Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Normal service will resume...

I'm moving to Pittsfield this weekend, and won't be able to get the cable company to hook up my broadband connection there for a week, so I'm going to be taking an unavoidable break from this blog. In the meantime, if you happen to be in the Burlington, MA area you can catch me at Readercon.

Monday, June 25, 2007

After Dark

Wrapped up After Dark by Haruki Murakami today. This was one of Murakami's more inconsequential novels. After reading Kafka on the Shore last year this really felt like he was just taking a break between larger projects. It was an incredibly well written character study, but in the end the novel just didn't amount to much of anything.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Shadow of the Giant

Just finished the audiobook of Orson Scott Card's latest Ender novel, Shadow of the Giant. It's a well enough written story, with some excellent characterization, but at its heart it's a piece of military fiction that does not hold together at all. The book ends (I'm not too worried about spoiling this as the ending is revealed way back in Ender's Game) with world peace being declared, but such an ending just does not feel earned given the situation described in the novel. I think it's time that card gave Ender a rest (hopefully so he can finish writing the final Alvin Maker novel).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Feed

I finished listening to the audiobook of M.T. Anderson's Feed on my way home from work. This one is going to be with me in a while. It's been ages since I've had a book that honestly left me feeling devastated when it was over. This was just an absolutely pitch perfect novel, which was really surprising from a YA, apocalyptic, cyberpunk, satire.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Heart Shaped Box and some more comics

I finished listening to the audio book of Joe Hill's Heart-Shaped Box today. I have mixed feelings about this one. In the plus column it was the first horror story in quite some time that made me feel genuinely creepy at times. However, the book could have been pared down quite a bit. The end of the book had more epilogues than the Lord of the Rings.

I also finished reading Showcase Presents: the Flash, which reprinted the earliest Barry Allen Flash stories. By silver age DC standards, this book was phenomenal, the characters nearly had personalities. But more importantly, this is the book that began the silver age of comics, and it holds up surprisingly well. The stories are often brilliantly imaginative, particularly when the Mirror Master is involved. Although, I do have to mark it down a bit for the issue with Mr. Element (later Dr. Alchemy), who breaths in pure oxygen through a mask solely to bolster his villain motif.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Everything is Miscellaneous

The problem with working at a library is that every time you start a book you come across something new to read instead (I had just started Michael Chabon's Yiddish Policemen's Union). And every now and then I really regret finding a book. Everything is Miscellaneous is a very problematic book for me to be reading. The central tenant of it is that in the computer age objects no longer need to be limited to belonging in a single category. One side effect of this being that the traditional practice of cataloging books (my profession) is becoming a bit anachronistic. It would be depressing if I didn't agree with the author to a certain extent.