Friday, December 7, 2012

2012 Boal...

  2012 was by no means going to be the year of the book for me.  No, indeed, it was not.  2011 I read 50 books and was quite happy with myself.  But I knew coming into 2012 I would not be able to pull that off again, I knew it was going to be far too hectic a year, so I made a modest boal (book-goal) of 34.  However, I did not anticipate it to be this hectic!  I started my 2012 boal pretty strong getting 17 books in the 1st 7mths leaving me plenty of time to reach the remaining 17 books on my boal, plenty of time.  But then, I hit the dreaded blump (book-slump).  Le sigh...  From August to November I read one book a month, not very good.  Good books, but not a particularly solid reading performance.  Didn't help that I started a brick of a book, Fall of Giants, (which I will be reviewing at some point.  But I highly rec it, like highly highly).  Though it was a brick of a book it was unbelievably fantastic, everything a great book should be, a work of bart (book-art). The blump had nothing to with FoG, it was just one of those things.  But I can tell you once I started getting to the end of FoG, b/c of its amazing storytelling, I got my mobo back.  I ended FoG on Nov.27 and have read as of now, Dec.7, 3 more books.  I have 10 more books to go in 23 days, to make my boal.  Not going to be easy.  Averages to about 3 books a week.  Yikey!  I have my bork cut out for me, so I should probably get off of here and get to booking!  I can book it, I can book it, I can book it...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Close to Shore: The Terrifying Shark Attacks of 1916

   "We're not just afraid of predators, we're transfixed by them, prone to weave stories and fables and chatter endlessly about them, because fascination creates preparedness, and preparedness, survival.  In a deeply tribal sense, we love our monsters." ~E.O. Wilson~

   So begins "Close to Shore"...

   When I first saw this book I was like, O-M-S-J, a non-fiction book on sharks!  I love sharks, love the ocean, and this is the true story of one of the worst shark attacks (and first recorded) in the America.  This horrific event was the basis for Peter Benchley's "Jaws", which of course led to Speilberg's movie adaptation of that book.  I've read and seen "Jaws", the book was fantastic, the movie was fantastic, but no fiction can ever compare nor compete with true events.  I enjoyed Capuzzo's style of writing, it was clear, concise, focused on the facts and not the sensationalism that most writers would have focused on.  This story didn't need sensationalism, the events were sensationalist enough.  Now that's not to say Capuzzo didn't squeeze out a bit of overactive drama, he did, but it wasn't over-the-top annoying and only sparingly.  He stuck to the facts and turned out an amazing and heart wrenching story.  He did a very clever few chapters from the shark's perspective, what it was feeling and thinking while it prowled the ocean and river of the East Coast.
  Capuzzo paints a detailed portrait of life and the people, and people's mentality, of the early 1900's.  The age of industry and automobile.  Beaches were a privileged past time, not the sun bathing, beach volleyball, girl/guy watching, water sports entity as we know it today.  Men and women wore "bathing costumes"; men shirt & shorts, women full bodied bathing costumes that covered all, and I mean all.  The latest fashion sweeping 1916 was a women's bathing costume that revealed ankles.  It was scandalous and some women were being arrested for it.  No, that's not a joke.  There were beach patrols that roamed the beaches measuring bathing costumes and making sure no tantalizing ankles were being scantily and seductively shown.  We laugh and scoff at such nonsense, because now women are practically naked on the beach, some are actually naked, which makes very happy I live in this era and not 1916. :)
   Capuzzo did a great job of not just giving us facts from this event, but also weaved an America that was on the threshold of a World War.  I had just finished Fall of Giants, which again I must rec every single person to read, and it was so cool to be reading 2 books based in the same era.  Capuzzo did painstakingly thorough research and you can tell from all the delicious details.
   Though in fact Capuzzo did do his due diligence and consulted with top ichthyologists both past & present, it is still undetermined what species of shark it was that savagely killed 4 people, including one 11yr old, and wounded one child.  The general consensus is it was a bull shark, as bull sharks are the only (large) shark that can survive in both salt and fresh water.  Bull sharks are extremely aggressive and have attacked people in rivers as much as the ocean.  So it would stand to reason it was a bull shark.  But there is also solid argument that it was a great white, and Capuzzo does an amazing job of explaining why it is very possible to have been a great white.  The high tide, the unusual shift in currents, full moon, all contributing factors for this "rogue" shark.  The attack scenes were setup with a tense suspense.  The reader, sitting engrossed in this lead up to the inevitable, tensing from the suspense and build up, only to be rocked into terror and shock at the brutality in which Capuzzo describes each attack.  I physically shuddered at one such scene.
  Though I am a lover (and bit obsessed) of the ocean and all that inhabits it, this book made me reticent to ever enter the ocean again.  Of course I will, if I ever perish in the ocean I will consider my soul's return to whence it came.  This quote from the book is touches on my emotional awe, respect and love for the ocean and its denizens: "It was said that the ocean flowed in the veins, that blood was nearly the consistency of seawater.  In the ocean a man escaped the Industrial Revolution and rediscovered his eternal self, was fully human again."  But this book def makes you think twice about swimming in the open ocean, or in its shallows.  It does not paint sharks as mindless killing machines, it does not preach stay out of the ocean.  No, it tells a story of a horrific and tragic event, human's ignorance (of that time) of the wilderness of the ocean and its inhabitants.  It's an intellectual read, a wonderful work of non-fiction that reads like fiction at times.  I can't rec this book enough.  Read it, but do it in the winter time so by the time summer rolls around it won't be lingering in your head and make you trepiditious to enter the ocean. Let me conclude this review with a quote from the book, a quote (one of many) I love:
     "We've forgotten what the ocean is.  The ocean is a wilderness.  We would never enter the wilderness without being aware of the dangers, its predators.  Yet we think of the ocean as our giant backyard swimming pool." ~George Burgess-Ichthyologist~
XXX rating.  Stay Booked! Happy Reading!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

"Welcome to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, Fermín..."

