destinyhascheatedme's reading frenzy

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destinyhascheatedme's reading frenzy

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1TomWaitsTables
Bearbeitet: Dez. 17, 2009, 2:18pm

Books number 01-53 here:

http://www.librarything.com/topic/58918#1113873

54) Superman: Last Son
Avoid. Not really good.

55) Birds of Prey
It's all relative. the previous book was so bad, it made this one look so much better, I don't have much to say against it.

56) Swamp Thing: Vol. 1: Saga of the Swamp Thing
Pretty good. Actually, it's very good.

57) Flight: Explorer; Volume 1
Imaginative. Enchanting shorts.

58) Daisy Kutter: The Last Train
I think I've fallen in love with Kibuishi. Just don't tell my parents. Let me break it to them first.

59) Superman: Day of Doom
Crap. It would be an insult if I said I was going to wise it as toilet paper. An insult to toilet paper.

60) Age of Bronze, Vol. 2: Sacrifice
To quote Tracy Jordan, it's so good, "I want to take it behind a middle school and get it pregnant."

61) Superman: For Tomorrow Vol. 1
Not bad, but tried to hard to be complicated. I admit it. I was too dumb to just appreciate it. In fact, I can't read at all. Again, Tracy Jordan provides: "I can't read. I sign my name with an 'X.' I once tried to make mashed potatos with laundry detergent! I think I voted for Nader. Nader!!!"

62) Superman: For Tomorrow Vol. 2
Sorry. I can see what they were planning to do, but the story didn't quite mesh. I know, I know. A comic about flying men from Krypton. But it had to make sense within the universe of the story.

63) The House of Paper
Wow. I can so see myself crossing the line from bibliophile to bibliomaniac.

64) Talent Is Overrated
Not bad but I think I'll check out Gladwell's Outliers.

65) The Revenge of the Baby-Sat: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection
So? I like it. I have a stuffed tiger as a kid, too. Still do, in fact.

66) Dark Light
MacLeod's good. Wish I'd discovered him earlier.

67) Age of Bronze, Vol. 3, Part 1: Betrayal
I really like Shanower's retelling of Homer, but I wish he'd get to the Trojan War already. What is this, Marvel? It does not take ten panels to run up a hill.

68) Janissaries: Clan and Crown
Comme ci comme ca. What's it mean? It's French, for something like, it could be better, but then again, it could be worse. Now why didn't I just say that? Because I wanted an excuse for this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A28fUEkkkM

It's not just for the fellas. Ladies, feast your eyes on 0:22. I'm an equal opportunity pig.

69) All-Star Superman Vol. 2
"And to Clark Kent . . . I leave the headline of the century." From Supe's last will and testament. Grant Morrison has made me fall in love with the Superman mythology all over again.

70) Another Shore
It ended so abruptly. And I'm still trying what it was about.

71) Eastward to Tartary
I certainly never intended to read it. It just sucked me in. And it wasn't even that good. Wanderlust, I guess.

72) Royal Babylon
Ho, ho! The dirty I have on Britain's royal family. Thank God for Lexington and Concord; I used to think the most important thing for the US was Gettysburg or Midway.

73) The Rabbi's Cat
Thanks again, SqueakyChu.

74) Postcards From Tomorrow Square
Could be better. Could have been worse. But he'd have to really try.

75) In Spite of the Gods
It's really good. Informative. Breezy. Or maybe it just seemed better compared to Postcards.

76) Engine City
Not your usual space opera. I mean that in the best way.

2TomWaitsTables
Bearbeitet: Dez. 17, 2009, 2:19pm

Books I've read since the first post:

77) A Treasury of Foolishly Forgotten Americans
Short snippets about obscure Americans. Intriguing, some of them funny.

78) Creatures of the Night
Two short stories told in graphic novel format. The first one, "The Price," about cats, was intriguing. The second, "The Daughter of Owls" wasn't much of a story.

79) The New Space Opera
An anthology of operatic sci-fi. Kage Baker's "Maelstrom" (a play based on Poe's "The Descent into the Maelstrom" opens on Mars's first theater, funny), Tony Daniel's "The Valley of the Gardens," (humanity battles a giant-tentacled Cthulhu-thing; can't remember much, but it's highlighted as "good" so I must have thought well of it at the time) and Dan Simmons's "The Muse of Fire" (the Scottish Play brings bad luck, thus Shakespearean troupe performs for aliens, with cosmic consequences).

80) The Wordy Shipmates
A charming book on the Pilgrims, mostly around Cotton, Winthrop, Williams, and later, Hutchinson.

81) Learning the World
First Contact: Human colony-ship comes into contact with intelligent bat-people. Told from the bat-people's view, and a 15-16? year old colonist. Very anecdotal.

