Books Read in October

1. Pride and Predjudice, by Jane Austin
2. The Boy with the Cuckoo Clock Heart (audio book), by Mathias Malzieu
3. The Sun Also Rises (audio book), by Ernest Hemingway
4. The Witch of Portobello, by Paulo Coelho
5. After the Dance: A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti, by Edwidge Danticat
7. Chasing the Dragon, by Nicholas Kaufmann
8. Brideshead Revisited (audio book), by Evelyn Waugh
9. Woman on the Edge of Time, by Marge Piercy
10. Fables: The Good Prince, by Bill Willingham

You can my reviews of these here.

Book Review – Breathers: A Zombie's Lament, by S.G. Browne

Browne, S. G. - Breathers (2009 TPB)In this darkly comic take on the zombie story, Browne presents a world in which the dead arise, but instead of being brainless shuffling corpses, they are actually intelligent and only occasionally shuffling corpses. After a car crash in which both he and his wife die, Andy finds himself embalmed and shuffling away from the mortuary on a distortedly broken ankle. His afterlife is immediately beset with problems, as he is now considered a worthless subhuman with out any of the basic rights that the living enjoy.

Andy spends his time watching reruns in his parent’s basement (with the door locked, because they are embarrassed of him), being shouted at and pelted with food when he walks down the street, trying to keep from falling apart by getting his fix of formaldehyde, and once a week going to Undead Anonymous meetings with others who are in his same situation. His daily depression is compounded by the fact that he cannot even speak of his problems to his therapist. Things begin to turn around for him, however, when he falls for another zombie who sucks on lipstick and makeup to get her fix of formaldehyde.

I love the dark humor and the clever writing style. You are made to wholly sympathize with the zombies and their plight to the point that humans, also known as breathers, seem to be one dimensional. Every breather is so disgusted with zombies that they are cruel and vicious to them (even the mother who tries to be nice still falls short). The reaction of just about every Breather when they see a zombie is either to scream or to quiver in fear. In a way this was necessary to your sympathy for the zombies, but it also made the world seem somewhat flat. For it seems to me, if zombies were a regular occurrence in the world, they would be treated just as often as a mundane annoyance rather then always objects of terror. Furthermore, we are really attached to our loved ones, and I have to imagine that a percentage of humans would look on their undead family members as slightly smelly loved ones, and that they would insist that their loved ones be treated by respect at large. But then I may be over analyzing, and the hateful and oppressive treatment of the zombies in this book — who often seem more human in comparison — is what allows the reader to maintain sympathize with them.

But all that aside, Breathers is a great zombie love story, or zombie revolution story (depending on your point of view).

[x-posted to my livejournal. If you feel inclined, you can comment either here or there.]

Books Read in September

A little late, but here it is….

Books Read:
1. Ash, by Malinda Lo
2. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, by Lola Shoneyin
3. Essential Do’s and Taboos: The Complete Guide to International Business and Leisure Travel, by Roger E. Axtell
4. A Concise History of Germany, by Mary Fulbrook
5. Top Ten Berlin, by Juergen Scheunemann and Dorling Kindersley
6. The Children of Men, by P.D. James
7. A Local Habitation, by Seanan McGuire
8. Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness, by Reinhard Kleist

You can read the reviews on my livejournal.

Books Read in August

Books read:
1. The Dead-Tossed Waves, by Carrie Ryan
2. Richard Hittleman’s Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Plan, by Richard Hittleman
3. New Direction in Altered Books, by Gabe Cyr
4. To the Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf

Boy, it’s been a really slow reading month for me. Hmm. Anywho, if you want to read my reviews for these, click here.

Book Meme (1/30)

I need some inspiration to post more often, so here goes, another meme. This book meme was created by alg.

(I’m not even going to pretend that I’m going to finish this in 30 days. Pfft, I say, pfft to you [that], sir.)

Day 01 – A book series you wish had gone on longer OR a book series you wish would just freaking end already (or both!)

Some series certainly go on for-ev-er, don’t they. I can’t really name any that should have ended, though, because I tend not to read series past the fifth book or so, especially if they rehash the same storyline over and over and over and over and over again. I got bored with Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events for precisely that reason and quite reading after the fourth book (however, I later learned from a friend that things in the series got more interesting after that point, so I ended up going back to finish the series).

In general, I don’t think there’s such a thing as too long or too short. If the author enjoys writing a series and readers enjoy reading, then there’s no reason why it might not go on indefinitely. Those who do get bored are free to quit reading, as I’m apt to do.

Vice-versa, if an author feels she’s done with a story, then, hey, she’s done. The story ends there. So be it. I can reread if I love it that much, or I can sit and imagine how the world might unfold in my own head (I do that a lot anyway). Besides there are plenty of other books out there that I would love to discover.

Although, if Cornelia Funke wanted to revisit the the characters and world of Inkheart, I certainly wouldn’t mind it. (^_^)

The Rest of the Days:
Day 02 – A book or series you wish more people were reading and talking about
Day 03 – The best book you’ve read in the last 12 months
Day 04 – Your favorite book or series ever
Day 05 – A book or series you hate
Day 06 – Favorite book of your favorite series OR your favorite book of all time
Day 07 – Least favorite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise
Day 08 – A book everyone should read at least once
Day 09 – Best scene ever
Day 10 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 11 – A book that disappointed you
Day 12 – A book or series of books you’ve read more than five times
Day 13 – Favorite childhood book OR current favorite YA book (or both!)
Day 14 – Favorite character in a book (of any sex or gender)
Day 15 – Your “comfort” book
Day 16 – Favorite poem or collection of poetry
Day 17 – Favorite story or collection of stories (short stories, novellas, novelettes, etc.)
Day 18 – Favorite beginning scene in a book
Day 19 – Favorite book cover (bonus points for posting an image!)
Day 20 – Favorite kiss
Day 21 – Favorite romantic/sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)
Day 22 – Favorite non-sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)
Day 23 – Most annoying character ever
Day 24 – Best quote from a novel
Day 25 – Any five books from your “to be read” stack
Day 26 – OMG WTF? OR most irritating/awful/annoying book ending
Day 27 – If a book contains ______, you will always read it (and a book or books that contain it)!
Day 28 – First favorite book or series obsession
Day 29 – Saddest character death OR best/most satisfying character death (or both!)
Day 30 – What book are you reading right now?

[x-posted to my livejournal. If you feel inclined, you can comment either here or there.]