Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Taking a Day Off

I'm a little preoccupied by some real life stuff at the moment, so no new review from me today. I just can't seem to concentrate on anything well enough to write one. I'll be back tomorrow with something new instead!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wishlist: Rampant

Via Scalzi's Big Idea column, I'm adding Rampant by Diana Peterfreund to my wishlist.
Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns . . .

Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. Fortunately, they've been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.

Or not.

Astrid had always scoffed at her eccentric mother's stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend—thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to the prom—Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries.

However, at the cloisters all is not what it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from the crumbling, bone-covered walls that vibrate with a terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to—perhaps most dangerously of all—her growing attraction to a handsome art student . . . an attraction that could jeopardize everything.

Presenting Lenore reviewed this in March and had an author interview when it came out in August. I'll be honest, even though she raved about it, the cover made me not at all interested (I know! I'm so judgmental.). But the new cover is awesome and really caught my eye.

If you are interested, check out the author's page, which has an excerpt.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Review: The Magician's Elephant


The Magician's Elephant is a fable about a boy, named Peter, who is looking for his sister. It is also about an elephant, and the magician who magically brought her to their city. Like all good fables, it is also about something more - in this case, its about truth, family and, according to author Kate DiCamillo, "believing in the impossible, and the impossible becoming possible."

What first attracted me to this book were the amazing illustrations by Yoko Tanaka. They really give the story a dreamy mood. My copy of the book (an ARC) didn't have all the illustrations, and they alone are worth buying a finished copy. It was almost a bonus that The Magician's Elephant is so well written. I know this is a long quote, but I just found it to be lovely.
The elephant was saying her name to herself.

It was not a name that would make any sense to humans. It was an elephant name - a name that her brothers and sisters knew her by, a name that they spoke to her in laughter and in play. It was the name that her mother had given to her and that she had spoken to her often and with love.

Deep within herself, the elephant said this name, her name, over and over again.

She was working to remind herself of who she was. She was working to remember that, somewhere, in another place entirely, she was known and loved.
(from the ARC - the language in the final copy may be different)

The one critique I have of this book is that it moves a little slow. I think this is in keeping with it being a fable, as the story's magical quality lends itself to a measured pace. But it makes me question how some children would react to the story, and whether they'd be captivated. I think this would work for many children as a bedtime story, and that adults would be charmed by it as well.

Buy The Magician's Elephant on Amazon.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wonderful Things at Tor.com

I visited Tor.com this weekend, which I'd never done before. I went to read a free short story written by John Scalzi, set in the Old Man's War universe, After the Coup. I poked around a bit, too, and came upon a most amazing little video that I just had to share with you: A Record Of Life from Owen Gatley and Luke Jinks on Vimeo.



This video makes me wish I could draw better. And compose music. Just wonderful!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Update

Here are my new books this week. First, two books I got for review:


The Alchemaster's Apprentice
When Echo the Crat’s mistress dies, he is compelled to sign a contract with Ghoolion the Alchemaster. This fateful document gives Ghoolion the right to kill Echo at the next full moon and render his fat, which he hopes to brew into an immortality potion. But Ghoolion has not reckoned with Echo’s talent for survival and his vast ability to make new friends.
I love that cover! The Crat is just absolutely glaring.


Year of the Horse: A Novel
Year of the Horse tells the story of Yen Tzu-lu, a child of Chinese immigrants unwillingly pressed into service by a gang of roughnecks bent on stealing a gold mine from a shadowy villain deep in the western wilderness. With Tzu-lu as our guide, we experience a landscape of legend, stand toe-to-toe with those larger-than- life heroes and villains of our shared American mythos, and learn the inescapable facts that have both enriched and plagued our nation from its inception.
Its not often that you see depictions of people of color (except, obviously, Native Americans and we know how realistic most of those are) in the wild west, so I'm excited to read this coming of age story.

