Friday, March 05, 2010

Fred's Reading Report (January and February 2010)

Trying to get back into regular blogging, already running a deficit!

Long Form: 10 Books.

Hal Foster: Prince Valiant, Volume I: 1937-1938 (review here).

Fred Gallagher: Megatokyo Volume 01-05. Based on a webcomic, the books tell the story of Piro and Largo, two fanboys (anime, gaming, etc.) who end up broke in Japan. Piro gets a job in a game/anime/manga store and tries to raise enough money to return to the US and meets various anime stars while Largo battles zombies, a strange goth girl, various operatives from Sega and Sony, and encounters (and works for) the Tokyo Police Cataclysm Division (which tries to stay in budget and keeps all the monsters on schedule when it comes to invasions and the like). You can read (almost) all of the books online (for free), but I recommend the books as well (the artist has to eat). Lots of interesting stuff; while Piro's storyline tends to be more "mundane" and tends towards the romantic and you are never sure what is reality and what is fantasy in Largo's story, the two work well and even overlap.

Sarah A. Hoyt: Darkship Thieves (review here).

John Keegan: The Battle for History: Re-Fighting World War II.

Alastair MacLean: The Guns of Navarone.

The movie version was on Turner Classic Movies recently and I did not last through the whole viewing (I believe I had spent most of the day shoveling snow), so when I spotted the book in the library (first edition!), I took it out. The story is essentially the same, with the major exception that one character that dies in the book does not die in the movie and two characters that are female in the movie are male in the book. Several sequences in the book did not make it into the movie. A good, relatively short, adventure tale.

Nina Matsumoto: Yokaiden 01.

Given my increasing interest in manga, and my long-time interest in mythology, this story, about a boy who encounters yokai (various beings from Japanese mythology) caught my eye. I recently picked up the second volume; the first volume only introduces the storyline and the characters and is a bit too short to allow me to decide whether I really liked the story or not. (As a side note, shelved near these books was Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide by Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt with illustrations by Tatsuya Morino. This is a amusing "reference book" on many of the creatures that appear in Yokaiden and beyond.)

James Swallow: Faith & Fire (review here).

Short Form: 281 entries!

Say what? 281 short works already? Well, yes, sort of. I started counting podcasts and the like this year. Is it a fair entry? While some (365 Days of Astronomy) are relatively short (10-15 minutes), I've read many short stories in the same time frame. Most of the podcasts I now listen to are far longer (1 hour to up to 4 hours), so given the investment, I thought it a legitimate entry. If you disagree...well, start your own blog! ;)

FTC Disclaimer: All books bought. With Real Money (TM).

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