"Don't go shooting all the dogs, just because one has flees"

Hello Blogosphere,
How are you this week? I am doing well. Starting a new schedule this week and it's a little weird, but ultimately I can nothing but good things coming my way. (Of course now a little voice inside me is shouting Look Out! Bad times are coming. But I will shut that kind of negativity out with thoughts of rainbows and flowers.) I know that you all were saddened and shocked not to see an entry on Sunday but I will make up for it I assure it. Sometimes the Internet leaves you all of sudden. No note, no call. Just dissappears and you are left cold and alone. But then it reappears and says "See I'm back" and you forgive the Internet. Because it gives you entertainment and porn.
Anyway Onward!

Twilight of the Superheroes
This was my first read for the new book club I've joined. It is a collection of short stories from a first time author Deborah Eisenberg. The stories center around disconnection in a post-9/11 world. The main characters in these stories all live more internally although they are surrounded by family and friends. I found that some of the stories were more successful then others. My favorite was the opening story, which the book is named after, was the most effective. Particularly the juxtaposition of different characters and events were very impactful. Unfortunately not all the stories reach that same quality.

What's In My Bag
X Saves the World
Bel Canto

Four Four Two


Comic Pull List: Batman #680, Tor #6, Trinity #18

Check Out Count: Shameful.

Paul Newman died this weekend at 83. Now I know this is a book blog but he did star in two of my favorite literary adaptations Hud (based on the book Horseman Pass By) and Nobody's Fool from a book by Richard Russo.

Here's a great clip from Hud:

Have a great week! Look for another entry this week. Book Slave.


Opportunity Knocks.

Hello world,
Is it wrong that I love the fact that this morning it was a little nippy? I cannot wait for scarves, gloves, and thick socks. It may shock some but fall here in the City of Salt is actually kind of awesome. Sure by December and January I'll be cursing snow, ice, and frigid cold, but now I am waiting in anticipation. Fall! Onward!

This week some life happened. Some opportunities have come around and I'm pretty stoked. Because of this I had to change some of my reading plans. So no reviews this week but definitely there will be next week.

Hey so because of a change in schedule I finally have the chance to join a book club. One of my co-workers the mysterious Zach Sampinos started the Hard Boiled Book Club. You can read about it here. Sampinos is a pretty interesting fellow, here's an interview with him here. Anyway because of scheduling I'm now able to join. It has been awhile since I've been in a book group and I've missed it. So we'll see how this works out.

What's In My Bag
Twilight of the Superheroes
X Saves the World

Four Four Two

Deadpool #1

Checkout Count: 2 steps forward, 3 steps back.

Comic Pull List:Daredevil #111, Deadpool #2, Fables #76, New Avengers #45, Powers #30, Runaways 3 #2, Superman #680, Trinity #17

Have a great week! Peace Out Y'All! Book Slave.


Television can occasionally be good for you.

Hello Blogosphere,
Tonight you get a short entry because it's late and I'se got some work to do tonight. For television watchers and award show junkies (like myself) tonight was the Emmy Awards. The show actually wasn't bad although I think 5 hosts was a bit much. I am an enormous fan of Tina Fey, 30 Rock, and Mad Men, so it all works out for me.

Well this isn't a TV blog, but there were some literary adaptations that won awards tonight. Now I enjoy lit adaptations. I talked about it here. The best of course can usually found on PBS which airs major Brit adaptations through Masterpiece Theater. This year Masterpiece has not disappointed and Emmy did through some recognition there way. The magnificent series Cranford, which is based on a series written by Elizabeth Gaskell, won an award tonight for supporting actress Dame Eileen Atkins. I found this series to be amazing and delightful and I will be checking out the books. I highly recommend it and here's a trailer to whet your appetites.

The other big winner tonight was an HBO series John Adams, which is based on the book by David McCullough. Again this was a great mini-series and really delivers. I think television is the perfect medium for shedding light on historical events and figures. At 7 hours the audience is allowed to see the complete picture of a man and his times. Bravo to writer Kirk Ellis, who won an Emmy for screenplay, for making history relevant and human. Here's a trailer for John Adams.

(BTW Total Tangent: After watching Adams I am convinced that Laura Linney is the perfect actress for a remake of Little House on the Prairie. Seriously think about it.)

Anyway both of these programs are available on DVD or they'll get rerun soon I'm sure. Check them out. It's much better than reality television.

Have an excellent week! Goodnight and Good Luck. Bookslave.


Beer vs. this blog entry

Hello gentle readers,
Late entry this week, but that's what happens when one chooses to drink beer and go to bed early. (Hey Don't you judge me!) Such things make sense when you miraculously have time off. So there! Anyway, let's see what I've got cooked up for you.

