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All the Books Show: Episode 227 – 2019 in Review

On this week’s episode of the All the Books Show, we look back at they year that was 2019.

And, to quote Jay Sherman…it stinks.

So, long 2019! Hope we surive to see 2029!

You can follow us on SoundcloudYoutube 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 224 – Goodreads Choice Awards 2019

Oh, hey, it’s the Goodreads Choice Awards! Getting less important every year!

I like a good book award. More than something like the Oscars. But, this award is outliving it’s usefulness. Look, if you voted for The Institute by Stephen King as best horror, you were wrong and wrong to do so. Outside of that book being one of my least favorite reads in a while, it’s in no way horror. Scifi-lite, but not horor.

These awards are really starting to feel like, “Oh, I know that name, sure, I’ll vote…CLICK!” and that means I have less and less time for them each year.

Anyway, we talk the winners.

You can follow us on SoundcloudYoutube 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 223 – Favorite Books of the Decade

It’s already been a decade? Wait, from when? Why don’t we do this every year? Anniversary things like this are dumb, why do we do them? Who cares how old The Matrix is. Ramble, ramble, ramble…

The point is, we talk about our favorite books of the decade. Not the most important books and all that. Literally the books we liked from the decade. Which means your favorite books didn’t make it! Maybe next decade!

Decade. That would be a cool name, right? “Hello, my name is Officer Jacobs and this is my partner, Decade. He’s the best there is at Robocide cases like this and we’re going to find out who deleted your husband.”

You can follow us on SoundcloudYoutube 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!

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl: mini movie review

Seems like my problems with the book weren’t fixed with the movie…

the looking glass

me and earl and the dying girl 1.jpg

Okay, so… it’s a The Fault in Our Stars pretext, but with an indie spin, and a guy who likes to make parodies of old films?

I knew that Me and Earl and the Dying Girl would have the potential to be either stunning or awkwardly terrible.

And unfortunately, it leaned towards the more disappointing end of the spectrum.

So Greg thinks he’s the coolest outsider of all time, and incredibly absurd and funny. He and Earl like to make parodies of old movies together- Gone with My Wind, A Sockwork Orange, Death in Tennis… and then Rachel is diagnosed with leukaemia. Greg’s mom forces him to go hang out with her.

They become friends, are kind of in love, and then Earl and Greg decide to make a film for Rachel, and it is such a bad film that it changes their lives…

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Here are things…

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Random Thoughts on “The Girl Before” by J.P. Delaney

My wife reviews The Girl Before by J. P. Delaney! I don’t have to read it now!

Musings From A Music Box

I have been on a murder mystery kick lately and for some reason have no desire to pick up anything else. I heard about “The Girl Before” by J.P. Delaney from one of my favorite podcasts All the Books. The hosts found it hilarious that the book was about a “sadistic architect” who takes control of a girl living in a house he built. They joked about it so much I decided to give it a read.

Each chapter of the book jumps between the accounts of Emma (the girl before?) and Jane (the girl now). I thought this would get confusing at first but its not too hard to distinguish the two. Both girls are “damaged” in some way when they begin living in the house at One Folgate Streeet and as the book progresses each of their pasts is unraveled. Emma recently experienced a burglary at her…

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5 Albums to Try if You Like Their Singles

My wife directs our attention to the best music.

Musings From A Music Box

I often find that I love different singles I hear on the radio or Spotify but when I listen to the whole album, its a dud. Here are 5 albums that won’t disappoint if you like the band or their radio singles!

Imagine Dragons

We’ve heard Radioactive over and over again till nausea has set in but Imagine Dragons is actually a much better band than just that hit. If you like their radio singles I would recommend their album “Smoke and Mirrors.” There is not a bad song on the album. I like this album because all the songs are sing-able and catchy but also different than every pop song on the radio. The most famous songs from this album are probably “I Bet My Life” and “Polaroid” but my favorite are “Shots”,  and “I’m So Sorry.” This is a great road trip album or get excited album or…

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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!

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.

Super Hero Movies: Excitement Level Check 2017

Oh boy. 2017, am I right? It’s going to be busy for people like me, who go to the theater for every single superhero movie. We have seven of them coming out this year, if you count The Lego Batman Movie. And you should count it. Don’t be so cold.

The Lego Batman Movie (February 10)

Just like my rundown for 2016, I’m putting this list out too late to give my predictions for the first super hero movie of the year. Because The Lego Batman movie is already out, and I’ve already seen it! But if I had to guess, I’d say I’ll like it.

I say that because I did like it. As someone who didn’t love The Dark Knight Rises and just feels sorry for Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, it was nice to feel excited for a Batman movie again It actually packed a few emotional punches I wasn’t ready to handle. While the film was never as funny as its first 15-20 minutes, it was enjoyable, beautifully and uniquely animated and still true to Batman as a character.

Excitement Level = Everything is Awesome

 

Logan (March 3)

While my love for the X-Men movies has always been strong, the Wolverine solo films are at 50% approval rating. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is one of the worst super hero films ever and killed a slew of planned X-Men solo films. The Wolverine, on the other hand, is one of my favorites, both as an X-Men and super hero film. It was thoughtful, true to the character and unique. And now the same creative team is putting out what might be the last show for Hugh Jackman’s iconic take of the world’s favorite mutant.

I’ll save the emotions I have about seeing the man who played one of my favorite heroes for the past 17 years for after I see the film. I’m both excited to see another unique and focused take on the character, but the R rating doesn’t thrill me like it does for some. I get it and it makes sense when a man’s powers are razor sharp claws that can cut through bone like paper. I just don’t need gore and f-bombs for the sake of being grown up. But then, I’m lame.

