Monday, October 30, 2017

The Physics of Everyday Things: The Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary Day

The Physics of Everyday Things: The Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary Day
author: James Kakalios
name: Wayne
average rating: 3.10
book published:
rating: 3
read at: 2017/10/30
date added: 2017/10/30
shelves: non-fiction
review:
'The Physics of Everyday Things: The Extraordinary Science Behind and Ordinary Day' by James Kakalios takes the reader through a day and explains how the things we interact with work.

The book follows a person as they wake up for the day. Some of the many objects that are discussed are alarm clocks and toll booths and medical x-rays. There are airport security devices and credit card readers and hotel room card readers. There are LCD projectors and toll booths.

Most of the items may not be things that the reader may not interact with daily, but the familiarity is there. These items have a common enough use that the reader may not really consider what the science is behind them. That's where this book shines. It does end up feeling like a bit much by the time the book ends, but I found it interesting enough, and I'm sure it will make me look at the every day items I use in a new light.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Crown Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.


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Dunkirk

Dunkirk
author: Lieutenant Colonel Ewan Butler
name: Wayne
average rating: 3.86
book published:
rating: 5
read at: 2017/10/30
date added: 2017/10/30
shelves: non-fiction
review:
'Dunkirk' by Lieutenant Colonel Ewan Butler and Major J.S. Bradford is a first hand account that was written 10 years after the battle. It's a very readable account of men caught in a war and being pushed back off the continent.

The British Expeditionary Force (or B.E.F.) was in France in 1939 and into 1940. The book talks about life on the ground with the people of France. There is also mention of the air war and how the British tried to hold off German air power with dwindling supplies and what repairs could be made to keep planes flying. The Navy was off shore, but unable to offer much in aid. This left the army to face the impending advance of Nazi Germany. As the British got pushed out of France at Dunkirk, an amazing rescue of the troops occurred. This was still a rout, no matter how history might portray it.

This book was originally the source for a 1958 movie starring Richard Attenborough. I'm not sure how well that movie has aged, but this book reads very well. The story of men on the ground leading up to the evacuation is well told.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Sapere Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.


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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Angry Birds Comics, Vol 2: When Pigs Fly

Angry Birds Comics, Vol 2: When Pigs Fly
author: Paul Tobin
name: Wayne
average rating: 4.00
book published: 2015
rating: 3
read at: 2015/04/23
date added: 2017/10/25
shelves: graphic-novels, children-s
review:
The Angry Birds are back for more fun in 'Angry Birds Comics, Vol. 2: When Pigs Fly.' It's about as fun as the first one, and definitely good for younger readers who are fans of the game.

This time around, there are mysterious green eggs, pigs on stilts, and of course, the titles flying pigs. The birds try out alternate nest materials (like stone or water) with some dismal results. There are weird shells, strange berry juice, and a broken sling shot. The pigs try to steal the eggs, and the birds always manage to stay one step ahead of them.

It's cartoony violence like the game is. The pigs are pretty dim, and the birds are pretty silly. It's got a slapstick style found in cartoons, and the colors are bright. Once again, the bottom of the pages seem to have some sort of flip cartoon, but since I'm reviewing a digital copy, I can't make the pages flip fast enough. If you're buying a copy for kids, they might have more fun with a paper version so they can flip the pages and watch the birds fly into the pigs.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Diamond Book Distributors, IDW Publishing, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this fun graphic novel.


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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sticks 'n Stones 'n Dinosaur Bones (An Unhinged History Book , #1 )

Sticks 'n Stones 'n Dinosaur Bones (An Unhinged History Book , #1 )
author: Ted Enik
name: Wayne
average rating: 4.21
book published: 2013
rating: 4
read at: 2017/10/22
date added: 2017/10/22
shelves: children-s
review:
'Sticks 'n Stones 'n Dinosaur Bones' by Ted Enik with illustrations by G.F. Newland is a funny picture book about unscrupulous paleontologists.

Between 1865 and 1890 there was a period of time called "The Bone Wars" in which competing scientist tried to find the best dinosaur fossils. This book is about the feud between Edward Drinker Cope and O. Charles Marsh. In the race to outdo each other, they turned to unethical methods to compete. They are also credited with naming some famous dinosaurs, and that is given at the end of the book.

