Monday, 20 June 2016

Cinder



Book 17 of 2016 is Cinder by Marissa Meyer. This is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles.

I mostly cringe at fairytales - originals or those retold.

Unlike the massive fail that was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as a mashup of genres, this sci-fi fairytale is a total win. Even the lovey dovey teenage rubbish doesn't dominate and is managed well by the female lead.

The plot was nowhere near as vacuous as the original and follows it very loosely. This was more like a modern teeny bopper sci-fi story than any fairytale.

Now to read the rest of the Lunar Chronicles.


Four kick-ass female mechanics out of five.

Should I read this? If you like old stories re-written well and with better female characters then you should.
What did I learn? Saving the world is much more important than falling in love.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki




Book 16 of 2016 is Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami.

I enjoy most of what Murakami writes but sometimes find it tedious in its challenges. That is why I purchased this book at the end of last year but only read it now.

Once I picked this up, I could not put it down. Over a few days, it took self control (not my forte) to put this down and actually sleep each night. Last night, I completed the book after ignoring that pesky self control blah.

This is not so much a book about friendship as it is a book about having a sense of self and self worth in friendship. That is why I connected with this book. There are many moments of self doubt when I wonder why anyone would bother being my friend, when they are such a cool person.

There were unanswered moments of supernatural fear and this book left me wondering many many things. I think that is why some hate it and some love it. Not all questions are answered but then... some unasked questions are answered so sincerely that it feels balanced.

I want to gift this book to everyone I know. The last time I felt like this was last April when I read Love in the Time of Cholera.

Four friends missing their completion out of five.

Should I read this? Yes.It is simple. Yes.
What did I learn? Writing is a talent. Some people have it in spades.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Modern Romance



Book 15 of 2016 is Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari.

This book made me laugh. It is supposed to be a self help book based in psychology but feels more like a elf help book written by an academic and edited by a comedian to add funny stuff.

A lot of the studies used to argue hypotheses are interesting but some seem to be stretches to justify the point being made, The odd mix of humour and quasi-science left me giggling but unconvinced.

This book wasn't written for me though. It was written for single men who are terrified of commitment.

This book was not worth the reviews it received, in my eyes. Luckily I was gifted this audio book.

Three giggles about the scary commitment monster out of five.

Should I read this? If you are a single male who isn't sure whether monogamy is for you then yeah.
What did I learn? Some stereotypes are painfully accurate.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Good Omens


Book 14 of 2016 is Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

If you've heard my Gaiman (or as I know him, Amanda Palmer's husband) rants then you will know that I love him as a person and have read many of his books. I loved Neverwhere but have not enjoyed much since. Yes, I even diss American Gods.

This book was recommended to me by so many people that I had to give in and read it.

I stand corrected. This is brilliant. That may be due to Pratchett though :p

The idea that the world isn't perfect but it is imperfectly wonderful, is one that I truly share. The pop culture references and hilarious British humour won me over within the first couple of chapters.

This is so good that I didn't want to finish. I am sad it is over.

Five cute hounds of hell out of five.

Should I read this? Yes. Even if you don't like Gaiman's other stories.
What did I learn? Good and evil are relative. I knew that but now more so.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Unsubscribing from All the Things



I reside in the home of consumerism and have been swept up in the ease at which everything comes to me in this country and specifically in Seattle, the home of delivery.

In my ongoing quest to consume less, I looked at where I am exposed to advertising which has so much say in what I buy. If you say it doesn't then I call bullshit on that.

The answer was in email and on Facebook.

I proceeded to unsubscribe from every email sent to me by a business. This has had me realise that they lie and keep sending stuff to you over and over until Google mail helps you unsubscribe. Yes, they mark those jerks as spam.

The second avenue is Facebook. I've stopped liking my friend's statuses that mention a brand of any kind. I'm also leaving all groups that are selling me something.

This has changed what I read in a day. Lets see what happens in a week.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

A week of not buying everything I want



Wow, is it difficult to not shop online constantly when you live in the US and work for Amazon?!

It's what the company I work for does best. Not just them but every online company in the US.

I can order everything online and have it delivered to my home with the only human inconvenience being dealing with my delivery guy (I joke):
We live in the future and I want my flying car!

You think I joke, but I have pre-ordered two Star Trek: TOS Bluetooth® Communicators. One for my sister and one for myself.


We live in a time when you can get anything you want. My smartphone is more powerful than the computer that landed man on the moon. My speakers hear my commands and turn my house lights on and off , read me the news and tell me the weather or time if I'm too lazy to lift up my so smartphone.

It is so easy to buy. It takes a level of mindfulness to wake up after a goodnight's sleep and cancel that order of plastic garden flamingos. Yes, that happened last week.

People joke that we once had arguments about facts and now google (with a small 'g') everything and Snopes it on the spot. I extend on that and say that we have a conversation and can act on every whim and buy any damn thing we want.

But do we need those things?

This week, I have decided to not by anything that I do not NEED. When I say need, it must be essential to my survival or maintaining my basic standard of living.

In the spirit of a good Amazonian, I decided to keep a Wish List of A Week of Wants and refuse to buy anything that didn't go under the banner of essential.

I'm not saying I will buy them in a week but I am keeping a list of everything I would have purchased given the chance.

This will be both informative and confronting.

Would you face your inner consumer and not be disgusted?

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Night Circus



Book 13 of 2016 is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

"The circus arrives without warning."

This book was recommended to me a couple of years ago when I was still in Australia. Pretty much every book story employee that I asked to recommend me their favourite phantasmagorical book recommended this one.

I was looking for Gaimenesque fantastical drama and this was the book to answer it, over and over again.

It is hard to describe this book as more than magical without ruining the story. Do what I did and don't read anything about it before you devour this book.

Four illusions out of five.

Should I read this? Absolutely, yes. It is a book for everyone.
What did I learn? Be good at what you do and always believe in the best of all outcomes.