Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boozy Book Club No. 10

Bring out your books. It's time for another club meeting. After a short hiatus upon completing Paul Auster's Sunset Park, I've got a fresh stack of books from the library to finish up. My comic book pull list requires a bit of pruning, but the last couple weeks have provided some entertaining reads. Let's take a look, shall we?

Civil War Reading List
Still on hiatus.

Unlisted Reading List
On the stack today are Jack London's classic tales The Call of the Wild, White Fang & To Build a Fire, with a collection of writing by science fiction master Philip K. Dick, Four Novels of the 1960s. Earlier this week I finished the fluff travel memoir Driving Mr. Albert, by Michael Paterniti. All in all, a nice variety of genres.

Auster's Sunset Park finished up nicely. It reminded me that there are only a few of his books I've not read, and I'd like to complete his ouvre in the near future. That said, I was once on the path to completing the works of Cormac McCarthy, and maybe I should try to get back to that too. So much to read.

Driving Mr. Albert was a quick and enjoyable enough read, but I was misled into thinking it would be hilarious. The story recounts Paterniti's coast-to-coast road trip with Dr. Thomas Harvey, the pathologist who removed and kept Albert Einstein's brain after his death in 1955. The raison d'etre of them driving from New Jersey to California, which takes up 90 percent of the book, is to return the brain to one of Einstein's relatives, but that doesn't happen. The final chapter recounts what would have been a satisfying conclusion to the story of the three characters (Harvey, Paterniti and the brain), but it feels glossed over. Sort of, "Well, things didn't turn out the way I expected, but here's what happened and now it's over. The end."

Comic Book Pull List
"When two separate events occur simultaneously pertaining to the same object in inquiry we must always pay strict attention."--Kyle McLaughlin as Special Agent Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks

Last Sunday's Cleveland Plain Dealer featured Superman on the front page in celebration of the character's 75th anniversary. The next day, I read this retrospective post on the comic book website iFanboy, which reminded me of a graphic novel I'd once earmarked to read called It's a Bird, by Steven T. Seagle and Teddy Kristiansen.

Over the past few months, I'd actually been trying to remember the title of this book, but couldn't think of which snippet of the Superman tagline it used. I immediately requested it from my library. (Can I tell you how much I love being able to request books online?) It's a Bird is now waiting for me at my local branch.

East of West is a new series by writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Nick Dragotta. Set in an apocalyptic alternate reality, it features the Four Horsemen in a sort of steam punk Wild West. This is the newest addition to my pull list, and I'm hoping Hickman can provide some of the same weird fun that he has instilled in Manhattan Projects, a trippy riff on the great scientists of the atomic age.

My weekly pull list has gotten a bit long, but thankfully there are four miniseries that are set to end in the next few months to bring it back down to a more manageable size. Still, there are one or two titles that may need to be cut if they don't improve.

What have you been reading, teammates? Let's chat in the comments ...

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