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Steampunk, Cowboys, Vampires, and Nobel Laureates

Its been awhile since Ive talked about what Im reading on this supposedly book-based blog. So thats what were doing today!
Mostly, I havent been talking about books because up until a week or two ago I wasnt reading books. Anyone whos ever found themselves smack-up against the end of a school year knows that its downright crazy to try to do anything but desperately try to keep up.
But last week things slowed down and so I got  a chance to dive back into my lovely, lovely words. I started out with The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Vol. 5 and edited by Jonathan Strahan. This was a great book. Sometimes these years best anthologies are a mixed bag, but I raced through this one. Libba Brays The Last Ride of the Glory Girls was an absolutely fabulous sci-fi Western (dont ask me to compare it to FireflyI havent gotten to watching that yet. I know. Im sorry) and the first of her short stories Ive encountered. The book starts out, interestingly enough, with two stories about bees, both of which are gorgeously written. And the first has both Sherlock Holmes AND Neil Gaiman, so really what could have gone wrong? There was a definite magical realism-trend this year, which was a nice switch from the hard sci-fi thats dominated for awhile.

And speaking of soft sci-fi, I also finished The Falling Machine by Andrew Mayer. Its a mash-up of two of my favorite thingssteampunk and superheroesand was a fantastic popcorn adventure book. Better yet, its the first in a trilogy (aka The Society of Steam) and the second book is already out. It was a lot of fun to read and Ive got the next one on hold at the library.
I also went to a library a few towns over and got a two-foot-tall stack of graphic novels (no, really) which means that I caught up on some series I have sadly fallen behind on. Namely, I read the rest of Astro City, actually started the first two volumes of American Vampire and was super impressed by the lack of Twilight-ness and splattering of gore, and I found The Legion of Super-Heroes: Teenage Revolution, which is the first six issues of the Threeboot Legion continuity (if youre not a nerd, dont ask) but more importantly was written by Mark Waid. And I have never met a Mark Waid-written comic that I didnt like. So as they say in California, I was like totally psyched.
Finally, I got Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez from the library, because I need to maintain my reputation as a high intellectual (ha). Also, I decided that Im going to read all of Garcia-Marquezs (major) works. I mean, I love the guy. But so far Ive only finished One Hundred Years of SolitudeChronicle of a Death Foretold, Memories of My Melancholy Whores, and a smattering of short stories. But theres dozens of other works. Id resisted Love for awhile because it was for one an Oprah Book Club pick (ugh) and not magical realism, which are the works of Garcia-Marquezs that I like best. But now that Im into it I like it. Over the next couple months I want to read the other major works, like Autumn of the Patriarch and The General in his Labyrinth. Maybe also his nonfiction work, News of a Kidnapping.
In summation: Go read some books! (and comics. They deserve more love)

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