Wanted: Read or Alive (cheesy eh?)


Lately two things have been happening:

        1. I’ve been visiting the library a lot more.
        2. I’ve been completely broke

Which has led to a third thing:

        3. Much less book shopping.

But, things are looking good this month and I may just have some extra cash (burning a hole) in my wallet!

So in anticipation of the moment when I could return to the lovely world of book-buying, I have been keeping a list (or two) of books I desire.

Some are already out, some are coming soon. And I thought I would share. Anything on here look particularly appealing to you also? Or are there any that you would highly recommend?

Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser
by William Irwin

I’ve always been an Alice fan, and recently having seen the movie I decided to check out what Alice related books are out there (aside from the originals of course). When I discovered that there was an Alice book in the And Philosophy series I was ecstatic! Did you realize that in the philosophy section of the bookstores you can find books about almost every pop culture phenomenon?


Beautiful Dead Book 1: Jonas
by Eden Maguire

Jenn's Bookshelves said that “Maguire’s writing style is very readable and flows well.” And “I recommend it to fans of YA and the paranormal.

Tales of a Capricious Reader said “Well…there are some good parts and some not so good parts.” But also added that “…Eden Maguire has a way with a story.  I’ll be interested to see how she grows as a writer.

Dark Faerie Tales says “This mixture of the paranormal and the romantic delivers a tale of dark secrets, loss, and redemption.”

by Mira Grant

Last summer I read a fantastic paranormal book called Rosemary and Rue which was written by Seanan Maguire. Then I found out that Seanan was writing another series, this time about zombie(!) and under the name Mira Grant. I’m desperate to read this because (a) I ♥ zombies and (b) Seanan rocks! And I was super excited to read about the awesome review Feed received from Publisher’s Weekly – Seanan liked this line “Shunning misogynistic horror tropes in favor of genuine drama and pure creepiness” but I was fond of this part “appealing characters who conduct a soul-shredding examination of what’s true and what’s reported.”


Dead End Gene Pool
by Wendy Burden


One of the good and not-so-good things about going to school is the free access to journals, magazines, and databases. Mainly because it allows me to browse certain library/literary journals such as BookList – good because it feeds my addiction to know about upcoming releases, bad because it makes my wishlist grow and grow and grow!
I’m not sure what to expect from this book however I read this line from the description “the great-great-great-great granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt gives readers a grand tour of the world of wealth and WASPish peculiarity, in her irreverent and darkly humorous memoir” and just knew it would be a fascinating story.

The Passage
by Justin Cronin


This is a book I only found out about yesterday, from the fabulous blogger Lenore. Just this February Lenore had a special event call Dystopian February which had my wishlist practically trembling with fear. But the book I am most lusting after is The Passage which earned this rating - “4 Zombie Chickens: An Excellent Example of the Dystopian (Post-Apocalyptic) Genre”

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

TLC Book Tour ♦ Life Sentences by Laura Lippman

Life Sentences

Author Cassandra Fallows believes she may have found the story that could become her next bestseller. When she was a girl growing up in a racially diverse middle-class neighborhood in Baltimore, a shy, quiet, unobtrusive child named Calliope Jenkins orbited Cassandra's circle of friends. Later Calliope would be accused of an unspeakable crime and would spend seven years in prison for refusing to speak about it. But by delving too deeply into Calliope's dark secrets, Cassandra may inadvertently unearth a few of her own—forcing her to reexamine the memories she holds most precious, as the stark light of truth illuminates a mother's pain, a father's betrayal . . . and what really transpired on a terrible day that devastated not only a family but an entire country.

Book Title: Life Sentences Type: Hardcover 344 pages
Author: Laura Lippman Publication Date: March 2009
Publisher: Harper Collins ISBN: 978-0-06-112889-9
Genre: Mystery / Psychological Thriller Purchase: Amazon

My Thoughts  

Laura Lippman is one of those authors I’ve always meant to get around to reading, and so Life Sentences was my first experience with this author. Now to be perfectly honest I think that this particular book may not have been the best one to start with. Although I did end up enjoying this read, it took me some time to really get into the reading flow.