The text rhymes in a way I can only call 'Seuss-like' and the illustrations are as wacky as the verse. The story is silly enough, even though it is true. I think young readers would get some laughs about these grown-ups and the means they go to in order to compete. That subtle lesson might even catch on with young readers.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Schiffer Publishing Ltd. and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.


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Letters to a Prisoner

Letters to a Prisoner
author: Jacques Goldstyn
name: Wayne
average rating: 4.46
book published:
rating: 5
read at: 2017/10/22
date added: 2017/10/22
shelves: children-s
review:



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Batman/The Flash: The Button Deluxe Edition

Batman/The Flash: The Button Deluxe Edition
author: Joshua Williamson
name: Wayne
average rating: 3.66
book published:
rating: 4
read at: 2017/10/22
date added: 2017/10/22
shelves: graphic-novels
review:
'Batman/The Flash: The Button Deluxe Edition' by Joshua Williamson and Tom King collects the 4 issue crossover series from Batman #21-22 and The Flash #21-22. If you haven't read anything about Flashpoint, I suggest you start there or you will be feeling a bit lost.

During DC Rebirth #1 last year, Batman found an odd smiley face button with blood on it in his batcave. How it got there is supposedly the premise of this series. What we get instead is a story involving Flashpoint, Reverse Flash and Thomas Wayne. The cosmic treadmill makes an appearance too. Most of this won't mean much if you aren't familiar with Flashpoint.

Instead of the story I expected, this one went in surprisingly different directions. The events here are leading up to the 12 issue Doomsday Clock series where the Watchmen characters will interact with DC characters. There is a brief tease on the last panel. I expected this series to do more than a little toe dip in the Watchmen universe, but I found the story and art quite satisfying and I'm glad I read it.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from DC Entertainment and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.


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Suicide Squad, Volume 3: Burning Down The House

Suicide Squad, Volume 3: Burning Down The House
author: Rob Williams
name: Wayne
average rating: 3.41
book published: 2017
rating: 3
read at: 2017/10/22
date added: 2017/10/22
shelves: graphic-novels
review:
'Suicide Squad, Volume 3: Burning Down the House' by Rob Williams collects Suicide Squad #11-15 and the War Crimes #1 special. The art alternates between John Romita Jr. and Eddy Barrows.

This story takes place after the events in Justice League vs. Suicide Squad. Rustam is still out there and still wants revenge on Amanda Waller, but she is on leave while the Suicide Squad is being looked in to. The Squad goes on a raid into Russia only to find out that it's like their targets knew they were coming. Then Rustam and Burning World attack Blackgate prison and the Squad has to take them down. With Waller out of play, possibly permanently, can the team do what they need to do? And how does Lex Luthor play into everthing?

It's a big confusing story arc. Characters feel a bit tacked on in places. Even when they get a break and some downtime, they don't feel genuine to me. Since the art varies greatly issue by issue, that kind of knocked me in and out of the book as well. I much preferred the Eddy Barrows art over John Romita Jr.

The War Crimes special included written by John Ostrander was a much better plotted story. It included some different Squad members in a story that felt very much like the kind of thing the Suicide Squad would be sent out on.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from DC Entertainment and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.


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Friday, October 20, 2017

A Is for Asteroids, Z Is for Zombies: A Bedtime Book about the Coming Apocalypse

A Is for Asteroids, Z Is for Zombies: A Bedtime Book about the Coming Apocalypse
author: Paul Lewis
name: Wayne
average rating: 4.40
book published:
rating: 5
read at: 2017/10/19
date added: 2017/10/19
shelves:
review:
'A Is for Asteroids, Z Is for Zombies: A Bedtime Book about the Coming Apocalypse' by Paul Lewis with illustrations by Ken Lamug is the kind of bedtime book to read if you don't really want to sleep.

One night at bed, Timmy has questions about the end of the world. Tim's father remembers a book that Tim received for Halloween that they had hidden because it was too grim. What follows is an ABC book with all the various ways the world can end. From global warming to killer robots to asteroids and zombies, the book is told in gleeful rhyme with beautifully terrifying illustrations. We get an inset of Tim's horrified face as he reads the book to his son.

This is really not a kids book unless you have a kid that won't have nightmares based on this book. The situations are told tongue in cheek, but they are truly scary. The illustrations are fabulous, and the rhymes actually have the right meter! This is a gift book for an older child who likes all things apocalypse.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.


