Monday, May 27, 2013

Book #38: Warm Bodies

Title: Warm Bodies

Author: Isaac Marion

Date started reading: May 27, 2013
Date finished reading: May 28, 2013

Publish date: December 2012
ISBN: 978-1476717463
Number of pages: 256

Official summary: "R is a young man with an existential crisis–he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. After experiencing a teenage boy’s memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim’s human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world." (

Official movie trailer:

The Hillywood Show's "Warm Bodies" parody (Mainly just posting this here because I want to save it, but it's hilarious):

How I obtained the book: Got a free copy through my now-former employer (a newspaper)

My commentary:
  • Pre-reading: I am not at all a zombie fan. I decided to read this book for two reasons: 1) I was bored and watched the movie which didn't suck as badly as I expected, and 2) I got a free copy. 
  • Post-reading: Ok, so I'll admit it. For a zombie story, this book was really good. I liked it a lot. Not quite as much as the movie, but a lot. I'm glad that the movie people cut out the things they did because it made the movie flow a little better than the book.

Memorable quotes:
  • “I want to change my punctuation. I long for exclamation marks, but I'm drowning in ellipses.”  ~ R
  • “In my mind I am eloquent; I can climb intricate scaffolds of words to reach the highest cathedral ceilings and paint my thoughts. But when I open my mouth, everything collapses.”  ~ R
  • “Writing isn't letters on paper. It's communication. It's memory.”  
  • “I am Dead, but it's not so bad. I've learned to live with it.” ~ R
  •  “My friend "M" says the irony of being a zombie is that everything is funny, but you can't smile, because your lips have rotted off.” ~ R
  • “Once you've arrived at the end of the world, it hardly matters which route you took.” ~ R
  • “It's hard to take your life so seriously when you can see it all at once.”  
  • “I'm not a general or a colonel or a builder of cities. I'm just a corpse who wants not to be.” ~ R
  • “Even in my bravest moment, I am a coward.” 
  • “Why is it beautiful that humanity keeps coming back? So does herpes.” ~ Nora
  • “I want life and in all its stupid sticky rawness.” 
  • “She is Living and I'm Dead, but I'd like to believe we're both human. Call me an idealist.”   ~ R
  • “It's a shitty world and shit happens, but we don't have to bathe in shit.” 
  • “The world is a liar. Its ugliness is overwhelming; the scraps of beauty make it worse.”  
  • “It doesn't matter. We are where we are, however we got there. What matters is where we go next.” 
  • “Life only makes any sense if we can see time how God does. Past, present, and future all at once.” 
  • “There's no rule book for the world. It's in our heads, our collective human hive-mind. If there are rules, we're the ones making them. We can change them whenever we want.”  
  • “The future is as blurry to me as the past. I can’t seem to make myself care about anything to the right or left of the present. You might say that death has relaxed me.” ~ R
  • “Miracles don't exist. There is cause and effect, dreams and reality. Living and Dead. Your hope is absurd. Your romanticism, embarrassing” 

Buy on Warm Bodies: A Novel

Friday, May 17, 2013

Book #37: Gameboard of the Gods

Title: Gameboard of the Gods (Book #1 in the Age of X series)

Author: Richelle Mead

Date started reading: May 19, 2013
Date finished reading:  May 26, 2013

Publish date: June 2013
ISBN: 978-0525953685
Number of pages: 464

Official summary: "In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills. When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board." (

How I obtained the book: Got a free copy through my now-former employer (a newspaper)

My commentary: --

Memorable quotes:
  • "Sex and battle were each dangerous in their own ways." ~ Mae
  • "I can't shut my brain off. It's like a hamster wheel." ~ Justin
  • "Friction offers no danger. Only its followers." ~ Mae
  • "Voices inside my head are just as grating as ones outside." ~ Justin
  • "Everything about me is a lie." ~ Mae
  • "Passion born from emotional upheaval never ends well." ~ Justin
  • "Wise men don't need concrete answers. By definition, they need wisdom." ~ Geraki

Buy on Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Book #36: True

Title: True (Book #3 in the Elixir series)

