The Lunar Chronicles Stores – Part 2

Title: Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky (The Lunar Chronicles #2.5); After Sunshine Passes By; The Princess and the Guard; Something Old Something New

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Felwel andFriends 2016

Genre: YA Scifi

Pages: 39; 21; 61; 56

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Fairytale Retelling

The enchantment continues. . . .
The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories – and secrets – that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?
With six stories – two of which have never before been published – and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

“Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky” — A cute little story featuring Thorne’s childhood. I loved reading about the expansion of a story Cress learned in her research.

“After Sunshine Passes By” — More insight into the history of the various characters. This time we get to learn more about Cress and her childhood. Sibyl Mira is as scary as ever in this story…

“The Princess and the Guard” — My favorite story of the entire book. I loved learning more about the relationship between Winter and Jacin. The story shows us the depth of their relationship and sheds some light onto where their character’s are at when we meet Jacin aboard Sibyl Mira’s ships. A great short story!

“Something Old Something New” — A nice epilogue story for the series. It was great seeing all the main characters again. Plus we get some development in their stories. My only disappointment was not enough Winter and Jacin in this story. They were my favorites!

The Lunar Chronicles

Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs

Title: Tales of the Peculiar

Author: Ransom Riggs

Publisher: Syndrigast Publications 2016

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 160

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Popsugar – With pictures; I Love Libraries

Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars. A fork-tongued princess. These are but a few of the truly brilliant stories in Tales of the Peculiar—the collection of fairy tales known to hide information about the peculiar world, including clues to the locations of time loops—first introduced by Ransom Riggs in his #1 bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.

Cute little collection stories briefly mentioned or alluded to in the Miss Peregrine series. I loved the little asides and commentary from Millard. My favorite story was the first story “The Splendid Cannibals.” It was such a weird story, but I loved it. Overall a good collection of stories.

Miss Peregrine:

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

41804Title: I, Robot

Author: Isaac Asimov

Publisher: Gnome Press 150

Genre: Science Fiction, Short Stories

Pages: 253

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Perpetual (NPR Scifi/Fan); Read My Own Damn Books; Book to Movie

The three laws of Robotics:
1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm
2) A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

With these three, simple directives, Isaac Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future–a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete.

Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-read robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world–all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asmiov’s trademark.

My first Asimov! J has been trying to get me to read his works for years now. I’ve always been too scared. I dove in this short story collection and really enjoyed it. My favorite story has to be “Catch that Rabbit.”  I love the storyline but more that that, I really enjoyed the commentary on human psychology. Overall, this short story collection has some intriguing commentary on humanity highlighted through the use of robots. Looking again at the publication information, I was so surprised to find this kind of work being produced in the late 1940s. Very fascinating! With this volume under my belt, I may be ready to tackle the Foundation series…

Movie_poster_i_robotMovie:

So, this movie isn’t really based on any of the short stories in the collection. There are hints here and there. And of course the inclusion of the three laws of robotics. But the plot and characters are definitely something else entirely. I wasn’t a huge fan of the movie when it was released and I still am not a huge fan after reading the book and rewatching the movie. I just wasn’t that excited about the plotline or characters.

 

 

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Stranger Than Fiction by Chuck Palahniuk

Title: Stranger Than Fiction

Author: Chuck Palahniuk

Publisher: Anchor 2005

Genre: Nonfiction life stories

Pages: 256

Rating: 3/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Well-Rounded Reader — Short Stories; TBR Pile; Monthly Motif — April; New Author

Chuck Palahniuk’s world has always been, well, different from yours and mine. In his first collection of nonfiction, Chuck Palahniuk brings us into this world, and gives us a glimpse of what inspires his fiction.At the Rock Creek Lodge Testicle Festival in Missoula, Montana, average people perform public sex acts on an outdoor stage. In a mansion once occupied by The Rolling Stones, Marilyn Manson reads his own Tarot cards and talks sweetly to his beautiful actress girlfriend. Across the country, men build their own full-size castles and rocketships that will send them into space. Palahniuk himself experiments with steroids, works on an assembly line by day and as a hospice volunteer by night, and experiences the brutal murder of his father by a white supremacist. With this new direction, Chuck Palahniuk has proven he can do anything.