I've previously mentioned my love for Larry McMurtry, (you can read about it here) but I had no idea that he is a book seller. Being a bookseller myself I found this book about books to be fascinating. The man knows a great more than I do, so I learned quite a bit. However I'm afraid that unless you're a bibliophile this book may not catch your fancy. Short chapters make this a very short read. I also enjoyed the conversational tone of the work and self deprecating humor. The book world is full of some eccentric people and stories. I was also very happy to see the bookstore I work at in his list at the end. An enjoyable read for the bibliophilic heart.

Shout Out
In my last entry I discussed the tragic death of David Foster Wallace. There have been several great articles and video posts this week but here's a post that I thought was great. To read it click here.

What's in My Bag

X Saves the World
Bel Canto

Four Four Two

Dynamo 5 #16

Check Out Count: Back to Old Tricks.

Comic Pull List: Batgirl #3, Batman And The Outsiders #11, Captain Britain And Mi 13 #5, Echo #6, Trinity #16

Enjoy your week! Book Slave.


This is the end, This is the end.

I am doing well. I had a working weekend, but it was great to catch up with some old friends. So it wasn't a complete loss.

Today we are going to get a little heavy and contemplative. I was checking the news online this morning when I learned about the death of David Foster Wallace. He had committed suicide on Friday night at age 46 leaving a wife and family. For a link to the article I read click here. Of course this is tragic news but it wasn't like I was a big fan of his work.

So you ask if I wasn't a big fan then how do I know this writer? Here's Some Background: As I've mentioned before, I work as a book seller. I remember when Wallace's debut novel Infinite Jest came out mainly because of it's size. If you haven't seen it, the book is massive. At 1000+ pages the book is tough to display on a shelf and intimidating to try reading. This is one of the main reasons that I have not tried it, although people have recommended it to me multiple times.

All the facts have not yet come to light so I'll try not to judge. Though I cannot help that I feel a certain amount of anger and disappointment when a writer/musician/artist chooses to take their own life. I admit that my feelings are motivated by selfishness because it means that there will be no new work. The door is shut, the machine closed down for the night so to speak.

Despite this I also try to understand that in order to reach that point emotionally a human being is beyond any rationality. The sense of despair must be immense. It's sad that no one saw the signs and tried to help David Foster Wallace. But I guess the same can be said for Kurt Cobain, Sylvia Plath, or Robert E. Howard, as well as many others. It's even harder when a family is left behind. I feel sorry for his kids.

In the end I guess perhaps there isn't much one can say. I think that this will finally motivate me to tackle one of his books, although I think it will be one of the shorter ones.

Well sorry about the morbidity this week. I hope you all have a great week.
Book Slave.


Rainy weather makes me thoughtful

Hey world,
It's me, I'm here to say hello. I find myself oddly loving the cloudy drizzle outside. I'm not usually a fan of rainy weather, yet I guess I can't wait for fall. I'm sure I'll be cursing the weather gods soon enough. It's been an odd couple of days. Not sure what the future holds. But don't worry I won't abandon you gentle reader. Let's move precariously forward shall we?

Astonishing X-Men Vol. 3 & 4
Yes, I finished up this great series from Joss Whedon. The X-Men is generally known as a superhero soap opera. I think that the reason why this series is so awesome is because it maintains it's focus on the characters rather than melodrama. In Vol. 3 each X-Man is led to their darkest psychological places and it is genuinely intense. I found myself caring about Scott Summers aka Cyclops. Cyclops is usually written as really boring when compared to the flashier Wolverine. Whedon brings out the awesome in Cyclops and shows us why he is the leader. This is strengthened by his relationship with femme fatale Emma Frost. Is she really good? Is she faking? Whedon does more than make it a simple answer of yes or no. Emma Frost has her own twisted psychological problems that make her a real character. Emma Frost and Scott Summers are one of the best couples in comics because they both understand their imperfections. Also I have to say that the humor, especially in the scenes with Wolverine, is laugh out loud funny. A very enjoyable series.

What's In My Bag
Bel Canto

Justice Machine #1

Sports Illustrated

Check Out Count: Things are looking up.

Comic Pull List: Criminal 2 #5, Deadpool #1, Dynamo 5 #16, Final Crisis Revelations #2, Goon #28, Green Arrow Black Canary #12, Secret Invasion #6, Secret Invasion Runaways Young Avengers #3, Stand Captain Trips #1, Trinity #15, Wonder Woman #24.

Have an awesome week! Go England! Book Slave.


Teach me Larry, I'm willing to learn...

Greetings and Salutations,
I hope y’all had an excellent weekend. My weekend has been pretty solitary. Sometimes things turn out that way. At least I will always have you, gentle reader, out there in cyber-land. You are out there right? Well I can only assume so. Onward with this month’s feature:

Lesson’s From Classic Lit: Lonesome Dove

First of all some background: As I’ve posted previously I read Lonesome Dove written by Larry McMurtry for the first time when I was 13. You can read about that here. I’ve read it a number of times since then, even read it aloud on a road trip once (to my family’s dismay, I’m sure). Dove is the tale of two old Texas Rangers Captain Woodrow Call and Captain Augustus McCrae who decide to leave their settled existence for one more adventure. Call and McCrae, as well as a whole group of characters, round up some cattle and drive them from Texas to Montana. Past and future collide as these two men see the end of the West as they know it. This book was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1985 and is McMurtry’s masterpiece.

