Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Book list 2010 ... month five

Over halfway through the yearly goal in early May is making this seem less and less like a challenge. The real challenge at this point is continuing the pace and documentation. I reached the 52 book point on May 6, a couple months prior to reaching the same point (and 2009 reading goal). So, do I go for 104 and make it 2 books a week? Other viable options are 108 (9 books a month), 120 (10 books a month), 144 (12 books times twelve months), 156 (3 books a week), or some other number. Some of those numbers look ridiculous to me, and I have to guess that 120 is the likely high point, even at the pace I am going.

A Brand-New Me! #17 (Hank Zipzer) by Henry Winkler & Lin Oliver, Jesse Joshua Watson (Illustrator)
On May 1st I saw Henry Winkler give a talk and reading of his latest book. He was awesome as a speaker, great with the kids in the crowd, and very gracious when I told him that I will always love the film, "The One and Only." I chose not to tell him that my daughter only got excited about him when it was pointed out to her that he was the football coach in "The Waterboy". The caption on my daughter's book reads, "You are so wonderful" ... So ... I had no choice but to read this. It does a really nice job of conveying the thoughts and struggles of a kid just trying to make his way in the world. I hope my daughter enjoys it and reads other books in the series.

Taekwondo : A Path To Excellence by Doug Cook
I am very proud of getting my first black belt. I received my First Dan black belt rank in December 2006 at Seattle Tae Kwon Do and am nearing completion of a second black belt in Thai Kickboxing this summer. Reading about the philosophy behind various martial arts is something I enjoy,

Shakespeare Wrote For Money by Nick Hornby
Given that so much of what I am doing here is based on doing a monthly reading column and diary like Hornby it seemed necessary to read this third and final collection of his monthly essays. On occasion, we even read some of the same stuff.

Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel
Much of the criticism of this book has to do with how self-indulgent it comes across as. Well, I am not sure how this book would have worked or been remotely relevant to anyone had it not been an entirely over the top level of too much information. Really, it almost had to be this way or it would have felt like it was lacking. It is brutally honest, often unflattering, and yet impossible to put down. I am a week older than Wurtzel and somehow managed to grow in in the same world and an entirely different one.

What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell
This is the last of the four Gladwell books for me, so it is with mixed emotions that I finish it and find myself waiting for his next work.

George Washington's Rules of Civility (and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation) by George Washington
George Washington was known to be a man of particularly impeccable manners. He wrote this list of 110 rules of manners and behaviors as a guideline for himself and others drawing on many works and his own experiences. This is a small book I found in a classroom, but it is worth noting and tells us many things about such an important figure in US History.

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
I recently started watching True Blood on DVD. It is entirely likely that a number of books in this series will end up on this reading list by the end of the year. I see myself grabbing books here and there and cranking this series out.

Showcase Presents: Shazam! by DC Comics (Various Writers and Artists)
This is a 500 page collection of early Shazam! stuff so I will include it here. Fun stuff that is a product of its time, but worth the read. Love some of this old comic stuff.

A Strange Kind of Glory: Sir Matt Busby and Manchester United by Eamon Dunphy
This is not blasphemy on the part of a Liverpool supporter since Busby was actually a Liverpool player for three season. Plus, my respect for the game made this a worthwhile read in advance and in principle. As a history of the development of the professional game it gives a lot of insights into how things really worked back in the day. And, it seems like things aren't really that much different, other than the commas in the dollar figures now.

Tunnels by Brian Williams and Roderick Gordon
It took me a while to get into this as I incorrectly assumed that it was for a much younger crowd than it really is. The things that happen in this book are more in the later Harry Potter side of things where the consequences are real and dark and severe and genuinely scary people exist. I am looking forward to the other two books already released in this series.

Lost and Found by Alan Dean Foster
The first novel in The Taken trilogy. I have always loved Foster's ability to put clever dialogue and scenarios together in numerous books of his that I have read. It had been a while since I had taken on a series of his so I decided to jump into this trilogy. As usual, it did not disappoint.

Fray by Joss Whedon
Last year when I was doing a simple list I included significant graphic novels. An 8 issue mini series plus extras feels right to include here for both consistency and thoroughness. This series jumped ahead in the Buffyverse several centuries to a time without a current slayer ... worth reading for Buffy obsessives.

Living Dead In Dallas by Charlaine Harris
The second Sookie Stackhouse book. At this point I have decided to not only get totally caught up in True Blood, but to also go ahead and read the series too ...

May total = 13 / YTD = 61 (goal 100)