Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Books Make Me Happy

I got my copies of Suzanne Collins's Catching Fire and Mockingjay - the last two books in the Hunger Games trilogy - in the mail Saturday. It made my weekend, even though it was a drag at work. Along with these two books, I received my copy of Diary of the Dead (not pictured), leaving me only to pick up a copy of Survival of the Dead to complete my collection of Romero zombie films. 

When I got to work that day, Guerra showed me his copy of Mockingjay which he happily stated that he was already on page 142. I told him I got my copy in the mail along with the second book, which I still needed to read. I don't think I'll get through Catching Fire before the playoffs are over, so it looks like we won't be chatting up a storm about the books. There's always next season, no?

Until next time, keep on huntin'.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hitching a Lift

Sometimes I wonder why I put off books for so long. I heard about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy several years ago; it piqued my interest when Monica told me about it. I saw parts of the BBC series and watched the Disney - ahem, Touchstone - film. But I never picked up the book, even though several times I picked up the book at the local book store but put them back when I found something else. 

At long last, I found a copy of The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide, which includes the five novels and the short story, "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe." This incident was purely by chance. If recollection is correct, I was searching for another sci fi book - possibly part of a series - when I came across a used copy of the leather bound edition for only $3.99. I picked it up, hugged it tightly against me (this is probably literally) and targeted for the check out before my better senses go the best of me. 

And what did I do when I get home? I placed it on my shelf and forgot about it a little more than a year. After cracking open the book, I read quietly, wondering if I would - could - stick to it. A hundred and forty-three pages later, I finished the first book of the set. I went in with the decision of reading one book at a time, allowing myself to breathe before going on to the next.

So after all these years of wanting to read it, what do I think of the novel? I think it was brilliant - why the hell did I wait so long to pick it up? Life would've have been more enjoyable had I read this back in high school rather than Catcher in the Rye - which, I enjoyed. But c'mon, you have to admit that book can be damaging to a teenager. 

A highly enjoyable exploration of the universe and all those who dwell in it. I will have to keep myself from continuing on with The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. But that'll give me more motivation to read through whatever book is next in my queue. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thumbing Through the Guide

It was a lucky find. Last year, at Hastings, I was just skipping along when suddenly I see the leather bound - I'm suspicious if this is really leather bound - of The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide which houses five novels and one short story. It was a lucky find because it was used. It was an extremely lucky find because it was only $3.99. 

To say the least, it rested on my book shelf for a year before I picked it up and flipped the pages. Now I plan to read this one novel at a time - yeah, yeah. How else was I supposed to read it? - meaning, once I'm finished with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, I'm going to put down the leather bound book and read something else. Probably Please, Sir which I've already read two stories from and my body is itching to read more. Or I'll pick up Catching Fire (which is en route with Mockingjay), should it be here by tomorrow (I don't have much left to finish off Hitchhiker's Guide). 

I ordered the Hitchhiker's Guide movie - something I've seen years ago, but would really like to see again - but now I'm waiting for it patiently. I also have another book on its way, Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife by Lisa Miller. I'll have pictures of my "finds" and a review of HHGTTG soon. Until then, happy huntin'.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Car Troubles?

It's there's one thing a book hunter hates, it's the lack of transportation. Nothing puts a damper on hunting as not being able to get to familiar hunting grounds. And some odd reason, it seems that summer is the season for car troubles. Not only would that put a damper on book hunters searching for the summer releases, it puts a damper on every one trying to free themselves from the monotony of every day life. 

Luckily there's repair pal, which provides a tune up to oil change and beyond to any car from an Acura Intergra to Ford Focus. Researching the prices and giving you the best locations in most major cities - including Houston auto repair - repair pal is the best site to have on hand. 

So before you allow yourself to be stranded at home because you took your car to an auto shop without doing your research first, check out repair pal before making your decision. It might save you money and time.

