Tag Archives: book

The Real McCoy – “Oh Look At Me, I’m Bookshelf Q. Battler and I Have a New Book”

By: Leo McCoy, the Man Who Once Delivered a Sandwich to James Van Der Beek

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Howdy do, 3.5 readers.  Howdy do indeed.

Boy oh boy, Bookshelf Q. Battler sure is insufferable lately, isn’t he?  He’s walking around East Randomtown with his chest all puffed out like he’s the cock of the walk, telling everyone he sees, “Hey, I just published a book on Amazon and you should go download it for free this weekend.”  I bet the guy will even turn that last quote into a hyperlink.  Dang, BQB, you’re such a predictable tool bag.

Sure, it’s a big milestone for our favorite nerd but holy crap nuggets, you know what else is a big achievement?  Delivering a sandwich to James Van Der Beek but did I go around telling everyone about it?

OK.  Yes I did.  I told like thousands of people and still do to this very day.  But I didn’t write a book about it.  I tried to, but all the publishers I sent a pitch letter to rejected me on account of the fact they didn’t think I’d be able to squeeze more than a chapter out about my chance encounter with JVDB.  (That’s what we Van Der Beek Tweakers call ourselves.)

Joke’s on the traditional publishing industry.  They didn’t think I’d be able to squeeze out more than a chapter?  Hell, I’ve squeezed out an entire lifetime’s worth of satisfaction and happiness out of that one meeting.  Double hell, a freight train could collide with my face tomorrow and I’d shout, “I regret nothing, for I met James Van Der Beek!”

Oh la dee da, all the East Randomtownsfolk are up BQB’s butt with a coconut, peddling a bunch of trash talk about how BQB is now officially the most famous man in East Randomtown because he put up a book on Amazon and gave away a few free copies, which, let’s be honest here, because there’s no doubt in my mind that all the free copies BQB has given away so far are being downloaded by his Aunt Gertie.

Tarnation, I wish I had my own Aunt Gertie.  Maybe then I’d have the self-confidence I need to start my own blog and get my own 3.5 readers.  Nah, that doesn’t mean I’m jealous of BQB.  What’s there to be jealous of?  BQB never met James Van Der Beek.

Wait, do you think BQB will get to meet James Van Der Beek now that he’s a big time fancy pants Amazon Kindle author?  Son of a monkey stink, I better up my game.

I know what I got to do now.  I have got to deliver a sandwich to that kid who played Pacey.  Anyone remember his name?  Aw hell, who could remember anything when you’re mind is clouded with images of JVDB’s flaxen hair and steamy come hither eyes?

Not that I’m gay or nothin.’

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Self Publishing Podcast Interview of Andy Weir – Author of “The Martian”

Let’s face it.

We all say, “oh, I’m just in it for the art!” but deep down, we all secretly hope, dream and fantasize that The_Martian_2014one day our writing will be embraced by the masses, a big pile of money will be dumped on our heads, and our work will be read by everyone and turned into a Hollywood movie!

Well, as it turns out, that happened for Andy Weir, author of The Martian.

Andy was on the Self Publishing Podcast this week with “Johnny, Sean and Dave” aka Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt and David W. Wright.

Keep one thing in mind, aspiring scribes – success in the writing game doesn’t happen overnight.

Andy discussed how he’s been at it for years – that he’s been blogging since the early 2000’s, how he spent a long time seeking a traditional publishing deal with no success, that initially wrote “The Martian” as a serial on his blog, that his followers urged him to turn said serial into an ebook on Amazon and boom, it took off.  Now he’s a highly successful author and a movie based on his book starring Matt Damon is scheduled for release at the end of this year.

The important thing to note?  Yes, some people are very lucky and see those doors to success swing wide open for them early on.  And good for them.  Others, like Andy, had to painstakingly climb that ladder one rung at a time.

After hearing his story, I can’t think of someone more deserving.  He really put his work in and earned his success.

As always, Johnny, Sean and Dave bringing us a great show.  And they didn’t even veer off topic this time!

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Romantic Quotes – The Notebook

“I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who’s ever lived: I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough.”

– Nicolas Sparks, The Notebook

I already commented on poor Nicolas Sparks’ divorce so I won’t go into it again.  For those 3.5 regular readers who are paying attention – no, I never was able to confirm whether or not Michael Crichton actually made a real, live dinosaur.  I’m pretty sure he didn’t, but I just don’t have any hard evidence one way or the other.  I didn’t see him make a dinosaur.  But I didn’t NOT see him make a dinosaur either.

