Monthly Archive: December 2014

Dec 31 2014

Fear Agent Vol VI: Out Of Step by Rick Remender

Pretty sure it’s been too long between me reading this volume and the ones that preceded it, as I found the sci-fi confusing, though compelling. The only really false note for me was the internal personality struggle between Heath and his evil clone, but that was likely more an issue of pacing than plot. Otherwise …

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Dec 31 2014

A History of Britain Volume II: The Wars of the British 1603-1776 by Simon Schama

The first half of this book, on the English Civil War, the Commonwealth, and the early Restoration, was rather difficult to get through. The book really takes off in the final chapter, in which Schama explores the problems and contradictions of Britain’s imperial destiny. With consummate irony he describes the way in which British orators …

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Dec 30 2014

Pariah Vol II by Aron Warner, Philip Gelatt and Brett Weldele

Entertaining take on dystopian (YA) fiction. I really liked how the emotions are balanced with the tech, even as I freely admit that I hated the ending of the first issue and am desperately hoping that Hal manages to break free later. Clever and promising, but still definitely in the build stage of the overarching …

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Dec 30 2014

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

Blood of Elves is billed as “a novel of the witcher” and this same witcher, Geralt of Rivia, is blurbed as the inspiration “for the critically acclaimed video game The Witcher,” which tells me some interesting things right away. First, that one way to get fantasy translated into English, it helps to have a popular …

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Dec 28 2014

The Republic by Plato

Plato covers a range of subjects in this rambling work, but the chief one is the problem of what constitutes the best society. Naturally, Plato thinks that in any ideal society, the philosophers will be in charge. His Republic resembles Thomas More’s Utopia in that it would be a place where the citizens were incomparably …

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Dec 27 2014

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

This play was much more serious than I remembered it being. It is certainly not a play about nothing. The verbal fencing between Benedick and Beatrice is priceless, but there is much more to the play than that, and there is more dark subject matter than light comedy in it. Thankfully the evil is thwarted …

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Dec 27 2014

The Epic of Gilgamesh

This is the third time I have read this story, and it never fails to amaze me with its power and its timelessness. Gilgamesh is the first legendary hero known to history, and like a true legendary hero his story is tragic. He achieves great things, but loses his best friend, and is haunted by …

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Dec 26 2014

Bad Machinery Vol I: The Case Of The Team Spirit by John Allison

For Christmas, Jay bought me a physical copy of Bad Machinery’s first two volumes and ZOMG, I didn’t even know how much I wanted these till I had them! Oni Press has done an amazing job of translating the web comic to an oversized, glossy paperback that is luxe to the touch and weighty in …

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Dec 25 2014

The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power by Robert Caro

This is a fascinating story, in a way that only a true story can be. It is the story of a young man for whom ambition was the guiding force in his life from earliest boyhood. To hear Caro tell it, Johnson was planning to be president when he was just a boy growing up …

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Dec 24 2014

Dark Prayer by Natasha Mostert

So few books deserve the title “literary mystery.” Often, that phrase is given to books where ponderous writing and a quasi-mystical theme are draped over a poorly constructed plot, as if the fact that the book itself is so unenjoyable is some testament to how smart the reader must be to not only finish but …

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