Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday Books

For some reason, we got this book in the series with its original British cover, and it should thank its stars that it did, cause the series American covers suck!

A whole new reason to mind the gap.

It begins with a dead body at the far end of Baker Street tube station, all that remains of American exchange student James Gallagher — and the victim’s wealthy, politically powerful family is understandably eager to get to the bottom of the gruesome murder. The trouble is, the bottom — if it exists at all — is deeper and more unnatural than anyone suspects…except, that is, for London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant. With Inspector Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, tied up in the hunt for the rogue magician known as "the Faceless Man," it’s up to Peter to plumb the haunted depths of the oldest, largest, and — as of now — deadliest subway system in the world.

At least he won’t be alone. No, the FBI has sent over a crack agent to help. She’s young, ambitious, beautiful…and a born-again Christian apt to view any magic as the work of the devil. Oh yeah—that’s going to go well.

I saw American Splendor in the theaters - LOVE, Hope Davis; HATE, Paul Giamatti, and since then I've been wanting to read all of Pekar's graphic novels. This posthumous work will probably be my first.

Harvey Pekar’s mother was a Zionist by way of politics. His father was a Zionist by way of faith. Whether Harvey was going to daily Hebrew classes or attending Zionist picnics, he grew up a staunch supporter of the Jewish state. But soon he found himself questioning the very beliefs and ideals of his parents.

In Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me, the final graphic memoir from the man who defined the genre, Pekar explores what it means to be Jewish and what Israel means to the Jews. Over the course of a single day in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, Pekar and the illustrator JT Waldman wrestle with the mythologies and realities surrounding the Jewish homeland. Pekar interweaves his increasing disillusionment with the modern state of Israel with a comprehensive history of the Jewish people from biblical times to the present, and the result is a personal and historical odyssey of uncommon power. Plainspoken and empathetic, Pekar had no patience for injustice and prejudice in any form, and though he comes to understand the roots of his parents’ unquestioning love for Israel, he arrives at the firm belief that all peoples should be held to the same universal standards of decency, fairness, and democracy.

With an epilogue written by Joyce Brabner, Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me is an essential book for fans of Harvey Pekar and anyone interested in the past and future of the Jewish state. It is bound to create important discussions and debates for years to come.

I picked this cause a) it was pretty and b) it was on NPR, but now I see that it's an apocalypse too! YES!

With a voice as distinctive and original as that of The Lovely Bones, and for the fans of the speculative fiction of Margaret Atwood, Karen Thompson Walker’s The Age of Miracles is a luminous, haunting, and unforgettable debut novel about coming of age set against the backdrop of an utterly altered world.

"It still amazes me how little we really knew…Maybe everything that happened to me and my family had nothing at all to do with the slowing. It’s possible, I guess. But I doubt it. I doubt it very much."

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life — the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.

Yes, I'm shallow. And I fall in lust with drawings and cartoons. Sue me.

Ever since he was a boy, Daniel Suppleton has been deathly afraid of hurricanes, which he fears will arrive suddenly and reduce everyone he knows and loves to trembling skeletons. Retreating to live in a tipi in the woods, Daniel battles demons real and imagined. As his ex-wife, Karen, frantically searches for him, the long-awaited hurricane finally hits, and Daniel must find a way to save them both. Haunting, mesmerizing, and beautifully written, Daniel Fights a Hurricane is an affecting, original novel of love and loss, marriage and friendship, by a rising young talent.

That'll do, pig, that'll do.

A heartwarming debut introduces readers to the adventures of its overachieving porcine narrator

Blending the sophisticated satire of Jonathan Swift with the charming exuberance of a Pixar film, Pyg tells the story of Toby, a truly exceptional pig who lived in late eighteenth-century England. After winning the blue ribbon at the Salford Livestock Fair and escaping the butcher's knife, Toby tours the country, wowing circus audiences with his abilities to count, spell, and even read the minds of ladies (but only with their permission, of course). He goes on to study at Oxford and Edinburgh—encountering such luminaries as Samuel Johnson, Robert Burns, and William Blake—before finally writing his own life story. Quirky, beguiling, and endlessly entertaining, this memoir of a "remarkable sapient pig" is a sharp and witty delight.

