Posts Tagged With: 2016 Reading Challenge

Reviews: Spiders and Dreams and Rocket Ships

Medusa's WebMedusa’s Web by Tim Powers
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Okay, so I’m a Tim Powers fan. I will read everything the man writes and eagerly anticipate the next one. That said, this isn’t the book to start with. The plot, as Powersian as ever, involves a brother and sister who stand to inherit the home which belonged to a relative who raised them after their parents passed away some years earlier. The house has connections (literal and figurative) to the golden years of Hollywood and, like all of Powers’ books of the last couple of decades, involves real life figures and events weaved into an intricately plotted web of fantasy and magic.
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Short reviews

The Hunchback of Notre-DameThe Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Interestingly, I’d never actually read this book. I knew the story, of course. Everyone knows the story. The story is about Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bell ringer at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and how Esmerelda, the young gypsy, is the only person who is nice to him and so he falls in love with her. And while that is what it’s about, it’s also about so much more… And so much less.
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Review: Strangers on a Train

Strangers on a Train
Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What a fascinating book. To admit something horrible, not only had I never read the book before, but I’ve never seen the Hitchcock film, either. Closest I’ve come is Throw Momma from the Train which is a far cry from Highsmith’s original novel. Even the film seems to stray quite a bit from the original text. The original text, though, might be worth a revisit in cinematic form. Continue reading

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Review: The Paper Magician

The Paper Magician
The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ceony Twill is a 19 year old recent graduate of a magic academy and despite her wishes, she has been apprenticed to Paper Magician Emery Thane. See, in this world, magicians can only work with (by being “bonded” to one material, and a man-made one at that. And, well, paper-folding is the lamest of the lame. Not nearly as impressive, we are told (not shown) as working with metal or glass. Continue reading

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Review: Web

WebWeb by John Wyndham

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve become a bit of a John Wyndham enthusiast ever since I became a bonafide book collector with the addition of a first edition of Wyndham’s The Kraken Wakes to my library. So now, I’m on the lookout for affordable first editions of his work, and while I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to afford a copy of The Day of the Triffids or The Midwich Cuckoos, there are others out there I can get…Web being one of them – one which I happened to find on sale in the first edition. Since I’m also trying to read or re-read all of the collectible books I get, just to keep them fresh in my mind, this one came up in rotation and so I was able to enjoy it. Continue reading

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Review: Flashforward

FlashforwardFlashforward by Robert J. Sawyer
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I’ll say this for Robert Sawyer, he’s got some great concepts. Sadly, this book doesn’t have much more than that.  Continue reading

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2016 Reading challenge(s)

wpid-Photo-20150809132420691.jpgAs we roll over into 2016, a number of reading challenges have made themselves known. I think for next year, I’ll actually make one of my own but for this year, I’m just going to link to a couple of them.

Honestly, I love this. We’ve become a nation, a world, where gameplay is everything. Where if there’s no “challenge” then there’s no reason to do anything. This is why we “tag” people on Facebook, to push them into doing some silly task or even something worthwhile (the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge… but see, there’s that word again.) Continue reading

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