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Ape's 2012 Challenge (13)

This is a continuation of the topic Ape's 2012 Challenge (12).

This topic was continued by Ape's 2012 Challenge (14).

75 Books Challenge for 2012

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1Ape
Edited: Aug 21, 2012, 8:58pm Top

Thread #1
Thread #2 (Books 1-2)
Thread #3 (Books 3-4)
Thread #4 (Books 5-7)
Thread #5 (Books 8-9)
Thread #6 (Books 10-14)
Thread #7 (Books 15-17)
Thread #8 (Books 18-22)
Thread #9 (Books 22-28)
Thread #10 (Books 29-32)
Thread #11 (Books 33-39)
Thread #12 (Books 40-45)

Books Read: 53
Pages Read: 13,644

January:
1. Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC by Joseph McCormick
2. The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks
3. Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile by J. L. Bourne
4. Steeldriver by Don Debrandt
5. The Snake Charmer by Jamie James

February:
6. The Passionate Observer by Jean-Henri Fabre
7. Vanished Smile by R. A. Scotti
8. Valfierno by Martin Caparros
9. Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

March:
10. Apocalypse of the Dead by Joe McKinney
11. Flesh Eaters by Joe McKinney
12. The Ginseng Hunter by Jeff Talarigo
13. White Bread by Aaron Bobrow-Strain
14. World Made by Hand by James Howard Kunstler
15. The Burning by Bentley Little

April:
16. Absolution by Patrick Flanery
17. The Yard by Alex Grecian
18. For One More Day by Mitch Albom
19. Haze by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

May:
20. New York by Knight by Esther Friesner
21. The Calypso Directive by Brian Andrews
22. Through These Veins by Anne Marie Ruff
23. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
24. Watchmen by Alan Moore
25. A Planet of Viruses by Carl Zimmer
26. The Pull of the Ocean by Jean-Claude Mourlevat

June:
27. The Fever by Sonia Shah
28. Urban Animals by Mireille Silcoff
29. The Porcupine by Julian Barnes
30. Fluke by Christopher Moore
31. Evolutionary Wars by Charles Kingsley Levy
32. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

July:
33. The Disheveled Dictionary by Karen Elizabeth Gordon
34. The Postcard Killers by James Patterson
35. Thieves Like Us by Stephen Cole
36. Dead on Town Line by Leslie Connor
37. A Cafecito Story by Julia Alvarez
38. Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore
39. The Book of Dragons and Other Mythical Beasts by Joe Niggs
40. Gil's All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez
41. The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman
42. The Sandman: The Doll's House by Neil Gaiman
43. The Sandman: Dream Country by Neil Gaiman
44. The Sandman: Season of Mists by Neil Gaiman
45. The Sandman: A Game of You by Neil Gaiman
46. The Sandman: Fables and Reflections by Neil Gaiman
47. The Sandman: Brief Lives by Neil Gaiman

August:
48. The Sandman: Worlds' End by Neil Gaiman
49. The Sandman: The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman
50. The Sandman: The Wake by Neil Gaiman
51. The Sandman: Endless Nights by Neil Gaiman
52. Coyote Blue by Christopher Moore
53. The Red Hourglass by Gordon Grice

2Ape
Edited: Jul 28, 2012, 7:37am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

3Morphidae
Jul 28, 2012, 7:29am Top

Whoo hoo! I'm first!

4Ape
Jul 28, 2012, 7:38am Top

Welcome Morphy! :)

5Whisper1
Jul 28, 2012, 8:01am Top

Good Morning To You.

My Ohio contingency will arrive tonight and stay for a few days before heading back to Beavercreek on Monday. the grandchildren will say "There are mountains here!" "There are hills here!"

6Ape
Edited: Jul 28, 2012, 8:05am Top

Haha, do they live in a flat area, then? Kath says Ohio is flat too, but I'm not buying it. I live in the 'hocking hills' and it's quite hilly here. In fact, I live in a valley, and all I see when I walk outside is the sides of hills. :)

7Whisper1
Jul 28, 2012, 8:10am Top

Watch out then...I'll have to visit you just to see if Oho really does have hills.

8The_Hibernator
Jul 28, 2012, 8:45am Top

Ohio is flat. :)

9Ape
Jul 28, 2012, 9:55am Top

Linda: Eeep!

Rachel: Not my area...the roads are like roller coasters. o.o

10Ape
Jul 28, 2012, 10:10am Top



That's Conkel's Hollow, in Rockbridge Ohio, which is right outside my town. In fact, kids from Rockbridge went to our high school, as the city itself is just a small 'village' of sorts. The hills you see is a definition of the area I live in, which apparently is a source of tourism. The roads are quite literally roller coaster-like, unlike mountainous regions where you go up for several minutes at a time and then back down again.

11Berly
Jul 28, 2012, 1:22pm Top

There is a huge hill near my house on the way to the preschool my kids went to. You know how kids get sayings and words close to right, but not exactly right? They used to shout "Roller Toaster!" as we barreled down the road, which cracked me up to no end.

12Ape
Jul 28, 2012, 1:58pm Top

Ha! Yeah, that's pretty much how it feels all the way into town and back. :P

I haven't read a single page today. Olympics, who decided to make them so addicting to watch?

13Ape
Jul 28, 2012, 4:17pm Top

Wow, the badminton court is EXTREMELY pink.

14saraslibrary
Edited: Jul 28, 2012, 4:24pm Top

Holy bleepin' hell. I stop stalking you for a few weeks, and I'm--what?--2 or 3 threads behind. Sheesh. Consider yourself stalked as of now. Don't look up.

P.S. I'm immune to the Olympics (no TV), so yay for me! I think. :/

15Ape
Jul 28, 2012, 4:28pm Top

Hi Sara! It's been a busy couple weeks. My car died, then a position opened up at my library, I applied and my car started working again, and everything was happy, until I called the library only to find out the positions were already taken, and when I went to go buy junk food to make myself feel happy I discovered my car didn't work again.

So now I'm sitting at home feeling glum and watching the Olympics.

There, you are all caught up. :)

16scaifea
Jul 28, 2012, 4:28pm Top

Hocking Hills is quite lovely, I think. Went hiking there once, which is, apparently The Thing To Do there. The farther north and west you go in Ohio, though, the less hilly it gets.

17saraslibrary
Jul 28, 2012, 4:38pm Top

Dude, that sucks!! I'm so sorry about both the job and car. But hopefully you're getting a boner from the Olympics, so that's a pick-me-up, right?

18Ape
Jul 28, 2012, 5:34pm Top

Amber: You...were HERE!? You mean, like, many many many many many many many years ago, right?

Sara: Oh dear! Ummmm, no, not exactly. I mean, I'm watching men's beach volleyball right now, so.....

19scaifea
Jul 28, 2012, 5:39pm Top

I went to Hocking Hills in 1999, when I was still in grad school.

20The_Hibernator
Edited: Jul 28, 2012, 5:51pm Top

I was at Hocking Hills last year. :)

21Ape
Edited: Jul 28, 2012, 5:55pm Top

Amber: Ah, okay, I was even more girl-repellent then than I am now so I guess I was safe.

Rachel: Last year!?!?!? Why didn't you tell me? I would've hidden better.

22MickyFine
Jul 28, 2012, 10:35pm Top

Shiny new thread, Stephen. I like it. *plonks down to read in the Canadian corner*

23saraslibrary
Jul 28, 2012, 11:09pm Top

#18: But it's men's beach volleyball! I'm getting a stiffy, and I'm not even a guy.

24Ape
Jul 29, 2012, 10:18am Top

Hi there, Micky! I find it odd that it is automatically assumed that I have included a Canadian corner in all of my threads. One of these days I'm going to turn it into a Crocodile and Cobra Corner and you're not going to know until you plonk down into it. :P

Sara: ...I am...intrigued. In a strictly scientific manner, of course.

