Night- an interesting suspense story with horror and fantasy elements, some disjointed prose takes some of the shine off, but the characters and world-building make up for it.
Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: A shockingly good book, with prose that left me green with envy, and characters who came to life. The novelty of Mrs Peregrine’s is that Ransom Riggs uses found photos to also tell his story. While unique, I found it unnecessary and a little intrusive-- but also extremely creative.
The Alchemist: I’m honestly not sure I deserve to even comment on this book. In a little over two hundred pages, Cohen manages to articulate the seemingly abstract ideas of love, dreams, and the purpose of life itself-- all through the works of a young shepherd boy. If you have a free day, read it-- you will not regret it.
Wind-Up Girl: This book starts a little slow, but the dystopian world of future Thailand and the novel idea of GMO's and food waste being the cause of it is enough to hold your attention until, by the midway point I thought I had stumbled upon one of the best novels I have ever read. It doesn’t quite stick the landing-- but if I were to make a top-ten it would be in contention.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: The boy who lived. Hogwarts. Lighting shaped scars. The impact of JK Rowling’s series is impossible to ignore, and this is the book that started it all.It is a far lighter read than the books that will suceed it in the series, but the world of Harry Potter--with all of its awe-inspiring imagination--comes to life all the same, and Rowling’s charming prose it there from the first page .
Note: I am American, so technically I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but I chose to list it as its proper name. Call it pretentious, call it pointless, I don't care. You'll get no points and like it.
Sound and Fury: This book is a bit obtuse. It has a rhythm of its own that is difficult to get a hold of but once you do, your rewarded with a sweeping story about the fall of a Southern Family. Despite the family’s obvious flaws, there is enough dimension to the characters that you feel bad for most of them. It is brutally honest and insightful, and despite the difficulty of following along with multiple characters, timelines, and perspectives, Faulkner gives the reader everything they need to keep up.
Infinite Crisis: Worst and best novels is extremely subjective, so I won’t go there, but this was without question one of my worst experiences I have ever had reading a book. I can point out some prose problems, but at the end of the day, the reason this book is a slog is because it is an attempt to adapt a comic book event into prose. I have seen it work, but that was because the focus remained on characters. Infinite Crisis focuses on spectacle, and action. These sections might have very well been brilliant on the comic page, with iconic imagery and splash pages of epic battles between hundreds of characters, but in prose we are left with lengthy paragraphs that just list the characters present for the battle, and the readers who didn’t mind the lack of character depth are “rewarded” with battles that have no kinetic energy and a plot that isn’t engaging.
Killing Joke: Maybe I built this story up a little too much in my head, or maybe all of the comic book material I have been exposed to that draws from this has made me a little jaded, but frankly, I found this book unremarkable. Eh. Not offensive, not even bad. Just… kind of there. Perhaps I can’t look at it historically, but for all of the brilliance I was told awaited for me, nothing struck me as particularly memorable. The art was really well done, but I stay for the story, and it just felt okay.
Saga Vol. 1: Star Wars if Star Wars was actually good-- I'm kidding, calm down-- but seriously, this book was a showcase for the medium. The coloring, imagery, prose, and plot all blended together seamlessly to create a piece that is visually stimulating, and more than anything heart felt. The artist and writer compliment each other well,as each could stand on their own, but together they really pop.
*In order to make sure I had enough books to share with you each month, I started with the books I have read recently. I will catch up to myself within a few months.
LA is Editor-in-Chief and Head Writer at Lot 10 Underground. He is an avid Eagles fan and a weary Lakers one. He grew up sneaking through the halls of Hogwarts after dark with Harry and his more talented friends, stumbling along the dark walls of Rock Tunnel in Pokemon Red, storming through flood riddled ships with Master Chief, and questioning Goku's parenting techniques in DBZ. If you'd like to contact him, you can try an owl, but he prefers e-mail: