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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in A community of kindred spirits who love to read !'s LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, November 14th, 2007
4:57 pm
Dear Bookmunchies Folks,
Does anyone have recommendations for happy books?


Current Mood: sick
Monday, October 15th, 2007
4:33 pm
Excerpt from Erec Rex: The Monsters of Otherness
I have permission from Firelight Press to distribute an excerpt from the new book, Erec Rex: The Monsters of Otherness, by fantasy fiction sensation Kaza Kingsley.

Kingsley won over young readers with the inventive gadgets, relentless action, and gross-out humor in her first book, Erec Rex: The Dragon's Eye. The book became a bestseller and collected numerous children's book awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Award for best new voice in juvenile fiction and for the outstanding cover art of renowned British fantasy artist, Melvyn Grant.

The second book in the series, Erec Rex: The Monsters of Otherness, deals with themes of adoption and acceptance under the mythological framework of the Hercules legend. As Erec fights to save the lives of 50 dragon hatchlings, his real quest is to uncover the truth about his own identity.

The excerpt I am distributing is called "Erec Buys His Memory Back." It's a short scene where 12-year-old Erec Rex visits the Memory Mogul to find out what happened to his childhood memories. The excerpt is located at the following URL -- or I can send it to you as a text file upon request:

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007
6:11 pm
company, by max barry
this was one of the most entertaining books i've ever read.

i highly recommend this to anyone who is working in a corporate job. anyone who appreciated office space on several relating levels might appreciate this book in the same fashions.

it's 330-ish pages, but it flew by, and i finished the book in less than a week.

basically, it's a spin off of a corporate company, and the secret behind the scenes. petty bickering, and typical office nonsense.

Monday, June 18th, 2007
9:03 am
hell's half acre by will christopher baer
y'all still reading? so am i.

although with the baseball season in full swing, and my own more recent travels, reading has slowed down a little bit, and what i have read lately hasn't been all that great. until now, that is.

hell's half acre, by will christopher baer - this is the third and supposed final chapter of the "phineas poe" trilogy, and i've thus far read all three just this year alone now. i am fascinated with stories that can really only be described best as "trainwrecks," and this one does not fail to disappoint me.

unfortunately, i can't say much unless there are others who have read the prior two novels, kiss me judas, and penny dreadful. there are several references in hell's half acre that would require the reader to have at least met the characters from prior books.

but regardless, this book is a total trainwreck, very much for the older reader as it does contain plenty of violence, some gore, and sexual situations. baer does a very good job, about as good as palahniuk when it comes to description of a human being sinking further and further into pain and desperation. even more surprising was the ending to it all, and the overall satisfaction i felt when reading this book.

355 pages that didn't really feel like 355 pages, as i finished it in three sittings. i give it four severed politician limbs out of five.
Tuesday, April 24th, 2007
11:31 pm
clown girl, by monica drake
it took me a little while, but the latest book i've completed was clown girl, by monica drake.

the synopsis is a little bit of a self-contained train wreck.  nita is a clown living the life of a starving artist.  she is working to make money for her boyfriend abroad, who hopes to make it into clown school for a chance at the big stardom.  emotionally vulnerable, and seemingly a magnet for disaster, she and her so-called partners take attempts to do less chintzy clown gigs, and move towards corporate parties, and private affairs.  the line between clowning and prostitution seems to get blurred in this interesting and first-person perspective story.

an interesting feature is the foreword by chuck palahniuk, who is probably my favorite author.  he compares himself to drake, and briefly mentions their friendly rivalry when both were aspiring story writers in workshops and classes.  personally, i think palahniuk's style is more appealing to me, and he seems to provoke more thought. drake does indeed to do an excellent job of getting to really know a character throughout a story, though.

i would give clown girl a solid 3.5 orange plastic jugs filled with urine with yuck faces drawn on them out of five.  the book made me laugh a few times, so i can say it accomplished that much.

palahniuk's new book comes out in like a week - i can't wait to get it.
Sunday, April 8th, 2007
4:36 pm
heart shaped box, by joe hill
for those who are not aware, joe hill is the son of stephen king.  obviously, he is not using the king name, in order to build a reputation of his own, without having to leech off his father's fame.

heart shaped box is the first book of hill's that i've read, and for the most part, i can say that i've enjoyed it.  like his father, the story starts off a little slow, but after a little while, it's easy to forget that you've just read 150 pages.  hill's style is a little less no-nonsense than king's, and has a tendency to get to the point and jump into the plot a lot faster.

