Showing posts from May, 2011

Beyond Uhura

Beyond Uhura Nichelle Nichols, 1994 This was an awesome memoir. The Trek stories were fun of course, but it was really the span of Nichols' career and interests that intrigued me most. She was often in the right place at the right time to meet important directors and performers, and it's always enjoyable to get new perspectives on important movements in theater and dance. I feel a little silly saying it, but it is more affecting to have some stories told by someone you feel like you know – even if you only 'know' them from being a fan. Stories like when she loses a big contract when she refuses to sleep with a producer. or is assaulted and threatened when on an out of town job alone. A personal account of sexism and racism is simply more moving than statistics. The chapters dealing with her family and her heritage were fascinating: both moving and highly entertaining to read. Her account of every part of her life seemed very fair-minded. Her verbal pic

Provenance of Shadows (Star Trek Crucible: McCoy)

Provenance of Shadows (Star Trek Crucible: McCoy) David R. George III, 2006 These books have been tempting me from the shelf of the local library for a while now, and I finally broke down and borrowed this one. I used to read Star Wars novels, but I haven't read much licensed fiction in a while. Premise: During the episode “City on the Edge of Forever,” Doctor McCoy went back in time, and created an alternate timeline. Kirk and Spock restored history, but on some level, McCoy both returned to the Enterprise with his friends and lived out the rest of his life in the 1930's. This book started strong.  I really enjoyed the beginning; it was fun and fast, and the idea of following alternate McCoy was great.  The problem was, it couldn't sustain its pace. The book is split between alternate McCoy living in the past and standard McCoy (of course, no relation to 2009's New!McCoy) living in the 2200's.  The story following AltMcCoy is actually really strong

Follow Friday May 27

This is Follow Friday, hosted by  Parajunkee's View Today's Question is:  How many books do you read in a week? And in what format do you read them, or listen to them? It's wildly changeable for me, largely dependent on the rest of my life. The high mark is probably 7-9 books, the low mark zero, like last week. Since my job (freelance theater, mostly Stage Management/Wardrobe) ranges from nonexistent to 80-plus hour weeks, my reading varies similarly. My average is probably 1-5 books per week, depending on thickness/density of prose, mostly read on the subway. I read variously on my Kindle or hard copies from the library, depending on what I feel like reading.  Next Week here at the Bookshelf: STAR TREK WEEK!

Comics Briefly: American Vampire #15, Ruse #3, X-Men: Legacy #249

Favorite Issue this week : X-Men: Legacy, but it was really close! All issues were new in stores on 5/25/11 American Vampire #15 (Ghost War Part 3) Writer: Scott Snyder, Artist: Rafael Albuquerque, Colors: Dave McCaig As usual, the only thing wrong with this issue is that there aren't more pages! The tension of this plot is rising: Henry and the soldiers cut off, Sweet with them, Pearl on her way, I'm left wanting so much more. (Although, this book does include a huge ad for Super 8 that is a mini comic in its own right, and an awesome looking preview for the upcoming AmVamp mini!) Ruse #3 Writer: Mark Waid, Artist: Minck Oosterveer, Colors: Antonio Fabela This was a stronger issue than the last one. Tension is running high in this title as well as Simon and Emma's unknown enemy continues to close in on them. The dialogue and narration was more compelling this month. X-Men: Legacy #249 Writer: Mike Carey, Artist: Rafa Sandoval, Colors: Matthew Wilson

Top Ten Tuesday - Books You've Lied About

Special Event Coming! Read about my upcoming Star Trek Week here! Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at  The Broke and The Bookish This Week's Prompt is: Top Ten Books you lied about I'm sure there were some, but I'm having a hard time thinking of any. I can't even think of any books assigned for school that I "lied" about reading (i.e. didn't read but passed the test or whatever). And more than once I felt like a chump for actually reading those books, let me tell you. I can think of a few bookish lies I've told in my time, though: 1: No, I wasn't reading (when I was supposed to be doing xyz). 2: Sure, I've heard of (book that you think I should have heard of). 3. No, I've never read fanfic (certainly never wasted hours on the damn addictive stuff). Generally, if I've read something, I'll own up to it. Well, depending. There are a handful of romance/erotica type books I've made it through that I don

New Event: Star Trek Week!

