the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for August 2010

I’ll give Sawyer one thing, he knows how to grab you with some good opening chapters. He excels at moving the plot along and keeping readers interested. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have zipped through the first 200 pages of http://www.Wake in one day!

Caitlin, aged 15 is a blind math genius. She obsessively reads about Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan while surfing the internet in braille and using voice recognition software to post on her livejournal. Other than that, Caitlin is your pretty average high schooler. She wants to go to college, is desperate for her father’s approval, thinks boys might be interesting, and can’t live without the internet.

When she received a communication from a Japanese doctor that technology might exist to help restore her vision, they fly to Tokyo for the operation. Dr Kuroda installs an implant behind Caitlin’s eyeball, which sends signals to a computer, which processes the signals into some thing recognizable, and the signals get sent back to the implant in the hope that Caitlin’s brain will be able to read them correctly. After a few hits and misses, they achieve success. Along with some else, something unexpected. Read the rest of this entry »

 In what seems to be a growing habit of discussing “books with pictures that are not for children”, allow me to bring your attention to the latest from Patrick Rothfuss. Should you be lucky enough to see a copy of Patrick Rothfuss’s The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle, buy it. Do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars, and do not, under any circumstances read it to a young child, unless you’d like that child to be in your bedroom at 1:30am whispering through tears “Mommy, I can’t sleep, I’m scared”. When Rothfuss warns that the end of the book “has teeth in it”, he’s not kidding. That said, if you have one of those wonderous children who does, in fact, have teeth, and knows how to use them, proceed as you normally would. At least it will keep you chuckling until Wise Man’s Fear comes out.

That is all. Good day.

Hey, it’s my manga collection, in all its shelf and a half glory! I took this photo 2 days ago, have already added to the collection (OK, only one more manga got purchased).

The series I am reading include:
Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arawaka
Nana by Ai Yazawa
Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa
Blame by Tsuhomu Nihei
Read or Die by Hudeyuki Karata
St. Lunatic High by Majiko

And there is a bunch of other random odds and ends there too that I can’t wait to talk about!

My Manga post last week garnered some lovely comments along with plenty of questions, so here you go, it’s Manga 102. I’m no expert at this – fan yes, expert no, so fellow manga readers, feel free to jump in at any time!

Q. Isn’t Manga more culturally specific that what we call in general “graphic novels”?

A. Yes. . . well, somewhat. If the story takes place in a real city, characters will often reference real places, or have an episode where they get dressed up for a holiday or Japanese cultural celebration. Stories that are more historical fiction will often reference real people, real battles, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

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If you are visiting from the Hop hosted by Crazy for Books, welcome!  I try to post something every day, be it a review, or an aside, or a fanletter to an author I’m attempting to internet stalk.  I do mostly scifi and fantasy stuff, heading towards the fantastical. If it’s weird, I’ll probably like it. I like Japanese Manga too.

This week’s blog hop question was “Do you use a rating system, and if so, what it is and why?”

Why yes! I do use a rating system!  It’s based on how likely I am to recommend the book to a friend:

-Books that blew my mind, I will keep talking about them until the cows come home (5 stars)
-These babies didn’t blow my mind, but they are totally worth reading, and absolutely worth buying (4 stars)
-Above average, but check the library before making a purchase (3 stars)
-Nothing to Brag about (2 stars)
-Yucky, rubbed me the wrong way, or both (1 star)

you can see some of the books I’ve rated on my review index

Now say it like the cute blonde on the Orbit gum commercial. . .    Fabulous!

Thank you to Curlygeek04 over at The Book Stop for passing the Versatile Blogger award on to me!

The more active I get in the blogging community, the more I find it is a tight knit, yet friendly community of people who are interested in helping each other. And I love that.

Here are the rules of the award:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award. Thank you Curlygeek! Love your site, especially your kindle blurbs!

2. Share 7 things about yourself

3. Pass the award along to bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason!

4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award.

Seven things about myself:

- I like cooking and I’m halfway decent at it. You’ll see I’ve passed this award onto some food blogs! I used to run a book/food blog, but I’m this close to retiring it.

- Only in the last few years did I get into reading fantasy.

- I start my day with coffee. every day.

- My garden is making me very sad this year. Not enough sun, plus blossom end rot, plus too much humidity, plus finicky heirloom tomatoes = frustration. I’m really tempted to just rip out the tomato plants this weekend so I have more space. My garden consists of a 5×12 foot third floor balcony, and I can either have plants out there, or space to hang out. not both.

- This autumn we are celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary, and have tickets for a fancy dress-up Murder Mystery! can’t wait!

- I like that I live close enough to my job that I can walk there.

- When I’m feeling sad or scared or anxious or depressed, I go to the university library and find books about the things that are freaking me out, and it makes me feel better. 

Bloggers I’m passing this award onto:

Turtles all the way down

Manga Maniac Cafe

Splash of Four Worlds

Bookesque

On a Pale Star

Bitchin Camero

Smitten Kitchen

Blog on everyone, blog on!

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One of the most talented and underrated authors of our time, Gene Wolfe is a master of subtle story telling. The Sorcerer’s House is told entirely through letters, and if you’ve ever written a letter to someone, you know how easy that selective memory or urge to exaggerate can kick in.

