Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Book Talk
Reload this Page >

Rank Them as You Read Them 2008

Book Talk A Place To Discuss Books and Audiobooks

Rank Them as You Read Them 2008

Old 01-25-08, 10:25 AM
Challenge Guru & Comic Nerd
Thread Starter
Trevor's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: spiritually, Minnesota
Posts: 36,886
Received 678 Likes on 454 Posts
Rank Them as You Read Them 2008

Stealing the below from Lateralus' 2007 thread.

This thread is different than the monthly "What are you reading" threads:

1.) Please no book images, keep the images confined to the "What are you reading threads."
2.) Keep your list in one post (edit!) and keep them in some sort of order. Use the below star ranking system if you like (easy way to get the images is to quote this post and copy/paste it out).
3.) When listing a book please use the full title of the book and name of the author.
4.) Write a brief review of the book and tell us why (or why not) you liked the book.
5.) If you like put a link to Amazon or Barnes and Noble to a book using the DVDtalk link.

I know there are a wide range of books that are read by people here and I believe that we can introduce some new books to everybody.

Have fun!

Trevor is offline  
Old 01-25-08, 12:48 PM
Challenge Guru & Comic Nerd
Thread Starter
Trevor's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: spiritually, Minnesota
Posts: 36,886
Received 678 Likes on 454 Posts

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams - Perhaps the funniest book I've ever read. I re-read it often. I enjoy the sequels, but not as much, and can't read more than one or two books of the series at a time without getting overwhelmed.

The Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney - I read this every year. A great way to clear my mind and focus on the only thing in life that really matters.

The New Frontier Volume 1
The New Frontier Volume 2
Fables Volume 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham, DC Comics - I loved Bill's Elementals work, what, 20 years ago? Glad to see he is still in the game. Entertaining introduction to a cool concept, that all the fairy tale inhabitants have had to migrate to the "real earth" and are living amongst us. It turned out to be a mystery that a reader could solve by looking for the visual clues, but I guess I'm not used to comics being written that way, and it didn't even occur to me to be trying to figure it out.
Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer, DC Comics - Probably shouldn't admit this, but the darn thing made me well-up at the end of chapter 1. The conclusion isn't as satisfying as the set-up for me, but still a nicely done story. I was very predisposed to liking and being affected by it, as I have been a Justice League fan since I was six years old, and remember the early issues of JLA.

The Healing Touch by Norma Dearing - A very easy and enjoyable read. The author has a style that is quite readable and emotionally moving at times. I'm not sure how much I believe the need for generational and "past" healing, but they are interesting concepts I'm willing to consider.

Last edited by Trevor; 07-02-08 at 01:14 PM.
Trevor is offline  
Old 01-25-08, 08:54 PM
DVD Talk Legend
GatorDeb's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: The "Real" Vice City
Posts: 18,221
Received 233 Likes on 166 Posts

GatorDeb is offline  
Old 01-25-08, 10:48 PM
DVD Talk Legend
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Capitol of the Empire! Center of all Commerce and Culture! Crossroads of Civilization! NEW ROME!!!...aka New York City
Posts: 10,909
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
QUICK QUESTION - These dont have to be books published in 08, right?

Niel Stevenson
The best of the Baroque Cycle, with (FINALLY) a satisfying ending and a much more adventure book feel. Really looking forward to Stevensons next book, whatever the hell that is.
Note: This is the third book in a Trilogy, and actually one of a four book 'series' if you include Cryptonomicon.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
My favorite so far, Azkaban laid the groundwork, but Goblet turns the series dark....darker that the movies will have you believe.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phionex
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
WOW...just wow!

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone
Far better than I could have imagined a kids book to be.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Alan Weisman
Less like the 'what would happen to the world if we disappeared' book that its advertised as and more like a science book on mans effect on the environment, engaging and interesting.

ELEPHANTS ON ACID: And other Bizarre Experiments
Alex Boese (2007)
A quick, light (almost bathroom, definitaly subway) read about some of the most fucked up, or just oddball experiments in the history of science. Since titration isnt very riveting, the book shines mostly when dealing with the social experiments performed by psychologists in the 20th century. The famous Prison and Shocking Obedience expirements actually make you sad to be human. Anyone with a science background wont learn a thing, but anyone else could do worse than to breeze through this in a day or two. I would have actually liked the book better if it focused on 5 or 6 of the more interesting experiments in greater detail.

