Archive for December, 2012

Media Monday: Men in Black 3

Dec
10
3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Media Monday
Men in Black Poster

Image belongs to Amblin Enternainment

Title: Men in Black 3
Media Type: Feature Film
Director: Barry Sonnenfield
Studio: Amblin Entertainment
Genre: Sci-fi satire
Summary: [from IMDB]

Agent J travels in time to MIB’s early years in the 1960s, to stop an alien from assassinating his friend Agent K and changing history.

My Review:

Apparently I’m a bigger sucker for time-travel than I thought. All the reviews said Men in Black 3 was terrible. But you know me – I love to ignore reviews, so I watched it anyway. I personally loved it! Granted it wasn’t quite as funny ass some of the earlier ones, but the few one-liners did have me laughing out loud.

While time-travel wasn’t much more than a means to an end in this story I thought it was fairly well handled. The writers chose their type of time travel and the stuck to it. It wasn’t particularly well explained – if I sat down and watched through it again, I could probably poke holes the size of Belgium in their theory with a few well-placed questions – but they gave themselves room to explain it in future films. It’s kind of like they gave us all of the third film to get used to the idea that there is time travel in their world before they got into the logistics of how it works.

I suppose I can see why some reviewers might not have liked this one quite as well as the first two. The novelty of the secret agency and aliens is gone and some of the jokes are getting a little tired. But I, for one, haven’t given up hope – the next one (if/when they get around to it) could be the most epic yet!





Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge 21

Dec
09
4 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Clock Rewinders

Clock Rewinders banner

Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge is where Tara @ 25 Hour Books and Amanda @ On a Book Bender shamelessly plug each other, share the fantastic posts, giveaways, or whatever else we’ve found and loved by other awesome bloggers (or authors!) during the week, and talk about the books we plan on reading in the coming week. [Description and banner borrowed from On a Book Bender]

The Corner Newsstand
(This week on Creativity’s Corner)

Behind the Desk
(My life behind the scenes)

Last weekend my grandfather passed away. While we expected it for a while since he was 91 and his health has been failing steadily, it’s always difficult. We were happy to celebrate a life well lived, and to have a majority of the family together to celebrate.

 

Around the Corner
(Blog posts I found awesome since the last post)

I completely ignored my reader for the past week. I’ll probably go through it this afternoon or Monday so you’ll be inundated with links next week, I promise!

GoodReaders’ Digest
(Books I’ve read in the past week and books I plan to read next. Also includes stats for the Unbreaking the Shelves Challenge)

Read:
  • Diviners by Libba Bray

Currently Reading:

  • Dark Star by Bethany Frenette
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (audiobook)

Unbreaking the Shelves stats:

Get my “Embarrassed I haven’t read yet” shelf under 45.

  • Beginning total: 65
  • As of 12/8: still 58

Keep my to-read-now list as close to 250 as possible. Expert level: bring it down to 235.

  • Beginning total: 253
  • As of 12/8: 259

Added:

  • NONE! Again! WOOOOO!

Read 15 books off of my Series Completion list

Series Completion
9/15

EXPERT LEVEL: Read a total of 57 books from the TBR list (overshooting my original GR year goal by 25)

AS OF 12/8: Original GR goal has been reached.

Total Books
32/57




2013 Book Bingo Challenge

Dec
08
10 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Community Events

2013 Bingo Challenge!
Kristilyn from Reading in Winter and I LOVE a good challenge. So when we saw the dates dwindling down for 2012, we KNEW we had to come up with something awesome for the new year. Thus, the 2013 Book Bingo Reading Challenge was born!

When we thought about all the things we wanted to include in this challenge, we ended up making a list:

  • Reading the books in our TBR pile
  • Re-reading some books
  • Reading some new books
  • Reading books that EVERYONE but us has read
  • Reading books from series that we have started & have been neglecting

In order to keep track of everything, Kristilyn channeled her awesome design skills and came up with a fancy, schmancy scoreboard:
Bingo Scorecard

Of course, a challenge isn’t really a challenge unless there are some rules and guidelines:

  1. Be awesome. If you’re not, this isn’t going to work.
  2. The challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2013.
  3. If you want to participate, you can join in any time of the year! Feel free to write up a blog post with the rules linking back to my and Kristilyn’s blog in your sign-up post.
  4. If you read one book for the “1 book” in any category, you can’t change it later on when you read another book to “2 books.” Once a square is crossed off, it’s crossed off for good! (Feel free to print off the scoreboard to keep track! I plan on raiding my sticker collection for fun ways to mark off squares!)
  5. Books read for one square are for that square ONLY and cannot be counted towards another category. This is all about reading ALL THE BOOKS.
  6. The FREE SQUAREisn’t really a free square. In order to cross it off, you must read a book by either:
    1. Reading a book picked by another participant, or
    2. Reading a book in a genre picked by another participant.
  7. You can start your board over again, but ONLY if you receive the stamp of awesome by completing a blackout. The “winners” of the challenge will be the ones who achieve the most winning combinations by the end of 2013.
  8. You can feel free to post your reading list for each category, though it’s not a requirement.
  9. Having a blog or writing reviews for books read is not required. So long as you want to have fun, you can participate!
  10. This isn’t a race, but don’t be afraid to rub your reads in the other player’s face. This will be seen as encouragement. Feel free to use the hashtag #2013BookBingo on Twitter!

