Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Walking Dead

AMC premiered its series adaptation of the graphic novel The Walking Dead. While I've never been read a single volume of the graphic novel series, I am a fan of most things zombies (I can live without the remake of Day of the Dead). I suppose, in a way, it's best that I've distance myself from the graphic novels. In many ways, prior knowledge might been damaging to my enjoyment of the television series. For example, I might have been more of a fan toward Rizzoli and Isles had I not picked up The Apprentice (or The Surgeon, for that matter) before viewing the television series. Or, I might have disliked Dexter had I picked up the first novel - which I've read is poorly constructed. 

The Walking Dead seems promising, but I'm unsure how it'll stay fresh beyond season one. AMC has a recent history of popping out great TV shows like Mad Men, Rubicon and Breaking Bad. None of these, however, have been able to keep my attention. Well, except for Mad Men but I never gave it a chance. Here's hoping for something good. Until next time, keep on huntin'.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Another post about Amazon's Super Savor Shipping

I came across a blog entitled No Shoe Left Behind the other day. It's written by Allison. Now, and I'm going to be honest here, I didn't read her entire blog, just the post that appeared on my WordPress Dashboard for the City of Chapin blog that I have there. The post's title was something that grabbed my attention: "Super Saver Shipping Sends Book Junkie To Rehab." 

While I'm unsure about Allison's opening statement about Amazon's Super Saver Shipping being "more addictive than chocolate, Glee and a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte combined" - mostly because I don't like Glee or Starbucks - I do agree that the offer is quite breathtaking. Most of my college grant money went into $25 or more shopping sprees on the online bookstore - this is, of course, before I mastered the art of saving money. 

For my senior philosophy essay, most, if not all, my books were purchased on Amazon with the aim of saving on shipping by buying a buttload of books. Here's a list of what I bought at the tail end of 2007:
The last one obviously doesn't belong (it was a X-mas gift for my mother). And I'm sure I purchased other things along with these items - mostly all X-mas gifts - that I've left off the list. The point is, these weren't all purchased at the same time. Not in one big bulk but in several $25+ bulks. I tacked on X-mas gifts to fill up the missing dollars. To this day, I still do that whenever ordering straight from Amazon, which isn't a constant thing for me). 

I see it from the point of view that if I'm going to spend extra money, I might as well be getting something in return. Why pay shipping and get nothing when you can tack on that extra novel or DVD, pay a little more and - POOF! - the shipping's free. It's not rational to most people, I know. But to the book hunter (or junkie, depending on the view of yourself) it's the most rational thing ever. 

That is of course, until you start noticing bank account's balances is teetering on the brink. Oh well, until next time. Keep on huntin'.

The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen

Unlike The Surgeon and The Apprentice, there was some problems with my reading of Tess Gerritsen's The Sinner. As the third book in the Rizzoli & Isles series (actually, the second book as Isles didn't pop up until The Apprentice), I had to adjust with the absence of the villain of the first two novels.

Just months after the events of The Apprentice, The Sinner opens up with Maura Isles entering an unlikely crime scene. A brutal attack at a local convent leaves on nun murdered and another one fighting to live. Digging through the murdered nun's past, both Rizzoli and Isles uncovered secrets she took to the grave. But when a Jane Doe is discovered mutilated, Maura soon discovers that both murders might be related. As the mystery grows, so does drama in the personal lives of our female leads.

I wasn't sold on The Sinner as I was with The Surgeon and The Apprentice. While the latter two had elements of romance, The Sinner seemed to be flooded with them. It's not to say I'm not a fan of romance - I have read a couple of Nicholas Sparks novels in my time - but I really don't like to see it in my crime fiction. Of course I know that romance is a character builder and it's must if you want three-dimensional characters, but the focus was on it - at least for me - quite often in this novel. From the uncertainty of Rizzoli's situation to Maura's ex-husband returning to after a three-year estrangement, it seemed too much like a TV crime drama where aspects of their case mirror their persona lives.

But Gerritsen doesn't fail me with her prose. Still compelling as ever, The Sinner is much a page turner as its predecessors.  I only hope that the next book in the series, Body Double, lives up to her work. Might be some time before I pick up that novel, however. I'm going to read Death Troopers next. Might even get Moxyland in before returning to Rizzoli and Isles. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sci-Fi Book Hunt

They finally did it. Two passions into one book. Star Wars and zombies: What, I ask you, could be better? Okay, I'm a year late but I never read Star Wars books and didn't learn of this novel until someone post the cover image on a zombie message board. Joe Schreiber's novel was published last year was only recently released on mass market paperback. Of course I went straight to Barnes & Noble to pick up a copy. The events of the novel are said to take place a year before A New Hope

During my search, I caught a glimpse of Moxyland by Lauren Beukes. Don't judge a book by its cover, they say, but I'm a book hunter and we're very delicate to the beauty of a cover. Moxyland was added to my cart and I vanished toward the front of the store before I bought more books.

