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).
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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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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!"
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. :)
Watch out then...I'll have to visit you just to see if Oho really does have hills.
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.
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.
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?
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. :/
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. :)
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.
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?
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.....
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.
Shiny new thread, Stephen. I like it. *plonks down to read in the Canadian corner*
#18: But it's men's beach volleyball! I'm getting a stiffy, and I'm not even a guy.
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.
46. The Sandman: Fables and Reflections by Neil Gaiman
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.
>24 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.
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.
You should make the next thread circular, and watch Micky walk around in circles trying to find the Canadian corner
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?
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.
#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.
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...
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.
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...
#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)
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. :)
Hi Megan! Yeah, reading a graphic series with 10-11 books will do that, huh? :)
47. The Sandman: Brief Lives by Neil Gaiman
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.
>28-29 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
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...
#38: Oh, don't worry. After working at libraries for almost 10 years, I'm burned out.
#43: I used a drill, of course. ;)
Male authors: 12
Female authors: 3
Which book was both fiction and non-fiction, Stephen? Just out of curiousity.
#47: Woohoo! Score 1 for the creepy weirdos that lurk in Stephen's head. Thread. I mean, thread. ;)
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
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.
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
Hey Stephen! The hills around your town look beautiful. And, maybe it's just me, but that house looks just the like Death Star.
Only if you hear heavy mouth breathing when you're near it? *innocent smile*
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.
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...
Morphy: Uhhhh, but...I...ummmm...errrrrr, welllll, can I have a towel first?
George Takei is NOT who I want to be thinking about at this particular moment. Lets talk about...Kari Byron! :D
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
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. :(
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.
Loving the Sandman reviews, Stephen. Delirium is my son's favorite character (mine's Death, with Dream a close second).
>71 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 . . . .
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. ;)
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 Can I take this Darth Vader mask off first? It's a bit stuffy in here.
48. The Sandman: Worlds' End by Neil Gaiman
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.
>76 Uh, have you not seen that adorable Volkswagen commercial with the little kid in the Darth Vader helmet? I'm totally innocent. :P
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
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.
>79 You would totally make that up. :P Silly Stephen. You can't fool me. I wield the powers of The Librarian!
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...
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
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.
Cool, there are a lot of things to interpret with the series so it would make a perfect group read, I would think. :)
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?
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
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.....
>82 Oh but Stephen, you should come to the dark side. We have cookies. :P
Death star lands in Ohio field.
What a headline that would make.
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...
49. The Sandman: The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman
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.
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...
Ha! They are certainly worthwhile. I'm very much looking forward to reading a 'regular' book, though...
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.
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!
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, most likely, there is so much going on under the surface, I wouldn't be surprised if it paralleled an actual myth.
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.
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.
50. The Sandman: The Wake by Neil Gaiman
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.
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*.
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
Hi stephen. Haven't lost your thread. Just busy with the Olympcs and in MN with relatives (medical stuff). Xoxo
Amber: Hey, don't call me a dummy. ;)
Kim: Yeah, I've been enjoying the olympics myself. I hope the medical stuff goes well...
51. The Sandman: Endless Nights by Neil Gaiman
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.
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.
#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.
Thanks! It was, indeed, a lot of graphic reading. In fact, it was 22 days, 11 books and 2,269 pages! :o
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!
I guess being stubborn can sometimes be just as useful as being forgetful. :P
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
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...
#122: Hmm, is it like tag? And do you actually get to inflict pain on the loser/brain candy? I volunteer Stephen. :)
Awww, how adorable! And it makes perfect sense too. I guess that's why Disney never made a sequel. :P
My new-at-250 thread is up exclusively for your comfort and convenience, good milord.
A few my friends are big fans of the Zombies Run app on their phones (exercise app). And congrats on finishing the Sandman series!
Only 135 posts behind (again), Stephen. I figured it was about time that I check in!
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.
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.
>137 And because donut shops have people in them. :P I've got you figured out.
Neil Gaiman, Neil Gaiman, Neil Gaiman
Are you on a Neil Gaiman bender Stephen?
