Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan

We all know what it's like not to belong. But only Shaun Tan could convey it so well into pictures and so few words. There really isn't much I can say about it other then that it is worth the trip down to the library and the few minutes it takes to read!

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson has never really fit in. It wasn't that he ever tried to bring about disaster or anything. However, disaster can't help but follow him around. After Percy is kicked out of yet another school his mother takes him to the beach just to get away from it all. That is when things really start to get weird and Percy finds out that he isn't completely human at all. He is a demi-god, a half mortal child of one of the greek gods. Percy is sent on his first (and maybe his last) quest to get back Zeus' lightning bolt before a war breaks out between the gods. Oh ya... he only has two weeks to find it.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Farthest Shore is the third book in the Earthsea cycle. In Le Guin's style, the book is not really about the main plot at all. Instead the book is about the small occurrences and discussions that go on around the main plot. Le Guin uses the fact that magic seems to be disappearing in the world to set up the situations for revelations to occur among her characters. The "climax" is more of a mute point and occurs and is over very quickly. It seems almost disappointing until the reader realizes that (in ever so over quoted fashion) it was not the destination that made the book. It was the journey that brought our two heroes there that make the book so wonderful.

Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life by Roald Dahl

In 1946, after WWII was over, Roald Dahl found himself living in Buckinghamshire country. Here he would meet several.... intertwining people who would give him the inspiration to write several short stories which would be published in various magazines. Seven of them are collected here in one book in which Dahl displays again his love of irony and just plain strangeness.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Taste of the Unexpected by Roald Dahl

A Taste of the Unexpected is a collection of three short stories that display the more sinister side of Roald Dahl. Although the stories are very short (the longest one totaling about 22 pages) Dahl's language still manages to capture the reader's curiosity and lure it over each page to the ending.
A small collection of short, easy to read stories that still manages to leave the reader very satisfied.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Moonraker by Ian Fleming

So you've seen the James Bond films. Why bother reading the books? Well normally a book is better then the movie. In the case of 007 the books are nothing like the movie. They basically took some general ideas from the books and make a completely new story. Fleming's Bond is a very dark and deadly character who must rely on his wits rather then mere gadgets to survive. This James Bonds is far more enjoyable then that of Hollywood's creation.
In Moonraker, Ian Fleming's third offering of 007 stories he delivers yet again. Sir Hugo Drax is a WW II hero who has made millions from nothing. Now Drax has decided to give England a gift; a state of the art missile to protect England from her enemies. Drax is fully funding the operation from the design to the test site of the new missile, the Moonraker. At M.'s request James begins to investigate the project after the security officer -assigned by Scotland Yard- is killed in an apparent murder-suicide. The deeper that James digs the less things add up. One this is certain, something is not right with Sir Hugo Drax and his beloved Moonraker.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Instead of relying on words to easily tell a story Tan has taken on a much harder task. Telling a story visually. Through his vivid pictures Tan is able to give bring the reader into the story with The Arrival, relying thought and feelings though images, facial expressions, and body language. Those things that are so much taken for granted in our every day lives. Tan's story is of an immigrant who leaves his family to try and find a better life for his family in an unfamiliar land. He cannot read or even speak the language. He is forced to find other forms of communication. On his journey we are introduced to a wide variety of kind characters with stories of their own. In a strange, unfamiliar land our protagonist must not only learn how to function in such a confusing place but must also find a job so that he can bring his family to live with him.
In a single word: "Brilliant!"