Category Archives: meme

Top Ten Tuesday: Colorful Covers

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Today’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us to judge a book by its cover — and in this case, the more colorful the better!

Included are some old favorites, some new favorites, and a few I’ve discovered and shared with Shortcake.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us which books are on our spring TBR list. Here’s a list of what I hope to get to this spring.

  1. Later by Stephen King
  2. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
  3. Doctor Who: Dalek by Rob Shearman
  4. Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
  5. We Shall Sing a Song Unto the Deep by Andrew Kelly Stewart
  6. Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic by Glenn Frankel
  7. Rabbits by Terry Miles
  8. Dune by Frank Herbert
  9. Foundation by Issac Asimov
  10. The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
  11. Battle Ground by Jim Butcher
  12. The Lake Wobegon Virus by Garrison Keillor

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Top Ten Tuesday: LOL

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Today’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us about the books that made us laugh out loud. Here are my choices, in no particular order.

  1. Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. Adams making being witty and humorous look effortless. Just read anyone who’s tried and failed to imitate him, and you’ll appreciate just how great he is at this.
  2.  Terry Pratchett, The DiscWorld series.  Like Adams, Pratchett makes it look easy.  He seems to find the right combination of words to be witty, amusing, laugh out loud funny and more.
  3. Garrison Keillor, The Lake Wobegon stories  Yes, I love Keillor’s writing, but I’d argue that his Lake Wobegon stories are best experienced in their original monologue format.  Still doesn’t mean that the story about the Lutheran ministers and the pontoon boat isn’t hysterically funny on the printed page, mind you.  I did an entire class project on Keillor and his humorous writing in college.
  4. Peter David, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Strike Zone.  David has a gift for finding the funny in Star Trek — especially in areas where the franchise can or does take itself too seriously.   His first Trek novel includes a scene that had me laughing out loud when I read it three decades ago.  Set in season two of TNG, the scene has Riker and Picard meeting in a turbolift and Riker noting that it must really get Picard that he’s got more hair on his newly bearded face than Picard has on his whole head.  I’m not doing a great job relating it here, but it was and still is awesome.
  5. Gary Larson, the Far Side collections.  Seems that 2021 is similar to 1999 when it comes to laying out a page-a-day calendar.  So, it is that I’m spending this year getting reacquainted with genius that is Gary Larson thanks to my page-a-day calendar. And with news that he’s publishing new cartoons again, the world has become a bit funnier.
  6. Dave Barry.  Barry’s written a few good novels, but his old collections of newspaper columns or non-fiction humor books that examine one or two subjects are where he really shines.
  7. Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court Twain is always going to make my list when it comes to humorous writers — and A Connecticut Yankee is one of my favorites
  8. Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet by James Goss.  For years, this fan-favorite by Douglas Adams went unadapted for the Target range of books. Then, in the last decade, they’ve begun to slowly fill in the gaps with adaptations that weren’t limited by the page count of the original Target run.  This may be the best of the lot, simply because Goss does what many have tried to do and come up short — imitate the great Douglas Adams.   One sequence in particular as the Doctor imagines his greatest enemies unable to believe he’s been killed in a seemingly mundane way was a pure delight — part of that could be chalked up to listening to this as an audiobook and the performance.
  9. Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary.   One of my earliest — and still favorite — reads.  Ramona goes to kindergarten and on the first day, she misunderstands that when the teacher asks her to sit in a chair “for the present” it means for right now and not that a gift is coming later.  We picked up a full set of the Cleary books to share with Shortcake and I hope she loves that moment and this book as much as I do.
  10. John Scalzi, Redshirts.  Like Peter David, Scalzi is able to find the funny in things by pointing out some of the absurdities of them all.   He has serious concepts and ideas in his novel, but he populates his books with characters who can take the mickey out of things.  No where is this more true than Redshirts, a homage to classic Star Trek that will have you laughing out loud one moment and thinking the next.  I’m not sure it’s my favorite Scalzi (that is probably his Heads-On series) but it won him a well-deserved Hugo.

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Last Year I Was Reading…

To celebrate Throwback Thursday, I’ve found Last Year I Was Reading, created by Maria.

Take your current read and compare it to what you reading this exact time last year. Which one do you like better? What is different about the books? Any special facts/things you want to make note of or bring attention to?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books With a Colorful Title

Time again for Top Ten Tuesdayhosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week’s prompt is books with a color in the title.

  1. Doctor Who and the Green Death
  2. Doctor Who: Black Orchid 
  3. Doctor Who: Silver Nemesis
  4. Green Eggs and Ham
  5. Red Mars
  6. The Mystery at Lilac Inn
  7. A Study in Scarlet
  8. Harold and the Purple Crayon
  9. The Maltese Falcon
  10. Red Dragon

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Movie Thoughts: Batman Begins

Batman_Begins_PosterBatman Begins was one of the first movies I saw in an IMAX theater and it left an indelible mark on me.

I’m a huge fan of Batman: The Animated Series and it felt like on the huge IMAX screen with the perfectly attuned surround sound that several sequences captured the feel of the Animated Series in movie form.   This is especially true of the sequence where Bruce Wayne dons the Batman outfit for the first time and is battling crooks at the docks.   Watching Batman use shadows and darkness to cover his taking out the crooks one by one sent shivers up my spine.

It still does. Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Summer TBR

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us what are the top ten books on your summer to-be-read list.  Here are a couple of mine.