Travel and miscellany? I'm there.

From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe: everything you never knew you never knew about every country on Earth.

A scientist by training and an explorer by passion, Dr. John Oldale has logged half a million miles visiting more than ninety nations. Now, he celebrates our weird and wonderful world in a cornucopia of fascinating facts brought vividly to life through the unexpected stories behind them. Touching on history, travel, politics, natural history and more, he paints a unique portrait of each country from the mightiest to the most miniscule. You won't find the following in your average travel guide:

  • Why is kissing on trains banned in France?
  • In what country are litigants expected to present their case at court in the form of a poem?
  • Which war did women win in 1929 just by sitting down?
  • If Panama hats aren’t from Panama, where are they from?
  • Who eats fresh camel dung as a cure for dysentery (and why does it work)?
  • Why were US disk jockeys once told they could play birthday requests on any day except the one requested?
  • Which modern dictator banned old age, libraries and gold teeth, and was later replaced by his dentist?
  • And 2,000 more funny, trivial, poignant, and telling facts

A must for active and armchair globe-trotters alike, A World of Curiosities will engross anyone who is at all curious about the world beyond their door. Explore and enjoy.

I wanna go! *bounces in chair like a teenage gay boy at his first Bieber concert.

Welcome to Comic-Con: where the future of pop culture comes to life

Every summer, more than 130,000 comic fans, gamers, cosplay enthusiasts, and nerds of all stripes descend on San Diego to mingle with the top entertainment celebrities and creative industry professionals in an unprecedented celebration of popular culture in all its forms.

From humble beginnings, Comic-Con has mutated into an electrifying, exhausting galaxy of movies, TV, video games, art, fashion, toys, merchandise, and buzz. It’s where the future of entertainment unspools in real time, and everyone wants to be there.

In Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture, author Rob Salkowitz, a recognized expert in digital media and the global digital generation (and unabashed comics enthusiast), explores how the humble art form of comics ended up at the center of the 21st-century media universe. From Comic-Con’s massive exhibit hall and panels to its exclusive parties and business suites, Salkowitz peels back the layers to show how comics culture is influencing communications, entertainment, digital technology, marketing, education, and storytelling.

What can the world’s most approachable and adaptable art form tell us about the importance of individual talent and personal engagement in the era of the new global audience, the iPad, and the quarter-billion-dollar summer blockbuster? Here are some of the issues Salkowitz explores:

How do you succeed in the transmedia maelstrom? Comics have hopscotched across the media landscape for decades. What can we learn from their successes and failures as we careen toward a converged digital future?

Have comics cracked the digital code? Everyone is scrambling to deal with the business disruptions of digital distribution. Does the recent success of comics on tablets demonstrate a new model for other industries, or do dangers lie ahead?

What’s next for “peak geek”? Will the ascendant nerd culture of the early 2010s keep its new audience engaged or burn out from overexposure?

Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture combines the insights business leaders need with the details fans crave about the future ofthe world’s most dynamic industry. Even if you can’t be in San Diego in July, this book brings the excitement into focus…no costumes required!

Yeah, can't help it: I love my state.

The storytelling tradition has long been an important piece of Kentucky history and culture. Folktales, legends, tall tales, and ghost stories hold a special place in the imaginations of inventive storytellers and captive listeners. In Kentucky Folktales: Revealing Stories, Truths, and Outright Lies Kentucky storyteller Mary Hamilton narrates a range of stories with the voice and creativity only a master storyteller can evoke.

Hamilton has perfected the art of entrancing an audience no matter the subject of her tales. Kentucky Folktales includes stories about Daniel Boone's ability to single-handedly kill a bear, a daughter who saves her father's land by outsmarting the king, and a girl who uses gingerbread to exact revenge on her evil stepmother, among many others. Hamilton ends each story with personal notes on important details of her storytelling craft, such as where she first heard the story, how it evolved through frequent re-tellings and reactions from audiences, and where the stories take place. Featuring tales and legends from all over the Bluegrass State, Kentucky Folktales captures the expression of Kentucky's storytelling tradition.