   "I have always known that one day I would return to these streets to tell the story of the man who lost his should and his name among the shadows of a Barcelona trapped in a time of ashes and silence.  These are pages written in the flames of the city of the damned, words etched in the fire on the memory of the one who returned from among the dead with a promise nailed to his heart and a curse upon his head.  The curtain rises, the audience falls silent and before the shadow lingering over their destiny descends upon the set, a chorus of pure souls takes the stage with a comedy in their hands and the blessed innocence of those who, believing the third act to be the last, wish to spin a Christmas story - unaware that once the last page is turned, the poison of its words will drag them slowly but inexorably towards the heart of darkness." ~Julián Carax~

   So begins "The Prisoner of Heaven"...

   I loved this book.  I read some reviews on GoodReads before reading it and was disappointed to see several, (buy not majority), of the reviews to be of the negative.  'The Shadow of the Wind' was my first book by Zafón, and quickly became one of my all-time fave books.  When I found out he he had written a sequel/prequel, 'The Angel's Game', I devoured it immediately.  I loved 'Angel', but not nearly as much as 'Shadow'.  I can't even begin to describe the excitement I felt at the learning of 'Heaven's' release.  I bought it immediately, but due to being in the middle of a rather thick book already, 'Fall of Giants', 'Heaven' sat, laying in wait.  Once I finished FoG, which I highly rec every living human being to read, I was childlike in my excitement to return to Zafón's Barcelona and the lives of the Sempere's and Fermín Romero de Torres  Zafón has a poetic prose and incredibly strong character development, and it's those affecting characters and entrancing prose that make his books special.  The intrigue, history, scenery, are all fantastic, but are nothing compared to the endearing prose and strong characters Zafón creates. And there is no true bookie in this world that can dislike the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, one of the best fictional places ever created.  My only issue with this book is this, it was too short.  Zafón seemed to be cramming too much information in a rushed and confined area.  I wish he had taken his time and let the story develop more.  'Heaven' created a more defined background of Fermín (one of my all-time fave characters ever written) and answered quite a few questions in his regard, but I feel the book created far more questions than answers overall.  'Heaven' felt more of the author's attempt to bridge 'Angel' and 'Shadow' while at the same time creating a new dimension of intrigue I can only assume, and hope, is the setup for a 4th book.  Also, as much as I love Zafón's prose, I did not feel it had the same sharp wit and romanticism, that was in 'Shadow' and even 'Angel'.  That's not to say it wasn't there, just not as prevalent as in his other works of bart (book-art). I repeat myself in saying this, but this book just felt more of the author's need to bridge gaps, and quickly setup scenarios for another book.
Having said that, I enjoyed it immensely and def rec it.  I can say this with utter confidence, read this series, you will not regret it.  Stay Booked! Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

JaSexxy Movie Review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

J.Sexxview of AL:VH...
 I liked it, but did not love it.  I know, I am stating the obvious when I say this but, it was NOT as good as the book.  It could've been, but it wasn't.  Director Timur Bekmambetov, whose Russian movies, "Night Watch", and "Day Watch", I enjoyed very much.  Timur has a very stylistic way of directing.  His scenes are elaborate and admittedly over-the-top, but quite fun.  Had I not read this book I would've enjoyed this movie much more.  Author Seth Grahame-Smith created such a well written, masterful blend of fiction and non-fiction.  It was compelling, gripping, addictive, bittersweet, emotional, full of action, facts and  just flat out fun.  In my book review of AL:VH I wrote: "Grahame-Smith does a fantastic job of intertwining historical facts with fantastical fiction.  He could have taken the story and made it silly, but he didn't.  He wrote it so straight-faced that I found myself at times thinking the fiction parts were true!  The historical part was just fantastic.  I never realized how little I knew of our 16th president and the dramatic life he lived..." **Read my full book review here: **
Unfortunately the movie went the route of hokey that ended up being a chopped version of the book.  They went for style, f/x, grandiose fight sequences, and no substance, instead of the plot & dialogue driven book.  I'm disappointed in the movie b/c it had the potential to be as great as the book or at least be an acceptable adaptation, especially since the screenplay was by Grahame-Smith, but it fell way short of even being acceptable.  One thing I did find amusing...**WARNING SPOILER (OF BOTH THE BOOK & MOVIE.  DON'T READ UNTIL AFTER THIS PART...**
The ending of the book was the only thing I didn't care for.  Lincoln becomes what he hates most, vampire.  It didn't ring true with the story & character of Lincoln.  In the movie, Grahame-Smith writes an ending where Lincoln does not turn vampire, he heads off to the theatre and then they cut to modern day, no Lincoln.  You'd think I'd be happy with that since I didn't care for the ending of the book, but I wasn't satisfied with the ending of the movie either.  Lol
Overall I enjoyed the movie for what it was, an actionay horror flick with decent f/x and stylish filming.  It didn't suck, but it wasn't great either.  I rec it but not so much that you need to see it.  I give it a X 1/2, (out of XXX) rating.  Stay Entertained! Happy Viewing!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Blump (book-slump)

Well dear readers I have been in a blump for over a month now.  I was on a hot reading streak at the beginning of this year all the way through to October.  Was a great pace to meet my boal (book-goal), and now I'm like 9 books behind.  Fugggggggg.  On the plus side I've been reading Fall of Giants (FoG), and it has been just a beautiful read.  I'm less than 300pgs from finishing (it totals 985pgs).  I'm truly dreading the end.  It's one of those books that you can't wait to see how it ends, but dread the nearing end of it, and sad when it's complete, b/c you've been immersed in the lives of these special characters and vested in their trails & tribulations, their tumultuous life, exuberant triumphs, devastating loss, and profound love.  This book as prodded every human emotion and it is flat out amazing.  Though I'm not finished with it yet, it is becoming one of my all time fave books already.