the basic synopsis is pretty simple: judas coyne is an over-the-hill rockstar who has a hobby of collecting things of the occult.  it comes to his attention that a real ghost is available on a popular internet auction site, he doesn't hesitate to purchase it.  little does he realize that it was an elaborate set-up in order to torture and inevitably end him for a past mistake.

the book is also only 374 pages, which is miniscule compared to the monstrosities that king has written (needful things, 1140 pages)

i give it a 3.5 severed fingers from a hypnotized vietcong general out of five.
Saturday, March 31st, 2007
8:40 pm
Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld
I've only recently gotten back into my reading kick, but I'm glad that I did. One book that I happened to pick up during my trip to B&N, is Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. I was completely turned off from it last year when one of my friends were reading it, only because I opened to the first page and read the first line which related the sky to cat vomit. It never really hit me to pick it up until I saw it as I mosied through the teen section. So, I grabbed it and bought it, and began to read it right away. It hooked me RIGHT away.

The book's about the future, and based around one main character, Tally Youngblood. I don't want to ruin this for anybody who is planning on reading this, but WOW. I could literally visualize myself seeing through Tally's eyes, and I have a whole lay out for what Uglyville and New Pretty Town look like, and the way they live just amazes me. Plus, the way that Scott Westefeld has named us the 'Rusties' and had us eliminating our very existance in the end is astounding, seeing as that's probably what's actually going to happen in the future. Heh.

I'm ecstatic about this book and author. Not only because it was so good, but because it's a trilogy and I'm already deep into the next book, Pretties. I'm head over heels for that, also. The beginning was kind of a bummer to me for some reason, but as I journey deeper into the futuristic world that Scott has set up, it's only hooking me again. I can't wait to get on and read Specials. I really hope that's as good as the first two! :)

Current Mood: happy
Sunday, March 25th, 2007
9:14 pm
citizen girl, by emma mclaughlin and nicola kraus
being the jock-ish type of male that i am, i like to rate my books like baseball pitching performances. wins, losses and no-decisions. really, there is a logical (at least to me) basis behind it - a book would be considered a win, if when i finish it, i can find at least several redeeming qualities about it. there are often certain degrees of wins too, like if a book is so good, that it qualifies as a no-hitter. some start off slow, but manage to pull through within the alloted amount of time, and hold on for the win ratings.

a no-decision is when i read a book, finish it, but when the day is over, i really don't have anything to say about it. it's not bad, but it's not good enough for me to give it any real decision.

a loss, would be what i gave up on today. citizen girl, by emma mclaughlin and nicola kraus. jock or not, i still try to be open-minded about what i read, even if it means blatantly diving into some chick-lit. i actually read a chick-lit novel last year that i enjoyed, (can you keep a secret, by sophie kinsella) unfortunately, this was not the case. i was originally interested in the book because of 1.) cover art - interesting enough for my visual appeal, and 2.) there were characters in the book legitimately named "girl" and "guy". the synopsis seemed interesting enough to me, a 24-year old unsatisfied with their stance in life searching for something better - sounds like something i could relate to.

perhaps its because the story is written by two authors, but it felt like the story was taking twice the time to actually get to the point of anything. out of 306 pages, i read 125, hoping for something remotely interesting to happen, and not be so predictable. girl blows up at her current job and gets fired. struggles and acts like her life will end if she doesn't get a new job, but somehow manages to find what she thinks is her dream job working for a feminist-supportive company. loves it at first but the story is obviously steering towards a "twist" of the male CEOs and upper-crust going to be typical chauvinistic men while she juggles self-belief, employment, and the quirky romance between her and a video game developer.

the book has been utter crap, really. i can't even imagine how women would enjoy this book. it's like "whine-whine-whine, i'm moving, but i have a kickass job, WHOA potential sex out of nowhere with a guy character the protagonist hated 20 pages ago" not to dis on the chick-lit genre, being a guy and all, but this book sucked. it gets a big fat loss on my big manly scale of book ratings, and despite the fact that i paid like $4.99 at barnes and noble, i want my money back.
Saturday, March 24th, 2007
1:15 am
penny dreadful, by will christopher baer
i've not made any point in hiding it, but i have some rather interesting (read: disturbing) tastes in literature. my favorite authors are guys like chuck palahniuk and bret easton ellis. very scattered reading, with usually involving one or more elements: killing, sex, drug abuse, or violence. protagonist is usually a very f-ed up individual, and stands a good chance of dying.

