Thursday, 24 May 2012

Welcome, all you strangers. I'm glad you stopped by. Take a minute and explore, you might find something you like.

Only a few days left to enter the $100.00 Amazon gift card giveaway... so make sure you sign up soon!

And if anyone wants to purchase the book it's available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

PLUS the Kindle version is only $2.99!!!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Review: Anansi Boys

Anansi Boys
Neil GaimanAdult Sci-Fi/ Fantasy
400 Pages
Available Now

THE STORY (from Goodreads):

Fat Charlie Nancy's normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn't know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother.
Now brother Spider's on his doorstep -- about to make Fat Charlie's life more interesting... and a lot more dangerous.

Neil Gaiman has lost me more friends than monopoly. Normally, after I read one of his works I get so overwhelmed by some piece of philosophy, or story,or nugget of knowledge that I go and recite it over and over to everyone I know (hence the friends becoming scare every time I read something Gaiman.)
But this book didn't really do that for me. I loved it--don't get me wrong--but it didn't set my tongue on fire with anything in particular. If this were written by any other author, I would have given it an immediate five stars. It has everything I look for in a novel: adventure, mythology, great characters, deep undertones; but since Neil Gaiman is on of my all-time favorites, I have imposed on him the highest standards possible. 
I was under the impression that this book was the companion to "American Gods" which has been my favorite Gaiman book for a long time. What I found, however, is that the two really don't have much to do with one another; except that they both focus on, well, gods.  
But on the positive side, Anansi boys really is a treasure of a story. It focuses on the sons of the African spider-God Anansi, and follows their misadventures. They get tangled up with all sorts of baddies (godly and otherwise) and us readers get to see both sons' very enthralling growth process.
"Fat Charlie," the protagonist is very likable, and the side characters are three dimensional (which Gaiman is always deft at doing). What I loved so much about this novel is how everything ties together so nicely. Sort of like every random piece was in a fact a cog in a bigger machine that Gaiman was building behind our backs. I highly recoomend checking this book out, even if you haven't read "American Gods."

OVERALL:  4/5 

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Monday, 14 May 2012

So last night I was lying on the couch snacking on prunes (Oh lord, I really am the oldest fart of my age!) reading "Smoke and Mirrors" by Neil Gaiman, which is one of his short story anthologies. 

I think I'm actually obsessed with this guy now. His imagination is unparalleled. I came across a story called "The Sweeper of Dreams" and it did something to me. For the first time in a long...well, ever... I tried to memorize this story verbatim. I think my flatmate (see! Gaiman's got me speaking like an englishman) thought I was a little bit loony. But, so it is. 

Only fiction can make me do something like that. 

Sunday, 13 May 2012

In My Mailbox is one of them there memes thats all the rage with the young folk. A lot of bloggers get free books from publishers and use IMM to rub it in our faces, but it's cool. Its not like I've been sending hundreds of letters of Penguin, HarperCollins, and Simon and Shuster, each one begging for just one lowly ARC, each envelope sealed with the tears of my dismay. 

No, it's not like that at all. 

BUT I did find a bookstore here in Austin that sells overstock library books for the price of Ramen noodles. So against the wishes of a TBR pile that would make most World of Warcraft fanatics say, "Dude, you need to get out more," I stocked up.

Here are some of my TBR highlights:

I've been excited about this one for a while. It came highly recommended to me by my brain. It's been described as Oceans Eleven meets Robin Hood.

For those of you unfamiliar with Gaiman's work, he wrote "Stardust" and "Coraline." This is the companion to "American Gods" which is one of my favorite fantasy books ever. VERY excited about this one.

Please, holster your judgement guns for the moment. And no, I didn't upload the wrong image. Tahereh Mafi  and Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky) did a signing at the bookstore by me, and I really wanted to network a bit and see if I could get either of them to come to one of the author breakfasts we're having. I didn't want to seem as poor as I am by going up to them empty handed, so I sucked it up and bought both books. Veronica was super nice and I'm actually really enjoying her book. This book however, came in as an advance copy to Barnes and Noble , and I tried a few pages and it certainly wasn't for me. I don't like to badmouth books that I haven't read more than 10 pages of, so I wont. But 17.99 got me a personalized copy and a chance to ask her about the BEA.

Which neither are going to. Go figure. 

THE GIVER HAS A COMPANION NOVEL?!?!?!? BUH-WHATTT! WHY DID I NOT KNOW? If anyone needs me I'm going to be in my shame corner for the foreseeable future. 

What about you? What's in your TBR pile?

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: 

The Spindlers

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, and is a great way for us bloggers to share upcoming novels we can't wait to read. 

The Spindlers
Title: The Spindlers
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publish Date: October 2, 2012
Genre: Middle Grade

When Liza’s younger brother Patrick’s soul is stolen by the evil Spindlers, spider-like creatures who live underground, she knows she must set out on a heroic quest to the world Below to rescue it.