Author: Hilary Duff

Date started reading: May 15, 2013
Date finished reading:  May 17, 2013

Publish date: April 2013
ISBN: 978-1442408579
Number of pages: 304

Official summary: "Following the harrowing events of Elixir and Devoted — and the ceremony that almost killed Sage — Clea faces a new reality: With Sage’s soul in Nico’s body, the love of her life looks an awful lot like her best friend’s boyfriend. Can Clea and Sage really be happy under these circumstances? Clea wants to try to enjoy their new life together, but Sage is acting different — angry — and she struggles to keep her friends from finding out what has happened to him. Something is clearly haunting Sage, and Clea is losing control. Can she trust her friends with the dangerous truth, or will she have to risk losing Sage to madness?" (

How I obtained the book: Pre-ordered for $10.98 through Amazon using a giftcard I earned using so ultimately it was free to me.

My commentary:
  • "Note to self: When a man takes over someone else's body, probably best to brief that man on what the previous resident was like." ~ Clea
  • "When a man with memory loss says you're the most beautiful woman he's ever seen, I believe you have to take it with a grain of salt." ~ Clea
  • "If you love me, you won't let me become a monster." ~ Sage to Clea
  • "I think you believe no one but you and Sage can truly love each other in a life-altering way." ~ Rayna to Clea
  • "For Rayna, falling in love is like breathing -- she can't live without it." ~ Clea
  • "Life isn't all about Clea Raymond. The rest of us aren't extras here to fill in your life story." ~ Rayna
  • "Eternal peace is boring. Deathly boring. The living world is far more exciting." ~ Magda

Memorable quotes:
  • I was slightly disappointed to how this trilogy ended. For some reason, I'm wishing it would've ended with a sad ending instead of a happy one. I love the series overall, but I think it would've been better to end it with a really sad tragedy. I think Duff (and the person who helped her write the series) wrapped things up too nicely. The point of the series was this tragic love story that was epic and always brought heartbreak. I suppose I should be happy that Clea and Sage got a happy ending, but I think it would've been better to end up with the two of them not together... like Sage should've died. Despite that, I think Duff did an excellent job for her first series, and I hope she continues to write books like these.

Buy on True: An Elixir Novel

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Book #35: Make Good Art

Title: Make Good Art

Author: Neil Gaiman

Date started reading: May 12, 2013
Date finished reading: May 12, 2013

Publish date: May 2013
ISBN: 9780062266767
Number of pages: 80

Official summary: "In May 2012, bestselling author Neil Gaiman stood at a podium at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts to deliver the commencement address. For the next nineteen minutes he shared his thoughts about creativity, bravery, and strength: he encouraged the students before him to break rules and think outside the box. Most of all, he encouraged the fledgling painters, musicians, writers, and dreamers to make good art. This book, designed by renowned graphic artist Chip Kidd, contains the full text of Gaiman’s inspiring speech. Whether bestowed upon a young artist beginning his or her creative journey, or given as a token of gratitude to an admired mentor, or acquired as a gift to oneself, this volume is a fitting offering for anyone who strives to make good art." (

How I obtained the book: Got a free copy through my now-former employer (a newspaper)

My commentary:
  • My husband is a fan of Gaiman, so I've heard a lot about him since we started dating, but I don't have much personal experience with his work. I grabbed this book for my husband, but I ended up really loving it myself.
  • The book takes Gaiman's 2012 speech and displays it in one of the most creative ways I've ever seen using different typography. After we both read the book, my husband and I watched the speech online (I've posted it below). We agreed that it was a little more interesting seeing the speech in this printed book than listening to him actually giving the speech, but in the end, it is the most profound graduation speeches I've heard (and I've heard lots that were so boring I wish I could've missed out on them). I can definitely see why it was turned into this book.
The speech:

Memorable quotes:
  • "Looking back, I've had a remarkable ride. I'm not sure I can call it a career, because a career implies that I had some kind of career plan, and I never did. The nearest thing I had was a list I made when I was 15 of everything I wanted to do: to write an adult novel, a children's book, a comic, a movie, record an audiobook, write an episode of Doctor Who... and so on. I didn't have a career. I just did the next thing on the list."
  • "The problems of failure are hard. The problems of success can be harder, because nobody warns you about them."
  • "Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art."
  • "Be wise, because the world needs more wisdom, and if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would." 
  • "Make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art."