anyway i don't know where i'm going with this, because it's late, but the latest book that i completed was penny dreadful by will christopher baer. the author comes recommended from chuck palahniuk's website itself, and earlier this year i read the first novel of the "phineas poe" trilogy, which was a trainwreck of a delightful book.

penny dreadful is especially interesting for anyone who is into or has participated in some sort of live role-playing or, try not to laugh, LARPing. the second in the "poe" trilogy has the main character, phineas poe returning to denver where the everyone who he had been associated with has seemingly caught up in an extreme LARP gone wrong - whether they know they are a part of it or not. everyone seems to have an alter-ego to counteract their "daytime" selves, and the lines begin to blur to which one is real.

like most books i tend to enjoy, this one is also a complete train wreck, and involves lots of violence and adult situations. being a super nerd that i am, i also felt like i was able to relate with certain parts of the book better and seem to understand them more comprehensibly than others might.

anyway, if strange and weird is your cup of tea, i would recommend this book. i give it a solid five out of five Freds who are hunted by Mariners who are really video store clerks during the daytime. it really was able to suck me in without trying that hard, before i had even realize that it had done so. now that's good literature.
Wednesday, March 14th, 2007
9:19 am
The Devil Wears Prada comparison
I meant to post this ages ago, but it kept slipping my mind.

Quick rundown: Small town girl (Andy) and her bf move to the big city. She gets a job as the assistant to Miranda at Runway Magazine (a job millions of girls would die for). Add in angst, a massive (free) top fashion make-over, and relationship stress. Shake vigorously until Andy realizes that friends are more important then being untrue to yourself. The End.

I read the novel after it had been out for a few months. I liked the character design, and the appearance that the author knew something about the fashion industry. However, I honestly felt that Andy (the main chara) really wasn't suffering enough. Miranda wasn't THAT bad. I mean, yes she asked for weird things and had odd demands, but everyone in the book pretty much knew what she wanted and when. She was no different from any high-powered boss. They equated 'confident' with 'bitchy'. I guess it was supposed to be a psychological thing that didn't really appear when I read it. Perhaps other people got it. It wasn't worth a re-read for me.

Fast forward to last month. I finally broke down and rented the movie. It was a relatively decent copy of the book. Most of the elements I wanted to see were there. They did an excellent job of casting, and everyone looked as they should if they were working in fashion.

Overall I liked the movie better than the book. Sacrilege I know, but it's true. I suppose that since it dealt with a very visual field it worked better as a movie. However, I preferred the ending of the novel. Instead of just walking away Andy tells Miranda 'F*#$ you!' and THEN leaves. She goes off and write up-beat articles for magazines that promote women of all shapes and sizes. There's a specific bit where she meets an editor for Teen Self (I think) and she's heavy set, easy going, and very cheerful. It's a much better ending.
8:47 am
Comic book reccomendations
In my recent burnout with the big companies and their need for mega crossovers which just induce headaches literally and financially, I decided I wanted to focus on what I like about comics instead of negative thoughts. So since I know there's a few people reading this who enjoy 'em as well, I was wondering which comic stories you really liked and would reccommend to just about anyone; say about 10 or so. If I or others can learn about something new to read, it'll be worth it.

Promise to do another book review next time I post here.

Anyways, my own faves:Read more...Collapse )

Current Mood: awake
8:12 am
monster, by frank peretti
i read a lot of books by popular authors, and most of the time, the books are good because the authors obviously have a formula for writing that just clicks with the type of reader who gets their style. but on that same token, if i want to be able to accomplish my goal of 40 books on the year, bret easton ellis, chuck palahniuk and other authors i favor, can't publish enough books fast enough for me to do that. so on that note, i often give chances to random books that i acquire based on the synopsis on the back/sleeve, that's usually found at b&n/borders's discount racks. just 'cuz they're on the cheap rack doesn't mean that at one point, the book might actually have been something good.

this was one of them.

monster by frank peretti is basically a story of a man and his wife who go on a survival expedition (camping) trip in the woods of the north idaho/canada border region. they are supposed to meet up with this experienced survival guide in a cabin in the middle of the woods; upon arrival, the place is in shambles, and they just assume it was a bear. as they camp for the night, expecting the guide to return the following day from a presumed supply-run, they are waken by the sounds of creatures in the woods. long story short - attempting to flee, the man's wife is abducted, and a wild goose chase begins with local authorities, questioning the man's sanity, superstition, science and credibility. all while the wife attempts to survive in the wild.