Here are some lessons I learned from this great epic:
1. You are never too old for an adventure. Call and McCrae are in their 60s. And they are tough MFers.
2. Men are complicated. Thus begins my love/hate relationship with Woodrow Call. I love his stoicism and toughness. But why can't he tell his son that he loves him? Why do we always want the men we can't have.
3. Whores/Prostitutes have dreams too. I love Lorena and her dream of going to San Francisco. It's unbelievably tragic when she loses it all. Again.
4. A real woman knows when to say No. Even if it hurts. Clara is the most awesome independent strong woman. "She'll cut your throat quicker than a comanche," McCrae says. She's also smart enough to know that Augustus McCrae is not a man to settle down with.
5. Nice guys do win out, eventually. For examples I give you Dish Boggett and Sheriff July Johnson. Poor bastards.
6. A promise is a promise. Even if its crazy. The amazing bond between Call and McCrae is to be admired. These are honorable men all the way to the end.
7. If you are in over your head, get out. Get out now. I'm looking at you Jake Spoon.
8. It's wonderful to be saved. Augustus McCrae's single handed rescue abilities are breath-taking.
9. Some people are not meant to leave Texas. Some are meant for adventures, others are fine just where they are.
10. You can quilt pants. I had no idea. Thank you Joshua Deets.

There are many more. The book is over 1000 pages after all. And worth every word. If you haven't read it check it out. This is so much more than just a western.

Have a great beginning of fall! Book Slave.



Hello world-out-there,
It's gotten a bit colder, summer is biting the dust. Labor Day has come and gone, no more wearing white according to Emily Post. What I do know though is that there will always be books! Onwards!

Blowing My Cover
I've been interested in this book for a long time. This memoir takes us through the CIA training/career of C.O. Lindsay Moran. I was fascinated by all the crazy training and psychological games Moran goes through The Farm, the CIA training facility. It's pretty shocking how revealing Moran is. It doesn't seem to have been vetted or censored at all. I was less interested in the latter half of the book which deals with Moran's dissatisfaction with her first assignment turning low level gangsters in Macedonia and Bulgaria. The deglamorization of the spy profession goes on for a bit too long. In the end I found this to be just another mediocre memoir about someone's crazy life experience.

Ultimate Fantastic Four Vol. 1
Seeking something fun I decided to venture into the FF universe. Marvel likes to use the Ultimate Universe to reboot their main characters without the drag of continuity. I enjoyed this almost as much as Ultimate Spider-Man because I could jump right in fresh. It was fun to see a young Reed Richards show his genius. The art was also great, Kubert's Mole monster was great. Highly Enjoyable.

Five Fists of Science
This book was a huge disappointment. I picked it up because I had heard good things about it and it's creator Matt Fraction. Unfortunately this turned out to be a rip off of the League of Extraordinary Gentleman. Now Fraction is a fine writer and their are some funny lines but he's no Alan Moore. And the art is terrible. While I know this is from Image and independent, that's still no excuse. Some panels were so badly sketched that I couldn't tell what was going on. A mighty disappointment.

Scalped Vol. 2
This book continues to be incredible. Jason Aaron finds the good and bad in every character involved in this dark tragic world. In this volume Aaron works more fleshing out the world of "the Rez" and its side characters. I was particularly taken with the issue that focused on Catcher, a man who sees more than anyone knows. Why aren't you reading this series?

Astonishing X-Men Vol. 2
Another enjoyable time although a tad bit too metaphysical for my liking. Whedon is able to catch the angsty voice of these mutants. He is able to make this a book about characters rather than action. I really love how he stays true to each character and stays consistent in their interactions. Cyclops is the heroic leader, Emma Frost the femme fatale. In this volume we do get to see the relationship between Peter and Kitty which comes to a head in an issue of talking head panels. Their dialogue makes clear how these two desperately want to communicate but can't. The art is also consistently amazing which isn't surprising. Cassaday is my favorite X-Men artist. Unfortunately Whedon gets a bit strange here in the end, but he does set up an interesting twist.

Announcements & Shout Outs
I've mentioned that I spend time peddling/pushing books to the masses, well now they've set up a blog page and asked me to contribute. Finally they've posted some of my entries and you can find those here. There I'll be posting some longer reviews and some other free-association musings. So check it out and enjoy some of the other writers there too.

What's In My Bag
In the Woods

Kill All Parents

Four Four Two

Comic Pull List: TBA

Check Out Count: Improving.

Enjoy your week folks! See you on the interwebs. Bookslave.