But anyway – going along with the theme from yesterday (the quote from Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables) – here is another man opining that love is the best experience of life.

Is it?

I will say this – the year was 2004 and the Bookshelf Battler was in a movie theater packed to the gills with women pulling out tissues and sniffing up a storm.  No joke.  No exaggeration.  Sparks’ sappiness made a theater full of women ball their eyes out, and I suppose that’s why he makes the big bucks.  That’s real talent.

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Your Favorite Romantic Books and Poems

Valentine’s Day is around the corner.

What are your favorite romantic books and poems?  I am not asking so I can use them on women.  I just legitimately want to know as a literary connoisseur.

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George R.R. Martin on Reading

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”

– George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Can the next season of Game of Thrones just start already?

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The Daily Scrooge – Part 4

How shall I ever understand this world? There is nothing on which it is so hard as poverty, and yet, there is nothing it condemns with such severity as the pursuit of wealth.

You have to admit, he’s got a point.  Life is undeniably difficult, if not impossible, as a person in abject poverty.  Ironically, people who keep that fact in mind and work hard and find ways to put as much financial distance as they can between themselves and poverty get villainized.

Dickens may have considered that with the character of Fezziwig, Scrooge’s original boss who got him into the money counting game.  Even though Fezziwig was wealthy, he always threw a big party on Christmas, and one can assume he always helped the less fortunate he encountered.

It is all a balancing act.  You’d hate to be poor.  People will hate you if you’re rich.  Either way, someone is going to hate something.

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Double Double Toil and Trouble – The Witches of MacBeth

Happy Halloween!

Have you ever wondered how witches obtained their witchy personality traits?

***Crickets chirp***

Ahem.  This is your cue.

“Hey!  Bookshelf Battle Guy!  How did witches obtain their witchy personality traits?”

Oh thank you, Reader.  I thought you’d never ask.

Well, the common conception of a witch is a nasty old hag throwing all kinds of weird ingredients (usually animals or parts of animals) into a boiling cauldron.

We could discuss all day witch-tastic imagery from all sorts of literature but to me, Act 4, Scene 1 of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth stands out.

So park your broomstick and grab your eye of newt, because here are some excerpts and quotes:

SCENE 1 – A cavern – in the middle is a boiling cauldron.

Thunder.  Enter the three witches.

FIRST WITCH

Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d

SECOND WITCH

Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined

BOOKSHELFBATTLE – So, four then?  The pig in your hedges whined four times?  Why are you hags making this so difficult?

THIRD WITCH

Harpier cries, ‘Tis time, ’tis time.

FIRST WITCH

Round about the cauldron go;

In the poison’d entrails throw.

Toad, that under cold stone

Days and nights has thirty-one

Swelter’d venom, sleeping got,

Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot

BOOKSHELF BATTLE GUY: Pot of poisoned entrails?  That doesn’t sound charming at all.

ALL

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and cauldron bubble!

SECOND WITCH

Fillet of a fenny snake,

In the cauldron boil and bake;

Eye of newt and toe of frog

Wool of bat and tongue of dog

Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,

Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing

For a charm of powerful trouble,

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

BOOKSHELFBATTLE GUY – My condolences, amputated animals.  Apparently witches used to think your parts were magical.

ALL

Double, double toil and trouble

THIRD WITCH

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,

Witches’ mummy, maw and gulf

Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark,

Root of hemlock digg’d i’ the dark,

Liver of blaspheming Jew,

Gall of goat, and slips of yew

Silver’d in the moon’s eclips,

Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips

Finger of birth-strangled babe

Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,

Make the gruel thick and slab:

Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron

For the ingredients of our cauldron.

BOOKSHELF BATTLE GUY – OK, now they’re getting ridiculous.  I don’t even know where to begin.  First of all, allow me to apologize for the racial insensitivity.  What can I say?  This is an excerpt taking from a 1500’s era writer who was writing about ancient witches so it is not like you can really expect a lot of political correctness.  Also, how many babies were getting strangled in those days that their fingers were just apparently readily available to be tossed into witches’ brews?  Those were dark times, my friends, dark times indeed.

ALL

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

SECOND WITCH

Cool it with a baboon’s blood,

Then the charm is firm and good.

BOOKSHELFBATTLE GUY: – This took place in Scotland, didn’t it?   Where would they have even found a baboon?

ENTER HECTATE to the other three Witches.

