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Everything posted by Venneh

  1. 53. No Logo, Naomi Klein: The anticorporate manifesto of the late 90s/early 00s, mainly viewed through the POV of branding, sweatshops, malls, and resistance. I’m reading the ten year anniversary edition another ten years on, and man, let me tell you that while some stuff has definitely changed (see: the Internet), a lot has stayed the same. Would be interested to see her do a 20th anniversary edition in 19.
  2. New MGMT 1 (aka final Mind MGMT issue): Still a fantastic wrap up to the series that leaves it open to continuation, if Kindt would want to come back to it. Dodge City 1-2: Boom appears to be getting into the sports anime genre. McGee's style is perfect for this, the story is great as snack food; not anything that's gonna win awards anytime soon, but I'll probably find a way to follow it cheap on the trade. Generation Gone 1-5: Hey guys, did you know that Ales Kot knows the words emotional labor? And that he named his black guy BALDWIN?? I've seen this summed up as Akira for our g
  3. It’s a romance anthology and they’re all oneshots? *shrug* Ether: The Copper Golems 1: Interesting to see the world back home expand, and to see a fantasy jail bust. Rubín does gorgeous work as always. Will probably catch up on this on the trade. MW: I originally thought this was done by Tezuka in the early 00s, and had an elaborate thing about how this was a response to Aum and the crash in Japan. As it turns out, it was published in 78, so, whooops. It does predict a lot of the political issues of the 90s, and it does have a lot to say about religion, crime, and is a hell of a sto
  4. 52. The Sound of Things Falling, Juan Gabriel Vasquez (translated by Anne McLean): Fuck. This came into my life right when I needed it. I picked this up remaindered a while ago, and finally got to it this week. To say that a man’s fascination with a friend he saw murdered, his daughter’s interest in the father she’d never really known, and a story that slowly comes to an end but isn’t really resolves hit a few buttons is to say the least here. It’s the same wistfulness as Borges, and the fascination with how the political plays out with the personal that I saw in Bolaño, with just wonderful wr
  5. What do you have against Twisted Romance, @Dread?
  6. 51. Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, Mary Roach: A quick, light book about military science, which has a lot about shit and dicks, unsurprisingly. Roach writes engagingly but doesn’t hesitate to add humor in to keep some pretty morbid subjects on the lighter end of things. I got through this in most of a soak in a bath, I don’t expect I’m going to retain a lot of this, but it was a light engaging read.
  7. 50. Sisyphean, Dempow Torishima, translated by Daniel Huddleston: I’m not entirely sure what happened here, mainly because the four stories contained in this novel are related to each other only in a vague sort of way, and the writing in translation is dense as hell. But man, the stories are fast paced and look at some neat existential quandaries. The first story especially captures the hellscape of corporate Japan mixed with a good dose of sci-fi weirdness, and draws you in to the rest of the novel to see what the hell will happen. Torishima also does illustrations for each of the stories, so
  8. 49. The Book of Joan, Lidia Yuknavitch: I read this at the recommendation of two writers that I trust, and because it came up remaindered at our bookstore. It’s a relatively quick read, and it’s a haunting, brutal one, basically telling the story of women and girls at the end of the world, and a rampaging misogynist who tries to create his own new society above the ruined earth. I’m writing this having literally just finished it, and I’m interested to see how it sticks with me. I don’t always agree with what Yuknavitch is using the characters to say, but the way she says it is undoubtedly amaz
  9. 48. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, Michelle McNamara: So, with the Golden State Killer having been caught recently, and knowing about this book and the police crediting McNamara’s work, I decided to check this out. I was not expecting to find a book that I would tear through in the space of two nights. McNamara’s prose, where completed, is wonderful and draws you into her search and the crimes of the GSK, and how it unfolds. Where she wasn’t done, her colleagues finished it where possible, or attempt to piece things together from her notes o
  10. Infinity Gauntlet 1: Never underestimate the motivational power of a dude's boner, y'all. It does feel pretty epic, though. Elric: The Dreaming City: Goddamn goddamn goddamn y'all. There's some places where it's clear they're doing the best they can with what they've got, but it's still pretty damn good. Harbingers War 2 Prelude: Raul Allen and Patricia Martin blow it out of the water. And this is their last issue with Valiant because they did not survive the DMG Entertainment takeover, sadly. Good luck, y'all. My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness: Decided to reread this, an
  11. 46. The Opposite House, Helen Oyeyemi: Oyeyemi’s second book, two narratives (one more rooted in the Orishas and the other rooted in immigrant traditions and pregnancy) that never quite come together, but on their own are great stories (maybe as two separate novellas?). Interesting formatting choices that I really like. Quick read (just over 200 pages, finished it in under a week). But by god whoever put that quote comparing her to Rimbaud, Dickinson, and Neruda at the top of the back cover is really doing her a disservice. It stands well enough on its own without the comparisons. 4
  12. 45. In Other Lands, Sarah Rees Brennan: This is a front runner for my favorite book of the year. On the surface, it’s a fantasy YA book about a boy who is chosen to go to another world and his friends that he finds there and coming of age and all that jazz. But god, it’s so much fucking more than that. It’s got the best portrayal of what a bisexual awakening is like as a teenager, and what fluid sexuality looks like, without shaming. It’s got these kids fumbling and trying to figure themselves out, and hurting each other in the process. It’s commentary on toxic masculinity by flipping the gend
  13. 44. Servant of the Underworld, Aliette de Bodard: de Bodard’s first book, originally published by Angry Robot - this is a new edition published by JABberwocky Literary Agency. (This comes into play later.) It’s a procedural/murder mystery, but set in the Aztec empire, with two brothers at each other’s throats, politics, and the gods and supernatural fuckery. It’s a well written, fast paced read, especially for a first novel. But if/when I try to find the rest of this, I’m honestly going to be looking to see if I can find the Angry Robot editions. Because there is some genuinely sloppy fo
  14. 43. The Possessions, Sara Flannery Murphy: Aggresively mediocre. This is this person’s first novel, and it kinda shows. (If I read one more green analogue like plant analogue I was gonna punch something.) It’s vaguely fantasy but not enough to actually commit to the concept, way too obsessed with babies in general, and there’s not really any particular standout among the plot or characters. It’s all pretty aggressively bland. There’s a reason I found this for free at the train stop. Quick read, at least.
