Monthly Archives: May 2017

All the Books Show: Episode 90 – The 90s. Best Decade Ever?

So close to being up to date with these podcast posts, I can taste it. It taste like latent victory and that’s A-Okay in my book!

Now, to answer that very rhetorical question in the title. Yes, they were the best. Power Rangers, Animorphs, Super Nintendo, Jurassic Park, Sugar Ray, ect. So, lets get in our time machine and see what was super cool back then. What was rad.

captainplanet3-thumb-620x459-27478For a refrence point, I was 4-13, during the 90s.

Oh, did you like the 80s? Too bad. They stink. Everyone knows it but they can’t admit it because they invested so much in them. The 90s were where it was at.

Unless life was terrible for you in the 90s. That would affect your feelings, yeah.

You can follow us on Soundcloud, Youtube or iTunes and even Twitter! I’m sure there’s another, cool platform I’m forgetting but you can follow us on that too!

See you next week, podcats!

All the Books Show: Episode 89 – Dreams Are Not Enough

Lonely Hearts Book Club! And it sounds like a James Bond movie that never happened!

51j27q2bmr8l-_sx323_bo1204203200_We do talk the Edgar Awards, but again, I don’t love mysteries. I also don’t love books getting left behind. And that’s why we talk about a book in our collection that hasn’t checked out in decades. Sure, it’s not a book I would read. But maybe you would! Maybe you like those kinds of books! Maybe you don’t even know you like them because you’ve never tried. How can you know you don’t like it if you’ve never tried it! If you don’t eat your meat, how can you have any pudding?!

Don’t look at me, I’ve tried those sensual mystery books. I know myself.

You can follow us on Soundcloud, Youtube or iTunes and even Twitter! I’m sure there’s another, cool platform I’m forgetting but you can follow us on that too!

See you next week, podcats!

All the Books Show: Episode 88 – Stuck in a Book Rut

This happens to the best of us. We love to read and then that love turns on us. Turns us into something we never wanted to be. A person who doesn’t like reading.

That’s how I live my life. Dramatically.

We also have a fan song. Because we’ve been going on for a long time and our fans are restless with their love. You can find that song at minute 16:16 and play it over and over.

You can follow us on Soundcloud, Youtube or iTunes and even Twitter! I’m sure there’s another, cool platform I’m forgetting but you can follow us on that too!

See you next week, podcats!

Logan

logan_1_origI’ve talked a lot about the X-Men and their movies on this blog that, even though I’m behind, I’d be remiss not to talk about Logan. And since it’s now out in stores, everyone can watch the movie. Including me. Forever.

Logan broke me. I’ve seen movies that made me sad, that got me emotional but few have hit me so hard that I had to bring it up in therapy. Yes, Logan is an action movie, full of blood and violence and adamantium claws doing what adamantium claws do. But, it’s also a powerful piece of legacy, aging, family and your place in the world, no matter how bloody.

And all of that is well done and can effect you alone. Normally, it would get me to that emotional level as well. But the reason Logan got me was something I’m not sure the movie should be blamed for. The end of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and the ultimate fate of the character in the movie felt like a long, heavy book closing on my life and I was not prepared to deal with those emotions.

The first X-Men movie came out in 2000 and I was 14 at the time. It changed my life in pop culture related ways, getting me into comics and making me a fan of the characters and the Marvel universe. But, as a weird, unpopular and messed up teenager, the X-Men gave me a place that I wanted to go and live, gave me characters that I wouldn’t to be friends with and take me in like a family. Not since Animorphs had I found a world and characters that felt so real that I could almost see the door.

And Hugh Jackman was there from the start and he’s stayed for seventeen years. As my life has gone on and changed, as I’ve dropped out of school and graduated college and got married and traveled around and said goodbye to friends and family, this has been a constant. Hugh Jackman as Wolverine has been one thing, one of the very few things, that hasn’t changed, that I could expect on a regular basis. And while he’s always teased retiring from the role, it always seemed like something vague, something I wouldn’t really see.

And I didn’t think watching his last performance would be as emotional for me. I mean, it’s just a character. I can read Wolverine adventures in the comics, rewatch the movies, there’s plenty out there. But it dawned on me while watching Logan that the character, as played by Jackman, is one of the most consistent father figures I’ve ever had. The character has been something I could trust was going to be there. And yes, it’s also because I love the character and Jackman’s portrayal of him and I don’t want it to end.

But like Logan in the film, I had to face how much older I am than when this all started. I had to except that I may someday die very far from home, that the world won’t be the same as when I was younger. That family and loved ones leave. There was a lot I wasn’t expecting to come to the surface.