i picked it up as a throw-away book, but ended up enjoying it immensely, and found myself unable to put it down - i started it this past saturday morning. it's nothing too complex, nothing too thought-provoking, but an easy-to-read, enjoyable book for those into some bit of outdoorsy mystery.

i give it a 3.5 mysteriously slain hunters out of five, and in terms of getting what i paid for, $4.99 for a decent read is well worth it.

some random questions for the well-read: anyone else notice the decline of the synopsis being included on the backs of paperbacks in favor of small-press accolades and newspaper quotations of praise? anyone actually care about what kinds of accolades the book has received when you pick it up? and finally, it seems like everything i pick up at a book store was once a new york times best seller; if every author is a so-called best-seller, what makes any book stand out at all?
Tuesday, March 6th, 2007
9:15 am
world war Z, by max brooks
anyone who has read max brooks' the zombie survival guide or is a fan of the zombie genre would enjoy brooks' world war Z.

the concept of the book is interesting - it is basically stating that the survival guide was just the facts about zombies and how to survive against them, but world war Z is the stories behind it all. written from several different perspectives of people from different parts of the world at different times, it's impressive that the author takes on so many personas to write from. it all revolves around how the zombie phenomenon started, ravaged the earth, and humanity's eventual strategic fight back against the undead.

it started off kind of slow, but once the reader realizes that the book is not necessarily primarily about the zombies, but the conflicts of man rather, it becomes a much better book. zombies essentially act as the catalyst for all of the chaos that ensues.

given the slow start-off, i would be inclined to give world war Z a solid 4.5 out of five severed zombie heads with crushed-in skulls with brain juice leaking out of them.
Saturday, February 24th, 2007
10:13 pm
for the love of the game, by michael shaara
like i've stated in the past, i realize that there are hardly any sports fans in this group... i just finished reading for the love of the game by michael shaara.

there was a movie adaptation of this story that starred kevin costner and kelly preston back in like 2002 i think, and i enjoyed that thoroughly. the book, was able to capture the emotion and describe in better detail the actual love story that the story is actually about, despite the sports-related title and undertones.

it's no secret that i'm a huge baseball fan, but sports aside, this was still a fine piece of literature that conveys what it's like to truly be passionate about something, regardless of how others treat it.
Thursday, February 22nd, 2007
9:59 am
i am a book reading machine. in the span of 10 days, i destroyed a 678 page collection of short stories by roald dahl, the same guy that brought childrens classics such as matilda and james and the giant peach. but unlike all those kid-friendly books with veiled undertones, the omnibus is a series of short stories that doesn't bother with all of that.

it's still a rather PG-13 book, since dahl is a classier author who doesn't need to describe such acts of wanton sex or violent, gory deaths, but i have to admit, after almost a year of reading bret easton ellis and chuck palahniuk, this book left me feeling dilapidated, and expecting something worse.

as a whole, i enjoyed the omnibus, and found realization that short stories i've read in the past such as "lamb to the slaughter" were done by dahl himself. it's darker, ironic humor, and well written, to where i realized that i was nearing the climax, and i went back pages to re-read everything, so that i could fully comprehend the impending story twist. it's kind of like reading several episodes of tales from the crypt.

dahl does a good job of respecting the reader's intelligence, as if it were his expectations that anyone with a normal iq would be reading his work, by the way he leaves almost all of his stories hanging in some fashion, leaving the reader to use their imaginations. reading it, you know what happened/is going to happen, but he leaves you to come to the conclusions yourself.

overall, i enjoyed the book thoroughly. i give it a solid five out of five frozen legs of lamb fresh from being crushed over someone's skull.
Sunday, February 11th, 2007
3:14 pm
running with scissors, by augusten burroughs
ok - i really don't have much of a weekend life.  in two days, i've just mowed through augusten burroughs' running with scissors.

i didn't even know that this had already come out in theaters and is pretty much available on dvd already - but i did know that i wanted to read this book prior to seeing the movie, because that's how much of a book snob i can be.

overall, the book was good - entertaining, and most certainly lol material at times.  most of the time, the situations presented in the book are so off the wall or over the top, that i've had to mouth out the words, wtf.  definitely a book for mature readers, despite the immature nature of the stories, but lots of dirty things.  why i mention this on this forum is beyond me, given the audience, but i figure i'd throw that out there, and besides it makes this review look a lot more wordy.

