52 books in 52 weeks, part 2: Steampunk Benders and Paper Towns

11 Jun

So my weekend was a bit hectic. Between hosting Birdeatsbaby, going to the Red Bull Soapbox Race, and watching the Tonys, every moment of downtime between them was welcome. I’m currently trying to figure out a way to catch up, but for now, I’ll be back on schedule with the second part of my 52 in 52 review. This one has a lot of Graphic Novels, but also some Steampunk goodies. Starting with…

14.) Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine – This was a peculiar, but very interesting book. Set in a steampunk circus that’s surrounded by a bleak dystopia, the tale of the Circus Tresaulti is filled with plenty of contradictions and mystery. By the end of the novel, I’m not sure if anything was clearer than it was at the beginning, but it was an enjoyable ride nonetheless. It’s like the reader is one of the people who only briefly joins the circus. You enjoy your time there, but you’ll never truly know anyone who’s in it for life.

15.) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – My re-read took longer than I thought, but re-reading the book before and after the movie’s release gave me a better idea of what was changed in the film, and how the film stayed true to the book nonetheless. I need to start my reread of Catching Fire soon.

16.) Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America by Leslie Knope (The writers of Parks and Recreation) – If this book seemed massively entertaining in the episode ‘Born and Raised’, it’s because it is. A complete history of everyone’s favorite fictional and ridiculous Indiana town, Leslie’s book is just as hilarious and spirited as the town itself. Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America is an episode of Parks and Recreation set to paper, as evidenced by the huge smile on my face while reading it.

17.) Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise, Part 1 by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru – I don’t think I hate this book as much as some Avatar fans, but The Promise seems to be missing something that made the series so great. I like the set up for the reason Republic City will be built, and Sokka being grossed out by Aang and Katara is great. Will report back for Part 2 when I get it.

18.) Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Lost Adventures by Various Authors and Artists – The comics in here range in art and length, but provide wonderful little insights into what the Gaang is doing when we can’t see them. Gym coach Kyoshi might be my favorite though.

19-21.) Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Volumes 2-4 by Naoko Takeuchi – As I said in my previous post, reading these books is like visiting old friends in different dimensions. Everything is familiar, and I have vague memories of how they were before, but things are just different enough to differentiate it. At some point during Vol. 4 though, I realized I was approaching the end of what I knew. I was close to resolving the cliffhanger that’s been with me for almost 10 years.

22.) Paper Towns by John Green – I bought this book on a whim, and couldn’t stop reading it until I was done. I had previously read An Abundance of Katherines, but it was nowhere near as entertaining and wonderful as Paper Towns is. Even with the strange things happening to Quentin Jacobsen, the events of the book seem so realistic and are beautifully written. John Green has a gift, and I’m glad he’s sharing it with the world.

23.) Clementine by Cherie Priest – This is the least known entry into Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century, but it’s probably my favorite. Telling the story of Captain Croggon Hainey on the chase for the Free Crow after the events of Boneshaker, it’s another Priest novel with two protagonists. The other being the tough-as-nails Maria Isabella Boyd, a former spy for the Confederate army. Boyd might be my favorite of all of Priest’s protagonists, and it’s so much fun to see two extremes like Boyd and Hainey work together. It makes me sad that this is the shortest of all of Priest’s novels in the Clockwork Century.

24.) I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me! by Stuart Smalley (Al Franken) – I found this book completely by chance, but I’m glad I did. A daily affirmation book written by the hapless Saturday Night Live character, the book quickly turns from a daily affirmation book to a story of a broken man trying to make it through life. It’s very entertaining, and sometimes true to life.

25.) Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Volume 5 by Naoko Takeuchi – This is where I’m picking up where I originally left off. It’s as exciting as I thought, and I can’t wait for the Outer Senshi to appear in Volume 6.

26.) Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions by Neil Gaiman – It took me a long time to finally read this, but I’m glad I did. While it’s not a good collection overall as Fragile Things, it’s still plenty entertaining with stories such as ‘Snow, Glass, Apples’ and ‘We Can Get Them For You Wholesale’ within it’s pages. My favorite quote in the whole thing though had to be in the introduction about Alan Moore. “One day the good burghers and honest townsfolk of Northampton will burn Alan as a warlock, and it will be a great loss to the world.”

Next post will be my review of Prometheus, and how it falls parallel with Alien.

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Posted by on June 11, 2012 in Books, Steampunk


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