The plot outline really interested me, the main character Cassandra is an author looking to get back into the spotlight. After writing a couple memoirs that did very well, she then tried her hand at fiction with disastrous results. Her idea to regain her place among the bestsellers is to write another memoir, but since she told almost everything in her previous books she needs new material. So she decides to return to her hometown and do some research into a mystery involving a childhood friend, Calliope and her  missing child, and the silence that surrounded the case. This description sounded like a total winner.

However the main problem I had was that Cassandra was so incredibly unlikable for me. On her return home she tries to reconnect with old friends in order to gain information for her writing, and when these friends aren’t quite so happy to see her, Cassandra actually appears shocked. She seems to not understand how these women may feel about her having used their lives as parts of her books, and her intentions to pry into their pasts once more.

Aside from my annoyance with Cassandra, I also found myself wanting the pace to be slightly more accelerated. Or rather I would have enjoyed certain aspects to be examined more in depth (particularly the interactions between Cassandra and her group of friends, past and present) while others were less focused (Cassandra’s introspective meanderings).

The mystery element was very enjoyable and kept me reading to discover what had happened and what would come to occur. I was especially keen to discover the secrets surrounding Calliope – how a mother could stay silent so long about the disappearance of her child was fascinating.

The other element of the story that really interested me was the relationship between Cassandra and her father. Having based an entire memoir upon her father, I was completely hooked on the part of the story where Cassandra begins to find that she didn’t have the whole picture when presenting her father.

As much as I didn’t like Cassandra I found that the true strength of this novel was how the author portrayed her as a woman who thought she knew what the truth was, but slowly loses her confidence as she sees how her own mind has created illusions upon her memories. Writing two bestselling memoirs about her life may mean that Cassandra is a talented writer, but she finds out that how she saw things, or remembered things does not necessarily mean that her version is the most reliable. This personal revelation took an unlikable character and explained the flaws which I disliked, I found it refreshing for a character to take a step back and reconsider how things change when the viewpoint or viewer differs.

Laura Lippman

About The Author

Laura Lippman grew up in Baltimore and returned to her hometown in 1989 to work as a journalist. After writing seven books while still a full-time reporter, she left the Baltimore Sun to focus on fiction. The author of two New York Times bestsellers, What The Dead Know and Another Thing To Fall, she has won numerous awards for her work, including the Edgar, Quill, Anthony, Nero Wolfe, Agatha, Gumshoe, Barry, and Macavity.

Other TLC Blog Tour Stops

1-March-10: Raging Bibliomania
3-March-10: Caribousmom
8-March-10: Thoughts From An Evil Overlord
9-March-10: Word Lily
10-March-10: Shhh I'm Reading...

15-March-10: Booksie's Blog
23-March-10: I'm Booking It
25-March-10: Pages Turned
29-March-10: Luxury Reading
31-March-10: Cozy Little House

 tlc logo Thanks so much to Trish at TLC Book Tours for giving
me the opportunity to host a stop on this tour!

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

Graphic Novels v.6 ♦ Next Stop, The Twilight Zone!

“I suspect that my husband, Rod Serling, the Father of The Twilight Zone, would heartily approve of this new dimension of his stories. The adaptations and fine graphic pictures in this grand new series have truly caught the feeling and climate of that wondrous world of imagination.”

– Carol Serling

The Twilight Zone has been a favorite TV series of mine since I was a little kid. The 1959 black & white reruns specifically. They were short, but that isn’t to say they had no depth. They could be funny, scary, sad, or completely bizarre – but the episodes always had so much going on beneath the surface. In my opinion The Twilight Zone was not just a form of entertainment, it was also a vehicle that Rod Serling and other writers could use to satirize certain things going on in the world. The episodes could be watched solely as entertainment or they could provoke the viewer to look further into the issues they broached.

