Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thursday Review: 2012 Reads

Thanks to Goodreads, here's all the books I read in 2012.  Or at least those actually published.  I read quite a few that have not been published yet while I was editing.  It may seem impressive until you note that especially for the second half of the list there are a lot of graphic novels.  Most of those I got on sale from DC's website.

Title Author l-f My Rating
1 Lyon's Legacy Almazan, Sandra 4
2 Escape from Ensenada Vincent, Harris T. 4
3 A Sudden Vengeance Waits Morton, Nik 5
4 the After Pagel, Briane 5
5 Empire State Christopher, Adam 4
6 Room Donoghue, Emma 5
7 The Hunger Games Collins, Suzanne 4
8 Twilight Meyer, Stephenie 1
9 Virgin Territory Dilloway, Patrick 5
10 Slipstream Offutt, Michael 4
11 The Sirens of Titan Vonnegut, Kurt 3
12 I Am Legend Matheson, Richard 5
13 The Handmaid's Tale Atwood, Margaret 5
14 Batman, Vol. 1: The Court of Owls Snyder, Scott 4
15 Trip at the Top Cooper, Ethan 5
16 Motor City Blue Estleman, Loren D. 3
17 Clockwise (Clockwise, #1) Strauss, Elle 4
18 Wake (Watersong, #1) Hocking, Amanda 3
19 Sorry Please Thank You: Stories Yu, Charles 4
20 Triple Play Collins, Max Allan 3
21 Shedding Skin: Two Tales of Horror and Identity Darius, Julian 4
22 The Book of Beasts Almazan, Sandra 5
23 Blackbeard's Treasure Stevens, Lizzy 5
24 Starbridge (Starbridge, Book 1) Crispin, A.C. 4
25 Batman: Vengeance of Bane II: The Redemption Dixon, Chuck 4
26 Batman: Vengeance of Bane Dixon, Chuck 4
27 Monorama Laplume, Tony 4
28 Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne Morrison, Grant 3
29 Welcome to the Monkey House Vonnegut, Kurt 4
30 The Unquiet Garsee, Jeannine 4
31 Kingdom Come Waid, Mark 5
32 The Postman Always Rings Twice Cain, James M. 4
33 Cobra Alliance (Cobra War, #1) Zahn, Timothy 3
34 Action Comics, Vol. 1: Superman and the Men of Steel Morrison, Grant 4
35 Batman: Sword of Azrael O'Neil, Dennis 3
36 Cobra Guardian (Cobra War #2) Zahn, Timothy 3
37 The Changing Seasons Madden, Paul L. 4
38 Cobra Gamble:  (Cobra War #3) Zahn, Timothy 3
39 Breakfast of Champions Vonnegut, Kurt 4
40 Waking Prometheus Madden, Paul L. 4
41 Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again Miller, Frank 1
42 Identity Crisis Meltzer, Brad 4
43 War Angel Carl, Rusty 4
44 Green Arrow, Vol. 1: Quiver Smith, Kevin 4
45 The Insanity of Zero Offutt, Michael 5
46 John Dies at the End Wong, David 3
47 The Girl with the Long Green Heart Block, Lawrence 5
48 Batman: The Black Glove Morrison, Grant 4
49 Ronald Rabbit Is a Dirty Old Man Block, Lawrence 5
50 Batman R.I.P. Morrison, Grant 5
51 Final Crisis Morrison, Grant 3
52 Superman: The Black Ring Vol. 1 Cornell, Paul 4
53 Superman: The Black Ring Vol. 2 Cornell, Paul 4
54 Coraline Gaiman, Neil 5
55 Not Comin' Home to You Block, Lawrence 5
56 Black Adam: The Dark Age Tomasi, Peter J. 4
57 Blackest Night Johns, Geoff 4
58 Lucky at Cards Block, Lawrence 5
59 Green Lantern, The Sinestro Corps War, Vol.1 Johns, Geoff 4
60 Green Lantern, The Sinestro Corps War, Vol.2 Johns, Geoff 4
61 New Pride Diamond, Laura 5
62 A Hero's Journey (Tales of the Scarlet Knight 1) Dilloway, PT 5
63 V for Vendetta Moore, Alan 3
64 Brightest Day, Vol. 1 Johns, Geoff 3
65 Brightest Day, Vol. 2 Johns, Geoff 4
66 Brightest Day, Vol. 3 Johns, Geoff 3
67 The Fridgularity Rayner, Mark A. 4
68 Dark Origins (Tales of the Scarlet Knight 0) Dilloway, PT 5
69 The Night's Legacy Lachance, Claire 4
70 Time Enough to Say Goodbye (Tales of the Scarlet Knight 2) Dilloway, PT 4
71 Oculus (A Crisis of Two Worlds, #2) Offutt, Michael 5
72 The Hazards of Love (Tales of the Scarlet Knight 3) Dilloway, PT 5
73 Superman:  Red Son Millar, Mark 4
74 All-Star Superman, Vol 1 Morrison, Grant 5
75 All-Star Superman, Vol 2 Morrison, Grant 4
76 Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? Moore, Alan 4
77 Superman:  Emperor Joker Loeb, Jeph 3
78 Man of Steel Vol 1 Byrne, John 3

