I rarely strike up conversation with strangers (shyness) but sometimes I HAVE to compliment bus riders on their reading choices. Kawaii gal with Lost Girls wide open like it ain’t no thang; handsome guy just cracking into Norwegian Wood– his first Murakami novel which was also my first; hip yoga woman with the latest Zadie Smith book- a title still on my reading list. This is the only time I really creep on people because it makes me so happy to see someone with an interesting book. Similarly, I like reading about what bloggers have been reading (off the top of my head: Outgoing Signals and The Dainty Squid) so, I decided to start a book log… that goes back to the start of the year.
Here’s the first batch of books I read and loved:
Gun Machine by Warren Ellis: Awhile back, I accused my friend Dave of never having read a prose novel in the time I’ve known him. He fired back, ‘Whaddya talking about? I read Crooked Little Vein!’ Dave doesn’t make much time for non-comics so if he picks something up, I check it out too. And I’ve enjoyed the hell out of Ellis’s two novels. This one is a detective story, with a naked shotgun man on the opening page. Recommended to anyone who likes weird, bloody, fast-paced thrillers. (PS: The book trailer is fantastic.)
Sakuran by Moyoco Anno: This was my first time reading Moyoco Anno and I love her art style. Page after page of gorgeous kimonos, elaborate hair-dos, and the biggest eyes I have ever seen (even by manga standards). The beautiful art does not, however, gloss over the ugliness of being a sex worker in Edo-era Japan. Omigod! Endless drama and tragedy for this tough oiran. The description reads: ‘she’d rather fight than cry’ but *sniff* there are tears! Ya know, I didn’t give manga much of a chance before this year. Holla at me with any recommendations.
Making History by Stephen Fry: Got this as a gift from my co-worker, Ted, who shares my fondness for Mr. Fry (and has excellent taste besides). The plot follows a student and a physicist who meet by chance and successfully erase Hitler from existence. Of course, no story about time travel can run smoothly so they find themselves in freaky, alternative America where they spend the second half of the novel setting things right. This may not be the first story to re-imagine the events of World War II but it’s certainly the wittiest and warmest. Probably my favorite Fry novel.
In Search of Cleo: How I Found My Pussy and Lost My Mind by Gina Gershon: I know this is a thing for a lot of straight women, but I have a huge crush on Gina Gershon (#gay4gershon). Turns out, she is a supreme goddess AND a cat lady! In Search of Cleo is a memoir about the search for her lost cat and other personal experiences affecting her at the same time. Gershon never gives up on her cat coming home and goes so far as to sprinkle her own urine around the lawn (advice from a cat psychic). When she is finally reunited with Cleo the cat (mild spoiler), you feel their happiness.
“Who Could That Be At This Hour?” by Lemony Snicket: My husband is a fan of Daniel Handler/Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events so I picked this up (also, I couldn’t resist the spectacular Seth cover). This is the first book in a new series with Snicket aged ‘almost thirteen’ and fresh out of Private Eye school. Everything I’ve read by Handler has been great fun. I like his quirky descriptions and how he doesn’t hold back from throwing ‘big’ adjectives out at a YA crowd. In this book, he’s adapted classic noir conventions for a younger crowd in a very clever way. There are adults trying to poison children and a tween femme fatale but somehow these things are charming. Snicket kids are no dummies…
What’ve you guys been reading?