One I bought for myself:


Nefertiti: A Novel
Nefertiti and her younger sister, Mutnodjmet, have been raised in a powerful family that has provided wives to the rulers of Egypt for centuries. Ambitious, charismatic, and beautiful, Nefertiti is destined to marry Amunhotep, an unstable young pharaoh. It is hoped that her strong personality will temper the young ruler’s heretical desire to forsake Egypt’s ancient gods.

From the moment of her arrival in Thebes, Nefertiti is beloved by the people but fails to see that powerful priests are plotting against her husband’s rule. The only person brave enough to warn the queen is her younger sister, yet remaining loyal to Nefertiti will force Mutnodjmet into a dangerous political game; one that could cost her everything she holds dear.
I've heard so much about this book from all my fellow bloggers. I just couldn't resist!

And one I bought for my husband as a second anniversary* present:

Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded by John Scalzi
On September 13, 1998, John Scalzi sat down in front of his computer to write the first entry in his blog "Whatever" -- and changed the history of the Internet as we know it today.

What, you're not swallowing that one? Okay, fine: He started writing the "Whatever" and amused about 15 people that first day. If that many. But he kept at it, for ten years and running. Now 40,000 people drop by on a daily basis to see what he's got to say.

About what? Well, about whatever: Politics, writing, family, war, popular culture and cats (especially with bacon on them). Sometimes he's funny. Sometimes he's serious (mostly he's sarcastic). Sometimes people agree with him. Sometimes they send him hate mail, which he grades on originality and sends back. Along the way, Scalzi's become a best-selling, award-winning author, a father, and a geek celebrity. But no matter what, there's always another Whatever to amuse and/or enrage his readers.

Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded collects some of the best and most popular Whatever entries over the history of the blog, from some of the very first entries right up into 2008. It's a decade of Whatever, presented in delightfully random form -- just the way it should be.
Even though its a present for him, you know I'll be reading it, too! This was also the first time I've ever bought a signed book. Its worth it, though.

* Happy Anniversary, love!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Scouting NY

Scouting NY is one of my favorite blogs. Its by a film location scout, but its not about making movies, its about the amazing things he sees on his visits in and around NYC - abandoned buildings, alleys, gargoyles, faded signs. Its just a visual treat.

I loved this recent two-part post he did on the movie Ghostbusters, though, where he compared locations in the movie with how they look today. Clearly, a lot of work went into this! Check it out:

New York, You’ve Changed: Ghostbusters – Part 1

New York, You’ve Changed: Ghostbusters – Part 2

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Review: Walking the Bible

I read this book several years ago, when it first came out in paperback, and was just absolutely charmed by it. In it, Journalist Bruce Feiler, accompanied by Israeli archaeologist Avner Goren, visits the sites in the first five books of the Bible (the Torah). He meets Jews and Muslims, city dwellers and Bedouin, atheists and fundamentalists, children and famous politicians. He writes about food, culture, history, and, of course, God. Over the course of his trip, Feiler, who was raised Jewish but had lost touch with his faith, reconnects with God and discovers what it means to him to be a Jew. 

In addition to being a book about faith, this is also a fascinating book about history and travel. I think anyone with an interest in the Middle East or travel or religion will enjoy this book as much as I did.

Buy Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses on Amazon.

This was also a PBS documentary. I watched one episode but didn't like it as much as the book, and never watched the rest.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wishlist: xkcd Volume 0


The webcomic xkcd has released their first collection, xkcd: volume 0. Even though I've probably read most of the comics in it, I'd still like to have it - its just such a funny, sweet, weird, nerdy comic!

My wishlist kept growing, though, when I visited the xkcd store and saw all the t-shirts and posters they had for sale. I know I am outing myself* as the biggest nerd ever, but I just love this tee:



* Or not, as my friends and family are either a) already aware of this fact, or b) even nerdier than I am, and therefore unable to judge.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Review: Looking for Alaska


The plot of Looking for Alaska is fairly simple: a teenager, Miles, sick of his life at home, goes to a boarding school. He makes friends with a quirky group, whose heart is "the gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young." Then something really terrible happens, and the teens have to put their lives back together and learn how to live with the tragedy. To me, it was part The Catcher in the Rye, part A Separate Peace, maybe part Prep. The voice and structure, though, were uniquely John Green.

