5) Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh, finished January 17
- At first I thought I would just set this book aside because I hated it so much, but I kept taking it with me place to place and getting through it bit by bit until I came to an appreciation of Waugh's style. I'm still not a huge fan of this particular volume, but for a book filled with emptiness I will at least give him this: he chose the perfect ending. And I have to admit this also--I may have been expecting Wodehouse, and Waugh's humor may not have aged well, but he still had a couple zingers. So good job, Waugh! But I still don't like your book.
4) Superman Adventures Vol. 1: Up, Up and Away! by Mark Millar, finished January 16
- Somehow the Big O, without any instruction from his parents, can identify "Superguy" and knows, for instance, that he can fly. We're not sure where he picked it up, but some how he's a fan. When we would go to the library, he would request a Superguy book, but neither of our libraries had one. So I put my head together with Master Fob's and he helped decide on this book for Christmas. But the Big O doesn't really like it. I tried reading it to him, but just ended up reading it myself. And so it goes. Note: Shortly after I finished writing this, O found the book and wanted me to read it to him, saying "I like my Superman book"--so pretty much I don't know what I'm talking about.
two or three weeks
3) A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, finished January 12
- I first read Bryson premission when I picked up a copy of Made in America by joining the Book of the Month Club. I. Loved. That. Book. I was not aware that Bryson was primarily known as a travel writer at the time, and the Big Deal release of A Walk in the Woods was my first inclination of his inclination. I was very interested in the book but did not buy it until it came out in paperback--which I did as soon as the paperback was available. Said paperback then sat on my shelf for several years during which I purchased and read the paperbacks Neither Here Nor There, Notes from a Small Island, I'm a Stranger Here Myself, and The Mother Tongue. I also picked up In a Sunburned Country about the same time as AWitW in hardback and enjoyed it very much--it's my favorite of his travel books. Still. I liked A Walk in the Woods a great deal, but if I ever edit a boxset of Great Travel Books, I'll represent Bryson with his Aussie adventure.
about three weeks
2) Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, finished January 11
- Although I have read this book more than once in the past, this was the first time I read my very own copy, courtesy of Lady Steed and venerated Christmas tradition. The book is brilliant. When Scott comes to town signing copies of his new book, I hope to meet him.
about a week and a half
1) Galápagos by Kurt Vonnegut, finished January 10
- I think I like Vonnegut best when he's apocalyptic--Cat's Cradle was my first overwhelming look at him and I think Timequake is his best book--but the flavor of disaster offered by Galápagos was right up there.