PillowByRiver

If only I have a pillow by the river. Love reading in a relaxing environment, though it's often hard to do it. Most of my readings are done at airports...

short but powerful story

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

It's only of medium length, but it's definitely one of my all time favorite. The story is blended with beauty and destruction perfectly. 

SPOILER ALERT!
Runaways, Vol. 4: True Believers - Craig Yeung, Adrian Alphona, Brian K. Vaughan Runaways, Vol. 5: Escape to New York - Takeshi Miyazawa, Adrian Alphona, Brian K. Vaughan Runaways, Vol. 6: Parental Guidance - Adrian Alphona, Brian K. Vaughan Runaways, Vol. 7: Live Fast - Mike Norton, Adrian Alphona, Brian K. Vaughan

restarting the amazing first three volume story

Many new characters are introduced to move the story into another shift. But they are all likable characters so it's not intruding. The fight with the Ultron is fun. It contains heartbreaking moments like the death of Gert. It's also very shocking to see that Chase is actually sacrificing himself instead of many other people to bring back Gert. The ending is a little hasty. I didn't even figure out how they beat the Gobrism. But overall, it's nice to see Nico took over the team and lead them to "no to die", most of the time. 

Runaways, Vol. 1: Pride and Joy - Adrian Alphona, Brian K. Vaughan Runaways, Vol. 2: Teenage Wasteland - Brian K. Vaughan, Adrian Alphona Runaways, Vol. 3: The Good Die Young - Adrian Alphona, Brian K. Vaughan

It's so captivating I cannot put it down

At first you feel like: hey, I can predict what's going on next. Six teenagers with super powers found their parents are evil so they run away and fight with them. Sounds exactly like a mediocre recipe. 

 

But these three books tell a very convincing, fun, and complete story. The powers of all characters are used in ways you can never imagine. And the ending, the ending is so powerful you never see that coming. 

 

These three volumes are telling a story that's independent from the other volumes. 

SPOILER ALERT!
Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned - Pia Guerra, José Marzán Jr., Brian K. Vaughan Y: The Last Man, Vol. 2: Cycles - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, José Marzán Jr. Y: The Last Man, Vol. 3: One Small Step - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, José Marzán Jr., Paul Chadwick Y: The Last Man, Vol. 4: Safeword - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, Goran Parlov, José Marzán Jr. Y: The Last Man, Vol. 5: Ring of Truth - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, José Marzán Jr. Y: The Last Man, Vol. 6: Girl on Girl - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, Goran Sudžuka, José Marzán Jr. Y: The Last Man, Vol. 7: Paper Dolls - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, Goran Sudžuka, José Marzán Jr. Y: The Last Man, Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, Goran Sudžuka, José Marzán Jr. Y: The Last Man, Vol. 9: Motherland - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, Goran Sudžuka, José Marzán Jr. Y: The Last Man, Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, José Marzán Jr.

good story

It's a good story, but with a sad sad ending. The drawing and story-telling are both great. After you get familiar with the characters, it is just so sad the male character cannot be together with the woman he really loves. 

Ex Machina, Vol. 1: The First Hundred Days - Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris Ex Machina, Vol. 2: Tag - Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris Ex Machina, Vol. 3: Fact v. Fiction - Brian K. Vaughan, Tom Feister Ex Machina, Vol. 4: March to War - Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, Chris Sprouse Ex Machina, Vol. 5: Smoke, Smoke - Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, Tom Feister, J.D. Mettler By Brian K. Vaughan Ex Machina, Vol. 6: Power Down - Brian K. Vaughan Ex Machina, Vol. 7: Ex Cathedra - Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris Ex Machina, Vol. 8: Dirty Tricks - Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris Ex Machina, Vol. 9: Ring out the Old by Vaughan, Brian K.(May 18, 2010) Paperback - Brian K. Vaughan Ex Machina, Vol. 10: Term Limits - Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris

politics + superhero

When a superhero saves thousands of people's lives from a terrorist attack and steps up as the mayor of New York City, how will he handle the everyday politic issues involving both supernatural disasters and real-world issues such as abortion? This series of comic tells such a weird combination of politics and superheros. 

 

To be honest, I started reading this series because I loved the Saga series (also by Vanghan), and also it shares the same name with a movie that has nothing to do with this comic. It is novel to combine politics with the superhero stories. But I have to say many times I got bored by the politic debates. 

 

My greatest complain about it is that in each volume it starts some great fight involving the protagonist as the superhero instead of NYC mayor. But it always comes to a quick ends without any follow-up to it. In the next volume, what happens in the previous volume seems having not happened at all. In the final volume, the author tries to weave all the open leads. It's indeed a not-bad ending. But the ending still leaves lots of loose ends for many of the interesting fights in previous volumes. 

The Little Prince: Paperback Picturebook - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Richard Howard

When I was in high school. This book was such a big hype among my friends. But now when I see it, it's not as sacred as I thought it was. It's like a fairy tale. Still a nice one. 

Saga, Volume 1 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples Saga, Volume 2 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples Saga, Volume 3 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples Saga Volume 4 - Fiona Staples, Brian K. Vaughan

so fun to read

It's so much fun to read. It has everything you want: war in space, love story, protecting family. Every character is so vivid and believable. It's so much fun to read and hard to put down once you picked the first volume up. 