I really enjoyed Looking for Alaska. The first part - pre-tragedy - was quite funny and engaging, and I was very moved by the latter part. I recommend this book for any reader but I think teens would find a lot to relate to in this book - including the heavy drinking, extensive talk about sex, and juvenile pranks.

Buy Looking for Alaska on Amazon.
You might also be interested in the Penguin Reading Guide for Looking for Alaska.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

On This Day

It's Talk Like a Pirate Day today, so I should be writing this in pirate-speak, I guess. Here: Arrgh! Avast, me hearties!

In other, more literary news, author Italo Calvino died on this day in 1985. As I wrote last year, here are my three favorites works by Calvino:

Invisible Cities

Marcovaldo: or the Seasons in the City

Cosmicomics

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Update

What a whirlwind of a week! It was a little difficult to keep up with all the posts for BBAW, but there was a lot of great reading and I really enjoyed it.

Two new books came into my home this week.


The first was The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf. I bought this for my mom for her birthday in August. She enjoyed reading it, so she sent it back to me to read. I'll give it back to her when I'm done.

I also received Words @ Work by Lynda McDaniel, for an upcoming Blog Tour.

Happy weekend, everyone!

BBAW: Setting Goals

In 50 words or less, what do you like best about your blog right now and where would you like your blog to be a year from now?

The thing I like best is it exists! I've heard that most bloggers give up after 6 months. arch thinking is over a year old and, while I have days with nothing to say, I generally am still excited to keep going. In a year, I'd like to be blogging more and have more readers.

That's 54 words. Close enough!

Thanks for a wonderful Book Blogger Awareness Week, everyone! I've had a blast.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Review: Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife


A friend who read and loved both Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers and Mary Roach's other book Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex lent me this one. I've never read either so I can't do a comparison, though I was intrigued.
What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that's that—the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my lap-top? In an attempt to find out Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die. ...
Roach kept me engaged from the first page, with enough science to learn something new and enough anecdotes and stories to keep me amused. Roach, though, has a real dry sarcasm that grated on me a bit at times. Maybe its because of my religious beliefs, but there were times I felt like Roach was a little disrespectful of others' faith. I also felt like she was trying so hard to be skeptical, it was a little forced.

Still, Spook was a very interesting read. I found the early anatomy history, with various scientists trying to figure out where the soul is housed in the body, to be particularly fascinating.

Buy Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach on Amazon.

BBAW: How Lenore Made Me A Jasper Fforde fan

Today's BBAW "assignment" was to blog about a book you read only because you discovered it on another book blog. As you can see from the title of this post, it wasn't just one book I discovered from reading Presenting Lenore, but a whole new author.

Almost a year ago (yikes! time flies), Lenore had Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde as her "Waiting on Wednesday" pick. I thought it sounded fascinating and was really disappointed that it wasn't out yet. So I went off to Amazon to see what else this Fforde guy had written. Turns out: a lot. Since then, I've read several of the Thursday Next books and one of the Nursery Crimes books, and have enjoyed them all. The funny thing is, I haven't even read Shades of Grey yet!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

BBAW: Reading Meme

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?
I read while I'm eating dinner all the time, but I don't normally snack while I read.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
It horrifies me a little, though college probably cured me of that, mostly. No, I just rarely have a need to note anything in the book I'm reading.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?
Usually, I use the receipt for the book as a bookmark. I love to pull a book off the shelf and find the old receipt, or some other marker that tells me where the book came from. It always brings back a good memory!

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?
Both - mostly fiction, but I also like quirky memoirs, food books, and popular history.

