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The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Bagram Ibatoulline, Kate DiCamillo
Not Wanted on the Voyage
Timothy Findley
A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5)
George R.R. Martin
The Tracey Fragments (The Spider Line Series)
Maureen Medved
Transmetropolitan, Vol. 9: The Cure (New Edition) - Warren Ellis, Darick Robertson Volumes 8 and 9 really cemented my love for Spider Jerusalem as a character. While cynical and crude, there's a sort of boyish innocence to him that I really love. His passion is his passion and there was a certain page in volume 9 that, as an aspiring writer, actually got me a little choked up.The comic is soon coming to a close and I'm going to be sad to see it end. But that just means I'll have to move on to more of Ellis' work. i.e. The Authority.

This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It

This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It - I laughed, I got choked up, I went "...". Not as a good as John Dies At the End but still highly enjoyable.
Flowers of Evil, Volume 1 - Shuzo Oshimi (This is a review of Volumes 1-7)I discovered Aku No Hana thanks to Anime-Planet's hilarious forum thread about the adaptation sickness this series is currently going through.Aku No Hana is the tale of a boy named Kasuga who idealized a girl named Saeki and one day he steals her gym clothes. His classmate Nakamura sees this and uses it to blackmail Kasuga, threatening to out him as a pervert.At first I thought it would go into School Days territory which was something I was dreading because I absolutely cannot stand a single freakin' character in School Days, especially since the character Saeki seemed like a perfect pure little buttercup combination of Orihime from Bleach and Kotonoha from School Days. Luckily, it veered from that direction, or maybe it didn't and I just didn't hate these characters...Or maybe it's because it takes it time revealing the actual people behind the characters. Kasuga thinks of Saeki as this pure angel, his muse, chaste and perfect, and the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes he's wrong. The story takes it's time doing that, as opposed to, once again, School Days where Makoto was just a wishy-washy indecisive horny prat who played games with the girls.I powered through all 7 volumes over the course of a day and I really quite enjoyed it. It's a twisted love triangle done...compliantly. I still am not a fan of the desperate wailing ball of naivete that is Saeki, and Volume 7's story just isn't as interesting as the previous 6 but all in all I'm quite enjoying it.
Billy and the Boingers Bootleg (Bloom County Book) - Berkeley Breathed I wish I still had the square record this book came with. Every once and a while the songs will pop up on my iPod. U Stink But I Love U magically got stuck in my head while I was doing chores and that's what made me add this book to my GR lists. I love this book, such good memories.
John Dies at the End  - David Wong I think I have a new favourite book.Let's start again.I'm a fairly avid reader of Cracked.com, it's my favourite comedy website. But the funny thing is I never check to see who wrote what articles. I prefer to think of Cracked as a faceless pool of hilarity. I don't want to get to know the columnists, though Seanbaby makes it impossible to avoid the fact that he is Seanbaby.So the fact that JDatE was written by a Cracked columnist bore no weight with my desire to read it. In fact, I can't remember what compelled me to read it other than my friend saying it was amazing but by then I had already wanted to read it.Over the weekend I powered through the last 60 pages while out and about in the real world. I even read in a moving vehicle which usually makes me sick. I wanted to finish it just to see where it all went.Finally, yesterday at around 4:30pm I read the last page, closed the book, and rested it on my lap.And then I was confronted with a massive sensation of what now?I realized that there was suddenly this void in my life where JDatE had been and was there no longer. My life is a little less interesting now that I've finished this book (and seen the movie). Oh sure, I could talk to people about it, but that's just rehashing the past, retreading over old memories. Expected. I want something new, something unexpected, something like when someone uses a bratwurst like a cellphone, or someone explodes into snakes, or uses a dog as a poop-gun. And you'll never know when these things will happen or if they're even happening at all.Thankfully there's another book and soon my life will once again be filled with excitement.This book is amazing, easily one of my favourites, so much so that on the surreal and terror scale it blew [b:House of leaves|24800|House of Leaves|Mark Z. Danielewski|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327889035s/24800.jpg|856555] out of the water.Just read the book first, then watch the movie. Or don't. Just read the book.
Lone Wolf - Jodi Picoult I like this book better when it was called My Sister's Keeper.
The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton I recently re-read part of this to help my niece with her homework. It was assigned reading. It's still effective and it's a story that resonates over generations.