-----
I feel I've gotta mention "The Gambler" by Paolo Bacigalupi. It's an amazing short story about news-outlets struggling for market-share in a not-too-distant future immersed in a 24/7 maelstrom of data, where the "news" is more about escapism than reality. And because it's for-profit, they follow the money (ads), and journalism gets pushed out. I found myself rooting for Ong (the main character). You know that euphoria we get when we discover a new writer? I'm on that kind of high, so I'm pretty biased.

-----
If anyone'd like to know more about a particular book, let me know, and I've post a more detailed review. Trying to write one for every book took too much time, leaving less for reading.

3TomWaitsTables
Bearbeitet: Dez. 17, 2009, 2:23pm

Reading commitments:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
While reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (because the thought of zombies in a stale English tome ticked my kidneys), I actually got intrigued in the goings-on of the Bennett sisters, and not caring very much about the zombies or ninjas. I actually found them annoying; they were out of place and a distraction. So I stopped reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and made a note to read Jane Austen.

Empires of the Word: A Language History of The World
Another LTer posted it on her/his reading challenge, and we got to talking about it, and I made a commitment to read it. I've yet to get started, because 1) I have this notion it's a really obscure academic text and I would have difficulty locating it, and 2) I still have other books to go through 3) when I did search for it, I got side-tracked into Wiki-labyrinth of ancient empires because I'd written down "Empires of the World" instead of "Empires of the Word." On the plus side, I did come across another interesting text, Religions of the Ancient World.

Every Man Dies Alone
It's about a German couple who, after the death of their son, distributes postcards advocating civil disobedience, in protest against the Third Reich (postcards being the 1940s version of Twitter). It comes to naught because almost every postcard was turned over the Gestapo. A friend mentioned it during the Iranian protests, and it struck a chord, and despite being months ago, it still resonates. Plus, he said it was written in less than a month, and given the subject material, I kinda felt the book was divinely inspired.
It seems that Every Man Dies Alone isn't Touchstones's library, so for anyone interested, it's by by Hans Fallada and translated from the German by Michael Hofmann, published by Melville House, ISBN-10: 1933633638 / ISBN-13: 978-1933633633.

Reading Dance
Because it's edited by Robert Gottlieb. And because I would like to read how dancers see/experience dance, something that has always intrigued me because, like most people I know, I'd rather stick hot needles in my eyes than dance in public. Although . . . there was that one time when I was (allegedly) intoxicated. But if it wasn't captured on video, it never happened.

Kushiel's Dart
I've been meaning to read Carey's Kushiel series ever since I discovered Banewreaker and Godslayer, but I never did. Because of the book's cover, I worried over what the cashiers at Borders would think of me and I never did get it. Still haven't. I will read it, eventually. Hopefully within the year.

Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood
More than anything, I think it's Lewis's honesty about fatherhood that intrigued me. From what little I do remember, Lewis talked about how he, um, didn't like his daughter/son when s/he was first born, and the love grew on him. He compared it with his wife, how she carried their son/daughter for nine months, and when s/he was born, it was like an annoying, squawking, {demanding} alien suddenly descending on them. And he compares that to how society viewed fatherhood, and how he and other fathers viewed it.

Perfumes: The Guide
It's an area as unknown to me as the dark side of the moon. My sense of smell isn't non-existent, I mean, I have strong memories and associations of the scents of books and beaches and violets, but smell has never been my strongest sense. That and taste. I'm more of a sight and sound person. Hunh. It just occurs to me that maybe my sense of smell would be stronger if TV sets included Smell-o-Vision.

The King Must Die
I don't remember why, except it has something to do with Amazons, Alexander, or something along that tangled train of thought.

Correction: The King Must Die is not about Alexander or the Amazons, but actually deals with Theseus of the Labyrinth fame.

Nuclear War: What's In It For You?
I think it was on a newsletter from ABEBooks.com. It was about books with unusual titles, and their sales pitch worked. On that note, avoid How to Survive a Robot Rebellion. It's neither funny nor witty or useful. It's like a one-line joke that got stretched into thirty minute (a lifetime's worth) of excruciating tedium, but you can't inch away because he's your boss and you really need this job, especially after you bought a boat because you grew a mustache and thought a boat would really clinch that "Errol Flynn look," and so you spent that half-hour wishing you had a time machine so you could take that money you'd thrown into the ocean and invest it in some timely lottery tickets, and thus distracted, forgot to laugh and spent the next six months believing that was the reason you got transferred to Albany, developed frostbite and spent your sick leave going over your unread emails, came upon a newsletter from ABEBooks, and wasted more of your life and $13.95 (+ S&H) on a second-rate book. In other words, it was like the preceding run-on sentence. Where's Dick Cheney when you need him?

