Sunday, February 17, 2008

Perdido Street Station

11. Perdido Street Station (623 pp.) by China Miéville. (Feb. 16). This is an intense book set in a dark, squalid world with corrupt government officials, sketchy scientists, criminals ranging from the petty to the druglord type and strange creatures. A creature who has had his ability to fly taken from him approaches a scientist for help. This sets off a series of horrific events and bizarre revelations. I liked it a lot but wanted to love it. There were parts where I sat on the bus reading with my mouth open, but other parts felt like a slog. Definitely recommended for those who like dark inventive fiction.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

but enough about me

10. but enough about me: How a Small-Town Girl Went from Shag Carpet to the Red Carpet (279 p) (aside: apparently there's more than one subtitle) by Jancee Dunn. (Feb. 13). I can't remember where I first heard about this book but I sent the info to Hannah because she's a rock-n-roll girl. She gave me the book for my birthday probably because she knew I'd say, "Oh, it's on my list," for the next 10 years if someone didn't put it into my hands. There are worse crimes than not getting around to reading everything you intend to read.

This is a wonderful book purely on the charms of its writer/heroine. It's sort of like an episode of Behind the Music only in this case hitting rock bottom is barely skimming her butt on the floor. Small town girl has big dreams, gets unbelievable break and starts working for Rolling Stone magazine. Success follows success. She begins VJ-ing for MTV2 and profiling huge celebrities. After awhile friends settle down and she realizes her age. Unwisely picks up with crummy boyfriend and spends too much time drinking and carrying on and not enough time sleeping or hanging out with loved ones leading to hurt feelings and sort-of alienation. Bad drug experience leads to getting her act together. Friend introduces her to shy nerd who is not an artist or musician. Love. The End.

Fun book. Recommended.

Monday, February 11, 2008


9. Jumper (344 pp.) by Steven Gould. (Feb. 10). This is the original Jumper book from 1992 and it was just re-released last week in a new mass market paperback with the movie on the cover. Normally I will go out of my way not to buy a movie cover but didn't have the same feeling about this one. I powered through it this weekend so I could read it before the movie. It's very good, but I think Griffin's Story is better. This one felt a tad long and I thought the protagonist was slightly less lovable. Also, if you did an exercise where you outlined some of the key moments in the book and did the same thing with Griffin's story, you'd find they were mighty similar.

It's about a kid, Davy, who can teleport and bad things happen to him and his family unrelated to this power but he uses the power for revenge and in the process government officials want to find him. Recommended.

Jumper: Griffin's Story

8. Jumper: Griffin's Story (286 pp.) by Steven Gould. (Jan?) There's a movie coming out called Jumper and the book has been on my list for awhile so I asked for it for Xmas. This is the book I got and I inhaled it — it's really good and if you had a 15 year old boy who you wanted to find a book for, I'd recommend this. However, this isn't the original Jumper that's the movie. This is a companion book published in 07. I never found a straight explanation but the original book was written in 1992 and when they adapted it into a movie (3 screenwriting credits, gulp) I guess they changed some stuff and this book would fill in some of the gaps and also be fresh material for readers. For some reason I forgot to add it to my finished list so I'm not sure when I read it. In fact, I've spent an unreasonable amount of time here trying to figure it out, as if the book reading officials are watching.

It's about a kid, Griffin, who can teleport and very bad people are trying to find him. He has to figure out all sorts of clever things to evade them. Highly recommended.