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Working on reading.

I haven’t done a lot of comic work this weekend.  There is a good reason for that, one of the best actually.  Issue 3 is all done.  It is lettered, resized and mostly uploaded.  It starts today for Supporters and everyone else gets to sink their teeth in, in three months.  I’m really happy with it but was feeling a bit burned out.  So I took it easy this weekend and did something I need to do more often if I actually want to make it as a writer.  I read a book. And let me tell you, I had a wonderful time.  It’s not that I dislike reading, my problem is the opposite, I’m a obsessive reader.   If a book is even half decent, once I start reading it takes an extreme act of will (or the jaws of life) to get me to put it down again.

This was particularly troublesome while I was in college, as many an assignment suffered from neglect in favor of a pulpy scifi or fantasy novel.  So much so that I generally stopped reading novels for the sake of my grades and fell out of the habit.  Novel reading generally became rare except on vacations.  A holy beegezus Batman type of mistake,  but at the time I was going to change the world through science, not via the force of my fiction.  This is when I fell in love with webcomics and their daily bites of stories.

Now I finally have a steady job that doesn’t usually follow me home, I’ve beaten off a WoW addiction and plunged myself totally into writing Walking the Lethe.  Since I’ve decided that writing, and hopefully writing comics specifically will be my ultimate career, its high time I really dug into reading fiction again.

I’m going to try to read and review a novel a month.  Maybe every two weeks if I can manage it.  That is was I was originally going to do with this space but I fell into this little mediation on the subject instead.

Feel free to suggest books or series in the comments.  I always find it so hard to pick a book out based on the cover and the blurb on the back.

Thanks all!


Go for something classic. Of Mice and Men! I love that book, it’d be great to see someone else’s impressions.

Or review Twilight for sheer hilarity.

I’m always happy to recommend some books.

The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman is a thriller set at a girl’s school. The Latin teacher went to the school herself when tragedy struck, and now that she’s back and teaching there, some of the horrible things that happened seem to be happening again.

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson is the story of a somewhat dysfunctional family that’s having a bit of a reunion in their small hometown in Canada.

Jennifer Government by Max Barry is a cyberpunk novel. Need I say more?

Bimbos of the Death Sun by Sharyn McCrumb is a murder mystery that takes place at a fantasy/sci-fi convention.

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis is about a woman who gets sent back in time to do research on the middle ages, and gets sent to the wrong time. To Say Nothing of the Dog is another Connie Willis time-travel book, set in the same world, but neither book is dependent on the other. They are both really good, although Doomsday Book is fairly serious, while the other is lighter.

Cowboy Feng’s Space Bar and Grill by Stephen Brust is . . . um . . . kind of a time-travelly (but in the future) or maybe dimension-travelly thing.

Waiting for the Galactic Bus by Parke Godwin is about a couple of aliens who get stranded on earth a few million years ago. They get bored waiting for someone to come get them, and one of them mucks about with ape biology and starts the evolutionary chain that becomes humankind.

Woman in the Mists by Farley Mowat is a biography of Dian Fossey. I don’t really read a lot of biographies . . . like any, but this was really good.

Gun, With Occasional Music by Jonathon Lethem, is a cyberpunk murder mystery.

The Bone People by Kerri Hulme is about a woman, a man, and his mute foster son. It’s set in New Zealand and has some pretty violent bits, but the relationship the three build is fascinating.

The Moon by Whale Light by Diane Ackerman is a collection of nature essays she wrote for . . . The New Yorker? Really amazing stuff.

Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine is a non-fiction book about endangered species. Yes, that Douglas Adams.

The Flamingo’s Smile is my favorite of the collections of Stephen Jay Gould’s essays written for Natural History. It includes the piece “Carrie Buck’s Daughter,” which is about the eugenics programs of twentieth century United States.

If you feel the need to read any Jane Austen, I recommend Emma (the basis for the movie Clueless) over Pride and Prejudice. It is a better story, with better characters, I thought.

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins is supposed to be the first full-length detective novel in the English language. It is worth reading without knowing that, too.

I could go on, I’m sure. I haven’t even touched on horror novels.

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