The updated Read List

This is quite possibly post number 99 (“99, would you believe…” no, it’s 98- “missed it by that much…”), and I’m currently struggling with what I should write or add as my “big 100” hundredth post. But to hold you for a while, at least until I can figure out something special to post for the special update, here is my new list of books I’d love to read and have in my library… and books I just want to read.

Number one: The She-Hulk Diaries

Author: Marta Acosta

List Price: $15

Want To Own?: Yes

Why: Every superhero has their problems, but we never see their personal lives. The She-Hulk in real life is a lawyer with giant issues, pun intended. She’s been kicked out of the Avengers Mansion after “Shulky’s” drunken tirade where she completely wrecked the place. Now armed with no job and practically nada but her ‘green’ issues splashed all over the papers, She-Hulk must look for a new job at a law firm as she’s pining away for Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, plus looking for a hot new boyfriend, and fighting the real bad guys, even getting all bulked up to munch on some ice cream. Inspired by Marvel Comics, critically acclaimed by Peter David (who wrote the She-Hulk comics for Marvel by the way), written in the structure of Bridget Jones’s Diary, need I continue?

Number two: Neverwhere

Author: Neil Gaiman

List Price: $16 at Barnes & Noble

Ukazoo Used Book Price: about four or five bucks

Want To Own?: Yes

Why: I started to read Gaiman’s first full-length novel for adults starting last year, but never finished it because I didn’t like the direction it was taking at first. An entire underground city of London ruled by rats and rat-speakers? Eughhhhhh… (shudders)

The second time I picked it up, I got to nearly halfway through the book, thinking that actually, the writing’s not bad. About halfway into the book when I had to return it to the library, I realized I didn’t want to check it out of there again. The next time I see a copy on a book store’s shelf, it’s mine.

Number three: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Author: Stephen Chbosky

List Price: $14 at Barnes

Want To Own?: Yes

Why: My best friend Kerensa said this novel, told in a series of letter entries entitled ‘Dear Friend’, was one of the absolute must-reads for any 90s music lover and any high school reader. I had never heard of this book until I met her, but I will say that it is a book for “millennials”, or those of us born in the late 80s and early to mid-1990s. The film starring Emma Watson (yes, Hermione from Harry Potter and the actress who addressed the United Nations for the HeForShe campaign) is wonderful as is the plot, about a freshman in high school named Charlie, who is a “wallflower” and makes his music-filled journey from late night parties to Rocky Horror… any way he can to feel infinite. Does not include the song “Heroes” by David Bowie.

Number four: Boneshaker

Author: Cherie Priest

List Price: $16 at Barnes & Noble

Want To Own?: Yes

Why: I already have the sequel to this book, Dreadnought, and Kerensa highly recommended that I read the first novel in this marvelous steampunk saga.

Kerensa's Christmas present from last year. The game's afoot!

Kerensa’s Christmas present from last year. The game’s afoot!

Number five: The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes

Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Want To Own?: Already have most of the first and second volumes in one book, all except for The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, which I need to complete the set

Why: Because it’s awesome detective stories and it ties in with Steven Moffat, that’s why!

Number six: Tonight at Six

Author: Michael Olesker

Want To Own?: Already have it! (Autographed too!)

Why: I first read the prologue of this book in journalism class back in college, specifically Towson University. Already, I could not believe all the ridiculous mayhem where reporters were not allowed to talk to the next Mr. President (the nefarious Obama predecessor George Bush- “dubya”) outside the city school classroom in 1999. The President hasn’t yet made some serious mistakes as to the No Child Left Behind Act, for Election Day 2000 was on its way, so the reporter narrating the story tried to ask him questions.

Instead, the President opts for taking questions from the children at the city school in Baltimore. “(To a four-year-old boy) Are you a good reader? Well, let me give you a hint, become a good reader.” “(another child) Why are you running for president?” “Because I love America.”

This is enough to make any journalist angry, or at least sigh and hang their head in shame, which is what I did in that situation. I laughed.

