Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Lack of 'Required Reading'

So, over the weekend, I finished reading Eden Lake by Patrick Carman. It was pretty good. Suspenseful. While some elements of the story didn't work for me at all, I was generally interested in the twisty ending. It turned a mostly realistic-type book into an undeniably supernatural one. It's due out in November and will include some sort of companion phone app. I'm sure if I had a smart phone, I'd probably spend hours playing with it. Nowhere did it mention 'free' - so my red flag of 'this probably costs money' was blinking every time I read that.

Since this is a week before September, which I still can't fully believe (I mean, where did the summer go!?), I still haven't gotten a new book/reading assignment from Kirkus. This puts me in the odd position of not having anything I have to read for review purposes. While this might seem like a blessing since I can finally read what I want, it turns out that... meh. I don't really have time to start a new book (since I'll probably get a new one next week anyway) and it's actually pretty nice to have a break. I don't feel like I have to be reading, which is something I both like and dread in pretty equal measure.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Stop Pressing the 'Reboot' Button

This is kind of an open letter to both Marvel and DC Comics. It can be summed up in just one line.


That's really the end. But it's my blog and my soapbox, so I guess I'll rant a little bit about it here. DC is set to reboot their continuity again ENTIRELY - while some of the changes are understandable, one look at the Teen Titans (which hasn't had a steadfast lineup since they first -you guessed it- REBOOTED a couple of years ago) will show you that some of the changes are dramatic. Is that supposed to be Robin there? Because he JUST GOT A NEW COSTUME LAST YEAR! Okay, I'm going to stop typing in all caps now. Gail Simone is no longer writing Birds of Prey, which was the only DC title I was buying on a regular basis for the past year. I'll guess I'll stop that now. Granted, the new art, seeming new 'tough' direction (Superboy no longer has sleeves, so I stand by my statement), and well, lots of red do grab my eye... but I was reading Titans for awhile two years ago and it just ended up disappointing me. Should I really set myself up for failure again?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Karen Green [with Envy]

Y'all know I like to toot my own own horn. But I can also accept when a blog is just better than mine. And Karen Green's blog, Comic Adventures in Academia, is much, much better than anything I write here. Karen works at Columbia University, and I've had the chance to meet her and speak on stage with her twice (at the New York Comic Con and Book Expo America, respectively).

Karen's latest blog, Four Nights in the Museum, highlights not only a great graphic work that deserves attention, but showcases Karen's amazing talents as a writer. I love reading anything she comes out with because hey, let's face it... she's like waaaay smarter than I am.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Adult Books Can be Fun, too

I don't often talk a lot about the books I read for Kirkus Reviews. I do like to say I review for them since I've picked up the gig. It might have to do with how they pay me, and I tend to like people who do that. But I don't review youth fiction titles for them, which in the past has been more of my niche. I've moved on to the world of adult nonfiction, and the section I write for - 'Lifestyles' - tends to deal with more 'popular topics' like parenting, philosophy, social media, and college acceptance.

Not all of the books I've read have been bad. Granted, some have been stinkers... but nonfiction can be kind of stuffy regardless of how well written it is or it isn't most of them time. A rare exception is the book I'm reading now titled Raised by the Church. The novel recounts Edward Rohs' experience growing up in the 1950s and 1960s in NYC in a series of Catholic orphanages. He also spent part of the time in Long Island. I've always wanted to read more about New York City seeing as how I live here now, but don't often find the excuse.

Not only does Edward's story get told, but he also gives a brief historical overview of everything from the number of and reasons why there were so many orphans in the early twentieth century to a comprehensive background of the order of nuns who were primarily responsible for raising him. It might be the Catholic schoolboy in me, but his story is just hard to put down. I actually almost missed my stop on the subway today reading it... and I'm not even halfway done. It comes out in a few months, but I definitely recommend reading it.

There will also be a book release party for the title in NYC during November.