Review Recap for April 3-22, 2017

The trip north was amazing! I'm way behind on posting photos (and even further behind on travel blog entries!), but I will be posting those in the coming weeks.

Between the trip, and then getting back to the day job, things have been busy. Here are the reviews I've written.

On Goodreads

Samurai by Louie Stowell, illustrated by Jason Engle: A history of the warriors of feudal Japan for young readers.

On Comic A Day

Mighty Archie Players #1: Some classic movie plots performed by classic Archie Comics characters in this Free Comic Book Day giveaway.

Scott Pilgrim Volume 4: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together: The fourth book in the epic series by Bryan Lee O'Malley.

Fist of Justice Vol. 1 #1: A Free Comic Book Day giveaway from Digital Webbing.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw: The third book in Jeff Kinney's Wimpy Kid series.

Venus Needs Sharks: A minicomic collection of gag strips by Matt Finley.

Scott Pilgrim Volume 5: Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe: The penultimate book in Bryan Lee O'Malley's epic tale.

Little Archie: The House That Wouldn't Move: A promotional ashcan from Archie Comics in 2007.

Also This Week

I supported Elise Warshaver, who ran the Boston Marathon for UMass Boston's scholarship fund in memory of Boston Marathon bombing victim Krystle Campbell. She was successful in her marathon run; it it is still possible to donate.

I have joined Dreamwidth! These review recaps will be posted at ricksilvawriting.dreamwidth.org from here on. I will be closing my LJ account in the next couple of weeks.


Heading to the USA on June 16. Leaving for Shanghai on July 27.


Review Recap for March 21 - April 2, 2017

I'm a bit late with this recap as we were closing in on the end of a marking period at the day job. But we're now on Spring Break, and I'm traveling tomorrow.

In the meantime, I got several new reviews posted over the last two weeks. All are posted on my Comic A Day blog, and several of those are cross-posted on Goodreads and Amazon.

On Comic A Day

Heavenly Bride Book 1: A supernatural romance manga by Katrina Joyner.

Avengers/Invaders Sketchbook: Promotional book for the Avengers/Invaders crossover from Marvel Comics.

Mr. Emergency Special Edition: Promotional minicomic by Wade L. Busby.

Catch A Dragon By The Tail: Minicomic fairy tale by Roxanne Larson.

Lontar #1: Journal of Southeast Asian speculative fiction.

Scott Pilgrim Volume 3: Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness: Third volume of Bryan Lee O'Malley's epic tale of musicians, slackers, and evil ex-boyfriends.

The Diary of Amos Lee: I Sit, I Write, I Flush: Graphic novel of middle school life in Singapore.

The Avengers: Free Comic Book Day 2009: Aftermath of Marvel's Civil War from 2009.

Also This Week

Boston's Walk for Hunger is an event I have supported over the years. I have walked in the event several times, starting in high school. This year I am supporting my friend Mary Perez, who will be participating in the event this year and raising money to help feed the hungry in the Boston area.

I'm also supporting author Peter David, who has reached out for help with his financial difficulties. I've read many of Mr. David's comics over the years, as well as a couple of my favorite Star Trek stories that he wrote, Rock and a Hard Place and Q-In-Law.

I've also been catching up on posting photos from recent travels. I have posted new photo sets from Kep, Cambodia, and Rabbit Island, Cambodia. And I've posted a set of photos taken on the road, traveling around Cambodia.


Leaving tomorrow for Hanoi, Halong Bay, and Sapa, in northern Vietnam.

Heading home to the US June 16th, and then off to new adventures in Shanghai, China, at the end of July.

Review Recap For March 13-20, 2017

I've read fifteen books so far in 2017 (this includes chapter books read aloud to the Kiddo). I'm ahead of pace on my goal of 55 for the year.

A couple of the above books are in this week's set of reviews.

On Goodreads

The Case of the Cursed Dodo: A hardboiled animal detective story by Jake G. Panda.

On Comic A Day

Leave It To Chance #1: The first issue of the great urban fantasy series by James Robinson and Paul Smith from Image's Homage Comics imprint.

X-Men #1: Free Comic Book Day 2008: An excellent example of how to do a good story that is accessible to new readers for a series with as complex a continuity as Marvel's X-Men.

