Friday, October 06, 2006

Reading Into the Past: Week of 9/24

This week I'm trying to remember the books I read in 1998, and beady-eyed readers will notice that I'm running a week behind:
  • Karen Kijewski, Stray Kat Waltz (9/17)
    Another in the series I talked about a few weeks ago (I think this was the last in the series, actually). One odd thing I've noticed from doing these "Reading Into the Past" posts is that I tend to read books by particular authors at the same time of year -- this, of course, depends on those writers being published at about the same time each year, but that's fairly common.
  • Bill Willingham, Ironwood, Vol. 2 (9/18)
    The second half of a pretty good comics series that joined hard-core sex with sword & sorcery adventure -- mostly successfully. I've been a Willingham fan for a while (back to when Elementals was good because he was doing it), which is my excuse for owning this series.
  • Stephen R. Donaldson, Reeve the Just and Other Tales (9/19)
    His second volume of collected short stories (after Daughter of Regals, which I've never read). This was new at the time, and I was checking it out for the SFBC. I don't recall details terribly well, but Donaldson is an interesting writer (even more at the shorter lengths) who is often grappling with issues of morality, and I remember liking and respecting this book.
  • Jack Dann & Gardner Dozois, editors, Nanotech (9/20)
    A collection of mostly recent (well, they were recent, then) SF stories about nanotech, about which I don't remember much.
  • Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express (9/20)
    The picture book that was later made into the (uncomfortably Uncanny-Valley-dwelling) animated movie. I'm not sure why I read it then (I'd probably just gotten it as I was building up a library for the kids -- Thing 1 was about six months old at this point), and I don't list picture books when I read them now. (Particularly since I read at least four of them a day.) I don't love this -- it's far too wordy to be a good read-out-loud book -- but the art is great, and the story is nice.
  • Janet Evanovich, Four to Score (9/21)
    I read the first seven or so of this series until I realized that Stephanie Plum would never learn anything, and that her thick-as-two-short-planks stupidity was outweighing the sprightliness of the prose, as well as driving my blood pressure up. I don't recommend this series to men or feminists, but women who can ignore the fact that Steffie should have Darwinized herself out of our misery a decade ago will find these a hoot. I have no idea what happened in this one, not that it mattered, even then -- they all have pretty much the same plot.
  • Evan Dorkin, Fun With Milk and Cheese (9/22)
    Collection of the nihilistic comic strip by one of comics' angriest of young men. It's not quite indescribable -- it's about an anthropomorphic carton of milk and wedge of cheese who run around wreaking havoc and killing people, mostly -- but descriptions can't capture the corrosively funny rage that makes these stories work.
  • James Lee Burke, Sunset Limited (9/23)
    Ah -- these were the days when I was still caught up on Burke. This is a Robicheaux novel, I think, but I couldn't tell you which one. (Some of them I can remember -- In the Electric Mist With Confederate Dead is a hard title and plot to forget -- but many just blur together.)
  • Mike Mignola, Hellboy: The Chained Coffin and Others (9/24)
    I think this was the first collection of miscellaneous short Hellboy stories, and that it came out after the second of the big storylines. I also think I mentioned it before, but it is a good place to start Hellboy, for anyone who wants to.
I think I'm going to give this week a miss and try to jump back on the horse for next Sunday, and we'll see how well that works out. In any case -- everybody go read something good.

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