Im kind of getting that feeling.
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. :)
#137: I believe that is the first time I have ever been called "sensible!"
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. ;)
Hmm, it must be Stasia's presence because thinks are very tame in here all of a sudden. :)
Love the cartoon Stephen - and particularly like the complete random-ness of its accompanying illustration...
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. :)
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.
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
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.
BLAST! It posts crooked.
"If a turtle loses its shell, is it naked or homeless?"
>146 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*
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.)
>159 Believe me, as a bit of a shoe fanatic, I know exactly where shoes go. :P
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?
162: I read that and unconsciously ignored the >159. . . . So all I could think was "kinky steampunk zombie fetish murder shoe porn" LOL
Katie: Adding shoes does make it more horrifying...
Micky: Hahaha. I win. I win. :PPPPP
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...
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. :)
52. Coyote Blue by Christopher Moore
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?
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.
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. :)
Wait, you win a lifetime of servitude? That seems like a cruddy prize. :P
That could totally depend on what servitude entails and whom you are serving.
Yeah, and besides, I'm a man-slave by nature so I'm just trying to be positive about it.
Maybe your master has a giant library for you to peruse during your own time. One with the wheeled ladders.
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...
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. :)
Who would have thought it would have been a Disney character that marred my PG rating. Hmph!
Anything can be corrupted on this thread. Disney is no exception. :)
Nu uh! I remain quite the innocent young man, regardless of what naughty things you people insist on discussing in my thread. :P
I love Christopher Moore....because he's so non PC
I like you, too
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!
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 :)
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
I'm more a fan of Richard Preston's non-fiction than his fiction.
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
This is for you, my friend:
My son bought two of them, then walked to the store to buy the right colors of Jello to use... and gummy worms....
Sorry, I was absent for a few days due to my sibling's wedding.
*reopens mosh pit in the Canadian corner*
Really Stephen, do we have to have stereo wars?
*cranks the stereo back up*
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
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.
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. :)
Hi there, Richard. I'm assuming with your wretched toe condition that was not a dancing reference.
Oh yes. They're space goblins actually, so their better than fake fantasy creatures that don't actually exist.
Well they've released 2 albums, and I don't know how space goblins could do that without, y'know, existing... :P
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!
>214 *suspicious look* Mmhmm, humans calling themselves space goblins don't count. :P
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.....
Berly: Prince asked you to dance? You danced with Prince? WOW that is amazing!
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!
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...
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? :)
Oh! I forgot my Thingaversary was two days ago. I've been here 4 years, hm, has it really been that long...?
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.
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! :)
Happy Thingaversary Stephen! So, did you reward yourself with anything for reaching the 4 year milestone?
Valerie: Afraid not! I'm a cheap bastard, what can I say. :P
Kim: Oh, well, too late, I already posted! :)
I would call that more pitchfork-like than tentacle-like. Rather Satanic, really.
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...)
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!
Haha! Walking hormone, that is an incredibly interesting expression! :)
'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.
Ugh on the pic, hiiiiiiiiiiii Stephen and next review is Day by Day Armageddon.
53. The Red Hourglass by Gordon Grice
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.
pssst Stephen "naturist" means "person who don't wear clothes a lot" you mean "naturalist" unless you know this dude pretty darn well
Richard: Ha! I can't believe I did that twice. *Laughs and shakes head* Thanks for pointing that out. *Goes to edit quickly*
A naturalist covets the beauty of nature, whereas a naturist openly contests it. To be both is a demonstration of sadomasochism, I believe.
Hahaha, well as Sam the Eagle pointed out, "Under their clothes, everyone is naked!"
Back from Indiana. Again. Hopelessly behind on threads. Again. Hope things are going well over here!
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. :)
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!!
>250 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.
Ewww. That's the average American right? Because us Canucks, we just don't have that many spiders. ;)
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...?
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*.
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. ;)
>256 and tigers! and elephants! and penguins! and dinosaurs! and unicorns! geez, those Canadians are hungry!
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.
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...
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