Thursday, March 26, 2009

Reading On The Road: March-April 2009

I'm on extended maneuvers this month. When I'm out for so long, I like to pack a bunch of books for the down time. I really SHOULDN'T, due to weight/space limits on the planes and other vehicles. But it's a hazard of the craft. :) So what's coming along this month?

BEASTS: BOOK 2 from Fantagraphics Books. I missed the first Book 1, which deservedly sold out very quickly. So when the sequel came out a few days ago, I snatched up my copy immediately. Already loving this guide to dozens of amazing creatures of myth and legend illustrated by some of the great modern artists of our time. Some whimsical, some eerie and most utterly fantastic and well worth the otherwise hefty price tag.

The latest issue of Rain Taxi. I'm looking forward to digging into an interview with Tao Lin and reviews of Script & Scribble, The Poem's Heartbeat, Electronic Literature, We, The Anarchists!, Return To The Middle Kingdom, Kathleen Rooney's Oneiromance,and C.E. Perry's Night Work. It's little thin on reviews of graphic novels this issue, but that's ok. And as always, I look forward to what shows up in Chapbook Corner.

I'm still reading through Cheers To Muses: Contemporary Works By Asian American Women. Some fine work in here.

I'll be doing a few more reviews of individual stories from Outhine Bounyavong's Mother's Beloved so that had to come along. By necessity I also had to pack along a number of Lao reference books to go along with it including some dictionaries, phrase books and travel guides.

Yusef Komunyakaa's Dien Cai Dau is one of my favorite books of poetry, along with his Talking Dirty To The Gods, but I'm re-reading it this month. 

Dien Cai Dau is an excellent book to read in conjunction with Garth Ennis' magnificent Valley Forge, Valley Forge, which, along with his one-shot Tyger took the Marvel Comics character The Punisher to his highest literary potential to date. The final pages are utterly classic and heartbreaking, and Ennis did so much within the extreme demands of the series.

And finally, I'm also carrying along Asamatsu Ken's Straight to Darkness, the third volume of the excellent quartet Lairs of the Hidden Gods which presents the work of Japanese writers influenced by the work of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. Kurodahan Press should be proud of their work on this series.

From a cinematic front, I just saw Duplicity, and I have to agree with the critics. It's a smart, fun film that really kept me hooked, almost on par with The Italian Job and other caper films that just are so rare to see made well these days.

Well, I'll post more notes and remarks about these and other books and articles I come across in the coming days ahead. Have a great one out there! :)

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