Friday, January 7, 2011

52 Books

I apologize immensely for my disappearance. All the usually obstacles got in my way: school, laziness, writer's block, Dalek invasion, vampire revolution, and tons of hot guys asking me out. (A few of these may be exaggerations or complete bullshit.) I actually have 30 unpublished works in my drafts folder. I've come to the realization that I worry about trying to make them "perfect" but I really need to chill out. I actually wrote up a Christmas themed piece, but kept editing it and ended up missing the holiday. Since it's January 7th, most people are tired of Christmas, so I'll put it away. If this blog is still up in December, I'll share it with you guys then. I do plan to post more regularly, like once a week.

Here's an overly simplified list of the posts I have almost ready and you will be seeing soon:

-A series about all those unusual nerdy crushes I seem to develop.
-What does your favorite Disney Princess say about you? (I'm not posting this one until I see Tangled, so I can include the newest Princess.)
-Another Disney-related post on how certain Princesses and "Heroines" get ignored.
-Why I think every professional badass on TV is based on Batman.
-Overexposure destroys great characters. (or Marvel is fucking up Deadpool.)
-An assessment of the new shows I've seen in the last year. (The ups, the downs, the confusions.)
-Reasons to not be ashamed to tell people that you absolutely love Glee.
-Internet series that make network television look like it is written by a 4 year old.
-A writer should be required to pass an SAT-style test on the X-men before being allowed to write the for the Mighty Marvel Mutants.
-Hipsters and geeks have more in common than we think.
-How the misuse of classic monsters (werewolves, vampires, etc.) makes me rage.
-Give Maria Bamford her own TV show already!
-If I could conjure a patronus . . .
-Sorting the characters from my favorite shows into the Hogwarts houses.
-How to turn your costume party into a musical.
-Comparisons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to world religions.
-Shows canceled before their time. *sniff*
-Why I believe that Adrian Monk was a secret regeneration of The Doctor.
-If my favorite cartoons are made into live action versions, the actors that showed play them. (Ex. Alex Kingston as Ms. Frizzle. Right?)
-More than 50 years after women's liberation, ladies still get the shaft when it comes to media.
-Representation of different races on television and why Hollywood sucks at it.
(I realize that the last two are more serious ideas, but don't worry, I'll still try to make you laugh your ass and make you think at the same time.)

I also plan to do a series of letters to prominent people that I admire, much like the Dear "Joss Whedon" post. I'm already working on Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, the Daily Show Correspondents, Kristen Bell, Cathrine Tate, Stan Lee, Neil Patrick Harris, Craig Ferguson, and Neil Gaiman. I'm sure more will make it on this list and I am taking suggestions.

Last year, I was also slacking in my personal reading, so I've set a goal. I'll try to finish one book every week all year. That's 52 books. The year started on a Saturday, so hopefully I'll finish a book every Friday and have a post up that night or the next day at the latest. This will ensure that I'll have at least one post up a week. My dad gave me a decent video camera for Christmas, so I am considering making videos for the book reviews. I'll give it a try, but honestly, I think I'm more entertaining in words than as an audio-video component. The books can be novels, sci-fi, fantasy, historical, biographies, anthologies, and comics. Textbooks don't count, but any book with a narrative that I have to read for school does.

Last night I went through my bookcase to collect all of the books I had not yet read. I expected to find around 20. Then I would probably find maybe 10 more at my parents place and possibly borrow some from them. I would complete my collection by buying new books or going to the library. I actually found 52 books. First, how weird is it that I found exactly 52? Secondly, that is so fucking pathetic. I call myself an avid reader and I have over 50 unread books in my apartment. Last summer, I made a promise to myself that I would not buy anymore books until I had read all the ones I already owned. Clearly, I failed. Perhaps, this mission will rectify that. I am almost done with the first book, When You are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris.Hopefully. That post will be up Friday or Saturday night.

Under the cut I've listed all the books I hope to read.
Edit: After recounting, I realized that I have 53 books on this list. Oh well, I guess the last one will be for bonus points.