For those of you actually reading the above section, feel free to waste more of your time on the following:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBBw9E2Q_aY&feature=popular

I loved 1:38. Piece of genius.

4jfetting
Okt. 11, 2009, 5:29pm

That is hilarious. And I like your reviews!

5TomWaitsTables
Bearbeitet: Dez. 17, 2009, 2:24pm

5: I know, right? The sad thing is, that mash-up of Terminator & Back to the Future was more coherent than either of them. And thanks. I'll have to check your 100 Books Challenge later. Pressed for time.

82) Galactic Empires
An anthology of about 5 or 6 stories. Robert Reed's "The Man with the Golden Balloon," set on his Great Ship milieu was a big disappointment. The collection (with the exception of "The Tear" by Ian McDonald) was a disappointment, but in the interest of fairness, expectations played a big part in that. I was expecting something along the lines of classic space opera, about implausible, senseless empires grinding against each other, with the accompanying "blzzzooomm, bbbzzzom!" And the fact that I was disinterested halfway through, and slogged through the remaining pages because I need another book tally for this challenge. So there's some resentment there. I imagine most people here feel the same, that we're now held hostage to what had started off as fun, but'd in vested too much into it to give up. I hope you;re as wretchrd as i am. after all, Misery loves company.

6TomWaitsTables
Bearbeitet: Okt. 23, 2009, 11:30pm

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

7TomWaitsTables
Bearbeitet: Dez. 17, 2009, 7:43pm

83) The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; Century: 1910 by Alan Moore
It was disorienting at first; a lot has changed since the second volume. Alien invasions tend to do that. There were a few (two?) new characters, a mystic and an immortal who changes from male to female every so often. There's the Victorian Age in-jokes and references that made the series so much fun, and the usual Alan Moore-darkness. Nemo dies, is replaced by his seriously p.o.-ed daughter. Jack the Ripper comes back to London. And there's an occult group gearing up for their annual "bring about the usual end of the world" New Year's Resolution. But if it's like most New Year's resolutions . . . . fizzle.

I think the third volume is more like a set up than a complete story. It introduces us to the new members, replacing Hyde and Griffon (The Invisible Man), but I still felt like I was missing something. Alrighty then, I just googled the series, and discovered I was missing something. I'd skipped over The Black Dossier, and will be remedying that as soon as I can. Not as good as the second volume in the series, though. But then again, I really can't think of anything that'll top John Carter and Lt. Gullivar Jones unite to drive the tripod-fellas from Mars, forcing them to invade Earth. I'm afraid I geeked out, even though I wasn't alone. I'm looking forward to the series, but in a lukewarm kind of way; somewhat more than the anticipation I have when there's a blind date coming up, but below the eagerness when I'm unwrapping a chocolate bar. Since the dirty version'll cost you $2.99/minute, let's stick with chocolate bar.

84) Tales of the Star Wolf by David Gerrold
It's a compendium of David Gerrold's Star Wolf series, comprising The Voyage of the Star Wolf, The Middle of Nowhere, and Blood and Fire. It centers on the trials and tribulations an expendable ship and its executive officer, Jon Thomas Korie. Like I said, it's about an expendable ship, not the usual story following the adventures of the flagship. You know those little destroyers whose job it is to steam in front of the torpedo heading for the big expensive air craft carrier? That's the Star Wolf. And the ship's captains keep getting killed.

The Voyage of the Star Wolf begins with the Star Wolf on its shake-down cruise. The Morthan (for "More-Than Humans") are making threats and so the Star Wolf is ordered to rendezvous with a convoy. But it leads the Morthans to the convoy, and the good guys are mauled. It limps back home, but instead being congratulated, they're the scapegoat. Things go downhill from there.

The Middle of Nowhere: It takes place almost entirely on the ship. It's under quarantine. Oh, the story follows the new cadet, Gattineau (?). He goes through a snipe hunt for a "left-handed moebius wrench," which is a brilliant way to introduce us to the crew and the ship.

Blood and Fire, the third and last book in the collection. The Star Wolf rendezvouses with the Norway, on a search-and-rescue run. It's infected with a nasty disease, and there's a moral dilemma with pretty speeches.

85) Amulet, Book Two: The Stonekeeper's Curse by Kazu Kibuishi
I love the colors. And all the pretty pictures.

Now, the story itself. It continues right after Amulet, Book One: The Stonekeeper. Emily and, um, the boy, her brother, saves their mom, but she's poisoned, so they go chasing after a McGuffin, and we're introduced to the world Kibuishi's built. There's numerous "Stonebearers" and and evil Elf King. There's also the creed of "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" going on; whoever has one of those magic stone amulets, Stonebearers, are in danger of turning to the Dark Side. Ideas as old as the One Ring or the Force.

