Saturday, June 02, 2007

Read in May

This is the month that The Bonehunters ate; I was working on that (and not much else) for two solid weeks. And then...other things happened. So the list will be shorter than usual this month.
  • Robert B. Parker, Hundred-Dollar Baby (5/1)
    Interestingly, Steven Brust was also thinking about Parker this month. I know what he's talking about -- I soured on Parker for a while for very similar reasons -- but I'm finding Parker's utterly stripped-down style to be worth reading once a year.
  • John Mortimer, Rumpole and the Reign of Terror (5/2)
    It's better than the last book or two, but not as good as the ones that were all short stories. (I think Rumpole works best in the shorter form, to be honest.) And Mortimer is riding one of his usual hobby horses very hard here, though in a very flabby way -- he's now writing the kind of comic novels in which nothing really bad ever happens and no particularly nasty people exist. Rumpole lives in the defenders' dream realm where all accused criminals are innocent and most crimes are just misunderstandings. I'd like to see Mortimer sink his teeth into a case where the accused just might be guilty of something really heinous, for a change of pace.
  • Charles M. Schulz, The Complete Peanuts, 1963 to 1964 (5/3)
    Still wonderful, and still depressing in large doses. It's amazing that America generally thinks of this bleak comic as something sunny and pleasant -- is it because Schulz was so obviously Christian?
  • Christopher Buckley, Boomsday (5/5)
  • Kim Deitch, Alias the Cat (5/9)
    I have nothing at all coherent at all to say about this, other than it's by Deitch, it's brilliant, and anyone who both likes the comics form and has moved beyond biff-bam-pow stupidities needs to read it. (If you want to know more, check out the review at Comics Should be Good!)
  • Bill Griffith, Connect the Polka Dots (5/14)
    The latest annual collection of Zippy the Pinhead strips. The art is still gorgeous, but is Griffith even trying, these days? This is very thin stuff, and nothing at all is new. Most of the strips are one-offs, with the now very-old surrealistic non sequiturs. I may not be back next year, unless there's some indication that Griffith has turned the strip around.
  • Steven Erikson, The Bonehunters (5/18)
  • Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Gaydos, Alias, Vol. 4: The Secret Origins of Jessica Jones (5/19)
  • Troy Denning, Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Inferno (5/20)
    My vow prevents me from saying anything.
  • Daniel Pinkwater, The Neddiad (5/21)
  • Jack Ziegler, How's the Squid (5/31)
    A pleasant collection of single-panel cartoons (either from The New Yorker or in that style from somewhere else), all on the subject of food. Someday I will have an office with a metal door again, and my "Cartoon of the Week" will be reborn -- at that time, I have a dozen or so books like this I can pull out and ransack for material. (If you own a publishing company with metal doors in the New York area, or know someone who does, please contact the proprietor of this feature.)
And that's what I did last month. Notice the huge gap at the end? Oy. Don't ask. I'm better now.