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The Zone's 2016 Book Journal

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:11 pm
by thomasgaffney
Claim a spot and keep track of all the books you read in 2016. Let us know what's worth a read, and what's not worth our time or money.
Happy Reading!

My Journal

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - Quite good. A gimmick idea that turned into a good, unique, original book - (8/10).
Innocence by Dean Koontz - Kinda lame ending. Second Koontz book I've read where he's gotten all preachy and super-religious - (2/10).
The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King - One or two stories felt like "old" King, but mostly this collection - and "Full Dark, No Stars" - have done nothing but shown me that King has lost his touch with short stories. If you want a book of short stories to read, go with Neil Gaiman's Trigger Warning - (4/10).
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard - Not bad, for YA. Maybe not as good as the first Hunger Games book, but the potential is there. Interesting "world building". Waiting to see if it's "our Earth" after a disaster, or just another world in general. The main protagonist is a teenage girl, so she's full of female teenage angst. It's realistic, so that makes the time she spends whining and pouting much more groan-inducing - (6/10).

In Progress:
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol (for a bookclub)

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
The Gatefather by Orson Scott Card
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Slade House by David Mitchell
The Magician King by Lev Grossman
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Re: The Zone's 2016 Book Journal

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:39 pm
by Fievel
I'm going to attempt to keep this up. I failed regularly at the movie journal, but feel like I could handle (remember) to keep up a book journal.

Note: almost all of my entries will be audiobooks.

It - Stephen King, read by Stephen Weber (9/10) - I tried to get through the physical version of this story for 10 years. I'd start it, something would come up in my life and I'd put it down. A year or later the whole process would begin again and ultimately stop. Finally I cleared a spot on my list to listen to this, and the journey was wonderful (as it is in most King epics). And like most King epics, something in the ending bugged me. My issue came with the whole gangbangscene. Completely unnecessary, and (fuck I'm getting old) I felt horrible for listening to it. I mean really, it was kiddie porn to an extent. I guarantee you it wouldn't have bothered me so much had I not been a parent (heightened awareness/sensitivity). I wouldn't have enjoyed it, but I also wouldn't still be typing about it. I'm sure the arguments, complaints, and defenses for that scene have been long played out in the thirty years since the book came out. But really, it was the only thing that bugged me about it. Stephen Weber's reading was brilliant. Great voice(s).

Star Wars - The Force Awakens - Alan Dean Foster, read by Marc Thompson (8.5/10) - Decent read of the movie. A little insight gained and some deleted scenes added to the story are what make this worth the time of a Star Wars fan. Thompson's reading was only fair. My key critique is that his Finn sounded like a whiny little white farm boy rather than a black ex-Stormtrooper. There was absolutely no depth to the voice and it took me away from the known character somewhat. I'm not saying the reader needs to perfectly mimic the voice, but at least get in the right octave, chief!

Star Wars - The Perfect Weapon - Delilah S. Dawson, read by January LaVoy (9/10) - Entertaining short story about the black-clad female in Maz's palace that alerted the First Order to the whereabouts of Han/BB-8/etc. They built her backstory up so much in this that she seems more interesting than Boba Fett. Seriously. Fair reading. LaVoy has a generic female's voice that struggles to effectively pull off a male character (think Ed Rooney's secretary Grace in Ferris Bueller's Day Off when she tries to pretend she's actually Rooney on the phone). The reading adds nothing to the story.

Revival - Stephen King, read by David Morse (8.5/10) - A lot of King-isms happen in this book, for me - Great character detail, great use of geography, the occasional horrible dialogue, the one or two lines that made me stop and say "Damn.....that was a good line," the parts that drag, and the journey that makes the ride worth it. And the ending was....... better than I had hoped. Nothing really surprised me at the end, though, and that was disappointing. Even the "surprises" weren't terribly shocking. If anything, they were predictable. But all in all I enjoyed the story. They're going to make a movie out of it - could be interesting.

On my list (can and will change):
Miles: The Autobiography
Star Wars - Tarkin
City of Mirrors (Part 3 of The Passage Trilogy) - Justin Cronin (In May....I might go back through the first two again, or at least the second)

Re: The Zone's 2016 Book Journal

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:19 am
by thomasgaffney
Good luck, Fievel!

Re: The Zone's 2016 Book Journal

PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:20 am
by thomasgaffney
Updated upon completing the King book. At this point, I feel his kid does short stories better than he does. Also moved onto Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. Just saw her at a book signing in PA and (while it has nothing to do with her writing) she is gorgeous in person...