Two completely different books:
Hummingbird Lake by Emily March. I try to branch out to different genres from time to time, even ones I don't like (such as romance, in this case); and with this year's summer reading theme with animals, this also had that going for it. With all that said, this is one of the worst books I've read in some time. I don't care about spoilers. Premise: a former doctor who is haunted by traumatic events in her past, moves to a cozy Colorado hill region and becomes a fairly-famous and successful painter (fairies is her best subject). Enter a hot (the author's words, not mine) former-college-professor-now-accident-reviewer who pursues her. She hates him, but still goes out with him, even becoming intimate multiple times with him. Flash forward to the last chapter, where in the local art contest, one of the people who's entered an item is discovered to be a... you know what; I'll probably get banned for continuing. Awful. :mad: Just terrible ending. And it was bad before then.
Let Me Off at the Top! by Ron Burgundy. His autobiography "novel" as he calls it. If you saw the documentaries (what he calls the two movies), you know what to expect. Not as LOL funny as I thought, but the Star Wars references early on are awesome (one: he graduated from Our Lady Queen of Chewbacca High School), and it's silly in a great way.
Why We Run by Bernard Heinrich, this is another book about ultra marathon running. Henirich is/was a biologist so he uses exampes in nature and compares them to humans, in theory this should be interesting but it wasn't. It was quite dry and it took me quite some time to read. I did get a few tips out of it so I guess it wasn't a complete waste of time/money.
Two versions of other stories.
Star Trek: Into Darkness by Alan Dean Foster. The movie novelization was pretty much the same as the film, with more inner characterization, of course. Interesting that some character quotes the "philosopher" Arthur C. Clarke. I saw the film first, then read the book right after; some dialogue was word-for-word, some scenes were extended or cut/shortened. Typical novelization style.
The Songs of the Kings by Barry Unsworth. It's 300+ pages of "I Love LA," "We Are the Champions;" go Kings go! ;) Not really.
I thought of this as a "prequel" to the Trojan War/The Iliad, where the Greek army is stuck on their way to Troy due to strong opposite winds that prevent sailing there. The leaders think this was caused by the gods and decide what to do. The solution gets set up, but once it nears the end of the book, you start to wonder what will happen. Interesting mix of current language and mannerisms at times. Odysseus' "what's the word I'm looking for?" questions were "brilliant" (his typical response). Pretty good.
Not much in common with these two:
Don Coldsmith's Thunderstick. Set in what seems to be the 16th or 17th century, the title refers to Native Americans' term for the rifle or musket. The People (what the tribe calls themselves) get one of these technological wonders (later more) and it changes their outlook. It's mainly a coming-of-age story of the protagonist Singing Wolf: his competition with a new suitor for the girl he thought he'd always marry, his maturation as he sees what is expected of an adult man, his skills as a hunter and possible medicine man. I liked its simplicity and honest, straightforward style (Native Americans are not stereotyped nor made to fit the "noble savage" perception); might find some other books by this author.
John Green's & David Levithan's Will Grayson, Will Grayson. The first author is the popular YA writer (his most well-known book just became a movie), and I'd never heard of the second. There are two characters, each with the same name, living around Chicago. They meet, and their formerly-carpy lives improve when their circles of friends interact. Another main character, Tiny Cooper (6' 6" and very heavy = irony), is writing a play based on his own life, but decides to rewrite it to better tell a story about life. The first part was terrible; once the two Wills meet, it's pretty good. Since it deals with sexual orientation and includes frequent teenager profanity, it's one of those young adult stories that's not "kiddie" at all.
Again, two totally divergent books:
Go Ask Alice, by the first Anonymous author I've read (will likely seek out Primary Colors at some point, too). Terrible tale, but as the blurbs on the cover said, a must-read for those who believe the it-could-never-happen-to-me myth of drug use/abuse. In diary form, said to be from an actual 15-year old's writings. Sad, to the point that I needed to read a much lighter tone book (see below) right after, but pleased that I've now read it.