I'm also reading Close to Shore: The Terrifying Shark Attacks of 1916.  I'm not far into this book.  Only bout 15% or so, but it has been a great read.  The author does a great job of painting life back in the early 1900's, how women wore full bathing suits and showing just a hint of ankle was provocative.  The people of the early 1900's didn't use the ocean as we do today.  They only sat on the beaches, never really indulging in a swim or frolicking in the shallow shore.  It's an interesting setting and really cool to relives those ghosts of past.  The author does a fantastic job of taking the reader back in time and seeing, feeling, sensing, the way of life back then.  He also does a cool POV from the shark, which of course is just his brilliant imagination but he weaves the nautical facts in, water temps, currents, etc.  Very anxious to get back to this book as I have a great love for the ocean, sharks, and non-fiction.

I'm ALSO reading, lol, Death Sentence, the 3rd book in the Furnace series.  These books have been fantastic quick reads.  Fast paced and action packed.  Even though it's YA, it's still gripping and exciting and you get drawn to the characters and their plight.  I'm only bout 15-20% into this one, but can't wait to get back into it full time.

Hopefully I'll get back in my reading groove and make my 2012 boal.  I have so many books I want to read.  If only I had the time.  Le sigh...  Stay Booked! Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Walking Dead.16: A Larger World


ZAWESOME!!!!  But it's far too short and it takes too long for a new TPB to come out.  Other than that it was bloody great!  New developments and characters abound.  I pre-ordered TWD.17 already and can't wait for it to come out. My fave characters are still around, some of them have gotten fugged up ***SPOILER***
Carl got shot in the head in book 14, so he is still healing from it (he lost his right eye), but when it happened it was at the end of the book and I was all like, WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT THE FUGGGGGGGGGG!!  Then had to wait for book 15 to find out if he lived or died, b/c you know in TWD all bets are off.  No one is safe, not even the "main characters".  Andrea and Rick are developing a relationship, which I like, Andrea is one of my fave characters in the book.  She's a badass rock star.  Michonne is still alive and kicking ass,love her.  Glen is still alive, so happy about that.  He and Maggie are still together and raising Sophia, yeah she's still alive in the book even though she isn't on the show.  The gang has taken control of a neighbourhood and are running it well, but supplies are low and they are having a hard time finding food from the search parties that have been sending out.  Enter mysterious new character.  He kicks everyone's ass until Rick gets there then he takes the dude down and ties him up and keeps locked up until he can figure out if he's legit or not.  Finally, thanks to Carl, Rick eases up and trusts him, for the most part.  Jesus ends up being way cool and nice.  He takes Rick, Andrea, Michonne, (Carl cause he hid in the van), and a couple of others to this new neighbourhood, Hilltop.  Turns out he is part of a group of hundreds that have built their own little city with farming and what not and have started trade routes with other neighbourhoods of survivors, yes, OTHER WHOLE NEIGHBOURHOODS OF SURVIVORS.  CRAZY!  It's all tense though b/c you don't know if this new guy, nicknamed Jesus, is on the up and up, even after he proves himself.  Then they get to the neighbourhood and again you just don't know if it's going to be like the "Governor's" neighbourhood or if they are going to be cool.  Turns out they are cool, but a little off.  The problem, Rick's group soon finds out, is that there is a nasty group of fuggers that are running protection rackets over all the neighbourhoods.  So Rick decides that his group will take down the evil fuggers in trade for food from the Hilltop group.  And that's pretty much how it ends.  Rick's group is starting to become more and more dangerous and I have to wonder if they are eventually going to become one of these evil groups.
This series has not lost any steam, at all.  Still all kinds of zawesome and zool!  READ THIS SERIES DAMN IT!! WTYZM!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

New burchases 7.29.12...

I went to B&N today to buy 1 book, Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith, but they didn't have it.  Sad bace (book-face) :(
BUT, I did score 3 books on their Buy 2, Get 1 Free table!  Happy bace!  Here are the 3 super-awesome books I picked up.

                Close to Shore: The Terrifying Shark Attacks of 1916 
                                           by Michael Capuzzo                

Synopsis: Combining rich historical detail and a harrowing, pulse-pounding narrative, Close to Shore brilliantly re-creates the summer of 1916, when a rogue Great White shark attacked swimmers along the New Jersey shore, triggering mass hysteria and launching the most extensive shark hunt in history.

During the summer before the United States entered World War I, when ocean swimming was just becoming popular and luxurious Jersey Shore resorts were thriving as a chic playland for an opulent yet still innocent era's new leisure class, Americans were abruptly introduced to the terror of sharks. In July 1916 a lone Great White left its usual deep-ocean habitat and headed in the direction of the New Jersey shoreline. There, near the towns of Beach Haven and Spring Lake-and, incredibly, a farming community eleven miles inland-the most ferocious and unpredictable of predators began a deadly rampage: the first shark attacks on swimmers in U.S. history.

For Americans celebrating an astoundingly prosperous epoch much like our own, fueled by the wizardry of revolutionary inventions, the arrival of this violent predator symbolized the limits of mankind's power against nature.
Interweaving a vivid portrait of the era and meticulously drawn characters with chilling accounts of the shark's five attacks and the frenzied hunt that ensued, Michael Capuzzo has created a nonfiction historical thriller with the texture of Ragtime and the tension of Jaws. From the unnerving inevitability of the first attack on the esteemed son of a prosperous Philadelphia physician to the spine-tingling moment when a farm boy swimming in Matawan Creek feels the sandpaper-like skin of the passing shark, Close to Shore is an undeniably gripping saga.

Heightening the drama are stories of the resulting panic in the citizenry, press and politicians, and of colorful personalities such as Herman Oelrichs, a flamboyant millionaire who made a bet that a shark was no match for a man (and set out to prove it); Museum of Natural History ichthyologist John Treadwell Nichols, faced with the challenge of stopping a mythic sea creature about which little was known; and, most memorable, the rogue Great White itself moving through a world that couldn't conceive of either its destructive power or its moral right to destroy.

Scrupulously researched and superbly written, Close to Shore brings to life a breathtaking, pivotal moment in American history. Masterfully written and suffused with fascinating period detail and insights into the science and behavior of sharks, Close to Shore recounts a breathtaking, pivotal moment in American history with startling immediacy.

