of electronics.  The main character played what would be considered the alt universe version of dungeons and dragons, a pass time that create a very specific perspective.  Not only did he make references that would make my heart squee and had a bunch of fantasy names that were so comically bad they could only have been thought up by dungeons and dragons nerds but it referenced what we as a generation have to look forward to.

Half of this book was discovering what was going down in an extremely eclectic book shop tucked away in San Francisco and half of this book was discussing whether the movement toward a Google-oriented (dare I say addicted or enraptured) world (one where people read on e-readers instead of books and use computers to solve problems that would have taken months or years to do only thirty or forty years earlier) is detrimental to the book industry.  It even touched on the way that conglomerates seem to rise and stamp out all the little businesses but how they too are not infallible.

It is more than just a book around a mystery.  It happens to be a mystery that every fantasy video game nerd or late night D&Der would cream their jeans over, but it is more than that if you care to think a little.

It is written in a way that I could have sworn some of the prose was stolen from my own mouth when talking to one of my friends.  This was unsettling at first, but it also made it seem like the characters in the book could be sitting at the table with me on Friday night.  It made us old friends quickly and I was ensnared.

I read the whole novel in one sitting, forgoing sleep, despite having work the next day.  It felt amazing.

This book in one night made its way into my top five books of all time.  It may not have made me think as hard as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which still holds the top spot, but it is up there.

It is beautiful.

I love it.

You should read it right away.

Honestly.

Now normally this is the point where I say that we will be reading John Dies at the End for next Tuesday, but since Gretchen is leaving for England on Wednesday, it may be a week or two before we get to it.  We may end up doing it without her, but with Rachel’s recent hiatus it would be Taylor and I alone … I have a few friends on retainer who have either read it or will try to read it in order to join us.  Just watch out.  Remember when I linked my twitter up at the top of the post?  No?  Well I did, and that is probably the best place to find out what is going on if you care to know.  Woo!

If we do have to post pone, like I said, I’ve read a lot this past week and have plenty to fill you in with in the time being.  Assuming I get to writing reviews for them. *nervous laughter*

I hope you guys have a great weekend.  I will see you on Sunday (for some K-Pop SPAM)!

 

Adult, Books

The Host by Stephenie Meyer Book Review

So while I used to read two books a week I sort of stopped doing that because of stress in general and being super annoyed at genres and books and myself.

This week I am doing a companion read that is in no way related to the book club book.

I am going to talk about The Host, so get ready for my feels.

Title: The Host
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Page #: 620
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian

So, let’s talk about the elephant in the room.

*cough* Stephenie Meyer and the whole Twilight phenomenon *cough*

It was super popular so everyone decided to hate it.

I get it, I do.  I know the problems that are inherent in Twilight.  I will stand by the fact that when I read that series at thirteen it entertained me.  I will also stand by the fact that it created a generation of readers.  There are people who didn’t read a lot until the read Twilight and now they do and I think that any book that is able to do that is alright by me.

Today we are not talking about sparkly vampires, we are talking about parasitic aliens.

I read The Host for the first time a little over a year ago and I loved it.  I read it before the movie came out so that I could watch the movie and know the ins and outs of what was going.  Honestly the movie was more entertaining to make fun of than it was as a movie in itself.  Watch it if you want, but the book, like 95% of book to movie adaptations is better.

I reread The Host while I was in New Hampshire on my spontaneous vacation.  When Taylor saw I was reading it he did the normal “You’re reading The Host Again” scoff.  Which I simply replied with, “I like The Host, it is interesting.”  The whole parasitic alien thing isn’t exactly unique but I honestly don’t like science fiction involving aliens … like ever (this is from a traumatic experience I once had as a child which I can tell you about at a later date).

Yes The Host is a romance book.  Yes The Host has a love … triangle … quadrangle … something?  However, it is an extremely well done love … quadrangle.  I loved the way this story plays out.  I felt like the pacing of the plot and the growth that the characters experience was justified and not plot driven in any way.  I usually hate love triangles because they are just there to add tension.  This love triangle was created by the situation the characters were in and was worked through in a way that didn’t seem like one character pining after another who loved someone else … etc. etc.  It was an interesting take.

It is not a very thoughtful book, it is definitely what Gretchen would call a Popcorn read.  You read this book to enjoy the ride, because it is sweet and entertaining, not for its literary value.

I love reading books that make me think, but I was on vacation and I don’t want to be having philosophical epiphanies while on vacation.  I wrote a story about porn stars for goodness sake.

My favorite part about this novel are the stories that Wanderer tells the humans.  It is the one thing they took out of the film.  Which is understandable because they would have needed an astronomical special effects budget.  The interesting part of this story. The thing that sets it apart from any other weird romance book, is the fact that our main character is parasitic alien who has lived countless lives on various planets as various species and the stories she can tell about those lives.

If you enjoy science fiction then maybe this book isn’t for you, because it isn’t the best in its genre, however if you are looking for an easy read to get your mind of things for a while, by all means check it out.  It has interesting stories within it and it is a heart warming story.  I feel like I read somewhere that Stephenie Meyer was working on a sequel.  I don’t know if she still is, but the story works fine on its own.  It doesn’t need to be continued in my opinion.

Overall I give the book a four out of five stars for being entertaining but not outstanding.  It was good.  It helped me get out of my reading slump.

I hope you guys enjoyed this little review and I will be back on Sunday with some KPop Spam.  (I had this playlist put together like three weeks ago and just never wrote up the blog post because of my hiatus)

 

Adult, Books

The Stranger by Albert Camus Review (BEDO)

*Blog Everyday in October

This book had one of the single most frustrating second halves to books I have ever read and I want to rant about it but I can’t because spoilers.  There is a rant in me that wants to come out.

Title: The Stranger
Original Title: L’Etranger
Author: Albert Camus
Translator: Mathew Ward (from French)
Page #: 123

This was a respectively quick read.  A short book that was essentially split into two parts.  The first following a guy around his everyday life for a few weeks, the second being a trial and its outcome.  The first half was perfectly fine, I enjoyed all of the different vignettes of life Camus gives us within there.  I especially liked the scenes walking to the funeral and the description of the old man who lives near the main character as well as that old man’s dog.

While the writing style can be simplistic at times it is also incredibly beautiful.  It has moments of incredibly vivid imagery and moments of simplistic description.  I enjoyed the writing very much and might look into some of his other works.

A thing to note about this novel, the narrator is totally a sociopath.  I had to keep reminding myself of this fact, it would be obvious at times and then he would do something and I would get all huffy and have to go, “He isn’t going to do things logically because he doesn’t think the same way.”  This probably didn’t help my frustration with the second half of the novel.

As a person who spent two whole years about her life learning about how the government works and then trials respectively this trial made me so outraged.  The trial was the biggest ruse of a trial with the most ridiculous outcome I have ever seen.  I want to explain why, but I won’t because spoilers.  Just understand that it is terrible, well written, but not the way things should have gone down.

Some people have mommy issues and some people get put on trial and all’s well that ends well or not.

There you have it my short little review of The Stranger for its short length with the beginnings of a rant but not a full on rant.  I hope you guys are having a good weekend so far.  I have so much due next week for school that it is time for me to get back to working on that stuff and as always The Pied Piper is calling me.