This Time Together by Carol Burnett. You ever feel down? Put on an episode of her variety show and you'll be fine. This autobiography covers mainly her show biz career (plays both on and off Broadway, a few movies of which she's not always pleased with her own performances, a few TV runs, etc.), with other memories of co-stars, family, friends, and others. I liked it, especially after my previous read.
Broke the 4K pages read in summer mark with these.
Dead Renegade by Victoria Houston. Another Loon Lake mystery, not as good as the others, but it was still a decent read.
With these, I pass the 5000 pages and 20 books read marks so far this summer. :pleased:
Why Soccer Matters by Pele' and Brian Winter. If Brazil hosts the World Cup, you just have to read an autobiography of their country's (and the world's) all-time greatest footballer, right? It's a simple and straightforward telling of Edson Arantes do Nascimento and his life in soccer. He makes what he does reflect how it had a positive effect on the sport overall, divided into sections by soccer events (i.e. the three World Cups he was part of, the 1994 and 2014 Cups, etc.).
The Journals of Lewis and Clark edited by John Bakeless. You think it's tough to find a restaurant when your GPS keeps "recalculating"? Or when the store is out of what you "need"? Interesting details: Clark brought his slave and Lewis brought his dog, Sacagawea was more of a translator and "in" with certain tribes than a navigator, Lewis was shot in the buttocks by one of the group who mistook him for an elk, blue beads were in highest demand to trade with Native Americans. They shot a whole bunch of animals (to eat, mainly). It took a while to read (dense, heavily detailed), but I think important to read.
Read a reprint of the first Marvel Transformers issue. It's pretty dated in its art and HORRIBLY dated in its scripting, the actual dialogue and narration is just clunky as heck, but the kernels of ideas are there and while pacing does have difficulty it succeeds in getting to its point.
I'll start with a library observation from today: apparently I must seem trustworthy (and I do think I certainly am), as a mother let her daughter sit alone (mom said she was going to find a book and be right back) a couple seats away from me as I was reading, and also left her bag (which I could hear clearly had coins in it) and papers there after the child left to find her mom. Or, the parent was negligent. Whatever.
Continuing the two-books-per-posting here...
Death By Black Hole. Tried another by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. This was a collection of essays from a journal (quick online check: it's from Universe), that he edited to form a more integrated format. Still his same style of humor, facts, skepticism about those who refute said facts. Pretty good.
Mister B. Gone by Clive Barker (yes, THAT Clive Barker). I was looking for a horror genre book (one of my least favorite genres), it was short but not too short, and the premise of it sounded interesting. Basically, a demon is speaking directly to you as the reader, requesting that you "burn this book," despite you not doing so and continuing to read it. I won't spoilerize it, because some of you might want to read it, but the historical event of Gutenberg's printing press becomes important. Somewhat graphic, but not too much; some parts can seem repetitive, but overall also a pretty good one.
In the same vein...
Originally Posted by Bel-Cam Jos
The above-mentioned Primary Colors by Joe Klein, a.k.a. Anonymous. It was supposed to be a "fiction" based on the Clinton presidential campaign of 1992. There were some decent parts, but most of it was not (I did not expect the love interest NOT about the candidate, but among the campaign workers). Reminded me of All the King's Men, where a less-famous member of the group tells the story of a "bigger" person. Well, at least I can say I read it; that was the best part.
Another member of that classic TV show; What's So Funny?, a recollection by Tim Conway (with Jane Scovell helping). Laughed several times; especially in his memories of growing up in Ohio and getting Harvey Korman (a.k.a. cook Gormaanda) to break character. I didn't know: Conway's name was Americanized to Tom and then changed to Tim to avoid confusion with another Tom Conway actor; he is great at cooking, sewing, building with wood, betting on horses.
Am over 6K pages read now.