Tag Archives: Hyperbole and a Half

5-Star Books I Read in 2014 (So Far!)

Sometime during the next month, you may have to shop – for yourself or someone else. I have some suggestions, so here are the books I rated 5 stars in 2014 (so far!). Of course, this by no means guarantees you or your people will find them worthy of 5 stars 😉 Listed in order from most recently read and working backward through time. The title links should take you to my reviews of the books:

Jodi Picoult, Leaving Time: A Bookworld Top Pick for Christmas. General/mainstream fiction.

Laura Wiess, Leftovers: YA suspense.

Laura Wiess, Such a Pretty Girl: YA suspense.

Maggie Stiefvater, The Dream Thieves: YA urban fantasy. (Book 2 in a series.)

Tiffany Reisz, The Mistress: Erotic fiction. (Book 4 in a series.)

M. D. Waters, Archetype: Futuristic.

Laura Wiess, Me Since You: YA general/mainstream fiction.

Allie Brosh, Hyperbole and a Half: Illustrated memoirs.

This post was supported by Bookworld.

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Notes on Not-Reviewed Books: March 2014

I never read a book twice. It has only one chance. And my brain’s not good at retaining information – even with my favourite books I struggle to remember the characters’ names.

These are the books I read in March that I didn’t review because I couldn’t be stuffed. Let’s see if they’re memorable.

Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale: Creepy kids doing creepy things, and begetting creepy children. Family secrets. All the elements of the stuff I usually like reading are here, but presented in a way (oral history) that just doesn’t appeal. This is probably one of those books that everyone else loves, but I think it’s…middling. 3 stars

Nic Pizzolatto’s Galveston: The hero refers to specific women (his ex, and his new acquaintance) as “sluts”, so he’s more of an anti-hero – not as bad as “the bad guys”. But he is violent to people, and kills them if it suits his purpose. Eighteen-year-old Rocky may legally be an adult, but she is still a teenager, and older guys perving on teenagers are creepy. Even though Roy rejects her advances. 3 stars

Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half: I knew I would love this book, and good news – I did! My first 5-star read of the year, and it was just what I needed. Starts off with a cracker of a tale about an old letter young Allie wrote to her future self. If this book teaches us anything, it’s that kid-logic and dog-logic are both terribly flawed. Unfortunately, the collection doesn’t include one of my favourite stories – about how little girls playing “wolf” are mean to a teenage boy. Kids are scary, y’all! That poor lad 😦 5 stars

Madeline Ashby’s vN: I said it at the time, and I stand by it: BEST PROLOGUE EVER! The author’s experience with strategic foresight shines through in the richly detailed world-building, and the carefully constructed characters – both synthetic and organic, and their interactions. It’s fascinating, heartbreaking, and all-out entertaining…until the epilogue, which is bonkers, but not in a way that works for me. Nevertheless, vN is a must-read! 4 stars

When Did My Cat Become Me?

Image: Watching and silently judging everything and everyone in the front yard and street. Sometime in 2008.

I’d just finished reading Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half, and was in the lounge. I was on my couch, waiting for my laptop to load, and the cat was on the opposite couch. Lying on his tummy, paws tucked in, head up and alert just in case anything of note should happen. Ears pricked at the slightest sound, eyes looking in the direction of things beyond the lounge wall. Trying to keep focused, but his eyelids (do cats have eyelids?) drooping closed. Then came the epiphany:

My cat is me.

No, Manny is not a figment of my imagination, conjured up for the Internet to prove that I’m not utterly alone in my weirdness. But I adopted him when he was three years old, and he’s about ten or eleven now. You know how there’s a supposed theory that women who live in close proximity, somehow their mentrual cycles tune in to each other by osmosis or something, and they occur around the same time? Yeah, I have no idea if that’s true or just an urban myth, but I wonder if by living in close proximity to me for most of his life that somehow mine and Manny’s personalities have somewhat merged.

Example: Manny trying to keep alert, whilst actually being rather sleepy = Fear Of Missing Out. I totally have that. You may have noticed that.

