Saturday, March 30, 2013

Scoundrels, by Timothy Zahn

Rating: 4.5/5
Publisher: Del Rey books
393 pages
Source: Library

Description: Ever wondered what would happen if you took an episode of Leverage, and set it in the Star Wars universe?

Review:This book was a lot of fun to read.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Last Days, by Adam Nevill

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
531 pages
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Description: Last Days by Adam Nevill is a Blair Witch style novel in which a documentary film-maker undertakes the investigation of a dangerous cult—with creepy consequences 

When guerrilla documentary maker, Kyle Freeman, is asked to shoot a film on the notorious cult known as the Temple of the Last Days, it appears his prayers have been answered. The cult became a worldwide phenomenon in 1975 when there was a massacre including the death of its infamous leader, Sister Katherine. Kyle’s brief is to explore the paranormal myths surrounding an organization that became a testament to paranoia, murderous rage, and occult rituals.  The shoot’s locations take him to the cult’s first temple in London, an abandoned farm in France, and a derelict copper mine in the Arizonan desert where The Temple of the Last Days met its bloody end. But when he interviews those involved in the case, those who haven’t broken silence in decades, a series of uncanny events plague the shoots. Troubling out-of-body experiences, nocturnal visitations, the sudden demise of their interviewees and the discovery of ghastly artifacts in their room make Kyle question what exactly it is the cult managed to awaken – and what is its interest in him? (From the back cover.)

Review: What a difference the ending of a book can make.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Well of Lost Plots, by Jasper Fforde

Rating: 4/5
Publisher: Viking
373 pages
Source: Library book sale

Description: Protecting the world's greatest literature—not to mention keeping up with Miss Havisham—is tiring work for an expectant mother. And Thursday can definitely use a respite. So what better hideaway than inside the unread and unreadable Caversham Heights, a cliché-ridden pulp mystery in the hidden depths of the Well of Lost Plots, where all unpublished books reside? But peace and quiet remain elusive for Thursday, who soon discovers that the Well itself is a veritable linguistic free-for-all, where grammasites run rampant, plot devices are hawked on the black market, and lousy books—like Caversham Heights—are scrapped for salvage. To top it off, a murderer is stalking Jurisfiction personnel and nobody is safe—least of all Thursday. (Copied from LibraryThing )

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco, by Marilyn Chase

Rating: 5/5
Publisher: Random House
276 pages
Source: Library Book

Description: “San Francisco in 1900 was a Gold Rush boomtown settling into a gaudy middle age. . . . It had a pompous new skyline with skyscrapers nearly twenty stories tall, grand hotels, and Victorian mansions on Nob Hill. . . . The wharf bristled with masts and smokestacks from as many as a thousand sailing ships and steamers arriving each year. . . . But the harbor would not be safe for long. Across the Pacific came an unexpected import, bubonic plague. Sailing from China and Hawaii into the unbridged arms of the Golden Gate, it arrived aboard vessels bearing rich cargoes, hopeful immigrants, and infected vermin. The rats slipped out of their shadowy holds, scuttled down the rigging, and alighted on the wharf. Uphill they scurried, insinuating themselves into the heart of the city.” (From the hardcover edition)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Of Muppets and Men: The Making of the Muppet Show, by Christopher Finch

Rating: 3/5
Publisher: Muppet Press/Knopf
178 pages
Source: Library

Description: A coffee table book about The Muppet Show.

Review: About what you'd expect from a coffee table book about a tv show. The text is readable and entertaining. There's lots of pictures. And it probably doesn't tell you much that you didn't already know, if you had an interest in the subject already. And since it's a coffee table book, it's rather unwieldy to actually read.

Given this came out the same year as The Muppet Show's final season, it is unsurprisingly out of print.

The Muppet Movie (1979)

MPAA Rating: G
Run Time: 95 minutes
Rating: 4/5

Description: After a chance encounter with an agent, Kermit the Frog sets out across America for Hollywood. Along the way he's pursued by Doc Hopper, who's determined to make him the spokesperson for his chain of frog legs restaurants, and runs into a variety of Muppet Show regulars. Wacky hijinks ensue.