Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Posted by on Mar 28, 2017 in 2017, 4 stars, Book Review | 0 comments

Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Post-apocalyptic
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Ecco
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 262
Source: Library

The Book:
From the publisher:

Something is out there . . .
Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.
Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now, that the boy and girl are four, it is time to go. But the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat—blindfolded—with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them. But is it man, animal, or monster?
Engulfed in darkness, surrounded by sounds both familiar and frightening, Malorie embarks on a harrowing odyssey—a trip that takes her into an unseen world and back into the past, to the companions who once saved her. Under the guidance of the stalwart Tom, a motely group of strangers banded together against the unseen terror, creating order from the chaos. But when supplies ran low, they were forced to venture outside—and confront the ultimate question: in a world gone mad, who can really be trusted?

My Thoughts:
I picked this book because I was looking for a book with an X in the title for the What’s in a Name challenge. After checking out reviews from a few friends I decided it might be good.

It was even better than I had expected. Set in a post-apocalyptic Detroit it’s focus is on Malorie and her two young children. The kids are four, born after the only way to stay alive was to never look outside. Malorie has decided that now is the time to venture out on the river blindfolded in hopes of reaching a place of safety.

The story of Malorie’s terrifying trip down the river is interspersed with flashbacks that gradually fill in what has happened to her, her family, and the group of people she joined to stay alive. The menace that is out there that must not be seen is an unknown. No one knows what it is that makes people go mad and become horrifically violent and suicidal. They only know that in order to stay alive they must not see outside. They hide inside behind barricaded windows and only venture out blindfolded.

This is an increasingly suspenseful story. As the flashbacks gradually fill in the extent of the threat as well as what has happened to Malorie and her housemates the tension builds and builds.

I liked this one a lot. I’m glad I read it and while not all the questions are answered it’s a satisfying story that was delightfully creepy.

4 stars Rating 4/5

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It’s Monday What Are You Reading #77

Posted by on Mar 27, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, What Are You Reading? | 1 comment

Monday What Are You Reading #65

It’s Monday What Are You Reading? is a weekly reading roundup is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

This is technically a weekly meme but I don’t read fast enough to make that worthwhile so I post it every two or three weeks.

Finished in Print

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

This post apocalyptic suspense story was just delightfully creepy.

 

Descender Book Two: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire

Descender Book Two: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire

This is the second in Lemire’s series about an empathetic robot child and the troubles in the universe he gets caught up in. I loved it.

 

The Very First Damned Thing by Jodi Taylor

The Very First Damned Thing by Jodi Taylor

This is a short story prequel to Taylor’s Chronicles of St. Mary’s time travel adventure series. I read the first book several years ago and decided to read this story before continuing with the second book in the series.

 

Started in Print

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

Book two in Taylor’s Chronicles of St. Mary’s series. It’s time travel adventure and just fun.

 

Finished on Audio

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley narrated by Jayne Entwistle

I had heard good things about the audio editions of this series so I decided to give it a try, Flavia de Luce is a great character and Jayne Entwistle does a fabulous job as her voice.

 

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher narrated by the author

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher narrated by the author

This short audio is Carrie Fisher’s book version of stories from her life that she used in her stage show. It was a good visit with her.

 

Started on Audio

This Time Together by Carol Burnett

This Time Together by Carol Burnett

This is another fairly short audiobook. I grew up watching the Carol Burnett show. This is sort of a memoir in a series of anecdotes from her life and career. She is delightful to listen to and a great storyteller.

 

Reviews since my last update:

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Descender Book Two: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

 

What are you reading?

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Bookish Nostalgia – March 2017

Posted by on Mar 26, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Bookish Nostalgia, Weekend Update | 4 comments

Weekend Update

Bookish Nostalgia March 2017

I totally stole this idea from Kay at Kay’s Reading Life. Every month she looks back in her reading records to see what she was reading this month in past years. I decided that would be fun even though my reading spreadsheet doesn’t go back as far as Kay’s records do.

Bookish Nostalgia

I’ve only been tracking my reading since October 2003 but it’s still fun to take a look back occasionally. Anything before mid-2006 hasn’t been on my blog and some of those old reviews are frankly a little embarrassing at this point. I’ll link to my full reviews when I think are worth reading.

Sometimes my reaction is “I can’t believe I read that” and other times it’s “Oh I remember where I was when I read that one”. and occasionally it’s “I really want to read that again.”