Letters and Papers from Prison - Bonhoeffer
This is not my cup of tea, but I just got my hands on THE TEACHING COMPANY'S Books that Made History, Books that Will Change Your Life audio lectures and have committed to reading the books, and then listening to the corresponding lesson after. Next Up: The Illiad followed by Marcus Aurelius's Meditations.
In and of itself LAPFP is interesting that a man about to be executed by the Nazis is so positive and content, but I just HATE reading people correspondance....its just not my thing

BOOKS THAT EXIST OUTSIDE OF THE RATING SYSTEM (I mean, If I rate them 5 stars im just beating a dead Horse, if I rate them lower Im an idiot so they are just THERE to be absorbed)
Homer - The Illiad
Marcus Aurelius - Meditations
Both of these are part of the Teaching company course

Last edited by Tommy Ceez; 09-26-08 at 06:57 PM.
Tommy Ceez is offline  
Old 01-26-08, 07:31 AM
DVD Talk Special Edition
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Rockville, MD
Posts: 1,697
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Probably wont read to many but Ill make a list of what I do read.

No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey by Chuck Palahinuk

Last edited by acubfaninmd; 03-17-08 at 01:43 PM.
acubfaninmd is offline  
Old 01-27-08, 07:38 PM
DVD Talk Special Edition
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Southcakalaki
Posts: 1,010
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Placeholder for 08!
Dutin is offline  
Old 01-28-08, 05:36 AM
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Lateralus's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Valley of Megiddo
Posts: 9,570
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge By David McCullough

Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present By Michael B. Oren

The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams

Conquering Gotham: A Gilded Age Epic: The Construction of Penn Station and Its Tunnels By Jill Jonnes

Basilica The Splendor and the Scandal: Building St. Peter's By R. A. Scotti

Last edited by Lateralus; 08-06-08 at 07:12 PM.
Lateralus is offline  
Old 01-28-08, 07:39 AM
DVD Talk Legend
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: MN
Posts: 23,936
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post

Ender's Game: Orson Scott Card
I have been terrible about reading the past few years, so I figured I would start with some light books to get back into the habit. I really enjoyed Ender's Game, read it in a couple of days, which is rare for me. I would have given it 5 stars, but I thought it tailed off at the end, glossing over what seemed like another story altogether.

Last edited by starman9000; 01-28-08 at 07:45 AM.
starman9000 is offline  
Old 01-28-08, 02:07 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Royal Oak, MI
Posts: 722
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Misery Loves Comedy - Ivan Brunetti

The Privilege of the Sword - Ellen Kushner

Shiv Shankly is offline  
Old 01-28-08, 03:12 PM
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Western NY
Posts: 2,197
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

The Seven Days of Peter Crumb by Johnny Glynn

To Hate Like This Is To Be Happy Forever by Will Blythe: An in-depth look into the UNC-Duke Basketball Rivalry. If I weren't a Carolina fan, I might not have enjoyed this quite as much. Regardless, it included interviews with many current (at the time, written during the great Nat'l Championship run of 2005) and former players, as well as coaches, fans and sportswriters close to the rivalry.

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy: I was rather underwhelmed with NCFOM (both the book and the film). I enjoyed The Road much more.

Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris: A fictional account of an Ad Agency in Chicago during the late 90's. It had some moments of good humor, but ultimately it was too disjointed to really build much sympathy for the characters.

Last edited by Tommy_Harn; 04-21-08 at 09:43 PM.
Tommy_Harn is offline  
Old 01-28-08, 05:51 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Posts: 311
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Philosophy with practical application, I love it! He gets into some pretty abstract stuff but if you can keep it all straight until the end of each chapter you'll be satisfied. I'll be rereading this one many times I think.

smirnoff is offline  
Old 01-29-08, 09:22 AM
DVD Talk Special Edition
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Southern Maryland
Posts: 1,107
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I read mostly SciFi and Fantasy but I will place my ratings for those.

