alice grass

Audubon On the Wings of the World by Grolleau

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Title: Audubon On the Wings of the World
Author:  (Illustrations)
Pages: 174
Published: April 4th 2017 by Nobrow PressSource: Library
Links: goodreads

At the start of the nineteenth century, John James Audubon embarked upon an epic ornithological quest across America with nothing but his artist’ s materials, an assistant, a gun and an all-consuming passion for birds... This beautiful volume tells the story of an incredible artist and adventurer: one who encapsulates the spirit of early America, when the wilderness felt limitless and was still greatly unexplored. Based on Audubon's own retellings, this embellished version of his travels captures the wild and adventurous spirit of a truly exceptional naturalist and painter. Fabien Grolleau has written and created several comics for Vide Cocagne (which he co-founded) as well as the graphic novel, Jaques a Dit. Jérémie Royer is an illustrator and designer. After studying art for two years in Nice, he specialized in comic book art and illustration in Brussels.

I love birds.  I really enjoying bird watching and discovered who John James Audubon is because of my love of birds. I have read a few books about Audubon and love reading about his obsession with birds.  It was a true obsession.  I discovered through (the website for birding not for the man) that there was a graphic novel out there all about James Audubon's life.  Honestly this comic book fell short of being great. The story could be confusing at times.  For example there was a time when Audubon was sick with a fever and he had these strangely illustrated hallucinations.  Then there was a strange section about slavery where Audubon runs into a man who took his family and ran. Then that part of the story was over.  I noticed a small footnote in the back explaining that this was a nod to the fact that Audubon had slaves at some point?  Confusing. Darwin is thrown in as well as Native Americans.  Just seemed random. 

The art is great.  I enjoyed the pages that had birds.  I liked that the book emphasized that Audubon killed thousands of birds. This is how he drew them so well. I really loved that the end of the book includes about 5 of Audubon's art so that those who are unfamiliar with what they look like can see. This book would probably be great for a middle school kid who would have fun reading a graphic novel and learn about Audubon.  Perfect for a school library.  I did enjoy the book though the information on Audubon was lacking. 


Comic Adventures Issue #54

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This issue I talk about Green Lantern Vol 1 Rebirth,  Wraith by Joe HillMs. Marvel, and The Vision Vol. 2.

This comic is amazing to me.  Green Lanterns is usually a good comic to me so I was excited to see where DC Rebirth was going to take it. I really enjoyed what Humphries wrote.  Two characters, Jessica and Simon are the main characters in this comic and their two different personalities had to learn to work together.  Maybe I really loved this comic because of Green Lantern Jessica.  She has an anxiety disorder and we get to read about her learning to over come it.  Simon and Jessica remind me of a normal person getting handed great power.  The other DC characters (Batman/Wonder Woman/Superman and so on) already have powers so we are just used to them knowing how to use them.  These Green Lanterns are new and making mistakes which makes them more relatable. I also REALLY enjoyed that the Red Lanterns were included in this book.  I like the Red Lanterns and read their whole series in the New 52.  We get to see more about Bleez and her back story.  I don't think the Red Lanterns are getting their own title in Rebirth so it's great to see them in this comic. 
5 out of 5

I was so excited to read this graphic novel.  It is based off one of the characters in Joe Hill's NOS4A2 novel. This is a dark comic.  Don't expect it to be uplifting or for kids.  I do think you need to read the novel before reading this comic.  I don't really think it's stand alone.  When I read people's reviews on this comic who haven't read the novel they are confused why the characters in the book are even doing what they are doing. This series isn't half as good as Hill's Locke and Key. The artwork is really good though and creepy.  There is a lot of dialog in this comic so get ready for a long read.  There is a section in the back that I skipped.  Yeah .. I admit it.  It was like a retelling of the comic but in more depth with no illustrations. I wasn't into rereading what I just read so that was odd. If you read it... let me know what it was even about.  I would love more graphic novel series from Hill. If you've read NOS4A2 this book will help launch your imagination and make that book even more creepy. 
4 out of 5