Most of these are pre-blog so the links take you to Powell’s for more information. Links for 2007 and later take you to my review.

2004:
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Along with the rest of the world.

2005:
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffinegger
This is another one that everyone seemed to be reading at the same time. I liked it.

2006:
Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles by Margaret George
This was a chunkster. I can’t believe I read 3 other books the same month I read this 866 page doorstop.

2008:
City Boy by Herman Wouk
I first read this book back when I was in high school. If you only associate Herman Wouk with such novels as The Caine Mutiny or Winds of War you probably have never heard of this, his second novel. It’s a charming, humorous, yet bittersweet coming of age story.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
And I loved it all over again.

2009:
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
A friend convinced me to read this one. I thought it was very good.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
This was delightfully charming and one of those that I’l like to read again someday.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher – Audio Edition

Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 in 2017, 3.5 stars, Audio, Book Review | 0 comments

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher narrated by the authorWishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher narrated by the author

Genre: Autobiography, Humor
Format: Audiobook
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: 2009
Length: 3 hours, 6 minutes
Source: Library

The Book:
From the publisher:

Finally, after four hit novels, Carrie Fisher comes clean (well, sort of) with the crazy truth that is her life in her first-ever memoir. In Wishful Drinking, adapted from her one-woman stage show, Fisher reveals what it was really like to grow up a product of “Hollywood in-breeding,” come of age on the set of a little movie called Star Wars, and become a cultural icon and bestselling action figure at the age of nineteen.

Intimate, hilarious, and sobering, Wishful Drinking is Fisher, looking at her life as she best remembers it (what do you expect after electroshock therapy?). It’s an incredible tale: the child of Hollywood royalty — Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher — homewrecked by Elizabeth Taylor, marrying (then divorcing, then dating) Paul Simon, having her likeness merchandized on everything from Princess Leia shampoo to PEZ dispensers, learning the father of her daughter forgot to tell her he was gay, and ultimately waking up one morning and finding a friend dead beside her in bed.

My Thoughts:
This is a short quick audiobook. I requested it shortly after Carrie Fisher died along with eleventy seven other people. I was glad to finally listen to it. It’s good to hear her voice again.

She wrote the book as a way of sharing the stories she told in her stage show in another format. I’ve never seen the show but my library has a DVD that I might get at some point.

Fisher is up front about her struggles with bipolar disorder, drug abuse and relationship troubles. It’s hard to imagine a book about these subjects being funny but it is. It’s not all laugh out loud though because she’s talking about difficult things.

It was a shame she died at a relatively young age. This book was a nice way to spend some time with her and feel like I was sitting down with her listening to her stories of her life.

There was no way anyone but Carrie Fisher could have narrated this. Her humor and self-deprecation come through clearly. She gets a little loud occasionally but I think that’s holdovers from telling these stories in front of a live audience.

Rating
3.5 stars 3.5/5 for the book

4 stars 4/5 for the narration

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Descender Book Two: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire

Posted by on Mar 21, 2017 in 2017, 5 stars, Book Review, Comics, Jeff Lemire | 3 comments

Descender Book Two: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire
Descender Book Two: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire with art by Dustin Nguyen

Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Descender #2
Format: Comics Collected Edition
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 120
Source: Library

The Book:
This volume 1 is a compilation of issues 7-11 of the comic series.
From the publisher:

Young Robot boy TIM-21 and his companions struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet. Written by award-winning creator, Jeff Lemire, Descender is a rip-roaring and heart-felt cosmic odyssey. Lemire pits humanity against machine, and world against world, to create a sprawling epic.

My Thoughts:
Lemire has a way of telling a story through the innocent eyes and trusting nature of a child. In this case the ‘child’ is a childlike android who was designed to help people as a companion robot. He has “proprietary empathy settings” that adapt and make him seem like a member of the family both to his human companions and Tim-21 himself.

Not surprisingly since it’s also from Image Comics, the imaginative story reminds me of Saga with the combination of robots, human and human like characters as well as some distinctly non-human creatures.

The artwork by Dustin Nguyen is wonderful. It’s done in watercolors but it’s vivid and varied in the different settings.The lettering in this series by Steve Wands is notable for its variations that clearly designate different types of speech (human, machine,creature) as well as volume.

I have purposely not said anything about the plot because pretty much anything I say would be a spoiler. It’s a bit of a thriller with some wonderful moments of humor.

I highly recommend this series.

a9741-rating_5stars Rating 5/5

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