The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

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This is a hard book to review. For one it is a lot of grand ideas about the future packed in the book which tries it’s hardest to immerse you quickly. A lot of info goes by pretty quickly, you are basically dropped into future Thailand with no primer of the world. You have to learn as you read. I didn’t really have much problem here, I thought the book was well plotted and if you can just float along for a while you soon understand all you need to. Sure it’s slow and leisurely in its pace but I liked that about it.

I felt the writing was clean and very effective, the characters had real true motivations and you could understand why they did the things they did. I like the idea of books set in the future where science and technology hasn’t solved all our problems for us. The world is still full of the same people, there is just as much corruption and fighting, and the rich still walk all over the poor.

This is a really good book, although something still keeps me from an absolute recommendation.  I would still recommend this to people who are into future tales.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh

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This might be one of my favorite books. Hyperbole and a Half is a website I was introduced to by a friend who shouted for days about how I “HAD to go to this website! It is soooooo funny!”. Normally whenever things are introduced to me this way it never lives up to the hype. Hyperbole however did. It is funny, engaging, and also poignant and sad at times. And the use of MS Paint like drawings only makes it funnier.

The same could be said for this book. Made up of old material from the blog and brand new stuff, It is everything I loved about the blog only better. Allie Brosh is hilarious and her stories made me laugh out loud at work while reading it.

It has some of the best stories in it like anything involving her dogs or her as a child growing up, and so more heartfelt writings like her recent struggles with depression. It is the depression stories that lift this book up from your normal blog-based books. There is only two yet they explain depression in a new way that made me connect with her and other depression sufferers in a way that I hadn’t before. They are both touching and “real” in a way that most people should be able to relate with.

I loved everything about this book. I love it so much I’ve already read it three times!