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Love and Other Consolation Prizes

Love and Other Consolation Prizes
author: Jamie Ford
name: Wayne
average rating: 4.00
book published: 2017
rating: 3
read at: 2017/10/19
date added: 2017/10/19
shelves:
review:
'Love and Other Consolation Prizes' by Jamie Ford is another historical fiction book that takes place in the Seattle area.

The story spans the two world's fairs that took place in Seattle. When the story opens, Ernest Young is dropping people off at the 1962 fair. His daughter, a reporter, wants to do a story about Ernest, which causes him to remember what happened at the Alaskan - Yukon - Pacific Exposition of 1909.

Ernest Young was forced to leave China when he was very young. Surviving the ocean crossing was just the beginning. Once he has lived in Seattle a while, he is auctioned off at the fair to the highest bidder. He ends up in a high end brothel working as a servant. His life there is better, and he ends up befriending a Japanese girl named Fahn, and the brothel owner's daughter Maisie. Their lives will change in the short years ahead.

I felt like this was a pretty by-the-numbers story. I didn't feel particularly surprised by anything that happened. Seattle names and landmarks are liberally sprinkled throughout the story to the point where it felt like a bit too much. This author has written better characters and stories before this one.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Ballantine Books, Random House Publishing Group, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.


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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Red Hood and the Outlaws #2 (Red Hood and the Outlaws 2016, #2)

Red Hood and the Outlaws #2 (Red Hood and the Outlaws 2016, #2)
author: Scott Lobdell
name: Wayne
average rating: 4.21
book published: 2016
rating: 4
read at: 2016/09/18
date added: 2017/10/19
shelves: graphic-novels
review:
'Red Hood and the Outlaws #2' by Scott Lobdell with art by Dexter Soy brings the second member to the team: Artemis. That's assuming she doesn't kill Red Hood first.

We meet Artemis in a flashback on her quest for a weapon, but the fabled bow of RA is not to be hers. Not yet, anyway. Then we skip to the present, where Red Hood is robbing a train for his boss Black Mask, and Artemis stands in his way. The banter seems a bit light for two people who are just meeting, especially under these circumstances. Artemis sees him as a simple crook, but realizes there may be more to him than meets the eye. The book ends with a look at the third member of the team.

I like this book. It's a reboot, but one I can jump in to as a new reader since it feels a bit fresh. I know these were teammates before, but I don't know the history, and I don't need to. I look forward to the next issue.

I was given a review copy of this issue by DC Entertainment and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this comic book.


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Sunday, October 15, 2017

If You Give a Man a Cookie: A Parody

If You Give a Man a Cookie: A Parody
author: Laura Joffe Numeroff
name: Wayne
average rating: 3.51
book published: 2017
rating: 4
read at: 2017/10/14
date added: 2017/10/14
shelves:
review:
'If You Give A Man a Cookie: A Parody' by Laura Numeroff with illustrations by Brian Ajhar is a parody based on something written by the same author, and it's a pretty funny one.

When my son was little, we read the book 'If You Give a Mouse a Cookie' so many times that I could recite it without looking at the pages (other parents know what I'm talking about). There were a whole string of these books about mooses and muffins, pigs and pancakes, etc. So it's only natural that the author would put out a parody of her own corner of the publishing industry.

A man gets a cookie from his wife, which sets off a whole chain of events, starting with making her get him some milk. There are wet towels on the floor, folded laundry (not by the husband), and falling asleep on the couch along the way.

This is a parody book for grown ups. It is probably best enjoyed by those familiar with what is being parodied. The art is pretty comical, as is the text of the book.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.


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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Hendrix: The lllustrated Story

Hendrix: The lllustrated Story
author: Gillian G. Gaar
name: Wayne
average rating: 3.17
book published:
rating: 3
read at: 2017/10/14
date added: 2017/10/14
shelves:
review:
'Hendrix: The Illustrated Story' by Gillain G. Gaar with Dave Hunter, Harvey Kubernik, Chris Salewicz and Jaan Uhelszki (with numerous other sources), is a coffee table book filled with pictures timed with what would have been Jimi's 75th birthday.

Jimi didn't live on this earth long, but he had a profound effect on music that is still felt to this day. Considering how addicted he was to drugs and women, that is a pretty amazing thing. This book tells the story from Jimi's childhood to the early bands and on into his fame. There are contracts and friendships broken. There are lots of destroyed guitars. There is a death that was far too soon.

