Sunday, September 23, 2012

Rides a Dread Legion by Raymond E Feist

I grabbed this book at the library because I was out of stuff to read.  His work is fairly pedestrian, but serves well when I'm waiting for more desirable books to show up.  I like the world he has created, but I need to read the first few books to get caught up on its history.  He has an annoying habit of moving the plot along by having his characters ask questions - "So what happened next?"

I recommend this book only if you have nothing else to read.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Sitter

This movie is a bit stupid and is pretty damn cheesy, but somehow I still found it entertaining.  It has fat Jonah Hill who is funnier than the skinnier version.  The kids did alright, but the plot was a bit uneven. Of course, it's hard to hate on a movie which has the Method Man so I have to say I recommend this movie if you set your expectations pretty low.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ashes of a Black Frost by Chris Evans

I finished off Evans' Iron Elves trilogy a couple of days ago and was mostly happy with the conclusion.  The first 90% of the book is just as riveting as the previous two books with a nice mix of Napoleonic action and magic, but the climax felt a bit rushed and was underwhelming.  Still, it's a more-than-solid series and I highly recommend it.

I look forward to his future books.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Light of Burning Shadows by Chris Evans

The second of his Iron Elves series picks up where the first left off and is another solid addition to the world of fantasy.  The historical equivalent would be the Napoleonic Era, but with some elves, dwarves and magic thrown in for good measure.  His characters are well-written, the book is well-paced and the action is violent without being gratuitous.  There have been a number of nice twists, but he could probably kill off a major character or two for the tension.

I highly recommend this book.

Act of Valor

I was in the mood for an action movie and 9/11 got me in a patriotic mood so I had Netflix deliver me up Act of Valor.  They got real military folk to be the military guys in the movie and I think it paid off.  The dialogue and acting was a bit stilted, but the action shots seemed more realistic.  Some of you know there is a strong military tradition in my mom's side of the family so I'm predisposed to liking these jingoistic movies, but I thought it was well-done.  The plot was fairly straightforward and believable and the action was tight.  There were some scenes for reflection, but they weren't long enough to detract from stuff blowing up.

There were more headshots than expected, but I guess that's a consequence of body armor.

I highly recommend this movie if you're in the mood for America, Fuck yeah!

It also has this awesome poem allegedly from Tecumseh:
“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.
When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.
When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Kindle)

I meant to get this book free through Amazon Prime's Kindle borrowing service, but accidentally bought it for $5.  Oh well, lesson learned.  This book has terrible writing, but was tough to put down.  I haven't figured out how a crappy book could be that enjoyable, but it is what it is.  I guess the premise, which seems less like a rip off of The Running Man than thought, appeals to me.  I can certainly see how the tweens got wrapped up in it.

There is a fair amount of casual violence which seems like a bit much for younger readers, but they're already exposed to violence in other media.

I recommend this book if you can get it for free.

Boardwalk Empire: Season 1

I tend to enjoy the series put out by HBO and this one is no exception.  Buscemi does a great job as the anti-hero and there is plenty of violence and titties to satisfy my inner thirteen year old.  The 20's are far enough way (nearly 100 years) to be nearly mythical so it's probably a good setting for another series.  America was going through a moral crisis and had just finished up one gruesome war.

The main Prohibition agent is a little creepy, but perhaps that's just great acting.

I highly recommend this series and will watch the second season.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie

The Heroes is another excellent addition to Abercrombie's First Law books.  It's a standalone novel, but I recommend you read his previous four firstly because some character background is assumed.  It is just as gritty as the previous books, but the geographical focus is a bit tighter and there are plenty of maps to let you know how the battle is progressing.

I like Abercrombie's writing style which is violent, but with intrigue to balance it out.  Like Martin, he's not afraid to kill off major characters so don't get too attached.

I highly recommend this book.

Monday, September 3, 2012

August running

I didn't run as often as I would've liked, but I've got a lot of sports on my plate so it'll have to be enough.

I've started running a loop around the high school in my minimal shoes.  I try to run up on my footpads, but my calves aren't strong enough yet so it usually becomes fairly painful pretty quickly.  I'll keep at it so I should get stronger.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Titans of Chaos by John C Wright

This book finishes off Wright's Chronicles of Chaos trilogy and I think it's just as good as the first two which is a good thing.  I appreciate his attempt to explain the power of the gods with higher dimension physics.  I'm not sure it all holds together, but who knows?  His characters are well-written though I think he gives the Olympians short shrift.

There might be a tad too much juvenile sex jokes, but his protagonists are teenagers so perhaps it's appropriate.

I highly recommend this book and the series in general.