Archive | June 2012

The Cloud of Unknowing by Thomas Cook

I did an extensive search of my library catalog with various subjects for the mental illness reading challenge and I came up with a decent list of books to read months ago. Now I just want to say that everyone involved at my public library knows how lacking our cataloging is and subject headings are few and far between on items. But regardless I had a good starting place.

I picked this book because the only headings given this book were: Schizophrenia, Psychological fiction,  brothers & sisters, and family. I thought this may a good book about the disease and how the family dealt. Well… not quite

It fits into a mystery/crime-fiction “esque” genre. The book follows the mystery surrounding the death of a young boy and how his mother was handling it. The mother had a brother who is our prominent narrator and their family has a history in schizophrenia. As kids they dealt with the father and his disease. Now, later as adults it seems they may face it all over again as the sister appears to be unstable after the death of her son. Anyways, the book is broken into two parts essentially. The story is being told from the brother’s (David’s) perspective to a detective while he is in holding it seems. So the chapters jump from the scenes where the detective and David are speaking to the flashbacks from how David told the story. 

I’m not going to say a whole lot more about the book for fear of giving something away. I was on the fence about this book midway through, and I certainly felt it didn’t really work for the mental illness challenge. But after just finishing it I think it does in it’s own way. While reading it I thought that the book really wasn’t about schizophrenia, but that the disease was only present in the background tot the story. They also never really talked much about schizophrenia other than mentioning the father or whoever had it. But after finishing it, it’s the little things that make me see how this book was really about the mental illness. Pay close attention to how people act and whatnot. Clear symptoms of the disease are prevalent in the writing: problems thinking clearly, trouble with normal emotional responses, problems with telling whats real from not, bizarre behavior, isolation, delusions, and of course voices and whatnot. So I think it did a good job. I definitely didn’t expect the ending, and the ending really solidified the book for me. I’d give it a 3 stars, and recommend it for an interesting suspenseful yet thought provoking book. Man the characters could get philosophical on you at times, but I enjoyed that!

Shadow Bound by Rachel Vincent

I just finished this book yesterday and boy was I hooked after getting into the first few pages. I have to admit, I’m a big Rachel Vincent fan. I’ve been reading her works for a couple of years now. I really like this Unbound series right now, and am ashamed to admit that I just picked this book up a couple days ago. Usually I have her latest book pre-ordered on my Amazon Kindle account and they just magically appear– I love it!

Anyways a few things starting out, I was a bit apprehensive to read this book because I was disappointed to hear Rachel was writing this series from a different perspective with each book. Once I’m reading about characters I’ve grown an attachment too I really didn’t want the next book to drop those in favor of new characters. But I think the novel works this way, it advances the story of this Urban Fantasy, as they call it, world. In general I feel like the idea of humans with special abilities living in the world amongst the normal populace has been a bit overdone. But I like these books— Rachel has a great way of writing that I always seem to connect with no matter what. I also really like these traits that the people can do: Shadow walking/traveling, trackers, binders, etc. It makes for a scary but fascinating world.

I was left on edge most of the novel trying to cheer on one character or another. The book is divided into different perspectives: one chapter will be written from Kori’s the next Ian’s. It made it a bit confusing and disjointed in the very beginning, but about 50 pages or so in I was hooked. There’s definitely a lot of blood shed, but SPOILER ALERT things do work out in the end despite what appears to be some horrible luck on the part of the characters. I can’t wait to see what’s in store next!

The Walking Dead

Well my summer break from classes is finally upon us and as I promised my friend, I’d finally borrow her Waking Dead graphic novels. I devoured those books—- they were finished in no time. I rated them all individually on GoodReads because I don’t think a rating for all 7 books (and one paperback I read) was justified. I think overall I’d give it a 3.5-4 out of 5 stars. I really liked parts and others not as much. As my friend said, unlike in the TV show I just do not see any good future for our “cast” in these graphic novels. Not only that but I’ve found it a bit hard to sympathize with most of the characters for the most part, there’s definite exceptions to that though.

 That being said, I like the writers twisted imagination! There were few scenes I would have rather them brushed over a bit, but many other scenes I wish they would’ve gone into further. I feel like the comic is rushed a bit though. I also think there are way too many people left living in this Zombie Apocalypse. I do not hold much faith in our human race for many surviving and in Georgia alone there a great number of people living/holded up in the area!!

Anyways I do not want to say much for fear of spoiling things, but the books were great in general. This was my first experience reading a graphic novel, and I do wish it was a novel instead—- however I did read the Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor novel before reading the comics. I do feel like this is a good idea, because it’s really interesting reading about the Governor and seeing the aftermath after already knowing the backstory. But I felt that the writing in the novel was pretty poor— the imagination/storylines were good but the writing felt lacking. So I wonder if the comics were in novel form if I’d have liked them as much!

So now I’ve tackled a couple good zombie books and would love some recommendations for other good ones. I loved World War Z and these graphic novels were good too. Anyone have any good recommendations?