Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Book in Review: Higurashi When They Cry

Higurashi When They Cry Vol:1 Beyond Midnight Arc By: Ryukishi Art By: Mimori Translated By: Nibley & Nibley
Non-fiction: Manga, Mystery, Paranormal 188 pages
Book Count: 14

Twenty years before this story takes place an entire village is killed overnight. Officially it was due to a volcanic gas leak, but many people think it was something more sinister. A couple of groups set out to see the village. They each get separated from there friends, cars, bikes and phones. Also, there is a girl with a katana who says she is from the village, but the name she gives is of a dead girl.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Book in Review: Jerry Baker's Old-Time Gardening Wisdom

Jerry Baker's Old-Time Gardening Wisdom By: Jerry Baker
Non-fiction: gardening 340 pages
Book Count: 13

This book is a collection of tips by a man known as "America's Master Gardener." This book is mostly about all of the things about gardening and growing plants from his grandmother when he was a child. As such some of the advice is quite old and you would want to also check with newer sources as well. This is especially true in the case of medical uses of plants/ treating common physical problems that gardeners have. For example, although his grandmother liked putting aloe on sunburns; which, is still used today and often is quite helpful, she also used butter on them, which is now known to make the burn worse. But, the actual gardening tips are useful, and include a number of easy to make home remedies, info on what different plants need, and uses of different plants.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Book in Review: Imaginary Jesus

Imaginary Jesus By: Matt Mikalatos
Fiction: Religion 240 pages
Book Count: 12

This book starts with St. Peter punching Jesus in the face in a Communist, vegan restaurant in Portland. But that's OK because it was only an imaginary Jesus (hence the title). After that the main character/author (they are the same, although it is fiction) go on a hunt to find the real Jesus. Along with St. Peter helping him along the way, there is a talking donkey, former prostitute and the leader of an Atheist Bible study. Also St. John the Evangelist does arts and crafts. As you may guess, not only is this book about all of the imaginary Jesus's that people create, but is incredible funny. For example, chapter 9 is titled "Jesus will never leave you (if you tie the knots tight enough)". In fact, if it weren't for a few passages where things get real (pun intended) people who aren't Christian, might enjoy this book.

Monday, February 21, 2011

An Audio Book in Review: Bloodsucking Fiends

Bloodsucking Fiends By: Christopher Moore
Fiction: humor, paranormal

This is the book that goes before the book I read earlier called You Suck. The review of that book is here. This is the story of how Jodie bacame a vampire and deals with it. You also find out how she meets Tommy, “the Animals”, and how she ends up with a bronzed vampire. Having heard this book, I want to re-read the second book.

8 C.D.'s 9.5 Hours

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Book in Review: Handling the Undead

Handling the Undead By: John Ajvide Lindqvist
Fiction: paranormal 363 pages
Book Count: 11

First, the author of this book lives in Sweden, so like all international books there are the little quirks of different spellings, ways of writing dates and times, etc. And as this book uses a lot of time lines it is rather noticeable.
Besides that this book is quite unique. It is a story of zombies, or the reliving as they are called in the book. However, unlike most zombie stories this isn't really a horror story. It is more a book about different people and families and how they deal with death. It also deals with different ideas about the soul and the afterlife. It is one of those books on death that it is really about the living.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Book in Review: Trouble Maker

Trouble Maker Book 1 By: Janet & Alex Evanovich Art By: Joelle Jones
Non-fiction: Graphic Novel, mystery, adventure 106 pages
Book Count: 10

As you can tell with the info at the top of the page this is a 106 paged graphic novel. As such it doesn't even try to be a complete story, but it does pick a good break in the action to stop until book 2. This is also a book using characters from earlier books. (Barnaby and not the more famous Plum) But, it does a good job of letting you know all you need to know about all of the characters. In this story Alex Barnaby is down in Miami when her friend Rosa goes missing. Trying to find her gets her and her co-worker/boyfriend, Sam Hooker sucked into a world of crime and dark Voodoo. (As well as dealing with Hooker's mother.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Book in Review: The Sweet Potato Queens' 1st Big-Ass Novel

