Books I Read: April 2017

Hey guys, here’s what I read in April. It’s been a long day and I kind of forgot to do this until the last minute, so my summaries may not read like fine literature.

Art Edwards, Badge. **** I am a big fan of Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers and I recently watched a documentary about the previous incarnation of the band – The Refreshments. I learned that the former bass player quit the band and became a novelist. He writes about musicians from Arizona and the novels are captivating.

Art Edwards, Ghost Notes. **** Here’s another one. This is also good. It feels kind of semi-autobiographical, but I could be reading into it.

Art Edwards, Stuck Outside of Phoenix. *** It is at this point that I discovered that all of these novels take place within the same world. I look forward to reading more of these as they come out.

Casey Lankow, Realizing. **** A Young Adult novel that isn’t about vampires. I went to college with Casey. We weren’t best pals or anything but we ended up in the music building a lot at the same time so we knew each other. I discovered through Facebook that he wrote a YA novel about a young man who discovers and comes to terms with his sexuality. Very very good book. Would be a tremendous resource for all young people.

Jennifer Reinfried, Grim Ambition. **** I don’t read a lot of superhero material, but I do enjoy crime literature. This book reads like a comic book and a gritty detective book had a baby and then sat it down for the talk about the birds and the bees before training it to kill. This is my friend Jen’s first book in a trilogy. She writes fast so I wouldn’t be surprised if she was finished with the third book by the time I finish typing this sentence.

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Books I Read: March 2017

Here’s another month of books I read. Eight of them this month. Don’t expect me to keep up this pace.

Neil Gaiman, Norse Mythology. **** This is a pretty good telling of some of the Norse myths. I mean, it’s good in that it reads like folklore. I have no idea how close this comes to the original stories. Also, I’m kind of cynical when a pop persona like Gaiman writes about an academic subject as if he is an expert. But still – enjoyable.

Octavia Butler, Parable of the Talents. **** A great follow up to Sower. This book makes you think about things. I read this on the beach while on vacation and felt like a huge entitled jerk.

Joe Hill, NOS4A2. *** I think by now I’ve read all of Joe Hill’s stuff. He writes like his dad but his bad guys are more empathetic. This is a trait missing in a lot of King’s villains.

John Darnielle, Universal Harvester. **** The dude who is The Mountain Goats is also a novelist? Did you know that? I didn’t. I read both of his novels this month. This reads like a thriller in the craziest way. You have to pay attention when you read this.

John Darnielle, Wolf in White Van. **** Dang, this guy is good at writing. I feel like Darnielle was probably an interesting kid when he was growing up. Less cerebral than Universal Harvester, but I felt more empathy for the main character.

Josh Malerman, A House at the Bottom of a Lake. *** I read this because I really really enjoyed Bird Box when I read it in January. Read that book. This one’s good, but read Bird Box if you read one book by Malerman.

Caitlin R. Kiernan, Agents of Dreamland. *** This is the type of book that your college roommate would call a “mind fuck.” If you like Philip K. Dick, which I do, you’ll enjoy this one.

Josh Malerman, Ghastle and Yule. **** This book details the creepy and obsessive relationship between two competing horror directors during the golden age of horror. The way he describes the fictional movies in this book make me want to watch them and it really bugs me that they don’t exist.

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Books I Read: February 2017

Neil Gaiman, Trigger Warning. *** Fans of Neil Gaiman will enjoy this collection of short stories and poems. Neil Gaiman, like his wife Amanda Palmer, is a talented writer who is just no good at poetry (he is talented at writing fiction, she at writing music). But the other stuff is delightful. There’s a Shadow Moon story in here that fans of American Gods will enjoy.

Ernest Cline, Ready Player One. **** This and the next two books from this month are set in a dystopian future and each tells a story from a different perspective. This is a story of escapism.

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale. **** A fantastic story of what can go wrong. What happens when the very existence of patriarchy is dependent on women. This is a story of survival.

Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Sower. ****  Building a religion. I think that religion building happens in times of crisis. The texts we now know as the bible came from periods of change and distress. Other religious and philosophical texts do as well. A person or group has lost their foothold in what is comfortable and needs to find or create something that can provide grounding. This is a story about finding freedom in change. I think.

 

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Books I Read: January 2017

These are the books I read this month. Ratings are out of a possible 5 stars.

Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle. *** I’ve been enjoying this show on Amazon Prime and I like Dick’s other stuff so I thought I’d check it out. The show might be better, which feels weird to say.