Me: I'm way excited to read this, chomping at the bit (delicious pun intended).  I have such a huge passion/fascination/love/respect for the ocean and all it's denizens, especially so for sharks.  I love non-fiction books, and this combines all my loves in one.

                                          by Grant Morrison

Synopsis: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man, and the X-Men—the list of names as familiar as our own. They are on our movie and television screens, in our videogames and in our dreams. But what are they trying to tell us? For Grant Morrison, one of the most acclaimed writers in the world of comics, these heroes are powerful archetypes who reflect and predict the course of human existence: Through them we tell the story of ourselves. In this exhilarating work of a lifetime, Morrison draws on art, archetypes, and his own astonishing journeys through this shadow universe to provide the first true history of our great modern myth: the superhero.
Me: Super (delicious pun intended) excited about this one!  Like with Close to Shore, I get all my loves in one; comic books & non-fiction.  Grant Morrison is a legend in the comic book world.  I've been saying, since I was a kid, comic books are NOT just for kids.  CB's have been addressing social issues from the start.  They've dealt with civil rights, woman's rights, gay rights, violence, gun control, abortion, aids, domestic abuse, child abuse, heroes that do bad things, death, life, E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.  I've read some comics and graphic novels (GN's) that had more poignant writing than some novels.   

                                            by Karen Russell

Synopsis: Thirteen-year-old Ava Bigtree has lived her entire life at Swamplandia!, her family’s island home and gator-wrestling theme park in the Florida Everglades. But when illness fells Ava’s mother, the park’s indomitable headliner, the family is plunged into chaos; her father withdraws, her sister falls in love with a spooky character known as the Dredgeman, and her brilliant big brother, Kiwi, defects to a rival park called The World of Darkness. As Ava sets out on a mission through the magical swamps to save them all, we are drawn into a lush and bravely imagined debut that takes us to the shimmering edge of reality.

Me: I think this is TV show now, but I could be wrong. No delicious pun intended on this one...

I'm very excited about these new burchases and can't wait to get to reading them!  And I'll be getting Lockdown too at some point.  Stay Booked! Happy Reading!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

JaSexxy Movie Review: Midnight In Paris

I normally only review books and movies based on books on my blog, but I think I'm gonna expand to all movie reviews.  Having said that, here's my review of Woody Allen's Midnight In Paris...

    I really liked this movie.  Classic Woody Allen flick; witty, funny, self-flagellating, unique & creative, dialogue & character driven, artistically filmed (some really beautiful shots of Paris day/night/rain), intelligent and relevant, neurotic, and, how you say, je ne sais quoi.  His movies have a mix of closure & open-endedness.  The plot wraps up, but he story continues.  I love that because it lets the viewer have the satisfaction of knowing how the main storyline comes to end, but also that it isn't over, a new story begins.  This is life.  When something ends, something begins.  Our life stories don't resolve in a 1/2hr, hour, 2hrs, like in TV shows and movies.  Parts of our stories end, but new stories began as those end.  So to does Allen's movies.  Some movies, stories, require a finale, a closure that satisfies the viewer, but some have to stay open giving the viewers a satisfaction that the characters' (lives), that the viewers have become acquainted with, will carry on.  Allen's films are of the latter sort.  I also like that Allen has broadened his filming locations.  he only recently, (within the last 7yrs), started filming outside NY, (I think out of the 47 movies he's directed, only 4-5 have been outside NY).  His first film shot entirely out of New York, Match Point filmed in Britain, gave him a success he hadn't seen in awhile, and it also put Scarlett Johansson on the fast track to stardom, (Kate Winslet was supposed to play her role, but backed out).  At any rate, Allen has found new life in his films by shooting in diff locales.  He has a wonderful way of being irreverent with wit & intelligence mixed with neurosis & relevance.  One of the things I really loved with Midnight In Paris was all the iconic figures, both American & European, featured in the movie's 1920's crossover scenes.  As an artist and avid reader it was very cool seeing Hemingway, Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Fitzgerald, Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, Dali, Cole Porter, Josephine Baker, Gaugin, Matisse, T.S. Eliot, and several other that I am forgetting, come to "life".  I'm not sure if those familiar with Woody Allen or those that don't like WA, would like this film, but I do rec it.  I enjoyed it very much and would watch it again.  Highest Sexxy rating: XXX
Stay Entertained! Happy Viewing!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

New burchases 7.14.12....

Using an email discount coupon from B&N and got me 2 awesome sounding books.

                             The Map of Time by

Set in Victorian London with characters real and imagined, The Map of Time boasts a triple play of intertwined plots in which a skeptical H.G. Wells is called upon to investigate purported incidents of time travel and to save lives and literary classics, including Dracula and The Time Machine, from being wiped from existence.

What happens if we change history? The author explores this question in the novel, weaving an historical fantasy as imaginative as it is exciting—a story full of love and adventure that transports readers to a haunting setting in Victorian London for their own taste of time travel.

Zafón I am huge fan of already.  I just happened on him by accident, his first English language book was The Shadow of the Wind.  I.Loved.That.Book!  Like a lot, a lot.  His follow, The Angel's Game was also excellent, but not as good as Shadow.  Heaven involves characters from both Shadow, and Game, so this just makes me even more excited to read Heaven.  Zafón

Once again, internationally acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author Carlos Ruiz Zafón creates a rich, labyrinthine tale of love, literature, passion, and revenge, set in a dark, gothic Barcelona, in which the heroes of The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game must contend with a nemesis that threatens to destroy them.

Barcelona,1957. It is Christmas, and Daniel Sempere and his wife Bea have much to celebrate. They have a beautiful new baby son named Julian, and their close friend Fermín Romero de Torres is about to be wed. But their joy is eclipsed when a mysterious stranger visits the Sempere bookshop and threatens to divulge a terrible secret that has been buried for two decades in the city's dark past. His appearance plunges Fermín and Daniel into a dangerous adventure that will take them back to the 1940's and the dark early days of Franco's dictatorship. The terrifying events of that time launch them on a journey fraught with jealousy, suspicion, vengeance, and lies, a search for the truth that will put into peril everything they love and ultimately transform their lives.