 

I really wanted to like this collection, but I found that I just couldn’t.  The stories all seemed disjointed and abrupt.  I couldn’t really sink my teeth into any of them.  By the time I would start, the story would be over.  Plus, some the material was really hard to connect to.  Just not a fan…

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M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman

m is for magicTitle: M is for Magic

Author: Neil Gaiman

Publisher: HarperCollins 2007

Genre: YA Short Stories Fantasy

Pages: 260

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Neil Gaiman; TBR Pile; 52 Books – W36

How I Got It: Library Loan

Master storyteller Neil Gaiman presents a breathtaking collection of tales for younger readers that may chill or amuse, but that always embrace the unexpected.

I really enjoyed this little collection of YA short stories.  Each one has the Gaiman flair for the unexpected.  Every time I started a story I knew my ideas of the ending would be dashed once Gaiman decided how he was going to end the story.  My favorite stories:

  • “Chivalry” — I love the story of the little old lady finding a holy relic at the Oxfam shop.  It starts out a simple story and somewhere along the way it delves into mythology.
  • “The Price” — There is something bordering on the horrific with this story.  The ending leaves the reader at a loss for a conclusion.  I love the atmosphere in this one.
  • “The Witch’s Headstone” — Another moody story that leaves me without a conclusion.  I love the of Bod and Liza.  Great idea!

neil gaimanTBR Pile52 books

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Selected Stories of O. Henry

Title: Selected Stories

Author: O. Henry

Genre: Classic Short Stories

Pages: 433

Rating:  4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Classics – Short Stories; TBR Pile; Dusty Bookshelf; 52 Books — W34

How I Got It: I own it!

O. Henry, the pen name of William Sydney Porter, is known for short stories with surprise endings.

I feel like I should apologize to my former English teachers for never having read O. Henry.  His stories are just so much fun.  I love the little twist endings.  I love his social commentary.  I love the writing style.  It feels like you are sitting in a pub with Henry while he recounts these random tales.  I was thoroughly engaged in the collection and could not put it down.  Lots of fun for a bit of weekend reading.

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Hungry for Your Love

Title: Hungry for Your Love

Edited By: Lori Perkins

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin 2009

Genre: Zombie; Short Stories

Pages: 368

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Support Your Local Library; April Read-a-Thon; Zombie

Finally finished!  I love zombie stories, but I really feel like I’ve been reading this book forever.  Like most anthologies I have mixed feelings about the stories.  Initially, I was concerned about the mix of zombies and romance.  Was I going to read zombie porn?  EWWW! Definitely not the part of the genre that I enjoy.  Thankfully only a few stories alluded to that activity.  There were a couple zombie (or zombie-ish)/human pairings and a few zombie/zombie pairings, but there were many classic survivors find love stories.  I am highlighting my top five stories (out of 21 total):

  1. R.G. Hart “My Partner the Zombie” – A model private investigator, her zombie (but high functioning with unrequited love) partner, the circus, midgets, and a meglomaniac!  What a cast! Mystery, intrigue, and a great happy (if slightly improbable) ending. Really enjoyed this one.
  2. Jan Kozlowski “First Love Never Dies” – A police officer stumbles into a grotesque compound owned by a former acquaintance. It has a happy ending in an appropriate conclusion kind of way.  Not happy, but satisfying.  Full of very relatable emotions, zombie infestation nonwithstanding.
  3. S.M. Cross “Through Death to Love” – How can someone fall in love with a zombie?  Perhaps through speech therapy.  However it happens, you bet it’s going to be slow and steady.  (hee hee get it?)  Ignoring my ridiculous puns, I liked the quiet emotions to this love story.
  4. Jeanine McAdam “Inhuman Resources” – Aren’t all office drones zombielike?  But what if they actually were zombies.  Could you spot the difference?  These are the questions our heroine must ask herself at the Shibboleth Insurance Agency.  And to complicate matters, she meets a mysterious, slightly geeky guy claiming to be a zombie hunter.
  5. Steven Saus “Kicking the Habit” – Romeo and Juliet style story except R and J are now zombies.  I loved the subtle humor to this piece.  Zombies are hard to make humorous, but Saus definitely achieved a slightly funny, definitely engaging love story.