25Ape
Edited: Jul 29, 2012, 4:16pm Top

46. The Sandman: Fables and Reflections by Neil Gaiman


(Larger image)

Pages: 261
Rating: 3/5

Graphic novel

Fables and Reflections is another collection of short stories in the Sandman universe, the 2nd so far in the series. I wasn't terribly enthusiastic about the first such collection, nor am I a huge fan of short stories to begin with, but this is big improvement over Dream Country because it's meatier, has more depth, and is more closely related to the overall story arch. In fact, I would consider The Song of Orpheus a must read for a deeper understanding of previous (and, I assume, future) stories.

This is another great addition to the Sandman mythos. Unlike volume 3, I definitely would not consider this one skippable.

26MickyFine
Jul 29, 2012, 3:59pm Top

>24 Ape: Stephen, as long as I'm hanging around your thread, there will always be a Canadian corner. It's just how it works. And if you let loose a bunch of creepy crawlies in my corner I'll... have Mo stomp on them.

Nice review by the way.

27Ape
Jul 29, 2012, 4:15pm Top

Mo would never do that, I forbade him to harm any living creature. He's mauled a Canadian a time or two since then but overall he has been very obedient.

28norabelle414
Jul 29, 2012, 6:15pm Top

You should make the next thread circular, and watch Micky walk around in circles trying to find the Canadian corner

29Ape
Edited: Jul 29, 2012, 7:30pm Top

Genius! Y'know, there's a weird historic landmark thing in my town called the 'Round House' or 'Stewart's Folly,' which is a spherical house made of concrete:



(Lots of pictures on Google, too.)

I remember driving by it regularly as a child and being totally flabberghasted by it. It's so, well, odd! I think it's perfect for my thread, don't you think?

30ty1997
Jul 29, 2012, 8:20pm Top

I don't get to see any of the Olympics because I don't have cable (or any TV service of any form) and NBC is, of course, the devil. But I was in a hotel Friday so got to see the Opening Ceremonies. Danny Boyle did an awesome job.

31saraslibrary
Jul 30, 2012, 2:25am Top

#24: You're intrigued by men's beach volleyball? Or my stiffy?

hee hee-ing @ 28. Don't confuse the Canadian. That's just mean. And that's Stephen's job. ;)

#29: I seriously want that house. And yes, it's perfect for your thread.

32Ape
Edited: Aug 17, 2012, 12:20pm Top

Tom: I actually didn't watch the opening ceremonies. I do have a temporary soccer addiction during the olympics though. You could never get me to watch the stuff any other time, but now I can watch just about anyone play and love it...

Sara: The house is awesome, and it's right down the road from Kroger. :P

Your stiffy, I've decided I want to study it for scentific purposes. *Pulls out scalpel* I'll need just a little sample...

33The_Hibernator
Jul 30, 2012, 8:20am Top

I don't have a TV or cable.

34Ape
Jul 30, 2012, 8:36am Top

You can probably watch it online. ;)

35norabelle414
Jul 30, 2012, 11:24am Top

The opening ceremony is the full extent of my Olympics watching. I do get excited about the idea of the Olympics: the traditions, the friendly competition, the comraderie, the fit men in tiny speedos, etc. But watching sports on TV is definitely the circle of hell I would end up in were I to, say, murder all the puppies, kittens, and ducklings in the world.

36Ape
Jul 30, 2012, 11:27am Top

Ha! Yeah, I freely admit to watching American Football but beyond that I'm not a huge sports person. They somehow become completely enthralling during the olympics though. I mean, I watched badminton and field hockey, for crying out loud...

37saraslibrary
Edited: Jul 30, 2012, 7:20pm Top

#32: Right down the rode from Kroger? Yup. I know where I'm moving now.

Hmm. I'm gonna have to pass on the scalpel sample. My stiffy's small as it is, so leave the little gal alone. (crosses legs until she turns into a human pretzel)

38Ape
Jul 30, 2012, 7:41pm Top

Cool! But you are not allowed to use your previous work experience to get a job at MY library. Unless you can get me hired afterward. :)

39Ireadthereforeiam
Jul 31, 2012, 12:39am Top

butting in to say- GO JULY, your reading has exploded :)

40Ape
Jul 31, 2012, 6:00am Top

Hi Megan! Yeah, reading a graphic series with 10-11 books will do that, huh? :)

41Ape
Jul 31, 2012, 6:57am Top

47. The Sandman: Brief Lives by Neil Gaiman


(Larger image)

Pages: 244
Rating: 4/5

Graphic Novel

It has been mentioned for several books now that there is a missing member of the Endless, who abandoned his post and his responsibilities as overseer of his realm. In Brief Lives, Delirium sets out to search for her missing brother and somehow manages to convince Dream to help her in her quest.

This one is interesting. Gaiman uses a much more straightforward plot to explore the complexities of the endless and put to bed the idea that they are all as one-dimensional as their names and roles might suggest. Delirium, a manic character that I adore for her complete and utter absurdity, was at one time Delight before 'changing,' and now we see Destruction making the case that the Endless have less purpose than they think, as he has been absent for 300 years and humans are just as destructive as ever.

The ending of the book has me on edge. Dream is in a mental state we have never seen him before and you get the feeling big things are coming. We are left pondering our fleeting existence, our ever-changing nature, and whether or not there is any real reason for the Endless to exist at all as anything other than sentinels, and we do it with a smile on our face having giggled so much at Delirium's dialogue.

42MickyFine
Jul 31, 2012, 2:53pm Top

>28 norabelle414:-29 Small problem here. Threads exist on the internet. Which means any "space" would resemble the Room of Requirement more than anything else. So I will always have my corner. :P

43Ape
Edited: Jul 31, 2012, 3:22pm Top

Maybe your threads exist on the internet, but mine exist in my own head. I'm still trying to figure out how all of you find your way in here though...

44UnrulySun
Jul 31, 2012, 4:04pm Top

I came in through your pupil. Didn't you see me?

45saraslibrary
Jul 31, 2012, 4:55pm Top

#38: Oh, don't worry. After working at libraries for almost 10 years, I'm burned out.

#43: I used a drill, of course. ;)

46MickyFine
Jul 31, 2012, 5:02pm Top

Fairy dust.

47Ape
Edited: Jul 31, 2012, 7:32pm Top

I'm thoroughly creeped out right now

48Ape
Jul 31, 2012, 7:35pm Top

July Summary:

Books: 15
Pages: 3,192

Fiction: 12
Nonfiction: 2
Both: 1

Male authors: 12
Female authors: 3

Library: 11
Owned: 4






49MickyFine
Jul 31, 2012, 8:21pm Top

Which book was both fiction and non-fiction, Stephen? Just out of curiousity.

50saraslibrary
Jul 31, 2012, 9:25pm Top

#47: Woohoo! Score 1 for the creepy weirdos that lurk in Stephen's head. Thread. I mean, thread. ;)

51Ape
Aug 1, 2012, 6:04am Top

Micky: A Cafecito Story. It was a tiny itsy bitsy little short story followed by an 'afterword' of sorts that was equally as long as the story itself, about growing coffee naturally.

Sara: Oh, you can't win that game, I score in my head ALL THE TIME. :P

52scaifea
Aug 1, 2012, 2:00pm Top

Apparently, Delirium was inspired by Tori Amos, who mentioned Neil in a couple of her songs. I love that, because I love both Amos and Gaiman, so I like that they're friends.

53Ape
Aug 1, 2012, 2:42pm Top

Fascinating! I had to look up who Tori Amos was, but I'm thrilled that there is a loose interpretation of Delerium out there somewhere. :P

54MickyFine
Aug 1, 2012, 2:47pm Top

>51 Ape: Curiousity sated. And no dead cats in sight. :)

55Ape
Aug 1, 2012, 2:55pm Top

That's only because Richard hasn't visited in awhile...

