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Neil Gaiman Book Signing

Sunday, June 30th, 2013 No comments

I got to meet Neil Gaiman yesterday! Woot! He’s on his last book signing tour. He says it’s his last one because it’s no fun for anyone. After last night, I can see that. He has to sign so many books and people have to wait in line for hours.

I got to the venue an hour before the doors opened and there was already a very long line. We had to stand outside on an unusually hot day for Portland. Once we got inside, there was no air conditioning, though they did open the windows. As Neil joked several times, we were cooking. After a little music from an opening act, Neil did a reading from his new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Then there was a Q&A and another reading from a book that will be released in September. He was reluctant to do the second reading because of the heat, but everyone wanted him to do it. He was very entertaining. It made me think I should “read” more audio books.

Next came the book signing. Each book that we received as we walked in had a piece of paper of a certain color with a certain shape on it, e.g. red circle or light green star. We were called up to get our books signed in groups based on that piece of paper. He said that 900 people were in attendance and someone in my group estimated that there were about 150 left when we were called. I was very tired and annoyed while waiting, but once we got called that all went away. Once it was my turn to talk to him, all I really did was tell him how much I loved American Gods. He was cool. I’m sure he’s used to it. I got an autograph for myself and for my friend John.
Neil Gaiman

From the time I got in line until the time I left, about 5.5 hours had passed. It was worth it. They had pre-signed books in the back for those that didn’t want to wait for a personalized autograph. They kept reminding people of that though people who had waited that long probably weren’t going to take them up on it. I’m glad I waited. It’s not every day that you get to meet one of your favorite authors.

2011 Reading Update #1

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 No comments

I’m taking a different approach to talking about what I’m reading. This is mostly because I start of lot of books, but don’t finish them until much later. For the past couple of months, I’ve been spending more time than normal reading. I’m a little proud of myself.Some of these haven’t been touched in 2011, but I plan on getting back to them this year.

Towers of MidnightTowers of Midnight, Brandon Sanderson. I’ve made it about halfway through the latest Wheel of Time book. I’ll finish it eventually. It’s going pretty slowly. I have the same issues with it that I had with the last one. There’s stuff happening, but there are long stretches of nothing happening. I do think the stuff happening in this book is more interesting than the stuff that happened in the last book. Rand wants to do what!?!?

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchGood Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. This is the latest Sword and Laser pick. I’m almost finished with and I really like it. It’s about the end of the world. The forces of Heaven and Hell are getting their forces ready for the upcoming battle. It’s a pretty funny book, though some of the jokes don’t work. Maybe it’s a British humor (I almost spelled it humour) thing, since both of the authors are British.

Batman: Year OneBatman: Year One, Frank Miller. I really like this one too. It’s a retelling of the origins of Batman, Commissioner Gordon, and Catwoman. I liked the Commissioner Gordon storyline more than the rest, but it was cool to see Batman learning to become Batman, making mistakes, etc.  Not surprisingly, the storylines of all three characters intersect in the end.  This makes me want to read more Batman stories, especially ones written by Frank Miller.

The Walking DeadThe Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman. I started reading The Walking Dead last year in preparation for the TV show. I read the first 2 trade paperbacks, which is comprised of the first 12 issues of the comic book series. It’s so good! It’s about the aftermath of a zombie outbreak. Like everyone says, it’s less about zombies and scares than it is about how people interact with each other. Read the books and then watch the TV show.

The First LawThe First Law Trilogy, Joe Abercrombie. I think I started reading The First Law Trilogy in 2009. It’s been about a year since I started on the final book, Last Argument of Kings. This is a great series for those who like fantasy series that are more adult than The Lord of the Rings or The Wheel of Time. If I were a recommendation engine, I would say something like “If you like George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, then you might like this series”. It’s a great read. I’ve heard that the last book isn’t as good as the first two. That might be the reason I’m not in a hurry to go back to it.