Among all the facts (and some speculations), are photos of Jimi, and photos of bands Jimi was in (sometimes without Jimi in the photo). There are pictures of concert photos and tickets and album covers. The end of the book spends a lot of time on what happened with Jimi's estate and the fighting that occurred over it. It is part of the story, but I don't know how I feel about it being part of this book.

There are certainly lots of opinions about Jimi Hendrix and there is a lot of vague truth. This book is not bad given it's length, but for serious study of this life, there are probably better books out there (some of which are quoted from throughout this one). The photos in this book are worth the price though.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Voyageur Press, Quarto Publishing Group, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.


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Tobor

Tobor
author: Guido Van Genechten
name: Wayne
average rating: 3.50
book published:
rating: 3
read at: 2017/10/14
date added: 2017/10/14
shelves: children-s
review:
'Tobor' by Guido Van Genechten is about a special toy that a young boy gets. You can figure out what Tobor is by reading his name backwards.

Ben has his favorite toys, but now that he is almost five, he is bored with them. They can't move on their own or talk. He gets a new toy that starts up when you press his square nose. The toy is Tobor and he and Ben have fun adventures together.

Tobor is a cute robot and so are the illustrations in the book. The story is pretty sparse, but it would probably work for a squirmy toddler. The colors in the book are bright, and Tobor is a bit mischievous and curious.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Clavis Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.


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Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast
author: An Leysen
name: Wayne
average rating: 3.52
book published:
rating: 4
read at: 2017/10/14
date added: 2017/10/14
shelves: children-s
review:
'Beauty and the Beast' by An Leysen is a picture book retelling of the fairy tale with very pretty illustrations.

Fairy tales can have variations, and this one had one I wasn't as familiar with. There is a cursed prince. There is a merchant, but in this story he has two daughters. The older daughter is vain and insufferable, and we don't learn her name, but the younger one is called Belle. The Beast meets Belle and it mostly goes according to the stories I knew.

I liked this telling. It feels pretty authentic. There are no singing plates and cups, but the story doesn't need them. The illustrations are ornate and pretty. The Beast isn't too scary for young children, and the lessons of the story are clear.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Clavis Book and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.


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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Wonder Woman (2016-) Vol. 3: The Truth

Wonder Woman (2016-) Vol. 3: The Truth
author: Greg Rucka
name: Wayne
average rating: 3.82
book published: 2017
rating: 4
read at: 2017/10/08
date added: 2017/10/08
shelves: graphic-novels
review:
'Wonder Woman Vol. 3: The Truth' by Greg Rucka with amazing art by Liam Sharp finds Wonder Woman with a broken mind and the members of Godwatch close on her heels.

The story opens with Steve and Diana Prince on an island that was supposed to be Themyscira. Steve's organization is in shambles and with Wonder Woman unable to tap into her powers due to a mental break, they are easy targets for the members of Godwatch who want to use Wonder Woman to break into Themyscira. Diana and Steve escape, with Diana going to a mental hospital to sort things out and Steve to try to stop the threat with the help of some old friends.

The story meanders a bit and feels like it wants to evade the truth, but the artwork is just stunning. I loved Liam Sharp's art this time around. This title is one I look forward to from the new Rebirth line. DC, Greg Rucka, and Liam Sharp have a winner here.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from DC Entertainment and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.


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Santa's Countdown to Christmas: 24 Days of Stories

Santa's Countdown to Christmas: 24 Days of Stories
author: Thompson
name: Wayne
average rating: 3.89
book published:
rating: 4
read at: 2017/10/08
date added: 2017/10/08
shelves: children-s
review:
'Santa's Countdown to Christmas: 24 Days of Stories' by Kim Thompson with illustrations by √Člodie Duhameau is a series of 24 short stories for each day in December.

Throughout the course of the month, we see Santa and his team getting ready for the big night. Elves are busy, Santa is working out, and the reindeer and sleigh are also getting ready. Santa has to review the naughty and nice list, and there is one special present he needs to find. Will it all get done in time?

The stories all span a couple pages, with most of the space being taken by illustration. The date is given on each page, so it could be a quick bedtime story leading up to Christmas. I loved the illustrations which have lots of little details. I also loved Santa's alliterative exclamations like 'jumpin' gingerbread!' and 'leapin' lollipops!' There are tons of those and they made me smile. This would be a fun pre-Christmas read.

I received a review copy of this ebook from CrackBoom! Books, Chouette Publishing, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.


