book blogging

John Scalzi’s Lock In Takes the ‘Artificial’ out of AI

In John Scalzi’s novel Lock In, the near-future brings a virus which leaves millions across the U.S. locked-in. Everyone has a child, mother, brother or sister stranded in a body that won’t work, while their mind is still fully active.

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Take a Slow and Creaky Ride With Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train

Comparisons to Gone Girl are coming hot and heavy, but where Gone Girl is twisty, The Girl on the Train is slow and stabbing, with Rachel desperately flailing to find answers to her own lost time.

From Lifestyle Reporter to Something More Serious: Pete Crooks Dishes on Lying PIs and Dirty Cops in The Setup

Pete Crooks’ The Setup: A True Story of Dirty Cops, Soccer Moms, and Reality TV is so bizarre at every twist and turn it could only be true. The players’ motives here are petty, the suspects’ behaviors inexplicable, Dr. Phil enters the story twice, becoming first excited, then disappointed. The Setup is, in other words, an incredibly human tale.

When Good Genes Go Very, Very Bad: Franck Thilliez’s Bred to Kill

With Bred to Kill, the second English release from the Inspector Sharko series (the sequel to Syndrome E), Franck Thilliez carves a niche for himself by wrapping his thrillers in science, wielding biology as other writers utilize dark streets and shady characters.

Wherever you go, there you are

I’ve been missing in action for about a week, with good reason. This weekend, I moved from the beautiful Bay Area, California to Scottsdale, Arizona.

2014: My Year in Reading

I’m sad to say I haven’t yet reached my goal of reading all the books in the world, and I haven’t yet taught my cats how to read. I most certainly didn’t come close to reading all the books published in 2014. But I read a lot of great books this year. And others talked about the ones I haven’t yet gotten to, or passed over.

The Liebster Award

liebster award

Thanks so much to Ashley at For the Love of the Page and Emma at The Book Brief for nominating me for a Liebster Award.

The Liebster Award was created to help recognize new bloggers and welcome them to the blog-o-sphere. Ashley and Emma, I appreciate the electronic nod. Now let’s get to work!

  1. First, link and thank blogger(s) who nominated you.
  2. Then, answer the 11 questions your nominator gives you (I’m doing a combo!).
  3. Tag 11 other bloggers who have 200 or less followers.
  4. Finally, Ask the 11 bloggers you nominated 11 questions and let them know you nominated them!

First, the questions for me:

  • If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ulysses by James Joyce, no doubt! I could definitely read that one forever. I think there are people who read it throughout the year, each year…

  • Which country in the world would you most like to visit?

I’m not big on plane rides, so although I’ve visited Calgary, Canada, I’d love to go back to Canada and visit the areas of Quebec that inspired Louise Penney’s Inspector Gamache series. She makes the village life sound so cozy and delicious, albeit bathed in terror…

  • What would be your number one book to movie conversion?

This is probably a tie–I think Chuck Pahalniuk’s Fight Club was actually made better by David Fincher’s movie adaptation, which is so rare that it was sort of remarkable. I also think Alex Garland’s The Beach is amazing; Danny Boyle’s film adaptation did a great job.

A close second to those two would be The Children of Men by P.D. James, adapted into the movie Children of Men by Alfonso Cuarón. The movie has a wildly different tone than the book, but it worked.

More recently, I watched Dennis Villeneuve’s Enemy, which was inspired by José Saramago’s novel The Double. It was the smartest movie I’ve seen in a while, as it didn’t attempt to explain anything to viewers yet everything you needed to understand the story was there.

  • What’s your favorite book cover at the moment?

IMG_2652

I really, really love book covers! Here are a couple of my faves, two older books I’m reading. Errol Morris is always so brilliant, really looking from the outside in at the way we think. And the Pynchon cover is retro and hip in an accidental way, very current as everything old is new again thanks to hipsters and irony and all that.

  • What was the last book you personally recommended to someone?

I’ve been talking to a lot of people about David Quammen’s book on zoonotic diseases (including ebola), Spillover, lately.

  • If you could take any book characters personal style, who would it be?

I really liked the kitschy, vintage librarian-gone-mad style of Anana Johnson in The Word Exchange. It wasn’t the most pleasant book to read, as the characters started speaking and writing in garbled language, but I appreciated Anana.

  • What book are you reading right now?

What am I not reading right now? There’s a lot of booking going on around my apartment. I just finished A Vision of Fire, by Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin, out this Tuesday. That was pretty addictive and hard to put down. I started, after a friend’s recommendation, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson. On audiobook, I just started Alissa Wall’s terrifying Stolen Innocenceand I’m finishing up the slow prose memoir If Only You People Could Follow Directions by Jessica Hendry Nelson. Clearly I need to read something lighter next.

  • If you could only read paperback or hardcovers for the rest of your life which would it be?

Paperbacks fo sho’! I have a lot of arm and shoulder troubles, and hardcovers can be killer.

  • What stand alone book do you think really deserves a sequel?

This is such a geeky answer, but I’d love Errol Morris to write a follow-up to A Wilderness of Error. I think there’s a lot more to be said on the nature of truth and narrative building in relation to crime in the United States. I imagine a book not attached to a specific case might be taken more seriously.

  • Who/what/where is your main source for book recommendations?

I don’t have a single main source, I’m big into browsing the new releases at bookstores and my library, reading interviews with authors where they talk about what they’re reading, and monitoring the hype surrounding releases on the internet (Goodreads, etc).

  • What is the last book you added to your Goodreads to-read list?

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.

My eleven questions to the people that I’m tagging:

1. Did your parents read a lot when you were growing up? Do you think this influenced your love of books?

2. Do you listen to audiobooks? Why or why not?

3. If Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates were thrown into a pit and forced to battle to the death, who do you think would win? Why?

4. What is the last book someone recommended to you? Are you going to read it?

5. If a family member wanted to write a tell-all memoir Running with Scissors style, would you tell them to go for it? Why or why not?

6. If you could choose one adult fiction/non-fiction book to have illustrated by a favorite artist, what would the book be? (Extra credit question: who would the artist be?)

7. What are your thoughts on blogging negative book reviews?

8. What made you decide to start a book blog?

9. What is the next book you are planning or hoping to buy?

10. What up-and-coming/indie author are you really excited about?

11. What is the one question you’d like to ask yourself about your love of books?

The people I’m tagging for this round are:

Paperback Heart

Leila Reads

Books and Green Tea

Books and Tea and Sugar

Book Love

ReadEng. Didi’s Press

I Know What You Should Read

Grown Up Book Reports

Arkham Reviews

That Worn Book Smell

Dreaming Through Literature