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coupersetique denpa
Sun, Dec. 2nd, 2012 08:13 am
Phonogram, Volume 2: The Singles Club by Kieron Gillen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Splitting this up into 'one shots' instead of one longer story was a good and bad idea. It was more straighforward and coherent than volume one. But it didn't have the mood and atmosphere that made me like volume one. Also I really didn't enjoy reading any of the long ranting sections what the authors wrote about why they wrote what they wrote and/or wrote about what kind of music they like. The rants are not interesting or relatable. I like the art. That's about it.

Talk Show: Confrontations, Pointed Commentary, and Off-Screen Secrets by Dick Cavett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Selections from Cavett's NYT online column. Mixed topics between Cavett's past and then-current (2008) political topics. Honestly vastly prefer the non-political, if only because I haven't had time to forget 2008. There's nothing I hate more than going 'I KNOW I KNOW, COME ON' at a book. The audiobook is read by Cavett, who is not only fabulous to listen to, but also is one of the only readers to get even close to the correct speed. (It is rare for me to have an audiobook at 1x speed, unless it is a technical or very complicated book.)

Down Among the Dead Men: A Year in the Life of a Mortuary Technician by Michelle Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Williams' account of her first year as a mortuary technician in a hospital. The writing style is very plain and does not have Mary Roach's humor. Williams does not do a lot of soul searching. The subject matter is fascinating, and I would recommend it to you if you interested and are more curious than you are squeamish.

The Pixies' Doolittle by Ben Sisario
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sisario's book on The Pixies Doolittle is mixed. There's a general history of the band, and some comments on the prior and subsequent albums which takes up over half of the book. The remaining portion, most of which is on the individual songs includes too much lyrical analysis by Sisario. If you care enough to read a whole book on an album, you will probably have spent more than enough time on this yourself... plus which Sisario's take isn't really that interesting, deep, or entertaining. The notes on Black/Thompson's lyrics which come from the man himself, and the notes on Gil Norton's production of the album are worth reading. There are also a lot of nice moments with Thompson/Black's personality from the interview process. There is no direct commentary from Kim Deal, and very little from Lovering and Santiago. The album portion is nowhere near the standards of an episode of tv's very fine 'Classic Albums' series. The band portion is nowhere near the standards of vh1's schlocky but entertaining 'Behind the Music.' There is some interesting stuff in here, but you'd have to cut it down 50% or more to make it tight/good. If you're patient, love the band, and can get a copy lent to you or on sale, it's worth a read. It isn't worth anywhere near the full price of $15.

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I have way more of these, but I'm not going to get to them until midweek.

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Sun, Dec. 2nd, 2012 08:03 am
Chrysanthemum frutescens detail

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By this point, if you need more info, we can become ravelry friends.

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Sun, Jun. 24th, 2012 12:10 pm
Aphrodite socks

Aphrodite socks, pattern by Jeannie Cartmel in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Solid, 1 skein of Carol Green (old version of color)
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Sun, Apr. 29th, 2012 09:14 am
Alone: The Classic Polar Adventure by Richard Evelyn Byrd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Byrd's account of how he ended up spending four months at a weather station alone in Antarctica. He struggled to keep his strength both mentally and physically, dealing with the cold, the isolation, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Very interesting read.

My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands by Chelsea Handler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It really is exactly what you think it is: a collection of pieces on one night stands. I like Handler's show and humor, and I was about 50/50 on this as a book. There is something sad to it that overwhelms any humor. It's mostly worth reading to live vicariously through. You have to be fascinating and also be a truly great writer to really make a memoir work. It isn't an easy proposition. This is what it is, which is 'okay.'

The Funniest Cop Stories Ever by Tom Philbin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This has a sum total of one really funny, interesting story in it. I know more funny cop stories than are in here. Of more interest are background items about being a cop. The author goes to some lengths to say he's tried to keep swearing out of it, but please know this is really not for kids or anyone who takes offense easily. It is the exact opposite of PC.

The Body Fat Solution: Five Principles for Burning Fat, Building Lean Muscles, Ending Emotional Eating, and Maintaining Your Perfect Weight by Tom Venuto
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this a while back. It is very sensible. It goes over a lot of things that you probably already know about being healthy. It brought up a few points that I found very helpful. First: you absolutely will not stay on a reduced calorie diet if you see it as a punishment. Second: you cannot stay on a diet that makes you feel constantly deprived. After I read this, I felt that I was going to get healthy by eating food that I enjoy. I also made the decision that I wasn't ever going to ban any food from my diet. It also helped me to make some concrete goals. If that sounds like something that is appropriate for your situation, I'd recommend it.