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Goodnight, Hockey Fans

Goodnight, Hockey Fans
author: Andrew Larsen
name: Wayne
average rating: 3.33
book published:
rating: 3
read at: 2017/10/08
date added: 2017/10/08
shelves: children-s
review:
'Goodnight, Hockey Fans' by Andrew Larsen with illustrations by Jacqui Lee is about a young hockey player and what happens at bedtime.

A young hockey player is watching the game, but now it's bedtime. He doesn't want to miss the game, so he sneaks a radio to bed with him to hear the end of the game. As he dozes off to sleep, he dreams he is part of the game!

Any child knows how it goes when bedtime is near and you can't finish watching or reading or playing. I remember reading under the covers with a flashlight because I wanted to read one more chapter. This little hockey fan gets to do one better than I did by dreaming about his game. The story is a cute one and the illustrations match it really well.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Kids Can Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.


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Be Brave Little One

Be Brave Little One
author: Marianne Richmond
name: Wayne
average rating: 4.13
book published:
rating: 3
read at: 2017/10/07
date added: 2017/10/07
shelves: children-s
review:
'Be Brave Little One' by Marianne Richmond is the kind of blessing most of us wish for our children. It is told with warmth and colorful pictures.

The story wishes bravery for the child. Bravery to try new things, and to try again when failures happen. To be friendly to new people and look for new opportunities. To bravely stand up and explore and return home.

It's a cute inspiring story. It wants to rhyme, but seems to misstep, and that always bugs me. The pictures are really cute and the message is a good one for young children.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.


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Superman (2016-) Vol. 3: Multiplicity

Superman (2016-) Vol. 3: Multiplicity
author: Peter J. Tomasi
name: Wayne
average rating: 3.52
book published:
rating: 4
read at: 2017/10/07
date added: 2017/10/07
shelves: graphic-novels
review:
'Superman Vol 3: Multiplicity' by Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason collects Annual #1 and issues #14-17.

The book starts with a story featuring the new Superman with a confrontation with Dr. Alec Holland, aka Swamp Thing. It seems that this Superman's presence is triggering problems.

Speaking of problems, the next story is about someone hunting down all the Supermen in the Multiverse. With some unusual help, can Superman stop this from happening?

The final story involved Superman's son Jon and a spooky late night trip through a spooky bog. I expected Swamp Thing to show up again.

The stories are solid, but the multiverse story seemed like such a big concept that I was surprised that it wasn't longer, but overall the pacing was good, so I've got no complaint. The art works well enough. I liked Superman and Swamp Thing duking it out, and I liked seeing all the various versions of Superman. It was good to see Kenan, the Chinese Super-Man again too.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from DC Entertainment and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.


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Lighter Than My Shadow

Lighter Than My Shadow
author: Katie Green
name: Wayne
average rating: 4.42
book published: 2013
rating: 4
read at: 2017/10/07
date added: 2017/10/07
shelves: graphic-novels, non-fiction
review:
'Lighter Than My Shadow' by Katie Green is a graphic memoir that is over 500 pages long. The story it tells is sad and the pacing is slow and deliberate.

When Katie was little, she was a picky eater. This isn't unusual for children, but in Katie's case, events in her life led this into eating disorders. Initially at home, it was anorexia. Later it became binge eating. In the midst of getting help for her disorders, she abused by someone she trusted for therapy.

Throughout the story, the disease, or Katie's thought life, show above her as dark scribbled lines. A few times, there are words in these clouds. They get larger and smaller depending on how Katie is feeling about herself. She also becomes wispier and less distinct as she feels like she is less of a person. I liked this persona of the character. There are also times when the character seems to be tumbling or floating.

It's a very long story, and there are pages where not a lot happens, but this deliberate pacing works for this story. I appreciated Katie's story and honesty and I wish her the best.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Lion Forge, Diamond Book Distributors, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.


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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Art of Atari

Art of Atari
author: Tim Lapetino
name: Wayne
average rating: 4.42
book published:
rating: 5
read at: 2017/10/07
date added: 2017/10/07
shelves: non-fiction
review:
'The Art of Atari' by Tim Lapetino with Robert V. Conte is a great tribute to the the branding and packaging of Atari.

Atari is one of the most recognized names in the world, but when they were putting out their consoles, no one knew who the artists were behind the great box art for the games. This book introduces us to most of these people.

