Thursday, January 31, 2008

Lets Get Ready to Ruuuuuumbleee!

I grew up watching the WWF (that's professional wrestling not giant Pandas), and have been enjoying a trip down memory lane by reading some books on the subject.

First up is Main Event: WWE in the Raging 80s and is a look at the big names of the 80s and what they achieved etc.
Next is Sex, Lies and Headlocks and is a history of the WWE (as it is now known) and the scandals and problems it and its owner Vince McMahon have faced/caused.
Finally we have Tonight ... in this very ring which is a fans view of the history of the WWE. The author Keith Scott is a very funny and astute writer and his personality really shines through this book.
I can recommend any of these books for people who are, or were, interested in wrestling and sports entertainment.

Tag and Bink

Tag and Bink are minor Star Wars characters that appear in the graphic novel spoof, Star Wars: Tag and Bink were here. If you are a fan of the Star Wars universe than the misbegotten adventures of these two rogues will tickle your funny bone.
The two heroes (?) weave in and out of events from the films (all six), and the light-hearted nature of the story makes for an entertaining and fun read.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sprinting on a knife edge

I recently purchased the ultimate Blade Runner (The final cut) collection which contains five versions of the movie and over 3 hours of documentaries.
The really exciting part is that Ridley Scott has had a chance to produce his definitive director's cut and commentary.

I love this film, it's look and story are singular and genre defining. I urge everyone to watch and enjoy this mind-bending film, and then you too will be able to debate whether Deckard is a replicant or not. The answer is in the film.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Essential Stuff

I have been reading Essential X-Men Volume 3 & 4 all written by Chris Claremont and have been thoroughly enjoying myself. Claremont has had one of the most celebrated runs on the X-Men and reading these volumes has helped me to understand why.
The stories are all exciting yet contain quiet character moments that allow each character to have their moment in the sun as we learn more about who they are and what makes them tick.

The villains are varied also with hardly a mention of Magneto who was starting to wear out his welcome from over exposure.

All in all it has been a lot of fun catching up with some of the high points of X-Men history.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Comrade Superman

Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar asks the simple question of what would have happened if Superman landed in Stalin's Russia instead of the US of A. The intelligent story and great art make this graphic novel a wonderful read that will leave you thinking once you've put it down.
After Stalin's death Superman (the other Man of Steel) takes power and eventually every country except the USA have joined his global empire. Local dissidents led by Batman, and President Luthor are the only people willing to oppose a tyrant who can see through walls and travel anywhere in seconds.

The book is an interesting riff on the role of superheroes and power in the world. Even when someone thinks they are doing the best for their country, they may in fact be making things worse. Well worth reading.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ho Hum

Sherman Young's book The Book is Dead, suffers from the common academic disease of head-up-own-arse-itis. Young claims the title is postmodern, but really shows the problem with his idea. And this is a one idea book, despite Young trying to argue otherwise.
Young thinks books have been dead for years because it is easier to get information from other sources, and ideas are discussed in other formats. Yet Young has chosen to put ideas forward in a book, despite his argument that no one reads books for ideas anymore. This sounds like a financial decision, he will get paid for writing a book, but no one will pay to read a blog on the subject.

The major flaw and problem I have had with this book is that Young totally disregards books as entertainment. He dismisses the Harry Potter series because it contains no ideas, now I haven't read the series so I can't debate this point, but what about the book as entertainment. Millions of people have read the series because they enjoy it. Young seems to think that the book should be condemned for this. No wonder no one is reading if they can't enjoy themselves.

How much impact will this book have, probably not much and Young can use this as proof of his argument. I think that most readers couldn't care less about the point he raises, they're too busy reading.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Disappointed :(

I have just finished reading the new Terry Pratchett novel Making Money, and must say I found it tough going. I love the Discworld series and have laughed out loud many times reading these books, especially Guards, Guards.
But the latest one lacked a spark, or something to keep my interest. Don't get me wrong Pratchett is a great writer, but he needs to freshen the series up with new ideas, or even some new characters, Moist is not one that really appeals to me.

So a ho-hum experience all around, hopefully the next book will be funnier.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Not your dad's Star Wars

Star Wars Legacy: Broken is a great graphic novel with an exciting twist on the Star Wars series. Set 140 years after the Battle of Endor the main character is Cade Skywalker Luke's great grandson. Except Cade doesn't want to be a Jedi and would rather hunt them down for the new Sith empire, while taking massive amounts of drugs so he can't access his powers. Dark, gritty and yet still managing to capture some of the originals spirit this is a great read, and lots of fun.
I may just read my well thumbed edition again.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Changes at the Library

The library were I work recently joined a larger consortium of libraries and now offer our patrons materials from over 50 different libraries.
As you all could probably imagine I'm as happy as a pig in the proverbial as I now have access to many more books, graphic novels etc.
Now I really have too much to read, and do. Just have to find ways to increase the amount of time in the day.
This is my excuse for not blogging much, too busy reading to write about what I'm reading.

Monday, January 7, 2008


OK I'm back from my beach holiday where lots of sun was soaked, games played, books read, and lounging around was participated in.
But what did I take to read with me?
Well to help you out I'll list the books I read while on holiday.
So in no particular order;
  • Brian Catchpole - The Korean War
  • Kim Stanley Robinson - Red Mars & Green Mars
  • R. A. Salvatore - Promise of the Witch-King
  • Shaun Assael & Mike Monneyham - Sex, Lies, and Headlocks
  • Thomas Harlan - House of Reeds
  • Susanna Clarke - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
  • Beowulf
  • Ian W. Toll - Six Frigates
  • Wilbur Smith - Birds of Prey

There it is my holiday reading list.