86) FLIGHT: Volume One ed. by Kazu Kibuishi
It's a collection of short stories told in visual form; several story is told entirely without words, with varying degrees of success. Overall, the anthology gets my recommendation. The production value, the variety, the storytelling, and clarity, were all very well done.

A brief evaluations of a sampling of the stories contained in FLIGHT:

"I Wish . . . (sic.)" by Vera Brosgol
It's a character story. A girl, um, unnamed. Girl gets grows wings. On her back. And her friend, a boy, teases her about it. Charming, funny. Some witty dialogue and expressively drawn faces that allows us to feel as we've known the characters forever a only a few frames. The only reproach (mild) is that the characters . . . they remained the same. It's like TV, where after five seasons, the character was still the same as s/he'd been on season one. But that's not much a detraction, because I'm hoping the story will continue on FLIGHT, Volume Two.

"Outside My Window" by Khang Lee
Again, reat work with the colors. I noticed there were dominant shades, and spent a while trying to dinf a theme in them, but gave up and just enjoyed it. Very cute style. Oh yes, the story. "Outside My Window" opens on a blue butterfly in a glass jar. It's about a girl who wakes up and finds that she's been brought to a strange place by a giant robot, who wants to be her friend. She gets a pony. And all sorts of wonderful things are provided. But she's unhappy. She wants to go home. I really loved this piece.

"The Maiden and the River Spirit" by Derek Kirk Kim
Funny. A play on Aesop's "Mercury and the Woodsman" fable. Don't want to spoil it. But take my word, it's worth the read.

It wasn't perfect, but there are enough stories that were good and the bad ones were bad enough to make me throw the book into the trash bin (I did that once; it was Tom Clancy's uhhhhh . . . the one where Jack Ryan saves Princess Diana from Irish Terrorists, and had an AK-47 on the cover. I was at the part where the Queen visits him the hostipal and he explains why he acted the good Samaritan, it was just so stupid, corny, &c. Really bad writing. The good news was, the bin must have been a good ten meters away, and it's further away every time I tell the story). And to be honest, I only picked up FLIGHT because I had about 20 books to meet the 100 Book goal and two months to do it. That's 10 books/month and so I made a loophole for myself scoured my TBR for short books. And settled on graphic novels, because not only are they short of length, but short on words as well, and since I was going to read them anyway, why not move them up the line? So you'll be seeing a more than a few graphic novels as the New Year approaches. And Thanksgiving's around the corner, so expect an airport thriller.

87) The Books of Magic: Summonings by John Ney Rieber
I saw Si Spencers Books of Magick: Life During Wartime - Book 1 and my memory stirred, like trying to recall a dream. I got it, read it, and rediscovered Neil Gaiman's original The Books of Magic. And when I discovered that John Ney had continued the series, I wanted to read those as well, so (being broke, after spending the money on Spencer and Gaiman's books---I think; it was a while back) I went online, logged onto the library's system, and requested it. And I got Summonings . . . last Tuesday. I've read it---and will give it its due review in a few . . . days. Anyway, this have reminded me that since I wasn't going to count re-reads, the numbers will have to change. Hopefully I'll be back to finish this in a few days.

A month later:

Summonings centers around Tim Hunter, a boy "destined to be the world's greatest magician." So he's a target. Because he's going to play a pivotal role in something or other: between the "Forces of Light" and the "Forces of Darkness" (you know, Gandalf and Saruman). An evil adept who looks a lot like a Hollywood agent/producer---you can tell by the ponytail and the way he spells his name, Martyn, with a "y" instead of an "i"---(this is an awesome theme; it's obvious Rieber must've worked as a screenwriter) shows up next door and tries to turn Tim "to the Dark Side" by burning his (Tim's) dad and using a barely legal blonde succubus to comfort him in his grief---power and sex; what teenage boy could resist? Fortunately, Molly O'Reilly, the love of Tim's life (but he's completely oblivious because, well, he might be the most powerful magician of the age, but he's a guy) was there to pull him out of it---you know, it---and as a result, Tim owes Molly ice cream. It's a date, and nicely sets up the next segment. Tim also had help from an ancient Sumerian(?) priestess and her daughter, sired by an Angel who Fell. And Tim's future self also lends a hand. Molly was incredibly well developed, lots of personality, even more than Tim.

I can't believe I've forgotten that! It was the most chilling thing, when the story opened on an adult Tim Hunter, entering a luxurious mansion filled with Mollys. Copies he'd made. Creepy chill factor. Brrr. You learn that he's running/ruining the world behind the scenes, and he sold his memories to demons for power (political & economic as well as magical power), and one of them, Barbatos, who's supposedly under Tim's control, offers some helpful "advice," which only goes to show exactly why you should never take advice from demons, babies, or more specifically, blue babies with bat's wings and needle-sharp teeth.

