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Friday, February 28, 2014

February 2014 Month Recap

Books Read
  1. All-New X-Men, Vol 2: Here to Stay by Brian Michael Bendis, art by David Marquez & Stuart Immonen
  2. The Lion and the Rose by May Sarton
  3. Cinder: The Lunar Chronicles, Book 1 by Marissa Meyer
  4. A Shower of Summer Days by May Sarton
  5. All-New X-Men, Vol 3: Out of Their Depth by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Stuart Immonen & David Lafuente
  6. X-Men: Battle of the Atom by Brian Michael Bendis, Brian Wood, & Jason Aaron, art by Frank Cho, Stuart Immonen, David López, Chris Bachalo, Esad Ribic, Giuseppe Camuncoli, & Arthur Adams
  7. The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Dark of Deep Below by Patrick Rothfuss, illustrated by Nate Taylor
  8. Bluffton by Matt Phelan
  9. Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci

1779 pages total

Gender of author
5 male
4 female

Year of Publication
1948 - 1
1952 - 1
2012 - 2
2013 - 2
2014 - 3

Books Acquired
9 Total
2 - ARCs received from publisher
2 - hardcover purchased at signing at local Indie
1 - paperback purchased at signing at local Indie
3 - paperbacks purchased from local Indie
1 - hardcover purchased from local Indie

2013 Year to Date Totals
Books Read: 25
Pages Read: 4210
Books Acquired: 25
Books Acquired Read: 5

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Land of Silence by May Sarton


Title: The Land of Silence
Author: May Sarton
Copyright: 1953
Pages: 99
Publisher: Rinehart & Co
Format: Hardcover

I send you love forward into the past.


Many of the poems here begin to speak of Sarton's search for solitude and how she is becoming familiar and even accepting of the need and benefits of a solitary life. One of my favorite lines from her poetry came from this book, as well. "I send you love forward into the past." came from her poem, Letter from Chicago, which was written for Virginia Woolf, as she was thinking back on Woolf's life and the personal pain that Sarton felt for her loss. I can't help but think of this line whenever I think of those close to me who have left my life.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday 19 II 2014 - Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that are eagerly anticipated.

My "can't-wait-to-read" selection for this week is:

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Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Book Description:
The Stormlight Archive sequence began in 2010 with the New York Times bestseller The Way of Kings. Now, the eagerly anticipated Words of Radiance continues the epic story and answers many of your questions.

Six years ago, the Assassin in White, a hireling of the inscrutable Parshendi, assassinated the Alethi king on the very night a treaty between men and Parshendi was being celebrated. So began the Vengeance Pact among the highprinces of Alethkar and the War of Reckoning against the Parshendi.

Now the Assassin is active again, murdering rulers all over the world of Roshar, using his baffling powers to thwart every bodyguard and elude all pursuers. Among his prime targets is Highprince Dalinar, widely considered the power behind the Alethi throne. His leading role in the war would seem reason enough, but the Assassin’s master has much deeper motives.

Expected by his enemies to die the miserable death of a military slave, Kaladin survived to be given command of the royal bodyguards, a controversial first for a low-status "darkeyes." Now he must protect the king and Dalinar from every common peril as well as the distinctly uncommon threat of the Assassin, all while secretly struggling to master remarkable new powers that are somehow linked to his honorspren, Syl.

Brilliant but troubled Shallan strives along a parallel path. Despite being broken in ways she refuses to acknowledge, she bears a terrible burden: to somehow prevent the return of the legendary Voidbringers and the civilization-ending Desolation that will follow. The secrets she needs can be found at the Shattered Plains, but just arriving there proves more difficult than she could have imagined.

Meanwhile, at the heart of the Shattered Plains, the Parshendi are making an epochal decision. Hard pressed by years of Alethi attacks, their numbers ever shrinking, they are convinced by their war leader, Eshonai, to risk everything on a desperate gamble with the very supernatural forces they once fled. The possible consequences for Parshendi and humans alike, indeed, for Roshar itself, are as dangerous as they are incalculable.

The doors of the Stormlight Archive first opened to us with
The Way of Kings. Read that book – now available in all formats – and then Words of Radiance, and you can be part of the adventure every dazzling step of the way.

I had never read one of the big, sprawling fantasies before, just because there are so many books in each of them and I feel a little daunted in making that kind of a commitment, so when I heard that Brandon Sanderson was starting his own epic series, and I could start off at the beginning, I thought I'd take it on, and am I ever glad I did. I loved The Way of Kings and am anxiously waiting to pick the story back up in March!

Words of Radiance will be released on March 4, 2014, from Tor Books.

Want to preorder a copy of the book? Just click here!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Going on vacation!

Things will be quiet around here for the next 2 weeks, as I'll be on vacation. I've got a couple of posts scheduled out, but you'll find me back and reading for sure around March 1.