The Crow: City of Angels

The Crow: City of Angels - John Wagner,  James O'Barr,  Phil Hester I actually really liked this until the end. The stupid, stupid end.
The Crow: Flesh & Blood - James Vance, James O'Barr, Alex Maleev Nice to read about a female Crow.

The Postmortal

The Postmortal - Drew Magary A funny thing happened when I finished this book. Immediately after reading the final page I flipped back to the opening pages to read about John as he was in the start of the story, his reasons, his motivations, to see how much he changed.It was an interesting read.The world was creepy, horrific and I suppose plausible. The future was subtle but dark and hopeless and it reminded me of the film version of Children of Men where everything was just high-tech enough to communicate "future" without flying cars and cliches like that.My one big complaint about the story, and it bugged me to the point of rolling my eyes and switching books for a short time, was that upon receiving the cure, it seemed every woman wanted to cling to her family and her husband and their comfortable domestic life while every man wanted to relive the bachelor lifestyle. I know that there's a biological theory that males want to procreate more to spread their genes around but it wasn't put forth like that. It was put forth as "Guys get bored with the same old chick."Really?There wasn't one female supporting character in the entire narrative that didn't just wanna live the life of their carefree 20's again? None? They all wanted to be Suzy Homebodies forever?That seriously irritated me and it put a cloud over the middle of the story for me.And yet, I liked the book. I liked John, even if he was rather aimless at times, which was the point of course, I liked Allison, I liked Ernie and Matt and I loved the imagery in the final few chapters.But then, good dystopias are so hard to find.
What Happened in Hamelin - Gloria Skurzynski I read this as a kid and it is one of my absolute favourites. I need to track down a copy for the kids in my life.
Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe #1 - Cullen Bunn,  Dalibor Talajić This will have spoilers, but really, this is Deadpool. Killing the Marvel Universe. You know what you're getting.I needed a Deadpool fix so I picked this up. It was good, brutal and dark but still with a little bit of humour. The kind of humour that The Joker inspires, the kind that you laugh at, then realize what you're laughing at, then you kind of feel like shooting yourself in the head because you're an awful person. This is one of those "Deadpool has 2 extra voices in his head that also seem to hate him" stories and I'm not a fan of that take on the character, but it used it to it's advantage here by silencing them and bringing in a new voice.Sadly, it was rather predictable and it called to mind another Deadpool story wherein Deadpool realizes he's in a comicbook (I think it was in Deadpool #900 but maybe not.) and it just worked better in that one.The art was kid of iffy, (Torn cloth is supposed to look like phone cords, not hula skirts! (Yep, [a:Sam Kieth|13359|Sam Kieth|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1283613676p2/13359.jpg] reference, aw yeah!)) not really solid and Deadpool looked kind of doughy, but the artists managed to get a lot of expression out of him. Though they seem to really like dislocating Deadpool's jaw. The opening kills were absolutely chilling, so kudos to the artist for that.By far, (to me) the most memorable part of the whole story was how Deadpool dealt with X-23 and Daken, and it revealed something about Deadpool himself. It was horrific and sadistic and made me all sorts of "Nooo!" because I really want Deadpool and X-23 to have many angsty trysts someday. But that's what fanfiction is for.Paper thin story, brutal deaths, questionable art and I still felt satisfied in the end. So if you're a Deadpool fan, or a fan of gore, or just want to see another take on Deadpool, pick it up.
