Picture this is released!
My sweet Mary and all the crap life decides to throw at her is now on Amazon, so today I’ll celebrate – both my book’s and my own birthday
Vilda, Sannah and Troy – more cartoon than manga, but I had fun drawing them
Keeping up with my new years promise to read things I wouldn’t usually pick up, I decided to read Manga. I doodle a little myself, and since I like action/adventure I figured it’d be a perfect pick.
And I tried, I really did. I even decided to spend two months on it, and tried out various Manga books but it didn’t matter which one I picked up, it just didn’t work for me. My eyes got stuck on the beauty of some of the drawings, so I lost focus on the story and then I found it annoying to get back into it. When I didn’t like the drawings, I found the format difficult. I tried to blame it on the fact that I’ve left my teenage years somewhat behind, but since my brother-in-law (who has left his teenage years equally far behind) actually enjoys it – I have to conclude that it’s… me.
Sometimes you just have to cut your losses, and move on, so now I’m reading an autobiography instead. And like it a LOT, more on that once I’m done.
Also – I decided to draw some manga and in case you’ve never tried; let me tell you – it is really hard. It might look like simple lines and shadows, but the simplicity is deceptive and I’ll have to practice a lot more before I can stop calling my feeble attempts cartoons and start calling it manga (if ever). Will post some of my stuff later, mostly for your amusement…
Now I’ll return to my next story, the one about Mary
A week or so ago I promised I would share my thoughts on Stage 3 by Ken Stark – the first read in my new years promise to step outside of my reading habits. Then two things happened…
First I got a really, really bad cold. I kid you not – I think I had a man-flu. From a sore throat via congested sinuses to red, swollen running eyes. And after that, I had to hop on a plane and fly from my beloved Rockies back to Scandinavia.
Oh, the irony. I won’t put any spoilers here, but if you read the book, you’ll understand.
Anyways, I don’t think I’ve turned into a zombie, yet. It does admittedly feel like it in the mornings, but since that is a regular thing for me, I don’t worry overly much.
So, what did I think of the book then?
I’ll start by saying that I liked it, quite a bit more than I expected.
The plot was interesting, with a lone man finding himself in the middle of an infected world, trying to survive in an environment where people in various zombie stages try to destroy him. The battle for survival, and how that impacts us as humans, is something I always find intriguing and I think it was nicely done in this book.
I also liked our hero’s somewhat surprising companion, and how this changed the dynamic in the story. The way interaction with a helpless, but not useless, victim made the hero change, and grow, was one of the big plus points for me. And – it must be said – I found it immensely gratifying that it (sorry, tiny spoiler) wasn’t a beautiful, big breasted, helpless woman who needed the help and protection.
There were quite a lot of gory descriptions of zombies (duh?), and they made me jump every time there was one of the annoying, random, clunking sounds from our baseboard heaters. Since I read it at night, with the lights off, I had to turn my iPad around each time and use the light from it to “just check”… Yes, I scare easily, but really – just take a look at the cover. Who wouldn’t be scared, I ask you?
There were also a lot of fighting going on, and even though the kicks, punches and slamming of various objects into various zombie parts were well described – here’s my only complaint – there were a bit too many for my taste. If you’re into this genre, you’ll probably disagree with me on this, perhaps even violently – ha ha.
All in all; A good read that I’m happy I picked up, four stars out of five for me. I might even read another post-apocalyptic thriller, with or without zombies, and I’ll definitely keep my ear to the ground for another one from Ken Stark.
Now I’m on the lookout for another book that isn’t what I usually would pick up, and I have decided to go for something less scary this time – so if anyone has a recommendation for a historical autobiography, then let me know!
Wishing a Happy and Prosperous 2017 to everyone!
So, my New Years resolution this year is to step outside my normal reading habits. I know what normally works for me (fantasy, romance, murder-mystery, classics, more fantasy, humor) but maybe it’s time to find something new?
Every month, I’ll read something that I normally wouldn’t have picked up. It could be from a genre I don’t browse for books in, have a cover that doesn’t draw me in, or else it’s something that is just in general totally outside my usual reading habits. I’ll keep my mind wide open, and we’ll see what happens…
Seriously – it’s books so it can’t go wrong, right?
I enthusiastically decided to start with a post-apocalyptic zombie thriller because being a scaredy-cat; that is seriously not my thing!
Or so I thought
To my surprise, I rather enjoyed ‘Stage 3’ by Ken Stark. I’ll share my thoughts better when my hands have stopped shaking and I’m not looking over my shoulder for a deranged zombie whose “fresh blood caked her mouth and chin, and stained the front of her garment, dripping in little rivulets down her bare legs”… Yish!
Inbetween tapping away on Sweet Water, I’ll start looking for February’s 2017StepOutside-book. Hm… what shall I choose? Manga? Non-fiction? Political Suspence? A kids book might be good?
If anyone has any good ideas, just let me know!