Heavenly Bride Book One: A supernatural romance by Katrina Joyner.

Also This Week

Pi Day was also Giving Day at my Alma Mater, Cornell University. I chose to support undergraduate scholarships in the College of Arts and Sciences. Donations are still being accepted.

Friday and Saturday was the SaiMUN Model United Nations conference here in Ho Chi Minh City, which my students attended (and I helped to chaperone). I posted a set of pictures here.


We leave for a week in Hanoi, Halong Bay, and Sapa, Vietnam on August 2.

Camp Nanowrimo will be happening in April, and I'll be working on putting together a second draft of the novel I wrote in November 2016.

I have plans to do some last bits of sightseeing around Ho Chi Minh City in the time between our Spring Break and the end of the school year.

We'll also be starting to pack up for our move to China. We depart for the USA on June 16, and we'll be heading to China around the end of July. We're still figuring out our plans for our time in the US. We have a wedding to attend in Maryland, and some possible time we'll be spending in the New York City area, in addition to our usual haunts in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. I'm also looking at a trip to Maine with the Kiddo, which may include the Port Con Maine convention.


Review Recap for March 6-12, 2017

Another week where I managed to get in a few reviews. I also finally started to get caught up on photo processing. I've had a backlog of photos going back to the trips we took in late December and early January. Here are the photo sets I've gotten posted this week from December's trip to Cambodia:

Photos from the Aeon Mall in Phnom Penh are here.

Photos from the National Museum in Phnom Penh are here.

Photos from Phnom Penh's New Years Eve fireworks are here.

And finally, the rest of the pictures I took in Phnom Penh can be found here.

I still have a lot of follow-up to do from those two trips, including Tripadvisor reviews, some more detailed blog entries here, and a bunch more photo sets.

In the meantime, here are this week's reviews.

On Goodreads

Saigon Sketches: A travel and art book about Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, written and drawn by Eleanor Burke.

Quick update: I've read 13 books so far in 2017, which puts me ahead of pace for my goal of 55 books in the year. The book I'm currently reading (The Source, by James Michener) is quite long, but I'm taking breaks from it occasionally to read some of the shorter books in the to-read pile. I have a number of books in that pile that I'm planning to give away so that I don't have to take them back to the US, so right now my emphasis is on finishing books that are longer and that I'm not planning to keep.

On Comic A Day

Jughead Comics: A Night At Geppi's Entertainment Museum: Free Comic Book Day Edition: An Archie Comics special set at Geppi's Entertainment Museum in Baltimore MD.

The World Builder: A science fiction short story in zine form by Brett James.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth: Book 5 of the popular graphic novel series by Jeff Kinney.

Quick update here too: I have a bit less than 60 comics in the unread comics stack, so I'm on reasonable track to get that stack finished off before I head back to the US in June.

Also This Week

I'm supporting my good friend Rachel Schwartz in her efforts to raise money to support urban farming in London, UK.


My last Model United Nations conference of the year is this coming weekend, here in Saigon.

Trip to Hanoi, Halong Bay, and Sapa has been booked for the first week in April.

We head home to the US around June 17. We'll have a bit more than a month, mostly in New England, before we'll be leaving for Shanghai sometime in late July. I currently have tentative plans to attend the Port Con Maine convention June 22-25 in Portland ME.


Review Recap For February 19 - March 5, 2017

I had a pretty productive week going as far as reviews and making some progress on prepping for the first revision of The Lady of Three Faces at the end of February, but I proceeded to get sick last week. I spent most of last week dragging myself in to the Day job and not having the energy for much else. I'm feeling better now, so hope to be back on track with reviews and some writing this week.

But since this recap covers some productive days before I came down with whatever bug I had, here are some reviews that I did accomplish.

On Goodreads

Kraya the Blood Shark by Adam Blade: The fourth book in Adam Blade's Deep Dive/Sea Quest series that is quickly becoming one of the Kiddo's favorites.

On Comic A Day

Love & Capes #7 Free Comic Book Day Edition: A romantic superhero comedy by  Thomas F. Zahler from 2008.

The Death of Antisocialman Chapter 12 Preview Pages: A promotional freebie for the Death of Antisocialman series by Matt Feazell and Walt Lockley.