My first Tracy Hickman book (co-written with Margaret Weis) was the first book of the Darksword Trilogy - I think even back then I had a daddy/son-teacher/student thing going on in my prepubescent brain.

Hickman and Weis have written many books together and separately since then, but some sense of nostalgia must be hitting me today, so when this came by on the new cart, I knew I had to feature it.

From the New York Times bestselling co-author of the Dragonlance novels…the stunning conclusion to The Annals of Drakis.

It appears that an ancient prophecy is about to be fulfilled as the human named Drakis — formerly one of countless warrior-slaves to the elves of the Rhonas Empire — returns from his quest in the North. Flying into the rebel camp with his surviving companions on the backs of the legendary dragons that were once humankind's most powerful allies, Drakis is hailed as the champion of all the slave races. But it is not a prophecy that drives Drakis in his war against the elves and their emperor. Rather it is his burning desire for revenge against the cruel ruler whom Drakis believes has stolen any chance he has for finding peace. And this hatred will set Drakis and his rebel army on a path that may not only bring down the emperor, but Drakis and his entire world as well…

Honestly, the only thing I've ever read by Dean Koontz was a one off "children's" horror book that was published one Christmas in which good toys sparred off against evil toys in an effort to find a new, good toymaker. I loved that book so much as a kid, that I stole in from my local library - yes, the irony of that is not lost on me. (No worries, I eventually mailed it back - sadly the book is no longer available anywhere. Bitches.)

But his Odd Thomas series interests me.

The stallion reared over me, silently slashing the air with the hooves of its forelegs, a creature of such immense power that I stumbled backward even though I knew that it was as immaterial as a dream…

The woman astride the ghostly mount reaches out desperately, the latest spirit to enlist the aid of Odd Thomas, the unassuming young fry cook whose gift — or curse — it is to see the shades of the restless dead, and to help them when he can. This mission of mercy will lead Odd through realms of darkness he has never before encountered, as he probes the long-held secrets of a sinister estate and those who inhabit it.

ODD APOCALYPSE

Once presided over by a flamboyant Hollywood mogul during the Roaring ’20s, the magnificent West Coast property known as Roseland is now home to a reclusive billionaire financier and his faithful servants. And, at least for the moment, it’s also a port in the storm for Odd Thomas and his traveling companion, the inscrutably charming Annamaria, the Lady of the Bell. In the wake of Odd’s most recent clash with lethal adversaries, the opulent manor’s comforts should be welcome. But there’s far more to Roseland than meets even the extraordinary eye of Odd, who soon suspects it may be more hell than haven.

A harrowing taste of Roseland’s terrors convinces Odd that it’s time to hit the road again. Still, the prescient Annamaria insists that they’ve been led there for a reason, and he’s promised to do his best for the ghost on horseback. Just how deep and dreadful are the mysteries Roseland and her masters have kept for nearly a century? And what consequences await whoever is brave, or mad, enough to confront the most profound breed of evil? Odd only knows. Like his acclaimed creator, the irresistible Odd Thomas is in top-notch form — as he takes on what may well be the most terrifying challenge yet in his curious career.

6 comments:

Tim said...

My first book was "The Dragonlance Chronicles." Back when it was uncool to think that a D&D book might be written.

Tamayn Irraniah said...

So Whispers Underground picked the perfect tube stop to get me interested. I used to take the Bakerloo line to get to Kensal Green back when I was in London every day. It was a lot of fun.

Also, no one enforces the kissing on trains rule here. I've seen French people in the process of devouring each other's faces.

Mitchell is Moving said...

Wow! Thanks for all these. Time to move on from the free classics on Kindle.

Writer said...

Tim. When was it ever uncool to think that? ;)

Writer said...

Tamayn, ZOMBIES! :)

Writer said...

It is never a good time for that, Mitchell. :)