13 May 2004

Yet More 50 Books

There are going to be a lot of graphic novels in the next few installments. I considered not including graphic novels, since they tend to be on the short side, and usually have more words than pictures. But, since reading a graphic novel properly takes more time than just reading the words, and considering the number of very long and/or very dense non-fiction books I've read recently, I decided to include them. It's my list.

  1. The Flamingo's Smile by Stephen Jay Gould. I think I'll add Gould to my list of the-closest-things-I-have-to-heros. He writes science in a way that's understandable to a curious non-scientist, but still has lots of meat for those familiar with the concepts. Science is cool, and Gould makes that obvious in his essays.
  2. Second Act by Barbara Barrie. This is a somewhat mediocre book in terms of writing, but it was part of my "read about cancer" thing when Mum was diagnosed. So I read it. I learned a few things, but not really much more than I already knew.
  3. The Guizer by Alan Garner. I love Garner's fiction, so when I saw this on the shelf at the library, I grabbed it. It's a nice colection of trickster tales, though I'm not sure I really agree that they are all trickster tales. Not the sort of book for the indifferent reader, though; like many folklore collections, it's as close as possible to the original oral tales, which makes for less-than-easy reading. But if you like that sort of thing as I do (in moderation, though), then this is a good choice.
  4. After the Rain by Andre Juillard. This one I very nearly did leave off since it's really short. But, like I said, it's my list, and this is a book by the usual definition. And anyway, it was really good. Beautiful illustration, neat story (if a little improbable--but then, so is most mystery fiction). I think the author/artist is French, and in France they take graphic fiction much more seriously than North Americans do.
  5. My New York Diary By Julie Doucet. One of the classic independent books. I'm surprised I hadn't read any Doucet before now, but then my graphic novel/comics education has been a bit spotty (I blame the aversion of most comic shops to independent books). I don't really like Doucet's drawing style, though I'll admit it does fit the book.
  6. Hellboy by Mike Mignola. Yeah, okay, I read this because the movie was coming out, and it looked like a good movie so I thought I should read the comic. I still haven't seen the movie, but this first volume of the series was lots of fun. Things paranormal, Nazis, paranormal Nazis, eldritch god-monsters, and a big red demon who fights for good and hasn't got a name--what more can one ask?

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