I have really enjoyed the Ms. Marvel comics from Marvel.  I'm not really a Marvel reader but this comic has been fun and easy to keep up with.. until this issue.  I had no idea if this was vol. 6 or what because if you look at goodreads it says issue 4 and it would seem it's vol. 9 in the Civil War series going on.  Dang cross-overs!  So apparently Ms. Marvel has been working with the Avengers? I guess and Captain Marvel wants her to use some sort of technology that lets superheroes arrest people before they commit a crime.  If they just think about it they get arrested.  Eventually Ms. Marvel isn't into this.  There is a fun side story with the new Spiderman and I haven't read any of his new stuff so that was fun.  I heard Marvel is relaunching again and it will be called Legacy so I don't know if Ms. Marvel will be around anymore ( she is from the Marvel NOW). I have a difficult time keeping up with the series in Marvel so let's hope Ms. Marvel continues. 
3 out of 5

I always knew who the character Vision was by name and look but not much about his backstory.  So when Marvel put out a Vision comic I was excited.  The first comic wasn't what I expected but I still liked it.  It basically takes places after Avenger's 2nd movie where Vision goes and tries to have a normal life with a cyborg family.  Volume 4 goes more into why vision ended up with this family and how they were build. We get to see Vision's history with Scarlet Witch which was pretty sad to see why they broke up.  There is a scene in this comic where the family goes out to dinner and orders food but tells the waiter not to bring it but they still want to pay for it.  Trying so hard to be normal. What really surprised me was that this is the last comic in the series  It was only 2 volumes.  That was really odd to me.  So where does Vision's story continue? Over in the Avenger comics?  And what is the title of those comics?  Again, Marvel confuses me. 

3 out of 5

This counts for 25 comics towards my 2017 Graphic Novel Reading Challenge


NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Title: NOS4A2
Author: Joe Hill
Pages: 704
Published: April 30th 2013 by William Morrow
Source: own
Links: goodreads,

NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns. Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country. Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.” Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.
I love Joe Hill so much! I had this book sitting on my shelf forever and I didn't decide to finally read it until the Stephen King Fans group on goodreads (which I moderate) decided to read it for the April book of the month.  I'm so glad I made the time to read it.  It was so good.  When I had finished reading the book I just wanted it to keep going and keep revisiting the characters.  Joe Hill reminds me a lot of his father, Stephen King, in the way they both do a good job on character development.  I just love how they can take an everyday person and make you either love them or hate them.  I noticed some reviews think that 200 pages could've been removed and I'm over here wishing there were more pages!

When you first start reading the book, the chapters will abruptly end out of no where. I really didn't catch on to what was going on with this till halfway through the book.  That is because I'm not a chapter title reader. So I never noticed that when the chapter ended in an incomplete sentence that the since completed itself in the title of the next chapter.  So... I may have missed a few things there.

I love when something fun like Christmas time can be turned in something scary and spooky.  I really wish I would've read this book in the winter.  It would've been perfect. One thing I will highly recommend is that if you do decide to read this book you should for sure pick up the graphic novel Wraith to read right after it.  Joe Hill writes a graphic novel that goes into the back story of the main villain Manx in NOS4A2. There are even neat illustrations of the evil amusement park Christmas Land and it really brings it to life.  It's too bad that picture isn't included in this novel for those who don't enjoy reading graphic novels.

The hard thing about this book is that I love Joe Hill even more and now I need to squeeze his books in to my huge TBR (to be read pile).  I still haven't read all Stephen King's books.  So much reading!


Comic Adventures Issue #53

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This issue I talk about The Dark Knight ReturnsSuperman/Wonder Woman Vol. 5, Olympians: Artemis, and Harley Quinn Vol. 4.

I wanted to love The Dark Knight Returns.  I've heard so much about how iconic this comic is and that it is THE must read Batman comic.  I just couldn't get into it.  I struggled through the whole book.  I never felt like there was ever really apart of the story that sucked me in.  The artwork is a mess.  The panels on the pages it just messy.  So many images stuffed onto one page. There are a few really good illustrations of Batman (including the iconic image of him with lightning in the background) but those are few.  I do understand the importance of this comic though.  I didn't read comics when this came out (1986). Before this comic came out Batman was all colorful and a goofy character.  Not a man to be scared of or an antihero.  Then Frank Miller wrote this comic.  It was the first time that Batman became the Batman we know today. The comic also has a lot to tell.  It's about war, government, loyalty, so much to think about when reading this comic. I think you could read it several times and learn something new each time. You should read this if you are a Batman fan.  It was powerful but just not for me.  
                                                       2 out of 5