Buy on Make Good Art

Friday, May 10, 2013

Book #34: Fall of Night

Title: Fall of Night (Book #14 of The Morganville Vampires series

Author: Rachel Caine

Date started reading: May 11, 2013
Date finished reading:  May 14, 2013

Publish date: May 2013
ISBN: 978-0451414250
Number of pages: 352

Official summary: "Thanks to its unique combination of human and vampire residents, Morganville, Texas, is a small college town with big-time problems. When student Claire Danvers gets the chance to experience life on the outside, she takes it. But Morganville isn’t the only town with vampire trouble... Claire never thought she’d leave Morganville, but when she gets accepted into the graduate program at MIT, she can’t pass up the opportunity. Saying good-bye to her friends is bittersweet, especially since things are still raw and unsettled between Claire and her boyfriend, Shane. Her new life at MIT is scary and exciting, but Morganville is never really far from Claire’s mind. Enrolled in a special advanced study program with Professor Irene Anderson, a former Morganville native, Claire is able to work on her machine, which is designed to cancel the mental abilities of vampires. But when she begins testing her machine on live subjects, things quickly spiral out of control, and Claire starts to wonder whether leaving Morganville was the last mistake she’ll ever make..." (

How I obtained the book: Pre-ordered for $9.98 through Amazon using a giftcard I earned using so ultimately it was free to me.

My commentary:
  • This book made me miss how the first 8 books in the series were much smaller, which led to less filler. The first 72 pages of this book were so boring that I wanted to just quit reading it. It wasn't until the appearance of Dr. Anderson that things picked up and were interesting. 
  • SPOILER ALERT: I was absolutely shocked at how this one ended. Claire, Shane, Eve, and Michael (along with Dr. Anderson, Myrnin, and Oliver) return back to Morganville and get met by the human cops at the town's entrance. The human's take down the vampires and say that Morganville has been taken over by the humans thanks to the Daylight Foundation. The vampires are no longer running the show. This makes me a little happy because I've known for a while that the next book is titled "Daylighters" and I had figured that meant suddenly there'd be vampires who could easily walk around in the sun ... because that seems to be the way all the vampire series are going. Somehow they're all adding in at least one vampire who can walk in the sunlight, but this means "Daylighters" is referring to the foundation, not sunlight-loving vamps, and I'm happy.
  • I'm glad in this book there are only two points-of-view -- Claire and Shane -- but I'm still annoyed at how Claire's is in third-person while Shane's is first-person. It was at least less confusing with two POVs instead of three or more. Why do everyone else's in first-person but do Claire's in third-person? It pisses me off.
  • MORE SPOILERS: I totally knew Dr. Anderson was going to end up betraying Claire and everyone else who supports vampires. I don't know how it would've surprised anyone. I think in the Morganville world, you shouldn't trust anyone new. It was just too obvious that she wasn't on Claire's side of things from the time she showed up in the book.

Memorable quotes:
  • "Morganville would go on without her. That seemed weird." ~ Claire
  • "Romance is for idiots." ~ Liz
  • "You come back to us or I swear, I'll find you, dig up your stinky corpse, and kick its ass until it freaking disintegrates." ~ Eve to Shane
  • "You know (Myrnin); he's brilliant, and he's the living embodiment of chaos theory."~ Dr. Anderson
  • "Working for Myrnin means being zookeeper, nanny, and best friend. Trouble is, knowing when each of those things is necessary, because making a mistake means you become a Happy Meal." ~ Dr. Anderson
  • “Not a good day for Team Vampire.” ~ Shane
  • “The world out there isn’t like it is here. I know it hasn’t been easy for you here — and I’ve been a significant part of your challenges, as well. But Claire, I do know something of the world — I have been in it for hundreds of years, and although technology changes, people are little different, then or now. They are afraid, and they use that fear to excuse their own actions — whether it is theft or hatred, violence or murder. People bond themselves into families and groups for protection, and strangers … strangers are always at risk.” ~ Myrnin 
  • "Maybe the normal world isn't as normal as I expected." ~ Claire
  • "Man, the real world sucked. And it sucked even more that I actually missed Morganville." ~ Shane
  • "In real life, you don't get a reset, and you don't get extra lives, and I got the crap pounded out of mine." ~ Shane
  • "Nothing here is like fighting vampires. It's more like fighting smoke. I think I liked it when I had an actual enemy to face." ~ Shane
  • "I love it when you talk dirty physics." ~ Shane to Claire
  • "Anybody who believed vampires couldn't feel things like living people did had never met Michael Glass." ~ Claire
  • "Science doesn't fix everything. Sometimes, it just screws everything up." ~ Eve
  • "We watch each other's backs, Morganville style." ~ Claire
    "You can take the girl out of town, but you can't take the town out of the girl." ~ Shane
  • "When everything went crazy, when nothing made sense... Claire made sense. I just had to trust even when I couldn't see." ~ Shane
  • "You could kill somebody with a bar of soap, if you tried hard enough." ~ Shane

