TBR

MyTBR#66: Great Fantasy Series with Justin Sloan

For episode #66 of the To Be Read Podcast, we were joined by author, screenwriter and writer on Telltale Games’ Game of Thrones game: Justin Sloan to talk about some of our favorite fantasy series. 🙂 One of my favorite topics to date, and a great show if I say so myself (and didn’t have time to mention every great series. And all the ones I still must explore.)

I did it! I finished Storm of Swords (Book III of George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series)! And the final third was absolutely fantastic. Best of the series so far.

My son and I also dove back into the world of Bone with The Quest For the Spark vol 1 by Tom Sniegoski. This one is a kids novel rather than graphic novel, with only occasional pictures. Interesting introduction to the various tangential characters so far.

Yes, if you happen to buy one of these from Amazon based on my recommendation links, they’ll throw a few cents my way as a thank you. Or go get the book out of the library (I love my library), buy it in a used bookstore, or borrow it from a friend. If it catches your eye, you’ll find a way.

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MyTBR#65: Fall Reading and TV Plans

This week on the To Be Read Podcast we talked not just about what we’re excited about in the world of fall book releases, but also about the TV shows we’re looking forward to. There’s a hint around here somewhere on one of mine. 🙂

In the next week I might finish Storm of Swords (Book III of George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series)!

and finished another two Adventure Time graphic novels with my son. Sugary Shorts was an odd mish-mash of short comics, while Seeing Red was very solid, but black and white.

(Doctor Who and Gotham)

Yes, if you happen to buy one of these from Amazon based on my recommendation links, they’ll throw a few cents my way as a thank you. Or go get the book out of the library (I love my library), buy it in a used bookstore, or borrow it from a friend. If it catches your eye, you’ll find a way.

TBR

MyTBR#64: Bryan Cohen Saves The Podcast

This week on episode #64 of the To Be Read Podcast, we were joined by Bryan Cohen, author of the Ted Saves The World young adult sci-fi/superhero series, and co-host of the Sell More Books Show (independent publishing news and tips) and The Split (YA book reviews) podcasts. We talked about his reading and other influences, and had a fun time.

On the reading front it was a continuation of last week in every way. Up to page 600 of Storm of Swords (Book III of George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series), and finishing up the graphic novel Adventure Time Volume 6 with my son. I’m still weeks away from finishing Storm of Swords.

Yes, if you happen to buy one of these from Amazon based on my recommendation links, they’ll throw a few cents my way as a thank you. Or go get the book out of the library (I love my library), buy it in a used bookstore, or borrow it from a friend. If it catches your eye, you’ll find a way.

TBR

MyTBR #63: High School Reading and Storm of Swords

We had a really fun (and polarizing) topic on episode 63 of the To Be Read Podcast this week, based on question from one of our viewers. The question was: Are we avid readers (and writers) because of high school English class, despite it, or something in between. We covered all ends of the spectrum, sometimes at the same time, and mentioned some of the books we actually loved and inspired us, and others we hated. And lots about various teachers too. Give it a listen, and please share some of your memories in the comments on Youtube or here on the blog.

With my son, we’ve continued with Adventure Time, Volume 6 written by Ryan North and illustrated by Sherri Piroline and a bunch more. This is the new issue that came earlier in 2015, so after this we’ll have to move onto something different… or at least some of the stories outside of the main sequence. Still enjoying them!

For my own reading, it was another week of sailing (or slow but enjoyable rowing, really) through the Storm of Swords, by George R.R. Martin, book 3 of A Song of Ice and Fire. I’ve been so tired most nights that I only read a chapter or two, but I’m really liking it, and must be getting close to some of the iconic scenes where I’ve done a masterful job of spoiler-avoidance when they hit the TV screens.

I’m still not at the 500 page mark, so less than halfway. And it’s not out of the question that I’d rush through to the next one too.

Yes, if you happen to buy one of these from Amazon based on my recommendation links, they’ll throw a few cents my way as a thank you. Or go get the book out of the library (I love my library), buy it in a used bookstore, or borrow it from a friend. If it catches your eye, you’ll find a way.

TBR

MyTBR#62: w John L. Monk (and I’m back from vacation)

After a week off on vacation (where I was working on Book IV of Arts Reborn, while my beta reader is finally close to getting to Kallara’s Song, so expect some publication timelines for that and book III before too long), when they guys talked with PT Hylton about Sequels in episode#61:

I was back this week and in #62 of the To Be Read Podcast we got a chance to chat with John L. Monk, author of the Jenkins Cycle and book 1, Kick.

While I was away, I read a bunch more Adventure Time (Ryan North and Sherri Piroline for Volume 5, and Yuko Ota and Ian McGinty for Candy Capers) with my son, and finished off the Game of Thrones graphic novel series with volumes 3 and 4, adapted by Daniel Abraham and illustrated by Tommy Patterson, from George R.R. Martin’s book.


It was so well done and got me back in touch with all the characters, so I dove right into Storm of Swords, by George R.R. Martin, book 3 of A Song of Ice and Fire. It’s been over a year since I read book 2, so there were a few bits where I had to remember on the fly what was going on with different storylines, but I’m fully up to speed now. I’ve been told by many that it’s the best in the series to date, and I’m really liking it so far.