Asterix the Gaul by René Goscinny
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First Asterix book. I read a fair number of these as a kid. This one is like watching a tv sitcom pilot... mostly setup and introduction, and not really as much fun as what follows.

The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lewis' book about football, the blind side, the pass rush, Lawrence Taylor, the rise of the left tackle, and Michael Oher and the Touhy family. Predictably, I was most interested in the human story between Oher and the Touhys. More sports/less psychology than Moneyball, so less to my personal taste. I wasn't sorry I read this, but it isn't my favorite of Lewis' books. I learned what a franchise player is, which already came up in lunchtime conversation. BONUS.

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Journalist Foer's account of covering a memory championship, then training for and winning the US Memory Championship. Also covers how and what we remember, and systems for remembering things. Includes chapters on people with exceptional and terrible memories, and Foer's suspicion that some people who are considered savants may be using mnemonist's techniques (and not natural, unconscious techniques.) While I wouldn't want to go into full memory athlete training mode, the book does include some techniques that could be useful in everyday situations (such as the Major system.)

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Sat, Feb. 18th, 2012 09:47 pm
Shadow Star Volume 1Shadow Star Volume 1 by Mohiro Kitoh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'm oversimpifying, but Shadow Star is what would happen to Pokemon if it were in the horror genre... Junior high aged kids have these creatures with special powers. Sadly, not all kids are nice or well adjusted. Some of them are pretty terrible people.

I like the manga (and the anime series) a lot, but it's pretty brutal content-wise. A lot of stuff ends up happening out of panel or off screen. Not so much in this volume. But later on? Watch out.

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Sat, Feb. 18th, 2012 09:31 pm
Yakitate!! Japan, Volume 1Yakitate!! Japan, Volume 1 by Takashi Hashiguchi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Hashiguchi's bread baking battle comic. Azuma Kazuma (or Kazuma Azuma, depending on whether you read the VIZ or fanslated version first) wants to make bread a part of daily life in Japan. Silly and light. Shonen. Expect occasional fanservice. It doesn't detract from Yakitate, but it usually feels like it has been inserted in after the fact. As in, you're reading along and 'Oh, hey, that is an extra extra short skirt there for no particular reason.' Some internet people claim that Yakitate has NO FANSERVICE. I think that just means it is not happening constantly. Please see the covers of the English language version Volumes 4 and 10. I have read at least 40% of the way through all 26 volumes. I assure you, it is in there.

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Sat, Feb. 18th, 2012 08:59 pm
Tintin in the Land of the SovietsTintin in the Land of the Soviets by Hergé

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As far as I can tell, though Tintin is classic, the real 'classic' stuff doesn't get going until volume 4. This is propaganda and the drawing looks kind of rough. I liked it enough to finish it.

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Sat, Feb. 18th, 2012 08:54 pm
Chew, Vol. 1: Taster's ChoiceChew, Vol. 1: Taster's Choice by John Layman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tony Chu is a detective that can tell a lot about the foods he eats... like how it got killed. He lives in a world where eating chicken is illegal. It's not grim. I don't really know anything about comics. But I like the art, the concept, and the execution an awful lot.

I recommend Chew to people who liked The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, and also to people who DID NOT like that book because 'The concept was good, but nothing happened.' I recommend 'Lemon Cake' to people who like Chew and who also like Sofia Coppola movies or Picnic at Hanging Rock.

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Sat, Feb. 18th, 2012 08:27 pm
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: No Future For You (Season 8, Vol. 2)Buffy the Vampire Slayer: No Future For You by Joss Whedon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Faith centered storyline. I like this arc better than the first one. I get the feeling I'm going to feel about Buffy Season 8 the way I felt about Angel (on tv). I like storylines that center around characters I'm interested in, and I don't care for ones that don't.

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Just so you know, I probably won't do individual reviews for every issue or arc of every comic/graphic novel/manga/etc. unless I have something to actually say about it.

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Sat, Feb. 18th, 2012 07:59 pm
Seized: A Sea Captain's Adventures with Scoundrels, Con Artists, and Pirates in Recovering Ships from the World's Most Troubled WatersSeized: A Sea Captain's Adventures with Scoundrels, Con Artists, and Pirates in Recovering Ships from the World's Most Troubled Waters by Max Hardberger

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hardberger's account of how he became someone who recovers detained and stolen ships. He also details his personal ups and downs. There's a lot of sneaking a lot of boats out of a lot of shady ports. Most of the chapters are pretty same-y. It is still an interesting look into a world I wouldn't otherwise know anything about.

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