Comics Roundup #14: Identity Crisis

identity-crisisAnother superhero comic set in the DC Universe that I borrowed from a co-worker. This one includes the Justice League and other superheroes and villians that I’m vaguely familiar with, but despite my lack of knowledge about the characters and the universe, I was still able to enjoy the story.

Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer, illus. by Rags Morales with inks by Michael Bair, letters by Ken Lopez, and colors by Alex Sinclair. The original series covers were by Michael Turner.

Genre:

Action/adventure; science fiction

Goodreads summary:

When the spouse of a JLA member is brutally murdered, the entire super-hero community searches for the killer, fearing their own loved ones may be the next targets! But before the mystery is fully solved, a number of long-buried secrets rise to the surface, threatening to tear apart and divide the heroes before they can bring the mysterious killer to justice. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

This one was fun. I enjoyed reading it and I’m pretty sure readers who’re more familiar with the characters in the DC Universe will enjoy it more than I did.

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Weekend Reads #67: Feeling better

It’s another update post just to say that a week’s break from blogging was helpful. I feel a bit better and I got my blogging groove back. Despite the country possibly going to shit due to Trump’s executive orders to rewind the little progress made in American society, I at least feel like blogging about books again. But seriously though, Trump banning people who have green cards from reentering the country and prioritizing certain refugees based on their religion and possibly starting a Muslim registry in the U.S. is fucking crazy. OMFG! WHY is this dude president??? 😡


Anyway, here’s what I’m reading this weekend:

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Two Illustrated Books: “Armstrong” and “The Only Child”

I picked up these two illustrated children’s books the same day I grabbed J.K. Rowling’s Very Good Lives from the library. They were on display and since it’s been a while since I’ve read I picture book, I decided to give them a try. Armstrong looked familiar, but I couldn’t recall where I’d first seen it; and I’ve often seen the cover of The Only Child so I wanted to know why a stag was hanging out with a kid.


armstrong-the-adventurous-journey-of-a-mouse-to-the-moonArmstrong: The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon by Torben Kuhlmann (illus.)

Goodreads summary:

A long time ago a mouse learned to fly . . . and crossed the Atlantic. But what happened next? Torben Kuhlmann’s stunning new book transports readers to the moon and beyond! On the heels of Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse comes Armstrong: A Mouse on the Moon where dreams are determined only by the size of your imagination and the biggest innovators are the smallest of all. The book ends with a brief non-fiction history of human space travel from Galileo s observations concerning the nature of the universe to man’s first steps on the moon. (Goodreads)

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Weekend Reads #66: Feeling burned out

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend. However, this weekend’s post is more of an update. An update to say that I’ve been feeling a bit burned out recently. Is it possible that I blogged and read too damn much last year?

I guess this feeling is responsible for my patchy reading lately. I decided to kick off the year reading The Witches by Stacy Schiff and Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, but was unable to commit to either while reading e-copies of them. I kept falling asleep. I switched to physical copies, which helped with Tiny Beautiful Things but didn’t with The Witches. I’ve since given up on Schiff’s book, for now.

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“Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination” by J.K. Rowling

very-good-livesGoodreads summary:

In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, Very Good Lives offers J.K. Rowling’s words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life, asking the profound and provocative questions: How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?

Drawing from stories of her own post-graduate years, the world-famous author addresses some of life’s most important issues with acuity and emotional force. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Toward the end of last year, I visited the library and unsure of what to get, I grabbed whatever caught my eye. Very Good Lives was one of the three books I left with.

Very Good Lives is the published copy of a speech J.K. Rowling gave at Harvard’s commencement in 2008. It’s not the first that I’ve encountered it. I watched a video of Rowling giving the speech a couple years ago on Brain Pickings. There were several other commencement speeches in that post, including one by Steve Jobs, and all were uplifting.

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Comics Roundup #13: Revenge of the Green Lanterns

revenge-of-the-green-lanternsHere’s another superhero comic book my awesome co-worker introduced me to. I enjoyed the first one he leant me, Superman: Red Son, so I started this one with high hopes. Unfortunately, I didn’t think it was great. I can’t tell if it’s the story that sucked or if I had unrealistic expectations of it after reading Red Son and so expected too much.

