Monday, June 1, 2009

Reading List: May 2009

Last month I decided that rather than merely list all the books I had read, I would also make a strong recommendation that readers of this blog go out and pick up a copy of what I considered the best of the lot. Fortunately, the book I picked last month I had previously reviewed. However, I didn't have a chance to review Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo because I finished it right before I had two big projects due in school.

The book succeeds due to Larsson’s two protagonists -- Carl Mikael Blomkvist, a reporter filling the role of detective, and his sidekick, Lisbeth Salander, aka the girl with the dragon tattoo -- who make this novel more than a run-of-the-mill mystery: they’re both compelling, conflicted, complicated people, idiosyncratic in the extreme, and interesting enough to compensate for the plot mechanics, which seize up a bit as the novel begins to resolve itself. Knowing that Larsson was able to complete two sequels before his death in 2004 is exciting, for I am not ready to let these characters go.

On the school front, I shall spend the next few days revising a document for my thesis that I should have finished months ago. Then I'll start planning the actual outline and hopefully will be able to get started writing sometime towards the end of the month. This said, never underestimate my laziness nor my ability to get distracted by just about anything.

The month of May saw me finish 34 books and/or graphic novels, and this is what they were:
  • 100 Bullets: Dirty by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso
  • Replay by Ken Grimwood
  • What the Gospels Meant by Gary Wills
  • Superman: For Tomorrow by Azzarello & Jim Lee
  • All Star Superman, Volume II by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely
  • Sin City: That Yellow Bastard by Frank Miller
  • X-Men: Endangered Species by Mike Carey, et al.
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • Pieces for the Left Hand by J. Robert Lennon
  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
  • X-Men: Messiah Complex by Ed Brubaker, et al.
  • Ultimate X-Men, Volume II by Mark Millar, et al.
  • Sin City: Family Values by Miller
  • House of M by Brian Michael Bendis & Olivier Copiel
  • Over a Torrent Sea by Christopher L. Bennett
  • Green Lantern Corps: Recharge by Geoff Johns, et al.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: Double Trouble by Bendis & Mark Bagley
  • Genesis by Bernard Beckett
  • True Enough by Farhad Manjoo
  • Ultimate X-Men: Ultimate War by Millar & Chris Bachalo
  • Green Lantern Corps: To Be a Lantern by Dave Gibbons & Patrick Gleason
  • Sin City: Booze, Broads, and Bullets by Miller
  • Decimation: X-Men: The 198 by David Hine & Jim Muniz
  • Summer Blonde by Adrian Tomine
  • Superman: Last Son by Johns, et al.
  • Swamp Thing: The Curse by Alan Moore, et al.
  • Ultimate X-Men: Return of the King by Millar, et al.
  • The Element by Ken Robinson
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: Legacy by Bendis & Bagley
  • Shortcomings by Tomine
  • Green Lantern: Tales of the Sinestro Corps by Johns, et al.
  • Ultimate X-Men: Blockbuster by Bendis & David Finch
  • The Best American Mystery Stories 2005 edited by Joyce Carol Oates
  • Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 10 edited by Dean Wesley Smith
Not hard to see that the bulk of the readings for the month, and the year to date for that matter, are graphic novels or collections of individual issues. I am still slightly interested in Marvel's Ultimate line, but the interest is waning. To be honest, I don't think I was more than moderately satisfied with any of the collections I read this month from either DC or Marvel, except maybe House of M. I'm also hoping to read some long form fiction, read 500+ page novels, this summer since I am finished with my coursework.

As always comments and queries are strongly encouraged. I hope to post here much more often over the coming month, yet we know how such vows have gone in the past.

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