What a Godawful comic. This comic lost all the fun the first volumes of Superman/Wonder Woman.  In fact, this comic isn't a comic that should've been published.  It's a collection of issues from other comics.  So at the beginning of each comic there is a blue page describing everything the reader missed by not reading the other comics.  I'm not even sure if the people reading those comics (Action Comics, Batman/Superman) have to go and pick up this comic to finish those comics.  It was so confusing.  It's no wonder I have really no idea how Superman dies in the New 52. Apparently he's been through so much in JLA and The end of this comic is left up in there air and I have no idea what comic series it ends in.  Then there are two random stories at the end that have nothing to do with anything so there is another blue page telling the reader that. This is why people don't like crossovers.  Books like this where DC just throws a bunch of stuff in and sells it to make money.  I didn't really read the Superman stories in New 52 but I thought Superman/Wonder Woman was supposed to be a story on it's own. 
                                                        1 out of 5

I have enjoyed the Olympians series since issue one (Artemis is issue 9). I read that there are supposed to be 12 issues in all but couldn't find any information on what is going to be the next Olympian O'Connor will write about. The art style in the book impresses me like always.  The perfect drawing style for an ancient Greek comic book.  If you decide to read these comics be sure to check the back of the book as you read along.  There is a section that explains a little more history with each page.  There was one part of the book that .. well took me by surprise.  There's this part where three Gods pee on a bear.  It's apart of a myth so bare with me. The author writes that they "micturated" on the bear.  In the picture I thought for a moment that they masturbated on the bear and was so shocked.  I google micturated and it means to urinate. I would've figured it out when I turned the page but STILL! WHAT!  That picture! This book tells some good myths about Artemis and I enjoyed it so much.
5 out of 5

I just can't get enough of Harley Quinn!  Prior to reading about her in the New 52 I had only seen her on ... well Batman cartoons I guess.  I like how the comics really brings her personality out.  She's become one of my favorite characters. This comic was continuing Harley's groupie story. There was this group of like 10-12 girls who are hardcore fans of Harley and wanted to join her.  So they go off on an adventure and then disband. It was fun to see them all because they each dressed like Harley's different phases through the comic books. There is a really fun story about Catwoman, Harley, and Poison Ivy.  To see these girls have a fun story together (even though they are supposed to be these bad girls).  This story was really funny and had me smiling. Even Deadshot makes a cameo in this comic!  I have volume 5&6 on hold at the library and can't wait to read it. 
5 out of 5

This counts for 21 comics towards my 2017 Graphic Novel Reading Challenge


Listen, Love, Repeat by Karen Ehman

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Title: Listen, Love, Repeat
Author: Karen Ehman
Pages: 256
Published: November 15th 2016 by Zondervan
Source: Library
Links: goodreads, Proverbs31, online bible study

Our culture is self-obsessed – in our schedules, relationships, and especially online. (Can you say selfie?) But in this near-narcissism, people are less content than in decades past. Why? Because we forgot the joy that comes from putting others first. Doing so requires us to live alert, listening for “heart drops,” hints from those in our lives who need a helping hand or a generous dose of encouragement. Living alert lifts our own spirits, showing us that blessing others blesses us even more. Listen, Love, Repeat offers biblical teaching and suggests doable actions that are simple, heart-tugging, sentimental, even sneaky and hilarious.
I recently discovered an online Bible study hosted by the website Proverbs31 Ministries.  I've been looking for a Bible study for a while now.  My in-laws used to host a study once a weekend and we would Facetime in and listen and join in the discussion.  My father-in-law is an amazing Bible study leader and would always leave me feeling inspired and closer to God.  They ending up stopping the Bible study in 2015 so I've been looking for one.  One of my absolute favorite studies that we did was when we all read a book together and then discussed the chapters together.  Similar to a book club Bible study.  The book we read was Twelve Extraordinary Women and I enjoyed it so much.  So when I found out that this online Bible study reads books and then discuses them together I really wanted to join.

The book the group was going to read for April (and it looks like the study goes through May) is Listen, Love, Repeat.  I'm still a little confused how the study works.  I saw that there are live discussions going on certain days on Facebook. I don't really like that, I'd rather have a discussion board like on goodreads so I just have to get used to the different format. Looks like during the month there are videos to watch to listen and learn from also.

This particular book was really excellent. The writing style is as if you are just sitting around speaking to a friend. I read a chapter a night so I could take my time and really read and learn from the chapter. What I really took away from this book was a think called "heart drops".  This is when we really listen to others and what they are saying to us.  Little conversations with our family/friends/people in our life when they share a little something and we set it aside in our memory for later.  It's remembering when someone's dad passed away or remembering their favorite drink and doing something with that information later.  I have tried to already practice this in my life .  I hope that I hear the heart drops of people in my life and am able to remember those drops for later.