56MickyFine
Aug 1, 2012, 2:57pm Top

Not the kitties! *nudges them all towards the Canadian corner*

57Ape
Aug 1, 2012, 6:32pm Top

That won't deter him, Richard likes the cold. :P

58LauraBrook
Aug 1, 2012, 7:12pm Top

Hey Stephen! The hills around your town look beautiful. And, maybe it's just me, but that house looks just the like Death Star.

59Ape
Aug 1, 2012, 7:17pm Top

Haha, that does indeed look like the Death Star. Should I be worried? ...

60MickyFine
Aug 1, 2012, 9:06pm Top

Only if you hear heavy mouth breathing when you're near it? *innocent smile*

61scaifea
Aug 1, 2012, 9:51pm Top

I hear they have cookies...

62katelisim
Aug 1, 2012, 10:40pm Top

Hola!
Just stopping in, not trying to read all these messages I'm behind on.

I would only be worried if a bunch of storm troopers show up riding speeder bikes through the woods.

63Ape
Edited: Aug 2, 2012, 5:58am Top

Micky: If I hear heavy mouth breathing coming from it I'm going to think much scarier things than the death star, I think...

Amber: You lost me, I'm afraid. That's what I get for having never actually watched Star Wars.

Hi Katie! :) I've definitely never seen those at Kroger, so I think I'm safe...

64Morphidae
Aug 2, 2012, 6:16am Top

> 60 & 63 Okay everyone, hands in sight!

65Ape
Aug 2, 2012, 6:45am Top

Morphy: Uhhhh, but...I...ummmm...errrrrr, welllll, can I have a towel first?

66Morphidae
Aug 2, 2012, 6:58am Top

In the immortal words of George Takei, "Oh Myyyyyyyyy."

67Ape
Aug 2, 2012, 7:53am Top

George Takei is NOT who I want to be thinking about at this particular moment. Lets talk about...Kari Byron! :D

68norabelle414
Aug 2, 2012, 11:04am Top

Have you seen this yet? Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus

I keep seeing it everywhere and it's getting great reviews

69Ape
Aug 2, 2012, 1:16pm Top

Ooooooh! That does look interesting. And I love the cover too! I'm CRAVING some nonficton after this little graphic novel marathon I've got going on, as soon as I'm done with the Sandman series I'm totally diving into something of that nature. I might even skip the Christopher Moore novel in favor of some nonfiction. Not sure though.

My library doesn't have that one though. :(

70norabelle414
Aug 2, 2012, 1:50pm Top

well, it just came out a week ago. Can you suggest books for your library to get? Looks like it would be worth it for this one.

71Ape
Aug 2, 2012, 3:01pm Top

Ummmmm, errmmmmm, probably...if I talk to a librarian...

72jnwelch
Aug 2, 2012, 3:45pm Top

Loving the Sandman reviews, Stephen. Delirium is my son's favorite character (mine's Death, with Dream a close second).

73norabelle414
Aug 2, 2012, 3:50pm Top

>71 Ape: If you talk to a librarian every once in awhile then they will get to know your face and name and might recognize it when they see it elsewhere. Say, at the top of a job application . . . .

74Ape
Aug 2, 2012, 4:48pm Top

Joe: Mine is probably Death too...maybe...sort of. Ack, all the characters are great, it's hard to choose! :)

Nora: You are too optimistic. If I talk to them they'll realize how, errrr, eccentric I am, and then they won't hire me because they'll think I'll scare the patrons. Not true, of course, I rarely scare people...I just make them a little nervous and apprehensive. ;)

75MickyFine
Aug 2, 2012, 5:10pm Top

Nora makes a good point. People knowing who you are (or knowing someone who knows you) helps a lot when weeding through a pile of applications...

>64 Morphidae: Can I take this Darth Vader mask off first? It's a bit stuffy in here.

76Ape
Aug 2, 2012, 9:02pm Top

Darth Vader mask? I KNEW you weren't innocent!

77Ape
Aug 2, 2012, 9:42pm Top

48. The Sandman: Worlds' End by Neil Gaiman


(Larger image)

Pages: 150
Rating: 3/5

Graphic Novel

Worlds' End is a collection of short stories within the Sandman universe. Again. It is such a collection of short stories that even some of the short stories have short stories in them. Yeah really.

This is the 3rd collection like this out of 8 volumes so far, and I must say I continue to find them somewhat irritating. This one is has a more fluid narrative however, involving a man and a woman who crash their car during a freakish snow storm during summer and take refuge in an inn, one filled with strange people from unheard-of places who have found themselves in the same situation.

The short stories themselves are perfectly fine, it's just ill-timed. After the events of the past novel I was desperately looking forward to continuing the story, so this felt like little more than an agonizingly unpleasant speed bump. I might have enjoyed them at any other time, but I was mostly just fuming from having to read through petty stupid pointless stories when important stuff was happening in the main story.

I can't say for sure now, but I'm afraid this one isn't skippable either. Though I can't be sure yet, the reason behind the inn and why so many have found themselves stranded in it seems to be relative to the story. The ending is quite alarming, and once again you suspect really big things are happening right on the cusp of your vision, but shrouded in too much mystery for me to judge its importance.

I wish Gaiman had come up with a better way to handle the 'reality storm.' It's an interested idea, I liked it, but I just didn't want to read though irrelevant short stories that, while technically good, were mostly just annoying as a result of poor timing.

78MickyFine
Aug 2, 2012, 11:02pm Top

>76 Ape: Uh, have you not seen that adorable Volkswagen commercial with the little kid in the Darth Vader helmet? I'm totally innocent. :P

79Ape
Aug 3, 2012, 6:07am Top

Oh yes. Many people don't realize the part was actually played by a drunken dwarf who is currently serving time for setting fire to a casino out of retaliation when they banned him from the building after he was caught streaking through the lobby. It's true, I wouldn't make something like that up now would I? So you're still not innocent. :P

80DeltaQueen50
Aug 3, 2012, 4:37pm Top

Hi Stephen I am back from a quick trip and thought I would wander over here and keep Mickey company in the Canadian Corner. I love all the reviews of the Sandman series, there's talk about a group read of the series next year over at the 2013 Category Challenge so I am holding off reading any more until then.

81MickyFine
Aug 3, 2012, 5:22pm Top

>79 Ape: You would totally make that up. :P Silly Stephen. You can't fool me. I wield the powers of The Librarian!

82Ape
Aug 3, 2012, 9:27pm Top

Hi Judy! They're good, reading them all consecutively is wearing down on me a bit, I'm looking forward to non-picture books. How does the group plan to go about reading them, do you know?

Micky: Oh yes, I'm familiar with them. They're associated with the dark side of the force, which explains the helmet...

83Whisper1
Aug 3, 2012, 9:34pm Top

How nice to know that Ohio is not completely flat.

84Ape
Edited: Aug 3, 2012, 9:44pm Top

Yep, it's true. I would recommend Old Man's Cave as a demonstration of how hilly the area is, but it has become such a touristy place that the whole point of the place has become redundant. It's supposed to be a park of wilderness trails, but they are so packed with hikers that all you really see is masses of people. At least, that was my sister's experience when she went last year. The pictures had more people per frame than you would see walking down main street in the middle of town. :P

85DeltaQueen50
Aug 3, 2012, 10:24pm Top

The Group Read was mentioned on someone's thread and a few of us piped up and said we were interested, but no definite plans yet, but I am sure it will get put together somehow as there are a number of Gaiman fans over there.

86Ape
Aug 4, 2012, 7:57am Top

Cool, there are a lot of things to interpret with the series so it would make a perfect group read, I would think. :)

87Carmenere
Aug 4, 2012, 11:11am Top

Hey Stephen! I'm not sure I want to dip my toes into the Neil Gaiman graphics again. I was completely turned off by Preludes & Nocturnes (scared me, kept all the lights on, shivered my timbers) yet you seem to like some of them. Should I give them a second chance?

