January 28, 2014

Tiny update (or gigantic depending on your point of view)

So despite the fact that I didn't post the review of Out of the Silent Planet, I actually finished it last week. It was such a great read that I thought it would benefit you guys if I just finished up the Space Trilogy in its entirety before updating. With that thought in mind, I started on the sequel entitled Perelandra and I'm moving along quite well with that. I think you guys are really going to like these.

While that was happening I went to my very first book signing (in Brooklyn no less!). If you remember I reviewed Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs a few months back. Well, his sequel (I'm into book series apparently) Hollow City has just come out and he's touring to promote it (and be charming and create lifelong followers). Long story (which isn't particularly long) there was cookies, creepy pictures, and strange videos. It was delightful. I encourage you all to participate in an interactive book discussion with an accomplished author whenever the opportunity arises.

I'm nearly finished with Perelandra and hopefully That Hideous Strength will arrive in the mail shortly so I can post again next time. I want to create a regular posting schedule if possible and I welcome your suggestions and comments on where you want this blog to go in future. I know I'm having a fun time and I hope you all are too!!

Keep turning those pages!!!

January 20, 2014

If you're a Doctor Who fan, then you're probably going to be more interested in my review of Beautiful Chaos than someone who has no clue of the devastation that was Donna Noble. However, I'l do my best for you non-Whovians because I still think this was a fun read. With that being said, I need to impress that this was by no means my favorite DW novel. The plot was a bit too plodding for my taste at times and I didn't feel the normal drive to see what clever thing the Doctor had up his sleeve this time. This is a hard one to discuss because on the face of it there was nothing really wrong with the telling of this story. It had interesting characters, a baddie straight from canon, action, heart wrenching sadness, and a clever conclusion. However, I can think of three separate DW novels sitting on my bookshelf that had me flipping pages so fast I nearly ripped off my fingerprints and this one just didn't have that urgency. So while it was a decent story about the Doctor it wouldn't be my first recommendation. (If you want that just let me know.)

Next on my list of January reads is the first in a trilogy by C.S. Lewis. The Space Trilogy begins with Out of the Silent Planet and is followed by Perelandra and That Hideous Strength. The stories follow the adventures of Dr. Ransom who is kidnapped and taken to the planet Malacandra. The reason for his kidnapping is made clear when he is told that he's to be a human sacrifice but things don't quite go the way of the captors when Ransom escapes and starts life anew on this strange planet. I confess that I absolutely adore C.S. Lewis and when I saw this in the bookstore and realized that I had never read it I didn't even think twice before picking it up (and paying for it of course, DUH!). 

Let's get on with the show!

January 14, 2014

Welcome to a new year of reading!!

For my first entry in the new year, I am pleased to review a book by one of my heroes, Jane Goodall. In The Shadow of Man is the story of a young girl studying wild chimpanzees. When I first learned of Goodall's work I was at college and trying to figure out exactly what I would do with a Bachelor's in Anthropology. After that particular Primatology lecture I was convinced I had found my path. Clearly I didn't follow in her footsteps but that doesn't mean that I'm not still fascinated by these magnificent creatures. I think that's one of the greatest things about her (and this book). She shares her enthusiasm and her passion for chimpanzees on every single page and invites the reader to get a glimpse of what it was like on those first days when she couldn't get within a hundred feet of the animals she was meant to study. She takes you through several years of her work at Gombe in Tanzania and details what she learned in that time. For example, she witnessed chimps not only using tools but making them which is something that most scientists were convinced only humans could do. You come to know these chimps which she named (it was easier to remember and therefore easier for taking notes) and by the end you're sad to say goodbye to them. Also, she didn't skimp on the pictures which were fantastic or on the endnotes which were packed with appendices (stages of development, facial expression and calls, weapon and tool use, diet, chimpanzee and human behavior) replete with drawings, a bibliography, index, and information on the Jane Goodall Institute. I could talk a lot more about this book (and indeed I ran on a bit more than I meant) but I want to leave some for you!

Now here is where my geek begins to show. Some of you may be aware that last year marked the 50th anniversary of the British sci-fi show Doctor Who. What you may not know is that I LOVE THIS SHOW. Therefore, it wasn't a hard decision when I saw a 50th anniversary special featuring David Tennant's Doctor I had to pick it up. The title is (aptly) Beautiful Chaos and was penned by Gary Russell. Ugh the back cover has something written there which I must share:

The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Collection.
Eleven Classic Adventures.
Eleven brilliant writers. One incredible Doctor.

And that pretty much sums up why I'm a Whovian. *sigh* Okay back to the book. This is a Donna Noble (and Wilf!) special which means it's going to be packed full of laughs and most likely missteps. However, after reading the short description it wouldn't seem that's the case. There's an ancient evil heading toward Earth and it is not happy. UH OH. I can't wait to review this one for you all!!

Since I haven't reiterated this in awhile I'll say it here. If you want me to review a book that you were thinking of reading OR if you want a recommendation please don't hesitate to comment. Your feedback is ALWAYS appreciated (and greatly looked forward to I promise!). Have a great one!!

2013 Book Roundup!!

So I'm the kind of nerd that keeps a running tally of the books I've read on a yearly basis. I thought I'd just list them here for kicks and giggles. :-)

  1. A Wrinkle In Time (graphic novel adaptation)
  2. The Ever-After Bird
  3. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  4. The Fault in Our Stars
  5. The Meaning of Night: A Confession
  6. Where the Heart Is
  7. Warm Bodies
  8. The New Hunger
  9. The Best Tales of Edgar Allen Poe
  10. Twelve Years a Slave
  11. The Why of Things
  12. Jack the Ripper: The Facts
  13. Prisoner's Base
  14. Ender's Game
  15. Moll Flanders
  16. Edge
  17. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
  18. Countdown
  19. The Troop
  20. All Our Yesterdays
  21. Sky Jumpers
  22. My Brief History
  23. Our Final Invention
  24. Blood Work
  25. The Land of Laughs
  26. The Alice Behind Wonderland
  27. Winnie-the-Pooh
  28. Beautiful Creatures
  29. My Booky Wook
  30. Treasure Island
I didn't start off the year with a specific goal of how many books that I wanted to read so I'm not terribly disappointed. However, I hope to do better in 2014. :-)

And with that being said, I'm going to finish this up so that I can type up my latest review!