The Life of Lou Reed: Notes from the Velvet Underground by Howard Sounes

The Life of Lou Reed was very thoroughly researched and it was evident throughout that the author really immersed himself in his work. I’ve listened to Lou Reed’s music in the past but didn’t know much about him at all prior to reading this biography. I had always wondered about his connection with Andy Warhol and now I know!

Lou Reed was…a terrible person at heart. He was clearly a misogynist and an all-around not nice guy. It was interesting to read about his flippant remarks and sometimes violent reactions to those around him.

Overall this was an informative biography. However, I did find myself skimming a bit towards the midway point. Also, I feel that a strong biography really gives the reader a true feel for the individual, but this one didn’t do that for me. It’s like the old adage, “Show me, don’t tell me” needs to be applied here. At times I felt this was more of a chronicling of his career with quotes from friends/family in Lou’s life saying he was a jerk. I wish this biography opened the door into Lou’s life a bit more because for someone who was so colourful, this biography came across more as a textbook when it could’ve easily been a thrilling read given the subject matter.

Recursion by Blake Crouch

Wow. Just…wow.

My mind is still reeling from this novel! Blake Crouch has done it again. In this novel, Helena Smith is a neuroscientist who sets out to create a device to allow those with memory loss to experience their preserved memories over and over again, in light of her mother losing her memory to dementia. Barry Sutton, a NYC copy, is investing a new illness called False Memory Syndrome, which causes its victims to suddenly remember entire lifetimes that they never experienced.

From the first page I was immediately hooked. While it became a little confusing when the story jumped around multiple timelines, the root of the story was in humanity and the desire to change the past if you had the option. It addresses the dangers of such abilities falling into the wrong hands and, how humankind can’t handle that type of power. No spoilers, but the ending of the novel was beautifully written, philosophical in nature, surprising and I was completely satisfied by the conclusion. With sci-fi novels like this I find that the conclusions tend to be either predictable or disappointing, but Recursion exceeded all expectations.

Thank you to Net Galley for sending me an ARC of this book!

The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: The Apocalypse Suite

 

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I’ll admit, the inner emo kid within me was what initially drew me to this graphic novel. Gerard Way, front man of My Chemical Romance, is a creative guy and I thought his creativity would lend itself well to a graphic novel.

While the opening was a bit confusing, as you’re thrown right into the story without much introduction, I found I was swept up in the story quickly. Also the style slowly teases out information about the characters as the story progresses.

The artwork is stunning and the creation of Vanya was brilliant. Her look and storyline were the most captivating for me. I’m glad the artists decided to produce this in full colour–definitely worthwhile. The first volume left me wanting more and I look forward to the second!

And for those who keep saying this is a rehash of the X-Men…I disagree. There may be similar tropes but there are countless other stories involving kids with special powers. It’s all about the journey 🙂