Ok, so some might be asking: "Dan. As a twenty-something male, your waiting on wednesday is, um.... buh-huh?"

And I would be answering: "Shut your face. Lauren Oliver is straight genius, yo."

My opponent: "But,  this looks like a kids book."

Hero: *Gives a patronizing sigh* "Middle grade."

Jerk: "Um, ok Dan. I'm going to get going now."

And then I would hand them a copy of Lauren Oliver's last middle grade book, "Leisl and Po" and they would get sucked into the whimsical fantasy and shed happy tears whist being whisked away on a heart-wrenching adventure...with a ghost... and then get it. 

And Lauren will be signing at the BEA next month and I REALLY REALLY want a signed ARC of this. REALLY REALLY. 

So what about y'all? What are you waiting on?

Monday, 7 May 2012

Since monday is often regarded as the worst day of the week (thanks Garfield!) I though I might try facilitating a discussion about the parts of fiction that make us go:


-In that order-

So here goes my first WhyFiction meme:

What's something about fiction that gives you that manic feeling?

For me, I'd have to say becoming friends with the characters. Especially in series. Take J.K. Rowling's work with the Harry Potter series. I was actually under the insane notion that these characters cared about me as much as I cared about them. I was always the same age as Harry when the books came out. I grew up with Harry. I learned with him. When he did his first patronus, I was so friggin proud of him. It's weird how fictional characters can have such power over you, but it's true.

Three-dimensional characters make fore three-dimensional adventures. It takes a lot of talent to put the kind of characters on the page that can easily jump off the page, and my hat goes off to any author who can. Thank you great authors like J.K. Rowling for my fictional friends. And to George R.R. Martin: Stop being so mean to all of my Game of Thrones friends! Seriously. Not cool. 

What about you? What about ficiton makes you go (sound above)?

Friday, 4 May 2012

Let's Talk: Book to Film Adaptations

QUESTION: WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE MOVIE ADAPTATIONS? is one of my favorite blogs and Melissa (the blog proprietor) is one of my favorite bloggers. Her great friday meme encourages discussion on a variety of book topics. So let's encourage everyone to talk it out!

Fade in: A circle of hollywood fatcats, hellbent on ripping out the souls of books and stuffing the hollow husk of the leather-bound jacket with mounds of paper bills. 

Cut to: 

I give these films two thumbs in screws

My first foray into my novel obsession was, believe it or not, Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown. My older brother handed me a copy and I was enamored. What more could a young boy want? Thrill, ancient societies, a blend of fact and fiction that made me seriously question our society. And when I heard about the Da Vinci code movie, I was so excited. Needless to say, both adaptations of his novels fell flat... like out of a helicopter with a square of nylon flat.

And Hitchhiker's? If you haven't read it then Don't Panic! Well, maybe panic because it means your life has been missing some serious satire on life, the universe, and... everything! 

And although the opening song "So long and thanks for all the fish" was one of the best movie openings I can remember, the rest of the movie made a serious Dent in my initial excitement. 

Can't fade out quick enough. 

Fade In: Artists. True film artists brooding in the dark corners of a library somewhere. A director tearing out his hair trying to think of ways to bring the story the big screen. Perhaps a tear or two that's shed when the muse of inspiration whispers in his ear. 

LOTR? I actually struggled getting through the novels. I love Tolkien's stories, but I hate to admit that I found getting the stories into my brain rather tedious. Perfect casting, deft directing, and real love made these films (in my opinion) the best book to movie adaptations to date.

And yes the Shawshank redemption wasn't a full length novel, but it made one heck of a full length film. Genius. Frank Derebont deserves to win an Oscar every year for this one. 

What about you? What are your favorites and least favorites?

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


El vs. Manoo

Weight unknown, height unknown (for both)

It's the rumble in the... Space

A HUGE congratulations to my friend Emily White on this monumental occasion. I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of this epic book well before the release date. So, I don't wanna say that makes me cool, but let's just say that my new self-proclaimed nickname is, "Dr. Icebox."

But all jokes aside, this novel is a terrific addition to the YA world. Too often the literary choices for Young Adults have been tainted by the all-too present insta-love and lazy... I'm going to call it kissy writing. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to see a well-thought out plot taking place in a very three-dimensional science fiction setting. 

Emily white is a star on the rise, and people will be gazing at her work with wonder.


Just because Ella can burn someone to the ground with her mind doesn't mean she should.

But she wants to.

For ten years—ever since she was a small child—Ella has been held prisoner on an interstellar starship. Now that she has escaped, she needs answers.

Who is she? Why was she taken? And who is the boy with the beautiful green eyes who haunts her memories?

Is Ella the prophesied Destructor… or will she be the one who's destroyed?  

TAKE ON HOME TODAY! (if you can. Copies are anti-gravitating of the shelves)