Tuesday, May 27, 2014

read: Manhood for Amateurs (5 stars)

Manhood for AmateursManhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am pretty stunned at how strongly these essays resonated with me. Some not so much, but most. I guess I should not have been that surprised. I like most of his writing I have sampled and he has an admittedly geek sensibility. I definitely recommend it for anyone who likes his writing, as well as those with sci-fi or comic book or even authorly tendencies.

It was a treat hearing him read the audio book to me.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

read: Mockingjay (4 stars)

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story picks up literally in the ashes of the previous one. All is lost, yet there is some hope. The first thing Katniss Everdeen must decide is if she still wants to be the Mockingjay. Only this time it will be most explicitly for those rebelling against President Snow and the Capitol.

Once again the story keeps moving, though at not quite the breakneck pace of the previous volumes. There are plenty of interesting puzzles to solve, motives to puzzle over, and battles to fight, both literal and figurative. Four stars for the interesting characters and settings and the palpable senses of mission and paranoia. A star knocked off for the muddled mess of plot and the growing implausibilities. A star added back on for bringing the saga to a satisfying conclusion. If you enjoyed the first two books, you will have to read this one.

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

read: What's So Funny?: My Hilarious Life by Tim Conway (4 stars)

What's So Funny?: My Hilarious LifeWhat's So Funny?: My Hilarious Life by Tim Conway
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I already knew Tim Conway is a very funny man. This book demonstrates that he's also very sweet and kind and down to earth. I didn't know he came from such humble beginnings. I'm glad all of the happy accidents in his life that led him to being a performer happened to him, and it's clear he is, too. The prose is a bit on the choppy and chatty side. But all that does is enhance the feeling that Tim is telling you everything in the first person (even though he had the help of a ghost-writer). Fans of Tim (or McHale's Navy, or The Carol Burnett Show) will enjoy this book.

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read: The Astronaut Wives Club (3 stars)

The Astronaut Wives Club: A True StoryThe Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story by Lily Koppel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is certainly not the best written (or best read audio) book. But if you're as fascinated by the Space Age as I am, you will hang on every word.

It does spend a seemingly inordinate amount of time on clothes and hair and housekeeping. But those were the priorities of the time. It also dives into the deeper stories of emotions and family and broken marriages. It's all laid out to a much deeper extent than I've seen before, at least from the wives' point of view. It's time their story got told.

Recommended for anyone interested in the time period.

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