Archive for the ‘Books’

Ready, Set, Read!

Guest article written by: Tearitup (@HappiTraveler)
Author of The HappiTraveler

Hard to believe that it’s already June. And that can only mean one thing, summer reading season is here again! Time to grab a cold beverage, a comfy seat and get reading.

I’m looking forward to reading Steve Berry’s new book The Columbus Affair. It centers on Tom Sagan a down on his luck journalist and discoveries about Christopher Columbus. I’ve enjoyed Berry’s previous works and this one sounds promising.

Another new book coming out in July is Year Zero: A Novel by Rod Reid. This one is being compared to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Those are definitely big literary shoes to fill. I’m looking forward to seeing if the comparison plays out.

And now for something completely different, a romance. Deborah Harkness is following up her insanely popular A Discovery of Witches with the next book in the trilogy, Shadow of Night. I have to admit I’m a fan and I’m really anxious to get my hands on this July release. If it’s as good as the first book it should be great.

The book I’m most looking forward to reading is the new Lee Child Jack Reacher novel A Wanted Man. Sadly for me this one is not scheduled for release until September. Not in time for summer reading but on my list none the less.

What books are you planning to read this summer? Any new authors you’re anxious to try? Please share your summer reading suggestions for books and authors. With all of the readers here we should have no shortage of great reads for those long, warm, days.

Book Club: 2012Q2 Book Club – The Kill Artist

This post was written by Tearitup with help from Mikeh!

Normally now would be the time that we would be narrowing down the selection for the Lazy Lightning Book Club. I’m not sure about everyone else but I have no idea how it can already be the end of March.

I was thinking about book choices and what we may want to read in 2012Q2 at the end of February. Right, four weeks ago. I realized last night that we really won’t have enough time to vote for a new book and make our selection by, oh I don’t know, THIS Sunday.

So, I propose that for the LLBC selection for Q2 we go ahead and read the book that came in second place in the last vote. We’ll get back on track with our standard selection and voting process with the next book. Bur for now the Lazy Lightning Book Club selection for Q2 will be The Kill Artist.

Following is a brief description of the book. It is an older book and should be available used or new and of course at the library. Thanks and as always Happy Reading!

The Kill Artist – Daniel Silva

Gabriel Allon was a key operative in secret Israeli-intelligence missions. When his wife and daughter fell victim to the danger that accompanied him everywhere, Gabriel quit and devoted himself to the work of art restoration– previously a cover for his secret missions. But now Ari Shamron, the head of Israeli intelligence, needs Gabriel’s particular kind of experience to thwart a Palestinian plot to destroy the peace negotiations in the Middle East. The architect of this plot, a Palestinian zealot named Tariq, is a lethal part of Gabriel’s past, and so as the two begin an intercontinental game of hide-and-seek, with life and death as the prizes, the motives are as personal as they are political.

The Hunger Games: Book and Movie Reviews

The Hunger Games originally uploaded by Kendra Miller

A while back, The Wife brought home The Hunger Games as it was her book club’s selection for the month. While I routinely read her book club books and heard great things about this one all over the web and Twittersphere but I really didn’t think I’d like it nearly as much as everyone else due to the fact that it was tailored towards the younger crowd and was a genre which I normally find uninteresting. Even so I picked it up and read through it in about a day, thoroughly enjoying it–all the way up until the cliffhanger ending.

While I have no intention of giving anything away, the main premise of the story is that a some future point in time there is a war and the winners of this war insist that from then on 24 children (12 – 18 years of age) are pitted against each other each year in a fight to the death. This is meant to serve as a reminder of the war and that the winners were not only victorious but that they control everything which happens in the nation. This yearly fight is like Survivor on steroids. The children are provided weapons, tools, and food and are sent off into the wild in an attempt to outsmart the others and eventually stand as the final person standing.

Even though the book is short and has big text, it is incredibly detailed and paints a vivid story of the lives of the inhabitants of the nation, the relationships they have, the arena in which the children fight, and especially the political and socioeconomic issues the people face. The author grabs ahold of your attention and doesn’t let go throughout the book leaving you clamoring for more when you reach the end. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly suggest you go out and do so–especially before seeing the recently released movie.

The Wife and I went to see The Hunger Games movie on Sunday. While the crowds were atrocious earlier in the weekend, by 7:45 on Sunday evening there were plenty of open seats available in Apple Valley’s Carmike Cinema. We were armed with $15 worth of gummi bears (1 box), popcorn (of which we ate 5 handfuls total before later returning it to get our money back much to the displeasure of the moronic Assistant Manager who argued it wasn’t bad but refused to taste ours replying with, “ewwww, no, I hate popcorn.”), and a cup of flavored high fructose corn syrup and soda water.

The movie, while being quite true to the book, was pretty mediocre. I later noted how a picture is supposedly worth a thousand words but somehow 80% of the book’s content was missing even though they had 2:20+ minutes to layout what was written in 300 big-print pages. The Wife felt that unless you had read the book you would have missed a lot of what was going on in the characters’ heads as well as the real issues the people were facing living where they did.

While the movie did not drag at any point, I really have to wonder what others who may not have read the book thought about the movie. Did you think that it was a good movie? Did you realize that there was so much more going on than what was shown? Did the movie make you want to read the series? Have you read the book/series and if so what did you think of the movie? What did you think of the other two books in the series and do you think that the sequels to the first movie will be better or worse than the books? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Electronics Overload Poll

iPhone 4’s Retina Display v.s. iPhone 3G originally uploaded by Yutaka Tsutano

Last week’s poll was the Best Comment of 2011 voting. Unfortunately lefty’s comment won and now I have to eat with him but there is good news, MSPD’s comment didn’t get a single vote. Yay.

This week’s poll idea comes courtesy of The Wife. She asks if you do anything to consciously take time away from all electronics in your home. We definitely do nothing of the sort ever. While we don’t watch TV nearly as much as the average household, we probably use our computers far more than the average. It’s a little hard for us not to. Between this site, the mommy group The Wife runs, school for me and work, it’s hard to get away from it. However we do turn it off sometimes, although not always together, when we sit down to read books.

Perhaps we should make a conscious effort to set aside specific times every day or at least each week to completely unplug. This should include TV, phone, computers, whatever. However with our schedule and my admitted addiction I just don’t know if it’s possible. Perhaps you all have some ideas on how we could do it–especially if you already do something similar.

So do you do anything to purposefully avoid electronics? Do you set aside time every day or week to do it or do you just randomly decide to hide from them? If you do do it (or would consider doing it) would you only do it selectively (certain devices) or do you think it would be better to just turn everything off at once? What would you do without electronics other than reading? Whatever you have to say about this one vote on the sidebar and then comment on below. After you do both of those things feel free to check out our expired polls in the archive or read through the previous posts about polls here.