HECTATE

O well done!  I commend your pains;

And every one shall share i’ the gains;

And now about the cauldron sing,

Live elves and fairies in a ring,

Enchanting all that you put in.

MUSIC AND A SONG: Black spirits…

HECTATE retires

SECOND WITCH

By the pricking of my thumbs,

Something wicked this way comes.

Open, locks,

Whoever knocks!

ENTER MACBETH

MACBETH

How now, you secret, black and midnight hags!

What is’t you do?

BOOKSHELF BATTLE GUY:  I have no comment, other than I think it is funny that MacBeth openly refers to them as hags.  “Hello, hags!”

Well folks, that concludes my discussion of MacBeth’s witches.  Grab your wolf teeth and dragon scales and toss them into the comment section.

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The Poet’s Battle – “The Road Not Taken” – Robert Frost

Choices – they are the bane of our existence, aren’t they? To do one thing is to NOT do the other. To choose profession X is to forego profession Y. To marry person A is to never meet person B, C, or D. To eat at McDonald’s for dinner is to bypass Burger King.

Have you ever thought about the concept of timelines? I have for awhile. Sure, we all think about “what might have been.” Chances are, if you think about it as much as I do, you’re second guessing some of the decisions you’ve made in life. You wish you’d of bobbed instead of weaving. You wish you’d of ducked instead od covering. You wish you’d of taken the blue pill instead of the red.

“Regrets, I’ve had a few,” as Frank Sinatra would say. Heck, had he ignored his desire to express himself through song, he’d of never even said it. I would have had to of think of another quote to express myself just now. Thanks Frank.

Here’s what the poet Robert Frost had to say about the subject:

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

By: Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

That’s some powerful imagery, isn’t it? Imagine yourself walking down a path through the woods when all of a sudden the road forks into two directions – you can either go left or right. Your mind starts racing – “What if I pick the left road and it’s full of bats and zombies?” “What if I pick the right road and it’s full of daisies and adorable bunny rabbits?” “What if, after the daisies and adorable bunny rabbits, the right road leads me straight off a cliff?” “What if the road full of bats and zombies leads me to a life in a magnificent mansion?” “What if both roads are scheduled for demolition and I’m screwed either way?”

Life is all about making difficult choices – to do X is to forego Y. And sadly, you never find out whether or not X was a good decision until you’re smack dab in the middle of it and to get out of it would be a nightmare and a half. Y never presents itself as the better option until it’s too late. And even then, you never know for sure if Y would have been a better option.

Perhaps a verbal illustration is in order. You meet a nice woman at a party. (Ladies, you can play along and just imagine you met a nice man.) You two hit it off. You date for awhile. She starts talking about marriage. You’re now at a crossroads. Choice A leads you down a road where you’re married to this woman, you have kids with her, you’re tied to her for life. MAYBE it will be great and you’ll end up an old man pleased with yourself for choosing a woman who looked out for you for so many years. Or, maybe she’ll turn out to be a beast-and-a-half, and you’ll end up living in a one room apartment because she took all your money in a brutal divorce, your kids end up being raised by Fabio the tennis instructor she dumped you for.

Before you chose Choice A, to marry this woman, you also had Choice B – to tell her no thanks and remain single in the hopes that someone else better for you comes along. And maybe someone better does come along. Or, maybe you never meet anyone else for the rest of your life and end up with a lifetime of regret, kicking yourself daily for allowing the woman from choice A to get away.

Then there’s the wild card possibilities that will hurt your brain if you even try to think of them. Maybe you marry the woman from Choice A and she’s wonderful, but to marry her means you move to a new city you’d of otherwise never been interested in living in, and while there, you are hit by a bus you’d of otherwise never encountered. Maybe you stay single in Choice B and your feeling sad for a few more years until one day, you go to a convenience store at 3 AM (the wife from choice A would have never allowed you to stay out so late), buy a lottery ticket on a whim and win a million dollars.

Forget women and dating altogether. You’re trying to pick the profession you want to enter. You think you might be better suited for Profession X, but Profession Y makes more money. You pick profession X and you never make it past the entry level arena. You kick yourself – “Had only I picked Profession Y, I’d of become a star of that profession.”

If only we could have some kind of magical clairvoyance that allows us to see into the future to help us make our choices. If only we could consult a real live fortune teller. “Don’t marry Woman A – she’ll be nice for a few years then will cheat on you with the milk man. By the way, milk delivery will make a come back. Fear not, for if you hold out only two more weeks, Rebecca Romijn Stamos will get lost, pull up next to you at the gas station to ask for directions, and fall madly in love with you.”

