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MichaelBriggs

Sliding Fingers

Currently reading

The Captain's Daughter
Peter David
The Eye of God: A Sigma Force Novel
James Rollins
A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert "Believe It or Not!" Ripley
Neal Thompson
The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies - Jonathan Alter Quite an informative and interesting book.
Running of the Bulls - Harry Turtledove Turtledove really pulled me in with this one. Makes one think I need to read more Hemingway.

The Private Eye (#1)

The Private Eye (#1) - Brian K. Vaughan,  Marcos Martin,  Muntsa Vicente Made my skin crawl. Journalists as cops? Paparazzi as heroes? Just ... just no.

Just imagine those idiots on CNN running around with the power of search warrants.

(Figure I should note somewhere that I previously enjoyed Vaughan's work.)
Batwoman, Vol. 2: To Drown the World - J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman, Amy Reeder, Trevor McCarthy A mess. A boring tedious mess.
The Racketeer - John Grisham This is where "it was ok" that you see when you hover over the two stars on the rating scale on GoodReads really comes into its own.

The book had numerous massive plot holes. At one point the story jerks into a different direction that doesn't really make sense, the jerk to a different story. I suspect the Grisham planned to write the story he wrote, he just seemed to want to play games with what was happening. Dropping some hints like lead balloons, refusing to mention certain things - the 'missing information' actually creating a giant pointy arrow pointing out that there's missing information.

As an aside, I can't recall if the main female character was saddled with two kids or not. I just vaguely recall that she was supposed to have one college age kid and one almost college age. Who go unmentioned when their mother disappears for long long breaks. So maybe I'm remembering that wrong, maybe it was someone else with these kids.

I would not recommend this Grisham novel. There's some rather good books I've read by Grisham and this one won't stop me reading him, but I wouldn't recommend anyone else suffer through this one.
Blue Beetle, Vol. 4: End Game - Jai Nitz, Justin Peniston, Rafael Albuquerque, Andy Kuhn, John Rogers, Mike Norton, Trevor Scott My third Blue Beetle book in as many weeks. The second by the same author. I read the New 52 first volume in between reading Blue Beetle 2008 (whichever label I can put on that version) Volume 3 and 4. This being volume 4.

I wasn't interested in reading the first two volumes in this particular run, mostly due to comments that things finally started being coherent by volume 3. Well, if incoherence and/or lack of focus actually is a problem with earlier volumes, it certainly showed up in this book at least up to the Endgame arc.

I believe it might just be the simple fact that certain things are "required". One of the reasons this volume went into lack of focus mode was the required insertion of a Green Lantern story line, or I should say Yellow Lantern? I'd say Sinestro but I can't recall how to spell the name. A problem if you are writing a DC Comic series: Required to insert many many arcs that "tie-in" other series. Even if they mess up the flow and make no sense. I could have lived without seeing Peacemaker suddenly a yellow ring wearer.

There are more volumes in this particular Blue Beetle series, but no more John Rogers Blue Beetle, so I'll skip the rest of this particular series line. As in the 2008 run. Continue following New 52 version.
Animal Man Vol. 1: The Hunt (The New 52) - Jeff Lemire I didn't read this series until I saw it available at the library. Just seemed disturbing and unreadable when I saw it in individual issues at the comics store.

Unfortunately I was correct. It isn't my type of comic and I shouldn't have forced myself to read.

Weird blobs of stuff, blood, gore ... just made my skin crawl and I am not certain yet if I'll be able to keep my dinner down. Mmphs.
The Dresden Files:  Storm Front, Volume 1:  The Gathering Storm - Jim Butcher, Mark Powers, Ardian Syaf The graphic novel wasn't bad, good drawing, good adaptation of the book. The problem I had with it was that I already knew the story. I much rather read an original Dresden Files book in graphic form as opposed to adapting the novels into graphic books. Especially since I'm not much of a rereader. I didn't realize that would mean I'd have trouble keeping interested with the same story, but adapted, but it turns out it did feel too much of a reread.
Blue Beetle, Vol. 1: Metamorphosis - Tony Bedard, Tyler Kirkham, Sal Regla My second Blue Beetle origin story I've read in a week or two. Prior read was actually the third volume in that Blue Beetle run, while here I actually start from beginning.

There are large similarities between the two origin stories. Actually, not much different. I don't recall Jamie's parents in the other story, but I might have overlooked them. And I do not think Paco was a drop out in that other series run. Jamie, Brenda, Brenda's aunt, & purpose of Blue Beetle are all the same, though.

I liked both of the origin stories and plan to look for volume two, whenever it comes out, for this already cancelled run. While in the meantime I've already put volume 4 of the previous Blue Beetle series on hold. Vol's one and two were by a different author, so I'll probably ignore them. Volumes three & four are by the same author, the name John Rogers comes to mind, but that's probably wrong. The rest of that previous series after that was written by yet another author.

