Read the first volume of the He-Man update from DC, because I like a good reboot and because Keith Giffen had never failed me. Ladies and gentlemen, he has failed me now. I can't say it's in Youngblood territory, but this comic is not good at all. Over-the-top violence mixed with the same lousy dialogue as the 80s cartoon is ridiculous, and the twist at the end is stupid, cliche, and a slap in the face to fans of any previous incarnation of MOTU. I'm in no hurry to get Volume 2.
Significance, with these two books.
Based on its Sharknado-esque title, and the fact that I hadn't read any Harry Turtledove for a while, Supervolcano: Eruption seemd like it'd be a little cheesy. Actually, it was a weird feeling to read it and think what was going on during the book was really occurring outside. It deals with the build-up of pressure under Yellowstone Nat'l Park, which eventually blows up as a volcano that covers much of the north-midwest region of the country in either lava or mostly ash. The family of characters are spread out from Los Angeles, Denver, the northeast, Nebraska, and the SF Bay area. Lots of profanity, but great characterization and plausibility of some of the science.
Under the name(s) Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain, there is a Murder, She Wrote series. I choose one, Rum & Razors, set on the island of St. Thomas. JB Fletcher (the character) is on vacation, but [surprise!] there is a murder that occurs there. Also surprise, she solves it. It was pretty decent, with a couple surprises (a key word?) near the end; it was very similar to the TV show episodes. And like the Ellery Queen series, where he writes about the crime, she narrates her clues and suspects.
What was the significance of these mostly non-famous books? I crossed the 7000-pages-read mark for this summer, but it is also the 1000th book I have read, all-time, since I went back to check over a decade ago. :thumbsup:
Brought so many books to my sister's and Comic-Con thinking I'd have tons of downtime to read, nope. Didn't even open the Kindle, only got through Transformers: RID #19 - another pass at the Syndromica storyline finally starts bringing it into the fold... a year and a half into the series. Waspinator terrorizes the language as Orion Pax walks into a trap to expose Jhiaxus and Bludgeon's plan. The issue is too slow but does get somewhere.
And then in the nearly 5 hour wait in line to get skunked on the Doctor Who panel, I read 3/4s of IDW's Doctor Who/Star Trek TNG crossover TPBs. The art is a touch offputting, but the story is interesting and playful with ideas. The second TPB so far has lost the magic though, going with obvious choices and betrayals.
AND THAT'S IT! No books on the Kindle, no comics on the Comixology app on my tablet or phone, didn't even finish the second DW/TNG tpb. Damn you linear time!
I'm a big Turtledove fan BCJ, I liked Supervalcano but its far from his best work. The follow up is decent and there will be a third book in this story line coming out later in the year as well.
Originally Posted by Bel-Cam Jos
The science seems possible so it was interesting to read.
I may end at these 27 books and 8000 pages for this summer (I have until Sunday for my "summer" to end), but we'll see. Numbers 26 and 27 are:
The Pawn Stars pawnbroker Rick Harrison wrote (with co-writer Tim Keown) his autobiography, License to Pawn. He was quite the hellraiser as a kid, and suffered from seizures. I liked how the book barely mentions how the History Channel brought their shop to the airwaves, and focuses more on his family and the whole process of pawning and buying in a city like Las Vegas.
Newberry-winning Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos was much funnier than I expected (Dave Barry, your cover endorsement was correct), especially for a YA book (which don't always fit what adults find humorous). Set in a real town, with some real people the author knew (the protagonist has the same name as him), about some weird stuff like building a backyard runway for the $20-at-auction small plane, a possible Hell's Angels curse, the town medical examiner with her dip-in-hot-wax arthritic hands, an old man riding a tricycle to issue citations for code infractions, a main character whose nose bleeds when he gets nervous. The end was fairly anti-climatic and quick, but I still liked the style and pace.
