Okay, so I think I'm done with this series. Probably forever, but definitely for a very long time. Honestly, I'm just bored with it, and I'm kind of surprised I held out this long.
The type of story Kirkman seems to be interested in telling is not one I am any longer interested in reading. The endless death and horror, and the repetitive cycle of their lives exhausts me, and I get nothing out of it personally, even if I can see how others might.
This one I guess is an okay one to go out on. Rick and company have quelled the rebellion in the last one, and in this one, find an even LARGER group of survivors. Maybe if someone tells me later on that this meant things actually changed for the survivors, I will come back, but for now I'm going to go out on this one so I can pretend they all live happily ever after and the zombies will go away and Rick and Andrea will make out and raise Carl and la de da de da The End.
Another day, another dollar? I guess? Except who gives a shit about money when there are zombies?
They've finished off the zombies that invaded the Safe-Zone, Carl is in a coma, some of the Safe-Zoners resent Rick and his group for changing things, people are dead all over the place, stupid Abraham cheated on Rosita, and Andrea totally is jonesing for Rick. And Rick? He's convinced that the reason all their past tempts at survival failed so badly is because he was only concerned with the safety of his family, and not with the community. He says now he realizes they can accomplish so much with a larger group of people, and he hopes to still be in the Safe-Zone when Carl is thirty.
I was all pumped after the last one because I thought it signaled a change (finally) in the pattern of this story. Unfortunately, I don't think it really did. This issue just felt like more of the same: Rick having a "revelation," thinking they've finally found the answer, and then what comes next is always devastation. The fact that this volume ends with some of the Safe-Zoners getting violent leads me to believe I'm right.
Day 18: Name 5 books that are on your mind right now. Seriously, just do it. (Freestyle)
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I've been having crazy mad re-reading urges all year for lots of different books, so that's what I'm thinking about right now. It's super hard to resist reading all the books I want to reread. I'm not even going to bother listing them out here. There are too many, but this is one of the series/authors I've been craving.
I discovered one of Kevin J. Anderson's Jedi Academy books in my library shortly after I discovered Star Wars (at the age of sixteen, mind you). This led me to the Barnes & Noble shelf full of NOTHING BUT STAR WARS and my brain FREAKED THE FUCK OUT. I spent the next three years buying two or three Star Wars expanded universe books every weekend.
The Timothy Zahn Thrawn Trilogy were the second EU books I read, because a BN bookseller was kind enough to tell me they were "awesome." Unfortunately, they also set me up for disappointment where pretty much all the other EU books were concerned (although I really loved I, Jedi, the X-Wing books, and the A.C. Crispin Han Solo trilogy). I didn't get to read Specter of the Past or Vision of the Future until my freshman year of college, but I remember absolutely devouring both of them. I especially thought it was interesting how they switched my interest from Han Solo to Luke Skywalker, and I love love LOVE Mara Jade.
I've done a lot of growing as a reader and a writer since I first discovered these books, so I'd be interested to see how well they hold up. Maybe next year?
Day 17: Name a book you've read with a hero/heroine who is either poor or from a lower background in status/society. May be someone who remains in that class or aspires to greater living. (Folk)
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Vin and Kelsier and pretty much everyone in the Mistborn trilogy fits this bill. What I really love about this series is how Sanderson mixes the classical fantasy tropes with an examination of the differences between the rich and the poor, especially in the first book. (I also love it for other reasons, too.) Sanderson's books are all just so refreshingly practical.
Day 16: Name a book you've read that's humored or light in tone, but at the same time quite dark. If you can't think of any, a book with a dark thematic will suffice. (Dark ambient)
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Going with The Gentleman Bastard sequence for this one. Locke and his friends make me laugh so hard with their creative use of profanity and disregard for law and order, but the world they live in is dark and bleak, and at times very violent. That mix in tone is part of the reason why this series is so intriguing to me.
I have never laughed so hard as when Locke is in the middle of dying and he takes time out from his pain and suffering to taunt his enemy with a well-placed "Nice bird, asshole!" Which doesn't sound that funny out of context, but trust me, it is golden.
Day 15: Name book(s) that you've read or loved set in the 18th - 19th centuries. (Classical)
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So I've read a lot a lot a lot of books in this period (if you're studying for a Masters in English, it's kind of required reading), and I've read a lot of 'classics' over the past ten years. But excepting the occasional re-reads of A Tale of Two Cities and Jane Eyre if I'm in the mood, Jane Austen's books remain the only classical works of literature I have EVER re-read for pleasure. I'm pretty sure they're the ONLY ones I've ever re-read more than twice.
And I don't even care that Jane Austen is probably most people's answer to this prompt. Because she deserves to be loved that much, and loved always forever and ever, because she was a genius. And she wrote genius social satires about flawed, lovely people just trying to connect with one another.
True story: if you ever want to see my face turn purple and then get lectured for an hour about it, just try and tell me that Austen is irrelevant or boring or 'girly' (I blew up on a male co-worker for this one once). Because you don't fucking know what you're talking about and I will OWN YOU.