Back to the plot; my excuse is, the book isn't linear, so neither should I:
While Tim and Molly are out for ice cream, they're attacked by a teleporting Victorian chimney sweep---probably because, like most Americans (myself included), John Ney Rieber believes that they're all chimney sweeps over there in Anglo-land. And there's a unicorn and a cyborg who's manufacturing misery in the sewers below London. Auberon, King of Faerie, loses his soul to a seamstress, and we discover that all of Tim's childish imagingings come alive---because it's magic, after all. It's actually the best part of Summonings. The little imaginary creatures Tim played with as a child coming real, now that was magic. Magic in a way that didn't pay heed to any laws of possibility; you know, like Pinocchio.

Just a quick mention: I stand in absolute awe of Peter Gross, the artist. Quick example, his work on the Martyn character. It didn't need dialogue or explanation; just a glance and you could just tell the guy was smarmy. I never imagined it was possible to convey that thru image alone.

8TomWaitsTables
Bearbeitet: Dez. 16, 2009, 5:35pm

86) The Books of Magic (Book 4): Transformations by John Ney Rieber
6-7/10

87) Frank Miller's RONIN by Frank Miller
7/10. Maybe my expectations were too high.

88) The Books of Magic (Book 5): Girl in the Box by John Ney Rieber
9-10/10

89) The Books of Magic (Book 6): The Burning Girl by John Ney Rieber
9/10

90) The Books of Magic (Book 7): Death After Death by John Ney Rieber
5-6, maybe 7/10 -- the ending was just so sloppy. It's like they were lobotomized. It's like Godfather 3, but worse.

91) Starship Troopers by Warren Ellis, Gordon Rennie, Jan Strnad, and Bruce Jones
less than zero out of ten. used the less-than sign, but that kept erasing what i;d writeen, so will have to start again. took my a while to realize that, so i did it trhice. so here, i own't event ry. this book is crappy. an i hate eit even more, no.w

92) The Corpse Walker by Liao Yiwu, trans. by Wen Huang
10/10. yiwu is studs terkel of china. st rionly recommend,. studs terkel of china.

93) The King Must Die by Mary Renault
7/10 good, not bad. she tells the story of theseus, bledning the myuth wtih new (according to her time) archeological evidence/discoeris, to make it plausible. mild recommendation. she relatetes to tehesus too mcuh for my taste.

94) The Dead Boy Detectives by Ed Brubaker

9billiejean
Dez. 9, 2009, 8:59am

Thanks for the link!
--BJ

10TomWaitsTables
Bearbeitet: Dez. 17, 2009, 2:15pm

95) Permanence: Tattoo Portraits by Kip Fulbeck
Reviews later, to include pictures.

96) FLIGHT, Volume 2 ed. by Kazu Kibuishi
great followup to vol1.

97) FLIGHT, Volume 3 ed. by Kazu Kibuishi
also pretty good

98) How to Build a Time Machine by Paul Davies
good intellectual fun; could use more pages on the physics part . . .

11TomWaitsTables
Bearbeitet: Dez. 29, 2009, 7:01pm

99) FLIGHT, Volume 4 ed. by Kazu Kibuishi
Wow. Great collection of works by artists.

100) FLIGHT, Volume 5 ed. by Kazy Kibuishi
Same for the 5th. I'll have a more thorough reflection later, w/special emphasis on the works I fell in love with.

101) China Shakes the World by James Kynge
Good. Knowledgeable. Really in depth in some areas. He goes into quite a bit of detail on the problems of the day (with emphasis on the small towns he visited in Italy and Illinois, and how the rise of China is affecting them), and the people he meets on his reporting, from the woman in the collapsing house to the oil-men who had their well nationalized, but not so much on the macro, which is good. It is a bit dated, due to the financial crisis and the execution of the British national. I'll write something more coherent when I've gathered my thoughts.

