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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Thursday, August 21, 2008

2008 Reading List - Books #1-30

Here are the first thirty books of my '08 50 book challenge:
  1. The Best American Non-Required Reading 2007* - Various
  2. This Is Your Brain on Music - Daniel Levitin
  3. Hellfire* - Nick Tosches
  4. The Nimrod Flipout - Etgar Keret
  5. Shortcomings* - Adrian Tomine
  6. McSweeney's #25 - Various
  7. Kafka - R. Crumb & David Mairowitz
  8. The Worst Hard Time* - Timothy Egan
  9. The Fermata - Nicholson Baker
  10. The Call of the Weird - Louis Theroux
  11. Y: The Last Man, Volume 1: Unmanned - Vaughan and Guerra
  12. An American Dream - Norman Mailer
  13. My Mistress's Sparrow Is Dead - Various
  14. Y: The Last Man, Volume 2: Cycles - Vaughan and Guerra
  15. Rock On - Dan Kennedy
  16. The Raw Shark Texts - Steven Hall
  17. Y: The Last Man, Vol. 3: One Small Step - Vaughan and Guerra
  18. Knockemstiff* - Donald Ray Pollock
  19. A Voyage Long and Strange* - Tony Horwitz
  20. All the Pretty Horses* - Cormac McCarthy
  21. McSweeney's #24 - Various
  22. Candy Girl - Diablo Cody
  23. Things I've Learned From Women Who've Dumped Me - Various
  24. Snuff - Chuck Palahniuk
  25. Y: The Last Man, Volume 4: Safeword - Vaughan and Guerra
  26. Maps and Legends - Michael Chabon
  27. The Year of Living Biblically - A.J. Jacobs
  28. The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes - Neil Gaiman
  29. Bastard Out of Carolina* - Dorothy Allison
  30. Y: The Last Man, Volume 5: Ring of Truth - Vaughan and Guerra

* = Highly recommended

Previously: My 2007 reading list, My 2006 reading list

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Y: The Last Man, Volume 5: Ring of Truth

Book #30 was Y: The Last Man, Volume 5: Ring of Truth.

Half way done with the series and it keeps getting better. I'm firmly hooked now.

Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4

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Bastard Out of Carolina

Book #29 on my '08 reading list was Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison.

Two words: modern classic. What else do you need to know?

Author's website
Sadly sparse Wikipedia entry.

Recommended by Will Johnson :-)

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The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes.

Book #28 of my reading list was Neil Gaiman's The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes.

Part 1 of 10: I've got a long way to go on this series. To find out more about the Sandman series Wikipedia is a good place to start. I gathered this little nugget from there: 'the only comic book to ever be on the New York Times Bestseller List.' Also quality is some of the info on the attempts to make it into a movie including this gem: "Gaiman called the last screenplay that Warner Brothers would send him '...not only the worst Sandman script I've ever seen, but quite easily the worst script I've ever read '".

Sandman summary on Gaiman's website
The Annotated Sandman

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The Year of Living Biblically

Book #27 on my '08 reading list was The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs.

Straight from the Danny Wallace school of journalism, Jacobs' book (just as the title suggests) is about him trying to follow the exact wording of the Bible from the easy (thou shalt not kill) to the odd (not trimming the edges of his beard) to the downright creepy (sacrificing chickens...well sort of). It's a fun and funny ride, but Jacobs manages to avoid being condescending or derogatory by keeping an open mind and truly exploring the Bible's teachings. The result is a book that's entertaining but also enlightening. Oh and for the record he's still agnostic.

Author's website
Excerpt
Esquire Interview
Slate

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Maps and Legends

Book #26 on my reading list was Michael Chabon's non-fiction collection Maps and Legends (not to be confused with the R.E.M. song).

The essays included in M&L range from literary critiques of Sherlock Holmes, The Road, and graphics novels to memoir-y stories from Chabon's past. Some of the essays make for interesting reads, but as a collection it's probably best reserved for only the most diehard of Chabon fans. Gotta dig the Jordan Crane cover art though.

Excerpt
McSweeney's page
Wikipedia page

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Hellboy

Film #39 of '08 was Hellboy.

My NetFlix rating: 3 stars
Jamie says: Pretty ho-hum overall but Hellboy is one cool looking cat
RIYL: Tom Waits...don't know why but that's who Hellboy reminds me of, Guillermo del Toro

Official Site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Step Brothers

Film #38 of '08 was Step Brothers.

My NetFlix rating: 3 stars
Jamie says: "The Bears are who we thought they were." [link]
RIYL: That one character that Will Ferrell plays in 87 movies...but come on ya gotta admit it's a pretty funny character.

Official Site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

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The Fog of War

Film #37 of '08 was The Fog of War.

My NetFlix rating: 3 stars
Jamie says: Good film...I think, though for some reason I just couldn't stop nodding off during it.
RIYL: Historical docs, man's inner struggle with right and wrong

Official Site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

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