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michaelcrane

Michael's Book Babble

I'm an indie author and a scribbler of inane babble. I talk about books I've read/liked. Or at least, that's the plan.

 

Most of the reviews will be considered "mini-reviews." Usually, it's mostly my reaction to what I've been reading. There are people who are far better at doing full and helpful reviews. But I still have fun doing them, and hope you enjoy them!

Reading progress update: I've read 120 out of 272 pages.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry - Gabrielle Zevin

Dammit, this book is downright charming. You just want to give it a big ol' hug. Also, it's about books and a bookstore, so you've already won my icy, cold heart over.

 

Okay, that's a lie. I don't have an icy, cold heart.

 

I don't think so, anyway... though I have been wrong about other things in the past.

Reading progress update: I've read 507 out of 1477 pages.

It - Stephen King

I always thought the scene where Eddie's attacked in the shower at school in the miniseries was kinda silly.

 

No wonder. Because what happened in the book is way, way, way more frightening and vicious.

 

Just finished the scene where Bill and Ritchie go back to the house to confront It. Chilling.

Reading progress update: I've read 107 out of 272 pages.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry - Gabrielle Zevin

I am also reading this, which is excellent.

 

Really don't have anything else to add. I'm just really enjoying it so far.

Random Babble 9/27/17

I'm on my second whiskey tonight.

 

Thanks, 2017. Thanks for keeping me scared as shit 24/7 and having to resort to downing booze to calm my ass down. :P

Reading progress update: I've read 402 out of 1477 pages.

It - Stephen King

Yeah... the mini series was pretty tame compared to this. :P

 

Love, love how fleshed out the characters are. King takes his time on every single one of them. Now I understand what the book is so long. Yes, there's a lot that could've been edited out. But then we'd miss out on brilliant character development.

 

The audio book is fantastic. Steven Weber is phenomenal.

Random Babble 9/25/17

Me: I really need to write. I need to read, too.

 

Brain: WATCH TWIN PEAKS! DRINK MORE WHISKEY!

 

Me: But...

 

Brain: CHECK CALENDAR

 

*goes to the calendar, sees it's still 2017*

 

*drinks whiskey, watches Twin Peaks for the billionth time, sobs, repeat*

 

Reading progress update: I've read 302 out of 1477 pages.

It - Stephen King

Man, Stephen King really goes deep with character development in this one. I love it. And Steven Weber reading the audio book is flawless. I love, love, love his reading.

 

I regret it took me this long to finally get around to Stephen King's It, but I am really digging the audio book.

 

Been meaning to get to this book for the longest time, but as I said before I have a hard time sticking with longer books since I'm a slow reader. This is where the audio book is perfect. Definitely makes the commute to work and home easier.

Reading progress update: I've read 263 out of 1477 pages.

It - Stephen King

Oh! Um... hello.

 

Yeah, I've done really bad behind the "I'm not going to be a stranger here anymore" thing I might've said a few months back. So! Let's pretend I never said that. If I said that. I don't even remember if I said that...

 

...

 

Anyhoo, I am finally... FINALLY reading Stephen King's It. And by reading, I mean listening to the audio book that is wonderfully read by Steven Weber. He is amazing in this. He nails all of the voices, and I love how he reads it.

 

I stayed away from this book for the longest time because the length always intimidated me. If you know anything about me, you know that I have a hard time finishing books sometimes. Because I'm a slow reader, and also because I always find something else I want to read even though I'm in the middle of reading something.

 

I love the character development in this. It's so rich. Right now, there's not too much about Pennywise. We're learning more about the kids.

 

Really enjoying this. I'm sorry it took me this long to finally get to it, but I love that this is the way I'm doing it.

Twin Peaks

So, I just finally got around to watching Twin Peaks. I had such a blast watching it. So gleefully cheesy, over-the-top, and downright bizarre.

 

Finished the season two finale yesterday. WHAT THE SHIT?!?! :D

 

Yes, I loved it. I don't know what the hell I watched, but I loved it.

 

Today, I plan to watch the movie prequel. And then I will finally be able to start the Showtime Revival.

 

Ah, yes. That Saturday night feeling got me like:

 

 

 

Oh hi, everybody...

So much for me saying I wouldn't be much of a stranger these days. Sorry. :P

 

I've been busy with writing. Also, I've been limiting my time on social media...because reasons.

 

Haven't really finished reading a book in a while. I keep getting distracted. Keep switching back and forth between short story collections.

 

2017 is truly the year for disorganization, and I'm not just talking about me.

 

Anyway, I'm here! Sorta.

