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Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 2013 Recap

Books Read

10 books finished
  1. X-O Manowar, Vol 1: By The Sword by Robert Venditti, art by Cary Nord
  2. Harbinger, Vol 1: Omega Rising by Joshua Dysart, art by Khari Evans
  3. Detroit, An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff
  4. Batman, Vol 1: The Court of Owls (The New 52) by Scott Snyder, art by Greg Capullo
  5. Batman: Night of the Owls (The New 52) by Scott Snyder, art by Greg Capullo, et al.
  6. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  7. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce 
  8. Love to the Women by Heather Trefethen 
  9. Doctor Who: The Spear of Destiny: Doctor Who Fiftieth Anniversary Eshorts, Third Doctor by Marcus Sedgwick
  10. If a Stranger Approaches You by Laura Kasischke
1950 pages total

Gender of author:
7 male, 3 female

Year of Publication:
4 - 2012
6 - 2013

Books Acquired

13 books total

4 used paperbacks purchased at local Indie
5 new paperbacks purchased at local Indie
2 hardcovers purchased at local Indie
2 Kindle books purchased thru Amazon

3 have been read

2013 Year to Date Totals

Books Read: 28
Pages Read: 4608

Books Acquired: 41
Books Acquired Read: 13

Friday, March 29, 2013

Locke & Key Volumes 2-5 by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez

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Title: Locke & Key, Vol 2: Head Games, Locke & Key, Vol 3: Crown of Shadows, Locke & Key, Vol 4: Keys to the Kingdom, Locke & Key, Vol 5: Clockworks
Series: Locke & Key
Author: Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez
Copyright: 2009-2012
ISBN: 9781600104831, 9781600106958, 9781600108860, 9781613772270
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Author Website: Joe Hill Fiction, Gabriel Rodriguez's DeviantArt
Twitter: @joe_hill, @GR_comics, @IDWPublishing
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 4.5/5 stars (average of all four volumes)
Awards: 2009 British Fantasy Award for Best Comic or Graphic Novel, 2011 Eisner Award for Best Writer (Joe Hill), 2012 British Fantasy Award for Best Comic or Graphic Novel

Well, this series has gotten nothing but better as it has gone along. I've been thoroughly impressed with Hill's writing and Rodriguez's art right along. They haven't lost anything in the storytelling and haven't weakened in their storytelling either. One of the things that I was worried about is that at some point they would lose their momentum, but five volumes in and that hasn't happened yet.

In Volume 2, Head Games, the kids are still recovering from the events at the end of Welcome to Lovecraft, events that may brought back a lot of memories that they were trying to forget. Kinsey and Tyler find some companionship in their new friend Zack, not realizing Zack's dark secret or intentions. Bode finds a new key, and as they start to uncover the secrets of this new game, Zack starts to become a little too recognizable for his liking.

Volume 3, Crown of Shadows, finds more secrets and more revelations in the background about Dodge and more keys. This volume deals a little bit more with the emotional impact prior events have had on each of the members of the Locke family. I really found these issues handled well in this volume, especially watching Kinsey after her change in the previous volume.

Volume 4, Keys to the Kingdom, was a series of shorter stories that all tied into the Key house and what is happening with the various characters. While not necessarily on complete story throughout the entire volume, each of these stories still successfully moves the story along.

I was concerned about going into Volume 5, Clockworks, as I'd heard that this was mostly a background story, and I wasn't exactly sure how a volume dedicated almost entirely to background was going to help move the story along, but holy crap was I wrong! I think this might be the best volume so far. We learn about the history of the Locke family, the Keys, Key house, the purpose of the villain behind everything (SPOILERS! - which ties directly in the title of the first volume). It just all came together amazingly well.

Needless to say, you won't find much about the actual story in this review, because it's almost impossible to talk about the story without giving anything away, as Hill seems to find a way to tie in almost every plot thread one way or another into all of the story. What I can say, is that this is completely worth reading and might be one of the better graphic novels you'll find. If you're not a fan of horror or of violence, this might not be the best series for you, but if you can stomach it, this is a fantastic series. I'll definitely be picking up the final volume when it's released.

