Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How Not to Write a Book Blurb

Recently in my job I encountered the following on the back of a book:

The pace of change in work with these client groups continues and there is a call from busy workers to be kept up-to-date with all the new developments in theory, research and practice. This book offers them signposts to help them refine or extend the range of available intervention options. [The editor] has brought together an international team of respected authors to consolidate knowledge on a range of topics and to further stimulate debates. Their contributions are organised into themed sections that address theory and research development; engagement of young people; assessment issues; practice issues; management issues, treatment issues and outcomes. The text builds on [the editor]'s previous works ([XXXXXXX XXXXX] Publishing, 1999; 2002) by using the material as building blocks to chart how things have evolved further, been disregarded or replaced by new ideas, or been refind and developed further. As our state of knowledge accelerates, and narrows our ignorance gap, the need to transfer the progress into practice becomes necessary. This text acts as a vehicle to achieve this goal.

I defy you to tell me what the book is about. Without the title, that blurb is entirely useless. Even when you know the title (which tells you the book's subject), the blurb is remarkably free of information.

Any guesses on what the book is about?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

Despite it being a 4-day weekend, it's been quite busy. And so an update will not be appearing today. Chances are it won't be appearing until next weekend.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weekend update

  1. Essential X-Factor, vol. 2 by Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson, et al. Certain plot elements take way too long to play out, and the angst factor is cranked up way too high, but these comics are entertaining, and the art is fantastic.
  2. Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes: Dominator War by Mark Waid & Barry Kitson, with Tony Bedard & Kevin Sharpe. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born by Stephen King, Robin Furth, Peter David, Jae Lee, & Richard Isanove. This is a nice adaptation of Roland's youth, and the art is amazing. But it is something of a disappointment because when this project was first announced, we were told it would cover untold tales of the young gunslinger. Instead it is simply an adaptation of parts of the first and fourth books in King's series. Still quite good, though.
  4. Heroes, vol. 1 by various. This is a collection of the web-comics NBC posted online while the first season of Heroes aired. We get to learn more about the characters, including quite a bit about one character who only appeared onscreen in a couple of episodes.
  5. Yotsuba &!, vol. 3 by Kiyohiko Azuma. Oh, the cuteness. (Library.)
  6. Runaways, vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan, Adrian Alphona, & Mike Norton.
  7. Platinum Grit, Book 3 by Trudy Cooper & Danny Murphy. Strange stuff.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Day Late & A Dollar Short

Computer problems prevented me from updating yesterday. They seem to have sorted themselves out, and I'm staying home from work today because I'm feeling sick, so I'm not too late with the update.

  1. Daredevil: The Devil, Inside & Out, vol. 2 by Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark & David Aja. I enjoyed this, but it does seem to be all about restoring the comic to its status quo. At the end Matt Murdock is free, and most people think that his being outed as Daredevil was all a hoax. I know superheroes thrive on their characters not changing (at least not long term), but genuine character development would be nice.
  2. Dragon Head, vol 8 by Minetaro Mochizuki. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Pounded by Brian Wood & Steve Rolston. This was okay, but it didn't feel like a complete story, more like the opening of a longer series.
  4. The Immortal Iron Fist, vol. 1: The Last Iron Fist Story by Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, David Aja, et al. This was a blast. Kung Fu action, the hidden legacy of the Iron Fist, cool art (including flash back sequences by great like Russ Heath & John Severin). I'm really looking forward to more of this.
  5. Zombie Powder, vol. 4: Walk Like a Zombie by Tite Kubo. Early work from the creator of Bleach.
  6. Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes: Adult Education by Mark Waid, Tony Bedard & Barry Kitson. (Library.)
  7. Sandman Mystery Theatre: Sleep of Reason by John Ney Rieber & Eric Nguyen. An obvious attempt to revive one of Vertigo's early successes. It tries a bit too hard.
  8. The Goon, vol. 3: Heaps of Ruination by Eric Powell. Goofy stuff. Fun.
  9. Alex Robinson's Lower Regions. Silent comic about a D&D-type adventure.
  10. House by Josh Simmons. Silent comic about three teenagers who find an abandoned mansion deep in the woods.