Comic/Graphic Novel (5)
-The Losers: Volume 1 & 2 by Andy Diggle & Jock (I want to read this before I see the movie with the B-E-A-Utiful Zoe Saldana.)
-Daredevil: Born Again by Frank Miller & David Mazzucchelli (Yeah, I know this is no longer considered canon, but I hear its really good.)
-X-Men: X-Cutioner’s Song by Scott Lobdell, Peter David & Fabian Niceza (This covers an era of the X-Men that I am very unfamiliar with, so its a learning experience.)
-Essential Thor by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby (The Thor movie is coming out soon, so this will be good for me, since I don't know much about Thor.)
-Essential Spider-Man Stan Lee & Steve Ditko (I'm a big Spidey fan but haven't actually read much of his early adventures. I'll finally know how much Sony Studios got wrong.)

Biography (4)
-Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington (This is in a collection of stories I bought at a museum about African-American history. I really should learn more about my heritage.)
-The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson (This is from the same collection and looks really interesting.)
-His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis (I love George Washington. He wasn't perfect, but I do look up to him. This is kinda cheating since I've started this one before but I never finished it.
-Jimmy Stewart: A Biography by Marc Eliot (Great actor, so I thought I'd read about his life.)

Science Fiction (15)
-The War of Words by H.G. Wells (This is a classic written by a science fiction genius, I NEED to read this.)
-The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (Ditto.)
-The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells (Ditto.)
-Dune by Frank Herbert (It's a Sci-Fi sin that I have not read this yet. Gotta fix that.)
-The Flaxen Femme Fatale by John Zakour (I just bought this because it had a cool cover and was $2. Looks pretty fun though. Its a comedy about a detective in space.)
-The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams (This book is the sequel to one of my favorite books of all time, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. Plus, Douglas Adams is King of all that is Wonderful.)
-Doctor Who: The Prince of Paradise by Colin Brake (I bought a collection of 10 Doctor Who books last year.)
-Doctor Who: The Art of Destruction by Stephen Cole (I know its essentially published fan fiction, but it was cheap and looked neat.)
-Doctor Who: The Last Dodo by Jacqueline Rayner (I've only read one, but it was pretty good.)
-Doctor Who: The Pirate Loop by Simon Guerrier (Plus 8 of them take place during the 10/Martha season, which is my favorite Doctor/Companion team.)
-Doctor Who: Sick Building by Paul Magrs (But, honestly, 11/Amy/Rory might take their place.)
-Doctor Who: Sting of the Zygons by Stephen Cole (I guess, it all depends on how season 6 goes.)
-Doctor Who: Wetworld by Max Michalowski (Yes, I know its "series 6" in Europe, but I'm American and they are called "seasons" here. Deal with it.)
-Doctor Who: Wishing Well by Trevor Baxendale (The other two books are 10/Rose.)
-Doctor Who: Wooden Heart by Martin Day (Bonus: All of them are short and sweet, so they will make up for time lost with the larger books.)

Fantasy (7)
-The Color of Magic (The Discworld Series) by Terry Pratchett (The only Pratchett book I've read is Good Omens, written with Neil Gaimen, who I LOVE. It was Brilliant, so I figured I should read some more. This is the first book in the Discworld series.)
-Luthiel’s Song by Robert Marston Fannéy (Got this in high school when the author visited my creative writing class. I bought it and got it signed, y'know, "just in case." I don't usually like this type of fantasy, like fairies and elves, but I will give it a try.)
-Wolf Men by Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, and many more (This is a collection of stories about Werewolves, which are my favorite classic monsters. Plus, one story is written by the Magnificent Neil Gaimen.)
-Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Unnatural Selection by Mel Odom (You know I had to sneak Buffy in here somehow. Another super short one.)
-Dead to the World (The Sookie Stackhouse Series) by Charlaine Harris (Yes, I am a fan of this series and I'm not ashamed. This is the fourth book in the series.)
-Dead as a Doornail (The Sookie Stackhouse Series) by Charlaine Harris (I'm also a fan of the TV show and you guys know why. This is the fifth book in the series.)
-Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind (My dad gave me this book after he read it. He raves about it and we have similar tastes, so I'm looking forward to it. It is the basis for the show, Legends of the Seeker.)