Happy (creepy) reading!

To purchase any of the books in this post, and help my local Indie bookstore, and help me buy more books, click the links above!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

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Title: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Author: William Joyce
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 56
ISBN: 9781442457027
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Author Website:
Twitter: @simonschuster
Format: Hardcvover
Available: June 19, 2012
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

William Joyce's The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a charming picture book about the love a man, Mr. Morris Lessmore, has for his books and stories, and how in turn those books and stories love him in return. Unfortunately, after having seen the animated short that also tells this same story before I read the book, I don't feel that the book does its own story justice, so I'm also including the animated short, so that you can enjoy it just as much as I do.

To purchase any of the books in this post, and help my local Indie bookstore, and help me buy more books, click the links above!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Marianne de Pierres Night Creatures Cover Re-Reveal

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I'm happy to report that Marianne de Pierres has worked out an agreement with the original cover artist, Jarek Kubicki, for her Night Creatures trilogy, and will be able to use the original covers for the US release of these books. Personally, I thought these covers were worth the price of admission alone, and that the new covers were OK, but looked like everything else on the market right now. These covers by Kubicki are just so unique and dynamic!

You can check out more of Jarek Kubicki's art here:

Monday, March 18, 2013

Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin

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Title: Delta of Venus
Author: Anaïs Nin
Copyright: 1977 (2004)
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780156029032
Publisher: Mariner Books
Format: Paperback
Available: February 2, 2004
Rating: 3/5 stars

Well, quite frankly, Delta of Venus was not for me. I think part of the problem was in reading the foreword that explains how Nin came to be writing erotica, and knowing that she was purposefully trying to be over the top and push the envelope, I found these stories to be neither erotic nor titillating (not that erotica is supposed to be titillating, but I think you get the idea). Instead, I found myself giggling and rolling my eyes more often than not when reading the stories. Perhaps if I didn't know her reasons for writing them beforehand, I would have approached the book differently? Who knows. As a book club pick for my book group, this was a good selection that created some great discussion, but I don't think I would actively pursue more of her erotica in the future on my own.

To purchase any of the books in this post, and help my local Indie bookstore, and help me buy more books, click the links above!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff

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Title: Detroit: An American Autopsy
Author: Charlie LeDuff
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781594205347
Publisher: The Penguin Press
Author Website:
Twitter: @Charlieleduff, @penguinpress
Format: Hardcover
Available: 2-7-13
Rating: 4/5 stars

Well, that was a depressing book. Or was it? Charlie LeDuff, after years of living away from his hometown of Detroit, decides to move his family there when he feels that LA is becoming too crowded to raise his daughter safely. Obviously, my first reaction was thinking why he would think Detroit is a safer city than LA? Maybe it's because I live near Detroit and have been there and have seen the decline and fall of the city over the last couple of years. It's not like I go there on a regular basis, and it's not like it's ever been a really safe city to start off with, but over the last couple of years, you can clearly see the city struggling to better itself while at the same time falling apart at the seams. Maybe LeDuff really didn't know how bad things were when he decided to move home, but he certainly got a shock with how bad things are there, and through his journalist's eye, he takes us on a tour of some of the even less savory stories coming out of the city.

What he shows us is a city in far worst shape than I had imagined. There seems to be corruption at every level of government, huge corporations that can barely manage to keep themselves afloat, the police and fire departments are using outdated or damaged equipment, violence running rampant in the streets, people too poor to bury their dead and leave the bodies in the morgue until they can scrape enough money together for a cremation. One almost begins to feel that there is no hope for the city of Detroit, and I found myself wondering throughout the book why LeDuff, or anyone living in Detroit for that matter, doesn't just pack up and leave? In the end, thought, LeDuff shows us that there are still a handful of good people in Detroit, and that there is a glimmer of hope, however small, and that maybe this is why people stay. Or maybe it's because Detroit is all they know. Or maybe it's because they are too poor to move away and are simply stuck in their situation. Sounds hopeless, right? That's how LeDuff's book is: It gives us a taste of something maybe good in the town, yet there is always something bad right around the corner to take it away.

