Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mike's Book Corner: Spider-Man: The Darkest Hours

Yes everyone. I read 2 books in a week. Its astounding. (Psst. I might even read a few more. They are addictive you know.)

As I was wandering through the bookstore the other day I stopped to see if through some strange time warp any of my favorite authors had written another book for me to devour. (There is a problem with growing up with TV. When you have to wait more than a week to get the next part of the story, the 5 year old in me starts to scream "BUT WHYYYYYYYYY?????????") This time instead of being disappointed I was a little confused. Here I was looking at Jim Butcher's books (Jim Butcher being the author of the amazing Dresden Files series of books), but the name Spider-Man was on the cover. I am not a regular comic book reader, but I have read a few graphic novels in my time. I grew up watching Spider-Man swinging his way through saturday morning cartoons. Having someone like Jim tell me a story about an old friend was going to be a treat, and it is.

Spider-Man: The Darkest Hours is one of those books that disproves the adage "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words." Jim Butcher uses his writing skills to paint the Marvel Universe to tell an adventure of our friendly neighborhood wall crawler. Peter Parker is grown up now. He's married to his beloved Mary Jane and has a job as a Science Teacher. Then the horror starts. He is given the task of substitute coaching the basketball team. Oh yeah and his old nemisis The Rhino and a trio of nearly unstoppable characters going by the name The Ancients have shown up to ruin Spidey's day.

If you are a fan of Spider-Man or a fan of Jim Butcher, you are going to love this story. If you are a fan of reading cookbooks, then I'm not sure this is the right book for you. But give it a try anyway.

Mike's Book Corner: American on Purpose by Craig Ferguson

It must have been over a year ago that I was flipping through the channels and first saw Craig Ferguson hosting The Late Late Show. Of course I knew who Craig was from his stint on the Drew Carey Show and from that movie about the Hairstylist that comes to America to make it big. What I was seeing though was classic TV being created today.
Craig Ferguson is the king of talk show hosts in my opinion. He has made something new from what has become a standard format. I grew to become a huge fan of his very quickly and have lost more hours of sleep staying up to catch his show than I would care to count. (BTW Recording his show and watching it during breakfast might not make you more informed about the day to come, but you will feel better about trying to go out there and attempt the day ahead.)

When I heard that Craig had written an autobiography i was instantly thrilled. Any insight into what makes comedy happen has always been of keen interest to me. So I picked up the book and I have to say its one of the best autobiographies I have ever read. Craig takes a humorous yet no holds barred approach to telling the stories that make up his life. He is a man that doesn't revel in his mistakes, but takes ownership of them. Through the laughs and tears his writing style shines through like he is in the room telling you the stories himself. Craig's descriptions of dealing with drug abuse and alcoholism are some of the most informative explanations of what goes through an addicts mind while they are on that roller coaster.

I highly recommend finding this book and taking a few hours to read it. Its not going to score you any points just having it on your shelf. Read this one.