Full of intrigue and emotion, The Prisoner of Heaven is a majestic novel in which the threads of The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game converge under the spell of literature and bring us toward the enigma of the mystery hidden at the heart of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a collection of lost treasures known only to its few initiates and the very core of Carlos Ruiz Zafón's enchanting fictional world.

Friday, July 13, 2012

In a blump (book-slump)

I got some good reading in early this year, but have recently hit a blump.  I'm 50% through GoT.2 and bout 85% through Lady Chatterley's Lover, so I've been reading, but it's just slowed to a crawl.  I am aiming to finish LCL his weekend and GoT.2 by month end.  Not sure what I'm going to delve into next, which is weird, b/c normally I have a new book lined up to go.  Hopefully I'll get back into the book of things.  Le sigh.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

June, the month of the Book...

I may have booked off more than I can bhew (book chew) this month. I'm currently reading 20 Years After, & Lady Chatterley's Lover, and starting GoT.2 today (as a read along with my Sexxy friend Mimi), and then starting Pillars.2 on June 11th (as a read along with my Sexxy friends Mel & Sonia). Lots of baction (book action)! Stay Booked! Happy Reading!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife...

So begins Neil Gaiman's masterfully written, The Graveyard Book

    And with those words the reader is thrust into a unique world and adventure.  One can automatically infer that from just that opening sentence, they are about to embark on a bourney (book journey) of intrigue, excitement, and danger.  I am a huge Gaiman fan and this is the 5th book by him that I've read.  Neverwhere, American Gods, Smoke & Mirrors, and Stardust being the previous four respectively.  He is now the 2nd most author I've read, Stephen King being the 1st.  Gaiman has a way of weaving a beautiful story full of imagination beyond comprehension.  He doesn't fall into the formulaic plot that most author's of this genre do.  He creates new creatures as well as reimagining old ones.  He spins a story so enthralling the reader can't help but become immersed in it.  I have not been disappointed with any of the books I've read by him, though there were a few stories in Smoke & Mirrors that were just OK, but overall the book was great.

TGB Synopsis: "In this ingenious and captivating reimagining of Rudyrad Kipling's classic adventure The Jungle Book, Neil Gaiman tells the unforgettable story of Nobody Owens, a living, breathing boy whose home is a graveyard, raised by a guardian who belongs neither to the mortal world nor the realm of the dead.  Among the mausoleums and headstones of his home, Bod experiences things most mortals can barely imagine.  But real, flesh-and-blood danger waits just outside the cemetery walls: the man who murdered the infant Bod's family will not rest until he finds Nobody Owens and finishes the job he began years ago."


    Having never read The Jungle Book I cannot speak to how it compared, though I do fully intend on reading Kipling's classic this year.  I can say that I thought this book was fantastic!  It was full of Gaiman's wit and creativity.  He writes with compassion and it shows in the characters he's created.  You can empathize with each character, be it love, hate, anger, sadness, joy, or astonishment.  I found myself gasping at times when imminent danger was lurking around the next page, I laughed at the moments of awkwardness between Bod and the "living", I felt compassion from the tender moments between Bod and his "ghost parents" and his living/not living guardian Silas.  I was angered and frustrated at the cruelty of the school bully's and greedy shopkeeper, and the villainous murderers.  I felt triumph with Bod's defeat of his enemies.  I felt a deep sadness when he had to say good-bye to the only living friend and girl he liked, Scarlet, and even more sadness when it was time for Bod to say good-bye to the only world and "people" he knew, the ghosts of the graveyard, his "parents" and  Silas.  I felt joy and inspiration when Bod forged forward leaving all he knew behind, with hope and determination in his heart.  I felt excitement at the endless possibilities and adventures Bod would embark on.  This was a story of "love, loss, survival, and sacrifice...and what it means to truly be alive".  I felt all those emotions and more.  As I neared the end of the book, I kept looking down at the page number, in hopes I wouldn't be close to finishing.  I hungered for more, to read more and was impatient to see how the story unfolded, but I was also reticent to continue because it meant the bourney would be over.  Such is the dilemma for the avid reader and a truly remarkable book.  It is a cycle we must endure, a torture we inflict on ourselves with both great pain and pleasure, and always a cycle we are too eager to repeat.

    I loved this book and highly rec it.  It gets my highest rating XXX.  I will leave this post with one of the best closing paragraphs I've read:

    "There was a passport in his bag, money in his pocket.  There was a smile dancing on his lips, although it was a wary smile, for the world is a bigger place than a little graveyard on a hill; and there would be dangers in it and mysteries, new friends ot make, old friends to rediscover, mistakes to be made and many paths to be walked before he would, finally, return to the graveyard or ride with the Lady on the broad back of her great grey stallion.
 But between now and then, there was Life; and Bod walked into it with his eyes and his heart wide open."

Stay Booked! Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

GoT.2: Clash of Kings

Very excited to be starting GoT.2: Clash of Kings on June 1st as a read along with my sexxy friend Mimi!  We did a read along for GoT.1: A Game of Thrones, and it was great!  Both the book and the read along :)  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My 1st time... reading an ebook. What were you thinking, perv!

Sooo I started reading my 1st ebook the other night.  I had pretty bad insomnia and didn't feel like turning on the light and reading The Prestige, so I remembered I had downloaded The Man in the Iron Mask from the Freebooks app on my iphone.  

 I am huge fan of Dumas, his books of art are brilliant (I've read Monte Cristo & 3 Musketeers).  As I was reading the preface I found out that there was a series called the D'Artagnan Romances.  Iron Mask was like book 5 in the series, 3 Musketeers being #1.  I immediately downloaded parts 2, 3, & 4; Twenty Years After, The Vicomte de Bragelonne: Ten Years Later, & Louise de la Valliere respectively.   