Goodreads synopsis:

Hal Jordan–the Green Lantern of space sector 2814–has much to atone for. Possessed by an alien entity, Jordan once dismantled the entire Green Lantern Corps, killing many friends in the process.

Now he has regained the trust of his friends and allies and is rebuilding his life as a member of the Corps, a defender of Earth and a human being.

But fate won’t let Jordan move beyond his past. The Green Lanterns Jordan thought he had killed may still be alive…and crying for blood.

Now, to save the missing Lanterns, Jordan will travel deep into the heart of enemy territory and take on yet another threat from his past. But if he survives, the reward may be much greater than just redemption. (Goodreads)

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“Caraval” by Stephanie Garber

caravalI didn’t like it. I went into this one with HIGH expectations because I was told that it’s like Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, which I read at the beginning of 2016 and loved. With that in mind, I started Caraval expecting an engaging story that would keep me at the edge of my seat, making me fall in love with its characters and prose. Unfortunately, that’s not what I got.

Goodreads summary:

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

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“The Sea of Monsters” and “The Titan’s Curse” by Rick Riordan

The Sea of MonstersAfter reading The Lightning Thief by audio book, I said I wouldn’t continue to reread the series in that form because I hate how it’s narrated, but I went back on my word. So, did I like it this time? No.

Quick summary:

The Sea of Monsters and The Titan’s Curse are the second and third books in Rick Riordan’s middle-grade fantasy, adventure series Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

In The Sea of Monsters, our protagonist Percy has to rescue his best friend Grover, a satyr, when he goes missing. Percy decides to search for him in the Sea of Monsters, a.k.a the Bermuda Triangle, with his companions, Annabeth, a friend he made in the last book, and his cyclops brother, Tyson. Meanwhile, Luke and his boat of baddies are still up to no good in the name of Kronus.

The Titan’s Curse picks up with Percy, Annabeth, and Thalia, who popped out of a tree in the last book, on their way to check out some half-bloods Grover peeped at a military boarding school. With the help of the goddess Artemis and her band of hunters, Percy and his gang are able to rescue the half-bloods and get them safely to Camp Halfblood, but at the cost of Annabeth, who was lost in effort.

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Celebrating Friday 13th with Warren the 13th

What are your Friday 13th plans?

warren-the-13th-and-the-all-seeing-eye-coverIf I’m at home, I usually spend the day watching scary movies and shows until I can’t stand it anymore (meaning by nightfall) and then spend the night scared of my own shadow. But this year on my blog, I’ll celebrate it with Warren the 13th, the hardworking 12-year-old orphan boy in Tania del Rio and Will Staehle’s illustrated book Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye.

Published by Quirk Books, Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye is a fun middle-grade book about Warren’s adventures at his family’s hotel as he searches for the mysterious and magical All-Seeing Eye, while also trying to prevent the hotel from being torn apart by patrons also in search of it, such as his evil Aunt Anaconda.

I read it last year and liked it, but I think it’s one kids will enjoy reading as they try to solve the puzzles embedded in the story. I loved the illustrations the most. Staehle, the creator of Warren the 13th and illustrator of the book, did a superb job. The illustrations are done in black and white with pops of red to highlight certain things in a scene. Here are a few photos I took of the illustrations when I reviewed the book:

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Reading Update: Horror Reading Challenge

Actually, this is just a general reading update.

First of all, I’m in a funky reading mood. I don’t think it’s a reading slump though. It started with me not knowing what to read next after completing my last book of last year, Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling. It then progressed to me feeling lethargic whenever I try to read the books I currently have on the go, The Witches by Stacy Schiff and Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, and now it has made me indecisive about what I should read.

I can’t tell if I’m just not in the mood to read, or if the books I’m reading aren’t very interesting.

I kind of suspect that the book format I’m using may be to blame: e-books. The Witches is a nonfiction book and though it’s easy to read, it requires a lot of focus to keep the facts and people straight, which is difficult for me to do when reading an e-book. I spend so much time staring at screens throughout my day that when I try to read after a long day in the office or working at home, the last thing I want to do is experience a dense read on a device that strains my eyes. I guess that’s why I keep dozing off whenever I attempt to read either The Witches or Tiny Beautiful Things despite my interest in their content.

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