88Ape
Edited: Aug 4, 2012, 1:49pm Top

Well, I have a taste for 'shiver-your-timbers' writing, so I might not be a good one to ask. :P

I can say that, after the first one, the books mellow out a bit. The art isn't nearly as vivid and the subject matter isn't quite as dark. Not that there isn't plenty of scary/creepy stories (The Corinthian in book 2, for example), but the first one is more extreme than the later books. Pity, I prefer creepy. :P

89jdthloue
Aug 4, 2012, 2:20pm Top

Ohio is pretty flat...South Western, Ohio, that is....Yellow Springs was.....except for Glen Helen and Clifton Gorge

SE Ohio??? Heck I live on a hill..with another above me...You go to the top of the upper field...out back....and can see a lot of hills & valleys in the distance.....

so there!

;-)

90MickyFine
Aug 4, 2012, 4:11pm Top

>82 Ape: Oh but Stephen, you should come to the dark side. We have cookies. :P

91Ireadthereforeiam
Aug 4, 2012, 4:34pm Top

chuckle snork
Death star lands in Ohio field.
What a headline that would make.

92scaifea
Aug 4, 2012, 6:19pm Top

"Buckeyes - we don't need their scum."

Sorry, couldn't resist.

93Ape
Aug 4, 2012, 6:34pm Top

Jude: Yes, we south easterners are nearing the border of WV, afterall...

Micky: Well heck, I wish someone would have told me that sooner. Where do I sign up?

Megan: Haven't you heard? They've been leaving messages in the corn fields for decades! Silly people always think it's little green men in flying saucers. Ha! Obviously it's the death star sending apocalyptic warnings. It's true I swear... :P

Amber: Yes, ma'am...

94Ape
Aug 5, 2012, 11:41am Top

49. The Sandman: The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman


(Larger image)

Pages: 344
Rating: 4/5

Graphic Novel

The Kindly Ones is undoubtedly the best book in the Sandman series so far. (Yes, I know I've said that several times now, but it's really true this time!) Many of the events throughout the series are culminating into an epic struggle between Dream and The Furies, which results in the most intense, profound, and endearing plot to date. Morpheus seems more human than ever, and though he has faced many a trial in the past this is more emotionally charged than anything Gaiman has presented to date. A testament to the continual improvement of his writing.

The art direction for this book is interesting. It uses a very simple and rather cartoonish style and colored with somewhat flatly with bright, vibrant colors. It's very different and the book has a completely different feel than previous ones, and at first I wasn't a big fan of it. However, though I'm not sure it is the best fit for the atmosphere created by the story, the style grew on me with time and I think I might actually prefer it over what has been done in the past several books.

This deep into the series I really can't say a whole lot more in my review other than that I have enjoyed the experience thus far and I look forward to seeing how everything is wrapped up in the end.

95tloeffler
Aug 5, 2012, 11:50am Top

I have to chuckle about your Sandman series. You are almost parallel in reading them with my son. Every time I pass his bathroom, there's a different one sitting on the sink...

96Ape
Aug 5, 2012, 11:54am Top

Ha! They are certainly worthwhile. I'm very much looking forward to reading a 'regular' book, though...

97scaifea
Aug 5, 2012, 11:58am Top

Yay! The Kindly Ones is my favorite, too, and it's the one I used to make required reading in my Classical Mythology course. For obvious reasons.

98Ape
Edited: Aug 5, 2012, 1:47pm Top

To confuse horny nerdy guys with a hot topless cat-lady?

It worked for me. I'm not just nerdy though, I'm so immature. The Thor/squirrel story didn't have me in stitches. I can't help it, it was FUNNY...

I'm am so in love with the art in The Wake. Oh my goodness beeeeautiful!

99scaifea
Aug 5, 2012, 1:40pm Top

Ha! Exactly.

You know, most students loved it, but I always had one or two in each class who would bitch about it in my evaluations, usually saying that they signed up to learn Greek myths, not modern interpretations of them. I always felt that I had failed those poor souls some how, since they clearly left the class without grasping the fundamental truth about mythology.

100Ape
Aug 5, 2012, 2:01pm Top

Indeed, are there any works on mythology that aren't a 'modern interpretation,' or at least modern when they were written, regardless of how early?

You would be more familiar with this than I, of course, but it was my understanding that there was never a definitive 'beginning' or original work on Greek mythology, but rather a collection of ever-changing tales that were eventually written down much later...

101scaifea
Aug 5, 2012, 2:21pm Top

That's pretty much right - our earliest extant stuff dealing with mythology is, well, Homer, and 'he' was writing down a version of long-lived oral tales. The big thing I used to try to get my students to understand is that when myth stops changing and evolving, it dies. So it's okay to have various versions of myths and, in fact, the Greeks and Romans did it all the time.

102jnwelch
Aug 5, 2012, 2:35pm Top

The Kindly Ones is a really good one, Stephen. Glad you enjoyed it. How cool that Amber used it in teaching a Mythology class!

You've undoubtedly got enough Sandman going on right now(!), but I found The Sandman Companion by Hy Bender, which has commentary on and interviews with Gaiman for each book, very helpful in understanding some of the complex allusions in the series, and connections between different parts. Some day you may want to take a peek at it, and I would think it would be useful in a group read.

103Ape
Aug 5, 2012, 4:16pm Top

Amber: Wow, I didn't even know Homer was the earliest. I find it sad that some people fail to grasp the concept that a myth is basically defined by the retelling, and the retelling naturally changes with the story teller.

I think mythology was beautifully demonstrated in one of the books, although I've forgotten which one it was. It was a prologue at the beginning of, I think, book 3, and it was the story about the elder African retelling the story of the lady who fell in love with Morpheus. It just seemed like a perfect representation of mythology in general.

Joe: Thanks for the recommendation. There is no question I didn't pick up on a lot of the subtleties. I haven't been rushing, exactly, but I have been setting a blistering pace, and sometimes between blocks I would catch something in the image from the last piece that I nearly skipped over, not to mention all the mythological references that I know I'm not getting and all the other little things going on and being hinted at.

104scaifea
Aug 5, 2012, 4:37pm Top

Yes, I love African tale, and I suspect that it has some basis in African mythologies, but that's so far from my area that I don't really know.

105Ape
Aug 5, 2012, 6:36pm Top

Yes, most likely, there is so much going on under the surface, I wouldn't be surprised if it paralleled an actual myth.

106Ape
Aug 6, 2012, 4:21pm Top

The USA/Canada soccer game is so intense right now...

107lkernagh
Aug 6, 2012, 5:23pm Top

What an excellent game! Heartbreaking for Canadian fans in the final seconds but I have to say the Canadian team overcame a lot as underdogs to push the US team - ranked #1 in the world - as much as they did, so I am truly proud of our Canadian team and how well they have done in these games. Congrats to the US team on a win earned.

108Ape
Aug 7, 2012, 8:32am Top

It was certainly exciting. I watched Japan win earlier in the day and that one was pretty intense too. I'd probably the sport more often if teams played with that amount of enthusiasm.

109Ape
Aug 7, 2012, 8:36am Top

50. The Sandman: The Wake by Neil Gaiman


(Larger image)

Pages: 175
Rating: 3/5

Graphic Novel

The Wake is the final volume in original Sandman series, although it feels more like an epilogue than a conclusion. The thing that stood out most to me is the art in the first few books. Oh my goodness it's stunning! It's deliciously detailed, fittingly dark and gloomy, and I absolutely loved it. It made it much more difficult to read when I spent so much time ogling over the art.

The ending is rather unexciting, however. Though the final story is far from unimportant, it is a lengthy yarn twice as long as it needs to be and made the ending of the series feel like it was dragging a bit. As much as I enjoyed the nine volumes leading up to this, I found myself counting the pages and anticipating the ending with grim determination simply because of the last two short stories.

The series as a whole is quite an incredible one. In a genre that for decades was perceived as something for children with simplistic and shallow plots that robotically conformed to the good vs. evil theme, Neil Gaiman and a few others in the 80's finally broke the mould and transcended the genre, demonstrating that comic books could be something more than previously thought. I don't think I will ever see anything redeeming about spandex-wearing super heroes, other than their cultural significance, but it is things like The Sandman series that give the graphic format validity for me.

