ANNOUNCEMENT
After a lot of thought, I've decided to take a break from blogging for the foreseeable future. With my little C creeping its way back into my life and possible long term treatment now, I need to take a couple of things off my plate for the time being, and the blog is going to be one of those things. As it is, it felt like it was becoming more of a chore than anything else. I need my reading time to be more enjoyable right now, more of the escape that I really need, and what I don't need is the little voice in the back of my head telling me how many reviews I'm behind and trying to come up with what I need to say about the book.

I simply want to read.

I'll more than likely occasionally post on here what I've been reading, and if there is something that really blows my mind, I'll probably have more to say about it and may write up a proper post, but for right now, things are going to be very quiet around here.

As always, happy reading!
2017 edit
I will continue to blog according to my health and ability, and connecting my posts thru Goodreads, so please be patient if things get quiet around here again this year.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Review: Ghosts

Ghosts Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A cute and touching story about the bonds between sisters, told with the backdrop of Dia de los Muertos. Catrina and her family has moved to the northern coast of California so that her sister Maya, who has cystic fibrosis, has a better time breathing with the cool salty air off the ocean. Catrina does not like having to have moved away from her friends, but has done so begrudgingly for her sister. When she and Maya discover that there are ghosts in their new town, they are taught about some of the history of Dia de los Muertos and also learn a little about respecting those that have passed. I sometimes think that the explanations around Dia de los Muertos seemed maybe a little too simplistic, but that may just be me. If nothing else, it has made me want to learn a little more about the history and traditions surrounding the day.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Star Wars: Galactic Maps: An Illustrated Atlas of the Star Wars Universe by Emil Fortune, illustrated by Tim McDonagh

Star Wars Galactic Maps: An Illustrated Atlas of the Star Wars Universe by LucasFilm Book Group
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are a fan of Star Wars, especially of the new interconnected canon, this book is for you. Including a timeline, a who's who of important figures in the Star Wars universe, information on the more important planets in the Star Wars galaxies, and then more detailed maps of the areas of importance on each of these planets, this books has a little bit of everything to help you map out the where/when/who of the new canon. Very informative and artistically detailed, this is an excellent addition to any Star Wars fan's library. I'm hoping that as future movies, books, and cartoons are released, they will release updated editions of this book to include the new locales. A Star Wars geek's dream!

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Naughty Mabel Sees It All by Nathan Lane & Devlin Elliott, illustrated by Dan Krall

Naughty Mabel Sees It All Naughty Mabel Sees It All by Nathan Lane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Naughty Mabel makes her return with this second volume, which I found a huge improvement over her first story (Nathan Lane is such a comedy genius, and for him to resort to fart humor, regardless of how funny kids will find it, left me disappointed). This time out, Mabel is seeing things, which makes her inherent naughtiness even worse, and until her parents can figure out why she's seeing things, Mabel continues to wreak havoc. Dan Krall's illustrations are perfect once again, and I'm actually now hoping that we'll be seeing more of Mabel in the future.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

I Hate Fairyland, Vol 2: Fluff My Life by Skottie Young

I Hate Fairyland, Volume 2: Fluff My Life I Hate Fairyland, Volume 2: Fluff My Life by Skottie Young
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Picking up directly where the first volume leaves off, this volume of I Hate Fairyland, with Gert now Queen of Fairyland, and that goes about as well as you'd expect. She is eventually ousted from the throne and continues her search for a way home, dragging the unfortunate Larry along the way.

While Scottie Young's writing is still funny and his art is as madcap as ever (and Jean-Francois Beaulieu's eye-popping colors are eye-popping!), this volume was far more episodic than the previous story arc, with each issue more or less playing out the same scenario each time: Gert finds a "new" way home each issue, which of course turns out not to be a way home and then she fights her way out of the situation in the usual bloodbath, end of issue. The final issue of the collection does offer an interesting post-apocalyptic view of Fairyland, but it's actually not made clear whether the series is continuing after this volume (which there will be after a short break until the monthly series picks back up again in March), so the casual reader may be confused about whether this is actually the close of the series.

I'll be picking up the next collection of the series for sure, regardless of the slight disappointment that came with this issue, because I Hate Fairyland is still one of the most original comics that I've read in a long time.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Star Wars: Han Solo by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Mark Brooks

Han Solo Han Solo by Marjorie M. Liu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I believe this volume takes place shortly after Episode IV: A New Hope.

After deciding to take a break from the Rebellion and go back to being a smuggler, Han Solo is abruptly pulled back into the Rebellion by Leia with a proposal he finds hard to turn down: a chance to race the Dragon Void run, a prestigious racing competition. Of course, Leia has ulterior motives for needing Han, but all he sees is a chance at the prestige of winning this race. The race itself made me feel a little like this was a galactic version of the Hunger Games, as the race's organizers set up specific obstacles for the racers to avoid (not that this is a race to the death, but I just got the impression of that idea). There was also a little more science fiction than I'm used to with Star Wars, with the inclusion of wormholes and other dimensions, but it worked really well here. Marjorie Liu really had a grasp of the characters and handled them quite well; I had no problem hearing Han's and Leia's voices in my head. Mark Brooks' art is fantastic here and I'm hoping that Marvel utilizes him more frequently on the Star Wars titles. Overall, this is a solid addition to the Marvel portion of the Star Wars universe.

