Extra Books – September 4 to September 11

  • The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa
    • Published: June 2011 (English)
    • Genre: Science fiction
    • Why I picked it up: Reading the series
    • Rating: 3.5 stars
    • Challenges: Global | 100+
    • My Thoughts:
      • Oh look, another Haruhi book…this is the last one currently available in English, so I promise there won’t be anymore for a little while 😛
      • I like that the ‘Haruhi likes Kyon’…thing (I don’t know what to call it XP) is becoming very very obvious. It’s very sweet. I especially liked the part where Haruhi asks Kyon if there is anything going on between him and Yuki. Kyon is such an obvlious boy.
      • While I liked the third story (a novella called ‘Snowy Mountain Syndrome’), I was a bit surprised that Tanigawa never included any explanation for what happened. Usually Nagato knows what’s happening, or Koizumi has a theory, or Mikuru knows how to solve the problem. I hope that this is because the mystery will be explained at a later time…

Extra Books – August 29 to September 3

  • The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa
    •  Published: November 2010 (English)
    • Genre: Science fiction
    • Why I picked it up: Enjoyed the first book in the series
    • Rating: 3.5 stars
    • Challenges: Global | 100+
    • My Thoughts:
      • I blazed through this volume! It had an intriguing premise: alternate universe-type where Haruhi goes to a different school and isn’t really very Haruhi-like. Which sounds dull, but you can count on Tanigawa to think up a crazy and attention-grabbing story.
      • That day three years ago…again, very central. I am excited to read more of this series, to see where it all ends up.
      • While I did enjoy this volume, the ending felt a bit rushed. What I liked best about this one was who turned out to be behind it all. It was very sad and melancholic.
  •  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
    • Published: June 2011
    • Genre: ?? Mystery with a hint of horror (those words do not do it justice.)
    • Why I picked it up: Aware of Ransom Riggs (he made those early college videos of John Green :P), saw a tweet that he had a YA novel out, the title definitely made it sound like it was for me
    • Rating: 4 stars
    • Challenges: 100+
    •  My Thoughts:
      • I wasn’t overly impressed with the story. It held my attention, but seemed to be lacking something, that spark that makes me fall in love with a story…I did enjoy the writing style (it’s been awhile since I read a book told from the perspective of a teenage boy not knowing anything about the strange situation he finds himself in) and the characters (they were all relatively unique and had their own voices). It’s okay that the storyline is a little weak. The characters and the photos still make this a unique and delightful read.
      • Another aspect of the writing I liked was that it was creepy without being gory, romantic without being mushy, and sounded like a teen without being condescending or generally unrealistic. A nice balance, that is.
      • As I mentioned, I’ve been vaguely aware of Ransom Riggs’ online presence. I remember watching a video back in January where he discusses his hobby of collecting old photographs…
      • This book contains 44 photographs and the majority are (you guessed it) peculiar. I didn’t recall the above video until I was halfway through the book and I thought, ‘Hm, I wonder if these photos are real, from his collection?’ I flipped to the back and there was a list of where all the photographs came from and a paragraph declaring ‘All the pictures in this book are authentic, vintage found photographs, and with the exception of a few that have undergone minimal postprocessing, they are unaltered.’ This is what intrigues me most about the book and why I love it. I love to be inspired by photos and I love that this strange story developed from these wonderfully strange photos. And of course, it makes for a very different read, with the photos being seamlessly integrated into the storytelling. I’ve never read a novel like this one.

Philip Jose Farmer – To Your Scattered Bodies Go

Author: Philip Jose Farmer
Title: To Your Scattered Bodies Go
Series: Riverworld
Published: June 19712011
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Length: 201 pages
Genre: Science-fiction w/ historical characters
Target age: Adult
Why I picked it up: On my TBR list
Rating: 3.5 stars
Challenges: 2011 TBR Pile  | 100+
Buy: Chapters | IndieBound | Check your local bookstore!

When it comes to straight up science fiction, I am generally not interested. I was going to list the reasons why I’m not interested in science fiction, but I can’t even think of any reasons why I would be interested, so just assume all aspects of science fiction disinterest me. Now, this is coming from a massive Doctor Who and fantasy fan…it’s just different, okay? Scifi never seems to have enough creativity, intrigue or heart for me. Okay. Now that’s out of the way…
I picked up the first book in the Riverworld series fully aware that it is classified as ‘scifi.’ The premise intrigued me too much to pass it by. Everyone who ever lived is resurrected in a world consisting mainly of a river, edged by meadows, edged by impassable mountains. Everyone (well, everyone not including children who died before they turned five…). This means the reader encounters quite a cast of characters. The characters were what I liked best about this novel.

I felt like a lot of the theories held by the characters developed rather abruptly…suddenly they were referring to ideas with no explanation as to where those ideas came from. This made the various theories feel ‘fake’, like the author just handed them over to the characters and said ‘This is how it is.’ I would have liked to see the development of their theories. 

While I doubt I’ll ever finish the rest of the series (it’s still essentially a scifi series that’s too long to hold my attention…), this first book was intriguing and a good read for me to try something different.