Geek literature from the New York Times or the recesses of online. Our favorite stories showcase geeks.
Book Review: "Trust" by Hernan Diaz
I had been looking at this book for some time and for some reason or another, just never got around to reading it. Every other book seemed to be more important and I am not going to lie when I say this: the blurb on this book does not do it any favours in making it sound even remotely interesting. I have a few mixed feelings here and there, but I think I have come to a lawful conclusion on what I think overall. Let's take a short look at what the book is about and how it is split up.
Book Review: "Water" by John Boyne
John Boyne is one of this century's most versatile authors and has amassed quite a readership over the last decade with some really great novels. I have read many of them, including but not limited to: A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom, The House of Special Purpose, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, The Heart's Invisible Furies, A Ladder to the Sky, The Absolutist, All the Broken Places, A History of Loneliness, Echo Chamber and The Congress of Rough Riders. I do not think I have ever actually read a John Boyne novel I did not like.
Book Review: "The Beast You Are" by Paul Tremblay
Now, I have read and enjoyed many books by Paul Tremblay including The Pallbearer's Club, The Cabin at the End of the World, Disappearance at Devil's Rock, Survivor's Song and even A Head Full of Ghosts. Over the course of the last few years, Paul Tremblay has proven himself to be one of the great new voices of horror and thriller novels, creating some really memorable characters and intense atmospheres. I have read his short story anthology Growing Things and Other Stories and though I do like his short stories, I have to say that the former anthology was a little bit better than this one in terms of writing style. Here we have experimentation that I respect, but does not always work with the desired effect. Standing with respect for his small and experimental changes to his writing, I see why people would enjoy it - but in comparison to his other works it does not hold up as being all that understandable - often leaving the reader with mixed emotions on the stories within.
5 Best Horror Movies Based on True Stories
In the realm of horror where fact meets fiction, horror films are often inspired by the dark corners of real events. As we delve deeper into the spine-chilling world of cinema, it doesn’t come as a shock to discover that some horror stories are based in truth. Consider for a moment the violent beginnings of five horror films based on horrific true events.
Book Review: "Twice Round the Clock" by Billie Houston
The British Library are known for more than their British Library Crime Classics novels and yet, here I am again reading them all. Martin Edwards makes the strong case for why certain books are lost to history and how sometimes, it can actually be a good thing. However, when we find gems that have been lost for ages, we can often feel like others have missed out on them. Especially when they are classics from an age long past like The Golden Age of British Crime. Yes, we know about the female authors from this time who stood out like the great Agatha Christie, but lesser known authors and perhaps, people who were not even authors to begin with also wrote some fantastic books.
Movie Review: "The Marvels" (2023)
I saw this film on the 15th of November, 2023. Now, as we all know, the Marvel Universe has been going down the hill for quite some time. After the events of Avengers: Endgame and the grief the world felt for the character of Tony Stark, the universe seems to be coming apart at the seems so badly that even the Loki TV show cannot save it over on Disney+. From this, I think we are seeing these Marvel movies simply become your run-of-the-mill action film and are driving down to being nothing special. What better what to usher that in than a fun but underwhelming movie like The Marvels?
Book Review: "Heavy Weather" ed. by Kevin Manwaring
Full Title: Heavy Weather: Tempestuous Tales of Stranger Climes edited by Kevan Manwaring The collection entitled British Library Tales of the Weird sounds like it should have criteria of how it is organised and written. So far, we have seen short introductions about the author, the work and where it was published first before each tale and, though they can get in the way of the excitement for a good story, they are often very informative and well-written. Here we see the editor move away from that and either go straight into the story, have a short and uninspiring introduction to it or even put some rambling mess at the end which is also not very well written. It breaks the continuity of the series and more than often, breaks the feeling you are getting from reading the book. This plus the fact that the stories are not exactly Tales of the Weird makes this one of the worst edited books I have read in the anthology so far. Let's stop with the negativity for a second to look at the good stories that were provided within.
Writer Reality TV Show
Reality TV can be a fun way to relax an enjoy a funny show that doesn't take too much thought to pay attention to. A competition show is a great way to have people on the edge of their seats. There has been modeling, art design, cooking, and baking competitions for several years now. Are we running of of show ideas and ways to compete? What about a writers competition! Is that possibly too boring to bring to the screen? People used to gather from all over in cities in order to hear from an old storytelling bard, so isn't there a way for this idea to become entertaining? I know I would watch!
Book Review: "Roman Lives" by Plutarch
Plutarch was born around 46-50 AD in Chaeronea, Boeotia, Greece. Being born into a well-connected and wealthy family meant that Plutarch's education and work came with an access often denied to poorer people of the region. Not having to climb the social ladder also meant that Plutarch's access to a good education let him behind the closed doors of the political atmospheres of the empire. This allowed him to critique and study the people higher up and thus, he came to deciding upon the most important Romans to write about from his unique historical perspective.
Book Review: "Atalanta" by Jennifer Saint
I would like to begin with stating how fond I am of Jennifer Saint's writing. Her book Ariadne was one of the best Greek Mythology retellings I have read to date and her book Elektra was, well, electrifying. In terms of debut novels, not many get as good as Ariadne. It was an unforgettable blend of adventure and mysticism blended with a magical love for Ancient Greek folklore and fantastic writing. It only put my hopes high for reading Atalanta and if there is anything I am happy for it is that having high expectations for Jennifer Saint's books always pays off. This was a wonderful experience of a novel and an enchanting story based on one of the most famous adventure narratives ever told: Jason and the Argonauts.
Book Review: "Normal Women" by Ainslie Hogarth
Thanks to NetGalley for this book. I remember I read Ainslie Hogarth's Motherthing and thought it was a bit here and there. I found the concept good and the black comedy quite clever, but on the whole something was lacking. It was as if the writing was not all that great or the characters were common tropes I had seen a thousand times before. Then it sort of hit me. Where I thought Motherthing should be in terms of genre were books that had better writing. Books like Mrs March by Virginia Feito are much better examples of black comedy in women's fiction. I thought I would give Ainslie Hogarth another go though, knowing there was another book coming out by her. This book is entitled Normal Women and has still left me with mixed feelings sitting on the fence about her. I cannot quite place it - but it feels a little cliché and all the characters are wholly unlikeable without any saving graces.
Book Review: "Her Radiant Curse" by Elizabeth Lim
I have to admit that I am a big fan of the book Six Crimson Cranes. It is a clever fantasy novel filled with excitement and brilliant storytelling; the sequel The Dragon's Promise is a high-fantasy novel that definitely lives up to its predecessor. In the world of Six Crimson Cranes, we seem to have an off-shoot novel named Her Radiant Curse. About sisters, one who is beautiful and the other who looks monstrous - the elder has sworn to protect the younger but, keeping with the main themes and traditions that made Six Crimson Cranes so great, a sibling will have to put their life on the line for the other - often with intense consequences and incredible character development.