Happy reading, everyone!

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Ape Man's Brother by Joe R. Lansdale

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Title: The Ape Man's Brother
Authors: Joe R. Lansdale
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 104
ISBN: 9781596066182
Publisher: Subterranean Press
Author Website:
Twitter: @joelansdale, @subpress
Format: Hardcover
Available: January 31, 2014
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

An interesting take on the Tarzan story, told from the POV of his ape-like brother (who identifies his species as something between man and ape - the so-called "missing link", perhaps?) and who doesn't ever give himself a name, but we'll call him Cheetah for nostalgia's sake. Cheetah describes how Tarzan's story was commercialized to make money and now, in his old age, wants to set the record straight. There are familiar elements to Edgar Rice Burroughs' version (which Cheetah says is only partly right, that Burroughs embellished quite a bit of the story in order to make it more profitable) but there are some distinct differences, mostly in the character of Cheetah himself. After Tarzan and Cheetah are discovered by The Woman and her party of explorers and brought back to the states, Tarzan and Cheetah are immediately thrown into the Hollywood limelight. While Tarzan has a hard time adjusting to life in the modern world, Cheetah has no problem adjusting, becoming more civilized and learning to speak, all while becoming something of a womanizing man-slut (sorry - it is what it is). Eventually, Tarzan has a breakdown and The Woman and Cheetah need to decide what is ultimately better for him.

This is a quick little volume, and it's quite funny in some parts, but I really feel this story could have been fleshed out a little better if it had been a little longer. Lansdale's writing certainly isn't challenging, but his take on Cheetah is pretty funny, all things considered. I would say, though, that if this is your first time reading Lansdale and don't find his writing to your liking in this story, give him another chance. I don't think this book should be considered indicative of his usual writing. So, if you're looking for something a little quirky and funny, and don't want to take it at all seriously, this is probably the book for you.

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!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Shower of Summer Days by May Sarton

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Title: A Shower of Summer Days
Author: May Sarton
Copyright: 1952
Pages: 244
ISBN: 9780393009255
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co.
Format: Paperback
Rating: 4/5 stars

A quiet novel, that at first seems to be about the relationships between the protagonists: Violet Dene Gordon and her husband, Charles, who have recently returned to Violet's family home of Dene's Court in Ireland, and Violet's American niece, Sally, who has made a poor attachment to an actor in the States, when in fact the entire novel is truly about emotion, and what happens when emotions become too volatile within a small group of people in an enclosed space. The enclosed space, in this case, is Dene's Court itself, which could almost be considered a character on its own, as its presence in the novel is just as important as the main characters are. There is no plot, per se,as we seem to be just dropped into these people's lives for one summer, but Sarton handles this smoothly and poetically, not needing a lot of back story, just telling the story in its own present. This could be one of my favorites.

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!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Saturday Morning Comics 8 II 2014 - All-New X-Men, Vol 2: Here to Stay by Brian Michael Bendis, art by David Marquez & Stuart Immonen

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Title: All-New X-Men, Vol 2: Here to Stay
Series: X-Men
Authors: Brian Michael Bendis, art by David Marquez & Stuart Immonen
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 136
ISBN: 9780785168218
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Twitter: @Marvel
Format: Hardcover
Available: June 11, 2013
Rating: 4/5 stars

  • Marvel Girl [1]
  • Kitty Pryde
  • Cyclops [1]
  • Wolverine
  • Storm
  • Angel [1]
  • Angel
  • Mystique
  • Iceman [1]
  • Beast [1]
  • Madame Hydra
  • Thor
  • Captain America
  • Spider-Woman
  • Hulk
  • Hawkeye
  • Beast
  • Iceman
  • Sabretooth
  • Lady Mastermind
  • Emma Frost
  • Cyclops
  • Magneto
  • Magik
  • Krakoa
  • Stepford Sisters
  • Maria Hill

The young, time-displaced original X-Men continue to try to find their way in a future world that they have very little capability of understanding. Again, not much happens to move the story along in this volume, it still seems to be more character development. Young Cyclops and Wolverine have an argument (nothing new there, future or past); Mystique starts to undermine young Cyclops' reasoning about what is happening in the world; young Angel finally finds a drastically changed version of his future self and has a hard time coming to grips with anything the future has in store for him; both Angels take on a Hydra cell, and when the Avengers intervene, young Cyclops convinces Captain America to let him try to fix things; Cyclops and his current team of X-Men try to recruit students from the Jean Grey School for his new school. While all of this seems like a lot, it's what goes on in the background that really makes this volume stand out. Jean Grey's telepathic powers are developing at a remarkably early stage for her, which could lead to all sorts of interesting story developments. Young Cyclops begins to discover things about his future with Jean Grey. Angel really, really has a hard time understanding what is happening in this future, and why no one else has a problem with what's going on.