110scaifea
Edited: Aug 7, 2012, 1:22pm Top

When I first read these last comics in the series, I was so mad that he ....... that I couldn't enjoy them at all, but now I really like them. I still get sad, but, *shrug*.

111Ape
Aug 7, 2012, 1:18pm Top

Yes, I felt the same way. Plus, with all the things that were going on I was forced to read through 50 pages of short stories that were just BARELY related. -.-

Oh, and you might want to add spoiler warnings to that last post for those who haven't read it. :P

112scaifea
Aug 7, 2012, 1:22pm Top

Oops! Wow, what a dummy. Sorry! I've edited my silly spoiler now.

113Berly
Aug 7, 2012, 1:36pm Top

Hi stephen. Haven't lost your thread. Just busy with the Olympcs and in MN with relatives (medical stuff). Xoxo

114Ape
Aug 7, 2012, 1:48pm Top

Amber: Hey, don't call me a dummy. ;)

Kim: Yeah, I've been enjoying the olympics myself. I hope the medical stuff goes well...

115scaifea
Aug 7, 2012, 1:48pm Top

*snork!* Apologies.

116Ape
Aug 7, 2012, 6:44pm Top

51. The Sandman: Endless Nights by Neil Gaiman


(Larger image)

Pages: 148
Rating: 3/5

Graphic Novel

Endless Nights is a bonus volume in the Sandman Series with 7 short stories, 1 for each member of the Endless. The book is printed on a super-glossy paper that makes the images really pop off the page. The colors are extremely bright and vibrant and the book looks beautiful, there is a myriad of artists with a variety of styles but all of them looked really good. Even the simplistically-drawn books were fun to look at. I don't know why this method isn't used more, unless it's really expensive. The images were so glossy I had to sit at just the right angle to my light source due to the glare.

The stories themselves were hit-and-miss for me. Some seemed to embody the personalities of their subject perfectly, for example Delirium's was crazy, Dream's was fantastical and tragic, and Death's had an intriguing idea; however I was less enthusiastic about a couple of them. Despair's wasn't all the interesting and for all the cool things that could have been done with Destruction the story provided was only just okay.

Overall I enjoyed the collection. If you like the Sandman series you should definitely look into this, as it does give some insight into the rest of the family. It almost makes me wish there was a full series (or at least a volume) for each member of the Endless. For now, however, we'll just have to be satisfied with this.

117Ape
Aug 7, 2012, 6:47pm Top

Hurray! It's done! It's over! I liked the Sandman series and all, but after 11 books, I am so ready for something without pictures. I'll probably read the Christopher Moore novel like I said I wouldn't, but I might change my mind.

118saraslibrary
Aug 7, 2012, 9:34pm Top

#110-112: I don't mind spoilers. I usually forget what's been mentioned about a book by the time I get around to reading it anyway. :) And yes, I plan on reading The Sandman series. One of these days.

And congrats on finishing the series, Stephen! I doubt I could've sat down and read through 11 books straight.

119Ape
Aug 8, 2012, 6:12am Top

Thanks! It was, indeed, a lot of graphic reading. In fact, it was 22 days, 11 books and 2,269 pages! :o

120scaifea
Aug 8, 2012, 7:21am Top

Sara: I'm the same way, really. I'm so forgetful, which is usually a hassle, but in the case of spoilers it works out kind of nice.

Stephen: I don't think I could have read them all straight through either - impressive!

121Ape
Aug 8, 2012, 9:43am Top

I guess being stubborn can sometimes be just as useful as being forgetful. :P

122tloeffler
Aug 8, 2012, 9:44am Top

This made me think of you:

http://zombiesurvivaldash.com/

123Ape
Aug 8, 2012, 9:47am Top

Oh yes, I'm very familiar with the zombie running events. I'm surprised how popular they are, actually. Zombies are becoming so trendy I'm going to have to stop liking them just to be a nonconformist. :P

124jnwelch
Aug 8, 2012, 9:51am Top

Way to go, Stephen! You're the first person I've heard of that read Sandman straight through like that. I can well imagine you're ready for a change of fare, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. Gaiman's supposedly working on a new one.

125Ape
Aug 8, 2012, 9:57am Top

Yeah, it's a problem I have. The reason I don't like reading series as they are being released is I prefer to read them consecutively after the series is finished, so those never-ending series are practically off-limits for me. I'd be curious about a new entry to the series, it being so long since the original series came out an all. I tend to think that means the author has had time to dwell on things a bit, instead of rushing out new issues as fast as possible, which rarely bodes well...

126saraslibrary
Aug 8, 2012, 7:39pm Top

#122: Hmm, is it like tag? And do you actually get to inflict pain on the loser/brain candy? I volunteer Stephen. :)

127Ape
Edited: Aug 8, 2012, 8:29pm Top

You think I'm brain candy? Awwwwwww, thanks. :P

128saraslibrary
Aug 9, 2012, 5:27pm Top

Any time. :)

129Ape
Aug 9, 2012, 8:23pm Top

Really? Any time? So, would that be a fruity call?

130Berly
Aug 9, 2012, 10:41pm Top

Hi stephen, you sweetie you!

131Ape
Aug 10, 2012, 6:04am Top

Hi Kim!

132norabelle414
Aug 10, 2012, 1:13pm Top

133Ape
Aug 10, 2012, 2:02pm Top

Awww, how adorable! And it makes perfect sense too. I guess that's why Disney never made a sequel. :P

134richardderus
Aug 10, 2012, 10:59pm Top

>132 norabelle414: blech

My new-at-250 thread is up exclusively for your comfort and convenience, good milord.

135MickyFine
Aug 10, 2012, 11:07pm Top

A few my friends are big fans of the Zombies Run app on their phones (exercise app). And congrats on finishing the Sandman series!

136alcottacre
Aug 11, 2012, 2:24am Top

Only 135 posts behind (again), Stephen. I figured it was about time that I check in!

137Ape
Aug 11, 2012, 6:08am Top

Richard: Why thank you. I see it has 20 posts in the first 6 hours it was up, however... o.O

Micky: Ha, yeah, I've heard of that. I really need to consider trying that (not the app, but the concept.) Katie has said that she motivates herself while running by pretending she is being chased by zombies. Problem is, I'd probably take refuge from the imaginary zombies by taking refuge in a donut shop. (And by donut shop I mean my microwave stand where the poptarts are.)

Hi Stasia! Moderate doses of my thread is very sensible and responsible of you.

138katelisim
Aug 11, 2012, 9:21am Top

Yep! I have the Zombies, Run! app. I like it a lot. I've found that my best combo for running, tho, is whatever music I'm in the mood for (that has a not super slow beat) plus Jeopardy. I totes think of answers and kind of forget that I'm running, lol. I suppose other game shows would work to, if they're rapid fire enough.

139MickyFine
Aug 11, 2012, 5:22pm Top

>137 Ape: And because donut shops have people in them. :P I've got you figured out.

140Ireadthereforeiam
Aug 11, 2012, 6:04pm Top

Neil Gaiman, Neil Gaiman, Neil Gaiman
Are you on a Neil Gaiman bender Stephen?
Im kind of getting that feeling.

141Ape
Aug 11, 2012, 8:00pm Top

Katie: I would get tired before he finished asking the first question, I suspect. D'oh.

Micky: Nothing ruins a donut shop more than people in them. *Shudders*

Megan: Ha, no no, I was just reading the Sandman series, is all... I've finished it and have moved on to Coyote Blue. :)

142richardderus
Aug 11, 2012, 9:05pm Top

I've reviewed The Disheveled Dictionary, which YOU put me on to, in my thread...post #76.

143alcottacre
Aug 12, 2012, 2:05am Top

#137: I believe that is the first time I have ever been called "sensible!"

144Ape
Aug 12, 2012, 6:18am Top

Richard: Hurray! I'm still shocked that you didn't hate it. So weird, this must be a bad omen of some sort.