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

The Princess Diarist The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is Carrie Fisher's memoir of her time during the filming of Star Wars Episode IV, including entries from the diaries she kept during that time that she recently discovered. I think this was the first time that Fisher really talked about her relationship with Leia, and what Leia has offered to her over the years. She also talks about her fans, and how much they mean to her and everything about the ending of the book was so much more heartbreaking given the circumstances. I was genuinely surprised by how touching her closing chapters were, in regards to her relationship with Leia and the Star Wars community as a whole.

It was a little surreal reading this so soon after both her death and her mother's, as she talks frequently about her mother in the book, as well as mentioning a couple of times, in an offhand manner, how she would like to be remembered for certain events. Perhaps it was too soon for me after her death. Not that I was ever necessarily a huge Carrie Fisher fan, but I've certainly been a Star Wars fan my whole life (I saw the original Star Wars when it was released - I was 3), so while there was never necessarily a Carrie Fisher in a my life, there has always been a Princess Leia, and it seemed to hit home a little for me. It also made me unreasonably angry that Carrie Fisher died; in a year of so many celebrity deaths, it seemed like just another death to some, but it made me angry because she overcame so much, and still had so much to do and offer to the world. So, yeah - maybe I should have put a little time in between her death and reading this book, knowing it was her last, but it seemed like the thing to do at the time. It is typically funny in that Carrie Fisher way, but equally sad given the circumstances. I fairly certain, however, that again, in that typically funny Carrie Fisher way, she would have found some way to turn her death into an appropriate epilogue to this book.

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: a Recap

Total Books Read: 115
  • January - 10
  • February - 7
  • March - 7
  • April - 11
  • May - 19
  • June - 9
  • July - 8
  • August - 9
  • September - 15
  • October - 5
  • November - 6
  • December - 9

Stand Out Books
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (somehow had never read this before)
  • Ollie's Odyssey by William Joyce (a lovely little story about the love between a toy and his child)
  • Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray
  • Star Wars: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray (I was thoroughly impressed by both of Claudia Gray's Star Wars books this year - I'm hoping she writes more of them in the future!)
  • The Wicked + the Divine series from Image Comics
  • In Such Good Company by Carol Burnett (listened to as an audiobook narrated by Burnett made this an especially great treat)
  • Love is Love (published in cooperation between IDW and DC Comics, all proceeds from this book went to the survivors and victim's families of the Orlando Pulse shooting - heart breaking)
 
Total Pages Read: 19723
  • January - 1425
  • February - 1557
  • March - 1468
  • April - 2104
  • May - 3273
  • June - 1424
  • July - 977
  • August - 1399
  • September - 2440
  • October - 1376
  • November - 1208
  • December - 1072

Ratings
  • 0 - 1
  • 1 - 1
  • 2 - 5
  • 3 - 31
  • 4 - 59
  • 5 -18

 Genres Read
  • Childrens - 4
  • Fantasy - 12
  • Fiction - 5
  • Graphic Novel - 66
  • Horror - 3
  • Humor - 1
  • Manga - 2
  • Memoir - 1
  • Middle Grade Fantasy - 6
  • Middle Grade Fiction - 1
  • Non-Fiction - 4
  • Science Fiction - 5
  • Urban Fantasy - 3
  • Young Adult Science Fiction - 2

Author Genders Read
  • Male - 93
  • Female - 22

Publication Years
  • 1922 - 1
  • 1960 - 1
  • 1981 - 2
  • 1984 - 1
  • 1995 - 1
  • 1996 - 1
  • 1997 - 1
  • 2007 - 1
  • 2009 - 2
  • 2010 - 3
  • 2011 - 3
  • 2012 - 3
  • 2013 - 4
  • 2014 - 10
  • 2015 - 20
  • 2016 - 59
  • 2017 - 2

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade by Frank Miller & Brian Azzarello, illustrated by John Romita, Jr

The Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade The Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade by Frank Miller
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

So, this was supposed to be how Robin was killed and Batman retired, all leading up to the events of The Dark Knight Returns. Except... we don't see any of that. What we're given is half a story, one that stops just short of delivering what it was supposed to - Robin may or may not be killed, and we see nothing of Batman's reaction to this. The only reason I'm giving it 2 stars is because JRJr's art saves the day for this pointless book.

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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Star Wars: Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno

Catalyst - A Rogue One Novel Catalyst - A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Finished reading the last third of this in one sitting after listening to the audiobook version to start with, and while I think the book is well-written, I still believe that this "essential" prequel to the movie got lost in the minute details behind the design/construction of the Death Star weapon. As I saw Rogue One before finishing the book, I didn't really feel the need/felt the desire to finish the book, so I basically skimmed that last third. For diehard fans that need to read ALL THE THINGS, this is obviously a good book for them, but I think most people will have no problem going into the movie without losing anything for having not read this book.

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