There was also a section in this book about remembering the people we deal with everyday.  The person who changes our oil in our cars, or the mailman, the doctor, the dentist.  Giving them a little something.  This can be hard in some situations, for example, I never see my mailman.  We have a community box down the street so I never even know who it is.  The book did make me think about the next time I go to the dentist to give my hygienist something.  I've been seeing her for like 8 years and never thought to bring her a little something.

One thing I couldn't tell with this book was whether or not the site Proverbs 31 was squeezing this book in to make some money?  I think the author is one of the people behind the website so I wasn't sure if the book was picked for the bookclub pick because of this. It was a good book but I don't want to only read books that are by authors who run the site.  So I look forward to check out what the next book pick is. For those looking for some inspiration in their lives, pick up this book.  You won't regret it. Love God, Love Others, Love Yourself.

“Sometimes the best strategy is to keep your mouth shut and your hands open.” (181) And, “The only way to go about loving the difficult is to expect nothing in return.” (182)

Anyone else studied through Proverbs 31 Ministries?  What do you think about it?

The year of Stephen King

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

So much King is coming to screens this year. THE MIST, MR. MERCEDES, 1922, GERALD'S GAME, THE DARK TOWER, and IT! This is the year of King.

Comic Adventures Issue #52

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This issue I talk about Batman Vol 10New Suicide Squad Vol. 4, Wonder Woman: The True Amazon, and Aquaman vol. 1 Rebirth.

Epilogue finishes out Batman's New 52 run (well... at least this Batman there are quite a few Batman titles in New 52). There is a Future's End story at the beginning which I dislike.  A lot of New 52 comics squeezed in Future's End stories and I've never enjoyed those.  It did seem after reading this that perhaps Batman should've stopped in volume 9 since this one was kind of filler.  It has a couple of little stories that give nods to Batman.  In one of the stories there is a power outage in Gotham.  Batman runs around trying to find out what the source is and what bad guy is behind it.  He runs around the city looking everywhere but it turns out (spoiler)  it is just a power outage.  Then Batman says.. he will always be waiting for what is to come to Gotham. (end spoiler).  This was the end of the comic.  I like this closing.  Nothing big and fancy just that Batman will always be around.  There was a Rebirth vol. 1 for Batman but I didn't read it since I want to be surprised by the whole Rebirth Volume. 
3 out of 5

I swore I was done with Suicide Squad from the New 52.  But then I couldn't stop reading it.  The good news is that this was really good compared to the other ones.  I do think though that this lost it's following.  Looking at Goodreads there is one review on it.  It brings in a lot of the team from the movie which might have been to bring in more readers but I think it was too little too late. I this issue Harley thinks a group of people are out to help them get freed from Amanda Waller and so they all follow this new group only to find out it's a trap.  This crazy guy sets up an event similar to the Hunger Games. There were some new characters introduced that I hadn't heard of before and that was refreshing. Captain Boomerang and Deadshot have some great chemistry in this too.  It's just too bad the good issue came at the end of the run.  Again there was a Rebirth preview which I didn't read.  I was excited though to see that Suicide Squad is a Rebirth launch title.  I should get it from the library soon.
5 out 5 

I'm sorry but I just don't get all the great reviews for this comic.  I think maybe if I was a 10 year old girl I would've liked this book.  It seems like that is who this book is written for, but then I was confused because there is one part where Wonder Woman uses the word Bitch so I'm not sure if this is a young adult book???  I'm not really into the artwork either. I appreciate the style but I like my comics to be more realistic art. The author Thompson wrote and illustrated this book. I did like the lessons the story taught, but Wonder Woman is portrayed not how I ever imagined her.  The story tells of Diana being a spoiled brat, a princess who gets everything.  The story retells everything you thought of Wonder Woman's origins and I had a hard time with that. Instead of Wonder Woman being good for the sake of being good, this comic tells a story of a mistake that Diana made and that she feels like she need redemption for it.  I like that Diana was always good because that was her spirit.  I don't think this was a terrible book, I just didn't feel there was a need for a retelling of Wonder Woman's origin story.
2 out of 5