I can understand not being into Jane Austen, but I can't understand people who dismiss her outright. Jane Austen is like the Moonlight Sonata. She never, ever gets old.
This was really good. Parts were amazing. (The last couple of lines were surprisingly . . . beautiful? Not sure if that's the word I'm looking for or not.) Other parts were pretty standard for Riordan, but the whole book sticks together thematically very well. Full review later.
Day 14: Think of a song you know and love, and do the reverse of Day 9: Assign books to that song. =P
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Lest what happened to me on Day 9* happen to me again, I'm just going to go with the only song I can think of at the moment: "Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Whenever this song comes on, it takes over my body and possesses me like a foul little demon. I am notorious for not dancing (mostly because I SUCK DONKEY BALLS AT IT), but this song makes me dance despite myself. Fuck if I know why. I've been using it a lot lately to shake myself out of self-induced funks. It usually works very well.
*Goal for this weekend: MAKE PLAYLIST.
So in the spirit of Day 14, here are some books that make me love them so much it's entirely out of my control, and that make me want get up and take a spin around the room like a weirdo. (I've already used some books that would have fit this challenge on Days 1-13, but I won't repeat them here. Also, I'm saving some for later use on Days 15-30.)
These five books/series cross many genres, but the one thing they all have in common is that I did not expect to fall in love with them (in some cases even like them all that much). It just kind of smacked me in the face, and like Macklemore, it felt completely out of my control.
The mystery was a bit wonky in this one, but the atmosphere was sooo good. Also CLIFFHANGER NOOOOO! Good thing #6 comes out in January. Full review later.
Books I "have" to read by December 31st, even though literally nothing will happen to me if I don't. It is completely arbitrary and motivated solely by my OCD.
I made a list of 150 books I wanted to read in 2013 almost a year ago, and I am soooo close to knocking most of them off my list. Just wanted to put this here to motivate myself (and also to satisfy my OCD, which I have to admit, Booklikes makes very convenient with the ability to link multiple books to a post).
So these are the books I "have" to read (not counting Outlander) by December 31st.
(ctd in Part II)
Day 13: Name five books that you're looking forward to reading or those that excite you in some way. (Dance/Electronica)
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There are a LOT of books I want to read. A LOT. (I'm sure this is a problem you're all familiar with.) But these are the ones I'm currently drooling over. (Literally, I see the covers, my mouth fills with saliva. I may also be very hungry right now.)
I'll be starting Outlander later this week (!), but the other three I won't be getting to until 2014 (in the case of Through the Smoke, early 2014 . . . I've already got the sample downloaded to my Kindle Cloud Reader, but I'm still holding out for tracking down a paper copy first.) I've been looking forward to reading Outlander all year, and I've kind of been saving it for just the right moment. Now is that moment.
Words of Radiance will be out in March, and Landline will be out next summer.
The fifth book that I droolwant is Armada by Ernest Cline, which is not available in any book databases yet besides Goodreads for some reason, even though it has a title, a cover, and a release date. I WANTS IT, PRECIOUS.
Day 12: Name a book that you've read or want to read based in a foreign country. (World)
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I'm not allowing myself to use England for this prompt because that would be waaaay too easy.
Instead I'm going to use it's strange cousin, Australia, because I will never get over that it used to be a penal colony.
Bill Bryson is one of my favorite writers, and this is my favorite book of his. It's probably not the best book to read if you're looking for a good history of Australia, but it is an excellent travel guide. Bryson is great at finding the personality of cities and other places that he visits, and the random facts he pulls out of nowhere never fail to amuse me.
Day 11: Name a book set within a holiday. (Carol)
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I just found my copy of this book tucked into a dusty old box and it brought back so many memories, so I had to use it in this challenge. I always liked the Sweet Valley Twins series anyway, but there was something about this particularly volume that really struck my fancy. If I re-read it, it probably wouldn't hold up, but man did I love it as a kid. The Harlequinn dolls, the fact that it's set at Christmas, the alternate universe, the double twin thing, mermaids, mazes, castles . . . it was like somebody asked me what cool things I wanted in a book and then published this book as the answer.
I also liked the other Christmas Sweet Valley books (which included a SVH riff on It's a Wonderful Life and another on A Christmas Carol and another on Big! if I'm remembering correctly), but this one was always my favorite.
Day 10: Name a guilty pleasure or mindless read that you loved. (Bubblegum Pop)
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I'm skipping Day 9 for now, because it would have taken me too much time (and is the reason I got behind in the first place). I will get to it eventually, but there was no way it was happening on Saturday, that's for sure.
I'm not a huge fan of mindless reads (and my pleasure reads have nothing at all to do with guilt) so there wasn't as much choice in this one as I thought there would be.
I'm going with The Pirates! books by Gideon Defoe, because although these books are extremely funny and even witty in parts, lord are they silly. How silly? SO SILLY.
If you're ever looking for a quick pick-me-up, look no further. If they don't make you laugh, I don't even know what to do with you.