So I was bit excited to start reading Twenty Years After, even though it was an ebook and on my phone.  I can honestly say, it wasn't that bad.  I understand the convenience & ease of the ereader, and I will def invest in an ipad one day.  As most of you all know I have mocked ereaders, quite brilliantly really, from day 1 and I stand by the mocking, but I concede that I really don't mind reading on them.  Having said that, they are still a very poor substitution for the real thing.  I'm a die hard bookie and nothing can replace the feel and smell and enjoyment of buying and reading a real live book.  N-O-T-H-I-N-G.  But this sexxy reader can admit when he is wrong about something, this isn't one of those times, as I am never wrong, but one day when I am, I'll admit it.  I will continue to mock ereaders, mainly b/c it's fun and makes me happy, but I will def be reading books on an ereader, eventually, one day, maybe...  Stay REAL Booked! Happy Reading Real Books! :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Marvel's The Avengers: A JaSexxy Review

          Avengers assemble!  Damn right bizziches.

It sucked donkey dangle!
No, I kid. :)
It was an awesome mix of smart scripting, fleshed out characters that were superbly acted by the most unlikely cast ensemble, witty humour, kick ass action, and excellent f/x.  It really had it all.  And I'm not a Marvel comics fan, well not much of one, I'm more a DC nerd.  But I fully admit Marvel has done a much better job marketing and transitioning their universe onto celluloid.  This is the 1st true blockbuster of the summer and it wasn't a mindless action blockbuster either.  Not that there's anything wrong with the mindless action flicks, I love them too.  I'm actually gigged out about The Expendables 2.  The Avengers just surprised as a more in-depth action flick.  It not only lived up to the hype, it surpassed it.  Of course Stan Lee makes an appearance which is always cool, but the appearances of Powers Boothe, Paul Bettany (the voice of Jarvis), Harry Dean Stanton (father from Pretty in Pink, nutter compound leader in Big Love), James Eckhouse (father from 90210), Lou Ferrigno (voice of The Hulk), added another level of cool. 
I highly rec this movie and def advise you to see it in the theatre for the full effect and don't leave until after the initial ending credits (there's a delish treat for those that stay).   Marvel's The Avengers gets my highest rating XXX.  Stay Entertained! Happy Viewing!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Raven (the movie): The Jasexxy Review

The Raven: The JaSexxy Review
I liked it.  Yes it was formulaic and mediocre, I will not deny that, not one bit.  But it was also enjoyable.  I thought Cusack's performance was really good and only limited by the script itself.  I guessed the villain well before it was obvious for even the most unawares viewer.  These are my negatives of the film.  Now allow me to highlight the positives.
John Cusack did a great job, as did Luke Evans and the rest of the supporting cast.  The plot, as I've already stated, was formulaic, but what gave it a boost, was the incorporation of Poe's stories.  And not all his most known stories either, which I found quite refreshing.  They didn't use those most popular stories as the crutch of the whole movie.  Yes they did use those to lean on, but it wasn't just The Telltale Heart nor The Raven, nor The Pit and the Pendulum, nor The Masque of the Red Death.  No, it had also incorporated The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Mystery of Marie Roget.  Now some of you may scoff and say, "I've heard of the Rue Morgue Jason!"  Indeed I am sure you have.  But how many of you can tell me who the murderer is in that particular story without looking it up?  I'd be impressed with those that can, and that's not condescending, I truly would be b/c the murderer is so far from the obvious, (it was an Ourang-Outang).  No, that is not a joke, read the story.  The Mystery of Marie Roget, was a nice touch (which by-the-by is a sequel, or continuation, however you choose to perceive it, to Rue Morgue).  I was however hoping that when Poe's house was set ablaze, in the movie, it would have some elements of 'The Black Cat', but alas it did not. At any rate, I enjoyed the debauchery of Poe, as was true to his character, but it did seem forced.  His true life demise was entrenched in mystery as any of his stories he wrote, and to this day, still unsolved.  In the movie he dies right after finding Emily, but in real life, he went missing for 6-days only to be found on a park bench, raving (delicious pun intended) incoherently, wearing another man's clothes.  This could've been incorporated in the movie, but they would've had to go a different route with some of the plot.  I know some may have issues with the fact that this wasn't a biopic, per se, but I loved the mixture of fact and fiction.  There are several "historical fiction" books out there that do this very thing, and weave a pretty impressive and intriguing story.  The Raven could have been utterly amazing and unique in its premise, and to a small extent, it was, but it went for the safe formulaic plot that those not familiar with Poe would enjoy, or at least in the minds of the film makers, the viewers would enjoy.  I relate it to Sleepy Hollow and Sherlock Holmes (movies), the former I enjoyed, the latter not-so-much.  Though those were more "inspired" by the actual books, as opposed to historical ficion.
I also did not think the gore was over the top.  The scene from The Pit and the Pendulum was gruesome to be sure, but it could've been much worse (refer to Saw pt.500, guts and intestines were shown in that shoddy rip off of Poe's masterpiece).  Bottom line, is this movie worth seeing, yes.  Do you need to see it in the movie theatre, not necessarily, but I do not regret having done so.  It was enjoyable and allowed me to,for a moment, suspend belief and enjoy a unique look at a deliciously wonderful "what-if", "alternate universe" of Poe and his works of art.   I give it X1/2-XX's out of 3 XXX's on my Sexxy movie rating scale.  Stay Entertained! Happy Viewing!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

J.Sexxy's Review of The Lightning Thief, the movie, (and a bit of a J.Rant)...

