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The MONTH in Books?!?!

October 5, 2008

Oh my.  I didn’t realize it had been so long.  Well, I should’ve.  I mean, my list was getting really long, but it does that sometimes, you know?  I grab a couple of manga and a couple of graphic novels from the library and suddenly I have twenty books to tell you about.  But not this time.  This time it’s really been a month, and for that I apologize.

After all, it’s a big, bad world out there–and by bad, I mean “bad writing.”  No one should have to brave such things alone.

Maybe THAT should be my tagline. Er, not “It’s dangerous…” but “I read crap so you don’t have to.”

But that’s unfair. In the past month, I’ve read a lot of good books. Let’s look at the list, shall we?

I read Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves. This is a Boy Book, the kind of Boy Book I haven’t read since I gave up on the Hardy Boys. Written for boys, absolutely, in a way that sort of made me feel left out.  It also made it slow going because the stuff I’m usually reading for wasn’t there.  And I don’t mean ROMANCE, necessarily.  I mean…I don’t know what I mean.  Less action, more character development?  But I’m not sure that’s not fair either.  It’s isolating, reading the decisions that the main character makes and knowing I wouldn’t make the same because I am (was) a girl and was taught to take so many other things into consideration.  Still, a fun ride indeed.  Probably a great book for young, reluctant male readers.

Oh, I finished Magic for Marigold and totally cheated with the whole “Is this a ghostwriter?” thing.  My daughter enjoyed it far more than she did Emily of New Moon, which broke my heart.

Remember, parents: Get them the L.M. Montgomery before they get to the Cheetah Girls books.

I also read a book called Fishbowl, which for some reason doesn’t have an author’s name next to it, which is too bad because it was a great chick lit book.  It reminded me of…oh, I think it’s called Ralph’s Party?  I read it ages ago and enjoyed it a lot.  I lucked out quite a bit with the chick lit in the past month, thank goodness.

I read two books for the romance recap project that feels like it’s never going to happen, so I’m not going to discuss them right now.

I read two books by Alice Hoffman: Turtle Moon and Angel Landing.  I wasn’t crazy about Turtle Moon (I think it was an early one?), but I liked Angel Landing quite a bit. Hoffman’s always good reading, although her descriptions of flora and fauna match L.M. Montgomery’s in the Anne books.  Jeez!  And everything’s gotta be so, so symbolic.  I’d hate to see the world through her eyes–well, I hope it’s just her writing eyes, because otherwise nothing would ever just HAPPEN, I think.  And it’s awesome sometimes when things just happen.

I read 100 Girls by Adam Gallardo and Todd Demong.  I picked it up because it was on the shelf at the library, basically, but I also knew that it had been reviewed by Karen Healey here.  I agree with her on everything (including the art), so I can’t figure there’s more to say on that subject.  Karen also did an interview with Gallardo here, so if you want to read that, go ahead, but I’d suggest doing it after you read the title.

Also read some manga, but that’ll get its own post.  In case you want a tease: Sand Chronicles, Gothic Sports, Ouran High School Host Club, more Kitchen Princess, and Beauty Pop.

There was also what I believe was Rucka’s last Wonder Woman storyline, Mission’s End, which I THINK should get me ready for Picoult’s Wonder Woman (two more in the queue ahead of me, I think), which I hear is sucktacular but that just makes me want to read it more.  Oops, Rucka.  Right.  I don’t LOVE this title, although I love Rucka.  I don’t think it’s any fault of his.  There’s something missing in it.  I’m not sure what.  There’s a lot going on, there are a lot of strong women characters, these all set up a good book but I’m not sure it’s a GREAT book.  It definitely didn’t make me want to run out and grab the issues.  I think part of it is that the modern personifications of the Greek gods have been done so much lately (or maybe I’ve just been focused on those works because of my minor in college), or maybe it’s just that the book is weighty.  And I wasn’t really getting Rucka’s take on Demeter, that’s for sure.  Still, Mission’s End is a good book–like I said, they’re all good.  I just wish they were great.

I read “The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire” because a little Holmes before bed is always a good idea.  Robert Downey Jr!  Jude Law!  IRENE ADLER?!?!?!

There was also Spider-Man & Kitty Pryde: Down with Monsters! from Marvel Adventures.  These are the ones for your little kid: they are cute, fast-paced stories with happy endings and morals and stuff.  And mutants.  Yay.  Marvel Adventures rawk!

