2014

RASL

Jeff Smith

3/2014

Science fiction / romance / noir thriller, all wrapped around Jeff Smith's pleasing artwork and echoes of Nikola Tesla. Jeff Smith previously wrote and illustrated the much different, if graphically similar, Bone.

Boxers and Saints

Gene Luen Yang

4/2014

I've always loved Gene Yang's comics and graphic novels. These are excellently told and illustrated, if a bit dark. The two companion books tie nicely together (read Boxers first) and relate two young people's lives through the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 China.

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley

4/2014

My mom bought me this book for christmas, as i'd never read it. It was kinda interesting, but dated. The vision of the future (from 1932) sees no electronics and computers. Everything is still levers and cranks and machines and the citizens travel by personal helicopter and rocket. The story isn't as interesting as the setting, which by this point has entered the public consciousness, and the characters are fairly one-dimensional. Toward the end of the book, it gets very preachy and philosophical and the plot kinda dissolves.

The biggest annoyance with this book (and i felt the same way about On The Beach) was that it does not pass The Bechdel Test at all. The female characters do nothing but talk about, spend time with, or try to get their man. Granted, one must look at the period in which this was written, but still, leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Dog is my Copilot

Rescue Tales of Flying Dogs, Second Chances, and the Hero Who Might Live Next Door

Patrick Regan

4/2014

This book is basically two chapters on the formation of the organization "Pilots and Paws" which coordinates small-plane pilots with rescue organizations to move dogs (and some other animals) around the country to foster or permanent homes. After that is 26 short articles of pilots describing memorable dogs that they've transported. Give one quite a perspective on the time that many people in this country donate for free to rescue dogs.

1984

George Orwell

5/2014

After reading Brave New World, i decided to read this. Similarly bleak, but much more psychological. It bogs down about three-quarters of the way through with pages of explanation of things that the reader has already figured out and there isn't really any final explanation at the end other than "men crave power." So, kindof interesting.

It also completely fails The Bechdel Test.

Letters from Angel

A true story in her own words, as told to Martin P. Levin

Martin P. Levin

8/2014

My father gave me this book, as he knows the author. The conceit of this small book is that it is written as though the dog is doing the telling. It's sad at the end because of course, Angel dies, but the whole book comes off as a rich person's indulgence in writing a book, rather than anything of merit. Fortunately it's short.

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