Aquaman Vol. 1 for Rebirth was really good.  Though I will say it's the same story Aquaman always gets.  Trying to get the Atlanteans and the land dwellers to get along, poor Arthur always having to have to try to do this.  This time though he has built an embassy which was a good idea till it wasn't.  There is an attack on it which makes the Atlanteans look bad. I didn't realize that this comic was going to have anything to do with the New 52 but it is mentioned about Aquaman's brother Orm who flooded the coast of the USA.  Which is why the USA still has a hard time trusting the Atlanteans. The one part about the comic that did bother me was when Superman makes an appearance and basically threatens Aquaman telling him to get his people together and to watch out if he doesn't.  Are they not friends?  I haven't read the Justice League Rebirth yet so maybe there are tensions there. The book also points out that Aquaman is seen as a funny guy by the public mainly because he talks to fish.  That is kind of funny after I typed it but I don't think it makes him a strong character if this bothers him.  Strong characters to me don't care what people think of them.
                                                        4 out of 5

This counts for 17 comics towards my 2017 Graphic Novel Reading Challenge

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Title: Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Pages: 352
Published: January 31st 2017 by Disney Press
Source: library

Smart, bookish Belle, a captive in the Beast’s castle, has become accustomed to her new home and has befriended its inhabitants. When she comes upon Nevermore, an enchanted book unlike anything else she has seen in the castle, Belle finds herself pulled into its pages and transported to a world of glamour and intrigue. The adventures Belle has always imagined, the dreams she was forced to give up when she became a prisoner, seem within reach again. The charming and mysterious characters Belle meets within the pages of Nevermore offer her glamorous conversation, a life of dazzling Parisian luxury, and even a reunion she never thought possible. Here Belle can have everything she has ever wished for. But what about her friends in the Beast’s castle? Can Belle trust her new companions inside the pages of Nevermore? Is Nevermore’s world even real? Belle must uncover the truth about the book, before she loses herself in it forever.
I read this book before the new movie came out because I was so excited for the film.  It's my first Beauty and the Beast retelling. I didn't realize that it was loosely based off the new movie. If you haven't seen the new movie and want everything in it to be a surprise skip this review.  It's not a spoiler but it will take away a surprising addition so I don't want to spoil that for you. There are a few things added to the new movie.  One of those things is an addition of a book in the library that Beast and Belle are able to enter.  In this book, Belle discovers this book by herself and enters it nightly. The book adds the characters Love and Death.  Love is technically the one who puts a spell on Beast. She is hopeful that Belle will be the one to break the spell.  Death on the other hand wants them to fail so she can collect money that she bet with Love.  Technically, neither Death nor Love are supposed to interfere with destiny but Death of course can't help herself.  Death sets this book in Beast's library for Belle to discover.

The chapters are super short.  I did find that odd.  Some were like 2-3 pages long. When the book begins it's basically a retelling of the animated Disney film.  At first I thought I was only going to re-read a book about that film. The world (Nevermore) inside the book that Belle finds is really neat.  I always enjoy reading about someone entering a magical world.  I guess what I didn't love is that the way Belle acts in this book is not how I would picture Belle acting.   Wanting to go to balls and meeting men. I just see her as enjoying things different then this.   I did love the side characters in the book and the relationship Belle has with them.  The book covers evenings that take place in between what happens in the movies so we get to read about the nights Belle spends with Ms. Potts, Chip, Cogsworth, and so on.  Chip and Belle become great friends and I like reading about that relationship develop.

I did enjoy this book although I didn't expect it to be more for middle school readers. I would really like to read more about Love and Death and enjoyed those characters so much I wish they had a place in the movies. Perhaps Donnelly will write another book with these characters in it.  I would recommend this book for those that love Beauty and the Beast and want more from that world.

Comic Adventures Issue #51

Monday, April 3, 2017

read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This issue I talk about Justice League Vol. 8,  Wonder Woman vol. 9, The Flash vol. 9, and Catwoman Vol. 8.

