I have never acknowledged podcasts; my ipod was always filled with music. Ipod has made my long communte a little more bearable. Anyway, a couple of nights ago while downloading itunes, I accidently clicked on podcast then decided to surf. What I found raised an eyebrow. I knew podcast had the news and such, but Barnes & Noble has a podcast that once subscribed to will automatically download interview from "Meet the Writers". I'm now listening to some of my favorite writers talk about their books such as what inspired them, to plots and characters. Anyway, thought it was cool.
by Curtiss Ann Matlock
The title Lost Highways intrigued me, and when I picked it up, it was good as bought. I needed to read something a little different than my usual read. I ended up reading a love novel. I'm not really a sentimental type of woman that likes to read about reunited love or about HIS muscular chest. Thank goodness this novel was not one of them.
Well to make this short, the book was good even though it was ridden with errors. The plot was real, something that you can imagine happening to someone through life. The author took her time to unfold the plot. I couldn't believe she wrote over 300 pages for this story. However, there was a nice southern feel to the novel.
Synopsis: After tragic events Rainy is shaken up. She hops in her mother's truck, and goes off without any particular destination. Will she find her niche in life and true love?
Cold Comfort Farm
by Stella Gibbons
Surprisingly I have never heard of "Cold Comfort Farm" until I stumbled upon it in Barnes & Noble. The only reason why I picked the book up off the display was, because I liked the cover that Penguin Classics bestowed on it (See Image). The book didn't have a synopsis, and I thought what the hay, I'll buy it. Now, that I've read it, I don't regret the indiscriminate purchase. Gibbon's poetic writing syle and witty humor creates a hilarious novel that turns out to be a do-gooder novel. The only thing I would like to know, what happen in the woodshead?
Flora, well educated, is left without a home after her adventuring parents depart to greener pastures. She is left to find a place to settle; therefore, Flora decides to write some relates and see who will best suit her company.
Bailey loves to read classics; I think he is reading Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities". A lot of people ask me what breed my bestfriend is, and I am proud to say he is a little mutt. His most prominent breeds are Spaniel and Lab.
Speaking of classics, I just finished reading Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. As an American kid growing up, I saw the BBC movie a couple of times, but invariably started to watch the movie in the middle, which made it almost impossible for me to understand. In addition, the accent and speed talking didn't help. Now, I am not bewildered, and I know why it's so humorous. (Knowledge is power!) Two thumbs up for this play, but if I had to recommend some more playwrights I would definitely say read two famous Scandinavia playwrights Ibsen and Strindberg.
Sunglasses After Dark
by Nancy A. Collins
Your perception of vampires can change as quickly as a flip of a page. Growing up the most dominant feature of a vampire was Bram Stoker's Dracula. The thoughts evoked darkness as the creature's life, garlic, religious icons as a poison, and the eternal end, a stake through the heart and decapitation. Bram Stoker's Dracula demonstrates power, solitude, and never ending desire.
There are many version of vampires, and all can thrive on their own. The famous Anne Rice has created the sexy egocentric Lestat. However, her stories seem to complement Stoker's laws of the vampire. Others who depart from old concepts, they add and subtract creating their own formula to the realm of vampirism. Such author that takes that path is Nancy A. Collins. When reading a synopsis on Collins' book "Sunglasses After Dark" (the title does not do justice to the book) it is usually short stating something like a young vampire turned seeks revenge against her creator. However, the book is more in depth than that synopsis. It encompasses the development of the characters' lives.
The story is told beautifully with flashbacks; all the scenes come together to create a through understanding of the main characters, which add to the main plot. Any vampire enthusiast should definitely read this book.
The Laughing Corpse
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Bookstores sheives are now packed with great female writers in the genre of horror / fantasy / science fiction / mystery thrillers. In your local Barnes & Noble and Borders you'll likely see Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse series), Laurell K. Hamilton (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series), Kim Harrison (Rachel Morgan series), and Kelly Armstrong (Women of the Otherworld series). What's so great about these books, women are the heroines, so if you're a female reader you can relate to certain aspects of the novel. Personally, I'm a fan of Charlaine Harris' Sookie series, and I can't wait for book 6, Definitely Dead; it will be released 5/2/06.
Hamilton's book, The Laughing Corpse is the second book in her Anita Blake series. Anita an Animator, must solve a brutal murder streak, and she must also save herself from an over zealous want to be client who wants her to do the unthinkable act.
Hamilton's descriptions are phenomenal; she makes every murder scene lucid. She writes, "I poked the side of it with two fingers. It was like poking a side of fresh beef. A nice, solid feel to it. My fingers traced the bumps of bone, ribs under the flesh. Ribs. Suddenly I knew what I was looking at. Part of the rib cage of a human being. There was the shoulder, white bone sticking out where the arm had been torn away".