Reference/Information (3)
-Found by Davy Rothbart (Got this for my birthday. My 17th. I'm 20. See how serious my problem is, now?)
-Earth by The Daily Show (I love The Daily show and America: The Book, so I'm way excited about this.)
-Our Dumb World by The Onion (This was gift and looks cool.)

Fiction (7)
-Candide by Voltaire (I bought this to write a report on it in my senior high school English class. I ended up using a different book and never read this one.)
-Dick Tracy edited by Max Allan Collins & Martin H. Greenberg (A collection of Dick Tracy mysteries. Sweet.)
-Life of Pi by Yann Martel (I've owned this for over two years, but never read it. Everyone who has says it is amazing.)
-Native Speaker by Chang-Rae Lee (I bought this for another report in the same English class, but again I used a different book.)
-Looking for Alaska by John Green (This is another cheat because I have started this book, but never finished it. I had stopped at a sad point in the book and was also at a sad point in my life. I couldn't bring myself to read it since it would only bring me down further. I pushed it aside for more cheerful entertainment. I think I reread Hitchhicker's Guide for the 20th time.)
-The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon (One of my friends loved this book. So did one of my favorite YouTubers who does book reviews. Coincidentally, the day after I watch that book review I found this in my favorite used book store in town. That was the second time that had happened. The first was with the Sedaris book. I think the store owners are wizards.)
-To the Last Man by Jeff Sharra (Another cheat. Began for school in 11th grade and wrote a pretty lame paper, but never properly read it. I remember liking the parts I did read.)

Memoirs/Essays (12)
-The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois (This is from the collection of African-American stories. This man is a genius and I really want to see his thoughts on racism and the black community.)
-The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama (Well, he is my President, so I guess I should read it.)
-More Information Than You Require by John Hodgman (I've learned that if a person has spent time working with The Daily Show, then any book they write will be hilarious and thoughtful.)
-Marley & Me by John Grogan (I will cry while reading this book. I don't care.)
-Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox (I love this guy, I'm sure I'll love his book.)
-Working Stiff by Grant Stoddard (This book is about a guy who accidentally became a sex worker. Color me intrigued.)
-I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight by Margaret Cho (She is one of my favorite comedians and one of my favorite people in the world.)
-Will the Vampire People Please Leave the Lobby? By Allyson Beatrice (This book is about how the Buffy fandom brought so many people together. Awww.)
-The Hero Project by Robert Hatch & William Hatch (Two teens interview 13 interesting people, like Yo-Yo Ma, Desmond Tutu, and Lance Armstrong.)
-Iberia by James A. Michener (A man writes about his travels though Spain. Since I plan to live in Spain one day, I have to read this.)
-When You are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris (This is the first David Sedaris book I've read, I'm almost done, and I really like it. You'll read more about it this weekend.)
-The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell (Sarah Vowell is one of my top five favorite authors and I am madly in love with her. I saw this in a bookstore and immediately bought it. The purchase of this book inspired me to start this crazy year long mission. Thanks, Sarah. Thanks, a lot.)


  1. Hey, I'm reading the Doctor Who books, too! Awesomeness!

    Looking for Alaska is an amazing, albeit sad, read. Getting through the whole book is really worth it though.

  2. Brace yourself for Candide. It's rather violent, if I'm remembering correctly.

    Don't feel bad about a huge reading backlog. I'm a fricking English Lit major and I've got 22 books on my shelf that I haven't read/finished yet. The last book I read in full was a cookbook, as was the book I read before that. *facepalm*

    Can't wait for the 2011 posts!

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