Which means I’m going to be reading it for a while yet. I’m reading every day, but usually only 2-4 chapters, so this could be a month or more. Expect short update posts here.

Yes, if you happen to buy one of these from Amazon based on my recommendation links, they’ll throw a few cents my way as a thank you. Or go get the book out of the library (I love my library), buy it in a used bookstore, or borrow it from a friend. If it catches your eye, you’ll find a way.

TBR

MyTBR#60: Kevin Tumlinson & Writing Inspiration

For episode #60, we were joined on the To Be Read Podcast by Kevin Tumlinson, author of the Sawyer Jackson series, Evergreen, and Citadel. We talked about the authors and books that inspired us to be writers. We got a little chatty, but it was definitely fun.

I won’t likely get to post next week, while on vacation, but you can still catch the guys on the podcast at www.youtube.com/tbrpodcast on Tuesday night at 9pm.

I finally finished Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds by Jim Sterba, and it ended on a bit of a depressing note, since he only has a few half-hearted answers of what to do in a positive way, after explaining a lot of what NOT to do. I liked the first part the best, the middle was solid, and the end dragged a bit. But I’d still recommend it and thank Hugh Howey for the recommendation.

More Adventure Time (finished volume 3 and 4, into 5), and Game of Thrones (finished #2 and started #3) graphic novels. Still loving both, especially the end of volume notes from Game of Thrones by the editor, adaptation script writer, illustrator and even the colorist and letters. Really cool stuff.

After I finish volume 4 in the next few days, I’ll be starting on book 3 of the series, finally.

And I was mildly disappointed by the graphic novel movie-stills/paintover of Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly. I think I would have liked it better as an efficient short story with the same idea, though it was cool read the parts from the known actors (Downey Jr, Harrelson and Keanu Reeves) with their delivery, especially in the wacky drugged up scenes. Not sure I’d recommend buying it though.

Yes, if you happen to buy one of these from Amazon based on my recommendation links, they’ll throw a few cents my way as a thank you. Or go get the book out of the library (I love my library), buy it in a used bookstore, or borrow it from a friend. If it catches your eye, you’ll find a way.

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MyTBR#59: Oh Canada: Canadian Authors

This week we got back to the topic we were supposed to hit the week of July 1st, before Andy Weir pushed it back a few weeks (and rightfully so!) Episode #59 of the To Be Read Podcast was all about Canadian authors (and other celebrities, toward the end, where it became clear that the panel has wildly diverging musical tastes.) I especially enjoyed highlighting some of my favorites in fantasy.

More graphic novels this week!

Continuing my exploration of the the works of H.P. Lovecraft, I found Dan Lockwood’s compilation in graphic novel form (adapted either by him or others, with various illustrators): The Lovecraft Anthology, Volume 1. It included the following stories:
The Call of Cthulhu
The Haunter of the Dark
The Dunwich Horror
The Colour Out of Space
The Shadow Over Innsmouth
Dagon
The Rats in the Walls

and serves as a great intro to his mythos, which is what I wanted to explore, since there are so many references in books, pop culture, and boardgames.

I’ve also started on a major project: reading the graphic novelization of A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin and adapted by Daniel Abraham and illustrated by Tommy Patterson. Wow, they do a fantastic job. From the preface where an excited GRRM shares his lifelong love of comics, through the great art and adaptation of an amazing story (but with all the visuals to streamline the more descriptive passages of the books), and a spectacular behind the scenes look at how it was created, this was a treat to experience. I’m using it to steep myself in the world before heading on to book 3 of the novels later this summer. Oh, and this is volume 1 of 4 for the first novel! What a huge undertaking for the whole creative team, and I have a ton of respect for them.

Adventure Time, volume 3 by Ryan North was a blast, this time delving into a video game world. My son loved it too. Did I mention the alternate covers at the end of each volume are great?

Still not quite finished Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds by Jim Sterba. The final section discusses the denatured life we lead, and issues with roadkill, feral cats, and our complicated relationship with birds. Still very good, just taking me longer than The New Wild, which I liked even better.

I finished reading the Lewis Carroll classic Through The Looking Glass, but forgot to mention it on the show. I didn’t like the ending of the second book as much of the rest, but it was still very cool to see where the Disney classic blended parts of both books into one awesome movie.

Yes, if you happen to buy one of these from Amazon based on my recommendation links, they’ll throw a few cents my way as a thank you. Or go get the book out of the library (I love my library), buy it in a used bookstore, or borrow it from a friend. If it catches your eye, you’ll find a way.

TBR

MyTBR#58 Buddies in Fiction with special guest Buddy Gott

Episode #58 of the To Be Read Podcast got us talking with author and podcaster Buddy Gott about buddies in fiction, and a great discussion ensued:

In my own reading, I’m continuing on with Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds by Jim Sterba, and this week read about how the return of nature has brought beavers, white-tailed deer, Canada geese, turkeys and bears into conflict with humans. In every case the situation is way more complicated than news headlines and the partisans involved would have you believe, and there’s usually no good/clean/cheap answer.