 

Cannot wait for the fifth volume releasing at Sep 30, 2015. 

gives two interesting ideas. But a little too much vague bragging in the beginning

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing - Marie Kondō

Let me summarize this book first:  

 

Tidying consists of two steps: 1. discard things you don't really need (when you touch your hand on it, you don't feel joy); 2. put things where they should be (What's really important is to know where to put things back. Don't over-categorize things. Just stick to very simple plan. No fancy storage units are needed. )

 

Here are more details that I think are worth remembering. 

Tidy in one short, as quickly and as completely as possible, and to start by discarding. Finish discarding before putting things where they should be.

 

Tidy by category, not places. Instead of tidying bedroom, living room, tidy your books today and your bathroom products tomorrow. Because you may have soaps/books in multiple places, so tidying them together will help you determine which ones to keep or discard.

 

As for the book, I read the English translated version. The introduction and first chapter of the book contains nothing but bragging. It just shouts out some people think xxxxx, that's wrong; other people think yyyyy, that's also wrong. Just use my method, no rebound after you clean up. What's even better, you only need to clean once!!! Although it's typical to have some bragging in this type of book, the first chapter is filled with such meaningless statements, WITHOUT giving any comprehensible summary of the author's idea. The major 3 chapters (Chaps 2/3/4) are OK to read. But as for all this type of book, you just need the grasp of the major idea and skim all the other minor bragging (compared to the first chapter). 

 

The Sculptor

The Sculptor - Scott McCloud The art of the book is marvelous. The drawings are pretty. I like how the author puts several panels together as a tapestry, which captures the character's reaction so vividly. The layers of emphasis is also very good: some irrelevant details are fading yet the most important ones remain. In sum, the author's technique to demonstrate is perfect, as we can expect since he made his fame by teaching how to draw comics.

But I cannot say the story is very compelling. For example, how did David fall in love with Meg? It feels just suddenly, David is saying "I love you, Meg" out of nowhere. David's struggle between death and loving Meg is so vividly presented in the last half of the book. But the start where everything begins is not so compelling.

I would say the first 200 pages make me wanna drop this book. But after Meg admitted her love for David, this book becomes very intense and a great joy to read!

Paper Towns

Paper Towns - John Green I read looking for Alaska before this one. The two are very similar. I found the first half of Looking For Alaska is very fun due to many interesting stories/plots happening there. But this book disappoints me a lot, especially the ending. Even the first one third of this book, where the two main characters are having an adventure, is not as appealing as Looking for Alaska.

Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska - John Green I really like the first half of the book. Stories are happening between characters. The second half is quickly turning into very boring for me. It feels kind of like a desperate search for Alaska, and this process does not appeal to me: I did not find something exciting during this process.

The Siren

The Siren - Tiffany Reisz All characters are lovable. The novel is different from others. It's totally unpredictable, always leaving me in confusion and thrill. It feels like you are walking in a world detached from reality. But yet everything feels so real.

The ending climax, when Nora lost Wes and Zach in the same day, is so heartbreaking. But the story is so convincing that you know Wes and Nora cannot be together since Wes is inherently vanilla and Nora is otherwise; and Zach and Nora cannot be together since Zach is actually still deep in love with Grace.

And finally the line between the story and the book itself is blurred: there are not so many sex scenes in the book actually, as advised by the editor Zach: cut out most of the sex scenes.

Grey

Grey - E.L. James Fifty shades of gray is really the book that started me in reading lots of fictions. So when this book came out, I had to read it. But it is very disappointing in many aspects.

First of all, this is just a re-telling of the story in the first book. So you can just skip most of the boring details like how Grey runs his company, blablah. Second, the email conversation is really taking much page space. You can have two or three emails occupying one whole page with only one or two sentence in each email. This feels kind of bloating the volume of the book. Thirdly, and most importantly, the sex scene description is kind of dull. When the author describes the sex scene, I often feel like there must be a better way to describe that more vividly. Just when you decided to skim Grey's mind description such as "game on, Miss Steele", "bring it on" (these two sentences occur too many times in the book), the scene has already ended... Then you have to go back to find where the scene ends.

Landline

Landline - Rainbow Rowell It feels kind of chaotic to follow the plots of the book. But reading the female character's mind development feels real to me.

Attachments

Attachments - Rainbow Rowell The love story is fun to read. It feels real and Jennifer's emails are just hilarious to read.

Just One Day

Just One Day - Gayle Forman The concerns about Allyson's safety kept me from trusting the love built between Allyson and Willem. Their experience in Paris is not so romantic to touch my feelings, etc. Well, this experience may touch Allyson more deeply than me. But according to what I read, it's hard to trust such a man so much to wind up in bed with him, especially after he seemed pissed about Allyson's tempt to protect him.

I was constantly worrying that from any perspective, this Paris travel may turn into a kidnapping any time and the male character is not so charming in terms of sense of humor or insights into life. And in the middle of the book it seems Allyson has seen this and was ready to let it pass. But I was saying in my heart that don't let this make the twist that Allyson met Willem and suddenly all the kidnapping-potential actions become very reasonable and they just fell in love and lived happily thereafter. Because who knows Willem is not just making up some lies to fool Allyson again. From every perspective, I am not convinced about his feeling for Allyson.

But the depiction of Allyson's problem in handling college and losing her BFF Melanie is very precise. Although this part seems kind of detached from the love story.