Monday, August 31, 2015

Big Hero 6

Title: Big Hero 6

Author/Illustrator: Haruki Ueno (Translation: Alethea and Athena Nibley [Twitter] ; Lettering: Lys Blakeslee [Website])

Publisher: Disney Enterprises

Series: Big Hero 6, Volume 1

ISBN: 9780316263894

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

Uhm, Big Hero 6 was a fabulous movie and I could not resist the manga.


This is a proper manga, not just a graphic novel, and the format is NOT meant for reading aloud.  This means I couldn't comfortably read this to the kiddos (now 4, 6, and 7) the way I could Amulet.  It was disappointing since the kids loved the movie Big Hero 6.

Also, the story isn't the same in all ways, and the characters don't gel with who they are in the movie, but I still managed to enjoy reading this.  I look forward to reading volume 2 and seeing more of Hiro, Baymax, Honey Lemon, Wasabi, Go Go, and Fred.

The Second Guard

Title: The Second Guard

Author: J. D. Vaughn aka
Julia Durango [Website][Twitter][Facebook] and Tracie Vaughn Zimmer [Website][Facebook]
Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Series: Second Guard, Bk 1

ISBN: 9781423169093

Length: 421 pages

Obtained: ARC - I'm not positive where from.  Maybe the staff lounge?  Maybe C2E2?

Why this book?:

It sounded interesting, and I'm clearing out for my home library.


Tali is to join the Second Guard, formed to prevent war and leave a last remaining land of peace in a world where everywhere else has turned to war.  But not all is as it seems, and Tali, along with friends Zarif, Chey, and others cannot seem to just let it go.  I really liked Tale, her friends, and their bond.  I don't have much else to say, other than
I can't wait for book 2.


Title: Dualed

Author: Elsie Chapman [Website][Facebook][Twitter]

Publisher: Random House

Series: Dualed, Bk 1

ISBN: 9780307931542

Length: 291 Pages

Obtained: ARC from the staff lounge.

Why this book?:

Apparently the director and director's secretary have been going through ARCs they picked up and thought they would read but haven't gotten around to.  After offering them up to all the branch managers, they brought those left to the lounge.  So this had a 2013 release date (according to the spine), but I just picked it up a couple days ago.  And then I thought to myself, "Self, aren't you clearing through these?  Do you really need more?" And myself thought back, "But it looks good, and you need a print book to read right now so you don't drain your cell battery."  And I ended up not only snagging it, but also reading it.


While this type of book (dystopian) is not my book of choice (usually), and while it had themes I did not like that reminded me greatly of Hunger Games (kids/teens killing each other for survival), this was actually a pretty interesting book.  It had a lot of the 'who am I?' and 'what makes me me?' and general detachment from society themes that YA books do so well.

There was an assassin spin that I would have appreciated more if only it hadn't been assassination of kids by a kid.  Which kinda sent me in a tailspin, cause it didn't fit my 'moral code of fictional assassin protagonists' mental grouping/ideas.  I'm not sure that makes sense in the writing the way it does in my head.

But there is a book 2, Divided.  And it's already published which means I already put it on hold...

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Library Wars: Love & War

Title: Library Wars: Love & War

Author: Kiiro Yumi (Original Concept by Hiro Arikawa [IMDb])

Publisher: Shojo Beat Manga

Series: Volumes 1, 2, and 3

ISBN: 9781421534886, 9781421534893, 9781421534909

Obtained: Library copies

Why these books?: 

Uh, library manga.  I had to try it.


Iku Kasahara is joining the Library Defense Force, a group designed to save books from censorship under a special law so they can remain accessible by all.  The federal government is on a continual mission to destroy all books not considered "appropriate" and the Library Act (and Library Defense Force upholding it) is the only legal recourse.  It a fascinating scenario - definite parallels with Fahrenheit 451.  It has the usual angsty is he like my hero that I can't remember the face of (crush-material) or is he the opposite?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Trailer Park Fae

Title: Trailer Park Fae [Amazon]

Author: Lilith Saintcrow [Website][Facebook][Twitter] aka Lili St. Crow

Publisher: Orbit

Series: Gallow & Ragged, Bk 1

ISBN: 9780316277853

Length: 309 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

It looked interesting and I've enjoyed Lilith Saintcrow's books in the past.

Quick notes jotted on my phone:

Haven't read this author in awhile.
Fairies - eh. Mixed feelings.
Really liked Gallow and Ragged though.
Fairies! eh!
Looking forward to more.

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Jazz Age Murder in Northwest Indiana: The Tragic Betrayal of Nettie Diamond

Title: A Jazz Age Murder in Northwest Indiana: The Tragic Betrayal of Nettie Diamond

Author: Jane Simon Ammeson [EdibleFeast.Com Contributor Bio][Blogger profile]

Publisher: The History Press

ISBN: 9781626194786

Length: 153  pages + Bibliography + Index

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

I was curious.