Buy on Fall of Night: The Morganville Vampires

Monday, May 6, 2013

Book #33: How to Be Interesting

Title: How to Be Interesting

Author: Jessica Hagy

Date started reading: May 6, 2013
Date finished reading: May 6, 2013

Publish date: March 2013
ISBN: 978-0761174707
Number of pages: 272

Official summary: "You want to leave a mark, not a blemish. Be a hero, not a spectator. You want to be interesting. (Who doesn’t?) But sometimes it takes a nudge, a wake-up call, an intervention! — and a little help. This is where Jessica Hagy comes in. A writer and illustrator of great economy, charm, and insight, she’s created How to Be Interesting, a uniquely inspirational how-to that combines fresh and pithy lessons with deceptively simple diagrams and charts. Ms. Hagy started on, where she’s a weekly blogger, by creating a “How to Be Interesting” post that went viral, attracting 1.4 million viewers so far, with tens of thousands of them liking, linking, and tweeting the article. Now she’s deeply explored the ideas that resonated with so many readers to create this small and quirky book with a large and universal message. It’s a book about exploring: Talk to strangers. About taking chances: Expose yourself to ridicule, to risk, to wild ideas. About being childlike, not childish: Remember how amazing the world was before you learned to be cynical. About being open: Never take in the welcome mat. About breaking routine: Take daily vaca- tions . . . if only for a few minutes. About taking ownership: Whatever you’re doing, enjoy it, embrace it, master it as well as you can. And about growing a pair: If you’re not courageous, you’re going to be hanging around the water cooler, talking about the guy that actually is." (

How I obtained the book: Got a free copy through my now-former employer (a newspaper)

My commentary:
  •  I've read (and glanced through) tons and tons of self-improvement books, and this one stands out totally from the entire genre. It not only dispenses awesome advice, it does it in a graphical way that is unique and interesting. 
  • With the things that have happened in my personal life lately (if you've noticed, I haven't read a book in like 3 weeks or so, which isn't like me), I needed a pick-me-up, and this was it. 
  • The way this book presents information reminds me of a "music" video by Baz Luhrmann for "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)." I have absolutely loved the video (watch below) for many years now because the profound -- and somewhat random -- advice, and this book made me think about the video. It's such a classic...

Memorable quotes (Doing this a little different this time -- some will be typed in, some will be scanned in as they appear in the book):
  • “Feel greater than fine. Do better than just okay. Amazing is rare, if only because so few people reach for it. Risking the ordinary is the only way to get something extraordinary.”
  • "If it is unappetizing: Do not eat, date, or sign up for it. If the mere thought of it is depressing: Do not major in it, sit through it, or devote your life to it. If it is not important to you: Do not do it only because it is important to someone else. You will thank yourself"
  • "Mistakes happen. Often. Sometimes they're your fault and sometimes they're your misfortune. Freely admit to both kinds."
  • "Avoid people who make you feel crappy."
  • "Maybe your past isn't perfect. Maybe it was brutal. Maybe you were brutal. Maybe you've got more scars than you thought one skin could hold. You can't linger on these thoughts. You will drown in them."

Buy on How to Be Interesting: (In 10 Simple Steps)