Friday, December 30, 2011

20 in 2011 Book Challenge

Last year my lovely wife and I started the “20 in 2010” book challenge with the obvious goal of each reading 20 books in a year. Well, we brought it back again in 2011 and here is how I made out.

Like last year (and every year of my life), I read a lot of comic collections and art books. In 2010, for every 10 of those types of books I allowed myself to count one book to my list because it wouldn’t be fair to Heather who doesn’t read those kinds of books.

This year I read 17 “actual” books (prose, novels, whatever) and 23 comic type books. After applying my highly scientific formula, my final count is 19. So, so close. Heather ended up at 11. In her defense, she is with a toddler all day, every day and doesn’t have as many little free moments to read a few pages here and there like I do. I can read during my lunch hour while she’s at home trying to convince our kid to eat a sandwich.

We’re definitely bringing it back for 2012. We already have a stack of books waiting.

Here are all the books I read this year:
  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks (I loved how each chapter was a different person’s perspective. I believe a movie if being made from it.)
  • Ten Cent Plague by David Hajdu (Interesting read for fans of comic book history.)
  • The Walking Dead Volumes 11, 12, 13, and 14 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard (One of the best series ever, even better than the TV show.)
  • Lobster Johnson, The Satan Factory by Thomas E. Sniegoski (I love Lobster, fun reading)
  • Among the Thugs by Bill Buford (If you’re fascinated by Brit culture like me and don’t mind a little violence, check it out.)
  • Invincible Ultimate Collection Volume 1 by Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley (Great book, Volume 2 is in my stack.)
  • A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Enjoyed it, looking forward to the Pixar live action film.)
  • The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson (I liked it as much as he first one.)
  • Elvgren: His Life & Art by Max Allan Collins and Drake Elvgren (Very cool book for Elvgren fans> Great photos of the models and set ups.)
  • That Old Black Magic: Louis Prima, Keely Smith, and the Golden Age of Las Vegas by Tom Clavin (I wish I could have been alive during this era to experience it.)
  • Hellboy: Emerald Hell by Tom Piccirilli (Hellboy is always good.)
  • Jetta by Dan DeCarlo and Craig Yoe (Little known DeCarlo work, beautiful art.)
  • Icons: The DC Comics & Wildstorm Art of Jim Lee by Jim Lee and Bill Baker (some people love his stuff, some hate it. Cool book.)
  • The Appeal by John Grisham (I am not above reading Grisham. Quick, easy and entertaining.)
  • Chew Volumes 1, 2 and 3 by John Layman and Rob Guillory (Loving this series, hoping to catch up in 2012.)
  • Avengers Kree / Skrull War by Roy Thomas, Sal Buscema, Neal Adams and John Buscema (Great old school stuff.)
  • Hellboy: Oddest Jobs by Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola (Another good collection.)
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (Never read it before, thought I should. It was okay.)
  • Y: The Last Man Volumes 9 and 10 by Brain K. Vaughan (and various artists) (Good conclusion to a great series.)
  • The Associate by John Grisham (See earlier entry.)
  • The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman (Not as good as I hoped it would be.)
  • Fantastic Four Masterworks Volume 2 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (Not much to say here that hasn’t already been said.)
  • Spider-Man / Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do by Kevin Smith and Terry Dodson (The art is Amazing. Get it?)
  • Shazam!: The Golden Age of the World’s Mightiest Mortal by Chip Kidd and Geoff Spear (I always like Kidd’s presentation.)
  • Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan by Chip Kidd (See above.)
  • Lawless by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (I liked this one and the one below.)
  • Coward by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin (Really great at first, slow in the middle and then okay at the end. Biggest disappointment this year.)
  • The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle and Sidney Edward Paget (Biggest eater of time this year. I should count it as three books. 37 short stories and a complete novel.)
  • I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution by Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum (One of my favorites, quick easy read full of good stuff. If you grew up with MTV, you should read it.)
  • The TICK: The Complete Edlund by Ben Edlund (Revisiting an old favorite.)
  • Firefly: The Official Companion: Volume One by Joss Whedon (Kind of a fluff book but had some good stuff in it.)
  • Dexter by Design by Jeff Lindsay (Always enjoy these.)
  • Astonishing X-Men Omnibus by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday (Squeaked this in at the last minute. First big hunk of X-Men that I've read in years. Really enjoyed it.)

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