The Sweet Potato Queens' 1st Big-Ass Novel (Stuff we didn't actually do, but could have, and may yet.) By: Jill Conner Browne with Karin Gillespie
Fiction: Chick Lit, Humor, Pop Culture 318 pages
Book Count: 9

This book is a novel, but it is full of real Sweet Potato Queens things. It is a story about if the queens had gone to school together and formed their group in a response to the rich, popular girls who wouldn't hang out with them. The story is a long reaching one going from a prologue about Jill as a baby queen and into the start of elementary school and goes until they are around middle-aged. Like all books by them they have recipes. This one has ones from the restaurant they would have if they started one, which would only serve dishes like what southern people bring over to a family that had a death in it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Book in Review: The 20 Minute Vegetable Gardener

The 20 Minute Vegetable Gardener By: Tom Christopher and Marty Asher
Non-fiction: gardening 275 pages
Book Count: 8

This is a book written for easy gardening. It does have a few tips for how to do this, but most of the book is information on growing different veggies. (Planing times, sun, temp, water requirements etc.) So it would be better as a book for learning about different veggies then making a easy to use garden. So it would make a good book for a beginner to read. Also, it was a great way to start working on this year's garden.

Monday, February 07, 2011

A Note on Non-fiction Books

As there has been a number of fiction type books that I have listed as non-fiction in the last few months I thought I would write a small note on it. If only so I remember to use the same method in the future. If a book is listed as non-fiction in a library, even if it is full of fiction, such as the case of classic lit. then I will list it as non-fiction in the body of the post. I also will label it as both to make it easier to find.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

A Book in Review: Blood Thirst

Blood Thirst: 100 Years of Vampire Fiction Edited By: Leonard Wolf
Non-fiction: Classics, paranormal 379 pages
Book Count: 7

This book was published on the 100th anniversary of Dracula by Bram Stoker. It deals with the way vampires were used in fiction since this time by using short stories or excerpts from longer works and divides the book into the different types of vampire stories that have been used. These groups were: classic adventure tales, psychological vampires, science fiction, non-human vamps, comic and heroic vampires. Overall I liked the book. Along with each story there was a brief bio of each author including when they lived and the dates of major works by them, helping you to see when they wrote compared to the other works in this book. The one major area in this book that was less then stellar was the comic section. This was due to 2 issues, one of which was beyond the editor's control. The first issue was that the 100th anniversary of Dracula was 1997 before the current writers of humorous vampire stories were writing/well known. The second issue was the editor believes that Woody Allen is one of the funniest filmmakers in America. Not that it changed the small list of funny vampire stories from well known published author's, but it was a second thing that made me question the editor. (He also worked on the movie Bram Stoker's Dracula which was nothing like Dracula as written by Bram Stoker.) Besides my issues with the small humor section and the editor's taste in movies this book was a great way to see the many types of vampires used in fiction and the way that changes in society and culture change how we see the vampire.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

An Audio Book in Review: Letter and Spirit

Letter and Spirit By: Scott Hahn
Non-Fiction: Religion

This book was written to be both for the main readers of Hahn's other books and also for the theologians who he commonly writes papers and other things for. Because of this I would suggest that the book and not audio book would be the best way to enjoy this, as that way when he uses a complex, Latin theological word you can flip back to the first time he used it for the meaning of the word. Besides that it was a complete, well researched book on how the Bible and liturgy are interconnected. It also includes information on how the New Testament came into being as well as information on how the Bible was used in Old Testament times.

5 CD's 5.25 hours

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

A Book in Review: Homemade Root Beer Soda & Pop

Homemade Root Beer Soda & Pop By: Stephen Cresswell
Non-fiction: cooking 107 pages
Book Count: 6

This book is on making homemade pop. Unlike most other methods used for making pop this book uses glass bottles although they do point out that you can use plastic. It also has other recipes for non-alcholic and mostly non- alcholic drinks (as most homemade pop uses yeast for carbonation it has trace amounts of alchol) as well as historic drinks. Although, it does contain hard to find ingredients like sassafras root bark most of these things can be found online. A number of recipes only need a trip to the grocery store or homebrew store. And unlike most books on making homemade things it points out that you don't need a lot of specialized equipment to start, most necessary things you already have or can get cheap or free.