Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My (Previous) Year in Reading: 91 to 100

…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:

91) Southern Bastards Volume 2: Gridiron by Jason Aaron and JasonLatour. I really liked the first volume of this series and I'm happy to report that I've enjoyed the second just as much. This is the story of a bad man that needs to be taught a lesson. Sharp dialogue and very good art. A graphic novel well-worth reading.

92) Velvet Volume 2: The Secret Lives of Dead Men by Ed Brubaker, SteveEpting and Elizabeth Breitweiser. I have mentioned before how good I believe Ed Brubaker is. His writing is so good that keeps you asking for more, and the art here is up to the task as well. A spy turns avenger in an effort to discover the truth about a past that scarred her for life. Five stars.

93) Justice, Inc. Volume 1 by Michael E. Uslan and Giovanni Timpano. Three heroes of the pulp era of American Comics team up in this volume to save the world from yet another catastrophe. The Shadow, Doc Savage and The Avenger are their secret-identity names, and war is their game. An interesting plot drives the narrative as the heroes do not only have to defeat their opponents but also reconcile their differences or at least put them aside for a while in order to succeed. Good stuff.

94) MPH by Mark Millar and Duncan Fegredo. Some guys find a drug that gives them superpowers. But usually when something good happens, something bad follows, since MPH, as the drug is called, though it proved their "savior" in the near future may well bring their downfall. An interesting story that reminded me of the Limitless TV Series and the NZT drug used there. I will read the next volume when the time comes.

95) Family Pets by Pat Shand and Sarah Dill. This is the story of a girl who lost her parents quite young and since then expects something good to happen to her, though it never does. Something does happen though. All of a sudden her remaining family are turned into pets while her pet snake transforms into a beautiful young man. Now she has to do something to make things right but… A very good plot accompanied by appropriate art that serves well its purpose.

96) Stray Bullets Volume 2: Somewhere Out West by David Lapham. The storytelling here is absolutely great. These are the stories of people coming together and parting ways, of dreams that come true or not, of lives saved or destroyed. The characters are the driving force, but the plot and the art are good as well. I really look forward to the next volume.

97) The Suicide Shop by Jean Teulé. At last, reading some literary fiction. This is a short novel that I really enjoyed mostly because of its premise. The story takes place in a world without hope and talks about a family that thrives among its ruins; a family that runs a shop that promises its clients a swift exit from this life. It all goes well until an apostate, their own child, chooses to love life instead of looking forward to its end. A good story told in beautiful prose.

98) The Prince by Morim Kang and Niccoló Macchiavelli. This is not the first comic book adaptation of a classic that I've read which doesn’t really work. Okay, maybe my western gaze is again to blame for not liking it enough, but is that really it? There were moments of pure magic in these pages and then there were others that made me think that I should give up reading. It could have definitely been better in my humble opinion.

99) Snow in May by Kseniya Melnik. The stories in this collection are quite interesting, as they seem claustrophobic and wide open to the world at the same time. Most of them take place in Magadan in Russia's far east, a town that seems to thrive in a snowy white setting. Good and bad mix well together in these narratives, as hopes arise and dreams are laid to rest. Love, loss, life, death, longing, disappointment. These are but a few of the things or feelings explored in these pages. An author to look out for.

100) Criminal Volume 5: The Sinners by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Here goes Mr. Brubaker again. This is an action packed volume starring a tough man called Tracy who works for the bad guys, but who also doesn't mind stepping into the shoes of a deliverer of justice as only he dares go where the cops won't. Yet another great piece of work.

To be continued.


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