Kyle Baker’s Why I Hate Saturn was interesting: dated (in a good way; I miss the ’90s), quirky, kind of “Wait a second, here’s a plot!” somewhere in the middle but it was a GOOD plot.  I don’t have a ton to say about this one, but a lot of that has to do with having a giant caffeine headache.  (This post began about nine hours ago while my daughter was at her swimming lesson; now it’s almost bedtime and I SHOULD NOT HAVE HAD THAT ICED TEA.)

I read The Manolo Matrix, which at first I thought I was going to hate because 1) shopping and 2) Broadway actress as the protagonist.  I gave the first book of the trilogy, The Givenchy Code, a pass (er, a pass as in pass/fail, not “pass up”) because it had a CODEBREAKER, but this?  What could I do about this?  Fortunately, it’s got enough charm to get me past my dislike of musicals–although if you’re going to read this one, you might want to give yourself quite a bit of time between reading the first and the second because at times they just read like they’re the same book with different characters. I’ve remarked on Kenner’s in-between books before, when I talked about her Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom stuff.  I’m definitely going to read the last book, but I’m demanding something more from it, or else I’m going to shake my metaphorical fist at Kenner.  You know, my blogging fist.

We are coming around the mountain, I swear.

Oh!  Awesome: Life Sucks by Jessica Abel and some more people.  I loved this so much.  It’s so rare that I dig anything with vampires, but this graphic novel is like Clerks III: Vampires!  Do I even need to say more than that?

Um, I read The Big Love by Sarah Dunn, but I’m going to spotlight that, so moving on…

Oh, I slowly but surely made my way through Keith Lowe’s Tunnel Vision.  This is a good but dense book about a guy who’s obsessed with the London underground tube system and basically bets away his honeymoon because of his obsession.  At times it was annoying to follow the jumps from first to third person, and the dick lit depth slowed the pace dreadfully at times, but it was a fun ride nonetheless.  This is the second book by Lowe I’ve read and I’d really like him to write an actual nice female character for once.  I can’t tell if he buys into the “women are basically bitches but you can’t live with them and you can’t live without them” thing or else he creates all these bad points to make them “interesting” but I definitely get a vibe I’m not crazy about with these two books.  Sigh.  But I’ll talk a little more about “Where are the girls like me?” when I talk about the Dunn.

FINALLY, I read Adrian Tomine’s Summer Blonde, a graphic novel filled with stories that aren’t ever allowed to end well.  I vaguely remember reading Ghost World, so, like, I “get it.”  (No I don’t.)  But…bleh.  Sometimes people like endings too.  But I guess that’s not “real” enough for some writers, and by real I mean DEPRESSING.  Cuz you know it’s ART if it’s depressing and has a sort of open-ending ending.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this (as much as you can enjoy depressing things) but when EVERY SINGLE STORY ends on a downer, you have to stop and say “Hey, author, what’s up here?”  Either the author is depressing/depressed, or it’s supposed to be more “artistic” that way, or something I don’t get.  Yeah, okay, I grew up reading romances and watching TV and going to the movies in the ’80s; I might be a little spoiled on the happy ending thing, but I can’t help but have that little whisper of “pretentious much?” in the back of my head when I read stuff like this.

I finished two more things today, but since I finished them AFTER I started this post, I’ll save your poor tired eyes.  Here’s a tease though: JACK is BACK.

Oh, also: a big thanks to Casey(?) for fixin’ up the banner.  THANKS CASEY.  If you guys could take a moment and help her out here, that’d be awesome.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jillian permalink
    October 9, 2008 3:08 pm

    My library says that Fishbowl is authored by Sarah Mlynowski who wrote Me vs. Me which I remember enjoying.

  2. bookslide permalink*
    October 9, 2008 5:03 pm

    I was too lazy to look it up. Wanna “trade”? I’ll read Me vs. Me and you read Fishbowl. 😀

  3. Jillian permalink
    October 10, 2008 3:39 pm

    Sounds like a plan. Especially seeing as how I already put it on order 😀

  4. bookslide permalink*
    October 11, 2008 4:01 pm

    Mine’s waiting at the library for me to pick up after swimming! Woooohoooo!

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