  1. orangetree Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
  2. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
  3. Magic for Liars by Sarah Galley
  4. Recursion by Blake Crouch
  5. Limited Wish by Mark Lawrence
  6. Star Trek: Captain’s Oath by Christopher L. Bennett
  7. The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang
  8. Doctor Who: Scratchman by Tom Baker (audiobook)
  9. Doctor Who: Mawdryn Undead by Peter Grimwade (audiobook)
  10. The Queen Con by Meghan Scott Molin

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Throwback Thursday: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Where the Red Fern GrowsThrowback Thursday is a weekly feature hosted by Tenacious Reader to highlight books from the past. It can honestly be anything as long as its not a book that is a current release. Maybe its a book that I read and reviewed and just want to highlight, maybe its a book I read before I started reviewing or maybe its a book that has a sequel coming out soon or maybe its a backlist book from my TBR that I just want to revisit and decide if I will make the time to read. Pretty much, anything goes. 

Between second and seventh grade, I read Wilson Rawl’s Where The Red Fern Grows a couple of dozen times. It was either my first or second grade teacher who read the book aloud to my class, hooking me on this book as a kid and adding it to me “go to” rotation of books I’d return to time and again as comfort reading.

Now, if you know how this novel ends, it being “comfort reading” may feel a bit like an oxymoron. But, apart from the final chapter being a bit of a downer (because all books about dogs seem to end this way), the rest of the novel is a moving story of the bond between a boy and his dogs.

The boy in this case is Billy Coleman, growing up in the Ozark Mountains and wanting nothing more in his life than to have two hunting dogs of his own. Coming across a sportsman magazine left by some fisherman, Billy sees an ad selling dogs for $25 each. Billy spends the better part of two years earning extra money with traps his father gives him, selling vegetables and bait to fisherman, and doing various odd jobs to earn the fifty dollars needed to purchase his dogs. Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday: The Movie is Better

 

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Time again for Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week,  we have an adaptation from novel to screen freebie.  It’s easy to say the book is better and in many cases it is. But there are times when the screen adaptation ends up being more enjoyable than the source material.  Here are a few:

  1.  The Godfather by Mario Puzo.  Given the iconic status of the movie version, it’d be easy to assume the book is awesome too.  After all, Puzo did adapt his novel for the silver screen.  And yet, reading the book, I wasn’t overly impressed with it in quite the same way as I was with the movie.
  2. Jaws by Peter Benchley.  Another iconic film that you’d assume the source material is awesome.  The screen versions hones the book down to its essentials and it’s much better for it.  The book has so many unlikeable characters that by about halfway through it, I was rooting for the shark to just eat everyone already and be done with it.
  3. Forrest Gump by Winston Groom.  If you love the movie, avoid this book at all costs. Forrest goes to outer space, is lost on a deserted island, and becomes good friends with a space chimp.   Oh, and the reason Jenny loves him in the book has less to do with the size of his heart and more the size of something else…
  4. The Spy Who Loved Me by Ian Fleming.  Even Fleming knew this was a terrible book.  When he sold the screen rights to the Bond books, one of his demands was that while they could use the title from this book, the book itself couldn’t be adapted.  And it’s a good thing since this one is a first-person narrated story by a woman, trapped in a hotel with some killers until Bond shows up in the last few pages to save the day.
  5. Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle.  The movie takes the basic premise and runs with it in an entirely different direction. Thank heavens. This one tries hard to have a twist, but it’s so silly.
  6. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R..R. Tolkien.  Before Fellowship of the Ring hit theaters, I joined a Barnes and Nobel on-line read-a-long of the books, hoping this was the time I could slog through them all.  I left the group when some participants were posting long diatribes that the movies were leaving out small details from the books and, thus, ruining them.  Again, this was BEFORE the movies came out.  I’ve tried hard to enjoy the books but find them a bit of a slog.  The movies eliminate page upon page of walking around and simply get us there.

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Throwback Thursday: Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Throwback Thursday is a weekly feature hosted by Tenacious Reader to highlight books from the past. It can honestly be anything as long as its not a book that is a current release. Maybe its a book that I read and reviewed and just want to highlight, maybe its a book I read before I started reviewing or maybe its a book that has a sequel coming out soon or maybe its a backlist book from my TBR that I just want to revisit and decide if I will make the time to read. Pretty much, anything goes. 

StephenKingPetSemataryI “discovered” Stephen King in my teens, starting with Firestarter. While that one didn’t do much for me, I quickly moved onto Cujo and that one scared the fool out of me.  From that point onward, I was hooked and I’ve been an avid fan of King ever since.

Somewhere along the way, I read Pet Sematary.  Like Cujo, it unnerved me while reading it and parts of it have stuck with me to this day.  I think King has never tapped into fear more than in the scene when Louis tries to keep his toddler son, Gage, from running into the road.  It unnerved me then and it unnerves me today.

I’m re-reading the book via audiobook and finding that it’s still as intense and riveting as when I first read it.  I just got to the sequence in question when Gage dies and it’s still unnerving as all get out.  And I’ll admit that part of me finds irony in the fact that a lot of my listening is during runs, pushing Shortcake in her stroller.  We run on the sidewalk on a busy road and I’m a bit worried at times when I can see the large percentage of people paying more attention to their cellular devices than watching the road.

In his new introduction to the book, King admits that this novel is one that scares even him and that he wasn’t planning to publish it.  But he had to fulfill a contract and so he took it out of his desk drawer and published it.

I’ve seen the original movie version and, quite frankly, it didn’t bother me nearly as much as the novel did.  I’m intrigued to see the new movie, even though they made some changes, and see if it can capture the blood-chilling nature of the book.   I’ve seen articles that call the book unfilmable and I have to admit part of me thinks this may be true.

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