So upon the day my journalism teacher brought Michael Olesker to Literary Journalism class, I grabbed a copy of the book from the closest book store and got him to sign it. His commentator personality is as charming as a true Baltimore-native author’s.

Number seven: Soulless

Author: Gail Carriger

Want To Own?: Maybe not

Why: I’ve heard a lot of things about this steampunk series, as I am writing my own steampunk-Jane-Austen designed story, and designing my own costume based on that. From my understanding, Carriger wrote one of her characters to design weapons inside her parasol-umbrella. Clever, I wish I thought of that. Oh, wait! I did.

Can you believe I found a hardcover copy of this book for a quarter at a thrift store in Laurel??? Hard to believe, right?

Can you believe I found a hardcover copy of this book for a quarter at a thrift store in Laurel??? Hard to believe, right?

Number eight: Death Comes to Pemberley

Author: P.D. James

Want To Own?: Already have it! (in hardcover)

Why: It’s Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice sequel that Austen never wrote… as a murder mystery, and both Wickham and Mr. Darcy are prime suspects!

Number nine: And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express

Author: Agatha Christie

Want To Own?: Probably not

Why: At least every book critic has said Agatha Christie was the best detective novelist who ever lived, since she still reigns as the world’s top bestselling author next to William Shakespeare and The Bible. However many dozen Poirot and Miss Marple stories she’s written, I intend to read a couple of her works myself, starting with the book that doesn’t involve either the little old lady or the Belgian detective. My mother recommended And Then There Were None as by far the best mystery Christie ever wrote other than the Orient Express, as it’s based on the old poem I used to hear in kindergarten: Ten little Indians…

Then there’s Orient Express, which should not be confused with the Doctor Who episode with Peter Capaldi fighting a mummy on a train in space. “They all did it.” Nough said, I’m reading the thing.

Number ten: Shroud of Sorrow

Author: Tommy Donbavand

Want To Own?: Already have it!

Why: The first Doctor Who fanfiction novel I picked up was Dark Horizons, set in the backdrop of the Viking period, which stole my breath for a moment until I realized, where’s Amy and Rory? The second one I picked up and actually started reading was this one, Shroud of Sorrow, which at first sounded like a legitimate plotline for a very good 50th anniversary episode, as it involved the Eleventh Doctor post-Manhattan-Angels on an escapade with Clara Oswald. Then as I read on, I realized why this one was published: It was too good to be a Doctor Who episode! Or maybe it had something to do with President John F. Kennedy…

I went ahead and bought a copy anyway. Oswald for the win, again.

I went ahead and bought a copy anyway. Oswald for the win, again.

I only posted the first ten because there are a lot more to post but there’s not enough time (or space) to insert all of them! At least I bought a couple as a belated gift, namely Boneshaker and Neverwhere. How could I resist?

Lots of love from your writer. One more post before the 100th!


2 thoughts on “The updated Read List

  1. Today, I received Gaiman’s “author’s prefered text” edition of Neverwhere at the office. I haven’t read Neverwhere since it came out (and I may still have the original Avon paperback somewhere). I have the BBC television series on DVD somewhere, and I liked the BBC Radio drama from two years ago a bit. (If you need copies of that, let me know.)

    I have so many copies of the Sherlock Holmes stories it’s not funny. There’s the annotated edition, individual editions of each of the collections, and an illustrated edition with Sidney Paget’s illustrations. (What I would love is an edition with Frederic Dorr Steele’s illustrations.)

    I’m behind on my Doctor Who reading. I loved Dark Horizons. It’s not perfect (it has some editing issues), but I found it quite evocative and the climax, where the little boy talks to his “brother,” made me a bit teary.

    • I loved Dark Horizons too! I think that was the first Doctor Who book I could get my hands on and read because it was actually at the library so I could rent it for free. I’m also really behind on several things. I now have a pocket paperback version of Neverwhere, which I am in the middle of reading. I know I tried to listen to one of the audiobooks of a Doctor Who fiction, but I was sick at the time I borrowed it, so I basically zoned out when I tried to listen to it.

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