Saturday, March 20, 2010

CBR Book#36: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

I've been afraid to read anything by Neil Gaiman. It seems that those familiar with his work absolutely adore him and his stories. Gaiman has also won numerous awards, including the Bram Stoker Award, a Newberry Medal, and Hugo Award. He's very intimidating and I feared that I wouldn't enjoy his writing or wouldn't get it, whatever 'it' is to get. I encountered my first glimpse of Gaiman in the short story collection The Living Dead and I quite liked it. But was I ready for an entire novel by Gaiman? When the Pajiba Book Club choice came down from Mount Scathing, it was The Graveyard Book by Mr. Gaiman. I decided to suck it up, read the book, and participate in its discussion. I'm glad I did.

Monday, March 15, 2010

CBR Book#35: The Collector by John Fowles

Do you ever wonder who writes the inside flap for books? Do you think it might be the same morons that create movie trailers with the entire plot, twists and all, spelled out for you? Do you ever wander the library, cursing softly to yourself (no one likes to get shushed in the library) as you read inner flap after inner flap with a description like this: Stupid Named Protagonist has left behind his/her life in the military/police force/crime. Unfortunately their brother/sister/wife/various other relatives/friend has been kidnapped/killed/gone missing and it is up to Stupid Named Protagonist to go back to their old life to save them." I'm sick of it. Luckily, Yosarrian recommended John Fowles' debut novel, The Collector to me. Thank you so much for rescuing me from a quagmire of mediocrity.

Friday, March 12, 2010

CBR Book#34: Stiff:The Curious Live of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

My aunt's husband passed away in November of last year due to complications of the H1N1 flu. His remains were donated to science. I hadn't really given much thought to what might happen to his body once it was donated. I briefly imagined that he would be shown to students or something and his organs examined to show the correlation of his health prior to the contraction of the flu and his death. Of course, that's closer to what an autopsy would do, but I didn't think about that. Though I have a degree in criminal justice with an emphasis on crime scene investigations, I don't like to think about what happens when we die. I'm better with looking at the components than the whole picture. So it wasn't until I read Stiff that I was confronted with some reality about what happens when we die.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

CBR Book#33: Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris

Poor Sookie. I mean, it isn't all bad. She's gotten to bone two vampires and a weretiger, so that should count for something. Of course, she's also had the living poops beaten out of her since meeting all of these studs. But she didn't die...yep, I would like to be Sookie Stackhouse when I'm all groweds up.

CBR Book#32: Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach

I stumbled upon this book while browsing the library occult section. Sadly, our library's occult section is embarrassingly small. There wouldn't be enough there to research even the simplest demon if, you know, we had to do it so our Slayer could save the day. Just sayin'. Anyway, I was intrigued by the idea of taking different aspects of death and subjecting it to scientific measures. I was not disappointed by this book.