Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Year of Books

2012 was the year I decided to read at least one book per week on average. Not as some new years resolution sort of thing, but because I bought so many books that I now have books stacked horizontally on books, and books stacked on top of each other on my desk. I have many books and I haven't read half of them. So I'm fixing that one book a week.

I read a few John Swartzwelder books:
  • Dead Men Scare Me Stupid
  • The Exploding Detective
  • Earth vs Everybody
His writing style may seem simplistic and his characters lack depth but gosh darn they are hilarious books. He was the writer of 59 episodes of The Simpsons (more than any other writer) back in the days of classic episodes that everyone quotes and it shows why he's probably written one of your favourite classic Simpsons line. Brilliantly absurd, amazingly funny, they are instantly loveable short pieces of humour.
  • Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson
  • Crunk Juice by Steve Roggenbuck (a book of poetry, which I reread multiple times. It's funny, it's uplifting, it's strange)
  • Watchmen by Alan Moore
  • Excelsior! by Stan Lee
I read multiple Terry Pratchett Books:
  • The Last Continent
  • The Colour of Magic
  • The Light Fantastic
  • Mort
  • The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents
  • Witches Abroad
The Hunger Games trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay) by Suzanne Collins. I had heard about it before and saw that it was being made into a movie so decided to read the books first so I could be adequately excited by the news. Little did I expect that they were published by Scholastic and actually written for a far younger audience. You know, books about dystopian societies about children brutally murdering each other and civil war is just the kind of thing you expect in a young teen book.
  • Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now by Andrew Jordan
  • If You're Happy and you know it... by Andre Jordan
Dark humoured or outright depressing. It jumps between the two and so becomes a heartfelt and beautiful collection of drawings that is endearing despite its simplistic style.
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
To be honest, I really relied on the Nadsat dictionary I printed off from Wiktionary because the Nadsat is just so thick in the beginning. Though eventually I did rely on it less and less until I didn't even have to consciously think "word A means B in English" it was just reading it casually as if it was just part of my language. It was really cool this idea of conditioning the reader on how they read a book by making them learn part of a "language" in a book about conditioning someone on how to think.

Nearly EVERY JOHN GREEN BOOK EVER (that he is the sole author of).

In order of reading (I think)
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • Looking for Alaska
  • An Abundance of Katherines
  • Paper Towns
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson (co-authored by David Levithan)
The Fault in Our Stars is my favourite book of 2012. I absolutely adore it. I read it in 2 days. It'll make you cry. Go read it now. I have yet to read Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances, which is co-authored by Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle.
  • Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
  • The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Footrot Flats 9 by Murray Ball
  • V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • Umbrella Academy: Dallas by Gerard Way
  • Spider-man J: Japanese Knights by Yamanaka Akira
  • Spider-man J: Japanese Daze by Yamanaka Akira
Spider-man manga. Brilliant. It's so corny and ridiculous.
  • Moab is my Washpot by Stephen Fry
By Tom Taylor I read:
  • Star Wars: Invasion: Revelations
  • The Deep
He's a pretty cool guy and I wish the Star Wars: Invasion series wasn't currently going nowhere because I really enjoyed reading it.
  • Torn by Andrew Constant, (art by Nicole Scott, John James)
  • The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman
  • Machine of Death by various
By Justin Randall I read both Changing Ways book 1 and 2. The artwork is just astonishing and the story intriguing. I can't wait for book 3, but considering book 2 was released this year and the art isn't really simple it'll be at least a year or two before the next one. 
  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahnuik
  • Unlikely by Jeffrey Brown
  • The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson
  • The Scott Pilgrim series (1-6) by Bryan Lee O'Malley
I love Scott Pilgrim. I decided to reread it for the 3rd or 4th time. It's amazing. I love the magic realism, the video game references, the humour, everything. It is amazing. Scott is a cheating, rude, self absorbed and delusional moocher yet he's still loveable to us. And Wallace. Oh Wallace is the best thing ever. He's seriously my favourite character.

  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Vampire Breath by R.L. Stine
Oh man the nostalgia. I don't remember reading that particular one as a kid but it's great picking up an old Goosebumps book. They're funnier than I remember and wow so short. Back as a kid that was a reasonable read, now I look at it and go "Wow. It would've even take me a couple of hours..." and the chapters are a few pages long at best! There's moments of suspense every 5 minutes, it's great.
  • Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
This book had moments where I wanted to highlight certain sentences or bookmark pages because of cool phrases or sections I enjoyed. Particularly there's one quote "peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God" that I really like. The Book of Bonokon is filled with interesting tidbits of scattered philosophy that aren't necessarily applicable to real life, but cool nonetheless. There's an odd structure to this book that isn't immediately unusual, but the chapters occasionally will end halfway through conversations. It's like they end on punchlines and the chapter was part of the set up for the "joke". Sometimes it's funny, sometimes I guess that's just a convenient spot to end. Anyway, it's an fascinating book and I do suggest you read it.
  • RoosterTeeth comics Year 3 - Griffon Ramsey
I got these at Supanova. It's signed by Burnie Burns and Gavin Free, despite neither of them really working on it, just being inspiration for some of the comics within it. Good enough.

And that's it. That's what I completed last year. Though I did nearly finish The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler and I started reading The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling, both of which are quite large so you can see why I didn't finish them.

This year I think I'll tackle Ulysses by James Joyce. Just because I can. It can't sit on my bookcase forever being ignore in favour of smaller books.

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