102) Until You by Judith McNaught
I know, I know. It's a romance novel. It's not the first romance novel I've read, that'd have to be In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker, but in my defense, I didn't know it was a romance novel. I thought it was a testosterone-driven sci-fi novel with time-traveling cyborgs, which it is. It's actually wasn't until some time after Mendoza in Hollywood (the 3rd(?) book in Baker's The Company series), when I no longer cared about the impending cyborg rebellion, the conspiracies and intrigues or even the abuse of time travel in the pursuit of quarterly profits. I just wanted Mendoza and her beau to have a happy ending. And that was when I realized that I'd been reading a romance. (It was almost as bad as the shock I had when I discovered that Top Gun was a chick flick disguised by jet fighters.) So I was wrong. Romance novels aren't all bad. Until You was amusing, the plot convoluted but believable---I've got to commend McNaught here; if someone can legitimately make me suspend my disbelief using an amnesia plot device, they've earned my respect, they've more sold me on their story. So, so far, so good. But towards the ending it just started to unravel. Although you could kind of see it slouching towards Bethlehem (okay, I admit it's not that bad, I just wanted to use the phrase) when Stepahn is introducing Sherry into the the balls and parties in order to find her a suitor. Okay, there were some obstacles in their paths, but when we get to Sherry's attempts to win Stephan back? It's a little absurd! Although the thought that the betrayals and hurts could be smoothed over with a few words and horsemanship really is appealing. I couldn't believe it! I was immersed in the world, and then this starts happening! All in all, it really wasn't really that bad. I mean, what do I know? I haven't got this love thing down, either. Word of advice? never ever ever in any way demean your girlfriend's favorite novel/Christmas gift. Ever. For that reason, I'm not going to say a word about Twilight. Except that it's supercalifragilistic! and expialidociously great! Seriously, Until You was surprisingly good. There were some problems, but what's novel's perfect? So it wasn't perfect, I wasn't expecting Anna Karenina. It was a really fun read, and affirmed the epiphany I had after reading Baker's Company series, that perhaps romance novels didn't deserve the contempt I'd held them in. But after the debacle that was Until You's ending, neither were they the great works I'd thought them to be. So the pendulum swung back a little, that's all.

12TomWaitsTables
Jan. 3, 2010, 7:10pm

Audio Books read in 2009

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
The narrator was absolutely amazing. Very versatile, brought the characters, the whole story, alive! It was a wonderful experience

Nefertiti by . . . Michelle Moran (?)

The Last Empress by Anchee Min
Listened to it while playing Galactic Civilizations 2.

Coraline bye N. Gaiman

Anthony and Cleopatra by Colleen McCullough
she's really good. Will be checking out her other works. Is she related to DAvid McCoullough

uh . . . Ascent and The Turkish Gambit and some other ones . . . I wasn't really playing attention. GalCiv is really addictive.

13billiejean
Jan. 7, 2010, 2:05am

Interesting review of Until You. For some reason, I have never really liked Top Gun. Maybe because it is a chick flick. I did not realize that either. Wishing you a very happy new year. 2010. Wow!
--BJ

14TomWaitsTables
Jan. 11, 2010, 11:57pm

Thanks for being diplomatic with your answer. I was less careful, and spent the past weekend watching all 4 discs of "Glee." I found myself oddly enjoying the show tunes . . .

15billiejean
Jan. 12, 2010, 8:59am

Even though I don't really like chick flicks, I must admit that I thought Bridget Jones' Diary was hilarious.
--BJ

16TomWaitsTables
Bearbeitet: Jan. 15, 2010, 6:39pm

I'll check it out, then. I would've seen it, except for Hugh Grant. (Or is he the guy who plays Wolverine?) And a chick who doesn't like chick flicks? You are a gem. Your husband's the luckiest man in the world. Give him a kick in the shins for me, will you?

Although I'm not a fan of chick flicks (Titanic being the exception that proves the rule) "Glee" wasn't that horrible. I was exaggerating a bit. And it's already fading into that fog of memory. I can barely remember their names, except for Quinn and Finn (because of Huck Finn and they rhyme) and Puck (because of Midsummer's Night Dream and he's a Jew who has a Mohawk).

By the way, I hope you'll check out Anansi Boys. It was truly an amazing experience. It wasn't just that the voice actor brought the characters alive, he imbued the whole story with this (?) wonderful quality.

17wookiebender
Jan. 15, 2010, 12:09am

Wolverine is played by Hugh Jackman; Hugh Grant has a specialty of playing slightly bumbling Englishmen. Without adamantium claws.

You know, I'm rather addicted to "Glee" (I'm a sucker for a musical), and I still hadn't worked out the name of the guy with the mohawk. Well spotted!

And two thumbs up from me for Anansi Boys as well. Have you read Gaiman's American Gods? I thought Anansi followed on from that one, to a certain extent.

18TomWaitsTables
Jan. 15, 2010, 12:25am

JACKMAN That's what it was! For a while there I thought it was "Waving," since they were both from Australia.

I didn't want to like it, but when they sang "Defying Gravity" . . . I hate to admit it, but it got me.

Anansi Boys did follow American Gods, but I've yet to read it. It's on my TBR list. thanks, wookiebender.