Gods, Demigods and Demons: An Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology - Bernard Evslin I've actually had this book since Elementary school. I got it through the Scholastic book order things Elementary Schools offer. I was a geek, sue me.As a kid I would read the entries and re-read my favourites. I must have read Athena's entry a hundred times, and then yell at the Hercules and Xena TV shows because they were wrong, wrong, wrong!.While writing my own mythology epic I actually found myself running to this book, dog-eared and yellowed-paged as it is, for refresher courses on certain mythological figures or double checking things. It's a true encyclopedia that is packed with knowledge and straight-forward facts. It's a great introduction to Greek Mythology and while it's not heavy or overwhelming, it's certainly not dumbed down for kids, making it a great read for everybody.
Bleeding Heart Yard - Noah Chinn This was an enjoyable little book. It moved along at a nice, streamlined clip and all the characters were likable and fleshed out gradually which can be a tricky thing to do. Maybe one or two scenes could have been added for better effect, for example: I would have liked to see Peter convince his friend to do something kind of weird on his behalf, I wanted to see how he managed to manipulate said friend.The solutions to problems weren't clean-cut and were often multiple choice, which I liked. There were some unexpected twists and nice dark humour, which I love. All in all, I'd read another book with these characters.
Scratch - Sam Kieth Each and every one of you who are reading this know I am a huge Sam Kieth fan. The Maxx made me aware of story telling methods and narratives that I had no clue existed, I didn't even know one could go to those places in comics or animation. In short, Sam Kieth was my gateway drug.I had first heard about Scratch in 2003 or 2004 and I was eager to read it. I mean, Sam Kieth drawing werewolves AND Batman?! I had flipped through it several times at my local comic book store but never put down the money for it. It never grasped me enough to actually buy it.Today I got myself the series and read through all five issues Sadly, I found Scratch to be just...kinda...meh.Searching the internet, I found that apparently I wasn't the only one, hell, there wasn't even a Goodreads entry on it. I had to make it. Wikipedia doesn't have anything, DC Comics wiki has nothing, the series isn't even collected in a trade paper back. There isn't even a "Scratch" tag on Kieth's blog! All I could scrounge up was a CBR interview with Kieth.So, why is it so...meh? Probably because I know Kieth is better than this. The writing is sub-par (For Kieth's standards) and simplistic. The story doesn't move at break-neck speed so much as it just sort of bounds along, jumping from place to place with not very much connectivity. I don't know if there were time-jumps that simply weren't labeled or if big chunks were edited out or what but it all just moved too fast for me. Kieth is great at setting ground work (The Maxx, Ojo, Four Women, the Zero Girl series, [b:Batman: Secrets]) but there wasn't enough time spent on much of anything. Who was Zack? Who was his family? Did they miss him? Did they abuse him and call him a freak? Was he emancipated? What?The art veers too much into crazy whimsy (Batman's Chin(s)!) and not enough somber eeriness (Batman! Werewolves and Batman! And Circus freaks!), and some parts Kieth just goes into "Pfff screw it" mode and renders basically kiddy drawings of characters, which works for him a lot of the time but it simply doesn't here because it doesn't feel appropriate.But to be fair, some shots of Sage are absolutely stunning. I love how Kieth draws women. They all look so natural and cuddly.Finally, Batman. Batman is narrating this story and I found myself asking "Why?". Why does Batman care? For that matter, how did Batman learn about Scratch/Zack in the first place, let alone go out hunting for him? There were some good moments of course, some scenes were poignant and some of the lines were funny, but all in all it was weak and moved me very little.It's not all bad, it's a nice little time-killer and I recommend it for hardcore fans, like myself, who want to leave no Kieth story unloved. But if for some reason you're new to Kieth, go read The Maxx, Ojo or Batman: Secrets and then get back to me.
Batman: Through the Looking Glass - Bruce Jones, Sam Kieth Typical Alice in Wonderland story with Sam Kieth art. Not particularly creative use of imagery (Why Kieth, WHY?!), through some splash pages were well done. Robin looked all wrong. Some of it made me laugh out loud though.