Literary New To You October 2017 => Books you read this month
Andy Howell
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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100 Years of Coast Guard Aviation!
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Bookish types love nothing more than a bibliography, especially book lists generated by like-minded (or not so like-minded) readers.

Please share what you've been reading with your fellow gamers!
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1. Board Game: Velvet [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Andy Howell
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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100 Years of Coast Guard Aviation!
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What happened to October?! In the blink of an eye it was gone. Rough month for me reading-wise, started a bunch of books but didn't really get anything finished (the same is probably true for work projects come to think of it!)

Wanted to mention Velvet by Brubaker and Epting.



This is the creative team that gave us the Death of Captain America and the Winter Soldier (prob my fave comic character). Going back to the 60s to give us a female butt-kicking superspy who has to essentially kill her way through a corrupt network. Art's great, writing's great, characters are cool. Highly recommended!
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2. Board Game: Oasis [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1245]
RJ Garrison
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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A friend sent me Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I've just started it, but it's pretty awesome dystopian novel filled with 80's references. Most of the movie takes place in a virtual reality called "The OASIS."
https://www.amazon.com/Ready-Player-One-Ernest-Cline/dp/0307...


Movie comes out next Spring and I'm looking forward to it.
https://youtu.be/LiK2fhOY0nE




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3. Board Game: Swamp Thing: Battle For The Bayou Game [Average Rating:4.95 Unranked]
Anne Skelding
United States
Connecticut
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I like this. Swamp Thing seems like a good dude.

One complaint: as an autistic person, the premise of the second half of this collection makes me uncomfortable (autism ≠ mental illness ≠ emotionally disturbed ≠ scary) but what can you do, it was the '80s.





I was Annoyed when my grad professor assigned this. I've been reading comics since I was twelve. Indeed, I was already familiar with most of the concepts covered in this book, though I didn't necessarily have the technical terms for them. It's a quick read, though, and it gets into some pretty interesting history.





Read for grad school. Did not like. Gross and cruel.





Eh. I loved The Scorpio Races, but this was lackluster. Had a few good bits, but mostly I was bored.





I should like this one less than I do. It is, at times, heavy handed, and the title bothers me, because while WWII did save this fictional little girl's life, a lot of real little girls were tortured and murdered because of that same war.

But oh, I liked it way more than I wanted to. I think it does a good job portraying PTSD, abuse, ableism, and attachment disorders in ways that kids who haven't experienced those things can easily understand. I liked all of the "good" characters and hated all of the "bad" ones. Plus, there really are people as over-the-top evil as Ada's mam, so it doesn't actually need to be subtle.

I also enjoyed the focus on horses/ponies, on bonding with animals, and on how a sport such as riding can be modified to accommodate someone's disability.
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4. Board Game: Provence Pack [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked]
Jason Cookingham
United States
Poughkeepsie
New York
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October has been crazy busy with work, and so it fell to graphic novels to keep me busy.

Very Good



Provenance by Leckie

Woman risks everything to better her lot in life, and gets caught up in a lot of political messes.

Oh, the joy of getting a book by favorite living author.

This is actually a small disappointment for me. Her Ancillary series is amazing, and I still think about them a lot. This book is set in the same universe, and contains the incredible world building and culture building that I greatly appreciate. However, the main character is a bit bland. I still very much enjoyed it.

Good



Seconds by O'Malley
This was a lot of fun. A young woman gets the ability to undo a past mistake, and then abuses it.



The Sixth Gun Vol. 1-4
Six cursed guns with magical powers haunt the old west.

Ahh, where have these graphic novels been? This is what I miss about sequential art. The creators have an understanding on how to use the medium, and it isn't just splash pages. Plus, I enjoy horror westerns.



Daytripper
Pretty art and a funky story about the moments that define us.

Gotham Central, Book One: In the Line of Duty
A police procedural in Gotham? A fun idea, and it was well done.

Symposium by Plato
A look at love. I have a lot of mixed thoughts on this, but it was a good read.



What It's Like to Be a Dog by Berns
Burns shares more results from studying the brains of dogs. It meanders quite a bit, but I find his studies exciting and enjoy reading his interpretations.

Sophocles I: Antigone, Oedipus, Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles
Justice and morality in ancient Greece are an interesting thing to explore.

Paradox Bound by Clines
A guy meets a time traveler (history traveler) and gets caught up in her treasure hunt.

I normally don't like time travel stories, but this one had a lot of fun ideas. Of course, it ended with why I don't like most time travel stories... lazy hand waving to deal with a complicated situation.

Imago by Butler
Not as good as the first two in the Xenogenesis series, but I enjoyed it.

A Dirty Job
by Moore
A man becomes a grim reaper, of sorts.
Lots of lazy stereotype humor, but there are also some genuinely funny moments. I don't think I would read any more Moore.


Okay

Sex Criminals, Vol. 2-3
Clever ideas, but with boring stories.

Warcross by Lu
There must be a whole sub-genre now of people competing in video game sports. The game in this story looks very cool, but there is too little of it in the book. And it suffers from the young-adult trope of the main character being amazingly gifted at something that they have barely done.

Orbiter
ahh, Warren Ellis. Briliant ideas, but he seems to grow bored with them after a few pages. If he could stay interested in an idea, it could be ground breaking.

The Wake
The first half of the book was good. The second half was bad. It averages out.

Magicians Impossible
by Abraham
Was this written to be turned into a movie property? It feels like many of the bland action movies of the last decade. The action scenes are cool.

Prince of Thorns by Lawrence
Meh.


I didn't like it

Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1-2
Wow. The art is incredible, but it suffers for the splash page nonsense of modern books.