Ring of Fire II Edited and Created By Eric Flint
A book of short stories. Thirteenth book in the Ring Of Fire series and I have read all of them. Overall a good book with some stories better than others. Eddie and the King's Daughter and The Austro-Hungarian Connection were two of the better stories in this book.

Last edited by MScottM; 01-29-08 at 08:01 PM.
MScottM is offline  
Old 02-01-08, 10:44 PM
DVD Talk Hero
Quake1028's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Hurricanes Season Ticket Holder
Posts: 26,601
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
John's 2008 Book Rankings (As of 02/01/08)

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2) - George R.R. Martin

American Gods - Neil Gaiman

Cell - Stephen King
Why My Wife Thinks I'm an Idiot: The Life and Times of a Sportscaster Dad - Mike Greenberg




Overall Rankings

Awaiting Judgment
A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) - George R.R. Martin
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction - Jon Stewart
I Am America (And So Can You!) - Stephen Colbert
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling
Total Access: A Journey to the Center of the NFL Universe - Rich Eisen
Einstein: His Life and Universe - Walter Isaacson
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) - Rick Riordan
Encyclopedia Brown Mystery Collection - Donald J. Sobol
Two Minute Mysteries Collection - Donald J. Sobol
John Adams: Party of One - James Grant
A Lion's Tale: Around the World in Spandex - Chris Jericho

Last edited by Quake1028; 11-16-08 at 08:50 PM.
Quake1028 is offline  
Old 02-12-08, 12:26 AM
DVD Talk Special Edition
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,238
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post

Mister B. Gone: Clive Barker - second book Iv read of his enjoyed this one quite a bit actually but sorta was dissapointed with the ending..It wasnt a bad ending and im not sure what i was expecting but enjoyed it up untill the end.

I havent read much lately but been getting the reading itch lately...picked up the Cell by king so i believe thats next.
terrycloth is offline  
Old 02-12-08, 01:23 PM
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: So Cal
Posts: 7,071
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by smirnoff

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Philosophy with practical application, I love it! He gets into some pretty abstract stuff but if you can keep it all straight until the end of each chapter you'll be satisfied. I'll be rereading this one many times I think.

I just finished reading this too. Quite possibly one of the best books ever.
Superboy is offline  
Old 04-21-08, 02:54 PM
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 8,073
Received 217 Likes on 130 Posts

No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy - This book is so damn well written that my enjoyment of it wasn't at all diminished by having already seen the film. I read Suttree in college and hated it, but I'm now really wanting to go back and really delve into some of McCarthy's work.

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett - I'd never heard of Pratchett until happening upon Good Omens last year. My enjoyment of that book led me to discover Discworld and this is the first entry in that series. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The language and humor reminded me a lot of Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide.

Rant by Chuck Palahniuk - I always enjoy Palahniuk and this is possibly my favorite of his novels. Very good pacing and much better than Haunted, which was the last of his books I read. Very strange characters, as always, and a pretty nicely done sci-fi story.

Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon - If I had a complaint about this book, it'd be that it's so short. The problem is, it's just the right length for the story it tells. It had the feel of the types of adventure books I loved reading as a kid. I do think Chabon should've stuck with his working title, Jews with Swords.

The Annotated H.P. Lovecraft by H.P. Lovecraft - This was my first exposure to Lovecraft's work and I wish I'd checked him out earlier. Of the included stories, "The Dunwich Horror" was my favorite, with "The Colour Out of Space" following not too far behind. For being over 70 years old, these stories hold up remarkably well. Anyone who enjoys horror stories on any level owes it to themselves to check out some of Lovecraft's work.

Sourcery! by Terry Pratchett - My favorite of the four Discworld novels I've read so far. Great story, great characters and great humor throughout. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series, but I have a feeling I'm really going to miss Rincewind in the books where he's not a main character. His constant pragmatism, often crossing over into cowardice, is consistently hilarious.

Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman - I've enjoyed Gaiman's fiction for quite a few years now and this collection is fantastic. From a detective investigating a murder of one of our alien overlords to a look at the eventual fate of Susan from The Chronicles of Narnia, the stories are imaginative and engaging in a way that few authors can manage.

Pyramids by Terry Pratchett - This is the eighth Discworld novel I've read and it's the first where I really found myself admiring it for something above and beyond wit, humor and well-written characters and plots. It's not a particularly deep examination of religion, but it definitely does an adequate job at poking fun at why many people believe what they believe, while proposing that such belief can be a good or bad thing, depending on how it's applied.

Duma Key by Stephen King - I love King and this was one of his better novels in quite a while. It's solid from start to finish.

The Ruins by Scott Smith - I knew nothing about Smith or the book when I picked it up and just happened to see it while waiting in an airport with a glowing endorsement from Stephen King on the cover. All in all, it's a nice little suspense/horror novel with a fair amount of squeamishness to it. Some of the events were a bit preposterous and its a testament to Smith's writing that some parts were actually creepy when they would've been laughable in many circumstances.

A Simple Plan by Scott Smith - After finishing The Ruins, I decided to pick up Smith's first novel. If anyone hasn't seen the movie, they should definitely read the book first. I enjoyed the novel quite a bit, but would've liked it even more if I didn't already know the major plot points.

The Golden Compass/The Subtle Knife/The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman - After enjoying the movie adaptation of the first book, I picked up this trilogy with a giftcard I got for Christmas. Overall, it's a very good fantasy story. My only complaint is that sometimes it felt like Pullman was letting his obvious agenda take precedence over the story itself. It's a great series, but I wouldn't give it the 'Instant Classic' status that it seems to have in some circles.

The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon - This was a pretty good book. The detective story itself could've been a bit more original, as it's full of improbable coincidences, a hard-drinking protagonist in need of redemption, his long-suffering ex that he needs to win back and so on and so forth. That said, the imaginative setting covers up most of the flaws, as the book's set in Alaska in a world where Israel was never created and Jews were instead given a large area of Alaska as a refuge during WW2. Add on that Chabon's writing is nearly always enjoyable to read and the book's pretty solid.

The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett - Didn't strike my funny bone quite as many times as The Color of Magic, but still a very fun read. I'm wishing I'd gotten into Discworld earlier.

Eric by Terry Pratchett - This was an entertaining read, but it felt more like a lengthy short story as opposed to a novel. Also, the title character was largely ignored for most of the book, in favor of focusing on Rincewind and the demons. I can't complain about hearing about Rincewind, but I do wish a bit more time had been spent on Eric, as his character seemed ripe for more humor than was included.

Mort by Terry Pratchett - Ok, after being letdown by Equal Rites, I went into Mort with adjusted expectations. This turned out to be totally unnecessary. Death is a great character and the book ranges from amusing to hilarious throughout.

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett - After not being overly fond of Equal Rites, I really wasn't looking forward to another story following Discworld's witches. This was a great read, though, and kept me completely entertained throughout.

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill - This was a super quick read and I enjoyed it quite a bit, but for some reason I just kept feeling like some of the events were pretty cliched. Joe's definitely a solid writer and I expect he would have achieved success without the leaking of his dad's identity, but this book had me more interested in his future potential than in the story it contained.

Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman - Most of the stories in this collection are good, with a handful that are great and a smaller handful that are pretty forgettable. I especially enjoyed the retellings of several classics where it takes a couple pages to realize what classic story is being told from a new perspective.

More Annotated H.P. Lovecraft by H.P. Lovecraft - While still worthy of reading, this second Lovecraft collection fell short of its predecessor. "Herbert West: Reanimator", "The Picture in the House" and "Pickman's Model" stood out as favorites. The latter of these is one of my favorite Lovecraft stories so far. I didn't find it all that frightening, but when I finished that final line, I thought to myself, "I bet that scared the ever-loving shit out of readers back when this was first published." Lovecraft was definitely a hell of an imaginative storyteller.

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett - This is the first Discworld novel I've read that didn't center on Rincewind and it also turned out to be the first one that left me disappointed. It was nice to get a little more info on the creatures from the Dungeon Dimensions, but I didn't care for the overall story all that much. Pratchett's wit and style elevate it enough to still be enjoyable, but it was pretty forgettable.