Baxter Dunn has just been released from prison. He needs to find a job, and a place to live, and fast. After squatting in an old abandoned house, he inquires about purchasing the property. When the real estate woman informs him that he is already the owner of the home as per the last will and testament of a mysterious Mr. Black, Baxter only appears a little surprised.

Baxter spends a few weeks working on the house, getting it cleaned up, moving old furniture out, and new furniture in. He even writes some letters to his twin brother George and George’s wife, Millie, hoping to patch up that relationship as he is patching up an old house. Things begin to get a little strange when Bax catches an adolescent boy running through his house. Thinking the child might be stealing or vandalizing, Bax tries to catch him, and the boy drops what he was carrying. Bax watches him jump out a second story window. However, the window is closed, the glass unbroken, and there are no footprints in the shallow snow outside. Read the rest of this entry »

It gets an entire aisle at Barnes & Noble.  You can get themed stuff at Hot Topic. Kids dress like their favorite characters for Halloween. It’s Manga, and it’s worth looking into.

Manga has been hot in America for about a decade now, but a lot of people still don’t know what it is, or shy away from it because “it’s just comic books”. 

I’ve got a nice collection of manga at home (to the tune of a few hundred bucks over six or eight years), and would like to talk about some of my favorite series on this blog. And then I realized, a lot of people don’t really know what this manga stuff is all about. So it’s time for a super basic Manga Primer.

First things first, manga is a form, not a genre. It’s got just as many genres as regular non-comic form books – scifi/fantasy, romance, action, contemporary drama, steampunk, historical drama, comedy, coming of age, etc. Manga is almost always written in chapter form, usually having been first printed serially in a specialty magazine, then bound a half dozen chapters or so in a volume. Many public libraries have growing manga/graphic novel collections, and this is a great way to test out some series. Read the rest of this entry »

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This is my first Robin Hobb, and I almost didn’t want to read it because I felt it had a really, really cheesy title, and just slightly less cheesy cover art. 20 Pages in and I knew this book was going to knock my socks off. That’ll teach me to judge a book by it’s cover.

Continuing with my weakness for stories featuring orphaned children left to their own devices, the main character of Assassin’s Apprentice, and of the entire Farseer series is Fitz. He doesn’t remember his mother, and he’s the bastard son of the crown Prince Chivalry. Fitz is a royal bastard – at best recognized by the crown and maybe given some kind of title or land, at worst ignored and left alone.

I don’t want to go too much into plot, as that would give away all the good parts, in turns serious, funny, confusing, cruel and fascinating. Suffice to say, Fitz is given the basic noble education, quite a bit of secret education, and he is exposed to the truth of royal politics and intruigue. He meets the enigmatic but oracle-like Fool, and his father’s barren wife Lady Patience, and is taken under the wing of a strange old man named Chade. Chade exposes Fitz to everything he needs to know, and waits patiently for Fitz to understand what and who he is. Although Fitz has talent with The Wit, a telepathic connection with animals, he is pushed to develop a talent with The Skill, a telepathic connection with people. As the novel progresses, the intruigue, betrayal, and danger reach explosive levels. Read the rest of this entry »

I’m slowly working my way up, chronologically, to Finch.

This was another one of those books that jumped off the bookshelf at me, screamed at me to read it, seduced me, allowed me to escape into it’s pages for an entire week, and then left me. I’m sure I’m not the only one to be seduced by Vandermeer’s Ambergris.

Shriek, An Afterword , is narrated by Janice Shriek, and is her attempt at a biography of her brother, Duncan Shriek. Janice feels it is her duty to truthfully chronicle her family, Duncan’s youth and education, his illicit affair with his student Mary Sabon, and the ups and downs of his and Janice’s careers, as their city is taken over from beneath. Duncan, on the other hand, feels it is his duty to edit and comment on Janice’s manuscript without her knowledge, so readers know what she got right, and what she guessed so wrongly on. His comments are priceless!

The metropolis of Ambergris is a cacophony of sights, smells, textures and sounds. Vandermeer very nearly buries his readers with sensory overload, but the weight is worth it. Vandermeer takes something as simple as a mushroom, and turns it into a sensual, dreamy creation. Read the rest of this entry »

it doesn’t feel like a friday tho.

anyways, hop hop hop, like a little bunny! Little Red Reviewer is mostly science fiction and fantasy, including new weird, steampunk, ghost stories, social scifi, all that good tasty stuff that’s got a bit of an edge to it. If you are here from the hop, thanks for stopping by. . . scroll around, hit up the review index, I’d love your feeback on my site as a whole.

Book Blogger Hop

The blog hop question this week is “How many Blogs do you follow?” Well, without readers and feeds, it would be near impossible to follow as many as i do! so thanks to feeds and readers, I probably follow about 50, most of which are book related, and a few that are news, media, or celebrity gossip related. 50 might not sound like that much to some people, but for every hour I spend online, I probably spend 2 hours reading a book.  Again, thanks to feeds and readers, i can scroll through to see what catches my eye that day, and just skim the rest.


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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.