January Wrap Up

endofmonthCan you believe that the first month of the year is gone already?! Crazy. January was a great reading month for me and if the rest of the year is this good, I’m in for a treat. I read 8 books this month which is excellent for me and 3 of them were even chunksters (over 450 pages)! Can’t wait to see what February has in store! Here’s a breakdown of what I read:

January Totals: 8 books, 2,876 Pages

1. Comic Book Tattoo – Edited by Rantz A. Hoseley, 2008, 480 pgs., 4.25/5
2. A Fine and Private Place by Peter Beagle, 1960, 264 pgs., 5/5
3. Enslaved by Ducks by Bob Tarte, 2003, 308 pgs., 4.25/5
4. Blood Harvest by Brant Randall, 2008, 286 pgs., 3.75/5
5. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, 2005, 498 pgs., 4.0/5
6. Fables Volume 3: Storybook Love by Bill Willingham, 2004, 190 pgs., 4.0/5
7. Old Man’s War by John Scalzi, 2005, 320 pgs., 5/5
8. The Starry Rift: Tales of New Tomorrows edited by Jonathan Strahan, 2008, 530 pgs., 3.25/5

I also picked a few people to write to as penpals! Don’t worry guys…I haven’t forgotten about you all. I just need to a.)find some stationery that I like and b.)find the time to write, which will be on Monday when I’m off of work! Can’t wait. And I got my first letter from Debi in the mail today!!!! Loved it 😀

Hope everyone else had as good and enjoyable of a reading month in January as I did!

The Starry Rift ed. by Jonathan Strahan

srlg2The Starry Rift: Tales of New Tomorrows edited by Jonathan Strahan
530 pgs.
2008
3.25/5

This is a damn cool anthology. Since I found it under the young adult section at Barnes and Noble, I’m guessing that is the targeted demographic, but really it’s a book that anyone can enjoy – particularly if you’re a fan of science-fiction. It collects 16 short stories, some of them nearing novella length, by various authors in the field. The majority of them are extremely well written and entertaining, though there are a few that just disappointed me and made me want it to just be over. Most of the stories are not overly based on scientific jargon, so it’s a fairly well balanced, very readable anthology. I tend to not like sci-fi when it gets too technical, and this one didn’t. Several of the stories I would love to see expanded into novel length. Here are my favorites:

Ass-Hat Magic Spider by Scott Westerfeld – Amazing short story that any lover of books will enjoy. Really can’t say much about this one without giving away the lovely surprise of the story. I may just try Uglies after reading this!

Orange by Neil Gaiman – Loved this one. In this story we’re given a series of answers. We don’t know what the questions are, we are left to muse about those on our own. But we realize through the narrators answers that something very strange has happened involving the color orange and space aliens.

Repair Kit by Stephen Baxter – Very cool story that is sort of an homage to the classic pulp sci-fi stories. Really enjoyed this one.

Anda’s Game by Cory Doctorow – Yes it’s a play on “Ender’s Game”. This story looks at international affairs through the eyes of a game similar to World of Warcraft. Very cool.

The Star Surgeon’s Apprentice by Alastair Reynolds – Easily my favorite story of the anthology. This one was absolutely incredible. Very much a sort of steampunk sci-fi story concerning a made ship captain who creates new beings from ones that he destroyed. You have to read this one!

Lost Continent by Greg Egan – This story was really sad but quite sweet in the end. It’s sort of a look at prisoner camps but set in the future. Very relevant story these days.

Pinocchio by Walter Jon Williams – The book finishes off on a high note. This one is an examination of celebrity and it’s effects on normal people. Tell me this story wasn’t written about Britney Spears!

So I really loved 7 of the 16 stories. There were others that were ok and some that were just bad, but overall, the stories that I loved held enough to still give this one a rating over 3! Highly recommended.

The One Book Meme and Friday Fill Ins

Everyone’s been doing this ever since Eva posted her answers, so I figured what the hell! I’ll do it too. Enjoy. I’d love to see everyone else’s answers.

One book you’re currently reading: The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (Very slowly unfortunately. It’s a great book, but I’ve had no reading time at all this week.)

One book that changed you life: Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card (I looked at fiction, science-fiction in particular, in a whole new light after reading this book. I had always loved to read, but this book showed me just how incredible a book can be.)

One book that you’ll want on a deserted island: American Gods by Neil Gaiman (I could read this one over and over again and never tire of it.)

One book you’ve read more than once: The Witching Hour by Anne Rice (incredible book and I may be due for a reread soon!)

One book you’ve never been able to finish: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (I’ve tried three times and don’t think I’ve ever even gotten 100 pages into it. Why I keep trying to read it, I have no idea.)

One book that made you laugh: When You are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris (All of his books crack me up really, but I had to pick this one since I embarrassed the hell out of myself by reading it in public)

One book that made you cry: Hmmm…Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (Beautiful, beautiful book)

One book you keep rereading: Anne Rice again…really anything by her. I think I’m going to reread the whole Vampire Chronicles soon. I haven’t read some of the later ones and I really want to read them all.

One book you’ve been meaning to read: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (I have that gorgeous light blue edition and one of these days I swear I’m going to read it.)

One book you believe everyone should read: The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (If you haven’t read it yet, you really need to. Incredible book.)

Finally,
Grab the nearest book. Open it to page 56. Find the fifth sentence.

