Monday, March 8, 2010

News from the Joss-verse

In the mood for some fantastic, hot-off-the-presses news? The Syfy channel has cast Felicia Day to star in a re-telling/re-imagining of Little Red Riding Hood called Red. The bad news? We have to wait until 2011 to watch it.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

To Be Read

I usually post about the books I've already read, but I have such a back log of unread books on my shelf, I'm going to post about the books I want to read during the remainder of the year. There is no rhyme, reason or theme to these books other than they have been sitting on my shelf unread for months or even years. Books 1-6 were borrowed from friends, and as such will be the first I tackle. I'll update this post as I make my way through the list. Forty-one books in ten months...Should be do-able!
  1. A Widow for One Year, John Irving
  2. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
  3. What She Saw, Lucinda Rosenfeld
  4. Capote: A Biography, Gerald Clarke
  5. Veronica, Nicholas Christopher
  6. Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World, Tracy Kidder
  7. Zeitoun, Dave Eggers
  8. Peter and the Sword of Mercy, Dave Barry
  9. The God of Animals, Aryn Kyle
  10. Day After Night, Anita Diamant
  11. The Nazi Officer's Wife, Edith Beer
  12. Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris
  13. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, Azar Nafisi
  14. A Million Little Pieces, James Frey
  15. The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession, Susan Orlean
  16. A Spot of Bother, Mark Haddon
  17. Animal Farm, George Orwell
  18. Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
  19. Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
  20. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
  21. Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling
  22. The Castle, Franz Kafka
  23. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
  24. Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
  25. Anne of Ingelside, L. M. Montgomery
  26. Rainbow Valley, L. M. Montgomery
  27. Rilla of Ingleside, L. M. Montgomery
  28. She's Come Undone, Wally Lamb
  29. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
  30. The Tombs of Atuan, Ursula K. Le Guin
  31. The Farthest Shore, Ursula K. Le Guin
  32. Tehanu, Ursula K. Le Guin
  33. Underworld, Don DeLillo
  34. Last Chance to See, Douglas Adams
  35. The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga
  36. Arkansas, John Brandon
  37. Fever Chart, Bill Cotter
  38. The Wild Things, Dave Eggers
  39. Winter Wood, Steve Augarde
  40. The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx
  41. The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Judging a book by its cover II

I'm not generally a fan of merchandise tie-ins to movies or television series, but I am going to make an exception for a book published by Hyperion in 2009, Heat Wave by Richard Castle. Richard Castle is a fictional bestselling mystery writer in the eponymous ABC show Castle. The show is fantastic. Richard Castle is played by Joss Whedon alumnus Nathan Fillion of Firefly and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog fame. This would likely be enough to endear me to Castle, but the writing is funny and clever, and it's a real pleasure being entertained by Fillion
for an hour each week.

Back to the book. I'm sure it is not the first of its kind, but it really tickled me to be able to hold the book published in the television series in my hands. The details are perfect, from the back cover picture of Fillion and the mini-biography on the back flap, to the dedication. It all just makes me happy.

I haven't gotten around to reading it yet and honestly am not expecting great things. For me, the actual substance of the book doesn't matter much since the execution of the idea is just so much fun.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

In which I display my geekiness

I present Figure 1, an homage to my geeky tendencies, where I plot data on the books I've read since I started keeping track four years ago. This is actually two plots, the first of which is a bar graph showing the total number of books read by year, and the second a line graph showing the percentage of those books that were written for adults.

Figure 1. The books I've read.

The first thing you will notice is that there is a sharp drop-off in books read from 2007 to 2008. This is easily explained if you know that I met my husband in the first half of 2008, and I suddenly found myself happily distracted. The second is that a very large percentage (>=60%) of the books I have been reading these past four years were not written for adults, but rather teens, young adults and middle readers.

Now there is nothing wrong with this; I count a number of those books among my favorite of all time. However, for the past couple of months I've found myself wanting to reverse this trend and get caught up again in the world of adult literature. I feel there are a great number of fantastic books I've missed out on along the way. So, if you wouldn't mind, please help me by leaving a comment on your favorite books that have been published since 2006 (OK, they can be books published before 2006 as well. Go crazy!).