Tags: reviews


Books Read 2013

My complete list of books I read in 2013, with links for the ones I reviewed

1)Seize the Night-Sherrilyn Kenyon (4/5)
2)A Cast of Stones-Patrick W. Carr (4/5)
3)Dark Side of the Moon-Sherrilyn Kenyon (4.5/5)
4)The Ghost Map-Steven Johnson (4/5)
5)Devil May Cry-Sherrilyn Kenyon (3.5/5)
6)Bad Moon Rising-Sherrilyn Kenyon (3.5/5)
7)Rosemary and Rue-Seanan McGuire (4.5/5)
8)The Cornerstone-Anne C. Petty (3.5/5)

9)Furies of Calderon-Jim Butcher (4.5/5)
10)Justinian's Flea-William Rosen (4/5)
11)The Name of the Wind-Patrick Rothfuss (4.5/5)
12)American Elsewhere-Robert Jackson Bennett (3.5/5)

13)The Barbary Plague-Marilyn Chase (5/5)
14)Of Muppets and Men-Christopher Finch (3/5)
15)The Well of Lost Plots-Jasper Fforde (4/5)
16)Last Days-Adam Nevill (1/5)
17)Scoundrels-Timothy Zahn (4.5/5)

18)Firelight-Kristen Callihan (4/5)
19)Feersum Endjinn-Iain M. Banks (3/5)
20)Three Bags Full-Leonie Swann (4.5/5)
21)Transition-Iain M. Banks (4/5)
22)Zombies Need Love Too-Mark Tatulli (4/5)
23)The Player of Games-Iain M. Banks (4.5/5)
24)The Mermaid's Madness-Jim C. Hines (4.5/5)
25a)A Counterfeit Proposal-Mary Balogh (1/5)

26)1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die-Peter Boxall (editor) (3/5)
27)Use of Weapons-Iain M. Banks (5/5)
25b)The Notorious Rake-Mary Balogh (3/5)
28)Stonemouth-Iain Banks (3.5/5)
29)Fuzzy Nation-John Scalzi (5/5)
30)Lover Be Mine-Nicole Jordan (3/5)
31a)Bunnicula-Deborah and James Howe (5/5)
32)Dracula-Bram Stoker (4.5/5)
31c)The Celery Stalks at Midnight-James Howe (3/5)
33a)Bloodlist-P.N. Elrod (4/5)

31b)Howliday Inn-James Howe (2/5)
34)The Vampire Tapestry-Suzy McKay Charnas (3.5/5)
35)The Wasp Factory-Iain Banks (3.5/5)
36)The Rest Falls Away-Colleen Gleason (4/5)
37)Rises the Night-Colleen Gleason (4/5)
38)The Bleeding Dusk-Colleen Gleason (3.5/5)
39)When Twilight Burns-Colleen Gleason (4/5)
40)As Shadows Fade-Colleen Gleason (4.5/5)
41)Roman Dusk-Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (2.5/5)
42)Borne in Blood-Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (4/5)

43)Those Who Hunt the Night-Barbara Hambly (5/5)
44)The Stress of Her Regard-Tim Powers (4.5/5)
45)An Embarrassment of Riches-Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (3.5/5)
46)The Strain-Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (4/5)
47)Fledgling-Octavia E. Butler (3/5)
33b)Lifeblood-P.N. Elrod (4/5)
33c)Bloodcircle-P.N. Elrod (4.5/5)
48)Way of the Wolf-E.E. Knight (4/5)

49)Night Pilgrims-Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (4/5)
50)Let the Right One In-John Ajvide Lindqvist (5/5)
51a)Art in the Blood-P.N. Elrod (4/5)
52a)Goblin Quest-Jim C. Hines (5/5)
52b)Goblin Hero-Jim C. Hines (4.5/5)
53)Ready Player One-Ernest Cline (5/5)
54)The Fall-Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (4/5)
55)I Am Legend-Richard Matheson (4/5)
56)Burning Shadows-Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (4/5)

51b)Fire in the Blood-P.N. Elrod (4/5)
57)Zealot:The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth-Reza Aslan (4/5)
58)The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms-N.K. Jemisin (5/5)
59)Calculated in Death-J.D. Robb (4/5)
60)Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?-Philip K. Dick (4.5/5)
61)The Android's Dream-John Scalzi (3/5)

62)Betrayal-Julian Stockwin (3/5)
63)Joyland-Stephen King (4.5/5)
64)Uzumaki Vol.1-Junji Ito (4/5)
65)Uzumaki Vol.2-Junji Ito (4/5)
66)Uzumaki Vol.3-Junji Ito (3/5)
67)Dave Barry's History of the Millennium (So Far)-Dave Barry (4/5)
68)The De-Textbook-Cracked.com (3/5)
69)Thankless in Death-J.D. Robb (4.5/5)
70)The Fishing Widow-Amy K. Marshall (3.5/5)
71)Awoken-Serra Elinsen (4/5)

72)Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal-Mary Roach (4.5/5)
73)The Day of the Triffids-John Wyndham (4/5)
74)The Drawing of the Three-Stephen King (4.5/5)
75)William Shakespeare's Star Wars-Ian Doescher (3/5)
76)The Dark Tower-Stephen King (4.5/5)
77)Parasite-Mira Grant (4.5/5)
78)Dead Witch Walking-Kim Harrison (4.5/5)

79)The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black-E.B. Hudspeth (4/5)
80)The Curse of Malenfer Manor-Iain McChesney (4/5)
81)Martin Eden-Jack London (2/5)
52c)Goblin War-Jim C. Hines (5/5)
51c)Blood on the Water-P.N. Elrod (4/5)

The Tell-Tale Art by Christine A. Jackson

Title: The Tell-Tale Art: Poe in Modern Popular Culture
Author: Christine A. Jackson
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers

When I got the message I'd been selected to review this book, I was very happy. I love Edgar Allen Poe's work and the subject sounded interesting. Long story short, I really wanted to like this book.

