Sunday, January 6, 2013

Books I Read in 2012

Inspired by my brother's posting of books he read last year, I'm following his lead and doing the same here, though my list isn't going to be nearly as long as his. This only includes books finished during the year of 2012. Let's see how well I can remember them all...

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Format: Paperback received as a birthday present from my sister
Read all three books and listing them all separately, but only commenting here. I really enjoyed this first installment. It was gripping and kept me guessing as to what was going to happen next. Jared convinced me of the wisdom in Collins' writing of the second and last books, but I still can't claim to feel satisfied by them. I also feel like books 2 and 3 could have been combined into one book with some smart editing.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Format: Hardcover borrowed from a coworker

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Format: Hardcover borrowed from a coworker

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, vol. 2 by Alan Moore
Format: Trade paperback received as a gift from a coworker
The first volume of this series is better, in my opinion, but I have to confess that this is based mostly on my conservative values taking offense at some of the nudity and sexual content here. The story itself, the characters, and the artwork are pretty fantastic. Combining Victorian-era fictional characters and settings into a sort of old school Justice League is a lot of fun, and there's surprising depth in characters like Mr. Hyde, whose character arc is arguably the most interesting here. Click on the link for more info on the story.

The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman
Format: Paperback collections legally borrowed or purchased
This series has constituted the bulk of my comics/graphic novel reading over the last year, having started with Compendium One, which collects issues 1 through 48, and carrying on in trade paperbacks up through #102 (TPB's collect 6 issues each). Kirkman is to credit/blame for my first foray into zombie territory. Usually horror genres, especially those involving stereotypical monsters, don't appeal to me at all, but I'd heard so much raving about the show that I gave it a shot, eventually being sucked in by a desire to check out the source material as well. What intrigues me more than the zombie attacks is how the living characters are written and developed as they cope with their surroundings. Most zombie stories seem to deal with people's reactions to an initial zombie outbreak. Kirkman addresses how humanity functions in the long term, and not just in the question of, "What are we going to do about these zombies?" but, more importantly, in the context of, "What does my relationship with my wife and son mean now?" or, "What is morality in this new/dead world?" Really fascinating stuff. Watch out for some strong language.

Hulk: Gray by Jeph Loeb
Format: Hardcover collection purchased from Amazon
Pretty short work dealing with the early days of Hulk and his interactions with General Ross. Got it on sale for super cheap, well worth it. The gritty visual take on these characters was total eye candy.

The Book of Mormon
Format: Leather-bound scripture collection gifted to me 12 years ago partially by my aunt and also posthumously by my grandparents. Long story.
Not sure if this counts since it's not leisure reading, but hey, I read it this year with my wife, and it's a great book. I don't often wax religious on this blog, but there it is.

The Ultimates, Vol. 1 by Mark Millar
Format: Hardcover collection of issues 1 - 12, purchased online
I re-read these as part of my anticipation for Marvel's "The Avengers" film that was released in May. Such a great read and an amazing, fresh take on the classic team. Highly recommended for anyone even remotely interested in comics or superheroes. Especially fond of Captain America's portrayal as a man out of time, truly struggling with coming to grips with his new surroundings, and Hulk as a much more Hyde-esque monster than any other version I've seen. He really represents man's unbridled passions here, in every sense I can think of.

The Ultimates, Vol. 2 by Mark Millar
Format: Hardcover collection of issues 13 - 24, purchased online.

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
Format: Paperback Lord of the Rings collection purchased online
Yes, I know that technically The Lord of the Rings is considered one book, but I'm aching to show that I read something else other than comics this year, so I'm putting it down. At the time of this writing I'm about halfway through The Two Towers right now and taking a hiatus that should hopefully end soon. I am really enjoying LOTR thus far, it's just a lot to take in. So far I think The Hobbit is my favorite Middle Earth tale, however. I've read it twice and it amazes me how much Tolkien accomplishes with much fewer pages at his disposal.

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Noshy said...

Recently I read the Lord of the Rings, I never thought I would be one of the best works I had read. Mienrtas me as a pizza will keep reading volume 3.

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