In the Night Room by Peter Straub - I've read quite a few of Straub's novels over the last 10 or 15 years, but they all seem to run together. Usually there's ghosts. And a mystery. And either a detective or a writer. In the Night Room wasn't a bad book, but it's one of those that is similar enough to what's come before that you forget the details pretty quickly. Straub did attempt to interject a little originality with the <spoiler>one character is just a character in the other character's book</spoiler> plot device, but honestly, that was one of the weaker aspects of the story to me. I'm sure I'll read more of Straub's books down the road. They're fun while they last, but don't offer much past that.

Midnight Mass by F. Paul Wilson - Grabbed this on a whim after remembering how much I enjoyed The Keep back in high school. The novel's a nifty idea (Vampires have organized and decided to take over the world), but suffers from Wilson's writing. In too many areas, his characters feel like characters instead of people and events get too cliched in some areas. I don't regret reading it, but it could've been better.

Last edited by maxfisher; 08-18-08 at 12:09 PM.
maxfisher is offline  
Old 07-02-08, 01:14 PM
Challenge Guru & Comic Nerd
Thread Starter
Trevor's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: spiritually, Minnesota
Posts: 36,886
Received 678 Likes on 454 Posts
Bump. Sticky?
Trevor is offline  
Old 07-18-08, 08:01 AM
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 8,073
Received 217 Likes on 130 Posts
Sweet, now that the thread's sticky, maybe more people will participate. It's a nice way to get recommendations, even though I've already added the next 15 Discworld novels to my to-be-read pile.
maxfisher is offline  
Old 08-11-08, 06:52 PM
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Travis McClain's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Western Hemisphere
Posts: 7,758
Received 176 Likes on 116 Posts
Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison
A young, African-American man from the South comes to understand the true nature of racial relations in pre-civil rights New York. This novel is compelling and loaded with symbolism. My only complaint is that I really wanted to drink some bourbon while reading it (which may have helped with some of the denser chapters), and because of my Crohn's, I can't do that anymore. If I only recommended one novel to anyone, ever, this would be it.

Bone: Out from Boneville, Bone: The Great Cow Race, Bone: Eyes of the Storm, Bone: The Dragonslayer, Bone: Rock Jaw - Master of the Eastern Border, Bone: Old Man's Cave, Bone: Ghost Circles, Bone: Treasure Hunters, Bone: Crown of Horns - Jeff Smith
Smith wrote and illustrated the Bone comic book series, collected in these nine volumes, which I checked out of the library. This is a truly great adventure story, chock full of fantasy, action, comedy and genuine suspense. Absolutely magnificent. I even got my wife to read them, and she became as addicted as I did. Should be considered as one story, since the primary plot runs from start to finish.

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold - John le Carre
I'd heard about this one for years. I read le Carre's first two books before I read this, and while they are not necessary, there are plot ties to the first book that make Spy something of a payoff. This book is, simply put, every bit the masterpiece you've heard it is. There was a film version (a Criterion version of which is due out soon), and I watched that shortly after I finished reading the book. The film is a flawless, straight-out-of-the-book adaptation, and I recommend both versions.

The Complete Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi
Omnibus collecting Satrapi's autobiographical, two-volume graphic novel. Satrapi is an Iranian woman from a fairly liberal family who came of age against the backdrop of the Iranian Revolution. Rarely has there been such a peek into daily Iranian life, and it is made rarer still by the fact it was written (and illustrated) by a woman. I am told there is a film version of this, but I have not seen it.

Maus: My Father Bleeds History - Art Spiegelman
Part one of a two-volume biography of Spiegelman's family's experiences in Nazi Poland. There are two stories running parallel: One, his father's story of what happened in the 1940s, and the other is Spiegelman's experiences interviewing his father for this story. Originally serialized in Raw.

