Thursday, May 04, 2006

Reading Into the Past: Week of 4/30

This week, I'm looking at the books I read in 1996
  • Bill Bryson, Made in America (4/25)
    This is his book about the American language, specifically words and phrases coined in the US. All of Bryon's stuff is breezy and entertaining, but I do like his travel books best. Still, this was eminently enjoyable, and I'm sure I learned a few things from it.
  • Tom Veitch, et. al., Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi (4/26)
    This was a comics collection of some sort, and I have no memory of it.
  • Kyle Baker, et. al., The Residents: Freak Show (4/26)
    Ditto; I didn't keep this, which implies that I really didn't like it.
  • Clive Barker, et. al., Primal (4/26)
    Horror comics of some sort. Another one I got rid of soon afterward, which implies I didn't like it. (I seem to have been trying to get rid of some comics that day -- it's quite possible I was looking them over for the club, since I was the official comics guy in those days.)
  • Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, editors, The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror, Ninth Annual Collection (4/27)
    Oh, like I could remember what was in a ten-year-old Year's Best. Ha! I'm sure it was eminently respectable, even if horror stories regularly annoy me and I kept thinking Windling went out of her way to choose stories (and especially poems) with only the most tenuous connection to fantasy possible.
  • Lois McMaster Bujold, Memory (4/28)
    One of the very best of the Miles Vorkosigan books -- and the Hugo voters agreed with me, for once.
  • George MacDonald Fraser, Flashman at the Charge (4/29)
    This is the one with the sled-dog chase across the snow, if I'm remembering right -- and that's one of the Flashy scenes that has stuck in my memory ever since. All of these books are worth reading for Flashy's voice, if nothing else -- and you'll probably pick up some odd bits of history along the way.
  • Paul Chadwick, Concrete: Killer Smile (4/29)
    How do you do a thriller in a comic when your main character is a two-ton indestructible alien robot? Well, you threaten someone else, of course. I liked Concrete best when it was less adrenaline-driven, but this was a decent story.
  • Scott Adams, The Dilbert Principle (4/30)
    Adams's later prose books are mostly just reiterations of ideas from the comic strip (or contractual obligations to make a lot of money), but this first business book from Adams actually had some intriguing ideas, and is well worth reading. If you're a manager, you won't like what it says, but, then, if you're a manager, you're only barely human to begin with.
This week it took until Thursday to get to this; if I get much worse I might just lap myself. (And we all know how painful that can be! [rimshot] Thanks -- I'll be here all week! Try the veal, and don't forget to tip your waitress.)

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