Local TV Satellite

Ever since the government figured out a way for us to pay for TV, several of us said goodbye to our favorite TV channels. Time Warner promised to take care of us, but earlier this year, they did away with several networks, moving them instead to their digital package so they can charge us an arm and a leg.

So where do we turn to now? Local TV Satellite is a promising idea. Coupled with Direct TV, www.localtv-satellite.com is offering several packages at a reasonable prices - including one that contains a NFL package.At what better time to invest in satellite TV than the opening of football season? 

Get this, though, localtv-satellite.com isn't going to screw you over like most providers. And because it's Direct TV, you know you can expect the best quality of picture and service. And no matter what that fat, baseball cap wearing spokesman for cable says, this satellite company isn't looking to steal any channels away from you while you sleep just so they can take more of your hard worked money.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Naughty Book Hunt

As I promised earlier this summer, I purchased Please, Sir and Please, Ma'am - both edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel. Because I'm a fan of saving money on shipping, I threw in a copy of John Cleland's Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure. I know what most of you will say, "That's not saving money," but I'd rather spend money one an extra book than on shipping - something I can't even read. 

I've been on the hunt for a cheap copy of Fanny Hill but even used copies seemed a bit expensive. However, when the checkout told me I needed to add $4.66 to my shopping cart in order to save on shipping. I wasn't particularly looking for a copy of the book also known as Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure but there it was, glittering on my screen with the low price of $4.99. Bingo. Add it on and there we go. 

Suzanne Collins Leaves Me Hungry for More

It seems like I say this with every Young Adult novel that comes my way, but I mean it every time: The Hunger Games has proven to show that YA has come a long way since I was a kid. I've always been a reader, but if books like this were introduced to me when I was in school I would've stopped attempting all those lame paperback novels by uber popular authors that I only got halfway through. And don't say Harry Potter, because even then I disliked the prepubescent wizard. 

Still, I can't help but to see that, much like Harry Potter, Suzanne Collins has given something to the Twilight generation - a strong female role model whose priority is to survive rather than which boy to choose.  That's not to say that love doesn't have its part in The Hunger Games - and quite possibly the series - but unlike with the Twilight Saga, fans of  The Hunger Games trilogy aren't rallying for Team Gale or Team Peeta. 

The America we once knew is gone. In its ashes remains a country called Panem. The country has been divided into districts - 13 in all - and the Capitol, where the wealthiest reside. Before the story opens, a revolution takes place against the Capitol and its people. But it is a failure and as punishment, District 13 is destroyed. And the Hunger Games begin. Each year, every district holds a lottery to see which two children partake in the Hunger Games. One globe holds the names of every girl of the district and one holds those of every boy. The age ranges from 12 to 18. On the first year of an individuals eligibility, one ticket holds his or her name. The number of tickets increases every year and for additional food. 

The gist of the Hunger Games is simple to follow. Twenty-four children enter the arena and only one is allowed to leave. Each child is expected to survive using their wits and their strength, no matter what. The violence of the game is aired all over Panem, but it is mostly a pastime for those who inhabit the Capitol. The winner's district, in the end, is awarded food for an entire year and the winner is given a mansion, money and enough to survive for the rest of his or her life. And as Prim Everdeen's name is called out on Reaping Day - the day of the lottery - older sister Katniss volunteers to take the place of her twelve-year-old sister. The second name to be called is that of Peeta Mellark, the son of a baker. 

Katniss has skills known throughout District 12 - hunting skills, as well as, survival skills in the wilderness. Illegally, Katniss has been keeping her family alive by hunting the surrounding woods with friend Gale. But on that year's Reaping Day, Katniss is facing her greatest challenge - having to outlive the boy who once helped her survive when her father's life was taken after a mine explosion. 

The book takes you into an unimaginable world where young adults - children, even - are placed into the hands of the wealthiest for the sake of survival and national pride. And while Katniss has every intention of surviving the arena - is she ready to take the lives of others her age?

