burning books to keep warm

5 July, 2012

northwest purples

It’s July 5th. My heater is currently on. In the annals of my personal history 2012 will be known as either ‘the coldest summer of my life’ or ‘the year without a summer’. Pity me, as I surely pity myself. Also, I paid an extravagant price for a peach of most inferior flavor… I miss warm, swimming, ripe fruit… I am trying to tell myself that at least I am not in the death-grip of a heatwave… but it’s not really working. Cue self pity. And books. Bring on the books:

A Nameless Witch. A. Lee Martinez
meh. It was cleverly conceived but rather dull to read. (2 of 5 stars)

The Song Reader. Lisa Tucker
I read this for a book club. Very angsty. Angst, angst, angst. My mother-in-law would like it, for it’s references to 80’s music. The rest of you can skip it. (2 / 5)

Odd Thomas. Dean Koontz
Speaking of my mother-in-law, she’s been telling me to read this series… I told her it was cute, quick and fun… until the ending. I did not like the ending. (3 / 5)

Castle in the Air. Diana Wynne Jones
I’d been wanting to read something by Diana Wynne Jones for quite a while, and this was the only one I could find in the library, so I picked it up. It wasn’t until page 136 (of 199) that I realized it was a continuation of Howl’s Moving Castle– and it was, interestingly enough, at that point the book really picked up and became wonderful. This is a fairy tale at it’s best, I think, and I loved the last half of it immensely. The ending was super sweet without being treacle– I’m definitely going to read more of her!! (4 / 5).

Bite Me. Chistopher Moore
I love the cover. And the insults (and pretty much all of the colorful language). And the irreverent, doesn’t take itself seriously at all humor. I’ll have to read more by Moore. (4 / 5 [for the cover art alone )
bite me cover

Kill the Dead. Richard Kadrey
Sandman Slim is so goddamn cool. If he wasn’t so tragic I’d wish I was his friend. He’s just such a like-able asshole… The book reads like a movie, one I’d watch again and again and probably end up quoting. But then I always did love a good zombie movie. I audibly cheered when half-way through the book I realized there were going to be zombies.

Some randomly wonderful quotes:

“Memories are bullets. Some whiz by and only spook you. Others tear you open and leave you in pieces. Someday the right one will catch you in between the eyes and you’ll never see it coming. There’ll just be a flash of a face or a smell or her touch. Then bang, you’re gone. The only rational thing to do is kill memory. Get it before it gets you. One more drink should do it. It hasn’t worked before, but what the hell, maybe this time I’ll get lucky” (145).

“I pour a tumbler of JD and take a long sip. Whiskey doesn’t mix well with toothpaste, but I already filled the glass, and once whiskey’s been let loose you have to deal with it, like love or a rabid dog” (154).

“That good?”
“Worse. It’s like a dog with cancer ate a rat with leprosy and shit it down my throat” (177).

(5 / 5)

Forever Odd. Dean Koontz
I’m not sure I really enjoyed the story. The main character is almost too friendly, too sweet, too… something. As a second novel in a series I thought it did a rather poor job of relating to the last story– too much backstory for readers already familiar with Odd and not enough detail for those without… I wouldn’t have liked the book at all, but it did teach me a couple new words. There are worse things to read though and I didn’t *dislike* it by any means. (2 / 5)

Howl’s Moving Castle. Diana Wynne Jones
This book flows wonderfully, fantastically, magically. It’s pretty and sweet and Diana Wynne Jones is one of my new favorite authors. I realized while reading it that a lot of my favorite fantasy authors must have also read it, and been influenced by it, yet It didn’t seem dated at all, it could have been written today and stand just as tall. All the things I loved about the movie are still there (imperfect characters, magic, fun) plus dozens of cute things that were missing from the animation. I adore how sweet it is without being cloying. It’s a fantastic story. (5 / 5).

V is for Vengeance. Sue Grafton
I’ve been a fan of the series for as long as I can remember– and her latest was highly enjoyable. Ordinarily I find it slightly annoying when she switches narrators, but this time it really worked- it was awesome to ‘see’ Kinsey from someone else’s perspective, towards the end of the novel. This particular novel’s ending left me feeling satisfied and happy- justice was served!! (4 / 5)

Sweet and Deadly. Charlaine Harris
I thought I’d check out Charlaine Harris after seeing her name as a reviewer for my current favorite series Sandman Slim, but my oh my is this a different kind of story. I barely got through the first half, which felt dated and un-polished and really dated. I kept reading though, and the story got a little better- it was her first of many many novels, so I’m willing to cut the author a little slack. It was super quick and easy to read and occasionally suspenseful. (2 / 5)

Shakespeare’s Counselor. Charlaine Harris
It was a quick read but ultimately not great. I wish I’d picked up one of the author’s other series, as this one was hard to relate to. (2 of 5)

Aloha from Hell. Richard Kadrey
So. Fucking. Good. I love the glittering anti-hero, James Stark, aka Sandman Slim, aka the nephilim abomination. The ending wasn’t as satisfying as the first two in the series, but it did leave lots of room for future adventures (!). I wish I had bought this series instead of borrowing it from the library, as I can easily see myself reading each novel several times. I wish the powers-that-be would make these into movies- and hey, they take place in hell and L.A, so they could save the money from shooting somewhere more geographically foreign by crafting awesome special effects.
The reviews of the series on the back are pretty right-on, especially the ones written by William Gibson. It’s a dirty, funny, enjoyable and just plain awesome series. (5 / 5).

Sweet Silver Blues. Glen Cook
Not the kind of book I’ll remember for long. I was kind of disappointed in how boring it was– I expected more from the mystery-fantasy-crime solving promised in the description… I wish I didn’t have the next two in the series on the bookshelf, but oh well… I guess there are worse ways I could spend my time. (2 / 5)

Bitter Gold Hearts. Glen Cook
Better than the first in the series but still lacking something. Really, a P.I working in the fantasy realm has such possibility…


2 Responses to “burning books to keep warm”

  1. NGS Says:

    It’s been 100 here for the last week, so I’d take some cool. Really.

    You should read The Harper Connelly books by Charlaine Harris. I think they’re her best series. Also, I thought V for Vengeance was not good. I think Grafton has just been phoning it in since P!

  2. smoothpebble Says:

    how are you???
    adding christopher moore’s book to my list. I loved “Lamb”

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