I feel like Robert Frost’s infamous poem is often used to teach people to take the hard road in life. Don’t take the easy way – take the one that involves a lot of hard work and determination. Your legs will get really tired but you’ll be really pleased with yourself once you get there. It’s kind of like taking a road trip on the highway – you can stop at the creepy HoJo with the Jo part broken so the neon sign just reads, “Ho” and all the beds haven’t had the linens changed in a year because the maids are lazy – OR you can keep driving for five more miles and there’s a perfectly lovely Marriot to stay at.

I think the uniform translation of this poem is that the speaker is happy with the choice he made – “and that has made all the difference.” Overall, that was probably the message Frost meant to convey – but keep in mind, at no point does the speaker come right out and say, “Holy Crap, am I happy with the choice I made and how! The road I took was great! I skipped along it the whole time like a happy idiot and it was just all kinds of wonderful the whole time!”

“And that has made all the difference” – was it a good difference? A bad difference? An indifferent difference? We don’t know.

Sadly, the bottom line is – WE WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN. You kind of have an inkling, but usually you never start yearning desperately to go back in time and choose choice Y until it turns out that choice X sucks big time. You never wish you stayed single until the milk man until you look around your breakfast table one day and say, “Well I’ll be damned if my children don’t bear a striking resemblance to the milk man!” You never start to wish you’d of chosen Profession Y until your boss from profession X starts making you stay late every night and not only never pays you more but cuts your salary to less. You don’t start second guessing yourself until your first choice craps out.

My advice – it is perfectly normal, even logical, to think about what might have been, but not helpful to torture yourself and be angry at yourself for not taking the alternate choice. A) You HAD to choose something and you made the best choice you did given the information you had at the time. B) You really don’t know for sure what would have happened had you made the other choice. Might have been great. Might have been even worse. C) At least you took a choice and didn’t end up as one of those people who just spends their entire lives staring at the fork trying to figure out what to do.

The point is – if you’re unhappy with the road you took, stop looking in the rear view mirror and start looking for an exit ramp. (That means find a new choice to make, for you people who are metaphorically challenged).

Thanks for reading, and by the way – you have the choice of following @bookshelfbattle on Twitter or not and I think doing so would be a really great choice.

(C) Copyright Bookshelfbattle.com

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Book Review – Fletch by Gregory McDonald

BASIC BOOKTOMETRICS

TITLE: Fletch

Author: Gregory McDonald

Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

Publication Dates: First Published 1974; Published 2002 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

GENRE: Crime/Mystery/Humor

FORMAT REVIEWED: Paperback

NUMBER OF PAGES: 197

I have a new hero. His name is the late, great Gregory McDonald.

There are some books that are giant, unrelenting tomes. You break your back carrying such books around and yet despite the voluminous number of pages, the story goes nowhere.

Then there’s Fletch. In a little under 200 pages, McDonald, in his streamlined, use one word instead of ten, writing style manages to successfully provide the reader with a story about an anti-hero who solves not one but two complex mysteries.

If you’re old enough to remember the Reagan administration, then you may have seen the Fletch movies by Chevy Chase – Fletch and the sequel, Fletch Lives. Both were funny and gave Chase his moment in the sun. Sadly, after reading the novel, I’ve realized that the movies were really only loosely based on McDonald’s work. The films served as a vehicle for Chase to show off his multiple character talents. For some reason, the epitome of the gold star for a comic is to star in a movie where he gets the chance to do various accents and pretend to be all different varieties of people. As movie Fletch, Chevy puts on all kinds of goofy costumes and buffoons his way through solving crimes while tricking people into giving information to the various personas he takes on.

If you lived during the 80's, you'll remember Fletch.  Also, Destro.

If you lived during the 80’s, you’ll remember Fletch. Also, Destro.

The novel is a bit different. Make no mistake, on top of everything else, it is funny. But while the movies were zany funny, the novel could probably be described best as a dark comedy. The reader finds himself laughing at things that he probably should not laugh at in polite society.

The plot? Fletch’s real name is Irwin Maurice, or I.M. (I am) Fletcher. He’s an LA based reporter posing undercover as a bum, trying to trick various beach dwelling hoodlums into helping him find the supplier of a constant flow of drugs to the beach scene for a story he’s writing.