If anything, I'm anxious to see where the Jean Grey storyline is going. Seeds are already being planted for her to start falling to the dark side of her power, with or without the Phoenix. Given that Jean Grey, in all her varied forms, has always been my favorite character, this is all very exciting for me! I'll definitely be keeping up with this series.

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!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I'm a World Book Night USA 2014 giver!!

I got the email today that I've been selected as a World Book Night USA giver for 2014! I'm really excited about this. I've been a giver every year since they started the program in the US, and really look forward to it every single year. Being able to share my love of books with others is just fantastic.

I'm thrilled to be giving away Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. I really love this book, and am looking forward to giving out a book that I particularly enjoyed and passing that joy on to others.

Happy reading!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Lion and the Rose by May Sarton


Title: The Lion and the Rose
Author: May Sarton
Copyright: 1948
Pages: 104
Publisher: Rinehart & Company
Format: Hardcover


I thought of happiness, how it is woven
Out of the silence in the empty house each day
And how it is not sudden and it is not given
But is creation itself like the growth of a tree.
No one has seen it happen, but inside the bark
Another circle is growing in the expanding ring.
No one has heard the root go deeper in the dark,
But the tree is lifted by this inward work
And its plumes shine, and its leaves are glittering.

So happiness is woven out of the peace of hours
And strikes its roots deep in the house alone:
The old chest in the corner, cool waxed floors,
White curtains softly and continually blown
As the free air moves quietly about the room;
A shelf of books, a table, and the white-washed wall—
These are the dear familiar gods of home,
And here the work of faith can best be done,
The growing tree is green and musical.

For what is happiness but growth in peace,
The timeless sense of time when furniture
Has stood a life's span in a single place,
And as the air moves, so the old dreams stir
The shining leaves of present happiness.
No one has heard thought or listened to a mind,
But where people have lived in inwardness
The air is charged with blessing and does bless;
Windows look out on mountains and the walls are kind.

I don't have anything profound to say about Sarton's third book of poetry. A good decade has progressed since her first book of poetry, so there is obvious growth in her writing. The poems are becoming, at least in my opinion, more what she was to become known for in her later years.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Saturday Morning Comics 1 II 2014: FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics, Vol 1: The Paradigm Shift by Simon Oliver, art by Robbi Rodriguez

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Title: FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics, Vol 1: The Paradigm Shift
Author: Simon Oliver, art by Robbi Rodriguez
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9781401245108
Publisher: Vertigo
Twitter: @vertigo_comics, @DCComic
Format: eARC provided thru NetGalley
Available: February 25, 2014
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics, the new series from Vertigo Comics, takes a look at the world around us and what would happen if the laws of physics suddenly didn't work properly anymore. A world where gravity just stops working in localized areas, time speeds up in buildings, quantum tornadoes run rampant in the desert. These are all things that are occurring in the world of FBP. Now, when a 911 call is made, physics is an appropriate emergency, and the Federal Bureau of Physics is sent in to clean up the aftermath of these disasters.

The FBP isn't necessarily a glamorous job. Those that work in the Bureau are often under appreciated in their work, with a push on many levels to privatize the industry, so not only are the agents risking their lives on occasion to fix a physics disaster, they also have to worry about whether there will be a job for them to come back to tomorrow.

The whys and hows of the collapse of the laws of physics really aren't touched on at all in this collection. I'm curious to know if we'll ever find out the whys and hows, or we'll be forced to just accept that this is how it is in this universe, much like the people that inhabit it themselves. What is presented here is a conspiracy story that utilizes the broken laws of physics to its advantage; an arc that deals with some background of the main character, Adam Hardy; and finally a kidnapping plot that introduces us to the new agent on the block, Rosa Reyes, who has her own mystery surrounding her.

The story is good. I don't know that I've read much of Simon Oliver before, but he handles the story well enough. Robbi Rodriguez's art works well for the series, as it's a little broken and warped already on its own, matching the feel of the world that he is illustrating, but at times I had a hard time distinguishing one character from another. It's not bad, but it may be pushing the limits of being almost too messy. The coloring used in the series is really hyper-stylized by Rico Renzi, to go along with the wild nature of the world and Rodriguez's complicated panels. The entire package does become something more or less that I haven't encountered in comics before, but in my opinion, the art could stand to be cleaned up a little.

I'll probably check out subsequent volumes. I'd be interested more than anything to see if they explain why physics is broken, and what the characters are going to do to fix it.

FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics, Vol 1: The Paradigm Shift Will be released on February 25, 2014, from Vertigo Comics.

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!

I received this eARC for free from the publisher via NetGalley for a fair and honest review.