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove. ***** My mom gave me this book for Christmas and I loved it. Funny and sincere and heartwarming and stuff.

Joe Hill, 20th Century Ghosts. **** This is a book of short stories. I’ve enjoyed everything Hill has written.

Blake Crouch, Dark Matter. **** Kindle recommended this one to me when I finished the Dick novel. Really cool hard science fiction set in the present day.

Josh Malerman, Bird Box. **** Another Kindle recommendation. Fantastic, creepy, psychological, post-apocalyptic fiction.

Chuck Wendig, Invasive. ** Yet another Kindle recommendation – I was on a lot of airplane flights in January, get off my case. Sort of a Jurassic Park feel to this present day science fiction novel. Kept my attention but didn’t blow my skirt up.

Blake Crouch, Pines. *** Another Kindle recommendation. Apparently there’s a show on Fox based on this trilogy. This is book one. I read the entire thing on a flight from Salt Lake City to Madison. It was pretty good.

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Last Night’s Dream: Back To School

I dreamt I was back in high school. I was living in the same house my family lived in at the time and shared the same room in the basement with my brother. Anyway, it was morning and I overslept because I was up late (past 10:30!) watching TV and I was all stressed cause I was late for school and I didn’t have my costume ready for the play and also I hadn’t practiced my parts for the concert the band was going to play that evening.

This morning in the shower I actually thought to myself, “I hope I figure out this costume thing” before remembering it was a dream. Although I’m sure I’m forgetting something.

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Last Night’s Dream: Nate Goes To Hollywood (or: Queer Spidey)

My roommate Trent and I wrote a script for a new Spider-Man movie. The Studio* was interested in buying it so they sent a dude to Madison to negotiate the sale. The dude was Patton Oswalt for some of the dream but most of the time he was just a dude who kind of looked like Patton Oswalt.

Studio Guy said The Studio was really interested in our script because in it, Spider-Man was in a gay relationship with The Flash** and they wanted to cash in on the buzz that Deadpool was getting for having a pansexual hero.***

Studio Guy offered $1400 and said the biggest payout for this is that we would now be in a position to write more scripts for Hollywood. You know, the old, “you’ll get great exposure from this” thing. Trent said “sold” before I could say anything. We were in a meeting and I didn’t want to undermine our position by arguing with Trent about it so we ended up selling our screenplay for $1400. Afterwards I chewed out Trent and told him we could’ve at least gotten $2000. “That’s a grand apiece, bro!” I said.

I remember being really excited cause now when I met people I could introduce Trent as my “writing partner” which sounds way cooler than “roommate.”

For some reason Trent and I decided not to go public about this sale even though we were super excited. We wanted to make sure the movie actually got made before we went around bragging that we wrote it. I went to a baseball game and found a random group of people and told them since I needed to tell someone.

The End

 

*The Studio had a name and I think it started with an M but I don’t remember because I’m a human being and I don’t have total recall when it comes to dreams. It’s the way dreams work. Look it up, jerks.

**I know, Spidey is Marvel and The Flash is DC. It was a dream, remember?

***Not dream-related: Captain Jack Harkness was pansexual way before Deadpool was, so get off it. Also, superhero movies have been doing the bisexual thing with female heroes for years. Saying Deadpool’s queerness is revolutionary is effectively saying that women don’t count.

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New song: Ghost Agent Keen (feat. Levi Bjork)

Check it out.

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New Album!

Check out my album inspired by Under The Dome

bridge party 6

 

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Here’s A List Of 10 Jacks From Best To Worst

1. Jack Reacher

jack reacher

 

2. Jack Bauer

jack bauer

3. Jack Black

jack black

4. Jack Ryan

Jack ryan

5. Jackie Robinson

jackie robinson

6. Jack Johnson

jack johnson

7. Jack Skellington

Jack_Skellington_by_Zlydoc

8. Jack White

jack white

9. Jack The Ripper

jack the ripper

1o. Jack from Lost

jack from lost

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Online IQ Test!

Hey guys, take this short and simple IQ test and post your results on Facebook!

 

Question 1: Do you believe that IQ tests not administered by psychiatric or medical professionals are accurate?

Question 2: Do you believe that taking IQ tests regularly can produce accurate results instead of just teaching you how to score higher on IQ tests?

 

Congratulations! Your IQ is 132, just like all your friends somehow!

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