Personally, there's nothing redemptive for me about LeDuff's book. I feel like they should close down the city, move the people away, and let nature continue its reclamation. But where would the people go? Would their lives be bettered in any way by moving them to a new home? It's hard to say, but much like LeDuff tries in his way to do some good, I feel something should be done to the city.

Anyway, I don't know that this is necessarily a hard book to read. LeDuff writes his book in much the same way I imagine he writes his columns for various news outlets: the sentences are short, to the point, and filled with what I perceive as journalistic tropes. But LeDuff gets his point across. I'm not really sure what the point is, as there seems to be no conclusion to his narrative, but I felt like I understood Detroit a little better after reading this book.

To purchase any of the books in this post, and help my local Indie bookstore, and help me buy more books, click the links above!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Burn bright, baby bats!

I've been slowly realizing there is a whole world of books published in Australia that we never get to see here in the US. It's not like we're lacking in fantastic books of our very own, but it seems like the Aussies want to keep their books to themselves and not share with the rest of us!

Marianne de Pierres has decided to take this matter into her own hands. Her Night Creatures series has been released in Australia for some time now, and she's decided to bring the books to the US via Amazon later this month. Read on to find out more about these books and see the international covers!

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Burn Bright (Night Creatures #1)

Into a world of wild secrets and deadly pleasures comes a girl whose innocence may be her greatest strength.

In Ixion music and party are our only beliefs. Darkness is our comfort. We have few rules but they are absolute...

Retra doesn’t want to go to Ixion, the island of ever-night, ever-youth and never-sleep. Retra is a Seal – sealed minds, sealed community. She doesn’t crave parties and pleasure, experience and freedom.

But her brother Joel left for Ixion two years ago, and Retra is determined to find him. Braving the intense pain of her obedience strip to escape the only home she’s ever known, Retra stows away on the barge that will take her to her brother.

When she can’t find Joel, Retra finds herself drawn deeper into the intoxicating world of Ixion. Come to me, whispers a voice in her head. Who are the Ripers, the mysterious guardians of Ixion? What are the Night Creatures Retra can see in the shadows? And what happens to those who grow too old for Ixion?

Retra will find that Ixion has its pleasures, but its secrets are deadly. Will friendship, and the creation of an eternal bond with a Riper, be enough to save her from the darkness?

Listen well, baby bats. Burn bright, but do not stray from the paths. Remember, when you live in a place of darkness you also live with creatures of the dark.

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Angel Arias (Night Creatures #2)

Retra - now called Naif - has escaped from Ixion, the island of ever-night. She doesn't know if her friends on the island survived the battle between the Ripers and the rebels. But she does know that she must return home, behind the sealed walls of Grave, to find out why the Ripers have been seen there talking to the councillors. What links the two worlds?

First she must convince Ruzalia to help her. The fierce pirate captain saves those who face terrible fates on Ixion, but that doesn't guarantee their gratitude. Instead, she faces a revolt - and Naif is caught in the middle.

Naif will need all her courage to survive. For Lenoir, who wants to keep her safe, for her friends Suki and Rollo, if they live, for Markes, who has secrets of his own, and for the new friends she will make on this journey.

The fate of worlds depends on it.

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Shine Light (Night Creatures #3)

Ixion. The island of ever-night.

If she had a choice, Naif wouldn’t go back. But her friends will die if she doesn’t find a cure for the badges that are slowly killing them, and her brother is there, fighting against the Ripers who hold everyone in thrall. And Naif has knowledge that might save them all.

First she must solve the mystery of Ixion’s eternal night. Then she must convince everyone – rebels and revellers alike – to join her cause. And all the while, she must fight the urge to go to Lenoir – her greatest love, her mortal enemy.

The secrets of Ixion must be revealed. The evils must be stopped. A new dawn will come.