Example: Manny’s line of vision follows people around the room, turning his head. Because he’s watching and silently judging. I don’t act upon my judgments, but I have them nonetheless. As in, “I know what you’re doing, but for the time being I’ve decided not to call you out on it.”

There are probably more examples (binge-eating, only his portions are controlled, and he purges but I don’t), but it makes me wonder when my cat stopped being himself and started being me. I chose to adopt him from the shelter, because he was the only cat who could be bothered getting off their arse to greet me, so I figured that initiative should be rewarded, because maybe he actually wanted me to adopt him. Who knows?

P.S. I think maybe this entire blog post is just post-book weirdness. I’m not usually like this, I swear! (Except for the Fear Of Missing Out, watching and silently judging, and the binge-eating, of course.)

P.P.S. I think I might be a gobshite.

Image: Because being outside shouldn’t mean you have to do stuff. Sometimes in 2012.

29th October 2013 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Allie Brosh
Hyperbole and a Half
Simon & Schuster Touchstone (US & CA: 29th October 2013); Random House Vintage Square Peg (UK: 29th October 2013)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Stories about life’s mishaps from the creator of the blog ‘Hyperbole and a Half’. Fully illustrated with over 50% new material. Hyperbole and A Half is a blog written by a 20-something American girl called Allie Brosh. She tells stories about the mishaps of her everyday life, with titles like ‘Why Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving’ and ‘The God of Cake’. She accompanies these with naive drawings using Paint on her PC. Brosh’s website receives millions of visitors a month and hundreds of thousands of per day. Now her full-colour debut book chronicles the many “learning experiences” Brosh has endured as a result of her own character flaws. It includes stories about her rambunctious childhood; the highs and mostly lows of owning a mentally challenged dog; and an account of her struggles with depression. Think Cyanide and Happiness but with story-lines, cake and dogs.

Mira Grant
Parasite
Hachette Orbit (US & UK: 29th October 2013)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease. We owe our good health to a humble parasite – a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the Intestinal Bodyguard worm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system – even secretes designer drugs. It’s been successful beyond the scientists’ wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them. But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives…and will do anything to get them.

Kim Harrison
Ever After (Hollows, Book 11)
HarperCollins Voyager (US & CA: 29th October 2013)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

The ever-after, the demonic realm that parallels our own, is shrinking, and it’s up to witch-turned-daywalking-demon Rachel Morgan to stop it before the fragile balance between Inderlanders and humans falls apart. Of course, there’s also the small fact that Rachel caused the ley line to rip in the first place. And the most powerful demon in the ever-after, the soul-eater Ku’Sox Sha-Ku’ru, has kidnapped her friend and her goddaughter as leverage in his quest for vengeance. If Rachel doesn’t give herself up for execution, they will die. Rachel must team up with elfin tycoon Trent Kalamack – a partnership fraught with perils of the heart and soul – to rescue those she loves.

Nancy Holzner
Hellhound (Deadtown, Book 5)
Penguin Ace (US & CA: 29th October 2013)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

They call it Deadtown: the city’s quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its borders – but Victory Vaughn, Boston’s only professional demon slayer, isn’t exactly human… Boston’s zombies have suddenly become inexplicably violent – horror movie-style – resulting in a catastrophic all-out battle against humans. More troubling to Vicky is that she’s had dreams and visions of herself fighting alongside the demons. At least, she hopes they’re just visions – otherwise, that puts her on the front lines of the wrong side of the war. Vicky’s not surprised to discover that Pryce, her demi-demon cousin and loathed adversary, is behind the outbreak of the zombie plague, having formed an unholy pact with the Old Ones. Now, as the violence escalates and alliances shift, Vicky knows she’s the only one who can stop the plague. Unless the pack of hellhounds on her trail finds her first.

November 2013 Releases

Done with October 2013 Releases? Here are November 2013 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist.

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October 2013 Releases

Done with September 2013 Releases? Here are October 2013 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist.

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2 New Covers (Brosh, Cross)

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