Monday, October 23, 2017

The Massacre of Mankind

The idea of this is awesome and the fact that they got permission from the H.G. Wells estate is insanely cool. It takes major chops to write a sequel to a beloved sci-fi classic that is over 100 years old. Thankfully Stephen Baxter seemed to fill the shoes quite well, writing a fun sequel that, while it is not as great as the original, surely stands up to it. In this new take the aliens have learned from their previous mistake and they've come back to Earth to make humanity pay. It's been nearly two decades since the invasion and Earth has gone right back to the way things used to be, no one even giving a second thought to the aliens returning someday. Walter Jenkins is convinced that the first invasion was just a scouting mission and that they will one day return, unfortunately he is proven right. A fun follow up to a classic.

The Halloween Tree

Hands down the greatest Halloween book ever. It always holds up, ALWAYS. Nothing gets me in the Halloween mood more than this classic. It's written with such imagination, prose, and imagery that it sucks the reader right in and takes them on the same incredible journey that 8 young boys go on one Hallows Eve. The creepy and mysterious Moundshroud takes the young boys on a journey back in time to relive Halloween in all it's variations, celebrations and changes. To Egypt, Ireland, England, France, AND Mexico; they journey on the scariest night of the year to save their missing friend Pip and to discover the true meaning of Halloween. No one can weave a tale like Ray Bradbury can and make you feel the breeze in the trees, see the jack o lanterns swaying, and smell the pies cooking. Even the movie adaptation is a classic. I can't wait to share this book with my future children (as of yet unborn and unplanned).

Hotel Scarface

Holy hell was this an exciting and interesting book. True Crime doesn't get more "fun" than this. Hotel Scarface traces the origins of the Cocaine Cowboys in South Florida, their quick rise, the blizzard of users in Miami, and the amazingness of The Mutiny at Sailboat Bay. The Mutiny was where all the drug lords, smugglers, vixens, celebrities, and dirty cops hung out and my lord, to have been a fly on the wall there. The Mutiny was the hub in the early days of cocaine and even the movie, Scarface, models itself off The Mutiny and the eccentric characters there. The cast of characters in this nonfiction history is extensive and can get a little overwhelming at times, but it is definitely worth getting through because this book is full of bizarre little tid bits and over the top lifestyles that could of course not be kept up forever. Extensively researched, wonderfully written, and compelling as hell, this is a must read!

The Flintstones

I wasn't sure what to expect with this, but I certainly couldn't pass up a DC adaptation that looked fun and funky. The comic covered many surprisingly relevant topics and was very... modern for a stone age family. Religion, monogamy, marriage, work ethics, the price of war and our obsession with "stuff" were just a few of the many social satire commentaries brought up in the comic. At times, it was a bit heavy handed, but it was witty, funny, and very refreshing. It definitely changed how I thought about the vintage TV show. I don't know if I liked it enough to keep up with this series, but it's definitely worth checking out. There are some pretty great one liners and parodies.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Ellen Foster

Raw and unflinching, this story told through a young girl's eyes will captivate readers. Born to a depressed mother and abusive alcoholic Ellen learns to fend for herself and to depend on the kindness of strangers, especially on the colored family down the road. When Ellen loses her mother she isn't shocked or surprised she just further goes into survival mode, bouncing from one household to the next, trying to find someone willing to care for and love a ten year old. Set in the south during the sixties, this book is sure to generate lively discussion. It's a quick read and Kaye Gibbons does a wonderful job viewing the world through a child's imagination. Witty, charming, and precious.

God Hates Astronauts

The more bizarre a book or a comic is the more apt I am to love it. This was no exception. It's over the top ridiculous, makes virtually no sense is filled with bizarre plot lines and even crazier characters. There are 5 super heroes on a team, but virtually everyone else they meet is either a mutant half breed or has powers of their own. There are cheeseburger eating tigers, a starman with a ghost horse head, a cop with gorilla arms, unidentifiable creatures and more. It's insanity and you should probably read it because there is no way that I can describe what in the hell is going on.

Caroline

Straight up a must read for any grown up Little House fan. This book did not disappoint! Caroline is told through the perspective of Ma and it starts right where Little House in the Big Woods ends. We saw Laura's carefree nature, Pa's strong unwavering love, Caroline's fears about giving birth in the plains with no other females around to assist her. This goes into more detail about the little things that readers always wondered but never knew, how the family went to the bathroom on the road, how childbirth went on the prairie, how the house was built, what was really going on with the Indians. It beautifully ties in with the series and lends an adult viewpoint to the stories we love so well. I would love to see more books that feature Caroline as an adult narrator, this was lovely!