Ugh, so not happy with this movie adaption of The Lightning Thief.  By no means was the book exactly fine literature, but it was enjoyable and entertaining and, like The Hunger Games, so easy to adapt to film.  And yet both movies failed, IMO, to capture the books.  Now let me preface by saying I know that a movie can't translate everything that is in a book, that's the beauty of books, they hold something special, their words and our imaginations.  I don't want everything from the book in the movie, b/c the books ARE special and feel like a part of you that no one else will get. 
Now having said that, why the flaming fig newton do they have to take out absolute key plot points and cool scenes?!  Again I get why things are omitted but not so glaring key plot points.  Hollywood has a way of dumbing down our literature b/c they feel the audience isn't patient or smart enough to "get" it.  So we sit here and get Cliff's Notes versions of our favourite books and, to me, it's quite offensive.  These movies not only fail to capture the heart & soul of the books, but they also fail to capture the heart & soul of the avid reader. 
Now I know these movies appeal to a great many people, obviously money talks and from ticket sales it appears that the audience are exactly what Hollywood thinks they are.  We compromise our intelligence and right to be entertained by saying, "Oh it wasn't that bad", "Yeah they left a lot out, but it was OK".  Even though deep down inside the little bookie in us just died a little from saying it.  We make excuses and we shell out our money like well trained parapets.  I used to blame Hollywood, but really it's the viewer that is the cause of this atrocity.
As a huge Stephen King fan, I'm used to movies destroying books I love, but it never ceases to amaze how bad some of these movies really are in comparison to the books they are based.  It's like they are testing how far they can go.  "Let's leave one of the most important plot points from the book, out, and ooo we don't need this character.  What?  The whole plot ends depends on key scenes involving that character?  Who cares, these zombies won't know the difference and if they do they'll lap it up like brains on a buffet". (had to get a zombie shout out in there)
If you've read the Percy Jackson books, you won't like this movie, if you haven't read them, you will.  One more thing... After seeing THG, The Lightning Thief, one of the Twinkie movies, I've come to this realization.  Today's crop of youth actors, suck.  They have the acting range of a peanut.  No wait, I take that back, that's mean.  A peanut can act better.  I mean it fools everyone into thinking it's either a pea or nut, when in fact it is a legume.  I would rather pay to see a canister of Planters peanuts act out a Shakespeare play, than pay to see another one of these YA movies.  To be or not to be... a nut.  Classic. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Percy Jackson Books

Started reading the Percy Jackson books last week and now on book 2, The Sea of Monsters.  Very enjoyable books.  Not as good as the HP books, but they are good.  Fun, light, enjoyable reads.  And I love the Greek Mythology theme.  I'll give review of the 1st 3 books when I finish them all.  Stay Booked! Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

This was my 1st foray into the Steampunk genre and it did not disappoint.  I mean it's a book about 1800's Seattle in vain of Jules Verne and has zombies!  It's basically Jules Verne/George Romero hybrid.  BUT and there's a big but, and not the Sir-Mix-A-Lot good kind of big but.  It was a far cry from the thought provoking, imagination bending prose of Verne and far less scarier than Romero's works. 
Book synopsis:  Cherie Priest's much-anticipated steampunk debut has finally arrived in the form of a paperback original. Its plot features the sort of calibrated suspense that readers of her Four and Twenty Blackbirds would expect. Boneshaker derives its title from the Bone-Shaking Drill Engine, a device designed to give Russian prospectors a leg up in the race for Klondike gold. Unfortunately, there was one hitch: On its trial run, the Boneshaker went haywire and, long story short, turned much of Seattle into a city of the dead. Now, 16 years later, a teenage boy decides to find out what is behind that mysterious wall. Can his mother save him in time? Zombie lit of the first order

JaSexxy's Synopsis: It didn't suck, not at all, but it wasn't OMSJ good either. I did enjoy it and it did keep me involved and entertained, it was just Priest's style wasn't that great.  She used italics wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much.  I mean like there was a word in italics every other bleeding sentence.  That got a bit annoying.  The characters are likable and you do sympathize with their plight and the machinery and vehicles were pretty cool.  There's a gun that sends off a huge sonic boom that immobilizes zombies for like 5mins, which I thought was pretty inventive and cool.  And made me want to invent it to have b4 the zombie apocalypse actually happens. I'll keep you updated on my progress with that.  Anyway, back to the book. It wasn't a typical zombie book and it wasn't a "You're the chosen one" kind of book, which I liked b/c I feel I've read too many of those of late.  This was the 1st book in The Clockwork Century series and I plan on continuing the adventure, but it isn't like I need to run out and get book 2 right now.  It ended open-ended but not with a cliffhanger.  Though I am looking forward to finding out what happens next, I'm not chomping at the bit (bit of zombie ref for ya), to get to it.  Overall I give it a XX rating (that's out of 3X's) maybe 1 1/2 X's.  I def rec it but wouldn't say, GO NOW AND GET IT!  I will read more of this genre though b/c I think it's wicked cool.  Stay Booked! Happy Reading!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

TWD.TPB GN'S 13-15

 I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Seriously these books are so frippen amazing.  It's been a long time since I've read anything that literally has me gasping, and cursing and talking out loud; "Oh come on!", "Are you f**king kidding me?!", "No f**king way that just happened!", and so on.  LoL.  These GN's are beautifully illustrated and amazingly well written.  I sit there all tense from the suspense of the story.  What I love and ironically dislike at the same time is that NO ONE is safe.  Not even the "main" characters.  You start to love a character, boom dead!  Or some tragedy befalls them.  It's insane.  But it's realistic (as realistic as a zombie tale can be lol).   But seriously, every movie, TV show, book has the hero and band of "good" people that ALL survive the odds, but that's so not realistic.  We've lived this life long enough to know one constant, life ain't fair.  The good don't always win, nor do they always survive.  In a world based on death and destruction and at any second it can only get worse, this series
 does it honest and true to life.  Even a non-zombie life.  So please do yourself a favour and read this series.  Forgot about that it's about zombies, or a world that is "impossible" to be, that's just the icing on the zombie cake.  Read them because they are enthralling, well written, realistic and pure macabre fun.  Read them b/c you love to read and appreciate a thrilling story that keeps you on edge EVERY SINGLE BOOK, EVERY SINGLE PAGE.  Every one ending with a cliffhanger that makes you hungry for more.  I devour every book like a zombie noshing on a fat kid.  :)
TWD.13: Too Far Gone - Our group that we've come to know and love has started to decrease in numbers, but we've also gained some new, very likable characters, for spoilers sake I won't say who is no longer with the living, but not with the living dead either.  At any rate in book 12 our group was found and brought to a community that has been built and survived for years.  Our jaded group doesn't know whether to trust it and its "citizens" or not.  It's too good to be true.  So
we end up not knowing to trust the community or not.  But the crazy part is, we start to not trust our beloved group either.  Are they starting to become the "evil" people that they've encountered on the road?  We just don't know.  This leads into TWD.14: No Way Out, which by far has been the OMSJing book of them all!  It is really hard for me to not give anything away, but trust me when I say it was a tense, suspenseful read that only furthered my love for this series.  Course it also made me cuss b/c I didn't have book 15 yet.  LoL.  But needless to say I went out and got as soon as I could.  Which leads to TWD.15: We Find Ourselves.  This book begins fantastic b/c and keeps a steady pace throughout.  It isn't as tense and suspenseful as the others, but it was equally as good.  It also gave a hint of what the next drama was going to be in the future books and ended with a coupling of 2 "main" characters that I knew were gonna end up together eventually.  I cannot wait for TWD.16!  Highest rating XXX.  READ THIS SERIES!!  WTYZM!! (Word to your zombie moms) ;)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Revenge of the Baby-SatThe Revenge of the Baby-Sat by Bill Watterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Satirical and heartwarming and just flat out frippen funny! Used to read C&H in the newspaper and when I saw the (collected works) books I had to have them. I have 4 C&H books an love then all. I really can't see how anyone can't enjoy them. Highest rating XXX. Stay Booked! Happy Reading!