I picked up the Batman '66 first issue yesterday at the comic shop, didn't realize that was out yet. The art is stylized to the point of distraction, and some of it seems like it's done on the cheap for the kiddie set, but it gets some things right. The book has Adam West's "Batman" voice down pat, Burt Ward's "Robin" voice is good but not as consistent, Julie Newmar's "Catwoman" voice is pretty generic, Frank Gorshin's "the Riddler" voice is there if you stretch. Likenesses are come and go for those characters due to the style but mainly land when needed, especially Catwoman and the batmobile which both get the most consistent art attention. DC obviously didn't get likeness rights on Alan Napier's "Alfred" which is a damned shame because not only does the character look entirely wrong but he's written wrong as well; they also didn't get Aunt Harriett (or they did and blew it big time). Then there's Chief O'Hara and Commissioner Gordon, the former is so cartoonish that it could be accurate or not, and the latter almost looks like the show character except they drew square glasses on him that neither fit the likeness nor the original character.
As for the writing, the story is pretty basic but takes its time having fun in that universe, adding stuff they couldn't have afforded on the show, and going the places we want to go. The adventure has a little modern feel to it, but not too bad, and it avoids breaking its era most of the time. There are even some William Dozier narration moments, and I'm glad I got it as a floppy instead of digital because there's no same bat time, same bat channel waiting around concerns. It's not too quick a read, they didn't skimp on pages. I may add this to my pull list just for a fun read.
I was able to get another book in; finished it about 10pm last night. :pleased: here were the last two.
The Screwtape Letters with Screwtape Proposes a Toast by C.S. Lewis. My church bulletin had a notice that there would be a discussion of this book (but I seem to recall they called it a play), and I'd never even heard of it before. The premise is that a devil is responding to his nephew devil's letters asking for help and advice in his tempting. It becomes an analysis of religion and morality. The "Proposes a Toast" part is a later short tale where the same devil is at a type of commencement ceremony for other devils, about how to do their jobs properly. Interesting read, but slow and plodding at times, despite the short 4-6 page letters.
Desert Heritage by Zane Grey. I thought I'd read some ZG before, but I realized I had not. The dust jacket said this was among his best work, so I don't know if starting with the best was wise; but I intend to read more of his books later. It begins in the middle of the "story," without much clarification of how the main character got there, but that he is in poor health. A Mormon rancher cares for him, allows him to get his strength back, then has to deal with other ranchers/thieves who want his better land and animals. There's a female love interest between the main character and the rancher's eldest (but black sheep-est) son that leads to conflict. The ending is fairly safe (this was written around 1910), but the build-up to it certainly wasn't. Very strong description and imagery.
For the summer, here's my breakdown:
2013 summer: 29 books = 8500 pgs.; 293 pgs. per
Genres: auto/biography (5), Star Wars (3), sci fi (2), general fiction (6), western (2), young adult (2), movies (1), history (1), mystery (3), humor (2), philosophy (1), sports (1).
Authors read (by last name): A (1), B (2), D (3), F (3), G (3), H (1), K (1), L (3), M (1), O (1), P (1), R (5), S (2), T (1), W(1).
10 year summer totals: 294 books = 79,400 pgs., 270 pgs. per
Transformers: More than Meets the Eye issue 19 - a good middle-of-the-story read, lots of character moments and some exciting things without being all action. The end gets the villains ramping up to silly levels of villainy, but otherwise quite good.
Run: The Mind - Body Method of Running by Feel by Matt Fitzgerald. Runner's World The Runner's Body: How The Latest Exercise Science Can Help You Run Stronger, Longer and Faster by a whole bunch of people. I picked up both of these off of Amazon and I wasn't really impressed with either. Had I had a better oppertunity to take a peak at them I probably would've passed, I'd heard good things but for me they both get a rating of "meh."
Finished Star Trek TNG/Doctor Who crossover comic vol 2, what a letdown, it was as uninspired as possible, just connecting dots and punching timecards, what a disappointment.
Transformers Spotlight Trailcutter Hasbro pack-in Edition - not a bad story, I've seen variations of this idea before but still good. Turns out it's edited from the original though, taking out references to killing and drinking, and a few other things.