Death’s-Head Revisited

Death's-Head Revisited

Location: Dachau concentration camp, years after World War II. A retired German SS captain returns to reminisce about his days in power – until he finds himself at the mercy of those he tortured, on trial by those who died at his hands. Justice will finally be served – in the Twilight Zone.
(Adapted from Rod Serling’s original television script)

Author: Mark Kneece Genre: Graphic Novel YA
Illustrator: Chris Lie Type: Hardcover 72 pages
Publisher: Walker Books Publication Date: May 2009

My Thoughts    
The original screenplay for this episode was apparently written as a way for Serling to address the aftermath of WWII. This was one of the more serious stories and the translation from television to graphic novel only emphasize this.

An SS officer who had escaped at the end of the war, went on to live a normal life under an assumed identity. In his later years he returns to Dachau, the camp he was in charge of. Once there he finds himself surrounded by memories and the ghosts of the men he helped destroy. These men teach him that they will have their revenge – not a physical revenge, but a mental, emotional, and spiritual revenge.

Death’s-Head Revisited was not an enjoyable graphic novel, but I feel there is much to be learned from it’s message. The ideas that a person cannot escape from the evil they do is very clear here. Guilt is something that will always be with a person, and even if they escape their punishment – it will come in time, regardless of the form it takes.

The Odyssey Of Flight 33

Odyssey Of Flight 33

Transocean Flight 33 departs London bound for New York as scheduled. But a mysterious tailwind sends them far off course, hurtling back and forth through time. Can the crew hitch a ride in hyperspace and get the passengers back to their own time?
(Adapted from Rod Serling’s original television script)

Author: Mark Kneece Genre: Graphic Novel YA
Illustrator: Robert Grabe Type: Hardcover 72 pages
Publisher: Walker Books Publication Date: December 2008

My Thoughts    
My first experience with this story was watching it on DVD and it struck me as being so creepily realistic. The graphic novel version keeps this creepiness intact. Part of the reason I think it works well is that so many people have nervousness regarding air travel. I myself don’t mind going on planes but I have to admit to having those worst-case thoughts running through my mind.

In this story Flight 33 is running normal enough until the plane encounters some windy turbulence and lose contact. Why they lose radio contact is not in my worst-case worry file – they’ve actually run off course – into a time-slip. Now the pilots must try to figure out how to get back to their own time, before they run out of fuel.

The plot for this story was pretty basic, which was great because the characters really took the spotlight here. From the pilots and stewards, to the passengers there is a wide arc of reactions to the situation and all of them seem very natural. As a reader I didn’t become interested in one character more so than any other – however the ending is very open which allowed me to further imagine how they would all as individuals cope with their situation.

The Big Tall Wish

Big, Tall Wish

Washed-up boxer Bolie Jackson is about to be knocked down and counted out when Henry, a young neighbor with magical powers, makes the biggest, tallest wish he can think of - for Bolie to win the match. But believing doesn't come easily to some people, and rejecting Henry's wish could end Bolie's career and ruin a young boy's faith in magic. They each have to the count of ten ... in the Twilight Zone.

(Adapted from Rod Serling’s original television script)

Author: Mark Kneece Genre: Graphic Novel YA
Illustrator: Chris Lie Type: Hardcover 72 pages
Publisher: Walker Books Publication Date: September 2009

My Thoughts   
The Big Tall Wish has a very simple, and heart-breaking premise. Bolie, a boxer whose on his way out of the profession, is going into a fight that he is destined to lose. Henry, a young boy who idolizes Bolie promises that he will make his biggest, tallest wish for Bolie to win. During the fight Bolie gets knocked out, ending the fight a loser – but when he regains consciousness it is to find out he won the fight after all. Bolie is unable to believe that Henry’s magic wish was responsible and is whooshed back to the boxing ring where he again regains consciousness as the fight’s loser. But the truly sad part of this story is that by denying Henry’s big, tall wish Bolie has destroyed a child’s belief in magic.

What makes this story such an important one aside from it’s obvious moral is the background history of the original television episode. The Big Tall Wish first aired on April 1960 and featured a leading cast of all black actors. Rod Serling’s decision to do this was really amazing and would prompt many other producers to do the same. Also in 1961 The Twilight Zone/Rod Serling was honored with the Unity Award for Outstanding Contributions to Better Race Relations for their support.