Stasia: Ha! I'm sure you are complimented similarly all the time, you're just sensible enough not to let it all go to your head. ;)

145MickyFine
Aug 12, 2012, 5:38pm Top

Hmm, it must be Stasia's presence because thinks are very tame in here all of a sudden. :)

146Ape
Aug 12, 2012, 7:45pm Top

Does that make you uncomfortable? :P

147Ape
Aug 12, 2012, 8:36pm Top

148Whisper1
Aug 12, 2012, 8:52pm Top

Thanks for the chuckle. I like the cartoon posted above!

149katelisim
Aug 12, 2012, 9:00pm Top

Lol. Immediately thought of Ed, Edd n Eddy "Buttered toast!"

150Ape
Aug 12, 2012, 9:03pm Top

:)

151PrueGallagher
Aug 13, 2012, 2:53am Top

Love the cartoon Stephen - and particularly like the complete random-ness of its accompanying illustration...

152Ape
Aug 13, 2012, 9:21am Top

I love those images. The dinosaur is actually a Velociraptor, but in this case it's a philosoraptor, and they are usually depicted contemplating deep philosophical ponderings. Here's a big collection of them. :)

153jnwelch
Aug 13, 2012, 9:56am Top

Hmm, you've given me a lot of toast for thought this a.m., Stephen.

The Disheveled Dictionary looks good, too. I didn't know there was an opposite poles history between you and RD, but it makes sense to me that he'd like this one.

154Ape
Edited: Aug 13, 2012, 10:10am Top

Oh, it's all Richard's fault, I've liked the books that I've found on his thread. I even gave Montana 1948 a 5-star rating. He just doesn't seem to approve of my taste in fiction. It's all on him, obviously. :P

155richardderus
Edited: Aug 13, 2012, 1:56pm Top

I don't *share* your taste in fiction a lot of the time. A LOT. That's because I'm older, smarter, better looking, and an all-around superior person than you.

That's all.



BLAST! It posts crooked.

"If a turtle loses its shell, is it naked or homeless?"

156Ape
Edited: Aug 13, 2012, 4:26pm Top

Well, you got the 'older' part right. ;)

157MickyFine
Edited: Aug 13, 2012, 5:09pm Top

>146 Ape: It makes me nervous. I worry about the other shoe dropping. :P

Mmm, I like toast. Toast and honey. *heads off to make a snack*

158richardderus
Aug 13, 2012, 10:12pm Top

159Ape
Aug 14, 2012, 6:56am Top

Micky: Well no wonder you are uncomfortable, shoes go on your FEET, not your hands.

Richard: Now that is advice worth heeding. Now where do I find a bad librarian? I thought they were all cute, sweet, and innocent by nature...
(Except Micky, she is SO not innocent.)

160richardderus
Aug 14, 2012, 10:54am Top

...and he answers his own question...

161richardderus
Aug 14, 2012, 11:02am Top

Found this on Facebook and, quite naturally, thought of you:

162MickyFine
Aug 14, 2012, 3:00pm Top

>159 Ape: Believe me, as a bit of a shoe fanatic, I know exactly where shoes go. :P

163Ape
Aug 14, 2012, 3:12pm Top

Richard: Well, I just can't imagine how that reminded you of me. I would never tell a lady I liked those things. :P

Micky: So why are you nervous again?

164katelisim
Aug 14, 2012, 5:28pm Top

162: I read that and unconsciously ignored the >159 Ape:. . . . So all I could think was "kinky steampunk zombie fetish murder shoe porn" LOL

165MickyFine
Aug 14, 2012, 5:36pm Top

>163 Ape: Ummm *backs away slowly to the Canadian corner*

166Ape
Aug 14, 2012, 7:18pm Top

Katie: Adding shoes does make it more horrifying...

Micky: Hahaha. I win. I win. :PPPPP

167Ireadthereforeiam
Aug 14, 2012, 11:29pm Top

>152 Ape: philosoraptor! Fantastic. Love it.

168Ape
Aug 15, 2012, 5:37am Top

I know, who says the internet isn't without its genius? :)

169scaifea
Aug 15, 2012, 7:15am Top

Whew! Back from In-Law Hell, so I thought I'd drop in to see what I've missed. So glad you explained why the dinosaur is there - I never would have figure that one out. Coyote Blue is probably my least favorite Moore book, but I still loved it...

170Ape
Aug 15, 2012, 7:20am Top

Hi Amber! Funny you should mention it, I just this very minute finished writing a review. I've only read 4 of his books, but I feel the same. Great book, but not as good as the other 3 I've read. :)

171Ape
Aug 15, 2012, 7:23am Top

52. Coyote Blue by Christopher Moore


(Larger image)

Pages: 299
Rating: 3/5

Fiction: Humor

Sam Hunter has been on the run since he was a teenagers. He grew up as Sam Hunts Alone, a skeptic of his own traditions on a Crow Indian reservation, where he finds himself ironically longing for the lifestyle lived by the people on the television show Bonanza. After a tragic accident involving a dam and a spare tire Sam runs from the law, and becomes an incredibly successful insurance salesperson. Until one day his heritage comes crashing around his ears in the form of the kamikaze tornado-on-legs trickster god, Coyote.

There are a lot of jabs taken at Native American culture here, and initially I thought Moore was being very disrespectful, but of course by the end the atmosphere changes and it becomes a charming representation of a mythology we know little about anyway. Of course Christopher Moore is going to poke fun at people, that's what he does, but he always has more to tell than just jokes and this book is no different.

The story itself is a ridiculously cliche one. Man falls in love with woman upon seeing her, woman is in danger before man knows her at all, man rescues her, and so forth. It's okay though, Moore is funny so I forgive him. Besides, how can you not like a book where Minty Fresh makes an appearance?

172Berly
Aug 15, 2012, 11:23am Top

Hi Stephen! Love Christopher Moore and very nice review. Also not top if my list for him, but a good read nonetheless. We are finally getting hit with beastly hot summer weather everyone else has had. Ugh.

173MickyFine
Aug 15, 2012, 2:37pm Top

>166 Ape: Fine, yes. You win. I don't want to know what the prize is.

174richardderus
Aug 15, 2012, 2:43pm Top

Good review!

175Ape
Aug 15, 2012, 5:12pm Top

Kim: Too bad, the weather is absolutely delightful here and scheduled to remain so for some time. *Grins stupidly*

Micky: A lifetime of servitude. Sorry, better luck next time I guess... :P

Richard: Thank you, sir. :)

176MickyFine
Aug 15, 2012, 5:16pm Top

Wait, you win a lifetime of servitude? That seems like a cruddy prize. :P

177katelisim
Aug 15, 2012, 5:29pm Top

That could totally depend on what servitude entails and whom you are serving.

178Ape
Aug 15, 2012, 5:33pm Top

Yeah, and besides, I'm a man-slave by nature so I'm just trying to be positive about it.

179katelisim
Aug 15, 2012, 5:35pm Top

Maybe your master has a giant library for you to peruse during your own time. One with the wheeled ladders.

180Ape
Aug 15, 2012, 5:38pm Top

I don't know, I might hurt myself on wheeled ladders...

181scaifea
Aug 16, 2012, 7:30am Top

My in-laws have a wheeled ladder in their library, and I'm always sorely tempted jump on and wheel round the shelves on it...

182Ape
Aug 16, 2012, 10:44am Top

Haha, yes, like I said, hurt myself. :P

183jolerie
Aug 16, 2012, 1:37pm Top

Just following along with all the conversations, Stephen.
I was going to say a nice PG thread you have so far, but then I saw the zombie Snow White with cleavage so I guess I'll have to bump it up a rating. :)

184Ape
Aug 16, 2012, 3:55pm Top

Who would have thought it would have been a Disney character that marred my PG rating. Hmph!

