Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Reading - May through December.

33 books, 15 TPBs/GNs, 35 weeks, give or take...

- Old Man's War, Ghost Brigades, Zoe's Tale and Redshirts, all by John Scalzi
- The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer [re-read]
- Cold Days: A Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
- Sloppy Seconds: The Tucker Max Leftovers by Tucker Max
- A Kingdom Strange: The Brief and Tragic History of the Lost Colony of Roanoke by James P. P. Horn
- The Spirit by Thomas Page
- Notorious Nineteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich
- Robert B. Parker's Lullaby (Spenser) by Ace Atkins
- Alpha by Greg Rucka
- Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: An Unauthorized Autobiography by Chuck Barris
- Dark End of the Street (Nick Travers) by Ace Atkins
- In Pursuit of Spenser: Mystery Writers on Robert B. Parker and the Creation of an American Hero by Otto Penzler, Ace Atkins, Lawrence Block, Reed Farrel Coleman and others
- Wicked Business: A Lizzy and Diesel Novel by Janet Evanovich
- 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America by Albert Brooks
- Nothing in This Book Is True, But It's Exactly How Things Are, 15th Anniversary Edition by Bob Frissell
- Vulture Peak (Sonchai Jitpleecheep) by John Burdett
- The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need by Daniel H. Pink and Rob Ten Pas - [re-read] *Notes* - There is no plan. Think strengths, not weaknesses. It's not about you. Persistence trumps talent. Make excellent mistakes. Leave an imprint.
- The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
- Keeping the World Strange: A Planetary Guide by Kevin Thurman, Chad Nevett, Peter Sanderson and Ross Paytonre
- The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
- Spade & Archer: The Prequel to Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon by Joe Gores
- The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones by Anthony Bourdain
- Elevating Overman: a novel by Bruce Ferber
- That Prosser Kid by Lloyd Pye
- Soon I Will be Invincible by Austin Grossman
- The Dark Knight by Dennis O'Neil
- You Will Die: The Burden of Modern Taboos by Robert Arthur *see notes below*
- American Gods: A Novel by Neil Gaiman *see notes below*

Comics, TPB & GNs
- Superman/Batman: Saga of the Super Sons by Bob Haney and Dick Dillin
- Get Jiro! by Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose, Langdon Foss and Jose Villarrubia
- Captain America: Red, White & Blue by Paul Dini, Mark Waid, Max Allen Collins and Bruce Jones
- Forgetless: Live to See the Last Call TP (New Edition) by Nick Spencer and Various Artists
- Planetary [Volumes 1-4] by Warren Ellis & John Cassaday [re-read]
Planetary Vol. 1: All Over the World and Other Stories
Planetary Vol. 2: The Fourth Man
Planetary Vol. 3: Leaving the 20th Century
Planetary Vol. 4: Spacetime Archaeology
- Fell Vol. 1: Feral City by Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith
- The Manhattan Projects, Vol. 1: Science Bad by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Pitarra and Jordie Bellair
- Secret Avengers: Run the Mission, Don't Get Seen, Save the World by Warren Ellis, Jamie McKelvie, Kev Walker and David Aja
- Supergod by Warren Ellis, William Christensen and Garrie Gastonny
- Batman: Monsters by Warren Ellis
- Blacksad by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido
- The Middleman: The Collected Series Indispensability by Javier Grillo-marxuach and Les Mcclaine *see notes below*

You Will Die: The Burden of Modern Taboos by Robert Arthur
 "The government and the media use taboos to lie and mislead. It is not a conspiracy, but by pushing panic for votes and viewers they thwart Americans’ pursuit of happiness. Taboos are not relics of primitive societies.

FACTS YOU WON’T HEAR ON THE NEWS:

• There are gay animals and the “gay gene” has been discovered in insects.
• It is highly likely an American president was gay.
• Shielding kids from visual exposure to sex is linked to their later sexual aggression. Porn is not.
• Celibacy is linked to health problems.
• Prostitution can raise women’s self-esteem.
• Heterosexuals were never in much risk from AIDS.
• Jesus Christ denounced lying – not pre-marital sex, contraception, abortion, or drug use.
• Adolescents who experiment with drugs are better adjusted than their peers.
• Marijuana users are happier overall than non-users.
• Wild animals enjoy getting high in nature.
• America’s gardens contain easily accessible morphine and hallucinogens.
• Caffeine is as addictive as cocaine. Nicotine is more addictive than heroin. LSD addiction is impossible.
• Legalized heroin would be less harmful than alcohol.
• If you tried crack or heroin it is highly unlikely you would ever become addicted.
• One of the 20th century’s greatest scientific discoveries was drug induced, as was one of the 19th century’s greatest paintings.
• Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, and Spain have already decriminalized personal possession for all drugs.
• In America, people often serve longer prison sentences for drug charges than for murder.
• The federal government bullies states and foreign countries whose citizens wish to decriminalize drugs.
• America’s global drug war made 9/11 possible.

Also learn about prehistoric sex toys, ancient Rome's penis obsession, papal orgies, Inquisition torture, the male G-spot, the legendary writer who died of caffeine abuse, and the numerous historic and modern luminaries who have benefited from drug use.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman 
"The really dangerous people believe that they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous."

--

"I can believe things that are true and I can believe things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen — I believe that people are perfectible, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkledy lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women.

I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone's ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we'll all be wiped out by the common cold like the Martians in War of the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman.

I believe that mankind's destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it's aerodynamically impossible for a bumblebee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there's a cat in a box somewhere who's alive and dead at the same time (although if they don't ever open the box to feed it it'll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says that sex is overrated just hasn't done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too.

I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it."

The Middleman: The Collected Series Indispensability by Javier Grillo-marxuach and Les Mcclaine
Javier Grillo-Marxuach - "You may come to the conclusion that our characters live in a fantasy world: an unreal realm where friendships are sustaining and sustained, where heroism is rewarded not with tragedy and further burden, but with hope – and where evil is the result not of an unbeatable, unknowable and all-encompassing conspiracy, but of a stone-headed unwillingness to face the challenges of life with common decency.
You may even be tempted to think that the worldview of The Middleman is na├»ve: that you have been watching a bunch of Polyannas spinning away childish fantasies of positivity… and as you walk away into the inky moral darkness of our complicated world – the truth of cruel, cold and meaningless existence – you may even be tempted to smile at a stranger you pass on the street… maybe because you are amused by our callow misunderstanding of life’s bitter reality… maybe because you look at us and our little show as one might a child who doesn’t know any better… or maybe just because it looks like that stranger on the street could use a smile.
And when you do… just remember… our plan is sheer elegance in its simplicity."

2 comments:

  1. No Walking Dead Volume 17? Tried to read American Gods when it came out, just never got into it or through it. Neverwhere, Good Omens, Stardust and Sandman all still great, thou.

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    1. I buy the collected volumes for a buddy of mine who's a big Walking Dead fan, so I've seen most of the Walking Dead [through the big issue 100, anyways...] I've got some of the novels queued up on my Kindle. I had the same problem with American Gods when I first tried to read it a few years ago. Gave up on it. Just picked it up again, recently and got sucked into it. Neverwhere & Good Omens still in the Kindle queue as well...

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