Thursday, December 04, 2014

Best Books of 2014

What was worth reading in 2014?  Well it probably comes down to your own personal taste.  I haven't read a lot this year to be honest, but I'm always curious as to what's available, and what others thought were worthwhile.  I did read some of the Fatale on going storyline, which is a graphic novel by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.  It is sort mixture of a hard boiled/crime/gangster story with elements of H. P. Lovecraft, and I  enjoyed the chapters or comics from that I did read.  I just haven't gotten around to finishing it yet. 

I have read some of Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo, the samurai rabbit in the past, and know him to be a great storyteller. The art is a bit deceiving due to it's simplicity, perhaps, and one might think it's similar to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but it's a bit more sophisticated in its narrative. It is more similar to something like Kurosawa's  Yojimbo movies and Toshiro Mifune. He's also in the same league as other noteworthy cartoonist like Wally Wood, Charles Schultz, Will Eisner, and many others.

Also check out Saga in the graphic novels by Brain K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.  If you enjoy great art and interesting SF storytelling, space opera, and so forth--it's a fun, adult read.  I found the first two collected novels at our library, and read them that way.  

I read a synopsis on Andy Weir's new SF novel, The Martian, over at the Goodreads website, and it sounded interesting enough.  Of the SF novels that came out this past year, it won the top honors over there as well.  It's sort of a Robinson Crusoe tale on Mars or Apollo 13 meets Cast Away--pick your comparison.
You can find Goodreads 2014 selection of Best Of 2014 here.  

As far as the NPR selection of  Best of Books for 2014, there's a podcast here.  

There were something like 250 titles picked by NPR's staff and critics.  They have them sectioned into genre and you can see a fuller list with book covers, here.  

Other than the above, I've been messing around with artwork some.  I saw a MST3K movie called Teenagers From Outer Space and also one called Boggy Creek II.  Both were funny in places. I went by a couple of used, antique stores the other day, and may return, as I ran across a few things I might buy to try and turn into some assemblage-type art work.

I was also down at the library, and ran into a couple of young guys who, I thought at first were going to hit me up for spare change or whatever, as they both looked like street people,  homeless, on the dole, or gainfully unemployed, to be honest.  But one of them just wanted to chat I guess.  He was going on about how he had all these ideas about inventions, but couldn't find financial backer for them.  He had all these ideas for the internet, different inventions for cars and ways to reduce gas consumption, and who knows what else.  I just let him talk.  He finally asked me if I thought he was crazy to have such thoughts, and I just told him, hey, thoughts are free and nothing ventured nothing lost.   He seemed to appreciate that answer.   Though I have to admit somewhere in the middle of that conversation I did wonder about his sanity.


At 9:37 AM, Blogger SFF said...

Your final story was a hoot.

El Vox, you continue to deliver some damn, fine entertaining posts.

Take care!

At 10:06 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Thanks SFF, just trying to keep it real on the net. Life is supposed to be fun, if you can find the humor in it.

At 6:54 PM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

It sounds as though that fellow need to contact the producers of "Shark Tank" despite the reservations of the "Wall Street Journal" on the show.

Thanks for the book links.

At 9:28 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Dog In Space--I meant to refer to your web site: SFM or Sci-Fi Musings blog. I guess I got that SFF from earlier days of Sci-Fi Fanatic, but I assume you know who I meant.

Richard: Yes, actually, I gave the short version of the story. He actually mentioned the Shark Tank show, but added that on that show the investors usually want to know how many sales the contestants had made last year and how much cash they expected to earn next year, and since he only had ideas, and not the actual enterprise, he didn't think that would work for him. Plus added he wasn't into all that business stuff.

He also said, however, that he wasn't so much money oriented, but wanted to help mankind, which is a pretty noble cause. At any rate, it was an interesting encounter, and who knows maybe he'll make it to the Tank. I enjoy that show as well.


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