Hard copy or audiobooks?
Hard copy. When my husband and I were first dating, we lived 5 hours away from each other by car for a year. I made that drive dozens of times and I couldn't have done it without audiobooks. I don't think I've listened to a single one since, though.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?
Unless my eyes are closing from exhaustion, I always read to the end of the chapter - or the section break, at least.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?
No.

What are you currently reading?
Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach, author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.

What is the last book you bought?
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. It is my next book club book.

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?
I prefer to read multiple books at the same time. I especially like to mix it up - a nonfiction history and a YA fantasy, or an Agatha Christie mystery and a memoir.

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?
Between the hours of 7 am and 11 pm, 7 days a week. Favorite place is my (new king size!) bed, with my husband nearby, also reading. Heaven.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?
I do tend to read a lot of series, and I think that's because if I like a character, I like getting to know them over time. Stand alone books are good, but series are a real draw for me. But I don't like it when series go on too long (15 books is too much, for example), as I just think the quality goes down.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. It's just fascinating and funny. I'm also surprised when I meet someone who watches his show but has never read his books.

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)
By however they will fit on our poor, cramped bookshelves!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Someone else Rips on SCI_arc

at Drowning in Culture.

To refresh your memory, SCI-Arc is the Southern California Institute of Architecture, and my alma mater. I was much nicer when I wrote about sci-arc and blobs.

BBAW: Interview

As part of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, I had the honor of getting to interview LaTonya aka Susan of Color Online! Color Online focuses on women writers of color, and is a community organization in Detroit dedicated to empowering young women.

Color Online has the interesting distinction among most of the book blogs I read of having both a physical presence and an online one. So, which came first? How do the two versions of Color Online interact? How did you personally get started blogging?

I founded Color Online as a lit studies group for at-risk youth in September 2005. I approached a local non-profit about working with reluctant and non-readers. One of my goals was to draw a connection between technology and literary studies, to teach the girls how they could use technology to express their own creativity and self-expression through blogs, web pages or other online social networks. (You can find detailed explanation of our history here.)

I’ve been online for more than a decade. Do you remember listserves and message board communities? I was an admin for a few online communities, active in many and even did some online publishing. Blogging was a natural progression. My ultimate goal was to create a formal online space and that’s why we were Color Online before we were actually online. In 2007, I created our blog. I didn’t do much with it until late 2008. The blog didn’t take off until this year. With the population I serve, I don’t have the same group of girls long and I had to make a decision about what I could do serving youth via Color Online. I chose to pursue what I thought could have a significant impact- shoring up our online presence, promoting multicultural literature and advocating for greater diversity in kidlit and YA publishing, and shifting my onsite focus from participants in prevention programs to young women living in the shelter.

Initially, I used the blog and our discussion forum as teaching and social spaces but with limited online access and constant turnover in population, I came to realize my target group was not in a position to grow with Color Online as I had hoped and I accepted that. I refocused on other ways to support those young women - maintaining the library and hosting onsite social activities while building an online community with the same core aims: to promote and celebrate multiculturalism and diversity in literature. Both our onsite group and our blog are communities committed to empowering young women, and reading opens doors to new worlds and knowledge, and knowledge is power. Our online group supports our onsite efforts, including building our library collection, and our online community is a space where members can share information and engage in meaningful dialogue.

What was your favorite book as a kid? Have you re-read it since and, if so, how does it hold up?

I was a sporadic reader as a child. I can’t really name a favorite. I do remember the book that made feel the library was a special place and the book made an incredible impression on me and that was Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. No, I haven’t re-read it but I am certain about the magic it held for me. It led to one of my reading streaks.

Do you re-read books?

I don’t re-read many books. I’m too busy playing catch-up. When I joined book social network sites, I discovered what a true late bloomer I was. This wasn’t entirely news to me but, prior to joining book communities, I was unaware how many adult readers were readers since childhood. I was a sporadic reader as a child. Read what I had to for school. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I became an obsessive reader.

What do you think about adults reading YA?