The Teammates - David Halberstam
Simply put, two of Ted Williams's former teammates drove down to see him shortly before he passed away. Halberstam traces their friendship with each other, and a fourth teammate unable to make the drive, from the late 1990s back to the 1940s. I read this in one night; it isn't dense, but it isn't fluff, either. The only downside is that I was touched by the dedication of his friends to Williams, but each page made me think even less of the guy himself.

A Princess of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs
The first of Burroughs's 10-book Mars series. John Carter, a Confederate veteran, retreats into a cave after being pursued by Indians. He awakens on Mars, and is caught up in what amounts to a turf war between Martian species. He is captured, and falls in love with another captive, who happens to be the princess of their captors' chief enemy. Fast-paced and chock full of action, adventure and whimsy. A friend insisted I read this, and I'm glad he did.

Loitering with Intent: The Child - Peter O'Toole
The first of a two-volume autobiography by actor Peter O'Toole. Easy to get lost in, yet difficult to follow. There are no chapters, or any other such organizational method to the book save some space and squiggly lines between major changes of thought. Parallel to O'Toole's autobiography is a biography of Adolf Hitler, and it is fascinating to get a glimpse into how living through the air raids of World War II affected Britain's children.

You Only Live Twice - Ian Fleming
My annual Fleming book allowance for 2008, You Only Live Twice takes a grieving James Bond on assignment to Japan. Like other Bond books, it is part thriller, part travelogue. I generally finish a Bond book and feel like Bond ought to have hated Fleming's guts for what he did to the character, and this was no exception. If you're not big on the superhuman James Bond that had taken over the movies, try the all-too-human literary Bond. Don't start here, though!

Call for the Dead - John le Carre
Le Carre's first novel. Fast pace, engaging and fun. Much more a detective story than a spy story, which surprised me. Perfect for a summer afternoon. I read most of it in my hammock over a couple of hours.

A Murder of Quality - John le Carre
Le Carre's second novel. Again, George Smiley operates as a detective rather than as a spy. A quick read (it only took me about three or four hours, with interruptions), but interesting.

Superman: The Archives Edition, Volume One - Jerry Siegel & Joe Schuster
Hardback collection of the first four issues of Action Comics, featuring Superman's debut from 1938. Superman is much more aggressive than he has come to be portrayed, and though the storytelling and art are somewhat primitive, there is a great sense of imagination at work.

Who Censored Roger Rabbit? - Gary Wolf
The novel that inspired the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Wolf's novel is much less goofy; the characters are better developed, and having seen the film first, I found Wolf's simpler plot far more compelling.

Spider-Man: India - Sharad Devarajan, Suresh Seetharaman & Jeevan J. Kang
Collects a four-issue mini-series. Essentially, what if the Spider-Man characters and situation had been created in modern day India, instead of 1960s New York? The Spider-Man storyline is interesting, but only half as fascinating as the glimpse into daily life for today's Indian teens.

Marvel: 1602 - Neil Gaiman with Andy Kubert & Richard Isanove
Collects an eight-issue mini-series. Essentially, what if the Marvel Universe characters had existed in early 17th century Europe instead of 20th century America? Gaiman's story incorporates various historical events, such as the death of Queen Elizabeth I, the Spanish Inquisition, and the founding of the Jamestown colony. This setting was chosen to get as far away as possible from modern cities, as Gaiman was approached to write this story shortly after the September 11th attacks.

The Essential Fantastic Four, Volume One - Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Black & white reprint collection of the first six issues of Fantastic Four , along with the first FF annual. Lee's writing is fast-paced and engaging, though there is much repitition (The Thing is difficult to get along with and blames Reed for his transformation, Dr. Doom and Namor are in about half of the stories, etc.). Kirby's artwork suffers from the black & white printing, and not only is it far less attractive than the finished, colored version, but because it was never intended for a b&w printing, it becomes hard to read more than a few pages at a time.

Stupid, Stupid Rat Tails: The Adventures of Big Johnson Bone, Frontier Hero - Jeff Smith with Tom Sniegoski and Stan Sakai
Sniegoski wrote and Smith illustrated this Bone prequel. This volume collects a four-issue mini-series in its entirety, with a back-up story by Sakai. Fun, but not entirely required reading for Bone.

