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    Castle and Dresden


    2012 - 12.09

    We currently have the most recent books by Richard Castle and Jim Butcher out from the library.  We haven’t finished reading them yet, but let us know if you would like to read them before we return them to the library.  The books are:

    • Frozen Heat – Richard Castle
    • Cold Days – Jim Butcher

    The Body Finder – Kimberly Derting


    2012 - 10.24

    I’ve been using good reads for a while now to find new books to read.  It’s the disadvantage of out reading most of your friends and running out of word of mouth recommendations.  This book (which is the first in a series, currently 3 are published, with a 4th coming) “The Body Finder” was recommended because I liked the John Wayne Cleaver series (trilogy) by Dan Wells.  The target age group is similar, as is the book length.  It’s a good recommendation, as I did like both books.

    One of the interesting things about the book (and perhaps the series, although I don’t know that yet) is that there is a supernatural element to the story, but just one.  It is introduced early and as long as you can accept that particular premise it is otherwise a fairly normal mystery story.  Definitely worth checking out, if you’re looking for something new and don’t mind reading young adult fiction.  Oh, and for those of you who don’t like vampires and werewolves and such, the supernatural premise in the books is not a typical supernatural premise and there are as far as I can tell no vampires or werewolves or what have you.

    Nadia 3 – Kelley Armstrong


    2012 - 10.01

    Got the quarterly Kelley Armstrong newsletter today, which is one of those things that I get infrequently enough that I make sure that I actually read it.

    That and there tends to be cool little easter eggs in it.  This time around, it was the reference to the fact that there’s going to be a third book in the Nadia Strafford series and that it’s coming out next year.  Since I love the books in the series so far, I’m pretty excited to hear about that.  Especially since it wasn’t clear that there would be more books in the series (it’s been 4 years since the last book).

    The other cool thing in the newsletter (even though I knew this already) was that she’s getting a TV series for fall 2013 on Space (13 episode order) called Bitten and based on her first book in the Otherworld series (although they probably won’t limit themselves to the first book).

    BPL Speed Reads


    2012 - 08.04

    Burnaby does things well. I was a Coquitlam girl until I moved out here about five years ago with Dave, and I love it out here (not that there’s anything wrong with Coquitlam!). One of the things that I find awesome is that the Burnaby Public Library now has a category of books they call “Speed Reads”. They’re on a shelf at the front of the library with bright neon stickers on them. They can’t be requested, put on hold or renewed, so it’s kind of like a nifty treasure hunt to see what’s there. Last time, there were two copies of Mockingjay and a new Charlene Harris book. Another time, the newest Laurell K. Hamilton book was there, and I’ve seen very popular books waiting. It’s a great way to avoid wait times!  Just make sure you’ve got the time to read them…they’re only a seven day loan, and the overdue fines are $1/day. Ouch. Flashbacks of SFU library… :/

    Hunger Games (the book)


    2012 - 03.15

    So a while back I asked whether I should read the book before I watched the movie or not.  This decision was partly made for me as the book materialized on the nightstand.  It took me all of a day to read the book, which is related to the pacing and the relative size of the font in the book.

    Overall I enjoyed the book although I found some of the writing style employed to be odd, particularly around the dialogue where we would be in the midst of a section of dialogue and then we would be told that additional things were said as narration.  Whatever, threw me a few times because I needed to see where the quotation marks were, but otherwise it worked well enough.

    The story didn’t seem totally original too me, although it blended sufficiently many elements from other stories I was familiar with to make an original story.  The characters were well developed, had unique voices and were sufficiently compelling that you cared what happened to them.  So it worked.

    Worth reading, but the mature content warning on the cover is appropriate.

