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Monday, July 31, 2017

July 2017 Recap

  1. Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
  2. American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Novel by Neil Gaiman
  3. Star Wars, Vol 1 by Jason Aaron, illustrated by John Cassaday, Simone Bianchi, & Stuart Immonen
  4. Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol 1: Vader by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Salvador Larocca
  5. Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol 2: Shadows and Secrets by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Salvador Larocca

Pick of the Month
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

July 2017
Number of books read: 5
Number of pages: 1,488

Number of books acquired: 20
Number of those books read: 0

Number of books read: 59
Number of pages: 10,505

Number of books acquired: 203
Number of those books read: 37

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Novel by Neil Gaiman

American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Novel
by Neil Gaiman
Published by William Morrow • June 21, 2011
256 Pages • ISBN 978-0062059888 • Hardcover

Schuler BooksAmazonAudible
To purchase any of the books in this post and help me buy more books, click the links above!

To add your book to LibraryThing or Goodreads, click the links above!

Book description:
First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic—an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this tenth anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author’s preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.

A storm is coming . . .

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.

Relevant and prescient,
American Gods has been lauded for its brilliant synthesis of “mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose” (Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World) and as a modern phantasmagoria that “distills the essence of America” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is, quite simply, an outstanding work of literary imagination that will endure for generations.

There's not much I could probably add to the discussion about American Gods that hasn't already been said, but I can say that I loved this story. I had been meaning to get around to reading this, and when the show finally starting running on Starz, I thought now is as good a time as any. I'm surprised by how different the show is from the book; I can understand the updates to technology in the show as the book is over 15 years old and tech has evolved in that time, but in addition to that, there are some significant changes to how the show is being altered, and to be honest, there's a part of me that likes the show better than the book, but Gaiman's story is still marvelous. I'm very interested to see how the show will play out, especially given the story arc and character changes.

I'm wildly interested in reading Anansi Boys, but I'll be taking a short break in between the two books. I don't want to get overloaded on gods!

A note on the full cast reading of the 10th Anniversary Edition
I decided to listen to the book on my work commute, and I'm not going to lie, I loved the cast reading. They various narrators handled each of their characters perfectly and were totally believable. I'm really hoping that the audio of Anansi Boys is handled just as well.

Here's the trailer for the show:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sky break!

What do you mean, do I want a treat? Of course I want a treat!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sky break!

It's hard work being her...

Friday, July 7, 2017

Sky break!

The look of guilt every morning when I leave for work.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Meddling Kids
by Edgar Cantero
Published by Blumhouse Book • July 11, 2017
336 Pages • ISBN 978-0385541992 • Hardcover

Schuler BooksAmazon
To purchase any of the books in this post and help me buy more books, click the links above!

To add your book to LibraryThing or Goodreads, click the links above!

Book description:
With raucous humor and brilliantly orchestrated mayhem, Meddling Kids subverts teen detective archetypes like the Hardy Boys, the Famous Five, and Scooby-Doo, and delivers an exuberant and wickedly entertaining celebration of horror, love, friendship, and many-tentacled, interdimensional demon spawn.

SUMMER 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in Oregon’s Zoinx River Valley) solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster — another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

1990. The former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be dismissed or explained away by a guy in a mask. And Andy, the once intrepid tomboy now wanted in two states, is tired of running from her demons. She needs answers. To find them she will need Kerri, the one-time kid genius and budding biologist, now drinking her ghosts away in New York with Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the club. They will also have to get Nate, the horror nerd currently residing in an asylum in Arkham, Massachusetts. Luckily Nate has not lost contact with Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star who was once their team leader… which is remarkable, considering Peter has been dead for years.

The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It’s their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world.

A nostalgic and subversive trip rife with sly nods to H. P. Lovecraft and pop culture, Edgar Cantero’s
Meddling Kids is a strikingly original and dazzling reminder of the fun and adventure we can discover at the heart of our favorite stories, no matter how old we get.

Ever wonder what happened to the Scooby Doo gang when they grew up? It wasn't exactly a question I ever thought I needed an answer to until Edgar Cantero decided he needed to give his unique twist on what that adulthood could have looked like. In his beautifully bizarre (bizarrely beautiful?) novel, Cantero introduces us to the Blyton Summer Detective Club, a group of 4 teenagers and their dog who spend their summer vacations solving mysteries in idyllic Blyton Hills. We're familiar with the team: there's Peter, the jock; Nate, the nerdy outsider; Andy, the tomboy; Kerri, the smart one; and Sean, the faithful Weimaraner. After their final case in the summer of 77, involving a masked fortune hunter trying to find the buried treasure of Deboën Mansion, the kids suddenly hang up their spy gear and retire from mystery solving.

Jump ahead thirteen years, and those same crime solving sleuths of young are now disillusioned 20-somethings trying to make their way thru life, not really understanding where their lives went wrong. Peter is dead (even tho Nate still talks to him), Nate is institutionalized (he talks to a dead guy, after all), Andy is a wanderer with a somewhat criminal past, and Kerri is a bartender in a seedy bar, who is also taking care of Tim, Sean's descendant. There was something about that last case, the one they all can't stop thinking about, that wasn't quite right, that is at the root of their problems. When Andy finally decides that enough is enough and they need to go back to Blyton Hills to face these demons and reopen that last case, the group gets together one last time to try to bring sense and closure to that final, haunting case.

Of course, it's not as easy as just a guy in a mask, and as they face down eco-villainous corporations, primordial monsters, ecological disasters, and something that defies description, they begin to come to terms with what has been haunting them over the years. This sounds wildly simplistic as I type it out, and I'm leaving it that way. It's not simplistic in the slightest, but the joy in this book is in the details and following along with the BSDC as they uncover one clue after the next, taking them on a whirlwind ride that makes you unable to put the book down until the very last page.

Much like his previous novel The Supernatural Enhancements (which I am a huge fan of as well), Cantero takes his time with the story, creating a slow build that eventually spirals into this wild adventure, making unexpected twists and turns in the narrative so you never really are sure that you know what's going on. His characters are exactly who they appear to be, rifs of the Scooby gang, but he doesn't make clichés of them. These characters are all their own and as individual as can be. Eagle-eyed readers will also notice fun callbacks to the Scooby cartoons.

So, if you're looking for something with a little mystery, a little horror, with some supernatural hijinx thrown in for fun, you can't go wrong with Meddling Kids. And if you like this, be sure to check out Cantero's The Supernatural Enhancements as well.

I received a printed ARC of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sky break!

It's exhausting work being this cute.