So this is the end of the New 52's Justice League. I really did enjoy the run of this comic.  It's fun to me when a group teams up... for example my favorite book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy is the first one because the whole team of characters are traveling together. The end of the Justice League comics has us reading a part one and part two of the Darkseid War.  The problem I had with this comic is the whole Crime Syndicate part. That was the big story in the New 52 and I never found the comics to read all of that story.  So here in this comic the Crime Syndicate is back and the Justice League has to team up with them. There are quite a few surprised in this book which made the war fun to read.  The art I really enjoyed too. The author Geoff Johns has moved on from comic books and now works on the DC movies.  Hopefully that means that he is trying really hard to make the Justice League movie be amazing.  The trailer just came out and I'm looking forward to the film.  I'm glad that the Justice League will get a new story arc in Rebirth. 
4 out of 5

I also read the end to the New 52 Wonder Woman series.  I really enjoyed the start of this comic.  Vol. 9 continues the story of Zeke, who is technically Zeus reincarnated as a baby.  Wonder Woman has been trying to protect Zeke all through this series. I liked that this comic goes back to the Greek story.  We get to read about even a new character Hecate who was really a great villain. The artwork is great.  In the story Wonder Woman has to go and find a few items to give to Hecate to help save Zeke so we get to see London, Tartarus, and some spots in Olympus.  I miss the writing of Azzarello but Finch did a good job trying to finish off the Wonder Woman New 52. I enjoyed seeing Wonder Woman making tough decisions on where she needs to keep her loyalties in this book.  Wonder Woman Rebirth #1 is featured at the end of this volume but I didn't read it because I want it to be a surprise when I read Rebith vol. 1. 

4 out of 5

Finishing out Flash New 52 is Full Stop. So the last comic pretty much finished up the whole Zoom story line so I'm not sure we really needed another comic in the Flash's new 52. So Barry's father/captain wants Flash off the streets since he thinks he's a menace to society.  But what he doesn't know is Flash is Barry. The Rogues get brought in to help capture the Flash.  I do like the Rogues!  Captain Cold, Mirror Man, and some I didn't know.  There is a great villain behind all of the trouble.. urging the police force on to hunt Flash.  I'm not going to give spoilers but the person behind it all was a big surprise to me!! Flash New 52 was really my introduction into the world of Flash.  I loved the artwork especially in the earlier issues. I thought the stories were usually pretty funny.  I'm actually sitting here writing now writing this while watching the Flash on CW.  I've grown to just love that character. There is a Flash #1 Rebirth issue in the back but again I waited to read it. 
3 out of 5

This is the Catwoman I've been wanting to read about for a long long time.  Selena went off into some dumb story lines about the Crime Syndicate and then became the boss of gangs or whatever... and now she is finally just a thief. She's hunting down a diamond, getting revenge on other villains, fighting with Black Mask and White Mask!  It's just great.  And the artwork.. I loved it so much.  Great detail.  I loved that the art showed a lot of detailed backgrounds which I don't think most comics utilize.  I even enjoyed the two side stories at the end of the comic that are about Black Mask.  I typically hate side stories that have nothing to do with the main story.  I'm not sure what is going to happen with Catwoman in Rebirth.  I'm not sure if she'll have her own title but she's such a popular character that I'm pretty sure she will though it's not a launch title.  If you didn't read Catwoman read the fist ones in the New 52, skip the middle of the series and just jump to the end. 

5 out of 5

This counts for 13 comics towards my 2017 Graphic Novel Reading Challenge


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up- Mair Kondo

Monday, March 27, 2017
Title: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Author: Marie Kondo
Pages: 213
Published: Jan 15, 2011 by Ten Speed
Source: Library
Links: goodreads

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles? Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you'll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo's clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list). With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house "spark joy" (and which don't), this international best seller featuring Tokyo's newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home - and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

I have really been organizing and cleaning out my house.  I've been living in the same house for almost 10 years now and it's amazing how things just start piling up.  So I've been out on the internet looking for books to give me ideas on how to go through my items.  One book I kept running across was this book by Marie Kondo.  Prior to this I wasn't aware of the KonMari movement. Basically the KonMari method is pick up things in your house and asking yourself if that object brings you joy.  I think this is a really good concept.  It's true for me that many items in my house are clutter and don't bring me joy.  Then I got further into this book and just couldn't help but roll my eyes!

So I find it to be a little hard to treat my objects not as things but more like beings with feelings. You are supposed to talk to your clothes.  Tell them thank you for doing a good job and keeping you warm that day.  You are supposed to put any bookcases in your closet and if you don't have room in your closet for your bookcase then you have too much stuff.  WHA!  Other things in this book I could never do is fold my socks,  and throw away all paper (I'm notorious for saving anything important in a strict filing system).  There is some really crazy ideas in this book from someone who is very OCD I think.  Kondo was at home constantly tidying her room instead of hanging out with other teenagers.  She states that was doing it since the age of 5. Yikes. I suppose she did get a career out of it.

