Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy etc. etc.

Here are the ones that wouldn't fit in the post from half an hour ago.

Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan.  Adapted by Robert Venditti, art by Attila Futaki, and color by Jose Villarrubia.  Worst.  Adaptation.  Ever.  The original is such a good story, and a graphic novel seems like it would be the perfect medium, since so much of the book is action.  But the fights are very condensed, only a few frames, which makes the battles seem super easy for Percy, and short.  There's not much emotion or suspense anywhere; the whole thing feels rushed.

Wine of Violence, by Priscilla Royal.    This was the other historical fiction mystery I checked out, also an older publication and the first in a series.  I liked this one more.  The suspense could have been more drawn out, but I didn't feel like there were any pieces of information coming out of left field.  I sometimes felt like there were too many characters, a few too many people for me to remember by name, but I'm sure I'm just about the only person who can't remember more than 3 characters at a time.  I won't be continuing the series, but that's a time thing, not a bad book thing.

Art and Max, by David Wiesner.  This picture book is one my son picked up, picked out on his own as he was waiting in line at the check-out desk.  He absolutely adores it!  We did take it back eventually, but we read it several times through almost every day. 
The art is fantastic, imaginative and silly in a way I haven't seen before.  While the story line is good, I don't think it's well-told.  I'm a big fan of narration, but this book is dialogue-only.  It doesn't do the job, in my opinion.  But this gives us a chance to make up the story on our own and play with narration. 
A few days after I returned this, I read in a trade journal that it is one of somebody's top 10 picture books of the year.  The art and story definitely deserve the place.

Fated, by S.G. Browne.    This reminded me a lot of Hell.  I am beginning to think of this writing style, this intense, honest, smutty writing, as the trend in literature for this era.  I adore it.  It's perfect for me as a reader: topics, big ideas or issues, come up and I always have something to think about, an idea to sink my teeth in to.  But the author doesn't ignore the physical story part, either.  And they are so well written!: no grammar errors and people under 50 who know how to use punctuation correctly.  Huzzah!
This is another of those books, write up there with Hell and High Fidelity and Generation A that definitely has a select audience.  Not everyone will like it, and there will be some vocal haters.

Moveable Feasts: From Ancient Rome to the 21st Century, the Incredible Journeys of the Food We Eat, by Sarah Murray.    Nonfiction that is interesting!  I loved how there was information in here from all different parts of history (although mostly the last 150 years or so) and from all over the world.  My brain is now full of amazing little factoids.  The only thing that could have been better was that, within chapters, it sometimes seemed that the author couldn't come up with a transition and so just jumped to a new to-be-tied-in-later topic at random.  Overall, good, very readable.
(also, my spell checker says it should be "movable" but I checked the book jacket.  perhaps [sic]?)

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