Whatcha reading?

Whatcha reading?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Strangers: Dean Koontz

This was a fast paced climax building book, but you pretty much know from the start it will be about Aliens... The book introduces you to several characters and at first you don't know how they are going to come together, but then they start getting the same obsessions. Night and the moon. Some of the characters commit suicide or seemingly go crazy before we learn they were all at the wrong place at the wrong time and were brainwashed. The remaining people who are lapsing from the brain wash go back to the hotel the incident happened. The military starts following them around.

Bossy Pants: Tina Fey

This book was hilarious, I am going to give it to my mom to read on her plane ride home so she will be laughing and sounding like a crazy person the whole way. Tina's Honeymoon story was hilarious and so similar to stories everyone has. My husband also unknowingly lays guilt on me thinking I am a better, more thoughtful person than I am. I laughed so much when reading this. She adds little comments you don't expect or had been a joke earlier in the book and you find yourself snorting in delight. A must read, I am glad she got her second baby :)

Yes Please! Amy Poeler

This was a funny auto biography on Comedian Amy Poeler's life. She talks about the one huge mistake and regret she has, her skit on Hurricane Mary. She talks about her sleeping problems, having children, and life in a funny book.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Star Wars X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Michael Stackpole

This takes place after Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles destroy the Death Star. This book follows Wedge Antilles as he becomes a commander of the rogue squadron and trains new pilots for the rebellion. In this story we meet Corran Horn, who becomes the new Ace pilot. They battle together at Black Moon to create a base for the rebellion.

Before They Pass Away: Jimmy Nelson

This was a beautiful book, quite the work of art. The book is oversized and the photos are amazing. Some of the pages flip out and it is printed on very glossy paper in three languages. The book is dedicated to capturing the last surviving tribes of native people throughout the world in their environment before their culture disappears. The photos themselves are amazing and capture the people in a way it looks like it isn't posed. We see how they dress, their weapons, and their life in desolate places that look impossible to sustain life. The people selected live anywhere from the desert to the jungle to the North Pole. The book is an attempt to show the world at large that people are still fighting to hold on to their roots, their land, their way of life even as daily we become more of a melting pot.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

American Psycho: Bret Easton Ellis

SUPER DISTURBING A coworker wanted me to read this book so we could talk about it...because he loved it. OMG, I had to keep skipping parts because the book made me nauseous, but felt the need to finish it because I was wondering what sort of psychopath my coworker was and if I needed to be afraid. The book starts out with the protagonist Patrick Bateman in a cab with a friend going to a girlfriend's party. They ramble on and on about clothes and designers. The people come across as outrageously shallow, but no one to be afraid of. Throughout the story Patrick is described as being a wallflower and is often teased about being a Grinch and the boy next door, not a threat. He constantly rambles on about music, or clothing, or stereos, and everything is a competition for him. Patrick sees himself as a success, yet others fail to notice him or remember his name which makes him an unreliable narrator. Slowly Patrick starts having a breakdown and he realizes this in himself. He pokes out a homeless man's eyes and beats up some prostitutes. The homeless man's abuse is described in detail, the prostitutes simply leave with a limp and bruised, but you know there was a coat hanger involved. Patrick's snapping point seems to be when a coworker, Paul Allen gets the account he wanted. After a few extremely graphic murders of a child, Paul Allen, and several woman with sex ending in torture and murder, we meet Patrick's mom, who is in a sanatorium. She is characterized very similarly to Patrick, who we already know has lost it. At one point the story switches to 3rd person where Patrick sees himself as the star of a movie or the nightly news resisting arrest from the police, yet a little while later we learn there have been no reports of missing people or murders. The murders seem to all be fabrication in his head. His lawyer mentions something about a message Patrick left on his machine admitting to the murders, but the lawyer claims to have just seen one of the victims a few days before in London. He also describes Patrick as a "brown- nosing goody goody", so we as readers too start to believe Patrick couldn't do these horrible things. He has dinner with Evelyn and breaks up with her then has her eat a urinal cake. In the beginning Patrick admitted he didn't listen to Evelyn ramble on and day dreamed. We begin to believe he is so far gone he can't distinguish his daydreams (murders, feeding Evelyn urinal cakes) with reality, eating dinner while Evelyn chats on. Patrick becomes obsessed with being a somebody and fabricates that he is acting out on his monstrous imaginations. He is then disappointed that he hasn't gain notoriety and no one believes him, he is stuck in this boring life with no meaning.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Unknown Gulag: Lynne Viola

This book exposed not only the first gulags of Stalin's reign, but also the intent to completely rid not only capitalism from Russia, but all "capitalists" by either breaking them or killing them. The first Gulags resettled peasants. The farmers were stripped of everything they had even sometimes the shoes on their feet and were sent on train cars to The Northern Territory, Siberia, the Urals, Kazakhstan, and the Far East. Their land was turned into collective farms and the evicted were forced to chop down forests for shelter and mine for the state. The same time Hitler was building concentration camps, Stalin was building Gulags. The book gives statistics on how many people survived and the amount of food given, sometimes it was nothing. The people who survived were either those who ran away- there weren't enough guards to keep everyone there, or the woman and few remaining children who survived the conditions. It was an incredibly heartbreaking book, but stuff like this needs to come to light after it has been buried for 50 years.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Female of the Species: Mindy McGinnis

Another great book my McGinnis. Alex's sister was murdered when Alex was a freshman in school. The town couldn't convict her murderer because they didn't have any evidence. The man feed her to the wild animals. Two years later, realizing that her sister's murderer will go free, Alex kills him herself. She then makes friends with a girl in her class who is also working at the animal shelter and her life changes. She falls in love and starts to live in the world again. She murders two more people who were getting away with crimes and at the very end dies from a fall which crushed her skull. It is a fast paced book and by the time you get to the end and see there are still chapters to go before the end, you know Alex is going to die somehow.

The Mini Farming Handbook: Brett Markham

This was a super helpful book. There were all sorts of charts; cover crops- nitrogen yields, Crops in rotation, 3 year bed rotation examples. There was also a section on disease, like using compost tea for rose black spot. This book talked a little about everything, growing fruit and fruit trees, raising chickens, canning, making wine, making trellis', starting seeds, sterilizing soil, cheese making etc. I grew up doing these things, but still learned a lot! I was especially drawn to the info that cancers may be linked to people not getting basic chemical trace elements from the soil and their food. The part about counting earthworm in the soil to determine how rich it is was also awesome- what an easy tool to use to add nutrients!