While you can definitely “win” by the boring ol’ vertical or horizontal (or diagonal!) lines, the best ways to win are as follows:
The Ways to Awesome!

Like it says in the guidelines, the ONLY way to start a new board is to become the SUPER READER! The goal is to read ALL THE BOOKS! To be a winner (thus, to become the awesomest reader around), you’ll want to accomplish as many wins as possible!

Will you participate in this challenge? Do you have what it takes to become a super reader?

 





Book Review: The Marbury Lens

Dec
06
3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review

The Marbury Lens Cover Title: The Marbury Lens (Marbury Lens #1)

Author: Andrew Smith

Summary: [from GoodReads]

 Sixteen-year-old Jack gets drunk and is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is kidnapped. He escapes, narrowly. The only person he tells is his best friend, Conner. When they arrive in London as planned for summer break, a stranger hands Jack a pair of glasses. Through the lenses, he sees another world called Marbury.

There is war in Marbury. It is a desolate and murderous place where Jack is responsible for the survival of two younger boys. Conner is there, too. But he’s trying to kill them.

Meanwhile, Jack is falling in love with an English girl, and afraid he’s losing his mind.

Conner tells Jack it’s going to be okay.

But it’s not.

My Review

What an odd little book.The Marbury Lens strikes me as one that would have a cult-like following, and either you love it or you don’t really like it. Unfortunately, I fall into the latter category.

One of the things I really did appreciate about it was the unusual mixture of genres. Half the time it read as a contemporary, while the other half was pure fantasy/dystopia. The juxtaposition made for a fascinating character study. Jack is so incredibly damaged in the real world that it’s never quite clear whether Marbury is real or his own subconscious coping mechanism. In a way, you get the sense of two novels being told, nested together like the matryoshka metaphor that comes up every so often. This meta level alone makes the book seem like it would be a great book to study in a class.

Unfortunately, the fantasy reader in me was incredibly frustrated by the end of the book. The Marbury Lens sets up this beautiful bleak place for Jack to travel to. It is complete with horrifying dangers and terrible yet great adventures. And it is never explained. There are passing references to a recent war that made the world what it is, and it is clear that the worlds are interdependent because everyone has a counterpart in both worlds. THAT’S IT. Now, I will grant that it is entirely plausible for the characters not to know. But as a reader I feel gipped. I don’t understand this world at all, and therefore don’t understand the importance of the world, symbolically.

I am honestly so conflicted about this book that I’m not even sure whether I liked it. There were things I liked about it, and there were things I didn’t like. I want to read more to find the explanation I’m looking for, but do I really want to put myself through that if it doesn’t deliver? I really don’t know. Bottom line: Proceed with care!





Book Review: Dearly, Departed

Dec
04
6 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review

Dearly, Departed Cover

Title: Dearly, Departed (Gone with Respiration #1)

Author: Lia Habel

Summary: [from GoodReads]

Love can never die.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

My Review

Dearly, Departed was a really interesting experience for me. For one thing, I don’t generally like zombies and this book has them in hordes! I knew that going in, but enough people told me that the zombies (mostly) didn’t act like zombies that I very tentatively picked it up (metaphorically with two fingers and held at arms length!)

The zombies honestly didn’t bother me too much, and I was very surprised by that! The bad zombies were the kind I abhor, but they were kept enough at a distance that I was able to just treat them as a general threat instead. The thing that did bug me? The multiple narrators, which normally I have no problem with! In this case, there were enough different narrators that I had trouble keeping them straight. Even though each chapter was headed with a name, I often forgot to look, or forgot what it had said by the time I was a few pages in. This was especially true as I got toward the end and started getting into it, and that’s where they switched points of view the most!

On the other hand, I absolutely loved the New Victorian setting. It was sort of cyber-steampunk – SO COOL! I would love to see more books in that type of setting, because there’s just so much that could be explored!

In the end, I’m still kind of on the fence about this one. I wanted to hate it because there were Zombies, but I didn’t. I wanted to love it because the setting is SO COOL but I didn’t quite. And I still don’t know if I’ll pick up the next book or not.





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