It's an interesting idea, and seemed well done in the two versions I read. I'm not sure how to word this . . . DC Comics seems quick to cancel nonwhite superhero series. This one, Static Shock, and Mister Terrific come to mind. I don't recall if they have cancelled Fury of Firestorm (I've a vague idea I'm wording that one wrong) yet.
A Jury of Her Peers - Susan Glaspell This is the second time I've read this short story. First time in college, second time just now. My outlook on life has somewhat changed with the greater experience. I believe I was more negative towards the story and the actions of the women in the story the last time I read it. It's not an original thought, but the only thing I can think of at the moment.

The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles - Kij Johnson,  Goni Montes Well, in the space of a few hours I just read two stories by the same author. If I'd read the Ponies one first I'd never have tried anything else by this author and gone out of my way to ignore everything they've ever done in their writing career. Instead I read the cat one first, this one here.

I'm somewhat unable to spend money at the moment for various reasons. This short story was so interesting and good I almost just blindly bought some ebook novel or short story collection to continue reading this author. I suppose I should be thankful that other story was on Tor.com, for free.

This story follows the point of view of a kitty, something of a coming of age story for cats. The kitty lived in a great walled garden like setting with many relatives and a ruined building. Everything was fun and games. Then a fire rages through Tokyo. Confused and hurting the kitty begins a journey to try to find where a relatively distant relative came from. And so heads "North".

She, the kitty, travels along a particular road that goes north, sometimes needing to dodge humans who have no idea what a cat is and think she is a demon, while sometimes finding friendly humans.

I wouldn't have written this much if not for reading Ponies after reading this story, and while that got me to write something, it is also distracting me from going any deeper in a review of this story.

Ok, I will add this: Despite everything I've said, reading a five star story, then a one star story by the same author within a short period of time, the five star story is just that good that I'll probably attempt something else by this author.

Oh, and I suppose I should note that there wasn't anything particularly bad with the writing or anything on that level with the Ponies story. I just disliked the story.
Ponies - Kij Johnson Um, ok . . . that was quite disturbing. Not sure what the point was. Yes yes, girls are mean and stuff, but . . hmm.

Incident on the Bath Road

Incident on the Bath Road - Georgette Heyer I've found that a reader probably shouldn't read too many Heyer short stories in a row. They have a rather large similarity between each other. They all seem to involve people eloping to escape unwanted marriages. Thinking about it, I can't recall any that weren't that specific story line.

Let me see. There's this one, Pursuit, Runaway Match, and Full Moon that use that in the story. There is one, though, that didn't use it. Well, I mean one I've read, I'm sure there are others out there unread by me that lack this specific storyline. A Proposal to Cicely would be the one, and only one I've red, that didn't have an elopment as a large part of the story.

This specific one isn't the best of the lot. Begins abruptly. Adds a twist that I do not recall the other elopment short stories having, but that has come up numerous times in Heyer books (and as a it is a twist, I can't actually mention what it is, now can I?). And then, after that little twist, ends abruptly.

I'm kind of tired of these poor little damsels fleeing from something or other only to run into be strong me. Mind, most aren't really 'poor little damsels'. Most seem to flee as they don't like to be forced into a marriage. Strong willed fleeing as opposed to weak-willed cowardly fleeing. I have no idea what I'm talking about and so wander off to read something else to pass my time.
Do and Dare - Horatio Alger Jr. A quick easy read. Interesting look at the rags to riches story Horatio Alger was known for. It was rather preachy, but then I expected that. Characters were slightly less wooden than I expected, though still inhabiting the realm of the unlikely.

Ah, living in a time when you worked 14 hours a day, six days a week for the princely sum of between $1.50 and $10 a week. And having war widow benefits of $8 a month. Though that $10 a week was city type wages where you'd likely spend the vast majority of it just surviving.
The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance - Trisha Telep, Karen Chance, Lilith Saintcrow, Colleen Gleason, C.T. Adams, Savannah Russe, CaitlĂ­n R. Kiernan, Vicki Pettersson, Jenna Black, Shiloh Walker, Rachel Vincent, Rebecca York, Jenna Maclaine, Raven Hart, Delilah Devlin, Nancy Holder, Kimberly Raye, Alexis Morga I read this because it was free and vaguely tempting. A hit-vampire. There really isn't much to the story. Female vampire keeping self distracted from long life by being a contract killer. Gets hired by a young man to kill his step-father, because he believes the step-father killed his mother. Female vampire accepts job and investigates this supposed mother killer.

Even with that story, even with that background, this story went in the direction I do not particularly care to go into. Sure, Dracula by Bram Stoker oozed eroticism, and Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire dripped with ennui and lewdness. Still, that isn't really what I look for in stories, vampire related or not. Good enough writing for what it was despite that.
The Commonplace Book - Jacob Clifton This bit of nonsence may be the worst thing I've ever read in my life.