19billiejean
Jan. 15, 2010, 6:55pm

My daughter loves Neil Gaiman and has both books around here somewhere. I guess I will have to check out Glee. What channel does it come on? The only tv show that I ever watch is 24 -- which starts on Sunday!! Mostly I just like football on tv. I really can't handle tearjerkers. I did see The Blind Side which made me cry, but it had a happy ending. (I did cringe to see the clip of Joe Theisman getting crunched. I never thought that would ever be broadcast again.) Die Hard is my idea of a Christmas movie. And it is a family tradition to watch it every year. I haven't seen any of the movies about Wolverine (what are they called?), but I have heard that they are good. I don't really like Hugh Grant either. But Renee Zellweger is hilarious.
--BJ

20billiejean
Jan. 15, 2010, 6:56pm

By the way, I will be sure to tell my husband that he is the luckiest man in the world! :)
--BJ

21wookiebender
Jan. 15, 2010, 8:25pm

#18> Ah, because Hugo Jackman & Hugo Weaving are both from Australia, I tend to keep them straight in my mind because I'm in Australia. We get rather proud of our successful exports. :)

Bearing that in mind, our apologies for all the misbehaving Australians out there. If we take credit for the good, we should also take responsibility for the bad!

BJ, your husband is definitely lucky!

22TomWaitsTables
Bearbeitet: Jan. 15, 2010, 8:28pm

Make sure to check out the audio book version of Anansi Boys. The BBC goes all out.

I think Glee is on Fox. I watched the DVD boxed set, so I'm pretty sure the first season is over. I haven't been watching a lot of TV lately. Books have been occupying all my spare time, although I do make room for the NewsHour and 30 Rock.

I'm not a big fan of tearjerkers, either. I've never been able to complete Shcindler's List

There! Bridget Jones' Diary has just been Netflix-ed.

I haven't seen The Blind Side, because (1) the player complained they've Hollywood it, and (2) it stars Sandra Bullock. But I'll give it a chance.

Die Hard is your ideal Christmas movie? That's totally wicked. We have a different tradition. Instead of watching a kick-@$$ movie, in my family---well, just my favorite sister and I---it's the tradition to watch a really really crappy film every Thanksgiving, where we spend more time throwing popcorn at the screen than eating it. Last year it was Point Break---we actually had a better time than if it'd actually been a good film! I mean, it was just so bad!

The tradition got started because we're the only ones who find the parades boring. I know it's kinda stupid, but it's fun. And I really can't watch football because I've sworn off football since the 2001 Patriots v. Ravens game, which I'm believe was rigged---doesn't matter whether I'm right or wrong; I'm convinced. And baseball's been banned from our family ever since the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to L.A., even though my grandfather also moved to California.

I remember watching Die Hard again a while ago, and you that scene where the cop from Family Matters is at the gas station? I was left flabbergasted as the camera panned up to reveal the price of gas!

I haven't seen any of the Wolverine movies, either, but I think they're all under the X-Men franchise.

>20 billiejean:
grumble grumble grumble.
At least make him watch a chick flick, maybe something staring Gerald Butler.

23billiejean
Jan. 16, 2010, 10:01am

How could you swear off all football for one lousy NFL game? Baseball I could see, maybe. But football?

The bad movie idea sounds like a good one to me. Kind of like Mystery Science Theatre.
--BJ

24TomWaitsTables
Jan. 16, 2010, 5:23pm

I know, I know. I mean, football's got a little of everything: a little bit of rugby, a bit of soccer, some attempted murder. :)

But I couldn't enjoy it anymore, and it was not just because of that one game. It was just the final betrayal. The game's been commercialized, it was no fun anymore. Plus, I was just starting to get into the game around that time, so I wasn't really invested in the game then. Don't get me wrong; I still play it. And I still enjoy football movies. I just don't watch the games anymore. Except when my aunt visits; she's really into football.

But here are the games that now fills the vacuum football left:

http://www.cracked.com/article/210_6-elaborate-forms-suicide-passed-off-as-extre...

By the way, have you seen Friday Night Lights? It's a pretty good show, based on the classic book based on the 1988 Odessa, Texas Permian High School Panthers. It's on its fourth season, now.

25billiejean
Jan. 16, 2010, 5:45pm

Remember the movie Cliffhanger?

I saw the movie Friday Night Lights. The ending surprised me. I haven't seen the tv show. I don't really watch tv shows. I heard that Mack Brown was in one episode playing an interfering parent -- pretty funny.

On the 50 Book Challenge, Dirt Priest gave me a link to a motorcycle stunt. I will try to put it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLejkyXbJlc

I hope that this works. I had mentioned seeing the barge jump on ESPN on New Years Eve.
--BJ

26billiejean
Jan. 16, 2010, 5:46pm

Is your aunt from Texas?

I have family in the Midland-Odessa area. Football is really big in Texas.
--BJ

27TomWaitsTables
Jan. 16, 2010, 11:14pm

Sorry. I didn't know who Mack Brown is (but I do now, after googling him), so I didn't recognize him.

