July 30th, 2008

bookcase

Greatest Hits, edited by Robert Randisi, mystery recs?

I have been recently desiring to expand my mystery horizons. I thought that reading a few anthologies would be a good way to find new authors. Funny Bones didn't do it for me at all. However, I also grabbed a second anthology and that turned out quite well. The anthology is Greatest Hits: Original Stories of Assassins, Hit Men, and Hired Guns, edited by Robert J. Randisi. For whatever reason, I like stories about people that kill people for money.

The anthology opens with a reprint from one of Lawrence Block's famous John Keller books. Oh, those books are a riot. I just love them, and there is a new one out this summer (Hit and Run). My favorite new stories in the volume were "Snow, Snow, Snow" by John Harvey, "Upon My Soul" by Robert Randisi (it's so nice when the inevitable editor's story is a good one), "Doctor Sullivan's Library" by Christine Matthews, and "Retrospective" by Kevin Wignall. There were also a number of stories that were quite good but too black-humor or just plain dark for my taste. However, it was a very solid anthology and I'd recommend it to fans of assassins or mystery. Three stars.

While we're on the topic - would any of you especially recommend any mysteries? Collapse )
mad men dress

recommendations!

hello everyone,
i was just wondering if anyone could suggest some good travel memoirs.
i love travel writing, and i'm looking for some good suggestions.
anything would be helpful, thank you! :)

(no subject)

I bought Twilight the other night at Wal-Mart for $5. I thought since it was a deal, I would read it and I would hate it, but it would be okay because it was $5.

I fell in love. I've read all three in 4 days.

I'm sorry.
reading is sexy

The Postman

A couple of weeks ago I went to a half price book store because I was looking for some books for my cousin who is studying to be a dentist in Mexico. He's a big sci-fi fan and while I was there I picked up a book for myself by one of his favorite authors. I picked up the bookThe Postman by David Brin, but I didn't start reading it right away.  Instead I watched the movie The Postman and I really enjoyed the movie.  I finally got to reading the novel and I'm actually surprised that I liked the MOVIE more than the novel.  This hardly ever happens (except with Gone With The Wind where I liked the movie more than the novel)!

Anyone else read The Postman and watch the movie?  What are your thoughts on both?

 
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Book 17. The Curse of Chalion by Lois Mcmaster Bujold

I have had as much time to read lately, due to other projects. But here is my review of The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold.

A very nice take on fantasy. The hero (Cazaril) takes a different path than your typical hero in most fantasy's do. He is a flawed character that has to get past both his broken body and spirit to attempt to life a curse over Chalion. McMaster really knows how to write strong female characters (a note of contention in my sci-fi/fantasy book club), and they are very well done in this novel. 

I would recommend this book to anyone that love a good dark fantasy.

Check out my full review below.

full review with spoilers 

stacey

 
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Kitty: Angry Calico

Tem, Steve Rasnic & Melanie: The Man in the Ceiling

The Man on the Ceiling
Writer: Steve Rasnic Tem & Melanie Tem
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 337

I have to be honest here: I'm biased. Not in the obvious way though. Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem were the writers-in-residence during the dreaded Week 5 of Odyssey 2005. Well, them and Melanie's guide dog, Dominic, who I think kept us all sane. The Tems were a sharp couple, and they thoroughly interacted and engaged with every single one of us students, and they always gave each us of their full attention. I have to admit, I didn't always agree with their crits (of my own work, of course. ;)) but they were open, honest, and willing to TALK about the work and get to know us better, and that left a far more lasting impression in my mind than anything else.

The only writing of theirs I've read were two short stories (one from each writer) right before they showed up at Odyssey. I didn't pay much attention then, because I didn't know them and the stories didn't grab me at the time, and I've never sought out their work. Until now.

I saw this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer Program, and I didn't hesitate to sign up for an ARC. Why not? This was a book they'd written TOGETHER, and it had a gorgeous cover. I couldn't pass it up.

And it turns out, I didn't have to. I won my copy of the ARC, and decided to hell with whatever I thought of the book, I was getting the REAL copy anyway, so I passed my ARC on to digitalclone and snuggled up with the REAL, pretty-cover copy.

This is one of those reviews that doesn't need a cut. Hell, it doesn't even need a blurb about the premise, because the book is beautiful, surreal, and haunting in such a subtle way you're not even sure it's happening until it suddenly grips you. The Man on the Ceiling is in many ways, creative non-fiction, but it's practically an interstitial work, a book that blurs the lines between fact, fiction, memory, and imagination, but grounds it all in truth. I rarely had trouble discerning when Melanie wrote versus Steve, and the times I did, it didn't matter. Their writing flows together, entwines in such a way that having a book with two different first person POVs feels like it's come from one body, one mind, one soul. But it isn't.

I'm not entirely sure how my reaction to this book is based on the fact I got to spend a week with this amazing couple. I suspect quite a bit, to be honest, but yet, you can't argue the beauty of the whole book put together. I was reminded of Valente's work. I was reminded of Winterson's. And that's high praise. There's such a simple, deceptive beauty to this prose that you don't even realize that at the book's heart, it's horror, but horror in the most realistic ways imaginable. Key word: imagine.

My Rating

Must Have: close to "the keeper shelf," but suspect it might take a second reading to bump it up a notch. Like I said, it's very possible I'm simply biased, but I thoroughly enjoyed this read, this autobiography of the Tem's imagination, of their lives, of their children. It's a surreal piece, and one not easily forgotten.