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{ Category Archives } Books I Read


Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer Annihilation is the first book in a trilogy about the strange.  The premise is delightfully vague — a zone (in the United States?) has become infested with some sort of invading biology that terraforms the land around it, menaces the people living there, and brings the strange in high doses.  Into […]

Dad is Fat

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan Jim Gaffigan is funny.  If you didn’t know that, get thee to Netflix! Gaffigan’s book, Dad is Fat, explores the weird, wild world of the father of five who lives in a two-bedroom apartment in New York City with his apparently amazing wife.  It’s a funny book full of […]

Sir Apropos of Nothing

Sir Apropos of Nothing by Peter David From its title and slightly goofy premise, I thought perhaps this book would be silly like a Terry Pratchett book — it’s not quite.  But neither is it as serious as a straight-up fantasy novel like A Game of Thrones.  Instead, it occupies this weird spot where it’s […]

The Grand Hotel – a spooky place to stay

The Grand Hotel by Scott Kenemore *Full disclosure: Scott Kenemore and I have been on convention panels together and he has visited my class several times to speak about his work on zombies.* The Grand Hotel is a ghost story anthology with a wraparound tale that contextualizes the eleven stories in the context of a […]

Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End – A zombie novel you’ve read before

Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End by Manel Loureiro When the zombie disease spreads throughout the world, a lawyer in Spain finds himself trapped in his home, with just a cat and his blog (later, his journal) to keep him company.  As society falls apart, our protagonist learns to deal with the dead, working […]

FEED – zombies and blogs in the future

I’ve had Mira Grant’s Feed on my shelf for a long time, just lurking there, waiting for me to read it.  The novel’s premise is that cancer and the common cold have both been cured, but the disease that cured them also, in strong enough numbers, becomes “live” and turns its host into a zombie.  […]

All You Need is Kill

All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, 桜坂洋, Alexander O. Smith (Translator) Keiji Kiriya is having a bad day.  He’s being sent into battle a green, green, greenhorn rookie driving a dangerous body rig (called a ‘jacket’) against a monstrous horde of alien creatures that look like bloated dead frogs the size of whiskey […]

Comics Roundup: Stray Toasters, Howard Chaykin, Billy the Kid, and a few others

Some comics I’ve read recently: Avengers 1959 – Howard Chaykin’s pre-Avengers avengers tale is a Marvel-centered take on Operation Paperclip (in which the Allies recruited Nazi scientists to help win the cold war).  Nick Fury is enjoyable,and the mix of superheroes works well.  Amusing. Stray Toasters – Absolutely bonkers comic about, well, kidnapping and unrequited […]

Using the little grey cells (Murder on the Orient Express)

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie I’d read this book before, of course, many years ago.  As a classic of the genre and one of Christie’s three best/most known (the other two being And Then There Were None and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd) I’d also read about the book, and seen more […]

On Voices 7

An update of the audio book narrators I’ve read since the last On Voices post. Scott Brick – Foundation; In Cold Blood; The Book of Fate; The Great Influenza; Mystic River; Sea of Glory; Isolation Ward; A Stir of Echoes; The Crime Writer; Game of Shadows; Moneyball; Superman: The High-Flying History…; *Bill Bryson – Life […]

Flash Boys – in case you thought maybe the market wasn’t rigged

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis; narrated by Dylan Baker Flash Boys is two books at once.  First, it’s a fascinating tale about a few different innovators working in the financial markets.  These men spotted an opportunity to create a better wall street, to fix a problem that the market would, hopefully, […]

A few thoughts on The Quantum Rose

The Quantum Rose, by Catherine Asaro, follows the blossoming love of Kamoj and Vryl, a woman and man from two vastly different cultures on vastly different planets.  They’re pulled apart by cultural forces, by diplomatic obligations, by jealousy.  They’re attracted to one another on a deep level, they resonate.  Also, Asaro reveals at the end […]

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane written and narrated by Neil Gaiman Gaiman’s novel, as with many of his ‘young adult’ fare, treads the line between amusing and creepy as hell.  When strange things begin happening around his neighborhood, the narrator (a ten-year-old boy), finds himself under the wing of Lettie Hempstock, an […]

Imortality, Immorality, and a Food Psychic (comics roundup)

I’ve had a good run of comics from the library lately: Lazarus, Vol 1. by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark Set in the not-too-distant future when water shortages and worldwide famine/disease has left society crumbled, a new feudalism has arisen with warlord families battling over stockpiles of genetically engineered farm stock.  Each family has genetically-engineered […]

In one end and out the other. Gulp by Mary Roach

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach; narrated by Emily Woo Zeller Mary Roach’s latest book explores the digestive process, from beginning to end, looking at what scientists think and have thought, what they study, and how they go about it.  It’s great, as usual, with lots of funny moments.  A few thoughts: […]