Wednesday, January 20, 2016

My (Previous) Year in Reading: 101 to 110

…in chronological order.

2015 has been a great year when it comes to reading books for me. During it, according to Goodreads, I have gulped down 212 volumes that were not only novels for adults but also volumes that belonged in many other genres: YA, graphic novels, poetry, children's stories, short stories and books in translation. This has also been a year that I stopped writing reviews since I had much else occupying my mind and time, so below I'll give you no more than a few words about the books I have read. I hope some of my choices echo yours and I look forward to an exciting new year of reading.

So here it goes:

101) Criminal Volume 6: The Last of the Innocent by Ed Brubaker and SeanPhillips. This is getting a bit too much, right? I would like to ask the creators of Criminal to take a little break. Come on people, how much of this good stuff you think we can take? And what if we overdose? Jokes aside, another great volume from a great creative team. I won't even bore you with the details of this story.

102) East of West Volume 4: Who Wants War? by Jonathan Hickman and NickDragotta. Apparently everyone, or almost everyone, wants war. Here we are yet again in the throes of a major catastrophe. Maybe I had a bit too much of this stuff during last year since I haven't enjoyed this volume as much as the previews ones, though both the art and the story are good.

103) Ways of Going Home by Alejandro Zambra. Zambra is a Chilean writer whose star seems to be rising higher year after year. This here is a short beautifully written novel that plays with the notions of time and space, character and author. It is experimental, but not experimental enough to give one pause. Besides the language is so rich and the game so good that most friends of literary fiction will surely enjoy it.

104) Millennium by Joe Harris and Colin Lorimer. The great disaster to come never realized at the dawn of the millennium largely thanks to the efforts of three people. However evil has not lost all its power and as it seems it is about to strike again. Will it succeed this time? An interesting story with a good plot, but which could use a little more of work.

105) Vampirella Feary Tales by Nancy A. Collins. To tell you the truth I like reading the adventures of Vampirella though I am never quite satisfied with the stories or the art. They always remind me of rush jobs but at least they are fun to read, so as long as they can keep my interest alive I guess I will keep reading them. This volume collects five stories full of action and mayhem.

106) Twisted Dark Volume 3 by Neil Gibson and others. This is my favorite of the Twisted Dark series. The writing is as good as ever and the art is absolutely great. And I do love its heroine, a young girl who simply wants to be left alone but, alas, that's not meant to be. One of the comic book highlights of the year in my opinion.

107) Mercy Thompson: Hopcross Jilly by Patricia Briggs, Rik Hoskin andTom Garcia. This volume brings together a lot of talent and that can be seen on the page, as the reader rushes through a story full of action and echoes of love, and mythical creatures and their endeavors. The script is great and the art serves it well.

108) Where There's Love, There's Hate by Adolfo Bioy Casares and SilvinaOcampo. I hate to admit that this is the first piece of work that I've read by either author, or at least I think it is since my memory is not that great. Anyway, this is a crime novel of sorts. I say of sorts since it spends most of the time mocking the genre, or simply having fun with its clichés. It all begins with a murder. And then… Silvina Ocampo is already in my to-read list, so I guess I will see what happens next.

109) Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck. This is a short novel that mostly takes place in a house, but whose main subject is history. History as it happened and as it now unravels in the lives of a small community of people who, like it or not, are haunted by their country's, Germany's, past. The author does a great job when diving into the souls of her heroes.

110) Lovers on All-Saints' Day by Juan Gabriel Vásquez. This collection hosts seven stories that most often than not are preoccupied with the many ghosts that haunt the lives of people. Things like memory and loss. Things like regret and redemption. Fear and hope. Vásquez, an exile to Europe, sets his stories on this continent, as if trying to escape his past, but then the stories themselves seem to echo it, thus proving that wherever you go you carry your ghosts with you. A job well done.

To be continued.


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