 

NOW DON'T BURN THE HOUSE DOWN WHILE I'M AWAY! :P

Wonderful and Exceptional

Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology was exactly what I needed. The real world has been bumming me out lately, so this was the perfect escape that I needed.

 

As I mentioned in my previous update, I knew very little about the myths of Odin, Thor, Loki, etc. The little bit that I did know comes from the comics, and just recently seeing some of the Marvel superhero movies.

 

Knowing that this has Gaiman’s fingerprints all over it, I couldn’t resist. I figured this would be a great way to introduce me to their world. And I was right. The tales in this book feel like a whole novel when you read them all in order, yet some in here are so entertaining and well done that they can stand on their own. He gives you a little background on the main players, setting, and so on at the very beginning of the book without hammering you over the head (see what I did there? eh? eh?) with endless amount of details to slow it all down. He gives you enough to get the feel of it all.

 

Some of my favorite tales in here were “The Treasures of the Gods,” “The Master Builder,” “Freya’s Unusual Wedding,” “Thor’s Journey to the Land of the Giants,” and “Hymir and Thor’s Fishing Expedition.” They’re all good, but those are my favorites. (Try reading/listening to "Freya's Unusual Wedding" without ever cracking a smile or laughing...)

 

If you listen to audiobooks, then I highly recommend getting it for this. Neil Gaiman once again delivers a flawless performance. If you’ve listened to his readings before, then you know you’re in for a treat.

 

These stories are filled with excitement and humor. And they can also get rather dark. I loved this journey that Gaiman takes you on. The only real bummer was finishing it so quickly. I never wanted it to end.

 

I know it’s early, but right now Norse Mythology is my favorite book of 2017. Even if I do read something else that takes its place, it’ll remain on my list of favorite reads of the year. A winner in every way.

 

5 stars

Reading progress update: I've read 76%.

Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman

I am loving this. Such a perfect escape with all of the crap that's going on lately in the world. I admit that the very little I know of Thor, Loki, Odin, etc. comes from Marvel comics and movies. In fact, I just started catching up on some of the superhero movies that I've been putting off for a while now. That makes this even more enjoyable, as I can actually picture those actors in the roles while I read/listen to this.

 

Neil Gaiman reads this flawlessly. I highly recommend the audiobook.

 

I'm so bummed that it's almost over. I don't want it to end. I don't want it to ever end. I know it's early, but this is definitely one of my favorite books of 2017.

Random Wine Babble 3/3/17

The world is a scary place these days.

 

But I have wine. So that makes it a little less scary.

 

Or I'm just drunk.

 

Fine by me! Whatever makes the world less scary is A-OKAY in my book. :P

Reading progress update: I've listened to 90 out of 1054 minutes.

Hitch-22: A Memoir - Christopher Hitchens

Decided to dive right into this after enjoying god Is Not Great. Fascinating so far.

 

In fact, I think his reading of this is far better than the previous book. Since this is a more personal piece, he takes his time. He doesn't read nearly as quick, avoiding that "rushed" tone. I really wished god Is Not Great was read in the same manner since I'm sure that I missed a bunch of stuff.

 

Anyway, I'm enjoying Hitch-22 right now. I think that was my point. Did I have a point? What are points? Who are you and why are you eyeing my wine collection?!?!

Engaging. Thought provoking.

God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything - Christopher Hitchens

I'll be honest, there's not a whole lot I can add to this. And I'm afraid if I go into too much of a lengthy review on this, it might upset people. That is not at all my intent.

 

Full disclosure: I'm not very religious. Wasn't brought up with religious beliefs. I am not anti-religious by any stretch of the imagination. My feeling has always been this: If it works for you and you're not trying to force-feed your beliefs on others or using your beliefs as an excuse to cause harm to others, whether physically or mentally, groovy.

 

That being said, I really enjoyed god Is Not Great by Hitchens. I can imagine how this book would upset people. The title alone should be a pretty good indicator as if this should be something to add to your TBR pile, or dismiss it outright.

 

All I can tell you is that I enjoyed the book. And I also enjoyed listening to Hitchens read it. He reads very fast, and at times this can prove frustrating as you might end up missing a few things. A few times I found myself drifting, but for the most part I looked forward to it and regret that I finished it so quickly.

 

I cannot tell you if this is something you should read. That's always been my stance. Whether I'm reviewing fiction or not, something that's controversial or not. All I can tell you is my honest experience with the book. I really enjoyed it.

 

4 stars

Random Babble 2/21/17

The dogs are barking outside.

They've come for my wine, I know it.

NOT GOING TO FUCKING HAPPEN!!!

 

(this update might've been fueled by wine...)