And based on all that, here are a few awards.  I'm not going to include me because that would be unfair.  I'm not going to include people I know because that could lead to hurt feelings and you know how sensitive this grumpy bulldog is about that sort of thing.
  • Best Novel (not by me or people I know):  Room by Emma Donaghue 
  • Worst Novel (not by me or people I know):  Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
  • Best Graphic Novel:  Kingdom Come by Mark Waid
  • Worst Graphic Novel:  The Dark Knight Strikes Again by Frank Miller

To expand on that:
  • Room slows down in the second half but it does a great job at portraying this nightmarish scenario of a boy and his mother being held in a private dungeon in a way that doesn't make it seem nightmarish at all.  It really captures how to the kid, life in the room is "normal."
  • Twilight just sucked sooooo hard.  I hated Bella so very, very much.  She was so damned whiny and snobby too.  She makes these new "friends" at school (God only knows why anyone befriends her) and talks ill of them in her narration, all except for Edward, who's like freaking Superman to her.  Really the vampires seemed more like the X-Men than traditional vampires.  Then to compound it all, the author glosses over the big fight scene between Edward and the evil vampire.  REALLY?   If it hadn't been on my Kindle I'd have thrown it against the wall.
  • Kingdom Come by the end falls into that familiar trope of turning into a massive slugfest between heroes (notably Superman vs. Captain Marvel) but at the same time it did such a good job to portray the heroes in human terms.  And the artwork on it is gorgeous.
  • The Dark Knight Strikes Again was like a 12-year-old read Kingdom Come and tried to rewrite it.  Having read them in somewhat close proximity it's so obvious how less mature Miller's version is than Waid's of portraying a relatively similar story about the future for our old familiar superheroes.  And the artwork manages to be even uglier than the original Dark Knight Returns.  It was thoroughly unpleasant all around.
Now how will 2013 stack up compared to that?  Hurm...

Don't forget the new schedule begins Monday with a new weekly Comic Captions!


  1. I was pretty excited to see Lyon's Legacy on the list.

    Here's to another year filled with good books!

  2. You know, I've never really wanted to throw books against the wall until this past year. I'm not actually sure why I didn't throw Silverthorn against the wall.

  3. Huh. And here I thought you spent all your time reading and re-reading my books.

    I agree with you about Room. I read that at the end of 2011 and it was amazing. Scary amazing. I kept thinking how terrible it would feel if you were that mom, wanting to give your kid some kind of normal life and never figuring you could.

    Never read "Twilight."

    You read A LOT. I get to read all those websites and comics because I don't read as many books. You could probably do what that guy on Slate did: read a book a day for a year. Or at least read 365 books over the course of the year, which is what he did. At 78 books, you're at one ever 4.6795 books. (I have my calculator next to me.)

  4. Hey, you gave Oculus five stars and not four. Your list is wrong. I'm proud of my five stars. Your a tough reviewer.

    @Andrew: Is Silverthorn by Raymond E. Feist? I think I read it when I was a kid and didn't like it much. But we may be talking about two different books.

    @Sandra: I bought your book and am reading it now.

    1. I corrected it. I entered the last entries in by hand so I wouldn't have to redownload the list, I probably typed it in wrong.

  5. @Michael: yeah, it is. My review for it is my post today.

  6. Dark Knight Strikes Again gets that reaction from everyone. Except me. Predictably I'm contrarian and think it's brilliant, like V for Vendetta redone with Batman.

    Anyway, except for that pesky volume of All Star Superman, I'm rated as good or better than Grant Morrison! Although you're a lot less enthusiastic about him than I am so...

    1. As you can see from the list I didn't like V for Vendetta much either. The whole idea that V mind-rapes the chick just to make a point doesn't sit well with me.

      And I'm not sure Grant Morrison even likes Grant Morrison as much as you do.

  7. OK, it's kind of funny your own books are on the list. Not sure how you can give Vonnegut a 3. I haven't read that book, but he's a god in my eyes and deserves a 5 for his overall awesomeness. If you disagree, you are incorrect. :)

  8. I read Kingdom Come and liked it too. I got a Cthullu themed graphic novel this year that sucked as much as anything I've ever read. Ick. Weirdly, I've got my top books of the year scheduled to go up tomorrow. It was actually pretty hard for me to put together.

  9. I agree about Twilight. Bella ruins the whole thing.

  10. Flippin' heck, PT, you have done a serious amount of reading. And reading your own stuff must be rather surreal. That's kinda' like the time I watched myself in a documentary on the big screen. I hid behind my fingers. I wonder what you do when you read your own books. Actually, I don't want to know....

    All the best and happy writing....



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