    I wonder what they are going to do in the movie, given that there’s a lot of nudity in the book, and although it may not be deemed inappropriate in a book for 16 year olds to be naked, or for younger children to read about them being naked (and it certainly isn’t inappropriate in the setting of the story itself), it is not the case that it would be deemed appropriate by the people who rate movies…

    I guess it’s likely that in most cases the story could be changed for the movie in such a way that you wouldn’t notice unless you had read the book.  Which is probably fine except for all the teenage boys who read the story and are hoping to see Katniss naked… (what are the odds we get some weird search engine traffic because of that phrase?)

    John Carter [of Mars]


    2012 - 03.08

    “John Carter” opens tomorrow, and I’m interested in seeing it.  When I saw the first trailer for it my reaction was: “That looks interesting, dumb title though”.  I read in the paper the other day that the producers weren’t impressed either, but that they didn’t have control over it.

    It turns out the the movie is based on a series of books by Edgar Rice Burroughs (he also wrote Tarzan).  The market research showed that all movies with Mars in the title had done poorly, which is why the movie is not called “John Carter of Mars” or something along those lines, which would have been much more informative (but still isn’t a good title).  I’d have preferred something like “Edgar Rice Burroughs’: John Carter”, and I may have numerous other suggestions after seeing the movie.

    I’d also like to point out that the problem with movies with Mars in the title doing poorly has in my experience a lot more to do with the quality of those movies and a lot less to do with the word “Mars” (or the planet for that matter).  That said, I don’t think they’ll rename the upcoming remake of Total Recall to “Total Recall: Mars”… then again is it possible to improve upon an Arnie movie?  Can anyone else get away with the what Arnie did and have it work?  I doubt it.

    Bottom line, titles matter, but content is still king.

     

    A Dance with Dragons


    2012 - 02.26

    Picked up A Dance with Dragons today from the library, don’t know if I’ll actually read it or not.  We did watch the TV series on HBO (A Game of Thrones), but it’s been years since I’ve read any of the books.  Karin’s currently reading them in eBook form (although we own them, she has been unable to locate the physical copies of the first two books).  So I guess I’ll try reading book 5 and see if enough of it makes sense to warrant reading the whole thing, or if I’m going to have to re-read the series (in which case I’ll probably put it off for another time).  The dangers of epic fantasy I guess.

    The Hunger Games


    2012 - 02.23

    So the movie adaptation of the Hunger Games is going to be opening soon… so here’s a few questions:

    1. Have you read it?
    2. Do you want to see the movie?
    3. Do you think someone should read the book before seeing the movie or after?

    I personally haven’t read it.  Karin has, I expect that she’ll want to see the movie (given how she loved the book).  So I’m mostly looking for a recommendation as to whether I should read the book before or after watching the movie (although I suppose if I don’t read it before the movie and don’t like the movie, I might not read it at all).

    Running out of Books


    2012 - 02.13

    I have this habit of finding author’s I like and reading everything that they’ve ever written.  At the moment I’m close to running out of books to read, the book that I just picked up from the library was another one that I heard about through the Writing Excuses podcast… so we’ll see whether it leads to another few authors to read (it’s also the first in a series, which I didn’t know in advance).  Failing that I may have to revisit the 100 Book Challenge and pick another couple of books from that list… unless of course someone else has recommendations…

    Shared Bookshelves?


    2012 - 02.06

    We’ve already gone through the process of sharing our bookshelves, but I thought this article was amusing and worth sharing (How to Say “I Do” to Shared Bookshelves Without Ruining Your Relationship):

    It wasn’t when we moved in together, or when we got engaged, or even when we merged bank accounts (because we’re crazy like that) and bought a house that I knew my husband was in it for the long haul. All of those choices were significant, sure, but the real clincher–the moment I knew we had committed to the whole “what’s mine is yours” thing for real–was when we decided to merge our bookshelves. The actual process of merging said bookshelves? That was the first test of our soon-to-be marriage.

    excerpt from: How to Say “I Do” to Shared Bookshelves Without Ruining Your Relationship

    Perhaps this post will inspire Karin to write about the experience of merging our books… (although I thought that perhaps she had already, but I didn’t find a historical post which talked about it; could have been just a Facebook update or Tweet or something).