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Book Goodies

The act of writing always creates something of value. When I'm reading, it is the various manifestations of that inherent and powerful value that I'm looking to capture and share with my fellow book lovers.  



From humble days as a bookseller in Colorado, I now live in NYC and work for one of the big publishing houses. I'm always reading a huge variety of books, but you're bound to find more reviews on titles that might not be on every bookstore's shelf quite yet! 


And I must also say that it is immensely important to support independent bookstores. Definitely consider shopping with your local bookshop if you don't already!  

If you're looking for one then check out the great store I used to work at:


Reblogged from Lydia's Page:
Aleing Authors
Aleing Authors

Books and Craft Beer. My two favorites. United. Finally.


I'm ready to open a literary brewery. 

Source: http://www.behance.net/gallery/Aleing-Authors-Craft-Beer/6986109

I think I found Alaska in the 90s.

Looking for Alaska - John Green

This is the second John Green book I've read, and I would say I enjoyed it.  It didn't hold up to "The Fault In Our Stars", but it was still pretty good.  The main thing that I couldn't get out of my head was this voice saying, "Dude, doesn't that remind you of 'Perks of Being a Wallflower'?"  I would then shrug it off, and continue reading, but then it would come back to me, "Hey, dude, seriously think about this.  Isn't it crazy how the Colonel has the same kind of loud and in-your-face attitude as Patrick?  And that Alaska, she totally has the same edgy thing going as Sam, don't you think?  And go figure Pudge gets pulled in with them since he is the kind of weird kid who didn't fit in before he met them!"  


I'm sorry, to be fair, this book really can't be called the same.  The characters have different relationships, the plot is its own, and the setting is unique.  Got to love the Eagle and his swooping ways.  For me, though, I just couldn't stop making the POBAW comparisons, and I can't help but wonder if anyone who has read "Looking for Alaska" then went on to read POBAW and was all like, "Hey, this book is really similar to 'Looking for Alaska'!"  


I do like John Green as a writer.  He writes well and I love how many non-readers find his material accessible.  His books speak to several teens in this generation, and I can see why in the writing.  I've been making it sound like a bad thing that "Alaska" reminds me of POBAW, but it is actually a good thing.  It feels like John Green got the heart of Chbosky's book that wooed so many, and Green gave it a new voice for the next generation.  Good work, John.  I simply feel an attachment to the 90s that can't be broken, and that isn't "Looking for Alaska"'s fault, it just means I have a bias to like POBAW more than I probably should.  Looking forward to my next John Green.  I think I'll either go for "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" or "An Abundance of Katherines" the next time I'm in the mood for some teen-reads.  

Continuing on my post-apocalyptic kick of late!

Wool Omnibus (Silo, #1) (Wool, #1-5) - Hugh Howey

Hugh Howey's Wool turned out to be just what I needed.  I've been on somewhat of a streak with my reading lately, and although I can't easily identify it, words such as dull and pretentious rush to the fore front of my mind.  In this story we are given several narrators, but our protagonist is Jules and she is awesome.  She's essentially an engineering whiz who turns out to be good at dealing with anything whenever she is faced with a task.  The world of Wool takes place in gigantic silo that houses people for thousands of feet down into the earth.  Communications are archaic in the silo, and the only way to get anywhere is by taking the giant spiral staircase in the middle of the structure.  It takes days to get from the top to bottom of the silo to give you some perspective of the size of this thing.  Outside the atmosphere is toxic and harsh, and whenever the highest laws are broken people are sent out to "clean" which is essentially be banished to your death.  I found this book to thrill me in the same way Justin Cronin's The Passage did.  Same kind of tone and attention.  Great summer read for me.  

Keep the fingerling away!

In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods - Matt Bell

So this is another I couldn't make it through.  I got somewhere around 150 pages in before I had to stop.  It was hard enough to read the word "fingerling" over and over again but once I got to the point where I saw that each paragraph for the next 25ish pages started with "And in this room..." I knew that I'd gone as far as I could.  I can see how people will enjoy this one.  It felt like a novel trying to make a modern myth and that is a valiant ambition.  There is definitely interesting writing and imagery, but I personally don't care to read about another single thing that the magical wife has sung into existence.  I think I'm taking an ARC break after trying this one and keeping to books with a little more acclaim.  

Sums up my summer.  Thanks for tracking this down, Kelsey.
Sums up my summer. Thanks for tracking this down, Kelsey.
Reblogged from Bookish Quotes:

My head is full of books.