The Laughing Corpse is a good read for its well thought out plot, but is seemingly to convenient when it all comes together. It is highly descriptive, but not tedious. Lastly is should be read by any dark fantasy lover.
I highly recommend Bite edited by Laurell K. Hamilton. It's an awesome female heroine anthology written by women.
Bride of Trash
by Mike Segretto
Everyone seems to want love, but not everyone gets it. However, sometimes the most unlikely people find love, and in the most unlikely manner. Even though "Bride of Trash" pertains to love, it does not quite fall into the genre of romance, but can also be categorized into comedic horror / fantasy.
Mike Segretto's main character in "Bride of Trash is Whizzer" a junk shop proprieter who craves for companionship with benefits (if you know what I mean). When old Whizzer gets what his heart desires, it comes along with problems that are not easily remedied. Whizzer must conceal his necrophilism, and torn body parts that trail back to him.
Humor can be seen throughtout the novella. Whizzer is a brash old man, and word choice is key to segretto's style. If you're the type of person to get offended by crude language this book is not for you, but I feel this aspect is what gives the short piece character, and turnes Whizzer to life.
Bride of Trash is an interesting read, for its humor, and plot. Segretto definitely has a sense of humor, but never goes over the top. It doesn't feel silly, but has a nostagic feel for retro horror movies. Since, I grew up in the 80's it reminds me of Elvira the movie particular the lynch mob.
by Brian Keene
There has been a zombie craze happening for a while, and Brian Keene's books have caused an upwelling in the genre. Even Stephen King has written a zombie novel subsequence to Keene. I bought and read Keene's two well known zombie books, "The Rising" and "The City of the Dead". The Rising is the 2003 Bram Stoker award winner for first novel, and it truly deserves the accolade.
When the living die they become the undead. They eat human flesh not only for the taste but to kill and recruit more fo their fellow undead. The zombies are articulate and abound; they are more then just zombies but demons. Jim Thurmond, a driven father must rescue his son before he becomes and undead too; he must travel and confront the undead, and on the way there he collides with other survivors of the living dead pandemic who become his companions. The sequel continues Jim Thurmonds adventure.
What I like about "The Rising" and "The City of the Dead" is that the characters are well developed and the story have a fast moving pace. There were twist and turns that made me feel like I was on a rollercoaster; I really couldn't foresee the drops. After reading both books, there is a feeling of completion.
If you like Brian Keene and live around New York or New Jersey, I saw in his site he is going to be at the below address on July 22, 2006.
Monmouth County Library Headquarters
125 Symmes Road
Manalapan, New Jersey
Speaking: Noon to 1pm (signing afterward) This GSHW event is open to the public.
The Brief History of the Dead
by Kevin Brockmeirer
I'm sure we have all ruminated over what happens when we die? Is it just the end, only darkness? Is there a heaven or hell that reside afterlife, or is there a rebirth? Is life a cycle of different realms, and each realm is progression. Well Kevin Brockmeier's unique book " The Brief History of the Dead" gives a take on life after death.
While one woman struggles to survive in the world at the cold Antartica, in another world people are cling to the life they have built, and wonder what is happening? A number of peoples' life stories are told that intertwines to connect with the idea that life is formed somewhere else after we pass from life on Earth.
My thoughts on Brockmeier's book is that I wish there was more. Now, that can be viewed as good or bad; I don't feel gypped after reading his book, for the material was interesting, and I enjoyed his descriptions. The descriptions was so vivid I could see it in my mind's eye. I could see the the city where the people lived, and I could feel the cold in Antarctica. Yet, I would like to know what happens to the characters. Some characters were just left hanging, and that can make a reader pretty perturbed. Anyway, I cross my fingers and hope that I see a sequel.
Oh, and if you like novels about afterlife below is a very short list of books I have read that I thought would be relevent to this category.
Mitch Albom's the five people you meet in heaven
Douglas Clegg's Afterlife
Alice Sebold's Lovely Bones
Sparkling Cyanide Synopsis
A striking beauty commits suicide, but does she? Who of the six guest dunit in the swank upscale restaurant?
Flowers For Algernon
by Daniel Keyes
I live two blocks from a Barnes & Noble, so I go there often just to peruse the aisle. Upon a table on new paperbacks, I stumbled over Flowers for Algernon. My friend told me she had heard it was very good, and wanted to read it also. That evening I came home with Keyes' book but did not read it until a few weeks after, because I had to finish The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, which was a intricately descriptive adventure, well worth the read.
Flowers for Algernon is a heartbreaking story about Charlie a mentally challenged man who wants to be smart. He goes through a radical experimental operation to achieve his goal to be like other people. His dilemma is not in my perspective to become smart, but to understand whom he is, and maintaining the newfound ability, he has acquired. Flower for Algernon is a mind-provoking book; it leaves you with a new perspective of life, and the people you have encounter throughout your life. A book called to be read at one sitting, because your mind is demanding you to know what happens next.