Tuesday, March 30, 2010

An Audio Book in Review: Shoptimism

Shoptimism: Why the American Consumer Will Keep on Buying No Matter What
BY: Lee Eisenberg
Non-fiction, economics

This book was a good mix of stories and data with information from a wide variety of sources that are both for and against the way that Americans shop. It is divided into two sections one on the buy side and one on consumers.

13 CD's 14.5 hours

An Audio Book in Review:

We are starting a new section on audio books, as we had started listening to them more now that we are driving more everyday. It is still not going to be listed in our book count as we are not reading them, but after years of keeping a list of books, there have been more then one time that we have looked back on something to see if we had already read it, to re-read the major plot points before reading the sequel, or to recommend it to others.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Passover!

A Book in Review: The Bizarre Truth

The Bizarre Truth: How I Walked Out the Door Mouth First . . . and Came Back Shaking My Head By: Andrew Zimmern
non-fiction: travel, food, TV 267 pages
Book Count: 21

This book tells the behind the scean story of many of the most well known eposode of "Bizarre Foods". It is fun to learn how some of the more unusual shows ended up happening. You also learn how the show was even thought up and made it to TV. It also has stories of what he thought about differnt events. I enjoyed reading this whille watching some of the shows at the same time.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Book in Review: Writing Dialogue

Writing Dialogue By: Tom Chiarella
non-fiction, writing 151 pages
Book Count: 20

This book is only about writing dialogue in your fiction. It has a small section on the actual writing rules for dialogue, i.e. where to put punctuation, paragraphing etc. But most of it is about learning to write like people speak and writing in an interesting way. It has a lot of exercises for you to do to help to write better. This ranges from writing down what you say in a day and analyzing it to writing exercises of 1-2 pages. It had a lot of useful advice in it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Book in Review: King Arthur: Dark Age Warrior and Mythic Hero

King Arthur: Dark Age Warrior and Mythic Hero By: John Matthews
non-fiction: history, classic lit. 122 pages
Book Count: 19

This book has both information on the possible historic king Arthur as well as the ledgens of king Arthur. It goes indept on the world that the real Arthur lived in and well as the stories that the tales of Arthur may come from and the changes in the story over time to adjust to the times and morals of the day. It also has sections on all of the major figures in the stories and a section on the quest for the Holy Grail including earlier stories of a magic caldrun.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Book in Review: The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters

The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters By: Rosemary Ellen Guiley
Non-fiction: reference, folklore, history, paranormal 337 pages
Book Count: 18

This is an A-Z book on vampire, werewolves and other paranormal beings. It is a good combination of legends and history. It includes folklore from around the world. It also includes historic events of "vampire" and "werewolf" attacks and their changing roles in books, movies, TV and other arts. It includes tons of information on landmark examples of vampires in the arts such as: multiple entries on the book "Dracula", season by season info on the show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and info on each book in the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. (Who interestingly was named Howard Allen Frances O'Brien at her birth.) It also has a section of further reading for each entry. The one major downside of this book is that it was published in 2005, since then there were many new things about the paranormal that has come out.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Book in Review: Welcome to the Jungle

The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle By: Jim Butcher Illustrated by: Ardain Syaf
Fiction: sci-fi, graphic novel 106 pages(ish)
Book Count: 17

This is the first book in the graphic novel version of the Dresden Files. The characters look somewhat like the TV version of the story, but not like they copied the actors to make the book. The story was fast passed and interesting. In this one, local Chicago wizard, Dresden is investigating a murder in the zoo. The police want to make it a open and shut case of the monkey did it, but the facts don't add up. Even if you haven't read the novels or saw the show the book explains the background information, but in a way that isn't too boring for people that have previous experiences with the storyline.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Book in Review: This Year You Write Your Novel

This Year You Write Your Novel By: Walter Mosley
Non-fiction: 103 pages
Book Count: 16

First, it did not take me a week and a half to read this 103 page book. I just haven't gotten around to post this before now (for many reasons ranging from illnesses to the power going out.) Anyway this book is meant to help you write a book in a year. One of the major pieces of advice goes exactly against the advice in the last book on this that I read, but still sounds like it would work for a lot of people. This book suggests that you set up a set amount of time that you are going to work on writing each day. Some days you may write the whole time, some you may spend re-reading or staring at the page, but still X minutes each day on writing. This advice sounds like it would work for many people depending on how you like to work, so I have no problem with that as advice its that he thinks the time should be 1 -1 1/2 hours a day in one chunk of time. He notes that that may be hard for anyone with anything else to do with their day, but offers no advice on how to carve out this time. Also, on things that I do not like about this book, after writing the whole story he counts every time you read it as a new draft, even if you make no changes to it! Reading a story doesn't change the words written down for it. You may think up new things about it and should of course read the story start to finish as part of revision, but that isn't a revision. As this book gives only a few pages of advice on how to write a book in a years time. (Including revisions) The rest is mostly basics on writing fiction: point-of view, plot, story development, etc. The end also includes a few paragraphs on trying to get your book published. Over all, if you have never read or written much before this and suddenly get the idea to write a novel, but have no idea how to, then this book is for you. If you are a reader, studied literature, write as a hobby or have read any other book on writing fiction and just are looking for a different writer's tips, you will more likely find this book to be boring.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A Book in Review: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim By: David Sedaris
Non-fiction essay 257 pages
Book Count: 15

This collection of stories includes everything from the Dutch version of Santa Clause with his 6 to 8 friends/former slaves that help him kidnap bad kids and send them to Spain to the time he looked like some crazy serial killer to a bunch of tourist at 3 am while drowning a mouse and putting together a human anatomical model. It also includes stories about many of his relatives from his old rich aunt to his little brother's baby.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A Book in Review: Antiques Roadkill

Antiques Roadkill By: Barbara Allan
fiction: mystery 287 pages
Book Count: 14

This is the first book in a series written by a couple. It combines mystery with antiques tips and advice. It is the story of Brandy Borne who is newly divorced and has to move back in with her Manic-Depressive mother. If that isn't bad enough her dog is blind and diabetic and it looks like someone was trying to set her up for the murder of an antiques dealer who swindled her mother out of almost all of their antiques during a time when she was off her meds. Both her and her mother spend the book trying to find the real killer getting them deeper and deeper involved with the murder.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Jan-Feb Book Count:

Number of books read: 13
Pages read: 3048
Average number of days to read a book: 5
Average number of pages read in a day: 52
Average number of books read in a month: 7
Average number of pages read in a month: 1524