Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Professor and the Siren by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

The Professor and the Siren by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa[Expected publication: July 2014 by NYRB Classics
I liked the first story about the siren, but the other two stories I honestly couldn't tell you a thing about them. I skimmed them because they bored me a lot. There was a lot of potential in the first story that could have easily covered all the pages in this book, but instead it ended abruptly and it was very unsatisfying.

There's not a lot you will miss by not reading this book. And I say that as a person who LOVED the writing style in the first story (other than the ending).

Friday, March 28, 2014

Lungs Full of Noise by Tessa Mellas

Lungs Full of Noise by Tessa Mellas
Published October 1st 2013 by University Of Iowa Press] 

I loved the stories "Mariposa Girls", "Quiet Camp", and "So Much Rain". But out of all of them, I think I loved "So Much Rain" the most, it was just so strange and lyrical. But "Mariposa Girls" was a wonderful way to start, and I must say the morbidness of it really got me excited to read the rest of the stories.

I think that's what I really love about this collection of stories (though I found some of them boring), they can be grotesque and strange and a little gross, but the writing style is so soft and dare I say, feminine. I just really adore the author's writing.

But despite that, there were some weak stories, including two of them where I have no idea what was going on at all and I found them pretty boring. Thankfully in general the stories are pretty short here, so you're off to the next one pretty quickly.

I didn't like "Bibi from Jupiter". I found the narrator grating, and their ~friendship~ at the end was weird and fake. Bibi was more interesting in the beginning, when her and the narrator weren't friends. But I thought the narrator was kind of a brat. Out of all of the stories, I think this is the one that doesn't fit in with the collection the most. It didn't feel like it had such a different tone and style than the rest of the stories.

I love the cover. Its so strange and soft, its really the perfect cover for this book.

3.5/5 stars.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The n-Body Problem by Tony Burgess

The n-Body Problem by Tony Burgess
Published October 22nd 2013 by ChiZine Publications ] 

Bummer. Reading the blurb there is so much potential here that I feel Burgess wasted on a story that didn't make sense, a world that didn't make sense, characters you don't like, and a nonexistent plot. Let's look at the blurb shall we?:

"In the end, the zombie apocalypse was nothing more than a waste disposal problem. Burn them in giant ovens? Bad optics. Bury them in landfill sites? The first attempt created acres of twitching, roiling mud. The acceptable answer is to jettison the millions of immortal automatons into orbit. Room enough and a view. Soon, earth's near space is a mesh of bodies interfering with the sunlight, having an effect on our minds that we never saw coming. Aggressive hypochondria, rampant depressive disorders, irresistible suicidal thoughts. Life on earth slowly became not worth living. Heaven had moved in too close. We all knew where we were going and it was just up there, just far enough to never, ever leave." 

You can tell by the summary here there is potential. But instead, Burgess creates a story filled with shock value and gimmick (including a chapter that's "encoded" for no apparent reason). A maniac "Seller" running around with an obsession with attaching people to other people's genitalia (and about 3 pages of description of what body parts he's attaching to another's testicles) and having sex with all of his creations (as long as they aren't alive). 

So we get 200 pages of mutilations, sexual deviancy, necrophilia, mass suicide, murder...

I am just not young enough anymore to care about trying to seem this damn edgy.  

February Wrap Up!

Well, suddenly its March when I swear it seems like February 1st was yesterday. I'm also in the middle of a move and I'm working 50 hour work weeks, so everything seems to be going terribly fast. I didn't read a lot this past month, I hardly noticed it passing by!

 1. When She Woke by Hillary Jordan (4/5 stars)
[Challenges: Finish 2013, The TBR Pile, Off the Shelf, Dystopia]

I loved this book. I had been trying to read it on and off during 2013 but I hadn't quite caught the appropriate mood to make my Restless Reader Syndrome calm down and focus. But this is really a wonderful book, and I know it's said a lot in reviews, but if you enjoy Margaret Atwood's books, I would give this one a go. Hillary Jordan is no Margaret Atwood, but I think she will please.

2. Teatro Grottesco by Thomas Ligotti (5/5 stars)
[Challenges: The TBR Pile]

I cannot sing enough praise for this book, truly. Thomas Ligotti has a fantastical imagination, and one thing I found especially refreshing is that he could tell a story that's bizarre, creepy, and frightening without resorting to being plain gross, which is what a lot of writers in the horror genre have to turn to. I love the story of the mayors coming and going from different towns, but I think my absolute favorite was the town in the north that had the town and then the old town. That was just delightfully creepy and inspired.

3. Dolores Clairborne by Stephen King (5/5 stars)
[Challenges: none]

Yes, its not scary. But I'm a sucker for a book with a very unique narrator voice, and this book has got it. You can't help but be fond of Dolores and her predicament. Its also profoundly sad.

4. Archelon Ranch by Garrett Cook (2.5/5 stars)
[Challenges: The TBR Pile]

The fuck was this?
Not only is a bit hard to follow, for everything that's going that should be interesting, this was a damn boring book.

5. Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory (4/5 stars)
[Challenges: The TBR Pile, Finish 2013]

This is a unique twist on the zombie tale. I loved the first part of the book with Stony growing up with his family, and seeing his relationships with his sisters even as he joined his own kind. 

Four stars though, because the direction it went in after that I wasn't a huge fan of. It was not at all what I had expected, and not really in a good way.

6. Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (5/5 stars)
[Challenges: The TBR Pile, Classics]

Not much to say except Gabriel Garica Marquez knows his shit.
7. Ghosted Volume 1 by Joshua Williamson (1.5/5 stars)
[Challenges: Netgalley Catch Up]

I promised myself I would DNF more if I found myself not enjoying something. This is my second victim this year of that resolution.

8. The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer [5/5 stars]
[Challenges: The TBR Pile, Off the Shelf]

Georgette Heyer knows her shit too.

Oh and good lord, what am I reading currently? What am I NOT reading currently? Though a lot of my books are packed up and at my other apartment right now, since I'm in a move and such, and of course I have just this itching desire to read something that's packed away instead of what I'm currently reading. Of course. The list:

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The Twelve by Justin Cronin
The Toll-Gate by Georgette Heyer
Grim by Christine Johnson
Twitter Wit by Nick Douglas
The Song of the Dodo by David Quammen
Splintered by A.G. Howard
Audrey Rose by Frank de Felitta

Things I hope to read next!:
Bleeds My Desire by Nenia Campbell
Through the Smoke by Brenda Novak
Devil's Bride by Stephanie Laurens
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Uncle Silas by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu

(but let's get real--I never read what I'm planning on reading)