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(Also posted to bookish, Goodreads, and LibraryThing)

Under the Skin by Michel Faber

Title: Under the Skin
Author: Michel Faber
Published 2000
Length: 311 pages
Source: Bought used through Barnes & Noble

    Isserley cruises the roads of the Scottish Highlands sizing up male hitchhikers. She is looking for beefy specimens with big muscles. She, herself, is tiny–like a kid peering up over the steering wheel–and wears the thickest corrective lenses anyone has ever seen. Scarred and awkward, yet strangely erotic and threatening, she is a remarkable and unforgettable character.
    Her hitchhikers are a mixed bunch–trailer trash and traveling postgraduates, thugs and philosophers. As she drives them deeper and deeper into the mysterious splendors of the Scottish wilds, they open up to her, revealing a complex and varied picture of life on earth–but Isserley is listening for other clues. Clues about who might miss them if they should dissapear. If she desides they're worth the risk, she takes them farther than they ever dreamed of going. But takes them where?
- Summary from the book jacket.

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Rating: 2 out of 5

Crossposted to books1001, Goodreads, and LibraryThing.

Once Upon a Time

It sounded promising. It's a tv show inspired by fairy tales. I love fairy tales and there's a lot you can do with fairy tale beings stuck in our world.

Then I tried watching it.

It starts with the climax of Snow White. The Disney version. >.< Strike one.

We are introduced to a bail bondwoman, and get to watch her get the upper hand on a bail jumper using smart planning to lure him out and stop him running off. Then she decides to drive a kid who shows up on her doorstep to Maine, just because he claims to be the kid she gave up for adoption. Um...what?

Characters doing things just because the plot needs them to. Strike two.

Then we got Rumpelstiltskin, imprisoned soothsayer. O.o Strike three.

The fact he also seemed to be taller than Prince Charming, and doesn't look like he'd split himself in half, didn't help.

Unfortunately, the other fairy tale themed show this season clashes with Supernatural. Or maybe that's fortunately.

etr: a bunch of stray commas

Library DVDs

So far I've borrowed three dvds from the local library system.

On the plus side for of getting dvds from the library; better selection of TV shows than Blockbuster, closer than Blockbuster, better time frame to watch them before they go back, and always free.

On the downside; slightly more problematic to return than books, less selection in local library for immediate borrowing, late fees pretty much the same as Blockbuster, and packaging can be in far worse shape than Blockbuster lets things get in.

Also, is it wrong to feel sympathetic to the deformed, murderous, mutant alien in the high tech battle armour? (Which due to the wonderful advances in special effects, can no longer be defeated by a flight of stairs.)


Today the mail brought me the last two books I've been waiting for. I can finally read my assignment for books1001, just as soon as I finish my two library books, and Twin Peaks.

Not a Cop, Don't Play One on TV...

And I seem to know more about law enforcement than the writers of last night's Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

And psychiatry.

And logic.

The case involved two men who appeared to have died during a sword duel in one of the victim's home. The problems started in the teaser:
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I never thought I'd actually miss Goren.

Maybe, if you wanted to avoid trouble, you shouldn't have named the planet Pandora. Just a thought.

Saw Sherlock Holmes last week, and enjoyed it.

This week I decided to go see Avatar.

It looks beautiful. The plot is predictable, but the characters are fleshed out enough to carry it, IMHO.
And it teaches the valuable lesson: Collapse )

But, I did have a few problems with it.

While I realize it's more of a Macguffin than anything else, I just couldn't quite get past "unobtainium" as the name of the stuff they're after. Okay, they had to call it something, but this movie is set in the future. There are all kind of elements that we could have run out of, and that Pandora would be the best place to find them. Judging by the climatic battle, it's probably essential for processing "explodium" for ship construction, but it's probably best NOT to name something after a TVTrope page.

Okay, I wear glasses, so 3D will always be a problem to me.* It definatly enhanced some of the visuals, I won't deny that. But, most of the 3D effects were of the "hey, that arrow is pointing right at me" level, or worse "hey, that monitor they're reading is poking out of the screen" level. I've never felt that either of those kind of 3D effects really added anything to a movie. As for the visuals I did feel benifitted from it? I think they'd still look fantastic in 2D. Which leaves me wondering why they bothered? Probably, they got a slight increase in buisness from some people going "Wow! 3D, I've got to see that!", but I'm guessing most of the people who went to see it, would have still gone if it was 2D.

*If you don't understand why, put on a pair of the 3D glasses they give you, then try putting another pair on in front of them. Now imagine wearing this getup for a couple of hours.

Planning a Road Trip to the Beach?

Try to schedule it for before the apocalypse.*

Just got back from seeing The Road. I found it to be an interesting study of the depths that humanity can sink to, given the right circumstances. Of course the odds that you'll survive to see what appears to be a nuclear winter are low enough that you probably shouldn't worry,

*Since I just finished buying presents for the holidays, that may be occurring any time now.