My Most Recent Reads - April, 2014

April managed to be a good reading month.  I finished three physical books and 24 books in total for the month.  Given how busy the month was, I'll consider that a win.  The three books were anthologies I've been working through with the 365 Short Stories project and I expect May will also yield at least two or more anthologies.

My best pics for the month were on the whole all right.  None of them received too high a rating on my Goodreads list but they were enjoyable reads overall.  


The 13 Best Horror Stories of All Time edited by Leslie Pockell

The 13 Best Horror Stories of All Time edited by Leslie Pockell, Warner Books
Overall, this is a solid representation of some great and classic horror authors.  They have Lovecraft, Machen, Stevenson, Stoker, Poe, Le Fanu, Blackwood, and others.  Classics like The Call of Cthulhu, The Great God Pan, and The Willows are perfectly chosen for this collection but then they throw away opportunities for great stories from other authors by offered in up The Bottle Imp by Stevenson which seems much less interesting in terms of horror than The Body Snatcher among others.  Green Tea by Le Fanu was also much less enthralling than Camilla.  However, if you want a solid introduction to some of the great horror writers in the 19th and early 20th century, this is a great place to start.



The News: A User's Manual by Alain de Botton

Book cover - The News - Alain de Botton
de Botton's work offers up an interesting take on the news.  It is both critical and prescriptive about the full potential of news.  He identifies many of the shortcomings of news that can be seen across the world.  He starts each chapter with a clip from some news source and proceeds to explore just the story is representative or invokes the issues that he is discussing in that chapter.  He then moves into explaining how there are certain retrievable elements within the story and solid reasons why the "news" covers certain topics (such as celebrities) but teases out exactly how news should address such subjects for the purpose of serving the public good.  





Superheroes!: Capes, Cowls, and the Creation of Comic Book Culture by Laurence Maslon

Book cover: Superheroes!: Capes, Cowls, and the Creation of Comic Book Culture by Laurence Maslon
Big surprise--I enjoyed a book about comics.  Who saw that coming?  Maslon's discussion and history of comics is pretty decent and filled with quotes from many of the different key players in comics.  If you get the audiobook, some of those quotes are actually taken from the people who said them and it's not just a narrator.  This book was released in tandem with the PBS documentary that came out last year or so.  It's a solid history of superhero comics that covers the major points and even some that you didn't realized were particularly significant.  For anyone looking to wrap his or her head around the history, Maslon's book is a good text to start with.  

So those are the big reads of this month!  If you're interested in what else I've read this year, here are the previous months' reads:
And of course, no monthly post would be complete without a full listing of all the books of the past month that I've added to my "Have read" pile:


BOOKS

  • The 13 Best Horror Stories of All Time edited by Leslie Pockell
  • S Is for Space by Ray Bradbury
  • A Century of Science Fiction edited by Damon Knight


AUDIOBOOKS

  • The Haunted Life: and Other Writings by Jack Kerouac
  • The News: A User's Manual by Alain de Botton
  • A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power by Jimmy Carter
  • Superheroes!: Capes, Cowls, and the Creation of Comic Book Culture by Laurence Maslon
  • It's Superman by Tom De Haven


GRAPHIC NOVELS

  • Captain Midnight, Volume 1: On the Run by Joshua Williamson
  • War (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, #10) by John Joshua Jackson
  • Demon (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, #9) by John Joshua Jackson
  • Destroyer (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, #8) by John Joshua Jackson
  • Dueling Ambitions (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, #7) by John Joshua Jackson
  • The Arms of the Octopus by Mike Cost
  • Vector, Vol. 1 (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #5, Star Wars: Dark Times #3) by John Joshua Jackson
  • Vindication (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, #6) by John Joshua Jackson
  • Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 2: Broken by Brian Michael Bendis
  • Ghosted, Vol. 1 by Joshua Williamson,
  • Archer & Armstrong, Volume 3: Far, Faraway by Fred Van Lente
  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2: Angela by Brian Michael Bendis
  • Batman: The Dark Knight, Vol. 3: Mad by Gregg Hurwitz
  • Secret Avengers, Volume 2: Iliad by Nick Spencer
  • The Superior Foes of Spider-Man Volume 1: Getting the Band Back Together by Nick Spencer
  • Powers: Bureau Volume 1: Undercover by Brian Michael Bendis



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