His cover is so good that he fools wealthy business executive Alan Stanwyck into thinking that he’s merely a degenerate drifter. Stanwyck picks up Fletch and makes him the following proposition, which I’ll post below so you can get an idea of the quick-draw, rapid fire pace at which McDonald writes:

What’s your name?”
“Fletch”
“What’s your full name?”
“Irwin. Irwin Fletcher. People call me Fletch.”
“Irwin Fletcher, I have a proposition to make to you. I will give you a thousand dollars for just listening to it. If you decide to reject the proposition, you take the thousand dollars, go away, and never tell anyone we talked.”
“Is it criminal?”
“Of course.”
“Fair enough. For a thousand bucks I can listen. What do you want me to do?”
“I want you to murder me.”
Fletch said, “Sure.”

Stanwyck claims to have terminal cancer and offers Fletch $50,000 to return to a week and shoot him in his study. He tells Fletch this will allow him to avoid suffering through a prolonged, agonizing death and as it will appear like a burglary gone bad, his wife will obtain a hefty insurance payment. Fletch may be a degenerate (he is haunted by his two ex-wives’ divorce lawyers throughout the novel) but he’s no dummy. Refusing to take Stanwyck at his word, he sets out on an investigation to find out whether or not Stanwyck is telling the truth. By posing as various people (insurance investigators, lawyers, “old long lost friends,” etc.) he manages to trick the people in Stanwyck’s life to give up the dirt. In the process, he even discovers the source of drugs on the beach along the way.

I really enjoyed this book. If you’ve seen the movie, you haven’t experienced the full story. It amazes me that in such a short novel, McDonald manages to provide the reader with a rich, in-depth experience. Rarely do I read a novel and want to read the series, but I think I might actually do it with this one. In case you are interested in the reading order for the Fletch novel series, I’ll post it below.

Note that while Fletch was McDonald’s first novel published introducing the Fletch character, he also published prequels, so Fletch is not the first novel in chronological order.

Reading Order for the Fletch Series of Novels by Gregory McDonald

Fletch Won

Fletch, Too

Fletch and the Widow Bradley

Fletch

Carioca Fletch

Confess, Fletch

Fletch’s Fortune

Fletch’s Moxie

Fletch and the Man Who

Son of Fletch

Fletch Reflected

McDonald was a newspaper reporter himself, so I imagine that he had an idea of the difficult life of a reporter that Fletch faced. It’s always interesting when authors write about environments they have personally experienced. I’m putting him next to Joseph Heller of Catch-22 fame as an author who can be funny and serious at the same time.

As always, Bookshelf Battlers, thank you for stopping by. Shameless plug – please follow this blog, and if you’re on Twitter, follow @bookshelfbattle I’ll keep writing reviews as long as somebody keeps reading them. May your days be filled with booktastic goodness.

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Previously on Bookshelf Battle… (June 2014 Wrap-Up)

In case you missed any of the booktastic goodness, here’s a rundown of what was produced from the Bookshelf Battle Command Center in June:

GAME OF THRONES

Obligatory Spoiler Warning

As the Red Woman might say, Sunday nights in June were dark and full of terrors. Literally. It was quite terrifying to see some of my favorite GoT characters kick the bucket. It’s a good thing that I didn’t bet on the fight between The Red Viper and The Mountain because I chose Oberyn and would have lost a lot of money, in addition to the lunch I lost when the Mountain took advantage of the Viper’s showboating. Don’t gloat, people. No one likes a sore winner…loser? Whatever.

My predictions for Tyrion’s future weren’t all that on point either, meaning when it comes to plotting strategy, I’m about as good as Cersei. (That’s not very good!)

While some lamented that the episode did nothing to move the story along, I for one enjoyed the Attack on Castle Black as it was amazing to me to see Summer Blockbuster special effects on a television show.

On the Season 4 Finale of Game of Thrones Brienne and the Hound went head to head on Westeros’ Ultimate Fighting Championships, Arya cashed in her coin for a trip to Bravos, no one expected the Stannis Inquisition, and Tywin had the Worst Father’s Day ever, although he did achieve his wish of ending up on…a throne. That joke never gets old.

