What I've Been Reading
A rifle through the 'ol nightsand reveals:
V for Vendetta, Alan Moore and David Lloyd
A classic I'd never read. I liked it, but I didn't love it--nowhere near Watchmen love, for example. Maybe I'm just too out of practice reading comics, but I had trouble following the story beats that were told visually--like the whole scene at the TV station. Still, I could easily see the cinematic potential and am now interested in the film, which I decidedly was not before.
Cell, Stephen King
Classic King. A tight (for him) horror novel, with what seem at first glance like some pretty damn stale tropes (zombies, end-of-world-scenarios) redeemed by unexpected developments and a laser-like tight focus, with all of the action and story seen from pretty much exclusively one character's point of view. Fair warning--King can still tear your heart out when you least expect it, so be on your toes.
The Astonishing X-Men, Joss Whedon and John Cassiday
Solid, good-times superhero stuff. Whedon's particular voice fits into the X-Men universe like a foot into a well-made shoe, and this second arc had all the stuff you'd like in a Marvel comic. Fights with big Godzilla-esque things, quippy interactions with guest stars (The Fantastic Four, here), and fair surprises. I'm very curious to see where the duo take their story after the revelations at the end regarding Professor X.
The Best American Science and Nature Writing, 2005
Some great pieces. Favorites include Jenny Everett's "My Little Brother on Drugs," a personal look at the use of growth hormones to make short kids less short; Jennifer Kahn's "The Homeless Hacker," a look at the hacker who got into the New York Times database, making them a bit angry; Michael Specter's "Miracle in a Bottle," a look at the thriving supplements industry; and Cliff Stoll's "The Curious History of the First Pocket Calculator," a lovely piece about a concentration camp inmate who invented a purely mechanical, pepper grinder-shaped and -sized calculator.
On Beauty, Zadie Smith
Just started, but great googly-moogly can this woman write.