A Peek at the Nightstand
Runaways, by Brian Vaughn and Adrian Alphona
Saw the hardcover at the library and figured why not pick it up. Was very happy I did. Good, solid, old-fashioned storytelling, with some nice twists. Vaughn writes (and Alphona draws) the kids very, very well, with the teen speak and the attitudes served up as pretty naturalistic with the right soupcon of stylization. And he does a great job of creating a Marvel Universe-set series that feels like part of the larger whole without being at all dense or feeling like it's part of some exclusive club. A fun little surprise of a comic.
On Beauty, by Zadie Smith
I loved this novel. Pleasantly overstuffed, like a heaping sub, with characters and situations. The novel is basically the story of the interaction between two families, one mixed race and headed by an academic white lefty and the other black and headed by a black cultural conservative, with the emphasis on the former. It's one of those sprawling novels in which at the end of the end of the book there is no real tying up of the loose ends--we pretty much just leave our characters to continue on with their ongoing stories, but that's all right. The energy of the writing and the vividness of the characters more than make up for those lose ends.
Why People Believe Weird Things, by Michael Shermer
I am loving this book. A look at all sorts of bizarre things--psychics, Holocaust deniers, creationists--and why they believe what they do. I just started this one and am having trouble putting it down.