185jolerie
Edited: Aug 16, 2012, 3:57pm Top

Anything can be corrupted on this thread. Disney is no exception. :)

186Ape
Aug 16, 2012, 4:00pm Top

Nu uh! I remain quite the innocent young man, regardless of what naughty things you people insist on discussing in my thread. :P

187jdthloue
Aug 16, 2012, 5:01pm Top

I love Christopher Moore....because he's so non PC

I like you, too

;-P

188Berly
Aug 16, 2012, 5:32pm Top

Well put.

189Ape
Aug 16, 2012, 6:29pm Top

Jude: Why thank you, Jude. You can still be polite, good-natured, and respectful. In fact, I think being overly PC is can be just as disrespectful as otherwise.

Kim: Hm? Who put what where? Ohhh, nevermind!

190MickyFine
Aug 16, 2012, 11:30pm Top

Hey man slave, make me some cookies.

191Ireadthereforeiam
Aug 16, 2012, 11:42pm Top

delurking to say....you remember those few books you recommended to me an age ago....and that I could never seem to nab at the library...well, I just bought The Cobra Event by Richard Preston for $1 online.
YAY thats half of what it would have cost me to reserve it at the library....hence my resistance in reserves. All I have to do now is collect it :)

192Ape
Aug 17, 2012, 5:24am Top

Micky: Yes ma'am! *Disappears into the kitchen for several minutes, then returns with a half-eaten pack of oreos.*

Megan: Your library charges to reserve books? Ouchie! Well I'm glad you found the book on the cheap, and I hope you like it when you eventually in the probably-distant future get around to reading it. :D

193The_Hibernator
Aug 17, 2012, 8:03am Top

I'm more a fan of Richard Preston's non-fiction than his fiction.

194Ape
Aug 17, 2012, 8:21am Top

Agreed, Rachel. Megan asked me for recommendations on disease books (fiction and nonfiction) and I think the summary of that list is "anything written by Richard Preston on the topic." :P

195tloeffler
Aug 17, 2012, 2:09pm Top

This is for you, my friend:

https://apfco.com/secure/w1381/product_description.cfm?product=W1381-19

My son bought two of them, then walked to the store to buy the right colors of Jello to use... and gummy worms....

196Ape
Aug 17, 2012, 3:15pm Top

Ha! Yeah, a brain mould is a necessary part of life, I say. :)

197LauraBrook
Aug 17, 2012, 4:38pm Top

Hey Stephen, just checking in on the madness...

198Ape
Aug 17, 2012, 6:53pm Top

Hi Laura! :)

199Ape
Aug 19, 2012, 2:41pm Top

It sure is quiet...

200The_Hibernator
Aug 19, 2012, 2:42pm Top

Shhhhh! :(

201Ape
Aug 19, 2012, 2:44pm Top

*Whispers* Sorry.

*Turns stereo really really loud*

202MickyFine
Edited: Aug 19, 2012, 3:25pm Top

Sorry, I was absent for a few days due to my sibling's wedding.

*reopens mosh pit in the Canadian corner*

203Ape
Aug 19, 2012, 3:34pm Top

*Shuts stereo off suddenly and giggles at Canadians* :D

204MickyFine
Aug 19, 2012, 3:36pm Top

Really Stephen, do we have to have stereo wars?

*cranks the stereo back up*

205Ape
Aug 19, 2012, 3:38pm Top

Fine, you can control the volume if I get to pick what we listen to. ;)

206MickyFine
Aug 19, 2012, 3:40pm Top

Ugh. Definitely not. I've seen the covers of the albums you and Sara like. I am going to dance around to my dance music, whether you like it or not. :P

207Ireadthereforeiam
Aug 19, 2012, 4:34pm Top

>203 Ape: lol
that reminds me of when I first met my lovely partner for life, and loving father of my children. He never dances. Except this one time when he had had a few drinks...and we were out to see a band. He was really getting into the music, and just couldnt hold back any more. He ran up to dance, and just as he got there and had jumped up in the air- the music stopped. I still remember the look of dejection on his face when he was left with 2 feet of air under him, and no music to drop to! haha, I almost wet myself laughing. It was so funny.

208Ape
Aug 19, 2012, 7:57pm Top

Micky: But Nekrogoblikon's new album as some very danceable sections...

Megan: Ha! Poor guy. I will never dance for any reason ever, and I think that gives me another reason not to. :)

209richardderus
Aug 19, 2012, 8:01pm Top

*waltzes through smiling benignly*

210Ape
Aug 19, 2012, 8:23pm Top

Hi there, Richard. I'm assuming with your wretched toe condition that was not a dancing reference.

211MickyFine
Aug 19, 2012, 8:35pm Top

>208 Ape: Huh. I didn't know Orcs could create music...

212Ape
Aug 19, 2012, 8:40pm Top

Oh yes. They're space goblins actually, so their better than fake fantasy creatures that don't actually exist.

213MickyFine
Aug 20, 2012, 2:34pm Top

And space goblins aren't a fake fantasy creature?

214Ape
Aug 20, 2012, 2:54pm Top

Well they've released 2 albums, and I don't know how space goblins could do that without, y'know, existing... :P

215Berly
Aug 20, 2012, 3:29pm Top

Hello there! Myself, I love to dance and I am not bad at it either. The singer formerly known as Prince even asked me to dance at his nightclub Graffiti in Mpls back in the day. He is short, but boy can he move!

216klobrien2
Aug 20, 2012, 5:03pm Top

Oh, I am so jealous of you! What a cool memory to have!

Karen O.

217MickyFine
Aug 20, 2012, 5:06pm Top

>214 Ape: *suspicious look* Mmhmm, humans calling themselves space goblins don't count. :P

218lkernagh
Aug 20, 2012, 10:44pm Top

Wow, disappear from your tread for two weeks and I find myself wading through a Gaiman Sandman discussion, a zombified Snowwhite - cool pic by the way! - quickly breezing through the discussion on servitude and sliding right into space goblins..... Now, how the heck did that happen?!?!?

Seems like things are pretty much normal around here Stephen.....

219Ireadthereforeiam
Aug 20, 2012, 11:02pm Top

Berly: Prince asked you to dance? You danced with Prince? WOW that is amazing!

220Berly
Aug 21, 2012, 1:05am Top

Yup. I did!! *grins from ear to ear* Funny thing was I didn't figure out who he was until we got out on the dance floor and his body guard came with us which made me take a closer look and then it was all I could do keep calm and try to be nonchalant. Hah!

221Ape
Aug 21, 2012, 6:18am Top

Kim: Neat! I'm afraid I'll forever associate him with his 'penis guitar' he used at the Superbowl a few years back. It was so...strange...

Hi Karen!

Micky: They aren't humans calling themselves space goblins, their space goblins disguised as humans. :P

Lori: Haha, when you collect all this topics into one post it is all rather absurd, isn't it? :)

Hi Megan!

222Ape
Aug 21, 2012, 6:41am Top

Oh! I forgot my Thingaversary was two days ago. I've been here 4 years, hm, has it really been that long...?

223Berly
Aug 21, 2012, 10:56am Top

Happy Thingaversary!!! *Slaps herself on the forehead--How did I miss it?* What are you doing to celebrate? And I am glad I missed the guitar thing at the Superbowl.

224norabelle414
Aug 21, 2012, 11:15am Top

Happy belated Thingaversary!

225Ape
Aug 21, 2012, 11:36am Top

Kim: Thanks! I won't be doing anything special, which is probably why I forgot it. :P
...unless I go to Dollar Tree and buy 4 books for $4...

I can post a picture of Prince's penis-guitar if you want. ;) The guitar itself didn't look very penis-like, it just had these long tentacle-like things shooting out of it. At one point a light was lit in front of him so that it cast a HUGE shadow behind him of his silhouette, and the tentacle-thing was pointing out from his pelvis. It's difficult to imagine that it wasn't intentional, I mean, it was just too perfect.

Thanks Nora! :)

226jolerie
Aug 21, 2012, 11:38am Top

Happy Thingaversary Stephen! So, did you reward yourself with anything for reaching the 4 year milestone?

