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Books Read: 2007 - Body by Henson, brain by Seuss. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kelly J. Cooper

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Books Read: 2007 [Jan. 22nd, 2007|04:44 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
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1. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
2. Greywalker by Kat Richardson
3. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

My thoughts:
1. Lamb was a Christmas gift from kimberlogic and I read it while in the early throes of this three-week-plus long odyssey I call "My Cold."

I'm pretty sure I finished it in 2007, but not positive. The details are hazy.

Anyway, I love Christopher Moore and have since I read Coyote Blue many years ago. I never got around to reading any of this other books, so I was delighted when I received Lamb and its praises from Kimberly.

It's a funny book. It's a wonderful take on Christianity and it plays fast and loose with history in a way I found utterly charming. It's also sad, both because you know how it's gonna end, and because it has a river of human suffering running through it. Still, it's also funny and intelligent and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

2. Greywalker has a kick-ass female protagonist who ends up, unwillingly, a supernatural sleuth. I have a gigantic soft-spot for supernatural sleuths, especially female ones.

On the plus side, she didn't have to get raped to turn into a woman warrior. On the minus side, she fails to articulate her painful confusion and this leads to more painful confusion, which is great for the plot by annoying as a personality trait. Another plus, she does NOT sleep with any of the damn vampires! Thank the literary gods. Another minus, the book is much better than your average first novel, but still has a few first novel flaws, albeit none really worth mentioning.

I liked it!

3. World War Z is by the same guy who wrote The Zombie Survival Guide, which I've read two or three times now.

This is my favorite quote about the book:
    "Max Brooks has charted the folly of a disaster response based solely on advanced technologies and brute force in this step-by-step guide to what happened in the Zombie War. Brooks' account of the path to recovery and reconstruction after the war is fascinating. World War Z provides us with a starting point, at least, a basic blueprint from which to build a popular understanding of how, when, and why such a disaster came to be, and how small groups and individuals survived." - Jeb Weisman, Ph.D., Director of Strategic Technologies, National Center for Disaster Preparedness
It's a set of narratives, collected by the author, provided by survivors of the Zombie war. It takes place somewhere around 15-20 years after the initial zombie attacks, 12 years after "victory" is declared. In this world, The Zombie Survival Guide, whose existence is only implied (and never specifically named), is considered a rather useful book (as it should be).

It's amazingly affective, reading to these snippets of stories, these tiny pieces of the larger world-wide experience standing in for the sorrows of entire nations. And it's a SHARP, razor sharp look at human foibles, government shortsightedness, and corporate greed. It's also a helluva collection of tactics and strategies; both working ones and failed ones, spectacularly stupid ones and brilliant ones. It certainly forced me to thoroughly revise my ZEP (Zombie Escape Plan or Zombie Evacuation Plan).

Supposedly, it's gonna be a movie in 2008 (Pitt and DiCaprio bid for it, before it was even published, and Pitt won).

IF (and ONLY if because spoilers abound in the rather extensive entry) you've already read it, I recommend the Wikipedia entry on it, which explains a few references that I didn't get while reading it (mainly, likely candidates for the real people Brooks based "The President," "The Bear," and the US AG upon; I figured out "The Whacko" pretty easily). There are more identies implied by Brooks that I don't know and Wikipedia doesn't explicitly mention, so if you wanna talk about them, drop me an email. If you're in the midst of reading it & just want to know who "The Bear" is or something when you come upon the reference, email me & I'll give you just that info.

Not that it's relevant to anything, but in case you're thinking "his name sounds familiar," Max Brooks is the son of Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft.

I'm going to try and track my book reading this year. We'll see if it works.

You may or may not know this, but I can read certain types of books in an hour. I've read upwards of three books in one day. But lately, since I now work for myself, I'm spending a lot more free time trying to find or do work for pay, so I don't read as much.
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Comments:
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From: n5red
2007-01-22 03:09 pm (UTC)
I used to be able to read 2-3 books a day. Lately I seem to have fallen off to 2-3 books a week. Sigh. I'm also having more trouble finding books that really engage me. I suspect a lot of that is due to the change in currently popular storytelling styles.
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[User Picture]From: callahanshappy
2007-01-23 04:40 am (UTC)
I've tracked my books read going back to 1997. I used to do it when I was an undergraduate back in the 80s, but one year of graduate English caused me to tear up the list and scream "never again." Never lasted twelve years. I was actually looking at updating it when you posted and looked at it yesterday.

My list (spreadsheet, actually) reveals several interesting things to me. I like to read an entire series in several sittings if possible (a habit going back to my childhood in 1969 one summer when I went through all of the Oz novels that could be found in the San Francisco Public Library, including many of the Ruth Plumly Thompson sequels and several by other writers). If I stumble across an author that I really enjoy, I'll go through his or her published works in a short period of time (there was the C.J. Cherryh period where I went through 25 novels in a few months before looking at another author).

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