Michelle’s Review: Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby

Michelle’s Review: Wonder Show by Hannah BarnabyWonder Show by Hannah Rodgers Barnaby
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on 2012
Genres: 20th Century, Action & Adventure, Circus, Family, General, Girls & Women, Historical, JUVENILE FICTION, Love & Romance, Orphans & Foster Homes, Performing Arts, United States, Young Adult
Pages: 274
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step inside Mosco’s Traveling Wonder Show, a menagerie of human curiosities and misfits guaranteed to astound and amaze! But perhaps the strangest act of Mosco’s display is Portia Remini, a normal among the freaks, on the run from McGreavy’s Home for Wayward Girls, where Mister watches and waits. He said he would always find Portia, that she could never leave. Free at last, Portia begins a new life on the bally, seeking answers about her father’s disappearance. Will she find him before Mister finds her? It’s a story for the ages, and like everyone who enters the Wonder Show, Portia will never be the same.

I was in the mood for a fantasical circus story when I picked up Wonder Show. I wasn’t disappointed.

Wonder Show has the kind of cover that definitely attracted me to it. Add to it the fun synopsis, and it is definitely a book that screams to be read when you’re looking for some quirky storytelling. I was feeling nostalgic over reading The Night Circus…it’s not terribly similar but I would recommend it for those looking for something at least a little related.

In short, it is a very artfully written story with the kind of aesthetic that would be matched well with some Edward Gorey drawings (my favorite!). It’s a story that you can easily read in one sitting. At the same time, I think it’s appropriate for all audiences, even perhaps some younger middle grade ones. It’s dark without being overwhelmingly dark. It’s a Tim Burton-esque story if that makes sense (and if I can be allowed to make yet another reference).

I’m not doing a very good job in writing this review (I haven’t been the best at putting my thoughts into written words lately, particularly in review-form). But I promise I loved it and this has earned its spot on my bookshelf.

pj - michelle

Michelle’s Review: We’re All Infected edited by Dawn Keetley

I received this book for free from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Michelle’s Review: We’re All Infected edited by Dawn KeetleyWe're All Infected: Essays on AMC's the Walking Dead and the Fate of the Human by Dawn Keetley
Published by McFarland on 2014-01-29
Genres: General, Performing Arts, Television
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback
Source: LibraryThing
This edited collection brings together an introduction and 13 original scholarly essays on AMC's The Walking Dead. The essays in the first section address the pervasive bloodletting of the series: What are the consequences of the series' unremitting violence? Essays explore violence committed in self-defense, racist violence, mass lawlessness, the violence of law enforcement, the violence of mourning, and the violence of history.

The essays in the second section explore an equally urgent question: What does it mean to be human? Several argue that notions of the human must acknowledge the centrality of the body--the fact that we share a

If I’m being honest, I quit even though I was so, so close to finishing. I just couldn’t stomach it anymore.

No, I’m not talking about gorey details or facing the implications of humanity raised by its authors.

Unfortunately, I’m talking about the inaccessibility of this collections of essays to the common reader.

The cover, the title, and even perhaps the synopsis made me think that I was in for another one of my strange enjoyments of learning more about a series that I enjoy and discussing the various issues and wider implications that can be made by it. What does it mean to be zombie? Are the zombies in the series really zombies? What does it mean to say that we’re all infected?

And while, yes, it’s safe to say that I -think- these questions were answered this anthology of academic essays on AMC’s The Walking Dead seris, I cannot tell you for certain. I literally have no idea what most of the essays were about, despite taking my time with them. I had to use the comment feature of Goodreads just to document what each essay was sort of about so I could understand that I was making some amount of progress.

I am in my first semester of graduate studies. Okay, it’s no PHD program and I’m no genius. But I’d like to think that I am fairly smart and well-read and can understand most things. But I had the hardest time with this book, as each essay went into theories and philosophical depths of thought that I simply could not follow. Perhaps if I had more of a background in some of the theories that were mentioned I would have had an easier time reaching the same conclusions as the authors. Instead, I found myself locked out.

Perhaps I wasn’t the intended audience for this anthology. But I’m disappointed because I really would like to debate some of the larger issues presented in The Walking Dead.

pj - michelle