View all my reviews

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sexxy Book Challenge Catacombs

This Sexxy Book Challenge Catacomb is a list of my yearly Boals and what books I read to reach them.

2012 Boal did not go well for me.  I had set a modest 34 boal for my Reading Challenge, but unfortunately was only able to read 26.  Bigh (book-sigh).

Original Post:
2012 Boal is on!  I want to read 34 books to get my total "Read Books" to 250.  The ambitious bookie in me wants to so go for 84, and I still may, but it's going to be a busy year so I don't think I'll be able to make that boal.  So here are the books of honour to be read.  These are in no particular order, nor is this list set in stone.  Some on this list may get replaced by another book and I will def be adding more to it if I feel like I can surpass my 34 boal.

  1. The Angel's Game
  2. The Revenge of the Baby-Sat 
  3. Dinosaurs Love Underpants
  4. The Walking Dead: Too Far Gone (#13)
  5. The Walking Dead: No Way Out (#14)
  6. The Walking Dead: We Find Ourselves (#15)
  7. The Stranger 
  8. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  9. Boneshaker
  10. Bag of Bones
  11. Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief (#1)
  12. Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters (#2)
  13. Percy Jackson: The Titan's Curse (#3)
  14. Pillars of Earth: TPOE.1
  15. A Game of Thrones: A Song of Fire & Ice (#1)
  16. The Graveyard Book
  17. Lady Chatterley's Lover
  18. Lockdown: Escape From Furnace (#1)
  19. Solitary: Escape From Furnace (#2)
  20. The Walking Dead: A Larger World (#16)
  21. Fall of Giants
  22. The Prisoner of Heaven
  23. Batman: Earth One
  24. Close to Shore: The Terrifying Shark Attacks of 1916
  25. Gone Girl
  26. A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, and The Cricket On the Hearth (one volume)
Once a book is completed it will be placed in the order it was read and have a strikethrough. I'm very excited by this challenge and even more excited about the amazing book adventures I'll be having!

Well the 2011 Reading Season has come to an end.  I am proud to say I made my boal!  50 books read for a grand total of having read 216 books overall.  I will be announcing my 2012 Boal very soon, so stay booked!  I will also be posting my overall review J.Sexx Quickie Reviews on all the books I read in 2011.  Lots to come this year and I'm quite excited to get started!  Congrats to all those on their 2011 Boals whether you completed them or not, it was always about getting some damn good reads in, so that in itself is success.  GL to all those that will be starting 2012 Book Challenges.  Stay Booked!

Original Post:
I had set a boal for the 2011 Book Reading Season and that is to have read 200 books by Jan. 2012. I am currently at 202, but as I stated on my Facebook Book Club Page (join by following the link from my home page) I have upped that goal to 215.  So here are the books of honour to be read. The strikethrough books are the ones I've read in the order I've read them.  The others are what I plan on reading, but those will change as my tastes of the moment will.

  1. Water Room
  2. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh
  3. FaeFever
  4. Smoke & Mirrors
  5. The Continual Condition
  6. Water for Elephants
  7. Rebecca
  8. DreamFever
  9. Full Dark, No Stars
  10. High Fidelity
  11. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  12. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
  13. Life, the Universe and Everything
  14. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
  15. Anthem
  16. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
  17. The Hunger Games
  18. Catching Fire
  19. Catcher in the Rye
  20. Mockingjay
  21. We the Living
  22. To Kill a Mockingbird
  23. World War Z
  24. Bossypants
  25. The Man Who Loved Books Too Much
  26. Delta of Venus
  27. Into the Wild
  28. The Thief of Always
  29. Dexter: Darkly Dreaming (Bk.1)
  30. Dexter: Dearly Devoted (Bk.2)
  31. The Walking Dead: Days Gone By (Bk.1)
  32. The Three Musketeers 
  33. The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead
  34. Zombie in Love
  35. The Hellbound Heart
  36. Mister B. Gone
  37. The Walking Dead: Miles Behind Us (#2)
  38. The Walking Dead: Safety Behind Bars (#3)
  39. The Walking Dead: The Heart's Desire (#4)
  40. The Walking Dead: The Best Defense (#5)
  41. Loving Frank
  42. The Walking Dead: This Sorrowful Life (#6)
  43. The Walking Dead: The Calm Before (#7)
  44. The Walking Dead: Made To Suffer (#8)
  45. The Walking Dead: Here We Remain (#9)
  46. The Walking Dead: What We Become (#10)
  47. Fight Club
  48. The Walking Dead: Fear The Hunters (#11)
  49. The Walking Dead: Fear The Hunters (#12)
  50. The Rum Diary