Book 28 - World War Z by Max Brooks

A Post-Post-Apocalyptic tale of humanities struggle against the zombie hordes, and the many tales of the people who survived.

Max Brooks wrote the Zombie Survival Guide, a book that 12 year olds and man-children alike worshiped, which helped push out a thousand other "nerd books" and other fake survival guides. However, its main problem that apart from it's gimmick, it wasn't very good at all. The best parts of the book were at the end, the series of stories that detailed zombie encounters. They were little microtales that showed Brooks had a talent for that sort of writing. And luckily for the world, he seems to have had the same idea here.

I once heard the Zombie Survival Guide described as a survival manual from another dimension, one like ours bit where zombies came about. Brooks here tells the story of that dimension through the means of interviews with various people who survived the zombie apocalypse and are now working toward recovering the human race. And against all odds, its actually a pretty fun read. Not high drama or anything obviously, but some of the stories are downright fantastic, the worst of them are still, at the least, entertaining. Theres a world of twists and the non-linier way the story is told actually really adds to the experance. Brooks proves himself extremely talented in what many will see as a gimmicky form of writing, but I tip my hat to him. He made me, a anti-nerd culture guy who hates WACKY and LOLZOMBIES more than most, really enjoy a book about killing the dead.

You'll probably like this book a lot, if you're reading my blog an all.

Do give it a read.

Book 27 - Nothing to Evny by Barbara Demick

A look at the people who live in North Korea, their stories and the stories of their families.

Like so many people, North Korea interests me beyond comprehension. Its such a strange place, with so much we don't know and so many odd and weird quirks. Run by an insane dictator and his children, it garners interest from pretty much everyone these days.

If you're looking for more information about North Korea's many many hilarious and bizzarre quirks, this isn't the book you want. Or it is, you just don't know it. What Barbara Demick does in this book is show NK from the point of view of the people who live in its borders. By actually interviewing and getting to know several NK defectors, she has allowed us to live through them. Her use of language and mastery over imagery holds the attention in a vice grip throughout and by the end, if you don't feel moved by the stories within, well, sorry about your soul I guess.

Something I wasn't expecting was a message on how powerful the human spirit is and our specie's natural ability to come together and pull ourselves from the brink. About half way through the book something happens that reaffirmed my belief in humanity in a way I never would have imagined a book like this could do, so thanks Barbara, you're a cool cat.

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