I did get a little good advice from this book.  I really love the idea of picking up something and looking at it and figuring out if it brings me joy.   I've donated and thrown out a lot of things this past month that really just don't bring me joy anymore. After living in the same house for many years I think I've just accumulated things.  I tend to think that I'll use something again one day (coasters, jackets) and thenrealize that I'm just not into it anymore which is why it ended up in the closet in the first place.

There have been a few things that have been hard for me to let go.  Things I know my parents spent hard earned money on, gifts from friends that just weren't for me.  Those are the hardest but really I just have to remember it's not like I am trashing these items just for kicks. After finishing this book I now hear about the KonMari movement in a lot of different places.  Most recently on the Simpsons and the show Sleepy Hollow.  Funny that it's kind of a pop culture reference now.  

Have any of you tried this or heard about it??  Have you found it helpful in your life?

Comic Adventures Issue #50

Monday, March 13, 2017

read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This issue I talk about New Suicide Squad Vol. 2, Star Wars vol. 2 The Showdown on the Smuggler's Moon,  Lumberjanes Vol. 5, and The Dark Knight Returns, The Last Crusade.

Well... I'm done with this series.  I think there is one more volume before Rebirth. This comic was good until it wasn't.  The story started off good.  Everyone in the Squad was getting bored with the same old day in and day out.  Harley was depressed, Deadshot lost his aim, Waller was trying to save Suicide Squad from the government trying to get rid of it. Then... Deadshot found out something about his dad and wanted to go and check it out.  Of course Waller said no so Deadshot goes rogue and we don't get to read anymore about that.  Story ends.  I'm guessing this continues in the Deadshot comics which I quit reading so I'll never know how that ends up.  Then there is some oddball story about Katana at the end of the comic. I didn't even bother to read that one to be honest. It's like DC didn't have a volume to throw those two stories in so they just tossed it into this volume.  Bleh. The art was only so so too. One panel I couldn't even tell what was going on.  I'm just glad Rebirth is coming because this run of Suicide Squad is getting awful.
3 out of 5

I've enjoyed the Star Wars comics the most out of the run of the new Star Wars comics (Leia, Vader, Chewbacca and all the other titles).  This is set between A New Hope and the Empire Strikes Back. This comic follows Luke on his own little adventure and Han and Leia on a different one.  Luke has found Obi Won's journal and is learning a lot from it. Like the fact that Obi Won watched Luke for like decades?  Yikes I found that odd. Luke goes out in the universe trying to figure out how to become a Jedi. There is some sort of Jedi artifact collector we get introduced to while Luke is out looking.  I thought this part was neat. The collector has so many objects he's collected.  The collector wants to actually collect Luke and his lightsaber as an addition.   Chewbacca and C-3P0 get an exciting appearance in the comic. Han Solo and Leia run into another smuggler who claims to be Han Solo's wife while looking for a planet the rebels can use as a home base. Really quite enjoyable overall. 
4 out of 5

I love the Lumberjanes so much.  I just can't get over how much fun I have reading this comic! The comic is about a group of girls who are at a summer camp.  It truly makes me want to have friends like this. I've found friends don't stick around long, especially as you get older.  So to read about his group of friends makes me envious.  This issue introduces us to merpeople. Cool merpeople.  They dress like humans, and even have electricity under water.  I like the fact that one of the girls in the group just doesn't understand how that works and neither did I but it didn't matter.  The girls end up going to the local lake and accidentally get the merpeople in trouble. It is their mission to help them out. The only thing I was disappointed about was there was nothing in the comic about the main story line.  It was like the whole book was a side quest.  I would like to know more about the magic camp. The comic does need to move more in the direction of giving the readers more answers about what is really going on at camp. 
5 out of 5

I really like Frank Miller's writing but have yet to read his Batman run. This is a prequel of the 1984 comic The Dark Knight Returns. In the Dark Knight Returns Batman has retired because of the death of Robin, Jason Todd.  This comic tries to explore the relationship between Bruce and Jason.  In reality, all it does is show that Jason is not exactly what Bruce intended him to be. After reading this.. it's almost like Jason is just like the Damian we read about in the New 52.  Doesn't want to listen, rebellious.  The only difference is Jason seems to enjoy hurting people. I'm not really sure why the Joker is on the cover?  Yes he is the one who kills Jason but other then that, he doesn't do much else. I'm not sure why Miller felt the need to write a prequel. I think when this story started to get good and really make you start to care about what was happening then the comic ended. Really it ends in a cliffhanger the reader has to figure out themselves, but to see Batman unravel would've been the ultimate prequel.  I'll be reading the whole Dark Knight series soon so I look forward to see how they all compare to one another.  I think there are four volumes.  
                                                        3 out of 5