The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street

Monsters Are Due On Maple Street

Maple Street. Late on a Saturday afternoon. A mysterious flash of light results in a power outage. But this is no ordinary power failure, and the neighbors of Maple Street will soon find themselves in the dark with an enemy – of their own creation.

(Adapted from Rod Serling’s original television script)

Author: Mark Kneece Genre: Graphic Novel YA
Illustrator: Rich Ellis Type: Hardcover 72 pages
Publisher: Walker Books Publication Date: December 2008

My Thoughts   
The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street is by far one of my top ten Twilight Zone stories. In this story a extremely normal, even generic, neighborhood in the suburbs falls completely apart. Neighbors and friends turn on one another, paranoia spreads like wildfire, accusations and insults are thrown about and eventually violence breaks out, ending with senseless murder.

What could cause such a thing to happen? It’s actually something very innocent – the people on the street lose their power after witnessing what they believe to be a meteor shooting across the sky. Then someone mentions that perhaps their power has been shut off to keep them there. Next a young boy suggests that perhaps a monster did it, monsters who are now on the way to get them.

I absolutely love how this story moves forward so quickly, gaining momentum, just as the characters in the story grow more and more nervous, scared and paranoid. Anyone whose has ever heard of real life occurrences of group mass hysteria will understand the creepy feeling that this story gave me. When people don’t understand what is happening, the most outrageous things seem possible, and friends can suddenly seem like enemies. (Just consider for a moment the insanity that went on during the Salem witch hunts/trials!)

Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?

Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up

On a cold, snowy evening state troopers track footprints from a mysterious crash site to a nearby diner, where a group of bus passengers waits out the storm. But, oddly enough, there is one more person at this roadside eatery than there were people on the bus. Who is this extra person? And what are his or her intentions for planet Earth? An intergalactic twist like this can only be found ... in the Twilight Zone.

Author: Mark Kneece Genre: Graphic Novel YA
Illustrator: Rich Ellis Type: Hardcover 72 pages
Publisher: Walker Books Publication Date: September 2009

My Thoughts
This last one is slightly different than the rest, it contains a little bit of mystery and humor. During a snowstorm a busload of travelers take refuge in a small-town diner. Meanwhile a pair of local police are investigating a mysterious crash of what they think must be a UFO. When a trail leads them to the diner it quickly becomes clear that one of the people in the diner isn’t supposed to be there – and that’s means he or she must be the alien who crashed the UFO.

Here is a situation where a group of people are thrown together, knowing that one of them may be an alien from another planet. They do become agitated and more than a little paranoid, everyone is trying to prove their own humanness or to point out why certain others may not be who they say they are. But rather than going the violent lynch mob route, this story takes a more lighthearted approach to the mystery. And the answer to the mystery may not be what the reader nor the group of people in the diner were expecting.

The entire Twilight Zone graphic novel series consists of eight books, so far I’ve only read these five but I am looking forward to checking out the other three. The artwork and text are great tributes to the original television episodes and are full of interesting extras, including original production notes, an introduction by Anna Marlis Burgard (Director of Industry Partnerships, Savannah College of Art and Design), and a closing essay entitled “Adapting Stories From Rod Serlings The Twilight Zone” by Mark Kneece (Professor of Sequential Art, Savannah College of Art and Design).

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

Say what now?

Thanks to a fellow blogger, I found out that my site was doing some pretty strange things – not working at all being the biggest problem! I’m hoping I have most of the glitches fixed up, but if you notice things are wonky, this is why.

My presence in the blogiverse has been pretty pathetic lately – although thanks to my handy-dandy new iPhone I have been reading/lurking everyone’s blogs! This semester has been very intense in terms of tests, assignments, projects. (I’m a first year LIT (Library Information Technology) student btw
But it’s almost the end of the year for me and I am counting down the days till I can get back to blogging and commenting on a more regular basis!!

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.