World's Finest #159: Classic silver-age Batman and Superman story from 1966.

The Sleeplessness: Full-color horror comic by Jay Kennedy.

Also This Week

I'm supporting my friend Nakita Lashaun Caruso, who is looking for help funding her driving lessons so that she can improve her life and the lives of her two children.

I'm slowly getting caught up on posting photos from the two trips we took around Christmas and New Years. Photos from the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, can be found here.


The trip I've been hinting at for a while has been booked! We're headed to Hanoi, Vietnam, on April 2, for a week-long trip that will include an overnight cruise on Halong Bay, and a trip to Sapa. Can't wait! This will be our last excursion in Southeast Asia, at least for a while, as we prepare to head to China in late July.

Before China, though, we'll have a few weeks back in the US. Those travel arranges are currently being finalized and it looks like we will be arriving in Boston around the 18th of June. Tentative plans include traveling to Maryland, and a father/son road trip to Maine. Other than those, we'll be sticking to our usual stomping grounds of Boston, Cape Cod, and New Hampshire.

Also coming up: Camp Nanowrimo! I just signed up for this, and it's my first time trying it out. My goal is a complete second draft of my Asian-themed middle-grade fantasy/steampunk novel, The Lady of Three Faces. My handle on Nano is rsilva444, so look me up if you'd like. I am already in a cabin being organized by an author I know.

Review Recap For February 15-18, 2017

Finished up something of a long week, with the Kiddo staying late for activities three out of the five days. He's now done with track practice. His track meet is next week. Swimming continues on Tuesdays, but this week coming up looks to be a bit more relaxed, although I will be buried deep in organizing visa paperwork for China.

I managed to get back to reading some comics in the last few days, and also finished up another childrens chapter book with the Kiddo. It may be a while before my next review of an adult book, as I'm currently reading Michener's The Source, which is over 900 pages!

On Comic A Day

One Year in Indiana #0: Kurt Dinse's minicomic tale of an epic beer run.

Viper Comics Presents: Kid Houdini and the Silver Dollar Misfits: From Free Comic Book Day 2008, this book features two different "kid detective" teams.

On Goodreads

Crusher the Creeping Terror by Adam Blade: Book number 7 in Adam Blade's Seaquest (AKA Deep Dive) series.

Also This Week

I'm supporting the fundraising for the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo (SPACE) and their SPACE Prizes. The fundraising drive has officially ended, but if you're interested in attending the show, it will be March 25-26, 2016, in Columbus OH USA. It's one of my favorite conventions, featuring nothing but small press comics that you often won't find anywhere else. Even better, admission is free! Information can be found here.


Plans are in the works for our departure from Vietnam. Looks like we'll be flying back to Boston on the 16th or 17th of June. Not sure yet when we'll be heading to Shanghai, but it will be sometime in late July. Once we have those dates set, we'll start to figure out what we'll be doing during our time in the US.

In the meantime, we're still hoping to get in one more trip while we're in Southeast Asia. The tentative plan is to visit Hanoi, Sapa, and Halong Bay in northern Vietnam. I also have at least one more event with Model United Nations, the SaiMUN conference here in Ho Chi Minh City in March.
  • Current Music
    Springsteen, Out in the Streets

Review Recap For February 6-14, 2017

This past weekend was the AISMUN Model United Nations Conference, hosted by my school, American International School of Vietnam. My photos from the event are here.

I'm getting back into the day-job routine while working on paperwork for the move the Shanghai. Not much as far as comics read in the past week, but I did post a couple of book reviews.

On Goodreads

Never Let Me (The Complete Melissa Allen Trilogy) by Jennifer Brozek. Young adult SF/horror compilation.

Hurry Up Houdini by Mary Pope Osborne: Number 50 in the Magic Tree House series.

Also This Week

I'm supporting Senator Elizabeth Warren's reelection campaign. She was warned. She was given an explanation. And yet, she persisted.


Tentative trip to northern Vietnam in early April. Heading back to the US in late June, then to Shanghai in late July.

Review Recap for January 31 - February 5, 2017

Now that we've answered the question of where we'll be next year, it's time to focus on finishing up this school year and getting ready for the move.