  15. Season of the Snake: Insanely detailed art with good use of color, plot's pretty ehhh, standard "ooooh, sex and titties!" European comics stuff thrown in. I'll see where it goes. Descenders 29: More endgame stuff, Nguyen real fuckin' pretty. Rumble 5: I feel like there's flashback stuff here that might explain stuff I didn't know from the first time around? Rubin continues to be wonderful. Skybound 1: I know Garbett from Lucifer and Loki: Agent of Asgard, and he does real great art, especially gravity-less. Story's pretty standard. Previews: 2 Single Issues: 64 Trad
  16. 42. Space Opera, Catherynne Valente: This is basically if Douglas Adams wrote a novel about Space Eurovision with a side of passion and hope and just some absolutely wonderful deep cuts. It’s funny, it’s well written, and you can tell it was written in response to the shitholiness of 2016-17. The fact that this is book 42 this year is a wonderful coincidence. Some of the run on sentences get a bit too run onny, but I laughed out loud while reading this so many times. And I kinda needed that.
  17. 41. Six Wakes, Mur Laffety: I hadn’t heard of this book until it picked up nominations for both the Nebula AND the Hugo, and I consider that a marketing failure on the part of the publisher. This is a fantastic locked room mystery, but also does fantastic world building/what ifs about what cloning being introduced would do to society. The plot itself is also incredibly well done, as are all the characters. Base plot is: clones wake up to themselves murdered on a ship. Their mapped memories are missing twenty years. And everyone staffing the ship is a criminal who took this mission to hav
  18. 40. The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone, Olivia Laing: I don’t really viscerally hate books like this very often. This one earns my ire and then some. This book has “elements that appeared in... the Guardian and New Statesman”, which means she just barely edited some articles she submitted. What she SHOULD have done is just left it as a collection of those articles. Instead she decided to rework some very solid articles about artists such as Edward Hopper, Henry Danger, and David Wojnarowicz into a meandering ass book about how her pain as a white woman who decided to uproot
  19. Dept H vol 1-3: So, unsurprisingly, it turns out that this is meant to be read as close together as possible, because there are tiny details in each volume that it’s easy to forget in the half year between trade volumes. Have a feeling that this was more a graphic novel plan than a monthly series plan, but still incredibly well crafted. Previews: 2 Single Issues: 60 Trades/Tankobon/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 38 Omnibuses: 1
  20. Prism Stalker 2: JESUS FUCK CHRIST THIS GOES IN HARD. Deadly Class 33: Oh look, the plot finally remembered Saya existed again! Just in time for more torture porn and female characters suffering because of dudes! Yaaaaaaaaaay. Sleepless 5: Oooooooh. Good turn here plot wise, and more explanation-exposition about the Sleepless guards. Del Duca is lovely as ever on the art. Interested for the next issue. A Bride’s Story v7: Aka the volume that should feel more sleazy than it does for half or more of it being set in a lady’s bathhouse and a dude getting a second wife. It’s actua
  21. 39. Wolf in White Van, John Darnelle: Reread this when Des bought up that he was reading it, because it’s been a hot minute since I read this last. Unsurprisingly, Darnelle’s gift with lyrics carries over to prose, and it’s a fast paced, beautifully flowing read, and I frequently found myself stopping and just rereading lines again for how good they were. Best way to describe the structure of it is that it ripples out from one point and then slowly collapses back into stillness. If you’ve not read this yet, read it.
  22. 38. Zombie Capitalism: Global Crisis and the Relevance of Marx, Chris Harman: I’ll admit to being real confused by the audience for this book. Half this book is taken up by a pretty basic explanation of Marxism/its criticisms and a Marxist economic history of most of the 20th century, in a seemingly pretty basic 101 explanation. On the other hand, some pretty important glossary terms are kept in the back, the last chapter being pretty rah rah Marxist victories, and the publisher being Haymarket Books seem to point to the book being aimed at an audience with a pretty decent understanding of Mar
  23. This is Jim not noticing he was logged in on Venneh's account until he hit publish. Ugh. Shaft: Dynamite put out a great licensed comic, even if it leans into a particular detective story trope. However, it goes somewhere with that trope. Harrow County v6-7: The wheels continue to turn as the series nears the end. Tyler Crook remains fantastic and whenever they put out a trade is when I'll pick it up. There's one resurrection that felt like author fiat to cover up a plot bit, but given how often resurrection happen in this series, it's difficult to argue they're not allowed to do it. Dark Hor
  24. 37. Moonshine, Jasmine Gower: Last of the Angry Robot books we got at ECCC. Fantasy world meets jazz age/prohibition aesthetics. Pretty solid, not anything particularly amazing, but not mediocre either. Just solid genre work.