Dick Tracy - Max Allan Collins
A novelization of the 1990 film, written by Chester Gould's successor on the comic strip. Collins knows his Tracy lore, and his prose version of the story is much better developed. His writing style is a little amatuerish (though that may have been because he wrote in the style of a period detective novel), but because he handles the characters and situations so well, I would say that it would have been a rewarding read entirely independent of being related to the film.

All-Star Superman, Volume One - Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely
Collects the first six of twelve issues of All-Star Superman. This is an independent continuity, unattached to any other versions of Superman and his mythology. The first three issues are connected, but the subsequent three are stand-alone issues. Because of this, the collected volume wanes in the second half. I checked this out of the library, and will wait until next year to read the second volume.

Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods -Frank Darabont
Darabont's rejected Indy script, acquired and leant to me by a friend. Not a book, and not something easily (or legally) acquired, but I did read it and since I spent time reading it, I count it as something I read. For the record, it is not so dramatically different from David Koepp's script for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull that Darabont's insistance that he wrote the perfect Indy script holds up to scrutiny. Still, it has several nice scenes and moments that might have been great.

Batman: Hush, Volume One - Jeph Loeb, Jim Lee & Scott Williams
A mystery villain, Hush, has set into motion various subplots involving all of Batman's rogues gallery. A subpar story from Loeb, and were it not for the hype of Jim Lee drawing these characters for the first time, it is unlikely half the self-identified "Hush" fans would have even cared about this tale. I haven't read the second half yet, partly because my library branch doesn't have it, and partly because I didn't finish the first half with a sense that I cared how it ended.

Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights - Burt Ward
The autobiography of Burt Ward, who played Robin in the 1966-1969 TV series Batman. Essentially, the book is more concerned with Ward simultaneously boasting of his sexual conquests alongside co-star Adam West while trying to maintain that, sex addiction aside, he's really a wholesome, stand-up guy. His writing style is juvenile, and it is troubling that he refers to himself as "Boy Wonder" throughout the book.

Last edited by Travis McClain; 09-26-08 at 01:38 PM. Reason: Added "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold," "A Murder of Quality," "You Only Live Twice" and "Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights"
Travis McClain is offline  
Old 08-11-08, 06:56 PM
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Travis McClain's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Western Hemisphere
Posts: 7,758
Received 176 Likes on 116 Posts
Originally Posted by smirnoff

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Philosophy with practical application, I love it! He gets into some pretty abstract stuff but if you can keep it all straight until the end of each chapter you'll be satisfied. I'll be rereading this one many times I think.
Have you read Tim Allen's I'm Not Really Here? It isn't at all what I expected from him. He essentially reviews a weekend when his wife was out of town and he was in a funk, because he had become caught up in exploring the relationship between western conventions with easern mysticism. He cites Zen several times, and having read that first, you will likely find yourself relating to Allen's thinking as you go along.
Travis McClain is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 06:29 PM
DVD Talk Special Edition
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Near the Great Salt Lake
Posts: 1,400
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

A Hero of Our Time, by Mikhail Lermontov

Fathers and Sons, by Ivan Turgenev
The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon
Child of God, by Cormac McCarthy

Franny and Zooey, by JD Salinger
Player Piano, by Kurt Vonnegut

Outer Dark, by Cormac McCarthy

Choke, by Chuck Palahniuk

Last edited by Sondheim; 01-14-09 at 12:36 AM.
Sondheim is offline  
Old 09-15-08, 12:12 PM
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Hawkeye Country
Posts: 2,489
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts

Dune by Frank Herbert - I read about one book a year, and this year it was Dune. I was always a huge fan of the Lynch movie and (to a slightly lesser extent) the mini-series. One of my friends highly suggested the book as it contained so much more than the movie (and even the mini-series) could show. It was fantastic. It's hard to believe that this book was written 40+ years ago. Some of the ideas were way ahead of the times. After I finished the book, I went back and watched the movie, the Alan Smithee version of the movie, and the director's cut mini-series again. It was an excellent way to follow up the book. I was surprised to find out, later, that they way they pronounced 'Harkonnen' and 'Chani' in the Lynch movie was incorrect.
Numes is offline  
Old 11-02-08, 04:01 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: new england
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
BPRD: Hollow Earth & Other Stories (2003 Mike Mignola, et.al.) 44
BPRD: Dark Waters (2003 Brian Augustyn & Guy Davis) 38
BPRD: Night Train (2003 Geoff Johns, Scott Kolins, Dave Stewart) 39
BPRD: The Soul of Venice (2003 Miles Gunter, Michael Avon Oeming, Mike Mignola, Dave Stewart) 44 getting back on track.
BPRD: There's Something Under My Bed (2003 Joe Harris, Adam Pollina, Guillermo Zubiaga, Lee Loughridge) 27 that one just sucked.
Work is Hell (1986 Matt Groening) 67 [↓ 3rd reading]
BPRD: Plague of Frogs (2004 Mike Mignola, Guy Davis, Dave Stewart) 34
BPRD: The Dead (2005 Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, Guy Davis, Dave Stewart) 41 [↑ 2nd reading]
BPRD: The Black Flame (2005 Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, Guy Davis, Dave Stewart) 51 getting better.
BPRD: The Universal Machine (2005 Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, Guy Davis, Dave Stewart) 63 one of the few comics that has made me cry.
BPRD: Garden of Souls (2007 Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, Guy Davis, Dave Stewart) 81 nice tight story.
School is Hell (1987 Matt Groening) 64 [↓ 3rd reading]
The Road to Hell (1992 Matt Groening) 50 [↓ 3rd reading]
Akbar & Jeff's Guide to Life (1989 Matt Groening) 72 [↓ 3rd reading]
BPRD: Killing Ground (2008 Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, Guy Davis, Dave Stewart) 59 very disappointing after the last two stories.
Ark Angels: V1 (2005 Sang-Sun Park) 31 very blah, beautiful art.
Four Color Comic Collection: Donald Duck - V1 (1945 Carl Barks, et.al.) 31 Mystery of the Swamp and The Three Caballeros were both very poor and borderline xenophobic. The others were ok though.
Four Color Comic Collection: Donald Duck - V2 (1948 Carl Barks, et.al.) 28 highlights were The Terror of the River and Christmas on Bear Mountain. Volcano Valley was awful.
Four Color Comic Collection: Donald Duck - V3 (1949 Carl Barks, Bill Wright) 13 a lot of stinkers this time.
Four Color Comic Collection: Donald Duck - V4 (1949 Carl Barks, Tony Strobl, Paul Murry, Riley Thomson, Carl Buettner) 07 The Magic Hourglass was fun and very bizarre, but most of these stunk.
Four Color Comic Collection: Donald Duck - V5 (1951 Carl Barks, Frank McSavage, Paul Murry, Don Christensen, Bob Moore, Del Connell) exempt In Old California was the highlight - a very enjoyable story.
Four Color Comic Collection: Donald Duck - V6 (1952 Carl Barks, Frank McSavage, Del Connell, Bob Moore, Jack Bradbury) exempt A Christmas in Shacktown and Donald Duck and the Golden Helmet were the highlights, but there were a lot of good comics in this volume.
Four Color Comic Collection: Uncle Scrooge (1953 Carl Barks, Gare Barks) 48 There are some real classics here. Somethin' Fishy Here felt quite a bit like the Simpsons episode Old Man and the Lisa.

so very late to the game. i only read comics and books meant for 10 year olds.

Last edited by konekonoir; 11-07-08 at 06:42 AM.
konekonoir is offline  
Old 01-14-09, 02:31 AM
Mod Emeritus
benedict's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Outside of the U.S.A.
Posts: 10,674
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Time to cut this one loose!
benedict is offline  
Old 07-03-13, 06:07 AM
Mod Emeritus
benedict's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Outside of the U.S.A.
Posts: 10,674
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Rank Them as You Read Them 2008

It might be nice to try this again.

I'm anticipating a little more time and inclination to post my thoughts/reviews; perhaps others will too. Maybe it would take off...

Happy for someone else to start it, though, as my "spare time" is probably still a few weeks in the future... and we're already halfway through 2013!

benedict is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.