Review: The Fifty Year Mission: The First 25 Years by Edward Gross & Mark Altman

The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek: The First 25 YearsEver since William Shatner committed his memories about working on Star Trek to print, it seems like there have been a lot of books pulling back the curtain on what went on behind the scenes of the original series. And if you were to take the time to put together all those various accounts of what went into creating Star Trek, whether it be from the technical, creative or personal side, you’d probably get a fairly good idea of how the original series came to be on our screens.

But if you don’t have that much time or shelf space, you could simply pick up Edward Gross and Mark Altman’s new book The Fifty Year Mission, The First 25 Years: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral Historyof Star Trek. Weighing it at close to 600 pages, this first installment of two this year from Gross and Altman covers the history of the original crew of the starship Enterprise, from the initial vision by Gene Roddenberry to the cast literally signing off at the end of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday: Set In Another Country

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) asks us our favorite books set in another country.  Because I’m a big sci-fi fan, I think I may cheat a bit and include stories set on other worlds.

  1.  The Sherlock Holmes canon by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  2. Most of the classic Doctor Who stories and their print adaptations
  3. The Beardless Warriors by Richard Matheson
  4. The Miles Verokosgian novels by Lois McMaster Bujold
  5. The Harry Potter novels and the Cormoran Strike novels by J.K. Rowling
  6. The Peter Grant novels by Ben Aaronovich
  7. The Inspector Lynley novels by Elizabeth George
  8. The Foundation trilogy by Issac Asimov

I’m sure I’ll think of at least four more as soon as I hit the post button!

 

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Musing Mondays: Let’s Get Together

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Time to kick off the week with Musing Mondays (hosted by Books and a Beat).

This week’s random question is: If _____ and _____ were to get together and write a book…

My first thought on this one was: If George R.R. Martin and Douglas Adams were to get together and write a book, it would be a least five years late getting to our shelves.

Adams once said that he loved the sound of deadlines as the “whooshed by” and if you’re a reader of Martin, you know that he’s not exactly the most consistent when it comes to meeting publication dates.

Beyond that, I’m not certain that these are two great tastes that would taste great together.

I think I’d rather see Martin get together with Jim Butcher.  Butcher has one of the best fantasy series on the market today in the Dresden Files and he actually publishes more than one book every decade.

The mystery lover side of me thinks a novel by Michael Connelly and Raymond Chandler might be interesting.  (Impossible, yes because Chandler is no longer with us).

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Review: The American Girl by Kate Horsley

The American GirlIt seem like a lot of the mystery novels I’m drawn to these days feature an unreliable narrator (or narrators in the case of The American Girl). Whether this is due to the success of novels like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train has encouraged publishers to jump on the unreliable narrator bandwagon or that it’s just that I’ve become more aware of this particular narrative hook, I’m not sure.

What I do know is that, at this point, it takes a lot to make an unreliable narrator story stand out to me.

Kate Horsley’s The American Girl was able to do that. Well, at least it was able to do that for the first hundred or so pages. Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday: All About Me!

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) wants to find out a bit more about the reader behind the keyboard.  The topic this week is ten things about yourself.

  1.  As a young reader, I read the Beverly Cleary books over and over again.  To the point that I think I have portions of them memorized. That said, I can’t wait to share them with my daughter when she’s old enough.
  2. I don’t recall a time in my life when I didn’t know how to read. I might not have been proficient, but I could do it!
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    Shortcake is ready for UT football season!

    I’m a new dad.  Our daughter is three months old and we’re currently watching classic Star Trek together (for me, it’s the zillionth and one time and for her, it’s all new)

  4. I don’t drink coffee and I gave up caffeine in sodas a long time ago.
  5. I’ve been to DisneyLand and Disney World.
  6. I’m an avid runner and swimmer.
  7. I’ve completed several half-marathons, a 15K, a couple of 10Ks and a bunch of 5Ks.
  8. I spend the weeks leading up to a marathon training my body for the run. I spend the last day or so before the marathon working on my playlist for the marathon.  All of these playlists have one song in common: Rocky Top. (The fight song for my beloved UT Volunteers).
  9. I love comedies from the golden age of radio.  Among my favorites are The Great Gildersleeve, The Jack Benny Program, and Burns and Allen.
  10. I love peanut butter. Seriously–you could put peanut butter on rocks and I’d eat it.

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Musing Mondays: The Book Was Better

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Musing Mondays is a weekly book-related meme that I participate in on a sporadic basis.  This week’s random question asks: Name a book that was turned into a movie, and completely desecrated (in your opinion).

Being a literary snob, I can think of a lot of books that were much better than the movies. My first though was Jurassic Park, which removed several plot lines that drove some of the tension of the last half of the novel.  But I don’t necessarily think that desecrated the original novel so much as it disappointed me.

I guess if I’m going to go with desecrated (and I hate to do this because I love Ron Howard) I’d have to say Dr. Suess’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas.   I think this movie had a lot to compete with beyond just the original book but also the beloved animated special.  And, quite frankly, I think less is more when it comes to the Grinch.  Expanding the material to 90 minutes from 30 didn’t do it any favors.

 

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Review: The Big Rewind by Libby Cudmore

The Big RewindLibby Cudmore’s debut novel The Big Rewind features a cover blurb comparing it to Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity. And while it’s true the two novels share first-person narrators who love music and sprinkle in more pop culture references than you can shake a stick at, I’m not sure the comparison between the two extends far beyond that.

Taking over her grandmother’s rent controlled New York apartment, Jett Bennett has grand visions of becoming a music journalist in the Big Apple. But the reality of her situation is that she’s scraping by taking temp jobs and spending a lot of time at Trader Joe’s (if this was a movie, the sheer number of mentions of Trader Joe’s would feel like product placement). Living among bohemian artists, Jett is finding her way in the world when a mix-up in the mail has her stumble across the murder of her neighbor. Continue reading

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