John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

Book dump: May 2008

These are the books I read in May:

Green Arrow: Year One by Andy Diggle and Jock
The story was very familiar, but Jock's stylish art made it worth reading.
Is It Utopia Yet?: An Insider's View of Twin Oaks Community in Its Twenty-Sixth Year by Kat Kinkaide
I was disappointed by this, because I was expecting an objective, detailed history of Twin Oaks, but what I got was a record of one person's experiences living in the community that glosses over anything that she didn't personally observe or experience. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just not what I wanted.
Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
This was a lot of fun. I could see the twist ending coming from some distance, but that may be because I've read so many super-hero comics.
Superman vs. Hollywood: How Fiendish Producers, Devious Directors, and Warring Writers Grounded an American Icon by Jake Rosen
I must say that this is about the dumbest title ever given to a book. Superman has been featured in a radio show, two serials, a series of animated theatrical shorts, five live-action feature films, four live-action television shows, five or six animated TV series, and a Broadway musical, making him arguably the most successful licensed character of all time. We should all be so "grounded."
The Ghost War by Alex Berenson
It's been less than two weeks since I read this, but I can barely remember any of the details.
Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
I read part of this several years ago, but I never finished it for some reason. It's not on a par with some of his other travel books, like A Walk in the Woods or In a Sunburned Country, but it's not bad.
Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America by Walter R. Borneman
One of the best political biographies I've read, though given the subject I may possibly be slightly biased.
Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz
Sharply drawn characters, funny situations, plus multiple mentions of Doctor Who and copious footnotes... what else could you want from a novel? Not a darn thing, that's what.
Winner Takes All: Steve Wynn, Kirk Kerkorian, Gary Loveman, and the Race to Own Las Vegas by Christina Binkley
I though this would be a lot more interesting than it was. Too much Steve Wynn, I think. Sure, he's a wacky guy, but that's not enough to hang a book on. Now, a book about Gary Loveman and the rise of Harrah's, that I'd like to read.
I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away by Bill Bryson
This was another one I'd started but never finished. I didn't like it much.
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
With close to a dozen blurbs from both prominent authors (like Neil Gaiman and Scott Westerfeld) and prominent computer geeks (like Mitch Kapor and Ray Ozzie), I'm prepared to declare this paranoid libertarian fantasy novel the most lavishly overpraised book of the year. Because man, it's kind of a stinker. The premise is pretty good, but the characters are so cartoonishly drawn that it simply can't be taken seriously.

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