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Black Science: Ongoing review

Black Science, Vol. 1: How to Fall Forever - Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera, Dean White Black Science #2 - Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera, Dean White Black Science Volume 3: Vanishing Pattern - Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera, Moreno Denisio

July 25th: Both of these volumes were great. I like that there are multiple versions of the characters running around throughout the story. The flashbacks and parallel stories are presented in just right amount to add to experience without making the story confusing.

Saga: Ongoing review

Saga, Volume 1 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples Saga, Volume 2 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples Saga, Volume 3 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples Saga Volume 4 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

July 25th: This has got to be one of the most charming stories I have read. I'm sure it has been said before, but here it is again, Saga is Romeo and Juliet meets Star Wars. Well maybe I am getting ahead myself with the Shakespeare reference, because I am not sure it is going to be a "tragedy" like Romeo and Juliet, they just share the same theme of love spanning across enemy lines.

I thought the first three volumes in this series were great. The fourth has been my least favorite so far. Can't wait for volume 5.

Another Roadside Attraction (Trade Paperback) - Tom Robbins

Oh Tom, where do you get these wacky ideas?

A little sexual taboo?-check

Seems like a no brainer, read it, enjoy it.

The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

I hear a lot about how this book is sooooo depressing, but I just didn't get that vibe. I mean yes it pretty depressing in that she wants to commit suicide but I guess I was just too interested in the character and enjoyed the writing too much to be depressed by the this book. 

An Echo of Heaven - Kenzaburō Ōe, Margaret Mitsutani

I am a little ashamed to admit that I did not want to read this book because I thought the title was so cheesy, but I am glad I got past that and read it. The theme is a little cheesy (I feel cynical calling a story about finding inner peace, cheesy), but the way it is presented is not at all cheesy. Oe is becoming my favorite living author.

The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

There has already been a lot said about this book so I will just say that it lives up to the hype that surrounds it.
One thing though, who else found themselves speaking as the characters do while reading this novel? I sure did.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty  Smith

First book in 2015 that totally consumed me. I can only think of a handful of books were I felt so close to the main character as I did to France Nolan. What I really liked about this book is that it was emotional without being sappy. The characters surely deserved your pity, but they didn't ask for it nor did they want it.

Song of Solomon - Toni Morrison

This is one of those books that is going to stay with me for a long time. It is not often that a book is simultaneously as charming as it is complex, but Song of Solomon is definitely that.
Currently at the top of my favorite books this year.

John Carter of Mars (Barsoom, #1-3) - Mike Ashley, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tom Yeates

I read this book a chapter at time over a few months, which I think is a good way to consume this book as the writing is basically of the form "...and then this happened...and then this other thing happened..", which for me can become tiresome. It is written from the point of view of the main character and well, there is no other way to say it, he is kinda full of himself and brags a lot. Anyway I did enjoy these three books, but my favorite was the Gods of Mars, I just really liked the mythology presented in the story.

For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway Who knew you could pack in so much humanity into three days. I did find the dialogue a bit distracting (the translation of his characters' Spanish is often more literal than literary) at first and I suppose he wrote it that way intentionally to evoke something, but it was lost on me. That aside this was a great book.

The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa

The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa - Alisa Freedman, Yasunari Kawabata This book was a bit heavy handed for me. I enjoy Kawabata's later works that are much more subtle. I was looking for more of a "novel", but instead this book amounts to a laundry list of the things young people did in Asakusa to get by.

To the Lighthouse

To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf I can appreciate the delicate language which Virginia Woolf used in this book. I can appreciate that she accomplished the development of characters without anything really happening. I can appreciate...ok enough. I just didn't really enjoy this book. I may give it another try at some point in my life.

The Tin Drum

The Tin Drum - Günter Grass, Breon Mitchell The next time I go to the Onion Cellar I will surely lament my finishing of this book. Why? Because less than a day after I have finished it, I already miss it and I am too prideful to cry without the aid of an onion. Finishing this book felt like saying goodbye to an old friend, oh sure we say we will keep in touch, but alas, life will get in the way and our friendship will be mostly a memory. I hope to see you again Herr Oskar.

Jitterbug Perfume

Jitterbug Perfume - Tom Robbins I read this soon after I met (he signed my book after a talk he gave) Tom Robbins, so it's possible I was biased towards this book. But I don't think so. Uplifting, weird, funny, and beautifully written. Pretty much what you expect from the author.

The General in His Labyrinth

The General in His Labyrinth - Edith Grossman, Gabriel García Márquez Written beautifully, as you would expect from Marquez, but neither the story or the characters were very engaging. This is at the bottom of my list of Marquez's books.

The Quiet American

The Quiet American - Graham Greene, Robert Stone I was expecting more of a spy novel with this one. No, I did not read the back cover or reviews or really anything about this book. I suppose my prejudice stemmed from something I (miss?)read about Graham Greene. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this book and really enjoyed it. Some passages in this book made me cringe and some made me laugh and in the end isn't that what we all want? No, I guess some people just want a spy novel.