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The 2015 Nightly Reading Jamboree

reading list reading goals books! book list book suggestions reading suggestions

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#51
Darth Krawlie

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39. The Dinosaur Lords, by Victor Milan
40. Foundation, by Isaac Asimov

#52
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41. Hawkeye volume 3: LA Woman, by Matt Fraction



#53
Cashmere

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17. Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
I love Jurassic Park and many of Crichton's other novels, so I had to grab this when I found it at the library. It was okay. There's probably a reason that he left it unpublished - it just wasn't as polished as his other stuff. Still a fun read, but nothing spectacular.
 
18. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
I read this because a co-worker recommended it. I thought it was great. A solid book about why women are often limited by their work environments and why women often limit themselves.
 
19. We are all Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler -A-
I liked this one a lot. It took me awhile to get into it, but once it got rolling, it was great.
 
20. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan -A-
This was a fun read! I liked the audio book version a lot. I recommend it to any other book nerd types!
 
21.  Prime: A Genesis Series Event by Andrew Reiner -K-
This was free on Kindle. It's about a future where humanity is spread to many points across galaxies and one "biohacker" creates some pretty spectacular living weapons. I guess it's the first in a series. I might read on if I can get the next one free.
 
22. The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner -K-
This was short but fun to read. It was fast paced and enjoyable. And free on Kindle!


#54
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42. Foundation and Empire, by Isaac Asimov
43. GI Joe Classic volume 11, by Larry Hama

#55
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24. Charles Schulz, The Complete Peanuts 1995-1996.  Only two more to go before the 12½-year series is finished and all fifty years have been collected.  This time around, Charlie Brown finally has a date. So that was major.

 

25.  Jamie Munson, Money: God or Gift.  Every few years our church does a sermon series about the controversial subject of What to Do With Money, and they always finds some brand new book about it to hand out to the congregation for reference. This one was no different from the previous books they gave us, except that fully half the content is quotes not just from Scripture, but from numerous other books about money, including at least one my wife and I already read. With so much extensive quoting and so little new thoughts offered, it reads at times like a high school essay.  The info is ultimately useful, but not new to either of us.

 

26. Joe Sacco, Palestine: A Nation Occupied.  A rare instance of comics as true journalism. Sacco is a cartoonist who traveled over to Palestine for a good while, took lots of notes, then wrote and drew a nine-issue series about the hostilities and tragedies he witnessed (or his many interviewees told him about) between the Israelis who were given land way over there and the Palestinians they kept kicking around so they could take more and more as it pleased them.  This volume collects the first five issues, contains a lot of eye-opening stories, and doesn't shy away from Sacco's guilty self-awareness of his steadily growing craving for more newsworthy, exciting, almost prurient tales of violence, which began to preoccupy him to such a fault that it began affect his decision-making processes.  This was fascinating and I really need the second volume right now.



#56
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44. Second Foundation, by Isaac Asimov
45. The Martian, by Andy Weir
46. Mega Man volume 1: Let the Games Begin, by Ian Flynn
47. The Shadow out of Time, by HP Lovecraft
48. Mega Man volume 2: Time Keeps Slipping, by Ian Flynn

#57
Darth Krawlie

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49. The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison

Very interesting court intrigue fantasy. Highly recommended!

#58
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27. Mark Harris, Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War.  Epic nonfiction about five famous directors who volunteered their film-making skills to the US military in WWII: John Ford, best known for Westerns like The Searchers and Stagecoach, who captured the Battle of Midway live in person; William Wyler, whose Mrs. Miniver became instantly dated, who lost his hearing while riding aboard aircraft during dogfights; John Huston, put on the map by The Maltese Falcon, who was sent on assignment to three continents all while being investigated as a potential Communist; Frank Capra, who was given his own wartime film division to supervise, but barely got half his to-do list completed in a timely or noteworthy manner; and comedy director George Stevens, who'd mostly done Laurel & Hardy shorts and Tracy/Hepburn films, whose travels through North Africa, D-Day, and the liberation of Dachau damaged his psyche so irreparably that he never directed another happy movie for the rest of his life.  EW contributor Mark Harris weaves their five stories into an engrossing, tragic narrative with plenty of famous guest stars and (in)famous WWII moments. Essential reading for historical film buffs.

