Tuesday, April 12, 2005

National Library Week '05

This week is National Library Week. I hope you'll find the time to visit your local branch of the public library and check things out. I love the branch of the library near my house. It's quaint and quiet and I get endless (and free) enjoyment of renting movies, CDs and, of course, books there. It's also a great place to catch up on recent magazines and newspapers. At the library I frequent, you can even participate in a 'coupon exchange.' I realize that a coupon may be an alien concept to some of you people out there, but for those of us on what's commonly called a 'budget,' they come in quite handy. The coupon exchange simply consists of a 9X4.5-sized box, covered in wrapping paper with the word "Coupon Exchange" written on the front and it is filled, file-style, with grocery coupons. It's preferred that you bring some coupons with you to trade-in, for whatever you take out. It's a great resource.

To commemorate NLW, I've decided to share a few books with you that I am either currently reading, recently finished, or are next on my waiting list. Send someone you know a National Library Week e-card!

Boogeyman by Jeff Mariotte ($2.74)
Synopsis: When he was a boy, Tim Jensen knew the true meaning of fear, for it haunted his nights and set in motion the tragic events that would steal his sanity, take his youth, and shape the rest of his life. These days, Tim gets by most of the time...with the past still casting a long shadow over the muted sense of normalcy that he has struggled for as an adult. But lurking in the dim-lit corners of his world, hiding within the darkest recesses of his senses, something that may or may not be a figment of Tim's imagination is watching -- and waiting. The waking nightmare that has lasted more than fifteen years may have only just begun....
Comments: Since I never seem to get around to actually going to the movies anymore, I enjoy reading/collecting the movie tie-in paperbacks from movies I want to see. A lot of times I enjoy the book just as much, if not more, than the movie. Such as the case of Dark City (85¢), Valentine (75¢), Sky Captain ($1.35), and countless others. I enjoy movie tie-in books because, more often than not, they expand on the plot and/or characters, making the movie experience all that much more enjoyable. However, in this case, Boogeyman was a piece of snail-paced caca dookie. I'd already heard negative things about the movie from the Gen (wh)Y drool brigade via AOL's online chat rooms. Of course, someone else's review of something never deters me from watching/reading/eating whatever I want to. I still intend to rent the movie once it's released to DVD, and like anything else, I'll buy it if I happen to like it. However, the book version of the film wasted no time in boring me early on with repetitive, useless in-depth analysis of the protagonist's "condition," emotions, internal dialogue, etc. In a nutshell: It was boring and took too long between "thrills 'n chills."

Quirkyalone by Sasha Cagen ($7)
Synopsis: The author of Quirkyalone describes someone who is quirkyalone as: "Being able to live a fulfilled, happy life whether you're single or coupled up. It doesn't mean you're opposed to being in a relationship, but you don't need to be in one."
Comments: Wow, I really love/embrace the message of this book. The message being that being alone is not a death sentence nor is 'coupledom' always THE one-and-only answer to happiness and contentment. Though I may not agree completely with some of the things in the book (I agree with one reviewer's observation of "Important but fluffy"), for the most part, I 'got' it. The book is touted as a book for 'everyone,' but I'm not so sure the average married, coupled, dating person could or would 'get' it and or appreciate it's point of view. I'm sure there are couples out there that are able to maintain their individuality, though most consider themselves the 'exception' to the pitfalls of an unsuccessful/stagnant relationship. This book is more for those people out there who are comfortable with being single.

You can visit the Quirkyalone web site and take the quiz (my quirkyalone score was 92) and see the interview on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360º show. Anderson Cooper has the distinction of being handsome, while simultaneously being a jackass. There's a definite air of sarcasm to just about everything he says during the 'interview.' Proof that assholes really do come in all shapes and sizes.

Risen by J. Knight ($1.25)
Synopsis: Welcome to Anderson. It's pretty quiet here and that's the way we like it. One thing, though. Madge Duffy murdered her husband John last week, or thought she did. She spent the night in jail but then John walked out of the morgue none the worse for wear. And there's a bullet hole in Deputy Haws' shirt that he can't explain. Something's going on in this town of ours. Something that makes your skin crawl and your teeth grind in the night. I don't know what it is, but I'll tell you this: It scares me.
Comments: If you're a regular reader of my blog, then you know that rarely do I like anything zombie-related, whether it be movies or books. However, there are always exceptions (Shock Waves, Dead & Buried, The Children). So far, this is one of them. I'm currently on chapter 6 of this book and the reviews I read were right, it is a 'page turner' and I am 'hooked.' Personally, the book reminds me an awful lot of the 80's movie Dead & Buried (75¢ at Half.com). Not your typical zombie story. Good stuff.

Burger Wuss by M. T. Anderson (75¢)
Synopsis: It looked to be a love story for the ages. They first met as she was handing over his order of a Big O sandwich, six-piece nuggets, small fries, and a medium chocolate shake. He had exact change. They spent a magical night together with a gang of young rebels, traipsing through town on a mission to correct grammatical errors in street signs and graffiti ("Drive Slowly"). But just when it seemed things couldn't be better, tragedy struck. Anthony caught his beloved Diana making out at a party with another guy. And what's worse, he was a high school graduate from the neighboring town, hailing only by his last name: Turner. Now Anthony must devise a vengeful plan by which he can humiliate his humiliator and win back his girl.
Comments: I found this book on sale for 99¢ at a local discount bookstore. I think it sounds like a lot of fun. Relatively short book, I'm looking forward to reading it.

Thumbsucker by Walter Kirn (75¢)
Synopsis: Meet Justin Cobb, "the King Kong of oral obsessives" (as his dentist dubs him) and the most appealingly bright and screwed-up fictional adolescent since Holden Caulfield donned his hunter's cap. For years, no remedy--not orthodontia, not the escalating threats of his father, Mike, a washed-out linebacker turned sporting goods entrepreneur, not the noxious cayenne pepper-based Suk-No-Mor--can cure Justin's thumbsucking habit.

Then a course of hypnosis seemingly does the trick, but true to the conservation of neurotic energy, the problem doesn't so much disappear as relocate. Sex, substance abuse, speech team, fly-fishing, honest work, even Mormonism--Justin throws himself into each pursuit with a hyperactive energy that even his daily Ritalin dose does little to blunt.

Each time, however, he discovers that there is no escaping the unruly imperatives of his self and the confines of his deeply eccentric family. The only "cure" for the adolescent condition is time and distance.

Comments: I was inspired to read this book because I read that Vince Vaughn and Vincent D'Onofrio are in the movie version, which I'm still waiting on to be released.


Anonymous LOUP said...

I got a 92 on the Quirkyalone quiz too. Now I have to find these books and add them to my to-read pile.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Kirkkitsch said...

Hurray for us Quirkyalones! I hope if you get the books that you enjoy them. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 8:17:00 AM  

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