Okay all you lucky people, it's time for another game of "Lindsay reads way too many books on one subject and/or theme!" I love Star Trek. I've always liked Star Trek, but only in the past few years have I really grown to love it. So of course I attempted to destroy my young and fragile love by reading a flood of related media. I've got reviews coming up of a bunch of memoirs, a couple novels, plus I'm going to revisit my small collection of Trek related comics. Next week, my friends, is old school. Wall to Wall Original Trek. Here's the schedule: Monday May 30: Provenance of Shadows (Novel) Tuesday May 31: Beyond Uhura (Memoir) Wednesday June 1: Reading Star Trek Comics: The Past Thursday June 2: I Am Spock (Memoir) Friday June 3: Harbinger:Vanguard (Novel) Saturday June 4: Up Till Now (Memoir) Sunday June 5: Reading Star Trek Comics: The Present Book Blogging - The Final Frontier!

Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981)

Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) Stephen Sondheim, 2010 First off, this feels almost like a reference work, so don't expect to just sit down and read through it unless you're an even bigger musical theater geek than I am. Most of the text is lyrics, just as it says, surrounded by annotation, photos and additional information. It's an interesting hybrid: there is information about the development of some of the shows, but a large amount of the commentary is either self-deprecating nitpicking about his own lyrics or tangents about the merits and flaws of many classic Broadway composers and lyricists. I think someone with an exhaustive knowledge of classic Broadway composers would get more out of his opinions of them than I did. It's still an interesting series of pieces detailing various techniques or habits, but without the ability to mentally call up obscure works of the other artists immediately, comprehension sometimes got a bit muddy for me.

All Quiet Here on the Bookshelf...

Because I've been working 10-18 hour days for most of this past week. Posting should go back to semi- normal now.

God's War

God's War Kameron Hurley, 2011 Premise: Nyx is a bounty hunter on a desert world eternally at war. She is sent on a troubling mission to find an alien woman who she's told is able to end the war, but she might lose her team and her life trying to find the woman and find out the truth. I think this may be a case of missed connections, because everyone seems to love this book, and I just didn't. I don't think it's a bad book, I think it's well written in a technical sense, but I didn't enjoy reading it. I found the first 50 pages uselessly slow, and by the time I started to actually like the book around page 160-70, there were only 100 pages left. I don't know what to think. The main character is similar in some ways to a noir hero. She struggles, mostly futilely, against uncaring thugs, conspiracies and powerful figures, and it's set up as a world of grey shades where there is no way to win. It should have been right up my alley, but I j

Follow Friday May 13

This is Follow Friday, hosted by  Parajunkee's View Today's Question is:  The Blogger Apocalypse made me a little emotional. What is the most emotional scene in a book that you have read lately? So apparently I missed the great Blogger crash. I've been working like crazy the past few days and not checking blogs, including my own. Apparently everything is in order here, I hope all of your blogs are well. In terms of emotional writing... here's a couple of completely different examples: I've been doing a bit of re-reading of older Mercedes Lackey books recently, and the end of Knight of Ghosts and Shadows made me laugh and smile uncontrollably. On a darker note, yesterday I read Brecht's "The Good Person of Szechwan" for work. It was a beautifully sad play, and I'm really glad I had occasion to read it. I'm off to do more amongst yourselves ;)

Comics Briefly: Batgirl #21, Birds of Prey #12, X:Men Legacy #248

Favorite Issue This Week: Birds of Prey #12 All books new in stores on 5/11/11 Batgirl #21 Writer: Brian Q. Miller, Penciler: Dustin Nguyen, Inker: Derek Fridolfs, Colorist: Guy Major Strong issue. Good developments with most of Steph's supporting cast, leading to what should be a good shakeup of of her status quo (her status quo wasn't quite clicking for me anyhow). Steph herself is in rare form; her attitude and skills are right on. Birds of Prey #12 Writer: Gail Simone, Artist: Jesus Saiz, Colorist: Nei Ruffino Now this is a good issue. All the character voices were on, and the tension was strong without edging into melodrama. Everyone got a nice moment, the team coordination was great, the art is fluid, clear and gorgeous. Yay for Question showing up! X:Men Legacy #248  Writer: Mike Carey, Penciler: Jorge Molina, Inkers: Craig Yeung and Pat Davidson, Colors: Matthew Wilson This picks up from the end of the Age of X event, and it is basically what I w