 

28. Ransom Riggs, Library of Souls: the Third Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children.  The final chapter of the (first?) trilogy sees most of the time-displaced mutants and their beloved ornithothropic teacher captured, leaving the cast winnowed down for most of the book to our no-longer-powerless hero Jacob Portman, his 100-year-old pyrokinetic girlfriend, a talking dog, and a creepy hooded boatman. The quartet must negotiate the violent despair of Not-Knockturn Alley to rescue all the other Not-X-Men from the clutches of Miss Peregrine's evil brother and his not-undead henchmen.  Easily the darkest book in the series, with bizarre ideas about how souls work and gory violence that stretches a few miles beyond the "young adult" label, but the closure is exactly what was needed, Riggs knows how to build up to powerful rallying points, and the stage is set for Our Heroes to enter a brand new era at the end.

 

29. Scott McCloud, The Sculptor.  David Smith is a finicky, frustrated artist who makes a pact with Death: he's given the power to mold any inanimate objects into any sort of sculptures he can envision. In exchange, he's allowed only 200 days to live.  After he makes the deal, he learns the NYC art world isn't easy to impress no matter how fancy your pieces look...and then he meets the girl of his dreams.  A funny, stylishly illustrated, powerful meditation about the limits of talent, the meanings of art, the passage of time, the effects of loss, the threats of commerce, forms of expression, clinical depression, and poorly timed love, all told from within the confines of a determinedly secular humanist viewpoint that I no longer share.



#59
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50. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke

#60
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51. Tunnel in the Sky, by Robert Heinlein

#61
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30. Jeff Lemire, The Underwater Welder.  A scuba diver whose job is to fix large metal objects imagines on one strange dive that he sees his long-lost father coming at him. His pursuit of the hallucination -- or IS IT? -- threatens his sanity and his family, and combines two or three different Twilight Zone episodes to bizarre yet touching effect.  I met the creator at a convention last month and he sketched a pic inside the front cover using an old-fashioned dip pen. I hadn't seen one of those in person since high school art class.

 

31.  Sam Glanzman, A Sailor's Story.  Collecting two autobiographical graphic novels previously published by Marvel in the '80s. The longtime comics artist is also a WWII Navy veteran (still alive today in his 90s) and was among the very, very few of those to tell his own story in comics form.  The first volume tells the basic framework of his service on the Pacific Front aboard the USS Stevens; volume 2 is a more disjointed selection of additional anecdotes and incidents that slot into the first volume, some of them far more harrowing, particularly the haunting images of kamikaze wreckage and the Allied carriers they sundered.

 

32.  Kate Beaton, Hark! A Vagrant.  Hefty collection of various strips by the celebrated, widely published Canadian cartoonist who specializes in historical rapier wit. Funniest gags I've ever seen about the Austen sisters, among many other figures and eras torn to bits here.



#62
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52. A Journey to the Center of the Earth, by Jules Verne
53. The Autobiography of James T Kirk, by David Goodman

#63
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23. The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs by Nick Trout -A-
Okay book, horrible audio recording. The man hissed his "s"s into the microphone so loudly it hurt and whispered to quietly to hear half of the time. I made it through, but it wasn't pleasant.
 
24. All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner -A-
I totally forgot what this book was about between finishing it and coming on here to talk about it. Then it all came rushing back when I read the description. A self absorbed prescription drug addict. The main character is the opposite of likable, but I guess that's believable since she's an addict.
 