Autonomous
by Newitz
This was my biggest disappointment of the month. It is a science fiction. The science is very interesting, but the fiction was bad.
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5. Video Game: The Mummy [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Luke Jaconetti
United States
Simpsonville
South Carolina
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--The Mummy by Alan Dean Foster -- Novelization of the 1999 film, of which I am a big fan. Foster has an easy to read, pulpy sort of style which is well suited to the subject matter. Yeah, it's a novelization, but he goes at with all the gusto of a straight story. Some nice "deleted scenes," mostly at the beginning in the details of the rituals of Imhotep's priests. I dug it, but I am more prone (big Mummy fan).

--The Gingerdead Man -- From Action Lab Comics. This serves as a sequel to the original Gingerdead Man movie, and as such is filled with gore, bad puns, nudity, and other inanity. I have to give credit, this actually does play out like a cheap Full Moon movie, with a small cast, two sets, and gore setpieces which one can visualize on film. The end gag is great too. Worth reading if you like Full Moon, and if you can find it on the cheap, though, as at three issues, it is a super quick read.

--Iceman v.2:1-6 -- From Marvel Comics. I had been hearing some good buzz about this series online, and I have always liked Iceman from reading the original run of X-Men, so I thought I would give it a shot. This is very much about Bobby Drake coming to terms with his homosexuality, and to a lesser extent his role in the new Jean Grey School. The first arc (1-5) deals a lot with his parents, whom are presented as pretty awful. From what I understand, writer Sina Grace is using his own experiences to inform this depiction, and I have seen both extremely positive and extremely negative comments about this online. I am neither gay nor a mutant, so I am looking at this from the outside in. What I like about this series is that each issue tells a complete story while also being part of a larger arc, and that Bobby and the other X-characters (notably Kitty Pryde) have very well defined, clear identities. Bobby is enjoyable to read, and there is a nice mix of personal drama and superheroics. The 6th issue starts a new arc, a Champions reunion in Los Angeles to drink some beers and tell stories about the recently deceased Black Widow. It turns into more Bobby personal stuff than that, which I was surprised about -- but hey, it delivers what it says on the tin, right? I'm intrigued enough to keep giving this series a try, and hoping that the logline will continue to be "Iceman, a hero who is gay" and not "Iceman, the gay hero."

--Iceman v.1:1-4 -- After reading the above issues, I tracked down Bobby's 80s miniseries. Ironically, a lot of it deals with Bobby chasing down a Girl Next Door whom he becomes moderately smitten with the first time he sees her. JM Dematteis has some good insight into Bobby at this stage in his career, when he was post X-Men and Champions, and a current member of the Defenders. Things get pretty cosmic in the back half, which is... odd... but not unwelcome, as I think the X-Men get stuck into the anti-mutant hysteria stories too easily and need a shake up from time to time. I am not surprised, however, that this series has not been referenced since. Worth reading if you like Iceman, otherwise, no need.

--Lucky Luke Tome 66: The Promised Land -- Got this one free from the Amazon Kindle store. Luke is escorting a group of Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe to meet up with the rest of their family out West. Some great humor is derived from the alien (to Luke) customs and rituals of the Jewish family, and from the family trying to understand Luke's alien (to them) American habits. Fun series of gags and overall a well done and funny story.

--The People That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs -- After reading The Land That Time Forgot earlier in the year, I downloaded this one to the tablet. Compared to the more broad Men's Adventure style of the original, this is much more personal and low key, focusing on one man and the Galu girl he meets up with. More of the mythology of Caprona is explored here, including detailing how the various tribes of men relate to each other, and how one "hears the call" to move forward. Very quick read, as are a lot of ERB's stuff. I liked the first one, and while this was different in a lot of areas, I enjoyed this one as well.

--DC Special Series #18 (Sgt. Rock's Prize Battle Tales) -- Part of DC's digest program, this 100 page (including the covers) digest reprints various DC War comics from various eras. It includes a Sgt Rock story, an Enemy Ace story, an Unknown Soldier story, a Weird War story, and several smaller backups. I am too young to remember DC digests on the stands, but the format is fantastic and I am a huge fan of DC's War comics, so this one was a natural no-brainer for me.
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6. Board Game: Quantum Mechanic [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Ivan
Russia
Ekaterinburg
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Doronin Sergej - Quantum Magic



The story about quantum mechanics and world picture generated by it. This picture amazingly differs from the common representations created by classical physics. Manifestations of processes at matter microlevel at the macrosystemic levels are shown. By means of quantum mechanics phenomena it is possible to offer a rational explanation to such miracles as, for example, teleportation, a materialization. Personally I was surprised by a straight line and, according to the author, not studied communication of a quantum mechanics (sciences about conditions of microparticles) and psychology (sciences about conditions of mentality). The author also explanins some ethnic symbols with quantum mechanical point of view. The book sometimes seems not so easy for understanding, but is very interesting.

in Russian:

Доронин Сергей "Квантовая магия"



Рассказ о квантовой механике и порождаемой ею картине мира, которая поразительно отличается от обычных представлений, созданных классической физикой. Показаны проявления процессов на микроуровне материи на макросистемных уровнях. С помощью явлений квантовой механики можно дать рациональное объяснение таким чудесам как, например, телепортация, материализация. Лично меня удивила прямая и, по словам автора, неизученная связь квантовой механики (науки о состояниях микрочастиц) и психологии (науки о состояниях психики). Автор объясняет связь этнических символов и квантовомеханических воззрений. Книга местами сложная для освоения, но очень интересная.
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