Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Read in December

This is mostly for my own record-keeping, so if you folks pass on quickly to more interesting posts (here or elsewhere), I won't mind. Besides, if a thousand authors can post daily details of their word-count, surely I can have one list of books read a month?

As always, links are to my reviews, here or at ComicMix. Anything that didn't get its own post here also gets an Amazon box down at the bottom, just in case anyone decides "it must be mine!" on the spur of the moment.
  • Lemony Snicket, The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming (12/1)
  • Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier (12/3)
  • Hideaki Sorachi, Gin Tama, Vol. 1 (12/4)
  • Takao Saito, Golgo 13, Vol. 1: Supergun (12/5)
  • Steve Erickson, Zeroville (12/6)
  • Kentaro Yabuki, Black Cat, Vol. 1 (12/6)
  • Andy Runton, Owly, Vol. 4: A Time to Be Brave (12/7)
  • Dan Piraro, The Best of Bizarro, Vol. II (12/9)
  • Shaun Tan, The Arrival (12/9)
  • Mark Crilley, Miki Falls, Book One: Spring (12/10)
  • Pierre Bayard, How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read (12/11)
  • Mark Crilley, Miki Falls, Book Two: Summer (12/11)
  • Stewart O'Nan, Last Night at the Lobster (12/12)
  • Matt Diffee, editor, The Rejection Collection, Vol. 2: The Cream of the Crap (12/15)
  • Jeff Smith, The Art of Bone (12/16)
  • Kyo Shirodaira & Eita Mizuno, Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning, Vol. 2 (12/17)
  • Susan Minot, Rapture (12/17)
  • Keiko Takemiya, story by Ryu Mitsuse, Andromeda Stories, Vol. 2 (12/18)
  • Naoki Urasawa, Monster, Vol. 2 (12/19)
  • Takehiko Inoue, Vagabond, Vol. 2 (12/20)
  • Kiyohiko Azuma, Yotsuba&!, Vol. 3 (12/21)
    When I read the first volume (and somewhat less with the second), I obsessed about the character of Yotsuba -- a little girl who is either a completely free spirit or has some sort of brain damage -- and finally decided that she's not meant to be a representation of a person with something mentally wrong. (And so I was able to enjoy the book for itself.) The series itself is light-hearted fun about a certain kind of everyday life; the kind of thing I enjoy in several media.
  • Craig Thompson, Carnet de Voyage (12/21)
  • A sketchbook account of two months spent traveling in Europe and North Africa in 2004, partially as research for "the next book" and partially touring to support Blankets. Thompson does incredibly detailed and specific sketches, so this is nearly as interesting as a less hurried book. It's a lot like a more in-depth version of Mo Willem's You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When It Monsoons, actually. (For the five people who have actually read the Willems book.)
  • Rutu Modan, Exit Wounds (12/23)
  • The Art of Bryan Talbot (12/24)
  • Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policemen's Union (12/26)
  • Stephan Pastis, The Sopratos (12/26)
    More comics filled with puns and death from the strip "Pearls Before Swine." I'm glad I live in a world where this strip is in millions of people's breakfast reading; it's not something I expected but it's a nice bonus. (And this world has so many drawbacks that we do have to take the small bonuses where we find them.)
  • Ilya, editor, The Mammoth Book of Best New Manga 2 (12/27)
  • Neil Gaiman & John Romita, Jr., Eternals (12/28)
  • A perfectly respectable and readable retooling of a classic comics property (Jack Kirby's late '70s creations) for a new generation. There's nothing at all wrong with it, but it has a journeyman feel, which contrasts with Gaiman's superstar profile. (I'm sure Gaiman would say something about how every one of his projects is different, which is true -- but this felt like something the Gaiman of 1990 would do, or like something any dozen other writers could do. Most of Gaiman's recent work, on the other hand, couldn't have been done by anyone else.) It's no 1602, but it's fine for what it is. But the ending is purer comics than I've ever seen from Gaiman: it's practically begging for an ongoing series, and Gaiman generally is good at ending his stories (unlike most comics writers, who flee real endings like vampires and daylight).
  • Out of Picture, Vol. 1 (12/31)
Once again, it looks like too few "real books" this month. Maybe if I get away from the computer a little more often...

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