Today is the last day of Tet Break, and it's back to the day job tomorrow. We didn't travel on this break. The plan was to work on the job search as much as possible. Fortunately that got resolved early in the break, so we were able to enjoy some of the Tet festivities here in Saigon.

I also did some reading and wrote a few reviews.

On Goodreads

The Lies of Locke Lamora: A crime novel set in an epic fantasy city by Scott Lynch.

On Comic A Day

Project Superpowers: The Death-Defying Devil: Free Comic Book Day Special Edition: A freebie from Dynamite Entertainment's superhero universe, featuring the Golden-Age version of Daredevil (here called the Devil).

Savage Dragon #148 Free Comic Book Day Edition: A team-up with Savage Dragon and (by odd coincidence, since I pulled these two comics out of the stack randomly) the Golden-Age version of Daredevil!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules: The second book in Jeff Kinney's Wimpy Kid series.

Also This Week

I'm supporting author Elizabeth Donald by preordering her new short story collection, Moonlight Sonata. If you like short horror fiction, give this a look. I read one of Donald's previous collections and it is fun and creepy!


Model United Conference this weekend. This is our "home" event at American International School here in Ho Chi Minh City. It's grown each year we've run it, and we're looking forward to a good event this time around.

In April, we have tentative plans for a trip to northern Vietnam. We head back to the US in late June, and then to Shanghai in late July.

Review Recap For January 23-30, 2017

Well, the uncertainty of the last few months has finally come to an end. I am very happy to report that I have signed a contract for a new job for the next school year, in one of the biggest and fastest-growing cities on the planet!

We will be moving to Shanghai, China!

The new job is on a similar calendar to my current gig, so that means that we'll be visiting the US from late June until we head to China in late July.

Up until then, we'll be trying to make the most of our remaining time in Vietnam. We just celebrated Tet, and welcomed the Year of the Rooster, and I've got the rest of this week off from work. I've been getting things reorganized now that I'm out of job search mode, and I've had time to write some new reviews.

On Goodreads

How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell: The amusing book that was the (admittedly loose) basis for the hit film.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: The classic English romance. I read a lovely Grosset & Dunlap illustrated hardcover edition.

Manak: The Silent Predator by Adam Blade: My favorite of the Adam Blade books that I've read with the Kiddo so far.

On Comic A Day

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #14: From Marvel's Unmasked storyline in 2007.

Fantasy Theater #18: Featuring two adventures of Lady Spectra & Sparky.

Also This Week

The fundraiser I was supporting this week has ended, so I'm going to repost links to fundraisers for two people battling cancer that could still use more support.

Sabrina Chick, a friend of a family member of mine.

Duane Nelson, the husband of a friend.


I have a big backlog of photos to process and upload from recent travels as well as Tet festivities around Ho Chi Minh City.

In early April, we're looking at a possible trip to Sapa/Hanoi/Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam.

We leave for about a month in the US in late June, and then on to Shanghai in late July! No travel plans beyond that, but as of right now, my expectation is that most traveling we do in the 2017-2018 school year will probably be within China. It's a big country with a lot to see!


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And after two weeks of day-job work, I find myself one vacation once again. This is our Tet break. No travel plans, although we'll visit the Tet festivities happening around Saigon. Mostly focusing on job search and writing/editing over these two weeks, with some time devoted to cleaning/organizing, and getting some day-job prep work done. I have two scheduled interviews so far during these two weeks, and one more being arranged.

Expect more output from me in terms of book and comic reviews over the next two weeks as well.

For now, I have a couple of new reviews.

On Comic A Day

Fisso's World In Cambodia: Living in a Kingdom of Wonders: Collection of cartoons I bought on our recent trip to Cambodia.

Blackest Night #0: The Free Comic Book Day intro for 2009's huge DC Universe crossover event.

Wish Me Luck: A minicomic from Boston Comics Roundtable.

Also This Week

I'm supporting three people battling cancer.

Sabrina Chick, a friend of a family member of mine.

Duane Nelson, the husband of a friend.

Friend and longtime SF convention attendee, Hugh Casey, who has a benefit convention being held next Sunday (Jan 29) in Philadelphia PA USA to fundraise for his expenses.


Tet happenings around Ho Chi Minh City over the next two weeks. We're also looking into the possibility of a trip to northern Vietnam in early April.