Thursday, January 6, 2011

Books Read 2010

Posted By on Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Throughout 2010 on my Twitter account, @gregakers, I kept followers updated on each book I read as I finished them, with a tiny review of each and a link to where readers could get more information on the work in question.

Seems to me like such a thing should live somewhere all together. Here they are, listed in order they were Tweeted, which is to say chronologically.

My favorite book of the year was the 29th. (See below, obviously.) It's one of the best books I've ever read.

Two housekeeping notes: I've aired out a few abbreviations since I'm now not as limited in space as I was on Twitter. And also, in re-editing the list for the blog, I found that I had missed one book: Volume 7 of Hellboy. I added to the list and renumbered to accommodate it.

72. Forty-Five by Andi Ewington. Excellent superhero plot is really a brilliant look at parenthood.

71. One Damn Thing After Another by Ron Evans. Book of short stories by a dear friend and Memphian.

70. The Foul Rag and Boneshop of the Heart by Ron Evans. Book of poetry by a dear friend and Memphian.

69. Batman: Turning Points by Rucka, Brubaker, Dixon & others. Great writers covering classic ground.

68. Citizen Rex by Mario & Gilbert Hernandez. Favorite artist saddled with loopy sci-fi story.

67. Neonomicon, Issues 1-2, by Alan Moore & Jacen Burrows. About a Cthuhlu sex cult, of course.

66. Batman, Issues 700-702 by Grant Morrison & Tony Daniel. Unenjoyably dense Morrison weirdness.

65. The Return of Bruce Wayne by Grant Morrison & others. Enjoyably dense Morrison weirdness.

64. Batman: Hidden Treasures by Len Wein, Bernie Wrightson, & others. Solomon Grundy!

63. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, Issues 34-39 by Joss Whedon and others. Nerd alert.

62. Roswell, Texas by Smith, May, Bieser, and Zach. A spirited Texan alternate history.

61. Batman: The Widening Gyre by Kevin Smith, Walt Flanagan, et al. Actually really good.

60. Starship by Brian Aldiss. If you only read 50 sci-fi books every year, this could be one of em.

59. 1922 by Stephen King. Novella from FULL DARK, NO STARS. Near complete waste of time.

58. The Horror! The Horror! ed. by Jim Trombetta
and 57. X'ed Out by Charles Burns
My reviews of both comic-book related items, in the Memphis Flyer.

56. Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer. Great book about enraging events. Indictment of Bush and Army culture.

55. The Wave by Walter Mosley. Dreamlike mildly righteous sci-fi about attaining nirvana.

54. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. I can see the utter heartbreak from my comfy chair.

53. Blockade Billy by Stephen King. Average/below average baseball-genre novella.

52. The Painter of Battles by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. War photographer fiction. Maybe the author's masterpiece.

51. The Scar by China Mieville. Fantasy sociology linguistic world-building, about pirates and vampires.

50. The Girl Who Played with Fire
and 49. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
The 2nd Stieg Larsson book was my favorite, until I read the 3rd, and then the 1st was my favorite.

48. Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern. Pithy humorous anecdotes.

47. The Man with the Getaway Face by Richard Stark and Darwyn Cooke. Excellent adaptation of classic.

46. Murder is My Business by Brett Halliday. El Paso/Juarez 1940s noir with minor World War 2 intrigue.

45. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Character>mystery. One million readers can't be wrong.

44. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. Engrossing fantasy horror world-building sociology.

43. Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 6: Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour by Bryan Lee O'Malley. Quality wrap-up.

42. B.P.R.D., vol. 10: The Warning by Mignola, Arcudi, & Davis. Hyperboreans destroy Munich!

41. The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene. Secondary to End of the Affair, but essential Catholic lit.

40. Hellboy, vol. 9: The Wild Hunt by Mignola and Fegredo. Evil mythical Russian spirits attack!

39. B.P.R.D., vol. 9: 1946 by Mignola, Dysart, & Azaceta. Nazi vampire contagion!

38. American Born Chinese by Gene Yang. A lesser Blankets, Persepolis, or Adrian Tomine but still very good.

37. Criminal: The Sinners by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. The modern-day crime fiction masterpiece continues.

36. Hellboy, vol. 8: Darkness Calls by Mignola and Fegredo. Russian folklore mayhem!

35. Hellboy, vol. 7: The Troll Witch by Mignola, Corben, and Russell. Globe-trotting folklore short stories.

34. B.P.R.D., vol. 8: Killing Ground by Mignola, Arcudi, and Davis. Jaguar god and Daryl the Wendigo!

33. Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel. A powerfully affecting little book.

32. Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross. Reviewed it for the Memphis Flyer. The last review on the page here at that link.

31. B.P.R.D., vol. 7: Garden of Souls by Mignola, Arcudi, & Davis. Victorian cyborgs!

30. Kick-Ass by Mark Millar & John Romita Jr. Blood splattered mayhem and hilarity ensues.

29. Underworld by Don DeLillo. Staggering masterpiece. 20th century excavated. All-time top 20 book.

28. Nobody's Angel by Jack Clark. Excellent Chicago cabdriver study/mystery. Immersive read.

27. Memory by Donald E. Westlake. An amnesia procedural. Heartbreaking, page after page.

26.-22. Scott Pilgrim, vols. 1-5, by Bryan Lee O'Malley. Martial arts rom com. Love it.

21. Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges. Brill philosophical stories with metatextual O. Henry endings.

20. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8, Issues 1-33, by Joss Whedon and many others. Nerd Alert.

19. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. A horseflesh masterpiece, elegant and accessible.

18. B.P.R.D., vol. 6: The Universal Machine by Mignola, Arcudi, & Davis. I heart Roger the homunculus!

17. House Dick by E. Howard Hunt. Fantastic hard-boiled set in D.C. hotel. Published in 1961 (pre-Watergate).

16. Killing Castro by Lawrence Block. Assassination fiction written in 1961 with excellent biographical interludes.

15. Travels in the Scriptorium by Paul Auster. Portrait of the author as a criminal creative.

14. The Wheelman by Duane Swierczysnki. Lean and hungry heist thriller. Does for Philly what a scowl does for a face.

13. The Key to the Name of the Rose by Haft, White, & White. Semiotics and heretics explained.

12. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. Monks, blood, libraries, Dark Ages. Good detective book.

11. Harpe by Chad Kinkle and Adam Shaw. Like Tom Franklin writ small set to gorgeous brutal art.

10. Count Zero by William Gibson. Cyber voodoo, corporate technocracy, prescient future. Dig it.

9. B.P.R.D., vol. 5: The Black Flame by Mignola, Arcudi, & Davis. Frog monsters of the world unite!

8. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. Marvels in the desert of man's destiny.

7. B.P.R.D., vol. 4: The Dead by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, and Guy Davis. The genius creative team cements.

6. B.P.R.D., vol. 3: Plague of Frogs by Mike Mignola & Guy Davis. Davis perfectly suited to material.

5. B.P.R.D., vol. 2: The Soul of Venice by Mike Mignola & others. Volume 2 in the Hellboy companion series.

4. Oracle Night by Paul Auster. Another meta-lit invention, but this time he doesn't go deep enough.

3. Hellboy, vol. 6: Strange Places by Mike Mignola. Hellboy gets an origin story in volume 6 of the brilliant comic series.

2. The Lessons of Terror by Caleb Carr. Sound premises don't equal solid conclusions in Carr's history book.

1. The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr. A fine Sherlock Holmes revival made better by its closing pages.

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