Monday, December 12, 2016

Barely Making a Dent: December 2016 Books


In which our narrator tries to read his way through the endless stacks of books that are slowly overtaking both his bookshelves and his life.

The new, six-foot tall bookcase is assembled and in use, each of its five shelves now packed tightly with books. It's a sight to behold. Sometimes I even catch myself staring at it for several minutes, basking in it's elegant majesty. I've always associated being a serious bookaholic with having at least one fully stocked, enormous bookcase that serves as the perfect representation of your reading life. Finally achieving this goal feels like the culmination of decades of book nerdery.

It's certainly helped to organize our books; between it and a smaller bookcase positioned next to it, we can keep the majority of our books in one room now. Of course I filled the new one with our best books—you know, the ones you want on display to wow visitors with your impressively eclectic tastes. Rearranging and re-shelving everything helped me realize there are even a few books—like, two or three—that we should give away or try to sell. See? Progress!

Recently acquired

Moonglow by Michael Chabon. This is my most eagerly anticipated book of the year. I wrote a little about my love of Chabon's work way back in the early days of this blog, but I barely scratched the surface of my intense love for his work. The man writes the most beautiful sentences and I could read them all day. He has a way of describing things I've often felt but haven't put into words myself. All good writers can do this, but he's easily one of the best at it. In the meantime I'll write about Moonglow in a future "Barely Making a Dent" post. The book is vaulting ahead of all the other books in my reading pile, so I hope to start reading it in the next few weeks.

Recently read

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin. This was a reread, but two decades later. Intelligent, thought-provoking, and essential; it's a science fiction classic for a reason. I've written about it for Sci-Fi Week over at Sequart, so look for that during the week of December 11–17.

Power Man & Iron Fist: Heroes for Hire (Epic Collection, Volume 1). This is 450 pages of pure, Marvel bronze age goodness. Do you love '70s solid gold hits like Coffy, Enter the Dragon or Starsky, and Hutch? Then this is your jam, too. You'll learn why your nerd friends exclaim "Sweet Christmas!" You'll witness Chris Claremont develop Colleen Wing into the most bad-ass samurai detective you've ever met. She and Misty Knight practically steal the book right out from under the titular Heroes for Hire. Still, this is where Luke Cage's and Iron Fist's legendary and highly long-running partnership began and you need to read it.

Currently reading

Kraken by China Mieville. I'm not too far into this one yet but it's great fun, if a little convoluted at times. I'm a fan of Mieville's style of "weird" fiction and this one keeps getting weirder with each chapter, which is a good thing. Plus there was a GG Allin reference already. Why not, right?

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