From The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell: “Of course, that didn’t keep her from looking for people in the neighborhood who resembled him.” I swear…every time I do these “open a book to a random page things” I get the absolute most boring answers :p

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And then I decided to do Friday Fill-ins again just for the hell of it…it’s fun enough. Here are my thoughts:

1. I’d really like to not have the knowledge that I have to work at  7 in the morning tomorrow right now.

2. Damn it! is the word you’d most often hear me say if I stubbed my toe.

3. Possession is a book by A.S. Byatt on my TBR shelf that has been there for way too long.

4. If I were a gay pirate, I would be Captain Jack Sparrow.

5. Marshmallows and fire go together like days off of work and books.

6. There’s a song by Erykah Badu called on and on that I really like.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to reading a little bit and then going to bed early tomorrow my plans include working all frickin day and Sunday, I want to not have to work all day, but I do…and then I’ll watch the Super Bowl!

Buttons and Steampunk

If you haven’t seen this yet, you really should. It’s only 2 minutes. And you get a quick peek at his library:

Also, here are my new steampunk poppets 🙂 Yay!:

poppets

Hey You Guys

When I first started blogging, I was of a very small breed…the male book blogger. Oddly enough, the first blogger I really started following was Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings. He’s still one of my favorite bloggers today. I soon discovered though that we were a minority in the book blogging world…finally, I’m a minority! lol. But I’ve noticed that things have started to level out a little bit on that front and there are more and more guys joining the book blogging community! And that’s awesome. Nerdy as we may be, guys read too! Here are some of the great guy book bloggers out there:

Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings – Nuff said. He’s become one of the iconic book blogs out there and his is much more than just a book blog (not that there’s anything wrong with that). He reviews art, films, does fantastic challenges, and some great interviews. Seriously, if you’re not following Carl already, you really should be.

Neil Gaiman – One of the world’s most cool dudes (and newly named Newbery Award recepient). Author extraordinaire and whatever other title you deem appropriate. Neil’s blog was actually the first blog I ever followed come to think of it. However, he doesn’t respond to my comments 😦 Because I can’t leave any…nor does he comment on here. But he’s definitely a cool guy blogger. 

Bart at Bart’s Bookshelf – I just “met” Bart last year and he’s one hell of a cool dude! We have extremely similar taste in books and I wish that I would’ve discovered his blog sooner. 

Brandon at Bookstorm – Newly discovered book blogger and I’m quite enjoying his blog!

JP at Bombastic Bagman – One of my favorite book bloggers who I wish had more time to post. I always enjoy his posts. They’re fantastic and his sense of humor always shines through. I think I met JP during one of Carl’s challenges. 

John Green – Yet another author extraordinaire who will never comment on my blog, yet I can comment on his! John always has wonderful things to say and what’s even more fun than his blog is his vlog.

Colin at The Book Pirate – I just discovered Colin’s blog the other day after he left a comment over here and it’s fantastic! I’ve been enjoying going back into his archives and catching up on what I’ve missed. Check him out.

Matthew at Falling Stacks – Just discovered Matthew’s blog today and I have to say that I’ve enjoyed every post that he’s written so far. I can tell that we must have very similar taste in books as well.

Matt at A Guy’s Moleskine Notebook – I’ve been following Matt’s blog for a long time now, but sadly I rarely comment. Great blog though with fantastic posts!

And of course, these are just a few of the many male book bloggers out there. It’s kind of cool to know that I’m not alone in my reclusive ways :p Of course, this post is not meant to discount any of you wonderful book loving ladies out there. Many of your blogs are among my absolute favorites. Just thought that this was an interesting turn of events from 2 years ago!  And now I’ve undoubtedly added to your already too long list of blogs to read :p Night everyone!

Um…Mailbox Monday and Bad Bloggers Pt. 2

So I just got home from work and had 5 more books sitting on my doorstep :p Since it’s still Monday for another hour I figured I’d get the guilt over with now and post what I received! Here it is guys:

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badbloggers11. & 2. New Moon and Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer – No one had anything to do with this one…it’s just my own insanity of wanting to read more Twilight :p

3. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – This one is all Becky’s fault! That’s her second point now. I had actually wanted to read this for awhile now but after her review I just couldn’t wait any more.

4. Tigerheart by Peter David – Oh Nymeth, Nymeth, Nymeth…the things you do to my bookshelf…This is now point number 4 for you I believe. You might as well pick which book you want now rather than waiting until June :p

5. Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres – This one is no one’s fault either..I’ve just been wanting to read it for awhile.

Ok, I swear that’s it until next Monday!!!

Mailbox Monday and Bad Bloggers!

First of all, I have to send a HUGE congratulations out to Neil Gaiman for being awarded the Newbery Medal for The Graveyard Book!!!! I couldn’t be more happy about this. I was hoping that he’d get some award love for this book, and this one is just the best. Also, a huge congrats to Terry Pratchett for Nation as a Printz Honor book!!! I’ve always loved the Printz award’s choices and this is certainly no exception. Congrats guys!!!

Ok, so on to the loot for the week. I couldn’t find a mailbox pic that I really liked this week, so you don’t get one 😦 Sorry. 

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Ok, so now for the bad bloggers of the week :p To learn more about Bad Bloggers! click the icon in my right hand sidebar.

1. Green River, Running Red by Ann Rule – This was a present from the lovely Debi! I won it on her site after we discovered that we both love true crime books 🙂 Looking forward to it! Thanks Debi!!!

2. Matrimony by Joshua Henkin – Ok, so I can’t TELL you how long I’ve been waiting and trying to win a copy of this one. And I finally did from Jill at Fizzy Thoughts!!! Thanks Jill! Karma must be good for Jill because she won a book from me too which is on it’s way to her!

3. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi – Now it’s time for points! Guess who gets a point for this one :p Yes, she’s taking the lead…Nymeth most definitely gets a point for this Graphic Novel that I’ve been dying to read!

4. Ombria in Shadow by Patricia A. McKillip – This point goes to Carl! I think he mentioned this one awhile ago in his Kinuko Y. Craft post. Don’t you just love the Craft cover to this one? It’s awesome. Another one that’s been on the wishlist for far too long!