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A mid year book update almost a month late

I had been meaning to do an entry like this around the end of June/start of July as a summary of my year in reading so far. Following the lead of rosepurr and kingyak, I've finally done it. 

Before the list, though, there are some new entries. I finished Too Much Coffee Man's Guide for the Perplexed, largely a collection of single-page comics, the night before I left for San Antonio.  Then, epecting more downtime than I actually wound up with, I brought 4 books with me. I read one, but the one is wonderful. Many of my friends highly recommend Neil Gaiman. I have read some of his shorter works and some of his graphic novels, but, other than Good Omens, I haven't tackled his novels until now. So I read Neverwhere and was absolutely blown away. Memorable characters and descriptions, excellent themes and descriptions. I will be reading more of his novels. I've read two shorter books since getting back. 

Birth of a Nation is a political satire in graphic novel form by Aaron McGruder (he writes "Boondocks") and Reginald Hudlin. Like all good satire, it's funny while being brutally honest. I also read Steve Leveen's The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life. It's kind of a love letter to reading, full of quotes about reading and suggestions for getting more books into your life. I apparently don't need that advice. He highly recommends audio books and joining reading groups. Leveen, I should point out, is CEO of Levenger. But it's a short little read that makes one feel good about reading so it's worthwhile if you're interested.  For me, the best recommendation came when he spoke  of reading in the presence of loved ones while they read for themselves, learning to be comfortable together while reading.  I don't get to do it as much of late, but I love being in the same room with my sweetheart and just reading, feeling the warmth of her company as well as the comfort of reading; I can't wait till we get to spend more time doing that. 

Without further adieu,

Title Author Recommend?
1 A Gentlemen's Game Greg Rucka Yes
2 A Star Called Henry Roddy Doyle Yes
3 Midnight Days Neil Gaiman Yes
4 So Many Books Gabriel Zaid Yes
4 So Many Books, So Little Time Sara Nelson Yes
5 The Light Fantastic Terry Pratchett Yes
6 Equal Rites Terry Pratchett Yes
7 The Stupidest Angel Christopher Moore Yes
8 Villa Incognito Tom Robbins Yes
9 The Rising Brian Keene Yes
10 Astro City: Confession Gary Busiek Yes
11 Screwjack Hunter S. Thompson Yes
12 Burglars Can't Be Choosers Lawrence Block Yes
13 Love Me Garrison Keillor Yes
14 Strangers in Paradise Vol. 1 Terry Moore Yes
15 Nightwing: A Knight in Bludhaven Chuck Dixon Yes
16 Sputnik Sweetheart Haruki Murakami Yes
17 Carnivore Leigh Clark No (unless you enjoy godawful – then it's great)
18 The Nightrunners Joe R. Lansdale Yes
19 Amusing Ourselves to Death Neil Postman Yes
20 The Books of Faerie Neil Gaiman Yes
21 100 Bullets: Hung Up on the Hang Low Brian Azzarello
22 The Groo Houndbook Sergio Aragones Yes
23 30 Days of Night Steve Niles Yes
24 Under the Banner of Heaven Jon Krakauer Yes
25 Nightwing: Hunt for Oracle Chuck Dixon Yes
26 Jarhead Anthony Swofford Yes
27 Eats Shoots and Leaves Lynne Truss Yes
28 The Tick: The Naked City Ben Edlund Yes
29 Superman: Red Son Mark Millar Yes
30 The Firework Maker's Daughter Phillip Pullman Yes
31 Spring-Heeled Jack Phillip Pullman Yes
32 G.I. Joe Volume 1 Joe Hana Yes
33 Astro City: Tarnished Angel Gary Busiek Yes
34 Astro City: Life in the Big City Gary Busiek Yes
35 G.I. Joe Volume 2 Joe Hana Yes
36 Clan Apis Jay Hosler Yes
37 G.I. Joe Volume 3 Joe Hana Yes
38 Those Who Walk in Darkness John Ridley Yes
39 Mr. Paradise Elmore Leonard Yes
40 Ultramarathon Man Dean Karnazes Yes
41 The Sandwalk Adventures Jay Hosler Yes
42 Blockbuster: How Hollywood Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Summer Tom Shone Yes
43 Silverfin Charlie Higson Yes
44 Haunted Chuck Palahniuk No
45 Nothing's Sacred Lewis Black Yes
46 Fuzzy Dice Paul DiFilippo Yes
47 G.I. Joe Volume 4 Joe Hana Yes
48 Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl? Brian Michael Bendis Yes
49 Assassination Vacation Sarah Vowell Yes
50 Fast Food Nation Eric Schlosser Yes
51 Mort Terry Pratchett Yes
52 A Long Way Down Nick Hornby Yes
53 The Wee Free Men Terry Pratchett Yes
54 When Will Jesus Bring the Pork chops? George Carlin Yes
55 Strangers in Paradise Vol. 2 Terry Moore Yes
56 A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole No
57 On Bullshit Harry G. Frankfurt Yes
58 A Hat Full of Sky Terry Pratchett Yes
59 Transmetropolitan: One More Time Warren Ellis Yes
60 Too Much Coffee Man's Parade of Tirade Shannon Wheeler Yes
61 Too Much Coffee Man's Guide for the Perplexed Shannon Wheeler Yes
62 Neverwhere Neil Gaiman Yes
63 Birth of a Nation McGruder/Hudlin/Baker Yes
64 The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life Steve Leveen Yes

I'm pleasantly surprised how many of them are actually "books" in the traditional sense of being only text, i.e., not graphic novels.  I knew my count among purists might be skewed, but it's not as much as I thought.  Again, I don't care so much about the count.  I keep this list out of curiosity and memory rather for a sense of fulfillment.  I also notice not too many "No's" in the recommendation column.  That's satisfying, too.  Of course, the list only includes those books I actually finished so that explains that.

I'm somewhat embarrassed to say that I didn't read for pleasure while in law school.  For that matter, I didn't read that much for pleasure during the entirety of my "traditional" higher education (in other words, constantly in school).  Perhaps that's why I sought out school.  Rather than allow myself to shape my intellectual development, I felt I needed that structure.  Dumb, I guess. 

Perhaps I'm making up for lost time . . .

Books read 2005:  64



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