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The Book Devourer

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Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
Mary Roach
Stories: All-New Tales
Lawrence Block, Richard Adams, Roddy Doyle, Jeffery Deaver, Chuck Palahniuk, Joyce Carol Oates, Diana Wynne Jones, Peter Straub, Michael Marshall Smith, Michael Swanwick, Tim Powers, Joanne Harris, Gene Wolfe, Michael Moorcock, Stewart O'Nan, Jeffrey Ford, Walter Mosley,
11/22/63 - Stephen King Mr. King, you rock. That is all.
Child of God - Cormac McCarthy Well, Mr. McCarthy, you've done it again. Another creepy and well-wrought (and fan of rotting) character to wallow through the mud after. Your writing lends lyricism and beauty to the environment, but the rest of it is all like the worst of humanity all combined. All I can say is, Eww. And I hope that Lester Ballard or anyone like him ever finds me stranded on the side of the road.
Vengeance By The Foot - Adam   Light A quick, dare I say FUN and gruesome read about a man who doesn't deal with his health concerns or their effects very well. I could picture this perfectly as a Tales From The Crypt episode, ESPECIALLY if the husband was played by Danny Bonaduce.
Tender Morsels - Margo Lanagan This book was horrifyingly amazing. Best book I've read in a long time. Not for the faint of heart, but it's great if you're wanting to get in touch with your emotions. VERY dark retelling of Snow White and Rose Red.
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks Maybe this is a somewhat unfair rating on my part. I HAVE been waiting for a LONG time to get my hands on this book and was really looking forward to the experience. Does this mean that it was built up too much in my mind? I don't think so.

I DID like this book and I am glad that I finally got to read it. But I think I enjoyed [b:The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead|535441|The Zombie Survival Guide Complete Protection from the Living Dead|Max Brooks|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320562270s/535441.jpg|818] more. It captured more of Brooks' comedic style, and I think he tried really hard to make this book scary. The only times this book got scary was when it triggered my imagination to concoct zombie scenarios in my mind, but I think I'LL take the credit for THOSE ideas! :)

As far as zombie novels go, there are MUCH better books and if zombies are your thing, I'd suggest the following:
[b:Cell|10567|Cell|Stephen King|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348207498s/10567.jpg|3017730] [b:Raising Stony Mayhall|9466865|Raising Stony Mayhall|Daryl Gregory|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1326125621s/9466865.jpg|14351915] or [b:The Living Dead|3302568|The Living Dead|John Joseph Adams|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347985248s/3302568.jpg|3339382]. Heck, even [b:Hater|263460|Hater (Hater, #1)|David Moody|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1266509430s/263460.jpg|255392] or [b:Hollowmen|10579347|Hollowmen (The Hollows, #2)|Amanda Hocking|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1316723128s/10579347.jpg|15486472] was better in the arena of characterization and getting the reader to identify or even just plain care about one of the characters.

That is what this book lacked. An identifiable character, which is a downer, because there was an opportunity to do that with each interviewee in the book. Maybe the sections were too short, or they just lacked something or felt a little too redundant. Also, Brooks had an incredible opportunity to really create a horrific sense of worldwide doom with the interviewees coming from everywhere on the planet. I would have liked the characters to each have more of their own voice, more of a global/culturally diverse feel overall. I think the boat was missed on that. Maybe there were too many zombies in the water?? Haha.

I have heard that the film, which is coming out soon, is very different from the book. For some, this is a huge disappointment and point of anger, but I am actually really looking forward to seeing what changes were made. For the better. That. Is. All.

The Diving Pool: Three Novellas - Yōko Ogawa, Stephen Snyder The cover, which most closely relates to the opening story, is probably one of my favorite parts of this book. The stories were well-written, with a eerie and unsettling vibe that never really panned out. I wouldn't say they were great. I do think the author is talented, so I'll probably give her another go with Hotel Iris: A NovelHotel Iris: A Novel.
Dead Aim - Joe R. Lansdale Okay, since I read it on my Kindle and it only cost me $3.99, I didn't let the ridonculous cover get to me. And I am sad that the last two Hap & Leonard adventures have only been novellas. With that being said, I loved this story. I think my love for this pair of good-intentioned (well, um...) justice dealers might have biased me slightly. Okay, a lot. But they are so much fun to hang out with that whether it's for several hundred pages or just 104, I can't say it wasn't a good time. I guffawed once with a mouthful of spit and had to dry off my phone (that I was reading on because my Kindle Fire died and I wasn't going to wait patiently while it charged) and it's still drying with the battery removed. I think that's pretty high marks. ;)

The Friend Who Got Away: Twenty Women's True Life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out or Faded Away