This counts for 9 comics towards my 2017 Graphic Novel Reading Challenge


Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Monday, March 6, 2017
Title: Heartless
Author: Marissa Meyer
Pages: 453
Published: November 8th 2016 by Feiwel & Friends
Source: Owned
Links: goodreads

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen. At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship. Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
Ok... I'm sorry for the lack of posts but seriously this too me forever to read. Like since Christmas! I've just been doing so much and not squeezing books in. I think maybe I've been playing too many video games especially with the new Zelda out. I had to read this book because I've read all of Meyer's other books and just love her way of doing fairytale retellings. This book was no disappointment.

This book is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts to be exact. It reminded me a little of Meyer's book Fairest which is about the Evil Queen in Snow White and what causes her to become evil.   Meyer's fantastic detail and story telling is so amazing in this book.  I would really like there to be a book about Alice in the future.  How does Alice come in and get mixed up in the land of Hearts.  I don't think that will ever happen because Meyer has said this is going to be a stand alone novel... but we can always hope!

The characters were well developed but this is one of the things that makes this novel really long. Cath Pinkerton is the daughter of a marquess and wants to become a baker. She ends up being pushed into a love interest of the King of Hearts. He wants to marry her and she wants nothing to do with it. She falls for the court joker named Jest though and wants nothing to do with the King.  So the story is basically about how Cath ends up dealing with all of this.  The Mad Hatter could've been a little more crazy but since this is all happening before Alice ends up in Wonderland so it is before he goes mad. But I did want to see him be a little more like the Johny Depp character.

This is a long book.  A long plot.  Be ready for lots of words and lots of describing everything.  I like that sometimes in books and it worked in this book for me. I do like Meyer's other books a lot more then this one but it was still really good. If you enjoy a fairytale retelling go and read this !

Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Title: Turbo Twenty-Three
Author: Janet Evanovich
Pages: 288
Published: November 15th 2016 by Bantam
Source: library
Links: goodreads

Larry Virgil skipped out on his latest court date after he was arrested for hijacking an eighteen-wheeler full of premium bourbon. Fortunately for bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, Larry is just stupid enough to attempt almost the exact same crime again. Only this time he flees the scene, leaving behind a freezer truck loaded with Bogart ice cream and a dead body—frozen solid and covered in chocolate and chopped pecans. As fate would have it, Stephanie’s mentor and occasional employer, Ranger, needs her to go undercover at the Bogart factory to find out who’s putting their employees on ice and sabotaging the business. It’s going to be hard for Stephanie to keep her hands off all that ice cream, and even harder for her to keep her hands off Ranger. It’s also going to be hard to explain to Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, why she is spending late nights with Ranger, late nights with Lula and Randy Briggs—who are naked and afraid—and late nights keeping tabs on Grandma Mazur and her new fella. Stephanie Plum has a lot on her plate, but for a girl who claims to have “virtually no marketable skills,” these are the kinds of sweet assignments she does best.
I always say I'm not going to read anymore Stephanie Plum books, but then a new one comes out and I put it on hold at the library right away.  I'm so glad I read this... it's back to the good old Plum mysteries.  Not too much silliness that I thought some of the last few books had.  There wasn't as much repetitiveness in this one either.  Which I was really happy about.  The mystery in this book was a much more complex and serious. Let's be honest with ourselves here.  If you did think you were going to find something different in this book and you are upset that it wasn't then you really need to stop reading.  Stephanie is the same old Stephanie and she is still dating the same two men.

I guess what I like about this series and probably the reason I keep picking it up is I know what to expect.  So when I want just a quick and fast read, a couple laughs, a story that is all fluff, then this is the book to read.  Though really let's be honest how is Rex the hamster still alive?  Unless these books are all taking place within a few years.  Maybe since we are up to book 23 I feel like 15 years has passed in the series.

I enjoyed this book enough to want to read the next one ... that should be out at the end of 2017?  Will Stephanie make any progress in her life?  Get a better job?  Pick a man?  Own a decent car? Probably not.  But so long as the book brings me smiles and laughs I guess I'll be reading it.

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