They had a tough job because early games were just a series of pixels. They had the job of infusing the buyer with the images to fire their imaginations. From sports stars to fighter pilots, some of the art is iconic. Along with the art, the home and arcade console designs are discussed. There are discussions of almost all of the games and longer articles about Atari concepts that never made it to market. There is art and advertising from over 40 years of the company's history.

I really had a great time reading this book and learning more about the artists behind this iconic brand. It took me back to the early days of coin-op arcades and those early home consoles.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Dynamite Entertainment, Diamond Book Distributors, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.


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Justice League of America  (2017-) Vol. 1: The Extremists (Justice League of America (2017-))

Justice League of America  (2017-) Vol. 1: The Extremists (Justice League of America (2017-))
author: Steve Orlando
name: Wayne
average rating: 3.09
book published:
rating: 1
read at: 2017/10/07
date added: 2017/10/07
shelves: graphic-novels
review:
'Justice League of America Vol. 1: The Extremists' by Steve Orlando finds Batman putting together another super team, but the book is just kind of a mess.

Batman wants to create a super team that has "normal" superheroes on it and not gods. But the presence of Lobo doesn't seem to make sense to me. Then there are the two story arcs in which super powered beings take over a country or a city and it's up to this newly formed team (at least one of which is new to the superhero business) to sort things out.

I like Batman with a team of Outsiders, so I had hopes for this one, but it just didn't work for me. The team is a weird hybrid that all seem to suddenly be fine working together. The back to back dictator stories seemed like political fodder (and why do the normal humans just bow down and accept these tyrants?). The art and color is overkill to the point of being blah. When it was all over, I just didn't care about any of it.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from DC Entertainment and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.


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Bobby's Got a Brand-New Car

Bobby's Got a Brand-New Car
author: Zidrou
name: Wayne
average rating: 3.55
book published:
rating: 4
read at: 2017/10/07
date added: 2017/10/07
shelves: children-s
review:
'Bobby's Got a Brand-New Car' by Zidrou with illustrations by Sébastien Chebret is a fun ride through a child's imagination of grown up things.

Little Bobby gets to pick out his dream car (a convertible) and pay for it with his own money (the magic card that pays for everything!). He takes it out for a drive and listens to all the sounds a happy car makes. He picks up his mom from school, but when he gets dad, dad has to sit in the back.

The book never lets on whether this is a daydream, and I think I'm ok with that. Surely children are smart enough to know they can't drive cars yet. The magic card that pays for everything might be a teachable moment, but I say let the kids have a little dream of being big and being on the road.

It's a cute story and the illustrations are perfect. I liked the style that this book had. I also liked that it didn't belittle Bobby.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Quarto Publishing Group and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.


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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Letters to a Young Writer: Some Practical and Philosophical Advice

Letters to a Young Writer: Some Practical and Philosophical Advice
author: Colum McCann
name: Wayne
average rating: 4.19
book published: 2017
rating: 4
read at: 2017/10/03
date added: 2017/10/03
shelves: non-fiction
review:
'Letters to a Young Writer: Some Practical and Philosophical Advice' by Colum McCann is a book for writers, but that doesn't mean that non-writers won't get something out of it.

The book is a series of essays, including the title one. The author states in the intro something he told a class once: "I can teach you nothing. Now that you know this, go learn," but there is a wisdom in these pages to go forth and fiercely write. The reader is encouraged to face critics, not be afraid of a blank page, and to know their characters intimately, even if those details don't make it on the page.

I have read a couple books by the author and this book tells me he is serious and passionate about what he does. There is still quite a bit of humor woven in these pages. I also liked the quotes that begin each essay.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.


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Saint George: Rusty Knight and Monster Tamer

Saint George: Rusty Knight and Monster Tamer
author: John Powell
name: Wayne
average rating: 4.04
book published: 2015
rating: 4
read at: 2017/10/03
date added: 2017/10/03
shelves: children-s
review:
'Saint George: Rusty Knight and Monster Tamer' by John Powell is a series of short stories of a knight who lucks into a cure for taming monsters.

In Old England, Good King Freddie the Umteenth is king. His prime minister is Merlin the Whirlin. When monsters plague the land, he looks for someone do deal with them. Someone who will work cheaply. He finds George. George finds a solution. The good news is he can tame the monsters. The bad news is that the monsters better not show up on one of George's "armor off" weeks.