all else i can say that is upon reading this book, i'd give it a solid four turds out of five turds, drying out on the picnic table.  hopefully, anyone who's already read this book will get this reference, and not just believe that i'm some weirdo, despite the fact that i can't exactly argue that either.

now i would like to go see the movie now.
Saturday, February 10th, 2007
8:33 pm
maybe a miracle, by brian strause
this is, so far, the best book i've read this year, and quite possibly one of my favorites... top ten worthy.

maybe a miracle, by brian strause is a heart-warming story about a young man named monroe anderson, whose life is taken way off course when his sister is found face-first in the swimming pool which puts her in a coma.  the story deals with how his family copes with the situation, alcoholism, religious fanaticism, family bonds, and baseball.

it was like a book meant for people like me who can feel like they've been in the shoes of the main character.  growing up, coming of age, confusion, the book does a good job of punching the reader in the stomach several times throughout the book, before towards the end, paying off.

as it stands, this is my top book of the year, whether or not it will hold its position throughout the year is yet to be determined.  but if anything at all, i enjoyed this book so much, i'm inclined to share two brief excerpts from the book:

Spell dog backward and it's a lot closer to God than Annika. But I don't say that. I also don't say that a dog can stay at home alone, knows how to ask to go out, and can catch a ball - all things that are well beyond my sister's current abilities, but I don't say that either. I never get credit for the things I don't say. I just say, "I'm sorry. You're right."


We float naked in the pool.

She says, "I can't believe this is me," and laughs. I could say the same thing, but I don't.

She wonders, "So, Monroe, you do this with all the girls who come to visit Annika?"

It would have been impossible not to say, "You're the first pretty one to show up."

She says I'm sweet, as if I've just told a lie. Then she kisses me.

I did mention that I've never slept with a girl before? Not Emily. Not a hooker. Not even Suzy James - and everyone around here sleeps with her. Which is all to say, I'm not exactly experienced  with this kind of thing. Yet here I am with a naked girl in my arms and I know practically nothing about her, other than that she says she's dying and she believes touching my sister will somehow change that. Oh yeah, and she's Canadian.

I think I like Canadians.


this isn't really a book that should be read by anyone who takes religion seriously, is the only thing i would warn people about.
Sunday, February 4th, 2007
3:13 pm
now i can die in peace, by bill simmons
i don't imagine there are many sports fans in this group, as there are lesser and lesser folks out there that seem to be.... if that is the case, then glaze over this one, because this is a book about sports.

<i>now i can die in peace</i> is basically a retrospective of an ESPN employee who is going through about six years of internet columns/articles he's written about his love/hate relationship with the boston red sox.  for jocks like me, it satiates my love of baseball, wrestling, and other manly things - if this author were local, i'd try to be his best friend.

yeah, i mowed through this book in two days - waiting at car joints and lines gives me lots of reading time.  and starbucks.
12:55 am
lisey's story, by stephen king COMPLETED
i would've finished this sooner had i not gone to las vegas last weekend, but it is irrelevant.

page 476 out of 509 pages - the first and only boston red sox reference was made - i thought that perhaps this book could make it through without one, but who am i kidding - it's stephen king.  also another odd occurrence in the book was a named reference to kurt vonnegut's ideas from slaughterhouse five - i've never once remembered king ever referring to another author in his works before.

overall, i enjoyed the book.  i can't say it was any better than desperation or even cell for that matter, but i can't help but wonder, what makes stephen king's books appealing to me.  perhaps it's the violence/gore, or the occasional "romance budding from tragedy".  if it's the imaginative risks he takes his plots into, i might have to agree with that one, because lisey's story does not hesitate to jump into the imaginative worlds, quite literally.

as a whole, if you can endure the first 100 pages of the build-up, the book does manage to keep you entertained and your attention kept.  if i had to rate it, i'd give it 3.5 pickaxes out of five.
Tuesday, January 30th, 2007
4:54 pm
Book and comic reccommendations.
Hey. First post on here. Yay!

Anyways, I find myself wanting to reccommend to share a couple thoughts on comics and one book related thought.

First off, I was given the first 5 issues of Civil War, done by Marvel comics. Read more...Collapse )

OK... too much negativity in that paragraph. On to a positive comic thought. Hmmm... I'm seriously hooked on a current series called Justice, from DC comics. Read more...Collapse )

As to a book reccomendation, I'd like to offer to everyone Mutineer's Moon by David Weber.Read more...Collapse )

Current Mood: chipper
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