The book is hard to put down. Suzanne Collins gives us a heroine in a world where girls are yearning to be saved by a homoerotic werewolf or sparkling vampire. I hope that The Hunger Games and the books that follow - Catching Fire and Mockingjay (to be released on August 24) - shine some light upon the eyes of the girls blinded by the drivel presented by Stephenie Meyer. Collins has that special touch, yanking every emotion welled up in your hearts - from tears of sadness to those of victory.

Experience reading with the all-new Amazon Kindle:

Monday, August 16, 2010

The I-Wasn't-Supposed-to-Book-Hunt Book Hunt

So I wasn't supposed to buy anything; meaning, I wasn't supposed to buy anything other than a copy of Body Double by Tess Gerritsen. This led to me purchasing a copy of Vanish, as well. Books 'n' Things, as usual had a few books that I needed to add to my collection. Because I'm very bad with the whole not spending too much, I wound up buying four books from that store. Along with the first two mentioned, I also purchased a copy of Brian Keene's Ghoul and copy of The Silence of the Lambs - which completes my collection of the series and I can now read them in peace. I scanned the shelves for a copy of Ender's Game - because I seriously have a problem with buying books - but found nothing. Because I had more than I had anticipated, I decided to check out before I gathered more books. 

Afterward, I went to Georgia's Thrift Shop and paid a visit to Mike. He had a copy of Ender's Game for a buck. I scanned his shelves for a copy of The Stand - which I already own a copy of, but I've been pressured to read the uncut edition for a better story. Mike explained how his collection of Stephen King is being bought out quickly. All's well in book hunting. 

After that, I went over to The Book Stop. I wasn't looking for something for me this time around. Instead, I purchased a copy of Wicked for Jyg. I hope she'll like it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Re: Baseball & Books

A month ago, I posted a reading list of books dealing with baseball. That list still stands, by the way. This post really has nothing to do with baseball, but it does have to do with a baseball player and books; one, of which, deals with a rather dark sport. 

I got to work yesterday with A Gathering of Crows in hand. I take books with me because I get way more reading done at work than I ever do at home - go figure. As I was sucked into the page-turner, one of the players - mind you, I work at Edinburg Stadium which is the home of the Edinburg Roadrunners - noticed I was reading. Inquiry occurred and we spoke for a couple of minutes on the subject of books. 

I know there's that old stereotype that jocks don't read, but there's also one that involves nerds not liking sports. And for the last few weeks of this season, I've gotten really into the sport. I don't fancy I'll be watching any games on TV, but I will root for the home team. Well, Aaron Guerra - the name of the aforementioned player - is a baseball player and a semi-new reader. He confessed to me today he's only been reading since last December and has already read close to 65 books, 17 of which has been read just this summer. That puts to shame my 34 books in the failed attempt of 100+ book challenge.

I didn't peg Aaron to be a reader - mostly because of the stereotype. Until one night he entered the locker room with a book in hand. Steven, my assistant/co-worker, and I were setting up the envelopes for our club dues when it happened. I couldn't see what was in his hand, but I assumed - because I'd seen so many books in the visiting team locker room - whatever he was reading it had to deal with baseball. When he headed off back to the diamond, I decided to sneak a peak at what he was reading. Lo and behold, it was a copy of Orson Scott Card's Xenocide - the third book in the Ender's Game series.

So yesterday, when we spoke, he suggested I check out Ender's Game, which I confessed I've tried to read many times to no avail. He then suggested Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games, which I noted. It wasn't too hard to find at Barnes & Noble. Most importantly, it was only $8.99 for the softcover. Today he suggested I read Christopher Golden's Of Saints and Shadows, which'll be next on my list. The Twilight Saga was tossed around, but I have no plans on reading those. Nor do I plan on reading Harry Potter, which he also suggested.

So with that, fellow reader(s), I'll leave you with this. I'm planning on reading The Hunger Games just as soon as this entry posts. Until next time, keep on huntin'.