That hesitation aside, I’m excited for this. I like the western-vibe the trailers are providing, I like the inclusion of X-23 and I’m always happy to see Wolverine cut loose. If this is as good as the Wolverine, I think we’ll be very happy.

Excitement Level = X-Static

 

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (May 5)

One of the best Marvel films is getting a sequel. The first movie did a better job with the characters than some of their comic outings and it was hilarious to boot. I’m having a hard time coming up with things to say about the first movie, just because it was as good as it was and most people saw it. I should watch it again.

The second outing looks like more of the same, but in this case, that should be a good thing. With the introduction of these characters out of the way, we can get straight to the fun and team interaction. I’m pumped to see Kurt Russell in this film and to see how they pull of Ego the Living Planet. What’s great about 2017 is that, even with this movie coming out, it’s not the Marvel movie I’m most excited for, but we’ll get to that.

Excitement Level = High

 

Wonder Woman (June 2)

It’s 2017. They’ve been making big budget super hero movies since 1978. If we’re talking about the time since the first X-Men movie, than comic book movies have been in the golden age for 17 years. So it’s either been almost two or four decades before they made a Wonder Woman film. That’s insane, considering Warner Bros. and DC comics have made a Steel, Jonah Hex, Constantine, Catwoman and Suicide Squad movie before one of the biggest characters on the planet. They should be embarrassed.

Unfortunately, Wonder Woman is coming at a time where I’m not at all excited for DC movies. They just don’t seem to making super hero movies I want to see. And it has nothing to do with being dark and/or gritty. I like plenty of dark and/or gritty films, super heroes are no exception. If I’m enjoying Daredevil and Jessica Jones on Netflix, I can handle a grown up take on characters I like. But stupid, that’s another thing entirely. And Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad were stupid.

I want Wonder Woman to buck that trend. I want it to be great. And from the trailers I’ve seen, it looks like it could be something unique and exciting. While setting it in World War I might play a bit too close to Captain America: The First Avenger, I doubt it will be a problem. Here’s hoping that this is the first DC film since Man of Steel that values character over imagery, while still giving us the super heroics.

Excitement Level = Hopeful

 

Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 5)

Boy, just writing the title has made me tired.

It’s not that I don’t like Spider-Man! I love the guy! He’s one of my favorites. The first Spider-Man movie (2002) felt like a defining moment in my life and the sequel (2004) is one of my favorite movies ever, definitely in my top five super hero films of all time. It’s just that after fifteen years, five movies in which the last three weren’t the best and the speed of the reboot has left me underwhelmed.

Tom Holland was fantastic in Captain America: Civil War and he won me over quickly. I guess what keeps me from getting excited about this new movie is that we know what to expect from a Spider-Man film, a Marvel film, a coming of age film, ect. While we’re close to the film I’m most excited for, this one is at the bottom of my priorities. I’m sure it will be great. It will be charming, action-packed and a fun time. But that assurance also comes with a lack of anticipation. I hope to change my tune soon.

Excitement Level = Less than Amazing

 

Thor: Ragnarok (November 3)

Now we’re talking. Now we’re firing on all cylinders. Now we’re discussing a film with a director I’m excited to see work his weird craft. Taika Waititi is such a strange choice to helm the movie but I’m glad to see him aboard. This is a case of me liking both character and director for different reasons and wanting to see what the two will produce.

The Thor films are in this weird, separate world from the other Marvel films and I’ve liked both offerings. The second is underwhelming until Loki is on the scene, but the first is almost a near perfect origin film, almost on par with Iron Man.

Now the third is going to be bringing the Hulk into the fray, along with Doctor Strange, making an almost complete Defenders team-up (not the Netflix version of the Defenders, the comic version, with Thor standing in for Silver Surfer and Namor, the Sub-Mariner). I have high expectations for this one and I hope those are met.

Excitement Level = The Highest

 

Justice League (November 17)

Zach Snyder made a divisive Superman movie, one that I hate. But that’s okay, he gets a second chance with the first Batman/Superman team-up film. And then it was stupid. Embarrassingly so. Well, that’s okay. He may have film a crappy version of two heroes, but now he’s done and will move on…oh, wait. He’s going to direct the Justice League now.

Great. Just great. That’s fantastic. When thinking of the Justice League, I always see them as dark, violent, image focused and stupid idiots who get tricked by dumb villain plans. This should work out just fine.

Or maybe my sarcasm will be for naught. Maybe we’ll get an iconic, inspiring and larger than life story with some of the greatest heroes ever created. Maybe it won’t be warehouse scenes and mother issues and fish hobos and super villains no one has heard about. Maybe they’ll be surprised and fantastic character moments. Maybe Maybe Maybe…

Excitement Level = Not Again, Lord. Please. Not again.

All the Books Show Episode 79 – The Medium

So, what are we talking about this week? Graphic novels! Now, every week, in our Bookmark segment, Nic and I always have at least one graphic novel we’ve just read and talk about for a bit, but this week, we really focus on this medium.

The idea of this episode is to suggest graphic novels for those who don’t like superheroes, or maybe even graphic novels in general. If you think superheroes are silly and not worth your time, that’s great! Stay away from Spider-Man comics. But if you think that genre is all that makes up the world of graphic novels and the art form, get ready for a wild ride!

 

We talk Sandman, Usagi Yojimbo, Y: The Last Man, The Walking Dead, Saga, Paper Girls, Transmetropolitan, Fables, Ex Machina (actually, a lot of Brian K. Vaughan) and a lot more. It’s just another topic that I’ve been training my whole life for. If you want more from me on this, I wrote a blog a while ago about this very subject! Find it here.

We also talk book news and other events, including NBC’s list of books to read during Black History Month.

So, let us know what you think. Did we leave your favorite graphics out? Did this not win you over AT ALL. What else should we talk about?

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!