Also this week I finished listening to the audio-book version of The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. I had forgotten just how good this book is, and I can't wait for the movie (although I am apprehensive about changes the studio will have made in an attempt to placate people who will take offense at the implication that blind obedience to the church is not a good thing).

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Back on Track

I'm updating again, dammit. (But I'll probably keep things short since I'm behind.)

  1. Spider-Man & the Fantastic Four: Silver Rage by Jeff Parker & Mike Wieringo. One of Wieringo's final works before his untimely death.
  2. The Puzzling Puzzles: Bothersome Games Which Will Bother Some People by Lemony Snicket. Keeping that Series of Unfortunate Events bandwagon rolling. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  3. But I Like It by Joe Sacco. Sacco's strips about music, including ones he produced while on tour in Europe with The Miracle Workers. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. Maria's Wedding by Nunzio DiFilippis, Christina Weir, & Jose Garibaldi. Touching story about family & the forces that can tear them apart & bring them together.
  5. Bleach, vol. 21: Be My Family Or Not by Tite Kubo.
  6. Scandalous by J. Torres & Scott Chantler. Hollywood gossip in the 50s.
  7. Punisher War Journal, vol. 1: Civil War by Matt Fraction, Ariel Olivetti, & Mike Deodato. I usually enjoy Fraction's writing quite a bit, but this was just okay.
  8. John Constantine, Hellblazer: Staring at the Wall by Mike Carey, Marcelo Frusin, & Doug Alexander Gregory. Bad things happen in this volume. But then, bad things happen in every Hellblazer collection.
  9. X-Factor, vol. 3: Many Lives of Madrox by Peter David, Pablo Raimondi, et al.
  10. Lost at Sea by Bryan Lee O'Malley. This book pulls off a difficult trick of portraying adolescent angst without being annoying & pretentious.
  11. Conan, vol. 4: The Hall of the Dead and Other Stories by various.
  12. First in Space by James Vining. The story of Ham, the first chimp in space.
  13. Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, vol. 2: Mystery Date by Peter David, Todd Nauck, & Scot Eaton.
  14. Robin: Days of Fire & Madness by Bill Willingham & Scott McDaniel.
  15. Chronicles of Wormwood by Garth Ennis & Jacen Burrows. Adventures of the anti-Christ. He has rejected his father's plans for him & works as a television producer. Somewhat In Nomine-ish.
  16. Uncanny X-Men: Rise & Fall of the Shi'ar Empire by Ed Brubaker, Billy Tan, & Clayton Henry. I've read several comics blogs lately say that space opera doesn't fit in with the basic premise behind the X-Men, but it's never bothered me. Probably because I was at the right age (12 or thereabouts) when I first encountered the Shi'ar. I will say that Brubaker's forte is with more down-to-earth stories. (Library.)
  17. Tom Strong, Book Six by various. The final volume of this series. Alan Moore returns for the final issue to write an feel-good story about the end of the world.
  18. I Luv Halloween, vol. 3 by Keith Giffen & Benjamin Roman. Giffen is twisted. (Library.)
  19. X-Factor Visionaries: Peter David, vol. 3 by Peter David, et al. Man, 90s comics had some ugly art. And this is by far not the worst offender.
  20. Powers, vol. 10: Cosmic by Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Avon Oeming. I love how, even though this book was released nearly a year later than originally scheduled, there is a typo on the spine. It reads "Cosimic."
  21. Shutterbug Follies by Jason Little.
  22. Daredevil: The Devil, Inside & Out by Ed Brubaker & Michael Lark. This type of story (superhero stuck in prison) is better suited to Brubaker's strengths.
  23. Empowered, vol. 2 by Adam Warren. Unlike a lot of comic artists who do cheesecake art, Warren gives the impression that A) he knows what women actually look like and B) he understands that women are people.
  24. Glister, no. 2: House Hunting by Andi Watson. Cute, all-ages comic about a girl who lives in a fantastic old mansion.
  25. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Eight, vol. 1: The Long Way Home by Joss Whedon & Georges Jeanty. Pretty good. But I am glad I'm just waiting for the collections rather than reading each issue as it comes out.
  26. Gen 13: London, New York, Hell by Warren Ellis & Steve Dillon. Eh. Ellis clearly isn't trying very hard here, but it's entertaining enough.