I’m not 14 anymore, free from the oppressive figures that had been in my life. I’m not the 17 I was when the second movie came out and I was a dropout with no direction. Nor am I the 21 that I was when the third movie came out and I was about to start college. It goes on and I’m not that age anymore.

I’m still not sure I’m explaining this well enough. I don’t want the character to end? Is that what I’m trying to say? This run is over and it’s been so integral in my life there’s an empty space now. It’s its bigger than I thought it would be. I know how this sounds, but it’s like I lost a friend, or family. Because Logan wasn’t just an end for Hugh Jackman’s role, but it has a sense of finality for the X-Men series as well.

And I wasn’t ready.

All the Books Show: Episode 87 – You Got Your Hugo Awards in My Pulitzer Prize!

What could we possibly be talking about this episode? And how blatant is our need to kill two birds with one very big, craggy rock?

6045ea67-7229-4460-be3b-40669435f09c_640x960But in all seriousness, we talk about the Hugo Award nominations and the Pulitzer Prize winners. History hasn’t proven the Pulitzer Prize very good at picking books that stick. Looking back, it’s not just that I haven’t read those winners, I’ve never heard of them. And sure, I’m not a great yardstick for success, but how many have you heard of? Come on. How MANY?!

However, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead has been everywhere this year and I wouldn’t be surprised if if continues to stay in the public consciousness for a long time. Plus, whenever HBO turns it into miniseries.

The Hugos, on the other hand, has plenty of books I’ve heard of and read, but I’m also into science fiction. But I have to image some of you have heard the phrase Starship Troopers before, even if you haven’t read it. You should. It’s excellent.

Though, I never recognize the nominations for the Hugo Awards of that year. And is all that controversy over yet?

You can follow us on Soundcloud, Youtube or iTunes and even Twitter! I’m sure there’s another, cool platform I’m forgetting but you can follow us on that too!

See you next week, podcats!

All the Books Show: Episode 86 – It’s About Mysteries… Or Is It?!

Working through the episodes and we have an episode where we talk about mysteries but I keep acting like that fact is up in the air, like a mystery. It’s a hilarious bit, maybe my best.

ee542738c49ce188dc261841310171f1Of course, a big reason we did this is because last episode we talked about and to Julia Spencer-Fleming! Do you like mysteries? Do you think they’re fun? Are you like me and hate the tease and just want to know who did what and when?

Honestly, the only mysteries that I enjoy are in my superhero comics and that’s because I know all the players. I can’t get into that when I just meet the characters that very book. Call it a flaw if you want, I call it quirky and adorable.

But I do recommend Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie and I’m excited for the movie.

You can follow us on Soundcloud, Youtube or iTunes and even Twitter! I’m sure there’s another, cool platform I’m forgetting but you can follow us on that too!

See you next week, podcats!

Book Review – Dragon Teeth

dragonteeth-cover-liveI read Dragon Teeth months ago because I got a Advance Readers Copy because I’m a librarian, but I’m talking about it now because I’m a bad blogger.

So this is a western, using dinosaur bones as a means of getting me to read a genre I tend to avoid. In fact, this might only be third western I’ve ever read (the other two being Doc by Mary Doria Russell  and Appaloosa by Robert B. Parker, both recommended). I can’t say I’m not disappointed by Dragon Teeth, because what I wanted was dinosaur-facts and paleontology. And, to be fair, the cover wants so badly to remind us of Jurassic Park that we can’t be faulted for expecting something else.

But what about this book as it is? It reads like Crichton’s early work, having more in common with The Great Train Robbery than Jurassic Park. This is history brought to life through action and characters that are almost on tour through the world’s events. Our main protagonist, William Johnson, is that classic Crichton non-character, a cipher for the world and ideas the author wants to explore. Johnson is our lead because he has to get to the dinosaur bones, because he has to get to Deadwood, because he has to meet Wyatt Earp. He’s not going down as a great character, but then, which Crichton characters do we remember apart from their movie counterparts? Even Ian Malcolm is more of machine to ramble chaos theory than a living, breathing character.

The action is fine in Dragon Teeth, this isn’t a book of ideas but history and the history never stands out. You miss the depth of research presented in Crichton’s other work, those wonderful paragraphs of information that trick you in to learning.

But we have to be patient with this book. It’s not like Crichton wanted this read. He didn’t submit this to be published. It strikes me that he finished it, decided the Terminal Man and Congo were better and simply moved on from this draft. Reviewing this book feels unfair because what we’re reading is a draft, written by a younger man who learned better from it.

While it’s incredibly sad for me that this will be (most likely) the last book we see published under Crichton’s name, it’s not the best one to go out on. But being a book that was written so early in his career, there’s a nostalgia to it as well. It almost brings all his work full circle, asking us to start all over again.