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I didn't read enough in 2010, but I think I liked everything I read, so there's that. I hope to get more read next year. I like to do a mix of impulse - hey, what's this?... sounds good, I will read this - and this-has-been-on-my-To-Read-List-FOREVER-so-I-Have-To - and then there are a few authors I read everything of, and I'm, like, one or two away from having read their entire outputs, so I'll probably finish those to say I did...

Anyway. This year...

Personal Days - Ed Park. Kind of an 'Office' or 'Office Space' modern-day workplace comedy. Divided into parts, with intriguing changes of perspective between them. Very funny.

Varjak Paw
and, a couple months later,
The Outlaw Varjak Paw - S.F. Said. I read these children's books aloud to the class of autistic high school students I was teaching. I've had them awhile because I'm a big fan of the artist (Dave McKean) and I love the premise - a cat that must learn ninja-like ways... but they weren't fascinating reads. Several dull and repetitive stretches. Not BAD, just not as good as I'd hoped they would be. The illustrations were better than the words.

The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman. Good book. I'm a big fan and collector of his works, so I have no objectivity here, but... I see why he got a ton of awards for this one...

Drama City - George Pelecanos. I'd been meaning to read some of him for awhile (one of the authors that contributed greatly to The Wire), and a hardcover of this was at Big Lots super-cheap. Good story, moved fast, I know I will be reading more of him.

Odd and The Frost Giants - Neil Gaiman. Also read aloud to kids. Good little story.

Riding The Rap
and (short story) 'Fire in the Hole' - Elmore Leonard. The books Raylan Givens (of FX's excellent new series Justified) came from. They're good. Despite some changes in his personal biography, the character FEELS/reads the same, and I approve of all the changes the tv show made for themselves to go forward with.

Caught - Harlan Coben. I read all of his books. They go very fast, even if they're very thick. Definite 'page-turners'. Great suspense, twists, characters. He does have a fairly familiar bag of tricks and sometimes the structure of a story is overly formulaic, but... I like mysteries. A lot of mystery writers can be predictable-ish if you read enough of them. Anyway, this one was really good.

Bite Me - Christopher Moore. I read all his (one out of twelve left at year's end - I'll read it and the new one in 2011). Very funny comedies. This is the newest, and the third in a series following vampires in San Francisco (after Bloodsucking Fiends and You Suck... they're all subtitled 'A Love Story').

Broken - Daniel Clay. One of those read-the-back-of-the-cover-and-it-looked-good impulse pick-ups. A first novel. Wow. Really good, has stuck with me, and I've recommended it to a few friends... sad tragedy written in a really funny way... very DARK humor... lies and injustice and dominoes striking other dominoes and making some Really Bad Shit happen...

You Don't Love Me Yet - Jonathan Lethem. I hadn't read any Lethem yet, but had been meaning to... this was kinda fun. Romance and in-fighting within a rock band...

Moist - Mark Haskell Smith. Impulse pick-up from a library visit. Sort of Carl Hiaasen/Elmore Leonard-like... crime novel with crazy characters and situations. Fun. His first book, think there have been three since that I'll eventually get around to...

The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove - Christopher Moore.

What The Dead Know - Laura Lippman. She's David Simon's wife, and I've been meaning to try one of her mysteries for awhile. This is one of the more recent ones (usually, I like to start at the beginning, but this was a non-series stand-alone, so it's okay...) - got this and another paperback real cheap from a school's used book sale, and I have a hardcover of short stories from Big Lots... Anyway. I sped through this book, having to know what comes next. Well-told in multiple time frames. A kidnapping of two little girls from a mall years ago, and a woman coming forward now and saying that she is one of those girls...

What Was Lost - Catherine O'Flynn. Then I picked up this one because it sounded like a cousin of the one I'd just read, somehow, also pertaining to the kidnapping of a little girl from a mall (it even had the same number of chapters in the book as the Lippman, forty-two...) and an advance in time to 25-30 years later in the next section... Really good first book - I want to read her second...

Zeitoun - Dave Eggers. True-life account of Katrina before/during/after atrocities. Well-written. Sad. Anger-making.

The Stupidest Angel, A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror - Christopher Moore. You know, for Christmas. Also had a lot of zombies. Kind of on a zombie kick after The Walking Dead.


Now, I'm reading some comic books before I get into my next novel... starting with The Walking Dead (by Robert Kirkman), actually. I have the first six hardcovers (covering 72 issues). So far (about 2/3rds through the first book), I like Darabont's adaptation a lot better... a lot of the same ground is covered, of course - some different characters, a slightly different structuring of the the central love triangle, but a bunch of the same stuff, too (Amy, Jim). I expect I'll like it better as it moves along and away from where the show went in its super-brief first season... I don't mind 'spoilers', as I expect they will be deviating from the source text more than not...

I was really frustrated that there were, like, five major spelling errors in the first six issues. PERHAPS forgivable in a monthly comic, but this is in its umpteenth (well, fourth of the hardcover) printing - that shit should have been fixed, you know?

And I want to catch up on Fables (I'm 8 paperbacks in and have the next two... think 14 are available now...) and its spin-off, Jack of Fables (there will be 9 total, and I haven't read any yet).
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