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review 2018-03-15 00:00
Joe Ledger: The Official Companion
Joe Ledger: The Official Companion - Dan... Joe Ledger: The Official Companion - Dana Fredsti This was alright. My mom picked it up because she's a massive fan of the Joe Ledger series and, as usual, I stole it from her and read it as soon as I was aware that she had it.

I can't really put my finger on why I'm kind of just 'alright' with this, so I'll just leave it with some thoughts.

-The 'introduction' of the interviewer just didn't hit the right note for me. Most of the interviewer's questions had me going "Really? You're supposed to be composing the history of the DMS, and these fanboy-ish, 5th grader level questions are what you're asking? REALLY?
-The character interview ANSWERS had me cracking up up at times. Especially Bunny's.
-I had no clue there was cookie code. Whilst I am somewhat delighted by the knowledge, I have zero desire to figure it out.
-The descriptions and sometimes pictures of the weapons were actually really helpful. Like "Honey Boom Boom" was something I was never able to visualize in my head.
-It feels like at least half of this is devoted to summarizing the events in all the books and stories, and while that's helpful for the short stories I haven't read, the pages upon pages of regurgitating the novel plots were something I just skimmed over.
-The 'friends in the industry' was an interesting aspect. I don't think I ever actually fully read any of the mini-profiles, but I can appreciate the shout-out to their fellow authors.
-I liked the interview with Ray Porter. Because I love the audio books, the voices he gives to the characters ARE the voices of the characters to me. Joe, Top, Bunny, etc. When I'm thinking about them for any reason, I'm hearing their voices through him.


Note: There were more than a few mistakes that a proofreader should have caught (most often with the first letter in a word just being completely missing).

Note2: My mom and I have spent way too much time fancasting Church. I would have loved to have seen who Maberry had in mind. Then I could have argued with her some more over it. LOL
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review 2017-11-21 01:58
A wonderful book about one of the best TV shows ever made.
Breaking Bad 101: The Complete Critical Companion - Alan Sepinwall

So, I'm pretty sure I don't need to explain what Breaking Bad is, do I? One of the greatest TV dramas of all time, Mr. Chips turns into Scarface, et cetera, et cetera. This book is a collection of brief essays about each episode, a critical companion, fan resource, and all around handy book.

 

Most of these chapters started out as episode recaps on Alan Sepinwall's blog generally posted a day or two after the original airing -- a couple were written just for this book because he didn't recap each episode in season 1 and a later episode deserved a better recap (for reasons Sepinwall explains) -- although the original version is included as well. He does take out some of he speculation and whatnot from the original posts to provide a nice, clean look at each episode. It's more than just an episode recap, he looks at the arcs, the acting, writing, cinematography; in just a few pages he gets to the heart of the episode and helps you see all things that Gilligan et. al. were doing. The real gems are the footnotes and sidebar pieces that dive in a little further to the nitty-gritty details -- why was this decision made, where'd actor X come from, and so on. Seriously, fantastic footnotes.

 

This is a quick and wonderful read if you do it start to finish -- or you can just thumb through, stopping at random points to read up on an episode. The book works both ways. I imagine the best way to read it is with a remote in one hand, a DVD/Blu-Ray disc in your player and the book in the other hand. Watch an episode, read the chapter -- skipping around in the episode to re-examine shots/sequences, etc. I haven't done that, but man, I'm tempted to.

 

A few other things worthy of note: Damon Lindelof wrote a very amusing foreword; Max Dalton provided 12 black and white illustrations that are just perfect; the dust-jacket design is great; but more than that, the actual cover is even better; and lastly, the whole book is so well-designed and pleasing to the eye, it's nice just to look at without reading. I don't mention those kind of things enough, and need to get better about it.

 

Now, I've been a fan of Sepinwall's recaps/writing since the days he posted about NYPD Blue on Usenet. I also read all these posts from Season 2 on within a few hours of their original posting (I didn't start watching until after the season 1 finale -- so I read all of those in a couple of days, still pretty fresh). So I was pretty predisposed to enjoy this book, but I'm pretty sure I would have anyway.

 

Sepinwall is a fan of Breaking Bad, most of the stories, most of the performances, etc. But he's a thoughtful fan, not a mindless one -- he is critical of some things, this isn't just someone being a fanboy. I heartily encourage fans of the show to pick this up -- or people who've been meaning to watch it, but haven't (this book would be a much better companion than your friends who will be patronizing about you finally getting around to watching it).

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/11/16/breaking-bad-101-by-alan-sepinwall
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-07-16 01:50
The Lady's Companion
The Lady's Companion - Carla Kelly

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

The Lady’s Companion by Carla Kelly is the latest in her backlist I finished a few days ago. It was amazing, to say the least. A very heartwarming traditional regency with an sweet heroine, a superb hero made grand with Ms. Kelly’s beautiful storytelling.

I decided to bring The Lady’s Companion up my TBR pile because for a reason. A few months ago, I read another book by Ms. Kelly titled Marriage of Mercy, where the reviewers criticized the book for having almost the same storyline as this one. Marriage of Mercy is a later publication (2012) whereas The Lady’s Companion was first released in 1996. The whole notion definitely intrigued me. I was expecting a pretty same storyline with different names for characters, and I agree with them to a certain extent. However, the storyline itself was very different. I mean very, if you can excuse the first 2 chapters where the h Susan’s fate spin almost exactly like that of Grace’s. I would call it plagiarism had the later not also been Ms. Kelly’s publication. I still don’t know how can anyone say both had the same stories so I decided I’m just gonna ignore it and enjoy. Which I did thank you!

Susan Hampton, daughter to Sir Rodney, should’ve had an amazing life with balls and parties and dreams of suitors, marriage and her own family. But no thanks to her spendthrift father, it’s now all just that— a dream. Since her mother passed when she was young, Susan, now 25, had been living on her father’s extravagant, and very fantastical, dreams of this and that—a grand life with loads of money he’d win of these days. Sir Rodney’s gambling habit was so extreme that everyone knew him, and avoided him as much as possible. So far, he’d sold every single thing worth selling one by one to get the money needed. Not only that, he has to live like a peer of the realm that he was, which he does even if he can’t afford it. You can only imagine Susan’s shattered dreams as well as disillusionment.

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review 2017-06-03 00:00
Any Given Sunday (A Southern Scrimmage Companion Book 6)
Any Given Sunday (A Southern Scrimmage Companion Book 6) - Mercy Celeste I reviewed the for a Quick Bite at Sinfully. Click here for your chance to win a copy from July 3-5.

Although labeled book 6 and the latest published in the series, I think Any Given Sunday is best read as book 3 in the series as it fills out the story of Bo and Dylan, and runs concurrently with the first two books. Although a number of people have issues with Bo and Levi’s story, many more adore the storyline and AGS fleshes out what occurred during the six years Dylan was in the service and the details of Bo and Levi/Liv’s romantic relationship. There’s plenty of hot sex here, but also plenty of real emotion.

I was thrilled to have the fuller story and I think this might also change some minds on the Bo and Levi front when you see just how important this relationship was and how heart-breaking the whole situation turned out to be. It also gave me a better understanding of how it affected the three men even after couples Bo and Dylan, and Tracy and Levi were happily together. It also provides more insight into how Bo and Dylan dealt with their relationship during their long separation. A must read for fans of the series!

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