BOOK REVIEWS

A Light Between Oceans - being guarded by Robocop

A Light Between Oceans – being guarded by Robocop

Oh right – this is a book review blog. Australian Author M.L. Stedman managed to crack my manly exterior and allow a tear or two to shake loose with her riveting yet heartbreaking page turner The Light Between Oceans. After a boat containing a dead man and a live baby washes up on their tiny island, a lighthouse keeping couple decides to toss the dead man in a ditch and raise the baby as their own. I applauded the author for her ability to display the mental gymnastics that people put themselves through in order to convince themselves what they are doing is right when in fact, it is very wrong. I feel like we can all agree that the moral of the story is – don’t trust your kids around lighthouse keepers. Or Australians.

Master Chief - standing guard over Redshirts

Master Chief – standing guard over Redshirts

After Stedman made me cry (it’s ok, it happens to the best of us now and then), I was ready to laugh so I cracked open Redshirts by Sci-Fi author John Scalzi. This Star Trek parody delivered laughs at warp speed. A group of new Redshirts – aka the intergalactic lackies who do the grunt work for a space ship’s main officers, quickly learn that their reason for existence is to take the beatings, lazer blasts, monster attacks, and other abuse so that the officers can remain unscathed.

VARIOUS AND SUNDRY RAMBLINGS

To round out the month,I asked why the heck are those vampires so popular? Seemed like a good discussion topic since this is the final season of the HBO series True Blood. The series is based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries Series by Charlaine Harris, and my post provides a reading list of her novels in order, in case anyone is interested in reading the books that formed the basis for the Sookie-Bill-Eric love triangle. Actually, if you add Alcide, it would be a quadrangle. Wait a minute! A quadrangle? Isn’t that just a square? OK so they form a love square.

I urged readers to donate to Levar Burton/Geordi LaForge’s Kickstarter campaign to bring back Reading Rainbow. Please donate. He needs your support. Much has been said about his success as Reading Rainbow host, but people always forget that he was one of the finest engineers to ever serve Star Fleet. He rarely gave Capt. Picard any guff about fixing the star ship engines. He ran circles around Scotty. Capt. Kirk would always be like, “Scotty, we need warp speed in thirty seconds or the Klingons will kill us” and Scotty would be all like, “Damn’ it Cap’n the best I can do is get the wharp drive half-fixed by next Thursday!” Geordi, on the other hand, now there was a dude that got stuff done – even though he was blind! Well, he did have that special visor.

By the way, if you haven’t heard yet, Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy fame has pledged to match donations up to a million, so please get crack-a-lackin’ with the donations to this good cause. And as one of the three people who both saw AND enjoyed MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the Old West, I’d like to thank him.

Transformers 4 arrived at the box office Friday and I speculated as to whether Mark Wahlberg will reprise some of his past roles in this new blockbuster in a parody trailer script.

Last but not least, after hearing the song, “Wiggle Wiggle” for the millionth time on the radio, and being left unsure whether to be disturbed because they keep playing it, or relieved because they’re finally switching it up a little bit and playing a song other than “Let it Go” or “Because I’m Happy,” I asked the question as to why I bother slaving over my writing when America is easily pleased by lyrics about butts. You know what to do with those big fat words!

STUFF I NEVER GOT AROUND TO

With so many books engaged in fisticuffs over a coveted spot on my bookshelf, there where two things I forgot to mention:

  • 24-Live Another Day – I’m glad this show is back on the air. It’s nice to see William Devane has found something better to do than those damn daytime “Buy Gold” commercials. He’s really been stealing the show this season. Great to see Michelle Fairley back on TV as well.
  • No Lady Stoneheart – (Obligatory Spoiler Warning) – Actually, do I need to give a spoiler warning? Lady Stoneheart, a character from the Game of Thrones books, will not be in the Game of Thrones series. So, I guess if you never read the books and only watched the series, then this is not a spoiler for you since you were never going to see her on the show anyway. You can’t spoil something that won’t happen. Because if a tree was going to fall in the forest, but then it doesn’t, it doesn’t spoil. Alright, I’m going cross-eyed thinking about this. Anyway, there’s been a lot of chatter about this controversy. I do understand that TV shows can’t remain true to every little last detail in the book. Sometimes I’ll hear someone say something like, “This show stinks because on page 302 of chapter 40 book three Tyrion had on a pair of green shoes but on the show he wears blue shoes!” and I just want to yell, “Shut up, Nerd!” But I get why this makes people upset. I never read the books, but this seems like a big plot point to gloss over. A Zombie Catelyn running around Westeros exacting copious amounts of revenge? How does that not make for great television?

That does it for this month on http://www.bookshelfbattle.com – where the book reviews are always awesome, and yet, the book reviewer somehow manages to stay humble about it.

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