I finished reading the Lewis Carroll classic Alice in Wonderland and started on Through The Looking Glass. As I mentioned on the show, it’s way more psychedelic and Alice’s internal monologues and discoveries really put her in there with the crazy characters she meets along the way. As a big fan of the Disney movie I’ve been so intrigued to see how they mashed together both books into the movie, often taking great confounding dialogue from a TTLG meeting and putting those words in the mouth of a completely different character from the first book. Short and really well written, but I love this kind of crazy thing.

The graphic novel fun continues, and my son and I finished Adventure Time volume 2 by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb, with its awesome take on time travel.

We also finished Jeffrey Brown’s Return of the Padawan, book 2 in the Jedi Academy series. Perfect for tweens or early teens Star Wars fans.

But I still far prefer his single page comics in Darth Vader and Son, Good Night Darth Vader, Vader’s Little Princess, and Darth Vader and Friends.

On the more adult side, I read Jeff Smith’s Sci-Fi Noir series RASL #2: The Fire of St. George, and #3: Romance at the Speed of Light. I’m really liking it. It’s a crazy blend of science, tied to real events and mysteries, romance, and crazy noir-ish and trippy stuff. Looking forward to reading the final #4 soon.

Yes, if you happen to buy one of these from Amazon based on my recommendation links, they’ll throw a few cents my way as a thank you. Or go get the book out of the library (I love my library), buy it in a used bookstore, or borrow it from a friend. If it catches your eye, you’ll find a way.

TBR

MyTBR#57: Books to TV and back with P.T. Hylton

This week on the To Be Read Podcast we were joined by author P.T. Hylton (while Michael was on vacation) to discuss books that were made into T.V. shows that we liked, didn’t like, or would like to see. And some going the other way.

I finished reading the excellent nature-oriented non-fiction recommended by Hugh Howey, this time with The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature’s Salvation by Fred Pearce, the award-winning British environmental journalist. He really challenges everything you might ever have thought about “invasive species,” or what would be more fair to call immigrant and often naturalized. I loved how he traced the history of human study into ecology and ecosystems, and where a few ideas may have taken us down a misguided path. Humans have had an impact on nature far longer than we even imagine, and even our areas with native species are often a recent construction. Thanks again to Hugh Howey for a great recommendation.

It dovetails nicely with Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds by Jim Sterba, and more on that next week.

I finished reading part 2 of the story of Alynia Sky, by indie fantasy author Ben Herr, about a young teen girl who can speak to birds, and has to grow from headstrong and troublemaking into a hero to help her tribe. It’s on the cusp between middle grade and young adult, so I’d recommend it to tween girls especially.
Note: The image and link are for book 1, since I received an advanced reader copy. Keep up to date at his Facebook page.

I’ve started the Adventure Time graphic novels by Ryan North and illustrated by Braden Lamb, with my son, after getting into the show. They’re a lot of fun, and make sure to check out the little light green author’s notes/jokes in the bottom margins.

Yes, if you happen to buy one of these from Amazon based on my recommendation links, they’ll throw a few cents my way as a thank you. Or go get the book out of the library (I love my library), buy it in a used bookstore, or borrow it from a friend. If it catches your eye, you’ll find a way.

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MyTBR#56: Andy Weir! The Martian, and the New Wild

For episode #56 of the To Be Read Podcast this week we recorded Wednesday (Canada Day for all of us up here) because we had a very special guest, author Andy Weir. Patrick and I both loved his mega-hit debut hard sci-fi novel The Martian, along with his very short story, The Egg , so it was a blast to have him on the show with us. We talked about some of his favorite books past and present, formative reading influences, and about his upcoming softer sci-fi series with aliens and FTL travel, and of course the movie version of The Martian starring Matt Damon, and coming this October.

If you haven’t checked out The Martian and The Egg, do it! The audiobook won an award for the awesome work of R.C. Bray.

I continued reading the nature-oriented non-fiction recommended by Hugh Howey, this time with The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature’s Salvation by Fred Pearce, an award-winning environmental journalist. It’s fascinating, and right up my alley, challenging our thoughts and myths about invasive species, but with a balanced eye. I’m more than halfway, but loving the combination of stories from around the world, review of research and the history of research on invasive species, and it dovetails nicely with Hugh’s other recommendation that I started last week, Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds by Jim Sterba. I’ll get back to that one after I finish this The New Wild.

I’ve also continued reading the advance reader copy of Ben Herr’s part II of Alynia Sky. More on that next week when I’m done.

With my son we polished off a bunch of books, including the next 2 volumes of Attack of the Clones, and a really cool kids book about Harry Houdini.

Happy Canada Day up here, and down south everyone have a great 4th of July!

Yes, if you happen to buy one of these from Amazon based on my recommendation links, they’ll throw a few cents my way as a thank you. Or go get the book out of the library (I love my library), buy it in a used bookstore, or borrow it from a friend. If it catches your eye, you’ll find a way.