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Books Read: 2007, #42-53 (September) - Body by Henson, brain by Seuss. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kelly J. Cooper

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Books Read: 2007, #42-53 (September) [Dec. 16th, 2007|03:39 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
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Books Read: September 2007

42. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
43. Poltergeist (sequel to Graywalker) by Kat Richardson
44. Practice Random Kindness by Harold S. Kushner, Will Glennon, and the Random Acts of Kindness crew at Conari Press
45. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, volume 1 trade paperback.
46. The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye, (comic) first trade paperback by Robert Kirkman (writer) and Tony Moore (artist)
47. The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us, by Robert Kirkman (writer) and Charlie Adlard (artist)
48. Finally finished rmd's copy of Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash by Elizabeth Royte (I'd been reading it, slowly, bit by bit, for over a month).
49. The Walking Dead Vol. 3: Safety Behind Bars by Kirkman & Adlard
50. The Walking Dead Vol. 4: The Heart's Desire by Kirkman & Adlard
51. The Walking Dead Vol. 5: The Best Defense by Kirkman & Adlard
52. The Walking Dead, Vol. 6: This Sorrowful Life by Kirkman & Adlard
53. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, volume 2

My Thoughts…

42. Fun Home (comic) by Alison Bechdel

Bechdel calls Fun Home a "A Family Tragicomic" which is a perfect, pithy description. Bechdel uses comic-style illustrations and a love of literature that she shared with her family to review her life, focusing on her father's life and death.

There's a really good reason this book was on the NY Times' best seller list – it's really, truly a fantastic story. It's well told and so upfront about its subjectivity that it's seductive. Bechdel is a fantastic storyteller and all her years of weaving together the stories of other people have polished that skill to a high shine.

I can't recommend this book highly enough. It's in my top two comics for all of 2007, along with Castle Waiting, for absolute admiration.

43. Poltergeist (sequel to Graywalker) by Kat Richardson

Strong female character? Check! A detective unwillingly steeped in the supernatural? Check! Well-written story? Check! I enjoyed this book quite a bit, even if it is a bit on the fluffy side.

44. Practice Random Kindness by Harold S. Kushner, Will Glennon, and the Random Acts of Kindness crew at Conari Press

One of the things I've tried to teach myself is how to approach the world with an open heart and kind intentions. It's really fuckin' hard. After reading Random Acts of Kindness by Daphne Rose Kingma and Dawna Markova, I wanted more of a manual. I could see these anecdotes were special, and great examples, but trying to figure out HOW to perform random acts of kindness was surprisingly difficult.

This book does a nice job of being both specific enough and abstract enough that you can draw what you need from it. I enjoyed reading it quite a bit and have incorporated some of its suggestions into my life.

45. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, (comic) volume 1 trade paperback

While Buffy was on the air, I mostly ignored the comics (in the same way that I usually ignore movie adaptations, even though I have a friend who writes them). But I've been jonesin' for more Buffy and Joss Whedon has finally stepped up to the task by writing "Season Eight" – which picks up a year or three after the end of the series. He wrote the first five issues (collected into a trade called Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, Volume 1: The Long Way Home) and is acting as a producer for the on-going comic series.

As I've been reading Season Eight, I've sort of wanted to catch up on the Buffy-related comics. I'd already read Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales of the Slayers and Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales of the Vampires, which are historical looks at the BTVS universe. But I hadn't read any of the comics that took place within the BTVS current timeline.

The first volume of the Omnibus is well-done. It includes an adaptation of Whedon's original script for the Buffy movie, a very interesting interlude between the end of the "movie" and the beginning of Buffy's school year at Sunnydale. It talks about what the hell happened to Pike, which was neatly tied into one of the overall themes of the BTVS universe. It has a cute one-off story about Dawn (they made the decision early on to write the stories as if Dawn had always been there, since that was the way Buffy would remember them; I don't agree with it, but it doesn't tank the stories for me), and some interesting attempts by Angel to interfere in Buffy's life before Sunnydale. Plus, it's got an enjoyable Spike and Drusilla tale set in 1933.

46. The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye, (comic) first trade paperback by Robert Kirkman (writer) and Tony Moore (artist)

I'd been eyeing The Walking Dead comic for quite a while before I finally picked up volume one and DEVOURED it. It starts during normality, and then skips ahead to a month after the zombiepocalypse, with the main character coming out of a coma (induced during the brief normal bit at the beginning). So it's all about the aftermath and long-term survival, which is what I really dig reading about.

This first volume explores human interaction under the stressed circumstances of being surrounded by zombies. It looks at how some people can get twisted up by the chaos and how others come untwisted. I fell in love with the series.

47. The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us, by Robert Kirkman (writer) and Charlie Adlard (artist)

Honestly, I wasn't happy about losing Tony Moore as the artist, but I've gotten used to Charlie Adlard's style and he has his strengths.

The story continues the saga of Rick and Lori, their small son Carl, and the rag-tag band of survivors they've accumulated. They decide to leave the Atlanta area, where they'd been waiting for help and rescue, and strike out to find someplace where they might be able to stay. This volume ends with them spotting it, but what "it" is isn't revealed to the readers until volume three.

48. Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash by Elizabeth Royte

Reading Garbage Land was life-changing for me. I've always been a recycling fanatic and lately I've been trying to be more and more green in my life. This book revealed a lot of lies and exaggerations with regard to what we're told about recycling and trash disposal. It also found a lot of hope and interesting thoughts about the future.

It's hard to explain how much this book impacted me. I think I need to buy my own copy and read it again.

49.-52. The Walking Dead volumes 3 through 6

The ongoing saga of a small group of survivors of the zombiepocalypse, I find this series really compelling. Kirkman uses the setting to explore a variety of human interactions (and how they shift under pressure), including expectations, prejudices, and hope.

Plus, it's pretty gross.

53. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, volume 2

Another set of stories set in the BTVS universe, this one includes another historical Spike and Drusilla adventure. The rest of the stories are flip side tales that go along with Seasons One through Three. It has some faults, but it's got some good stuff going on as well.

Yeah, a LOT more comics these days.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: kimberlogic
2007-12-16 01:18 pm (UTC)
I should read Garbage Land - it sounds powerful.
Your review of Fun Home makes me want to pick that up as soon as I get home - Sam got it last year. Do you mind receiving comics now that you're at MYP so much?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kjc
2007-12-16 07:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

Do you mind receiving comics now that you're at MYP so much?

Hell no. More than half the comics I've read (and reviewed) since July, I read at the shop and don't own. I wish I owned them. I've only got volume 2 of The Walking Dead for instance.
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