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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:54 pm 
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Dr Frankenollie wrote:
I've temporarily stopped reading 20,000 Leagues, and recently read Around the World in 80 Days, a far superior Jules Verne novel.


I also found Journey to the Centre of the Earth to be a better novel than 20,000 Leagues, for similair reasons. Disney did right to make some changes to the story of "20K" when they made their movie.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:49 pm 
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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Volume I: I love this book for many reasons: the superb characterisation, like with Mina Murray's sadness and fear beneath a prim-and-proper attitude and the Invisible Man's psychotic tendencies; the delight of recognising characters in the background like the Artful Dodger; Kevin O'Neill's art style; and the marvellous twist in the plot, when we find out who M is. It's a spectacular story and one that encouraged me to read some classic sci-fi literature. The Black Dossier is quite a delight too, with the brilliant little references scattered everywhere, such as the comic with Jane and Blanche Hudson, the magazine Mina reads with Norma Desmond on the cover, the characters Billy Bunter and the off-screen (or should it be 'off-page'?) O'Brien...it's fun to try and find all the in-jokes and name all the cameo characters.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:38 am 
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Full Dark, No Stars- Stephen King

I really must say, wow. I've read countless Stephen King works before, but this one really blew me away. I wasn't expecting something so powerful and dark. I was thoroughly impressed.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:38 pm 
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Silver Tears by Ron Rogers

it's a book I won on GoodReads that's not published by a major company (from what I checked). The author was even kind enough to sign it for me.

So far from what I've read, it centers around several people who have had loved ones involved in a plane crash caused by an unknown force.

I was also reading the third book in the Vish Puri series but I might put that aside for now.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:00 pm 
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More graphic novels...

Batman: Year One - Not as great as I was expecting based on the high praise, but still a rather good, influential story. It focuses quite a bit on Gordon, and I enjoyed his point-of-view as much as, if not more so, than Batman's; I also liked the dark realism of Gotham and the corruption in the police and the grim art style.

Watchmen - Even with all the high praise it receives, I didn't anticipate it to be better than my former favourite graphic novel ever, The Dark Knight Returns, but it was. It is a grand, fascinating masterpiece of storytelling, with an immensely rich alternate history that has been fully thought out: for example, we learn that pirate comics became popular around the sixties due to the real life superheroes. It's rather ahead-of-its-time, deconstructing the superhero concept and showing what it would be like in the real world, attracting delusional madmen and sexual deviants and proving not to be heroes at all. The backdrop of the Cold War makes the society presented all the gloomier and also sets up the ingenious plan of the antagonist, raising many ethical and philosophical questions along the way. Who is in the right? Ozymandias or Rorsharch? Is the nihilistic Comedian someone who fully understands humanity and where it's going, or a sadistic psychopath using the darkness of the world as an excuse for his shocking actions? The deep, fully-realised psychological profiles for the characters are fascinatingly unravelled; none are the conventional heroes, and the single character who doesn't believe in compromises and sees the world only in black-and-white is, at least in my opinion, a self-contradicting, childish and stubborn man. Yet despite this, he also earns my pity and understands life better than most. Meanwhile, the antagonist of the story is not the traditionally evil supervillain of old comics, but one whose motives are understandable and is arguably even in the right. I love the clever parallels, like between Ozymandias and the Black Freighter comic; I love the side characters like newstand guy Bernie; I love the inventive use of colour for mood and atmosphere; I love the supplementary fictitious documents like book excerpts and newspaper articles that come at the end of all chapters but the last...the list of what I enjoyed about this graphic novel goes on and on. In short, I love Watchmen, for its art, its plot, its characters, its questions on morality and how, in some way, it pays tribute to every age and style of the superhero.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:47 pm 
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I got through Silver Tears. I found it an enjoyable read for an unknown author.

Right now, I am starting I Am Number Four - I was kind of hesitant to read this given that more than one author is behind it (and the polarizing reviews). So far, though, I think its decent for a Sci-Fi book.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:39 am 
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Last week I read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. I'd only ever read one other slave narrative (Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs), and so I kept comparing the two, haha. It was pretty well written, especially for a self-taught person (he used words I didn't even know, haha). It's pretty different from Incidents because it focused more on the brutality of slavery, whereas Incidents focused heavily on the familial repercussions of slavery.

This week I'm reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; I haven't read this since I was a junior in high school, so I'm definitely in need of a refresher. This and Narrative are for my Orphans class. I'm also reading (though it's more of a story, I guess) Sir Gawain and the Green Knight for my British Survey course. Luckily, though, I have those two classes of today so I can catch up.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:32 am 
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Finished I am Number Four a while ago. Pretty decent for a teen book but not really memorable.