The Friend Who Got Away: Twenty Women's True Life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out or Faded Away - Jenny Offill, Elissa Schappell It's not often that I have dreams about a book I read. Or, at least, not ones that I remember. I had a very strange dream last night about a former friend that I can only explain by the reading of this book. Twenty women, writing an essay about the loss of an influential friendship and the aftereffects. Were they all masterfully written? Probably not. Did I see something relatable in every tale of loss? No. But there was something so human, so vulnerable about the authors opening up about their experiences that was very freeing to me, a person who makes friends pretty easily but has suffered losses both acted upon and acted out. It. was a good thing to reflect on relationships that have gone wrong or grown apart, to seek out life lessons or just enjoy the memories and experiences for what they brought to my life, and I really connected with a number of these stories and think it's a great thing to explore and not something that our society places adequate importance on. Friendship is a type of relationship that is so important and so often secretly lived out, as opposed to romantic relationships. It was great to delve into and now, OF COURSE, I have some newly discovered authors to check out. So much for whittling down my TBR shelf!
Confessions of a D-List Supervillain - Jim Bernheimer This was entertaining. I enjoyed it. Kept the action at a steady pace, but the editing errors bugged me and some of the writing sounded a little too trite.
Our Tragic Universe - Scarlett Thomas I really want to rate this book higher. I liked the main character enough, I loved the interplay between all of the characters and the overall "realness" to the story. And I think I understand how Thomas was going for a "storyless story" here. But it took me literally THREE MONTHS to read this book. That's got to be some kind of record. There are several books I've started and then dropped, and that didn't happen here. I WANTED to read it and wanted to finish it. Lots of great insight to humanity and relationships in this book, but let's face it - it isn't WAR AND PEACE. The fact that I would paused reading it to read other things and then get back around to it isn't a sign of an enthralling read. I will read more of her books, if only to see if they all affect me in this way. Maybe it was just bad timing or not enough suspense to keep me up reading through the night. I didn't have the feeling like with other books where I postpone the reading to savor it longer. I just kept sliding it to the backburner. I would recommend this book to someone who enjoys metafiction or characters more than plot. I have high hopes for my next Thomas read. :)


Trauma - Patrick McGrath My second McGrath novel and I liked this one too. A tale of a psychiatrist's descent into madness after some repressed traumatic memories begin to surface.
77 Shadow Street - Dean Koontz I stayed up late two nights in a row just to finish this to see if this story redeemed itself and so I could start another book.

The Price of Salt - Patricia Highsmith Such a strange feeling to trudge through a book that's a mere 257 pages and feel like I was with someone on such s long journey of self-discovery. To tell the truth, most of this book moved very slowly -- too slowly at times -- for me, but once Therese and Carol started their road trip I was much more interested. The story felt very truthful, and I could identify with the feelings of uncertainty and desire to please the people whom you love or want to love, even if this book was geared for a subculture in a different time. Highsmith says she was inspired to write this after her experience working at a holiday toy counter and interacting with a bewitching woman and I think she did an incredible of telling so much of each character and their development in so little pages. The book really had a fullness of character and insight into the ties that people form with others and how those ties reflect how they view themselves. I also enjoyed the coming of age aspect, and think it's rare to read an adult novel that describes a woman's journey so well. I wonder if people would really have been that offended had it been released in her name at the time it was published as it is told in such a universal way. But I think that's the point that some people miss. Love is love, wherever and with whomever you find it. Now I'm going to go and snuggle with my husband and be glad to have him. That is all.
Deathless - Catherynne M. Valente Such a beautifully written book about the growing up of a girl into a woman and her journey through life and marriage. So many great nuggets of wisdom really blew me away, especially coming from such a young voice. Since I've been wanting to read a Valente novel, something Russian, and a fairytale, this was all-encompassing for me. Very poetic, sad at times, and was a book that I savored slowly. Wanted to read it all the time, but it actually took me something like six days because it was something that needed to be extra thoughtfully read. This book raises the bar on the rest of my summer reading. Main themes were futility, balance of power in relationships, human suffering, forgiveness, and self-awareness. 5+ stars...
Demonology: Stories - Rick Moody Let me say how happy I was to come across this collection while browsing at my local library. Both The Ice Storm & Garden State are on my Favorite Movie list, and I am a fan of short stories in general so I opened this book excited to delve into Mr. Moody's written word. Then it became what I like to refer to as adult homework, when I have to assign myself a number of pages or set amount of time to read and push myself to complete the book. Not because I have to, mind you, but because I wanted to love what I was reading. Much of the writing was prententious, stuffy and overreaching in scope. I can appreciate Moody's efforts to be a unique voice, but he puts off a little too much of what I like to refer to as White People's Problems, meaning extreme narcissism and making a huge deal out of things in life that really aren't that important in the whole human experience. "Willie Fahnstock: The Boxed Set" was a creative idea, and I could identify with different songs and music set to different eras of your life, but all I really ended up thinking about was whether I had the songs I liked from it in my collection. I DID LOVE three stories: "Boys", "Demonology" and "Ineluctable Modality of the Vaginal". The spoke to me because they were insightful, emotive and felt like stories that Moody actually cared about writing. I won't spoil them here, and if you can find those stories or gt this book on loan, they are worth reading. But if I Thad to pay for this book, I wouldn't waste my money. I am not giving up hope and will try one of his novels. I think it's really a matter of topic, because Moody CAN write well, especially when he's not trying to hard to impress anyone.
The Sorrow King - Andersen Prunty Is it just me or was there a bit of an IT feeling to this book. I did really enjoy this story and will read more of Prunty's work. And a comparison to the Great Mr. King is nothing to be embarrassed about! :)