Top Ten Tuesday - Jerks!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at  The Broke and The Bookish This Weeks Prompt: Top Ten Jerks In Literature (all those jerky guys in books..those who truly WERE asshats and those who just acted like one but could be quite loveable)  Hmmm. Doesn't seem quite fair to me to include too many loveable jerks only two weeks after the list of mean girls . I am defining jerks as: usually minor villains who enjoy the misfortunes of others, and aren't above rubbing it in. Petty cruelty is a hallmark of the jerk. 1: Raven ( Chronicles of the Black Company , Glen Cook, review ) Because occasionally doing the right thing or having reasons for being an arrogant criminal loner doesn't mean you're not a jerk, even according to the Black Comany's low standards. 2: Regin ( The Novice , Trudi Canavan) is a straightforward stuck-up schoolyard jerk and tormentor to Sonea, the main character. He eventually grows out of it. 3: Byerly Vorrutyer ( A Civil Campaign , Loi

The Ambassador's Mission

The Ambassador's Mission (Book One of the Traitor Spy Trilogy) Trudi Canavan, 2010 Premise: Twenty years have passed since the Ichani invasion of Kyralia. Lorkin, son of the Black Magician Sonea, is a full-fledged Magician himself now, and eager to do something with his life. He volunteers to assist the Ambassador to Sachaka, but his parent's history with the people of that nation could come back to haunt him. Meanwhile, Cery and Sonea must deal with a mysterious rogue magician who may be targeting major thieves in the city for elimination, and the influx of a dangerous new drug. I read the Black Magician Trilogy a few years back, and really enjoyed it. This is more of the same. It's solid fantasy action, with an interesting world, complicated politics, sympathetic characters, and not so many characters that you get lost. I don't think a new reader would have any problem getting up to speed here, because enough time has passed since the events of the fi

Comics Briefly: Belated Edition: Avengers Academy Giant-Size, Avengers Academy #13, Mouse Guard: The Black Axe #2

So I was sick earlier this week, and didn't get a chance to pick up this week's books until today. Since today was Free Comic Book Day , I was off to the local stores today anyhow, so that worked out just fine. These books are full price, standard issues; stay tuned for my report on the FCBD books in a week or so. Favorite Issue This Week: Mouse Guard: The Black Axe #2 All books were new in stores on May 4, 2011 Avengers Academy Giant-Size Writer: Paul Tobin, Penciler: David Baldeon, Inker: Jordi Tarragona, Colorist: Chris Sotomayor This special one-shot teams up some of the Avengers Academy kids with a few characters from Young Allies. It's a fine little adventure, and the art was quite good. There were some awesome moments for most of the characters, but the writing was a lot weaker than in the Avengers Academy ongoing. It was an okay issue overall, fine to read, but the characters felt slightly off. (Also it has to take place at least a few

Top Ten Tuesday - Books Recommended to Me

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and The Bookish This Week's Prompt: Books I'm So Happy Were Recommended To Me (all those books you probably wouldn't have picked up without a good recommendation) This is going to be a bit haphazard, since I often read a greater quantity and more eclectically than most people around me. Also, I'm not sure that "never would have picked up" applies to most of these. Most times when I read a book I " never would have picked up" it turns out... that I shouldn't have picked it up. These are more like, "might not have noticed/gotten around to soon without a good recommendation." 1: The Warrior's Apprentice , by Lois McMaster Bujold  This is a good example, I probably would have gotten to these eventually, but I started reading them when I did because a friend at one of my jobs in 2004 saw me reading a Honor Harrington book and suggested the Miles Vorkosigan books. Now they're one of m

Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel

Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris, 2011 New Release! E-Galley provided by the publisher though NetGalley I had forgotten the premise of this book between the time I requested the galley and the time I read it. This did not improve the experience, as I was not mentally prepared for steampunk. Bear that in mind. Premise: Archivist Wellington Books and Agent Eliza Braun are thrown together by their jobs at the Ministry, but must learn to work together and trust each other in order to track down and foil the secret society endangering steampunk Victorian England. Is it me? I would think steampunk should be a good fit for me, but I just found this book tedious. The characters began unlikable, and despite glimmers of interest now and then, never graduated to anything higher than fine. The plot feels haphazard in my opinion. It meanders for a long time without a clear direction, and then once the main set piece picks up,