25. All Dogs Go to Kevin: Everything Three Dogs Taught Me by Jessica Vogelsang -A-
I didn't realize this was a memoir when I picked it up. I just got it cause the name was funny. As most animal centric book are, it's funny and sad. I'm glad I read it.
 
26. DATA JACK: A Detective Jack Stratton Novel (Jack Stratton, #5) by Christopher Greyson -K-
This was free on Kindle. I liked it well enough. Nothing spectacular, but a fun read.
 
27. The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury
My mom's book club is reading this currently, so I picked it up in order to attend the meeting. I like the story, but would have liked the book to be longer. It felt a bit crammed into this short space.


#64
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54. Scalped volume 1: Indian Country, by Jason Aaron
55. Scalped volume 2: Casino Boogie, by Jason Aaron
56. Scalped volume 3: Dead Mothers, by Jason Aaron
57. Ms Marvel: Last Days, by G Willow Wildon

#65
Darth Krawlie

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58. Scalped volume 4: The Gravel in Your Guts, by Jason Aaron
59. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, by Alan Moore

#66
Cashmere

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Man! I need to finish a few more this year. It's been sparse.

#67
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33. William Gibson, Spook Country.  Cerebral present-day hi-tech street-level multinational crime drama, and the first Gibson book I've read since Mona Lisa Overdrive came out when I was in high school.  It was a pleasure to read Gibson again, though I was a bit annoyed when I found out one of the major characters appeared in a previous novel I haven't read yet. Rats.

 

34.  John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, March, Book One.  The graphic novel autobiography of Georgia Congressman John Lewis, a major participant in the 1960s civil rights protests, who was a character in the movie Selma and who's still around today to tell the tales.  Surprisingly, I found this on sale at the gift shop in the Alabama State Capitol, the last place you'd think would want to remember that era.  Regardless: it's great, important, firsthand history, and I regret not buying vol. 2 at the same time.

 

35.  Dara Naraghi and Brent Bowman, Persia Blues, vol. 1: Leaving Home.  Two alternating stories whose connection is never explicitly defined: one of a young Iranian woman trying to live free and be herself despite her government and an overly cautious father; and one of an identical medieval warrior with the same name having Iranian D&D adventures.  The present-day tales are sufficiently interesting and eye-opening on their own, while the fantasy fighting is unremarkable and totally in the way.

 

36.  Rick Remender and Wes Craig, Deadly Class vol. 3: The Snake Pit.  Grim-'n'-gritty series about a sinister boarding school for 1980s remorseless teen assassins.  If you're a fan of stories of evil-vs.-eviller, this is one of those, though our despicable protagonist Marcus, for whom "antihero" is too kind a term, is getting harder to stick with.  Secretly hoping vol. 4 sees the other students murdering him and taking over the book.

 

37.  Kathryn and Stuart Immonen, Russian Olive to Red King.  Heartbreaking tragedy about a researcher stranded alone in snowy woods after a plane crash, and the lover waiting for her back home with zero clues and a bad case of clinical depression.  Pretty and sad and particularly challenging when the narrative takes a radical shift for the final sixty pages that's either infuriating or perfect.  Maybe both.

 

...I'll be surprised if I get another book in within the next week, but I sure plan to try.



#68
Darth Krawlie

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60. The Scar, by China Mieville

WHOOOO 60. Gonna see if I can get a couple more Scalped volumes in before the year ends.

#69
Cashmere

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Thanks to all who came to the Reading Jamboree! Here are the stats for the year:

 

We had three players with five or more books for the year.

Kokeshi_Doll769
2
Lucas1138
4

Fozzie

3 confirmed, at least 3 others started

 

Three players scored in the 5-10 range.

Copper 
8
RUAJedi2
7
Lady Palpatine
7
 
Cashmere read the third most books with 28 on the year.
 
NumberSix scored second with a total of 37.
 
And our most prolific reader in 2015 was Krawlie with a total of SIXTY books! Congratulations on being the best at reading! You win coveted bragging rights! YEAH!

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