Thursday, October 16, 2008

Books I'm Currently "Reading"

I've gotten into something of a reading spree lately. This due in part to a book club I recently founded with some friends. We all live in different cities, so we are running the whole thing online. We're using LiveJournal, since it seems to fit our needs better than anything else.

For the book club, we read When We Were Orphans last month and we're reading Falling Man this month. It's my turn to pick a book next month so I'm mentally working on a short list.

In parallel to the book club, and maybe in part because of it, I've picked up my reading of other books too. My "for fun" reading has two tracks: comics and eastern thought.

At the same time I got When We Were Orphans from the library, I also picked up Soon I Will Be Invincible. I am really liking this one. The chapters alternate between a super-hero and a super-villain's perspectives. The villain Doctor Impossible's chapters are hilarious. They're like the best parts of Venture Brothers. The thing about Soon I Will Be Invincible is that in a lot of ways it's just like a comic book story, but told in paragraphs rather than with images. The fact that literary themes are starting to show through in the novel, shouldn't be surprising because I think that comic books can be a literary medium as much as any other. I haven't finished reading this one yet, because I'm purposely reading it one chapter per night.

Last week I read Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross. I noticed on the shelf at the library and picked it up because somewhere in my mind I had the impression that it was an important work in the genre. I read it fairly quickly, and it's good, but I wouldn't say great. I guess I'm not a long time comic book reader, so I didn't get all the cameos and such. The art is absolutely outstanding though.

Then two items came into the library that I had put holds on. Within a week of each other I picked up Watchmen and Apocalypse Suite, which is the first collected volume of Gerard Way's Umbrella Academy. I haven't started either one yet, but I'm really looking forward to them both.

The other track that I'm spending time on is eastern thought. I have been listening to and really enjoying a podcast of lectures by Alan Watts and so I was inspired to go through my bookshelf and see what I had on the topics he discusses. The podcast comes out once a week on Sundays and I listen to it before going to bed. On other nights of the week I read a few pages each out of The Narrow Road to the Deep North, The Hagakure, and The Tao of Pooh. I like getting a little different perspective from each one each night.

I haven't had a pile of books this big on my night stand for a long time.