As if how Robbie got up there was amazing enough, but---you saw how he got down! Granted, there was a blonde waiting for him, but that blurred the line between brave and crazy. The guy is amazing. Just---wow.

Wait? Barge jump? Did he jump over a barge (how would that work, did he jump using a speedboat?), or what?

Nope. My aunt lives in Wisconsin. She's a world of contradictions. I mean, she likes frogs, and football and not just Star Wars, but Star Wars fan fiction. She also hates Giselle Bundchen.

I know, football is like a religion in Texas. ". . . even the poorest, bleakest West Texas town has a sparkling ziggurat upon which local high school pigskin warriors are celebrated and sniffed at by scouts . . . " (the author then goes on to refer to bull riding as "Beef Nascar", which would be an awesome name for the sport).

Sorry, it's 8. Gotta go. But first, here:

Base jumping in wingsuits; check out these crazy adrenaline junkies:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGOJbX0JrZM&feature=related
it got kinda gay at the end, though . . .

for the 60 Minutes segment:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/09/60minutes/main5374843.shtml

the clip worked with song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b92mrgyP2yY

Wish I could find something as cool as Robbie Maddison; they're just jumping off a molehill . . .

28billiejean
Jan. 17, 2010, 1:30am

The barge jump was in a car from land over water landing on a barge. I thought it was totally amazing until DP gave me the link to that motorcycle stunt. The truly amazing part was that he made it look so incredibly easy. My entire family had to watch that one.

Thanks for the links!

I don't know who Giselle Bundchen is. Sounds like a supermodel.
--BJ

29billiejean
Jan. 17, 2010, 1:44am

Omigosh! I cannot believe that people will do that! I can't believe that a helicopter can even take them up that high. That was amazing!
--BJ

30TomWaitsTables
Jan. 17, 2010, 3:00am

if you liked that, then check out this over-the-top skydive. but with guns, and clive owen, the secret service, and a dead politician!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iqWscNreL0

31billiejean
Jan. 17, 2010, 2:46pm

Is this movie out now? I have never heard of it, but it looks like a good one. :) I have never seen a skydiving shootout before.
--BJ

32TomWaitsTables
Jan. 17, 2010, 4:49pm

I've never seen anything like it before, either. It's from a movie called "Shoot 'Em Up," a no-nonsense action flick where the plot is just an excuse to showcase one over the top action sequence after another. I liked the storyboarding, and sheer imagination.

>25 billiejean:
Sorry. I've never seen "Cliffhanger," so I'm not getting the allusion. I had assumed it was another bad movie, but IMDB says it won an Oscar, so I'm not sure what to think.

>28 billiejean:
Yep, Giselle Bundchen is a supermodel. My aunt is convinced she "poached" Tom Brady from her. I'm not sure whether she's actually convinced this is so, or whether she's just playing it up for laughs. I hope it's the latter . . .
:)

33billiejean
Bearbeitet: Jan. 17, 2010, 5:23pm

What did Cliffhanger get the Oscar for, Cinematography? It is a Sylvester Stallone movie, not his best, but with mountain climbing.
--BJ

34TomWaitsTables
Jan. 17, 2010, 6:24pm

Oh. It was nominated for Best Effects, (Visual), Best Effects (Sound Effects Editing), and Best Sound. It won something called the ASCAP Award. My mistake. Should have dug deeper.

If it's that bad, I'll make sure to reserve it for Thanksgiving. You really should watch Point Break. When Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) says, "I'm an F-B-I agent!", I just lost it. Better than Avatar!

Check it out here:

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/50cd2f3b15/great-moments-in-movie-history-05-po...

35billiejean
Jan. 17, 2010, 7:34pm

I actually like the movie except that Stallone is all emotional at the beginning of the movie. I guess I will have to see Point Break. I see that it comes on tv from time to time.
--BJ

36wookiebender
Jan. 17, 2010, 7:56pm

Oh, two thumbs up for silly movies for "Point Break". The fake Australian accent towards the end kills me every time. (Americans may not notice, but believe me, it's wrong. :)

37TomWaitsTables
Jan. 17, 2010, 8:33pm

I did not notice. But then, neither did this guy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vna0AEXV7U&feature=related

38TomWaitsTables
Jan. 19, 2010, 11:38pm

Sorry, wookiebender. Just noticed Message 21

Well, you have a new Australian export now, Sam Worthington. I'm reading Morgan's Run now, which is about the founding of Australia, and I'm thinking about checking out that John Birmingham's Leviathan. And while googling "Awesome Australians," I just saw Jessica Hart, so go Australia! What is with that continent and gorgeous women?

Anyway, back to the point:
Here's where I'll be: http://www.librarything.com/topic/82766

39TomWaitsTables
Jan. 19, 2010, 11:43pm

Vaya con dios.

:)