Sunday, January 29, 2012

Book 7 - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

I decided to read this book after reading a post on Pajiba about movies that would have been better with a different ending. I can't seem to find that post or remember the exact title, but in any case it lead me to this book and I enjoyed it very much and I am now looking forward to watching my Director's cut of Bladerunner as I think it has the better ending that Pajiba was referring to. I have never seen any version of Bladerunner but I had vaguely heard of it and knew it was something to do with a bounty hunter and androids .

"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" is the story of a world ravaged by World War Terminus. The planet Earth is mostly abandoned since most have gone off to colonies on Mars where they are all promised their own personal android assistant (slave). Back on earth we meet Rick Deckard who is a bounty hunter working for the San Francisco police. Sometimes the androids tire of slaving for the humans and they kill them and flee back to Earth. 

Book 6 - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

I read "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" by Jean-Dominique Bauby as it was listed as a recommendation at the end of "Girlfriend in a Coma". It is a memoir of sorts written by the French editor of Elle magazine who suffers a stroke and then has a condition called "Locked in Syndrome". He has some movement ability with his head and he is able to communicate using his left eye. In order to communicate people use a chart of letters ordered in frequency of their usage in the French language. He still does have his hearing, although sometimes certain sounds do bombard his hearing. 

The memoir itself is a series of vignettes going back and forth between his time in the hospital and his life before. He has a gift for the written word, and he seems to find beauty in his surroundings wherever he goes. He takes great joy in being wheeled up to a patio where he sees himself as a director, summoning clouds and birds. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Book 5 - The Long Walk

I have so much to say about this book it is hard to know where to start. I have a lot of intelligent things to say mulling about in my brain, we will see if any of them actually make it on to this review. First I would like to give a shout out to my buddy youthfulzombie and her "Best reads of 2011" post that first brought my attention to this book. Second I would like to give myself a pat on the back for coming up with an ingenious way to be able to read while stuffing envelopes at work. Gotta love making a monotonous task a bit more fun.

"The Long Walk" is a novel written by Stephen King under the nom de plume Richard Bachman. Although I vaguely remember that he used a pseudonym at one time, I didn't fully realize that he had written so many books under the Bachman name. It seems that he may have done this to prove to himself that people were buying his books for the quality within rather than the brand name of Stephen King. Since the truth was brought to light too quickly he was unable to properly prove this one way or another. I would have liked to been able to read a Bachman book to see if I would have been smart enough to recognize the voice of my favorite author even in hiding.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Book 4 - Big Girl Small

"Big Girl Small" by Rachel DeWoskin is the tale of a teen aged girl nard Judy who has achondroplasia, a type of dwarfism. She is a very talented singer has just started at Darcy, an elite arts school. Early on she meets and falls hard for the beautiful and brooding Kyle.

When we first meet Judy, she has fled to a sleazy motel to escape an unnamed scandal. She is in hiding, over dramatizing the situation, imagining that reporters in helicopters are waiting to get a photo of her if she even leaves her sanctuary. As the book progresses we get pieces to the puzzle as well find out the details of her first months at her new school and we meet her new good friends Sarah and Molly.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Book 3 - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Proud Mama alert! My 10 year old will be playing the White Rabbit in his school production of "Alice in Wonderland". His school puts on pretty elaborate productions and we are both pretty excited about it. He originally got a smaller part then got bumped up when the girl slated to play Alice moved away. This is extra good news because I have been watching that girl play the lead for the past several years and she is pretty one-note so I am glad to see someone else get a chance to shine, and it benefited my son as well.

Anyhoo, this lead me to seek out the original version of this tale, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll, first published in 1865. We recently travelled to Big White ski resort and listened to this on audio book on the way home. I was nervous about the road conditions so I wanted a distraction. The roads ended up being not too bad, and the snow tires that I bought last season were a definite asset as well.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Book 2 - Water for Elephants

Growing up one of my most beloved movies was Toby Tyler (which I just noticed is based on a book written in 1880, sadly it's not available at my library). To me there is something romantic about an old timey circus, even though there is quite a bit that is also quite sad and violent and cruel about them as well. My Dad suggested that I watch the movie version of "Water for Elephants" and I was surprised that I did enjoy it, I normally avoid anything with anyone from the twilight movies in it. Then when I found out that it was a book first, I was excited to read it. I was pretty lucky to get the hold request very quickly from the library and I devoured this book in just over a day.

I wish that I had read Sara Gruen's book version before having seen the movie as the two are quite similar. Gruen has an amazing descriptive voice and I was transported to the world of a depression era circus train quite fully.

Book 1 - Postcards From the Edge

The copy of "Postcards From the Edge" (PCFTE to make my life easier) that I got from the library was a classic edition. There was even one of those card envelopes on the inside cover. Did we really just write our names on a card and take a book out, how technology changes us. I wish I had taken a picture, but c'est la vie. The picture above is the same design as the one that I got however.

I very much enjoyed "Wishful Drinking" it was my 2nd book in CBR3 and I just noticed in the comments of that review that I was going to read PCFTE  at that time but I guess I forgot about it. I was watching the HBO special for Wishful Drinking (which was pretty hilarious) and she mentioned PCFTE and so I requested it from the library and read it up quick.

2012 is the Year!!

I am very excited about the year to come. In 2011 I read 44 books, which was less than my goal but still a pretty amazing feat if I do say so myself. I am really happy to be a part of Cannonball read and I am very excited about CBR4! This will be the year I make it to 52 books (that is if the world doesn't end sometime before I can finish)

I have already read two books in 2012, and I have a bunch on my shelf that I am itching to read. I am on holidays with my son starting on Thursday, so hopefully I will squeeze some reading in there along with fun in the snow.

Now if only this little guy would give me some peace to read! He likes to chew on the corners while I'm trying to read.