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The Week(s) in Books XII-XVII: Anthology Edition

September 4, 2007

Yes, I know. I was a bad person, putting life before blogging, and now I’m like a month behind. Okay, maybe even up to six weeks. And so I’m going to do some mini-reviews, except where the books deserve more. As soon as I make breakfast. (Pretend you just read a really long pause, like …………………………………………)

The rest of July:

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane Vol. 1 – I vaguely remember this was cute.

Ultimate X-Men: Phoenix? – I barely remember this at all. It’s my least favorite Ultimate title.

Ultimate X-Men: Magical – More eh.

X-Men: Fairy Tales – I know they’re FAIRY TALES and all, but turning all the chicks into this Disneyesque princesses to save? Come on, even Disney has made more independent women since then. (See: Belle, Jasmine.)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling – Yes, this is the big one. I know that, you know that, even regular TV news knows that. Did I love it? Of course I did. Was I bored in the middle? Of course I was. One thing that thrilled me is that Ron grew into a character I could actually see with Hermoine–FINALLY. One thing that pissed me off was Tonks. Hey, Rowling, you’re a mom. Would you have done what you had Tonks do? No? Well, there you go.

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall, Bill Willingham et al – Uh…I’m sure I enjoyed this because it’s Fables, but I don’t really remember much about it anymore. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t good.

Civil War, Mark Millar et al – Better than I expected, which is not to say it was great.

Civil War: Captain America, Ed Brubaker et al – Who knew I’d like Bucky?

Seven Soldiers of Victory Volume 1, Grant Morrison et al
Seven Soldiers of Victory Volume 2, Grant Morrison et al
Seven Soldiers of Victory Volume 3, Grant Morrison et al – Oh, Grant Morrison. I want to like you, and there are moments, yes, but mostly you just sound hopped up on something and I don’t do drugs, so I guess we’ll never truly understand each other.

Prelude to Planet Hulk, Daniel Way et al – Okay. I read it. It wasn’t bad. That’s about all I can say. I hear the next storyline is better.

August:

What Became of Her, M.E. Kerr – Not Kerr’s best work.
Cat’s Eye, Margaret Atwood – Still awesome.
The Foundling, Georgette Heyer – Loving her.
The Grand Sophy, Georgette Heyer – Like a two-dollar whore.

B.P.R.D.: The Black Flame, Mike Mignola et al – I suppose it isn’t the same without Hellboy, but there’s little you can do about that.

Invincible Iron Man: Armor Wars, David Michelinie et al – Interesting reading, getting me ready for the movie and the resurgence of my adoration for Robert Downey Jr. (See: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Wonder Boys.)
Testing Kate, Whitney Gaskell – It was cute.

The Spellman Files, Lisa Lutz – CutER. And, when last I checked, Barnes & Noble had some signed copies in the bargain bin. Buy it!
Soon I Will be Incincible, Austin Grossman – Here’s the first superhero novel I’ve ever read. (Not to be compared to the superhero romance, which I reviewed a while ago.) It’s not literature on the level of Watchmen, but it was really good despite a few flaws. I would suggest it to anyone who reads comics, and a few people who don’t.

Catwoman: When in Rome, Jeph Loeb et al – I’m a little confused on the timeline here. Selina seems to know Bruce is Batman, but I thought this came after Dark Victory, not Hush?

She, Myself, & I, Whitney Gaskell – Less cute, more three romance novellas.

Agnes & the Hitman, Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer – Crusie and Mayer put out their second collaborative novel, and it’s even smoother than the first one. I somehow love Shane more despite knowing him less–maybe it’s because I know him less because he’s a guy and I’m not, and no, I don’t think that’s biology, just society, but there you go. Seriously, Mayer’s presence in the romance world (although I’m not sure he’d look at it that way) brings something much-needed to romance readers: some freakin’ reality. Shane’s a guy. He has guy thoughts, does guy things. He doesn’t say and do what we as readers expect him to. He doesn’t have all the right lines. When she’s saying one thing, he’s still focused on whatever he thinks is most important. I kind of love Shane. Okay, I really loved Shane. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Agnes. I saw a lot of me in Agnes (her name, after all, is Cranky Agnes). Agnes is a Crusie heroine through-and-through without being too similar to other Crusie heroines. Lisa Livia’s great. There’s plot all over the place (another nice change from most romances). These all make for a funny, entertaining book, and I could talk about any of them in depth. But I don’t want to. I want to say, once again, how important it is to me that there’s a realistic male character in what’s basically a romance/chick lit novel. Not every woman wants Prince Charming, and I think that every once in a while, we shouldn’t HAVE Prince Charming. We should have someone like Shane.

Foxtrot En Masse, Bill Amend – Love Foxtrot. I read it because my daughter is collecting them like Pokemon, and we read them together. At the dinner table. We’re kind of nerdy like that.

So there you go. It wasn’t a lot of reading for me, because I was too busy AT DISNEY WORLD, and I have no idea how much it will pick up with school and all, but there, a summer of Week in Books. I hope you enjoyed it.

(280 works this year so far.)

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