  • Last Argument of Kings, Joe Abercrombie
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
  • Go, Mutants: A Novel, Larry Doyle
  • Serenity Found, Jane Espenson
  • Incarceron, Catherine Fisher
  • Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks, Mick Foley
  • The Associate, John Grisham
  • The Fourth Hand, John Irving
  • The Walking Dead, Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars, Robert Kirkman
  • The Walking Dead, Volume 4: The Heart’s Desire, Robert Kirkman
  • The Walking Dead, Volume 5: The Best Defense, Robert Kirkman
  • The Walking Dead, Volume 6: This Sorrowful Life, Robert Kirkman
  • The Walking Dead, Volume 7: The Calm Before, Robert Kirkman
  • The Walking Dead, Volume 8: Made to Suffer, Robert Kirkman
  • The Walking Dead, Volume 9: Here We Remain, Robert Kirkman
  • The Walking Dead, Volume 10: What We Become, Robert Kirkman
  • The Walking Dead, Volume 11: Fear the Hunters, Robert Kirkman
  • The Walking Dead, Volume 12: Life Among Them, Robert Kirkman
  • The Walking Dead, Volume 13: Too Far Gone, Robert Kirkman
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larson
  • The Girl Who Played With Fire, Stieg Larson
  • The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest, Stieg Larson
  • The Stormcaller, Tom Lloyd
  • I Am Number Four, Patticus Lore
  • The Giver, Lois Lowry
  • The Day Watch, Sergei Lukyanenko
  • The Twilight Watch, Sergei Lukyanenko
  • The Final Watch, Sergei Lukyanenko
  • Busted Flush, George R.R. Martin
  • Suicide Kings, George R.R. Martin
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller
  • Batman: Year One, Frank Miller
  • Either You’re in or You’re in the Way, Logan and Noah Miller
  • The Final Crusade, Chaite Naasiri
  • The Darker Mask, George Phillips
  • The Final Empire, Brandon Sanderson
  • The Well of Ascension, Brandon Sanderson
  • The Hero of Ages, Brandon Sanderson
  • Towers of Midnight, Brandon Sanderson
  • A Memory of Light, Brandon Sanderson
  • Titus Andronicus, William Shakespeare
  • Private Parts, Howard Stern
  • The Way of Shadows, Brent Weeks
  • Shadow’s Edge, Brent Weeks
  • Beyond the Shadows, Brent Weeks
  • The Dragonbone Chair, Tad Williams
  • Stone of Farewell, Tad Williams
  • To Green Angel Tower, Tad Williams

American Gods/The Gathering Storm

Sunday, May 30th, 2010 No comments

I just wanted to make a quick update on my book list since it’s been a while.

American GodsAmericans Gods by Neil Gaiman is the first (I think) book in the One Book One Twitter project started by Wired Magazine. The purpose of One Book One Twitter is to get a lot of people talking about the same book. They have a schedule for which chapters you’re supposed to read each week and there’s a Twitter account leading the discussion. I haven’t been taking part in the discussion on the book, but I did like it enough that I read ahead and finished it early.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Gaiman. I’d never read any of his books, but I had seen the movie Stardust. It’s hard to say too much without spoilers, so I’m just going to go for it. The story is about a man named Shadow who gets out of jail after 3 years. He is hired to work as a bodyguard for a mysterious man named Wednesday who turns out to be a god. This book uses a concept that I’ve seen a few times lately: that gods really exist because people believe in them. When people stop believing, the gods lose their power. You see a lot of old gods and creatures of folklore that were brought here when people settled in America like Loki, Anansi, Anubis, etc. You also see gods based on newer concepts like technology and media. There’s even a god inside the TV. The new gods want to wipe out the old gods. Wednesday is trying to rally the old gods so that they can fight for survival. It’s a good, quick read and I recommend it.

The Gathering StormI read The Gathering Storm when it came out last October or November, but never got around to mentioning it here. Brandon Sanderson took over the job of finishing the Wheel of Time after Robert Jordan died. I remember being satisfied with the book overall. There were times where it seemed to drag on with a lot of pointlessness but overall I think he did a great job of keeping it interesting. Right now I just want to know how it ends.

I also read the first 2 books in Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law trilogy. If you like George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, you’ll probably like it. I’ll say more when after I finish the whole trilogy.

I keep adding more to the list.

  • Joe Abercrombie, The Blade Itself
  • Joe Abercrombie, Before They Are Hanged
  • Joe Abercrombie, Last Argument of Kings
  • Serenity Found, Jane Espenson
  • Incarceron, Catherine Fisher
  • American Gods, Neil Gaiman
  • The Law of Nines, Terry Goodkind
  • The Associate, John Grisham
  • The Fourth Hand, John Irving
  • The Colorado Kid, Stephen King
  • The Stormcaller, Tom Lloyd
  • The Day Watch, Sergei Lukyanenko
  • The Twilight Watch, Sergei Lukyanenko
  • The Final Watch, Sergei Lukyanenko
  • Busted Flush, George R.R. Martin
  • Suicide Kings, George R.R. Martin
  • The Final Crusade, Chaite Naasiri
  • The Darker Mask, George Phillips
  • The Final Empire, Brandon Sanderson
  • The Well of Ascension, Brandon Sanderson
  • The Hero of Ages, Brandon Sanderson
  • The Gathering Storm, Brandon Sanderson
  • Towers of Midnight, Brandon Sanderson
  • Titus Andronicus, William Shakespeare
  • Bitter Seeds, Ian Tregillis
  • The Dragonbone Chair, Tad Williams
  • Stone of Farewell, Tad Williams
  • To Green Angel Tower, Tad Williams