I become annoyed with adult readers who dismiss YA literature including educators who sometimes put an incredible emphasis on the classics and adult literature. While I think these should be required reading, I believe these works alone often aren’t the best way to cultivate a love of reading at least not among non-readers.

I think adults, particularly parents and educators, need to be mindful of how they approach the genre when reviewing it and discussing it with YA readers. Just as with literary works, how you process a work is going to depend partially on the perspective you bring to the read, and your perspective is based partially on the time in your life when you read it. You’re going to see different things, appreciate different elements in a work based on your life experiences. I think adults should be mindful of their adult lens.

I love YA, but I by no means try to process it the way I think teens do. My lens is shaped by my experiences as an adult looking back. The YA literature I enjoy most has to meet the same preferences and expectations I have for adult literature: quality writing, character development, and deft use of devices.

Without going off the deep end, I think there’s an incredible amount of diversity and quality in this genre that many adults would enjoy if they bothered to explore it.

What's your favorite genre to read?

What I enjoy most overlaps. For both YA and adult lit, I prefer realistic fiction. I read a lot of multicultural lit, written by women of color about people of color. While I read a lot of realistic fiction I have to mention sub-genres: historical fiction, speculative, dystopia, science fiction, fantasy and memoirs.

Where do you hope Color Online will be in a year?

In one year, we will be regularly publishing our e-zine at our website.. At the moment, we're thinking a quarterly schedule. I previously had a successful stint doing this so we're not reinventing the wheel with this venture. Publishing provides another opportunity to showcase the talent of teens and women of color.One year from now we will be hosting our second annual poetry and essay contests for teens.

One year from now, I hope we are closer rather than farther from achieving 501.3c status. Ultimately, I want to run Color Online full-time as a non-profit literacy and diversity organization. One year from now, I see Color Online as a recognized, grassroots, multicultural, and diversity in publishing advocacy group.

Any upcoming plans you want to share?

Very soon we will announce our first Colorwheel recipient. The Colorwheel Award recognizes individuals, communities, organizations or companies that demonstrate a clear commitment to diversity in their operations, staff, products or services. A Colorwheel recipient is an exemplary role model among their peers.

Stay tune for our Women of Color Writer Series. This series of profiles will introduce readers to emerging and recently published writers.

Thanks to Susan for allowing me to interview you!

Update: Find Susan's interview with me here: Building Bridges: Chatting With Lorin from Arch Thinking.

Monday, September 14, 2009

BBAW Welcome!

Today kicks off Book Blogger Appreciation Week! Book Blogger Appreciation (started and run by Amy Riley of My Friend Amy) is an event to recognize the contribution book bloggers make to the promotion and preservation of "a literate culture actively engaged in discussing books, authors, and a lifestyle of reading." All week, there will be blogger interviews, memes, and, of course, awards. Congratulations to everyone who was nominated for an award! There's no way I could read all the book blogs out there, and the shortlist just proves how many great ones there are.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Update (#22, I think)

Wow. I have a busy, busy weekend coming up. Church Youth Group overnight, moving my office, and a camping trip with my husband and friends. I'm not even sure I'll have time to read much. Which is too bad, because I have some interesting looking books sitting on my bedside table, including this gorgeous book I received for review:


The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Yoko Tanaka

Next week is Book Blogger Appreciation Week so expect lots of new stuff here and all around the blogosphere. In the meantime, have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bookshelves


You all saw Neil Gaiman's Bookshelves on Shelfari, right? Anyone else jealous? His library makes mine look like a joke!

Speaking of lusting after other people's bookshelves, did you see Caite of A Lovely Shore Breeze's Scene of the Blog back in August? Not only does she have a super-comfy looking reading chair, she has one of the nicest bookshelves I've seen.

Here are some other (funkier) bookshelves to look at: 15 (More!) Creative Bookcases & Book Storage Solutions at WebUrbanist. I've actually posted several of those here before, but its still cool to see what people do with bookshelves.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Review: Catching Fire

What can I say about Catching Fire that so many other bloggers and reviewers haven't already said? In case you aren't aware, Catching Fire is the sequel to The Hunger Games, which I reviewed in April and was one of favorite YA books this year.