The writing could be clunky.  The genealogy parts where the author was explaining her research and potential but not determined answers tended to drag.  Some bits were repetitive, such as ... "Interestingly" they were buried in different sections (paraphrased).  

But I still enjoyed it overall.  The story could fit in well with an episode on an ID (Investigative Discovery) show.  The drama that came from the time increased the entertainment aspect.  The trial dialogue - both of witnessed and lawyers - was especially interesting, because it all came across so melodramatically.  Quite honestly, I had trouble reacting to it as the murder it was.  And Nettie's living and remaining coherent enough to name her killer and change her will showed a strength that was impressive.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Title: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Author: Mary Roach [Website][Twitter] ; Read by: Shelly Frasier [Tantor][IMDb]

Publisher: W.W. Norton and Company / Tantor Audio

ISBN:  9780393050936 / 9781400100972

Length: 303 pages / 7 discs ; 8 hours

Obtained: Library copies (print from book kit, audio individually checked out)

Why this book?:

Started for my book discussion.


As I read this book for my discussion I found it to be amusing and interesting in turn.  But like so many nonfiction books I didn't finish it quickly.  I did want to finish it though, so I decided audio may work better and checked that out.  Surprisingly, the audio took longer for me to get into - I don't know whether not all the sidebars were coming through or if it was the chapter being read in question, or if just took me a bit to be in the right mind frame and adjust.  Whatever the case, it did pick back up

Little Pretty Things

Title: Little Pretty Things

Author: Lori Rader-Day [Website][Facebook][Twitter]

Publisher: Seventh Street Books

ISBN: 9781633880047

Length: 300 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book/Comments: 

I received a poster of Summer Reads that I wanted to post at work.  I was going through the list and this was one of three still on order.  It sounded like an interesting mystery, and I wanted to know when it was cataloged to add the call number, so I put it on hold.

When it came in I went back and forth about whether I should read it, but finally decided to try.  I was hardly in when I started feeling dread.  I thought I knew some of the mystery, and I don't like that sort of thing.  But I had already started, so I pushed on.  As I continued reading I started thinking about how the author's name sounded familiar.  And I realized why.

I heard Lori Rader-Day speak on a panel at the 2015 Printer's Row Lit Fest (I looked it up for this post, and the panel was called "The Characters You Love To Hate").  At the time I had decided her books were probably too dark for me, and I wasn't going to read this.

Now I found myself in a position where the books are still darker than I like (touching on subject matter I find literally nauseating), but I'm reading one anyway.

So oh, I knew what was coming long before Juliet did (though she wasn't head-slap stupid about it so much as a combination of naiveté at the time and not seeing the big picture because she was in the small part of it).  And I knew who (or partially).  The story had me churning a bit.  But it was good and well written.  And I will probably read more, but I need something light to follow.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Will in Scarlet

Title: Will in Scarlet

Author: Matthew Cody [Website][Twitter]

Publisher: Knopf

ISBN: 9780375868955

Length: 253 pages

Obtained: ARC (from staff lounge at work I think)

Why this book?:

I've been clearing out some if my teen and pre-teen ARCs.

Note: The color of the cover image is distorted.  It was more of a light blue background, but my phone camera isn't much good.


I actually thought this was going to be about William Shakespeare, not Robin Hood (obviously I didn't look closely at the cover... "The boy behind the Robin Hood legend" was a bit too obvious for me.).  

Once I was reading it, I kept mentally comparing the cast of characters the the BBC America Robin Hood. So there were differences and similarities with the Much and Will and Rob characters that were interesting to note and wonder about.

I enjoyed the story and this new take on a classic legend.

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Little Paris Bookshop

Title: The Little Paris Bookshop

Author: Nina George

Publisher: Crown Publishers

ISBN: 9780553418774

Length: 370 pages + "Recipes" + "Jean Perdu's Emergency Literary Pharmacy: From Adams to Von Arnim"

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

The book aspect appealed to me.


In some ways this book really bothered me.  Morally, for instance.  (We are going to ignore the fact that I apparently have no problem reading books with assassins and thieves for protagonists.)  Or the fact that Jean Perdu has become so withdrawn and depressed and gloomy like.  (How is it that he can bring comfort and company to others?  Maybe because he doesn't go on about the gloom and doom thoughts, but keeps them to himself.)

In other ways (primarily the book related ways), I found it enchanting.  A book store on the water, a cat in residence, prices adjusted to the need of the person... sounds lovely.  I am not as sure about the title choices, but oh well.  The ability to just pick up and go.  To have an adventure and just let whatever is going to happen, happen.

Perhaps my mixed feelings come from this being one of those general fiction/literature type deals.  But I suppose it is good to venture out on occasion.  And it brought me to consider books in a different light.