More of what I read:

The Power of Six - Another decent entry in the series and an improvement over the first book.
O.M.A.C. Vol 1 - A graphic novel I got for free on Goodreads. It had it's moments.
The Last Free Man- Another book I won off Goodreads. It's a lesser known book about a guy who becomes famous for being the last person without an account on a social network website. It was okay, but nothing to write home about.

I am now reading another Goodreads book: Trust, which is supposed to be an anti-sci-fi book.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:07 pm 
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Currently reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky. I've wanted to read it for a while, and decided that I should read it before I see the movie. So far, I really like it!

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:49 pm 
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I finished The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn a few minutes ago. It's pretty good, and there's tons of stuff in there that easily makes it one of the best American novels ever written. It's not one of my favorites, though; Tom Sawyer's a pain in the ass, and even though Huck Finn thinks things through he's kind of annoying (he's definitely a better character than Tom, though).

For my British Survey course I'm reading a few of the tales from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (namely the General Prologue, the Miller's Tale and the Wife of Bath's Tale).

When I was in Stratford last weekend I purchased Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, which I'm itching to read; unfortunately, with all the other reading I have to do, I have to put that off until at least Fall Break (which is in mid-October).

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:31 pm 
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The Grapes of Wrath - I'm nearly halfway through. Besides the dull naming of the roads and towns the Joads travel past, I'm enjoying it quite a bit. Steinbeck's similes and metaphors are ingenious and quite memorable and the characters are well fleshed out and interesting, especially Reverend Jim Casy and the increasingly 'Bolsheviky' Tom Joad.

The Necronomicon - For me, The Call of Cthulhu has, hands down, the best opening paragraph of any story. Lovecraft hasn't really crept me out or horrified me greatly, but his cosmic horror tales are very entertaining nonetheless. Unfortunately, the first person diary formula of storytelling sometimes leads to cringe-worthy contrivances (like at the end of Dagon; would the narrator really keep writing when in danger?).


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:48 pm 
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Fast Food Nation- Decent but it is probably full of dated information. The historical side is interesting though.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:07 pm 
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The Grapes of Wrath: Finished it a few days ago. This is the first book that nearly made me tearful, and is doubtlessly one of the best I've ever read. Ma Joad was a fascinating character, being both progressive and traditionalistic, and working hard despite her pain and increasing sadness. Ruthie and Winfield were two of the best and most realistic portrayals of children in fiction I've ever encountered; Tom's transformation was compelling; and the descriptions were frequently beautiful and extremely inventive. It's sad that Steinbeck believed his work was so poor and didn't think he deserved the fame and success he earned.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:11 am 
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I haven't read anything in a while so I thought I'd reread old books that I forgot about... Oh and got free from my high school's library. God bless withdrawals :)

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:21 pm 
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Just received my copy of Rowling's The Casual Vacancy in the mail today, and started reading it. It opened fairly flat for me, but I have a feeling it's just a slow builder. I see there's some potential here after the Shirley Mollison "chapter" near the beginning. I do feel there's a little too much trying to shock here, which is unnecessary, but language or vulgarity doesn't bother me as long as that's not all that's going on.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:47 pm 
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I totally forgot to write on here that I've been reading Faulkner's Light in August this and last week for my Orphans class. This is the second time I've read it and I'm definitely picking up things more (though I missed a couple things this time, too). It's so dense, but it's pretty good (well, compared to Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, which I despise). Joe Christmas, however, is kind of annoying; I would have liked to have seen more Lena, to be honest.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:43 am 
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I am reading The Hobbit for a Goodreads book club.

I also have another book I plan on starting; The Wizard of Crescent Moon Mountain

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:37 pm 
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Currently Reading

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:31 pm 
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The Great Gatsby- I adore Fitzgerald's use of language, painting a vivid picture better than any other writer I've ever come across and manipulating words and imagery in an ingenious, creative manner. This book's an incessantly quotable body of verbal beauty, written so colourfully, yet rather concisely. I also like how none of the characters are barely heroic or villainous; instead, the intriguing figure of Gatsby is flawed and the arguable antagonist, Tom Buchanan, is sometimes a sympathetic character.

I'm not sure about the casting choices for the new Baz Luhrmann adaptation...DiCaprio is nothing like how I envisage Gatsby and I'm uncertain about his suitability.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:06 pm 
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I finished Light in August quite awhile ago. Since then I have read Edith Wharton's Summer (which is decent, but I much prefer Ethan Frome), and now I am reading Jane Jeong Trenka's The Language of Blood. I like it so far, but I'm not really all that into memoirs.

In addition to my need to read Brideshead Revisited, I'm also eager to read Out of Oz, The Casual Vacancy, and Cloud Atlas (which are all waiting for me at home; and I'll have to read them all during Christmas break).

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