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review 2019-10-10 19:09
Guide the future by the past
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

I FINALLY read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, y'all. I absolutely loved the film adaptation of it and while I also enjoyed the book (hold on to your seats, folks) I preferred the movie version. While the book was able to go into more details in terms of world building and the puzzle solving aspect of the plot I enjoyed the storyline of the movie more. [A/N: I don’t want to give the impression that I didn’t enjoy this reading experience because I definitely did but the film just has an extra oomph.] Additionally, the book's version of Halliday seemed cruel and cold whereas Morrow was a lot of fun (and mostly absent from the film's version). The hero of this dystopian novel, Wade Watts, is living in a world that has become entirely taken over by The Oasis which is a virtual reality environment where anyone can be anyone. The majority of the human race has been crammed into tiny communities that are stacked one on top of the other but their consolation is getting to live their dreams online. Even school is conducted in virtual schools! The creator of this world, James Halliday, passed from this mortal coil but left behind a grand prize (ownership of The Oasis) for anyone who manages to solve his puzzles and find the 3 hidden keys buried within The Oasis.

This is a boy's quest to pull himself from his dire circumstances while learning that he's got the 'right stuff'. (Did I mention this book is chock full of 80's references? I definitely downloaded some Rush albums after I finished reading it.) All in all, a really fun book. 9/10


A/N: Title courtesy of Rush "Bastille Day".


What's Up Next: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness


What I'm Currently Reading: Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-06-13 02:01
What you gonna read?
Ghostbusters: Novel (Coronet Books) - Larry Milne

Recently I re-watched the 80's classic Ghostbusters and for the first time I wondered if there had ever been a novelization of the story. Spoiler alert: There is and it's pretty weird. Much like the Star Trek screen-to-book adaptations that I've read this was written directly after the film was released and includes additional scenes and background information not covered in the original film. For example, did you know that Winston's last name is Zeddemore? And if you had only read the book I doubt you'd find Dana very charming...in fact you might think she was abrasive. While it mostly stuck to the script's dialogue, the character descriptions fell short of the mark. (Egon is still the best though.) Bonus material like movie stills, cast and crew bios, and movie credits were tacked on making this feel less like a novelization and more like a marketing ploy. (If you haven't guessed yet I wasn't overly impressed with it.) What I like about both the book and movie are all of the obvious nods to New York like the Schwarzman branch downtown. It's such a cool way to feel connected to the story. XD I can't deny that it wasn't that great though so it's a 3/10 from me.


What's Up Next: The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember by Fred Rogers


What I'm Currently Reading: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-03-03 01:06
Poor execution
Mine own executioner, - Nigel Balchin

I have to confess that I did a thing which I am always telling people they shouldn't guilt themselves into doing...I read a book that I wasn't really all that interested in reading. My rationale was that I had gone out of my way (interlibrary loan from a different state) to get this book and I didn't want to admit that it wasn't worth the effort. *sigh* 


The book that I'm referring to is Mine Own Executioner by Nigel Balchin. I want to give you a central theme or something to succinctly explain it but the closest I can manage is saying that it's about a man who is battling an inner turmoil while also trying to be a competent psycho-analyst. There's a lot of discussion around the validity of a medical degree vs hands-on training which leads to our main character, Felix Milne, taking on a very difficult case to 'prove' that he is just as capable as a medical professional. His patient was recently involved in a traumatic experience in the war and as a result he experienced a psychotic break from reality and tried to murder his wife. While Milne tries to uncover the root of this man's troubles he continues to ignore the cause of his own marital problems. He has a strained and virtually platonic relationship with his wife and actively struggles with his feelings for her best friend. I guess there's an irony there that he is able to ascertain and ultimately help heal what ails his patients but he can't clearly see that he is the cause of his own misfortunes and unhappiness. Milne is an acerbic and not altogether likable character who plays God with those he seeks to help (and his wife). He justifies this by saying that it's a necessary part of their treatment that they come to see him this way. I don't think I can say with any conviction that I liked this book. The characters were one dimensional, the plot was fairly predictable, and the ending was highly unsatisfactory. I can't even say that I recommend it to ________ or ________. 0/10


PS They made it into a film. Why?


What's Up Next: Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman


What I'm Currently Reading: Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey


Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-10-14 15:50
Exploring a new universe
First Contact - J.M. Dillard,Ronald D. Moore,Brannon Braga

Until quite recently, I was very much a Star Trek: The Original Series kinda gal. I never investigated the other realms of the Trek universe and I had no real desire to...and then Netflix recommended I watch Star Trek: The Next Generation. After that it was kind of a given that I was going to fall head over heels in love with that particular cast of characters. (If you're wondering, I'm torn between Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Data as my favorite.) This of course meant that I had never really explored the literature of ST unless it revolved around my boys Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. My first foray into worlds unknown was the movie tie-in for First Contact by J.M. Dillard. I'm going to be up front and tell you that I still haven't seen this film but I'm going to be rectifying this at my earliest opportunity. This book features the ST:TNG cast as they come face-to-face with their old enemies the Borg Collective. dun dun DUN There's a time travel element to this book which I found a bit squidgy but honestly anytime Trek goes down the time travel route it's questionably done. They're not going back to just any era, however. They end up going back to the time of Zefram Cochrane and to Earth's first glimpse of another planet's inhabitants. The Borg aren't just going back to witness history in the making. (Wouldn't that be a funny concept for a movie? And here's the Borg kicking back in recliners with buckets of popcorn to watch the human race exploring the vast unknown for the first time.) So the crew of the Enterprise must pull out all of the stops to try and defeat this formidable foe. This is a Picard/Data heavy storyline so I was definitely on board with it. It wasn't the most fantastically written Trek novel that I've ever read but it was probably the quickest. I read it in between panels at Star Trek: Mission New York to give you an idea of its length (276 pages). If you're a fan of ST:TNG then you've most likely read this before but if you're a Trek noob then you'll most likely find this an interesting tie-in to the film version. If you're not a Trekkie then you're probably going to pass on this one although honestly why isn't everyone a Trekkie at this point? ;-)

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-09-06 21:05
Love, Love, Love
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore - William Joyce,Joe Bluhm

Not too long ago I watched a beautiful little animated short film entitled The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. There is no dialogue and yet it (excuse the phrase) spoke to me on a very personal level. Imagine my delight when I discovered that it was created by the same man that created that other magical movie Meet the Robinsons! Yes, William Joyce has stolen my heart once again with a tale that is both heartbreaking and hopeful all at once. Of course, I knew that it was more than likely based off one of his books and I was right. Much like Meet the Robinsons which I reviewed not too long ago, Joyce wrote a beautifully illustrated picture book called The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore which is about exactly what the title implies. This is the story of a man who loves books and indeed is trying to write one of his own when a crazy storm comes along and upends not only his whole life but the buildings of his entire town. In a brilliant move of cinematography, after the storm everything is in black and white to depict the bleakness of his situation. But then he sees something which completely changes his outlook...I don't want to spoil this bit. This is about the power of the written word and the transformative power that books hold over the imagination. It is a love letter to literature. It's charming and extraordinarily moving. I admit to crying over the film AND the book. I urge you to take a few minutes and enjoy them both because they really are worth your time.10/10


I love love love this art style. Source: sccl.org

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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