Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 recap

Admittedly, my count is down from last year and the books I did read were a little lighter. Blame it on...boys. Yeah. That's it. Boys.

Well, OK, one boy. But he's a good one.

151 total books reviewed

60 picture books
11 novels
15 nonfiction
23 YA/juvenile literature
3 plays
9 memoir/biography
6 short story collections
2 reference books
1 collection of mythology/legend
18 graphic novels
1 poetry
1 book I just can't classify

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Promethea Book 5

Author: Alan Moore

Quote: I think she said she was going to end the world.

Why you should read this book: It's the Apocalypse, and everyone is going to be there as Promethea brings light to the world, opens the doors between realities, and compresses all of time and space to a single point, a single moment, illustrating the taut connection among every aspect of the universe. All plot lines are braided together, all lovers reunited, all disbelievers shown the true path. Issue 32 ties it all up with Moore's notes on language, consciousness, magic, and the eternal dance of spirit and matter (the original issue 32 was meant to be disassembled and reconstructed like a jigsaw puzzle into a large poster, which is also reproduced in miniature).

Why you shouldn't read this book: You're not going to be present for the Apocalypse, on account of going up to heaven in your physical body during the Rapture.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Promethea Book 4

Author: Alan Moore

Quote: This isn't another one of those where I can just order the baby cut in half, is it?

Why you should read this book: Sophie and Barbara, accompanied by Barb's guardian angel, Boo-Boo, continue to travel through the highest sephirot, communing with the gods and unraveling the symbols of each realm until they reach the first sphere, after which, accompanied by Barb's husband, they take the fast way back down the tree of life. Back home, Stacie and Grace have fallen in love and refuse to give up being Promethea, leading to a trial in the Immateria to determine who keeps the job. Aleister Crowley, spectacular and varied artwork, and deep spiritual revelations proliferate in this penultimate volume.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You haven't read the first three.

Promethea Book 3

Author: Alan Moore

Quote: All of us, we can only see in others what we recognize in ourselves, OK? Now, I'm an angel. We look at life, an' that's all we see, man. Angels.

Why you should read this book: Sophie continues her sojourn into knowledge when she decides to travel up the tree of life to heaven, following the Kabbalistic path and moving from the mortal to divine realms, so she can rescue the most recent Promethea, Barbara Shelley, from death. Back on Earth, an earlier, tougher incarnation of Promethea cleans up the town, according to her own morality, manifesting in the vessel of Sophie's best friend, Stacia. Lot of brilliant exposition helping the reader to understand the essence of human drives and human spirituality, topped with amazing visuals that churn tangibles out of ineffables.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You know it's your holy duty to do battle with evil in all its forms.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Promethea Book 2

Author: Alan Moore

Quote: All myths are true, Sophie. Given that they last longer, they're even truer than the so-called "real world."

Why you should read this book: Moore continues Sophie's journey along the illuminated path as he more fully brings to light the meanings of symbols and the symbols of meanings in a giddy primer of basic magic disguised as a humble comic book. This volume combines superhero action and madcap Y2K mayhem with the skeleton map of human consciousness and imagination, including his revised major arcana (after Crowley) glossed in rhyming poetry with clever mnemonic anagrams and a repeated message about the limitless power of the mind. The theme continues to highlight the potential of imagination to summon forth something from nothing, effect change, and inspire positive momentum in a stagnating culture.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You're too busy casting spells to check out a refresher course.

Promethea Book 1

Author: Alan Moore

Quote: Because Promethea is imagination...and because war, all war and conflict, is naught but the failure of imagination.

Why you should read this book: Unassuming and flat-chested college student Sophie Bangs gets far more than she bargained for when her term paper research into old folklore transforms her into the latest incarnation of Promethea, spirit of the imagination, larger than life and twice as beautiful, a powerful myth with some powerful enemies. Sophie battles demons, bumps elbows with magicians and science heroes, travels to the Immateria, and begins her spiritual education with the Prometheas of time past. In the land of imagination, Sophie and the reader begin to glean the limitless power of the mind, and its limitless potential for good, evil, change, and chaos.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You don't believe in positive change and actively work to make sure the status quo is maintained.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Volume 2

Author: Alan Moore

First line: July, 1898.

Why you should read this book: Picking up where he left off in volume one, Moore pits his literary heroes against an alien menace that combines the best of HG Wells and HP Lovecraft, with a little Edgar Rice Burroughs thrown in for misdirection. The characters are explored in greater human depth, and the danger to Victorian England is ever more inhumanly despicable. This book surpasses the first volume, not only in detail and cohesion, but also in number of graphic sex scenes.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You think biological warfare is keen and a great idea for the future of the Empire.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mr. Thundermug

Author: Cornelius Medvei

First line: One rainy night not long ago, a curious report appeared in the late edition of our city's evening newspaper.

Why you should read this book: In the deep spirit of magical realism, Medvei creates a tangible world of decay and rebirth, fallen straight from the pages of Italo Calvino and peopled with willfully ignorant humans, then drops a sentient, eloquent baboon onto its streets. The travails of Mr. Thundermug as he does battle with the council for the right to inhabit his own peculiar niche between animal and human (or perhaps, a step above either) are set down with quiet humor and extremely graceful prose. Whether this is a love story, a tale about freedom of expression in an oppression society, or a commentary on the follies of humanity, it's a delicious modern fairy tale.

Why you shouldn't read this book: Your job entails harassing squatters.

Bat Boy Lives: The Weekly World News Guide to Politics, Culture, Celebrities, Alien Abductions, and the Mutant Freaks that Shape Our World

Author: David Perl

First line: There are two types of people who faithfully flip through the pages of the Weekly World News each week.

Why you should read this book: WWN, long considered the only source for fresh, hard-hitting journalistic reports about Bigfoot prostitutes, amorous space aliens, Elvis sightings, and haunted outhouses, is no more, but you can still get a powerhouse punch of the stories other papers are afraid to print in this big compendium of unbelievable news from the pages of the defunct weekly. Along with reports of the difficulties faced by vampires, werewolves, mermaids, zombies, ghosts, clones, and extraterrestrials living in this modern world, you'll find celebrity gossip, human oddities, and photographic evidence of sublime religious concepts. Of course, the ubiquitous Bat Boy, himself the subject of a Broadway musical, is represented is loving details throughout the book.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You think the photos at are pandering to the intellectually lazy.