227Berly
Aug 21, 2012, 11:41am Top

4 for $4 sounds good! Nevermind, I'll go Google it. ; P

228Ape
Aug 21, 2012, 11:48am Top

Okay, here was the guitar he used:



It's very...interesting. And then...

229Ape
Aug 21, 2012, 11:48am Top

Valerie: Afraid not! I'm a cheap bastard, what can I say. :P

Kim: Oh, well, too late, I already posted! :)

230The_Hibernator
Aug 21, 2012, 12:03pm Top

I would call that more pitchfork-like than tentacle-like. Rather Satanic, really.

231Ape
Edited: Aug 21, 2012, 12:16pm Top

It does, I was recalling the things at the bottom but upon seeing the pictures I realize it was that he was, errr, 'devil tail' he was gripping. (Keep in mind when you watched it live, his hand was moving up and down the fretboard to play the song...)

232Berly
Aug 21, 2012, 12:21pm Top

Okay then. Definitely a planned shadow. Well, he certainly was sexy on the dance floor. Why not on the stage?! I think he acts like a walking hormone no matter what he is doing!

233Ape
Edited: Aug 21, 2012, 12:27pm Top

Haha! Walking hormone, that is an incredibly interesting expression! :)

234katelisim
Aug 21, 2012, 2:14pm Top

'Walking hormone' is an apt description of him, I think. Also, the guitar is in the shape of the symbol he used as his name (when he was referred to as 'The Artist Formerly Known As Prince'). It wouldn't surprise me in the least if the shadow business was planned.

235Ape
Aug 21, 2012, 4:23pm Top

Superbowl peformances have a reputation, afterall...

236richardderus
Aug 21, 2012, 4:55pm Top

Ugh on the pic, hiiiiiiiiiiii Stephen and next review is Day by Day Armageddon.

237Ape
Aug 21, 2012, 5:01pm Top

Oh dear. *Ducks*

238Ape
Edited: Aug 22, 2012, 6:14am Top

53. The Red Hourglass by Gordon Grice


(Larger image)

Pages: 259
Rating: 4/5

Nonfiction: Natural History/Biology

The Red Hourglass is a naturalist's musings on the predatory creatures he has lived his whole life surrounded by. It is one of those 'science' books that doesn't feel weighed down by tedious, excessive details that can deter many people from exploring topics they might not normally read. In fact, it almost feels like you are reading a journal by the author, one where the writer's personality is on display and makes you feel like he is talking to you personally.

That is not to say that there is any lack of information to be found here. Gordon Grice has a wealth of knowledge to offer, but he presents it in way that feels approachable, due in large part because they are his own observations instead of recounts of other people's work. The man's passion is apparent, and it is always a joy to see that in a person's writing.

Alas, if the greatest flaw of a scientist is their tendency to skew facts in their favor, the naturalist's is their tendency to exaggerate. The fish was this big, and the swarm of stag beetles ate the boat, and when we sank a dolphin saved us from the murky, fungal pond water. I admit to raising my eyebrow skeptically while reading some of the stories Grice has to tell, but considering the wondrousness of nature, especially to those who choose to be observant, it might be a fault of my own to question so readily.

Regardless, The Red Hourglass was one of those natural history/science that is both informative and fun to read, and it always makes me happy when I stumble upon a book like this.

239MickyFine
Aug 21, 2012, 9:03pm Top

I'm glad you liked your most recent read. :)

240Ape
Aug 21, 2012, 9:11pm Top

Me too! :)

241Berly
Aug 21, 2012, 10:12pm Top

Me three!

242richardderus
Aug 21, 2012, 10:15pm Top

pssst Stephen "naturist" means "person who don't wear clothes a lot" you mean "naturalist" unless you know this dude pretty darn well

Hiiiiiii Stephen!

243Ape
Aug 22, 2012, 6:04am Top

Hi Kim!

Richard: Ha! I can't believe I did that twice. *Laughs and shakes head* Thanks for pointing that out. *Goes to edit quickly*

244Berly
Aug 22, 2012, 11:38am Top

242--they dont have to be mutually exclusive. ; )

245Ape
Aug 22, 2012, 12:10pm Top

A naturalist covets the beauty of nature, whereas a naturist openly contests it. To be both is a demonstration of sadomasochism, I believe.

*Nods sagely*

246MickyFine
Aug 22, 2012, 2:41pm Top

Hahaha, well as Sam the Eagle pointed out, "Under their clothes, everyone is naked!"

247scaifea
Aug 23, 2012, 8:59am Top

Back from Indiana. Again. Hopelessly behind on threads. Again. Hope things are going well over here!

248Ape
Aug 23, 2012, 11:29am Top

Micky: That's like one of those creepy "on average a person eats ~X~ spider every year in their sleep" factoids. *Shudders*

Hi Amber! I promise it's been perfectly normal around these parts. :)

249richardderus
Aug 23, 2012, 1:32pm Top

I always thought nudists were weirdos because who wants a sunburned *ahem*? And if it's all nice and shaded, EEEEWWWWWWW put it on!! put it on!!

250MickyFine
Aug 23, 2012, 2:22pm Top

>248 Ape: Wait, people eat spiders in their sleep? Really?

251richardderus
Aug 23, 2012, 2:40pm Top

>250 MickyFine: Frequently. The average person eats, as in inhales through the open mouth or up the nose during sleep, at least 50 spiders a year. Average about one a week.

252MickyFine
Aug 23, 2012, 2:52pm Top

Ewww. That's the average American right? Because us Canucks, we just don't have that many spiders. ;)

253norabelle414
Aug 23, 2012, 3:05pm Top

>252 MickyFine: Duh because you ate them all already.

254richardderus
Aug 23, 2012, 4:19pm Top

You have MORE *house* spiders than us Murrikins do, Micky, cause it's always so durned cold in them thar moose-infested nawth woods. Though how spiders manage to find corners to hide in in them igloos...?

255jolerie
Aug 23, 2012, 7:43pm Top

I'd say we have less since everything, or at least most things die off in the winter up here. :)

Although I've heard that statistic before and actually kind of believe it. *Shudder*.

256Ape
Aug 23, 2012, 9:12pm Top

249: Yeah, but you can also ask people to help you apply sunscreen... ;)

250: Allegedly. It's one of those random internet factoids, it's hard to say how true it is. I know I've woken up freaking the heck out because I felt 'something' scurring across my face/arm/leg, so....

251: See, I read it was something like 10, but either way it doesn't sound pleasant.

252: Americans rarely eat anything that isn't deep fried or smothered in cheese or gravy, even if by accident. So...nope! :P

253: I wonder if that applies to everything else that isn't in Canada. Like monkeys.

254: Yeah! And because it's so cold, they are the extra-frightening hairy variety.

255: The winter means they take refuge indoors. ;)

257norabelle414
Aug 23, 2012, 9:48pm Top

>256 Ape: and tigers! and elephants! and penguins! and dinosaurs! and unicorns! geez, those Canadians are hungry!

258Berly
Edited: Aug 24, 2012, 1:40am Top

But see the real question is who bothered to stay up all night and count the spider inhalations in the first place? Yeah, my first job out of college was counting nocturnally ingested arachnoids...lol.

259Ape
Aug 24, 2012, 7:13am Top

Nora: *Gasp* I knew it! It's all Canada's fault dinosaurs are extinct! And that unicorns are endangered! Grrrr!

Kim: Let's of scientist bother to do all kinds of weird things in the name of science. You can read about those in Mary Roach's books, in fact. :) It is an interesting question, however, how an exact number can be derived. It would vary greatly based on numerous factors. Location, living conditions, sleeping position, bed type, whether or not a person sleeps with their mouth open, etc.

Okay, new thread time...

260Ape
Aug 24, 2012, 7:15am Top

New thread posted. :)

This topic was continued by Ape's 2012 Challenge (14).

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2012

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