This thing is neat.  Yes yes. 

Audio Books...

Do you think listening to an audio book counts as about the same as "reading" a book, or is it not even close?  I'd appreciate whatever feeback I can get on this.



Please tell me someone will go to the premier with me???  I'm going to pretend like I have absolutely zero doubts about this movie being anything but great.  

Reblogged from Lydia's Page:

"Jack Dawson… Penniless artist who wins a ticket onto Titanic in 1912, attends a first class dinner, develops a taste for the finer things in life, pockets the Heart of the Ocean, survives the sinking, pawns the diamond, spends the following ten years building his wealth and in 1922 moves to West Egg as Jay Gatsby… Millionaire with a shady past and fear of swimming pools."



Source: http://elkane.tumblr.com/post/50921736693/jack-dawson-penniless-artist-who-wins-a-ticket

Maddaddam Review Woo Woo!

MaddAddam - Margaret Atwood

Woo woo!  Get it?  Scales?  Tails?  Well you probably will after you read this one if you don't.  Anyway, I just recently got aboard the Atwood express and after Maddaddam I've knocked out four of her books.  Maddaddam is the conclusion to the trilogy that started with Oryx and Crake in the early 2000s.  The first two novels are great setups for this book because they both end at the same scene which is essentially the start of Maddaddam.  Reading Oryx and Crake + The Year of the Flood will definitely enhance your experience with this book, but I'm tempted to say that this latest novel is far more reliant on Year of the Floor than O&C.  Actually, I might as well say it.  You could probably skip O&C and just read YOTF and Maddaddam without much trouble.  The characters from YOTF are really developed here (well, some of them I should say) and the O&C characters are present, but they don't feel as pivotal or interesting by this point in the story.  


Atwood abandons the multiple narrators here and opts to keep things from Toby's perspective.  Through her we see the formation of a post-flood group that includes Crakers, humans, and another player that gets mentioned later in the story.  There is something about the whole thing that really makes me recall Orson Scott Card's Speaker for the Dead when I start to think about it.  


The highlight for me in this book is the focus on story.  We are getting a story ourselves as readers, but Toby is also delivering stories while yet another layer of story is being delivered by Zeb.  The famous quote of O&C goes, "Adam named the living animals.  Maddaddam names the dead.  Do you want to play?"  This feels to be rather close to the experience of reading Maddaddam.  The memories of a dead world and the past drive just about everything.  The best parts of the novel are in these recollections while the novel's present plot is of less interest in my opinion than the origins of Maddaddam, the "myths" that Toby delivers to the Crakers, or why Zeb is terrorizing tourists in a bear costume.  Yeah, bear costume.  It would be Zeb...  


I definitely recommend this one, and I'll also add in that this book felt like the least violent in the trilogy if that makes it more appealing.  Comes out September 2013 so keep your eye's peeled!



Now that's love.
Now that's love.

Love this.  I don't get how people can be depressed about this guy repurposing a book.  I think it is one of the most dignified and admirable things a person can do with an old, outdated book.  It's hard to realize how many books have to get trashed before you've actually investigated the issue or worked in the book industry and seen it for yourself.  

Reblogged from Folding Paper & Spilling Ink:
This is why working in a bookstore is dangerous.
This is why working in a bookstore is dangerous.

It makes things so simple and so clear! 

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation - Michael Pollan I couldn't pull through this one despite loving The Omnivore's Dilemma and several of Pollan's essays. Cooking is something that I do on a regular basis, and not only do I do it often, but my girlfriend and I do it as a leisure activity as well. Also, I'm not big on meat as in I don't eat it. Hard to read about slow roasting BBQ for 100 pages to start off the book. This is going to be a great one for other people, but I feel like I'm not the right audience for this title, and I don't feel like there is enough interesting information in these several hundred pages to make the book worthwhile.

Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty - Don't think I'm going to see this one all the way through. Got about 200 pages in, but it wasn't quite what I was hoping for.

Superman Red Son TP

Superman: Red Son - Dave Johnson, Mark Millar, Walden Wong, Kilian Plunkett, Andrew    Robinson Very original and several interesting ideas/twists going on in this work. A couple things could have been slightly tweaked to make this one a 5 star for me, but that aside, I still thoroughly enjoyed the novel. I can confidently say that this one impressed me.