However, that failed miserably when I picked up the current issue of Poets & Writers. Total price was under $25. Oh well. Until next time, keep on huntin'.

Book hunt to come & Other things

Death Troopers

Halloween is just around the corner and my costume isn't completed yet. Jyg and I are doing a theme again. Last year was gothic Wizard of Oz, so this year we decided to darken up another childhood favorite - Little Red Riding Hood. Before you ask, I'm not going to be the big bad wolf. Instead, I'm the woodsman post wolf-slaying. 

My mind is off somewhere else. Right now I'm browsing the bookstore, even though I'm sitting at desk. James Franco's collection of short stories, Palo Alto, was released earlier this month while the rather dark Star Wars novel, Death Troopers, was released in mass market paperback just yesterday. I actually went looking for Death Troopers yesterday while I was at work. The HEB Plus - a local chain of grocery stores - housed a rather large (compared to other HEBs in the area) book section. Sadly, the book wasn't on the shelves. 

I'll probably put off purchasing Pablo Alto - which is getting quite a few bad reviews on Amazon - until it hits the discount table at Barnes & Noble, or a used copy appears at a reasonable price online. And unless I'm planning to find a hardcover version, I'll just buy Death Troopers at Barnes later this week (whenever I get some me time).

At another HEB Plus - this one in San Juan - I saw a young girl wearing a black The Hunger Games shirt. It was the first time outside of Twilight and Harry Potter that I've seen someone wear a shirt inspired by a book. Sad thing is, the latter two are usually on people closer to my age than that of the intended audience. And like most fans of the trilogy, I'm waiting patiently for the film release. As you may all know (unless you don't read anything online) Lionsgate - you know, the studio that's brought you such classics as the Saw flicks - has acquired the rights to the film. And that's about all the news there is. Several female stars have show interest in the screenplay - also written by Suzanne Collins - including Skins star Kaya Scodelario and Kick Ass and Let Me In (an adaptation of the novel Let the Right One In, which is also the basis of the Swedish film of the same title) starlet, Chloe Moretz.

And if you're a fan of the first book, maybe you should check out Hunger Games (the unofficial score).

And finally, one last thing before I go. Atriad Press is looking for nonfiction submissions of books about Texas. If you're a Texan writer of nonfiction, maybe you should think about this press. Who knows. I might just pick it up and whore it out here. Well, if it's good.

Until next time, keep on huntin'.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Questionable Content vol. 1

Say with me now: "It's a about fucking time!" The singularity hit and we were still sans a Questionable Content book. Well, Jeph Jacques got his shit together and released this sucker. You can purchase it for $18 (plus shipping) here. Of course, if you're a cheapskate like me, you can always read them online.

The book is compiled for the first 300 strips plus added bonus - such as commentary for each strip. This amuses me because I used to read Questionable Content between classes back in college. I stopped after graduation only to be reintroduced to the site because of Tumblr. I went back to the first strip and read all the way until the present one. Had this book come out earlier, it would have spared me from having to read the first 300. Thanks a lot, Jacques. That's a lot. 

It doesn't get better the second time around

My second reading of The Stand by Stephen King wasn't as smooth as the first. Not sure if it's because the book is sorta fresh in my head or because the complete & uncut edition is just slow moving.

The story didn't pop this time around. And it felt lagging with the additional material that was promised to help build characters. I didn't see the need for any of it, other than King feeling the need to show off his awesomeness - which isn't all that much if this is what he thinks its summed up to. I wanted to like this book because it was the first book I stomached by King and one of my favorite miniseries from my childhood - despite how cheesy it really was. 

This version doesn't add much to the story. If anything, it just adds filler and no one really cares for filler. In many instances, I felt I was reading On The Road - wanting to take a red pen and mark off what was unnecessary. I'll wait another few years to pick up the edition again, hopefully the story will improve with the less that I remember. Then again, it might have just been a fluke that I loved it so much the first time around. Oh well, here's hoping that Duma Key reads better. I hear it's promising. However, the same source told me to try out this edition of The Stand.

I'm on to the next book already, though. Tess Gerritsen's The Sinner. It feels like a winner already. Until next time, keep on huntin'.