July Books

I reached the 50 book mark at the end of June, but just for fun, let’s see how many I can get in by the end of the year. This brings my total now to 66.

1. Cemetery Dance, Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. The newest suspense/mystery by my favorite collaborators. Preston & Child always weave an intricate story with seemingly supernatural elements that can usually be explained away as the result of some psychotic killer. I don’t read a lot of current fiction, but I try to keep up with these guys. I’ve read the last 7 books that they’ve published, and I’m eventually going to work my way back to the early stuff I’ve missed. This particular one involves zombiis…that’s always fun, right?

2. Avalon High, Meg Cabot. This, in my opinion, is Cabot’s best young adult novel. In it, she uses Arthurian legend as the basis for the plot–Arthur, Lancelot, Guinevere–all of them are reincarnated into a high school (“Avalon High”) in Annapolis, Maryland. I especially like that she uses Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shalott” as epigraphs for each of the chapters.

3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8. Volume 4: Issues 16-20. After we finished watching the series finale of Angel, Harvin and I decided we needed another fix, so we headed to Barnes & Noble to read some Buffy and Angel comic books. I think we mostly wish we hadn’t. The plot hasn’t gotten any better in volume 4, and we’re frustrated with it. Reading the comic books is nowhere near as satisfying as watching the TV show. If we can get our hands on the Spike and Angel books, we’ll probably read those, but I don’t think either of us is holding out much hope that they’ll be any good.

4. One Whole and Perfect Day, Judith Clarke. An Australian YA novel. Not bad, but not excellent. I like the title, though.

5. Hard Love, Ellen Wittlinger.

6. Boy Next Door, Meggin Cabot. Yes, the same author of The Princess Diaries and so many other YA novels. This is the first novel written for adults, however. It was good–light, fun reading. Two interesting things to note: (1) the story is told entirely through emails. (2) Towards the end of the book, a plot twist involves a diabetic cat. I smiled. 🙂

7. American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau: Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Work, Susan Cheever. A book entirely about five of the greatest thinkers in American literary history. Check out my thoughts here.

8. 30 Days of Night, Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith. Holy cow. This graphic is creepy, but the illustrations are phenomenal! They’re so different from any other art I’ve seen in other graphic novels–dark, of course, and slightly abstracted. At times, it’s almost like reading a film. I expected more detail in the storyline, as the progression through the 30 days seemed to move too quickly, but this was an incredibly intriguing graphic novel. Will I watch the movie? Maybe…in the daytime…with some other people.

9. 30 Days of Night: Dark Days (Book 2), Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith. Yes, it was so intriguing that I picked up the second book, as well. In this book, one of the main characters moves to L.A. to fight off the vamps. It has a quite different feel from the first book, due to the change in setting, but the ending has a great cliffhanger, and I’m eager to see what happens in the third book.

10. Too Late the Phalarope, Alan Paton. His second novel about apartheid South Africa. This novel very much shows the way sin can destroy a man and his family, especially when society cannot embrace forgiveness and grace.

11. Best Foot Forward, Joan Bauer.

12. 30 Days of Night: Return to Barrow, Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith. The sequel to the others, this is the last one penned and drawn exclusively by Niles and Templesmith. Other sequels and tie-ins exist, some written by Niles, others drawn by Templesmith, and some with neither on board for the project. In this book, it’s 3 years after the original attack on Barrow, and a new sherriff is in town. He’s skeptical at first, but when darkness falls and the vamps arrive, he realizes the truth.

13. Angel Omnibus, Vol. 1, Peter David, etc. Yes, this graphic novel goes hand-in-hand with the Angel TV series. Good stuff.

14. Slam, Nick Hornby. A young adult novel about a 16-year-old boy whose girlfriend gets pregnant. Hornby, I think, does an excellent job of conveying the thoughts of a teenager (having never been a teenage boy, I don’t exactly know, but it seems very honest). I enjoyed this. I’ll read some more Hornby now, since he’s my friend Michele’s favorite author.

15. Twisted, Laurie Halse Anderson. Another YA novel. A very good dark comedy about a boy who becomes popular after he paints graffiti on a school wall. He has to deal with a wretched home life, as well as the consequences of being accused of another crime he didn’t commit.

16. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne. My first time reading it. Expect a post soon.

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One thought on “July Books

  1. Harvin says:

    1] Oooo… “zombiis” do sound like fun!

    3] I’m EXTREMELY let down by the Buffy comics. After reading the Angel Omnibus (and really enjoying it), I’m hopeful that the Spike and Angel comics will have at least a grain of worth. All I’m askin’ for is a teeny tiny grain!

    13] I’d call it great stuff. I really really enjoyed it. I liked that the plot line is completely different, but the characters and the over vibe remain true to the show.

    16] Glad you finally got to read it and just in time for the grand adventure. Now that the pressure’s off, you ought to suffer through–I mean, read the Custom House Preface.

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