For those of you who haven't read The Hunger Games, I'll just say that you should, and then read Catching Fire. Now stop reading this any further, before you get spoiled.




All gone? Okay, on to my thoughts -

As many others have said, Catching Fire does not disappoint. The pace is great, and I didn't want to put this book down, I was so engrossed in the story. I still had some of the same problems with it that I had with Hunger Games - primarily with Katniss's cluelessness and with some of the convenient plot twists - but, in general, I just loved it. I liked getting to know Gale, Cinna, and the other secondary characters from the first book a little better this time.

This is a book for older teens, not kids, as the subject matter is pretty deep (and the body count is high). Otherwise, I highly recommend both Hunger Games and Catching Fire for everybody.

Buy Catching Fire on Amazon.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Review: No Dogs in Heaven?


Along the same lines as All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot (which I've never actually read, to be honest), No Dogs in Heaven? is a sweet memoir by an Ohio veterinarian about his practice.
Included is the telling of Sharp’s first day as a rookie veterinarian nervously preparing to inject a needle into a one-ton Holstein bull; finding a rash on a cute puppy whose lovely young owner bared her breasts to ask his opinion of a similar skin ailment; treating a vicious dog whose violent owner had stabbed it with a knife, only to treat the same dog two years later—now a sweet and gentle pet of an adoptive family; and caring for a kitten struck by a car who survived amputations of both right legs, somehow learned to walk, earned the name "Lefty," and was taken in by a family who loved him.
This is a quick, good-natured read, not too taxing, but enjoyable. Pet lovers will particularly enjoy it, and I could definitely see buying it for a friend or relative considering becoming a vet.

Buy No Dogs in Heaven? Scenes from the Life of a Country Veterinarian on Amazon.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday

This week, I did the unthinkable: I paid full price for a brand new, hardcover book. So, what prompted this extravagant spending? Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)!



And, yes, I've already finished it. (Review to follow.)

I also bought Looking for Alaska by John Green, Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett, and my next book club book, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.

To put you in the mood for a lazy Labor Day weekend (here in the US, at least), I thought I'd share this lovely "life imitating art" image of one of my favorite paintings:


The painting is Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (Un dimanche après-midi à l’Ile de la Grande Jatte) by Georges Seurat (1884-1886). Find more "life imitating art" photos at Buzz feed.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Maybe Wishlist Book: The Sartorialist


Do you read the The Sartorialist blog? I do, and I really enjoy it. Scott Schuman - aka, The Sartorialist - has just published his first book of man-on-the-street fashion photographs - also called The Sartorialist - and I am very tempted to get it. I read a critical review on Amazon, though, that said that all of the book's content is from the blog. That makes me much less likely to buy the book, to be honest. Then again, looking at a photo on screen is a lot different than looking at a book.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Review: Good Omens

I've been on a kick recently, trying to read the books we own rather than buying new ones, and since my husband owns so many sci-fi/fantasy books that I missed, I tend to be reading a lot of those these days. Along those lines, I pulled Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett off the shelf the other day.
The world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday. Just before dinner, according to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies written in 1655. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.
Good Omens is a bit hard to classify - is it fantasy? YA? - but I will say this for sure: it's funny. Nine times out of ten, I don't find so-called funny books to actually be funny, so I was really pleased that this one is. It's ridiculous, mostly absurd, and very funny. I whipped through it in two days (despite it's relative heft - my edition is 354 rather large pages) eager to know if the world really would end and amused by the dry, British humor throughout.

Buy Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (a subtitle that is not on my 1990 edition, by the way) on Amazon.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Book Links

Presented without comment, here are some interesting links about book covers/art for your amusement:

Lookalike book covers: Give 'em the boot!

More books as art (or ads)

Via Pimp My Novel, Cover Trend: Book as Art Object at Galley Cat.