The stories are humorous, satirical and fun. There are drawings throughout the book and they help serve the stories that they are in. This would be a fun book to read to younger folks. They might not get all the subtle humor, but there is a lot to enjoy here.

I received a review copy of this ebook from The Book Guild, Troubador Publishing Limited, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.


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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Green Arrow, Volume 3: Emerald Outlaw

Green Arrow, Volume 3: Emerald Outlaw
author: Benjamin Percy
name: Wayne
average rating: 3.83
book published: 2017
rating: 4
read at: 2017/10/01
date added: 2017/10/01
shelves: graphic-novels
review:
'Green Arrow, Volume 3: Emerald Outlaw' by Benjamin Percy collects Green Arrow 13-17. Oliver still has no money, but he's still got his makeshift family.

There is a mayoral race in Seattle and one of the candidates wants to ban the Green Arrow. There is a rogue vigilante group called the Vice Squad, and they just want to rid the city of its useless elements. There is also a mysterious archer setting Green Arrow up to turn the city against him. Green Arrow and Black Canary seem to have their hands full this time around.

I live near Seattle and I love how Oliver's Seattle seems so much like mine. There are a lot of familiar landmarks. There are also similar problems. I also like this version of the Green Arrow. He has lost his fortune, but that has seemed to free him up. I like this story with it's politics and set ups. The surprises weren't overly surprising, but the story and the art kept me turning pages.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from DC Entertainment and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.


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Rappaccini's Daughter

Rappaccini's Daughter
author: Nathaniel Hawthorne
name: Wayne
average rating: 3.93
book published: 1844
rating: 4
read at: 2017/10/01
date added: 2017/10/01
shelves: classics
review:
'Rappaccini's Daughter' by Nathaniel Hawthorne became of interest to me because Beatrice Rappaccini is a character in a book I'm about to read. I found this 48 page novella well worth reading to start my October.

Rappaccini is a strange scientist who has a toxic garden. Along with the garden, he has a beautiful daughter named Beatrice. Giovanni is the new neighbor who is interested in the garden and the beautiful woman inhabiting it. How this all unfolds is magical and frightening.

I really enjoyed this short story. I can't wait to see what the modern author will do with this very intriguing woman and her mad scientist father.


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Helliconia Spring (Helliconia, #1)

Helliconia Spring (Helliconia, #1)
author: Brian W. Aldiss
name: Wayne
average rating: 3.62
book published: 1982
rating: 3
read at: 2017/10/01
date added: 2017/10/01
shelves: sword-and-laser
review:
'Helliconia Spring' by Brian W. Aldiss was a recent pick by my book club, chosen after the author recently died.

The book is about a planet that orbits binary stars. It has a very long orbital year, which has strange effects on the inhabitants of the planet. At the start of this book, the planet is coming out of a winter cycle and moving slowly into spring. There are dominant life forms that start to struggle. There are cyclical plagues that thin and change the humanoid populations. Civilizations rise, fall, and change.

I struggled to read this book until I changed my perceptions. While there are characters in the book, this is not a character driven story. It is an environment driven story. It was tough to get through while I tried to find characters to latch on to, but it got better when I started to view the larger picture. The appendixes in the version I read are definitely things I should have looked at earlier in my reading of this novel. I ultimately enjoyed reading it, but it felt like a struggle to read.


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David Bowie: Album by Album

David Bowie: Album by Album
author: Paolo Hewitt
name: Wayne
average rating: 4.67
book published:
rating: 4
read at: 2017/10/01
date added: 2017/10/01
shelves: non-fiction
review:
'David Bowie: Album by Album' by Paolo Hewitt looks at the life of David Bowie through every album that he put out during his life.

The book starts with a great introduction written by English writer Robert Elms that focuses on the phenomenon that was David Bowie. Each chapter, starting with the album 'David Bowie,' has a quote from David Bowie about the album. There are photos from that era that are either from concerts or photo shoots. There is a timeline for the time period showing when singles, albums, movies or art shows occurred. Then there is a commentary on the album with some light personal information about relationships with friends, family, record companies, and bandmates among others. The album is briefly discussed song by song. The book ends with Bowie's last album Black Star.

Bowie was an artist who was constantly remaking his art and reshaping what perceptions about him were. He was not afraid to ditch the past and move toward the future, which many acts that are of the same era are reluctant to risk.

Those are things that are known without reading this book, but the discussion of albums and all those photos make this a memorable read about a truly interesting individual.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Insight Editions and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.


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