May 2020 Reading Wrap Up – Part Two [Books]

May 2020 2

JanuaryFebruary / March Part 1 / March Part 2/ April Part 1 / April Part 2 / May Part 1

Black Dogs, Black Tales – Edited by Tabitha Wood & Cassie Hart

black dogs

Review Coming Soon on Dead Head Reviews

This is an anthology you should definitely pick up. 17 authors to represent the 17% of people in New Zealand with mental health problems, and with profits going towards a New Zealand Mental Health Charity. Even without that awesomeness, the stories here are brilliant, powerful, moving, and creepy. And best of all, the dogs all survive.

American Gods – Neil Gaiman

american gods

My Review

I read this book years ago, but revisited it via Audible. The version I listened to was full cast, and was really good. Turns out there were some parts I remembered really cleary, and others I didn’t, but it was still great to slip back into this world.

From Twisted Roots – S.H. Cooper

from twisted roots

Review coming soon on Dead Head Reviews

I will never stop talking about good Cooper is. Her work is fantastic. Her short stories are really unique in their style and range, with a lot falling into that strange sub-genre of wholesome horror. From Twisted Roots takes a lot at families, at relationships, some with supernatural horror elements, and some where the horror comes from the humans themselves. Definitely worth checking out.

Devolution – Max Brooks

devolution

My Review

Although I didn’t like this as much as World War Z, I still really enjoyed it. It’s a fantastic book, using that ‘found text’ style, and where WWZ read like a history textbook (in a good, OMG this feels like it happened kind of way), Devolution takes a more singular, personal approach, and presenting it as a journal works really well.

Spider-Man/Deadpool Volume 1: Isn’t It Bromantic

spiderman deadpool

My Review

I love a good graphic novel and this one did not disappoint. Teaming up the wise-cracking Spider-Man with the Merc with the Mouth results in some funny, some heartwarming, and some damn scary moments. The way they riff off each other just feels natural and I’m keeping hope we eventually get to see these two in a film together.

Breakfast at Bronzefield – Sophie Campbell

breakfast at bronzefields

My Review

A woman’s experiences in two British women’s prisons, this is a book I would strongly urge others to pick up. Campbell explains the treatment she received in prison, as well as providing facts and statistics where they are related. It’s eye-opening, and makes the argument for reform really well.

Zombieville – C.V. Hunt

zombieville

Review Coming Soon on Dead Head Reviews

This was one where I listened to the Audiobook version. It’s an intriguing story with two interesting point of view characters – Chris, who is a zombie, and Raven, a young woman who has just moved to town, and has no idea what she’s really getting into. The only let down in this was the narrator really, but I go into that more in the actual review.

Writing the Other – Nisi Shawl & Cynthia Ward

writing the other

My Review

Another book I honestly think everyone should read. Everyone with an interest in writing, anyway. This book doesn’t talk down to the reader, explains that yes, when writing outside your experience you will make mistakes, but if you do what you can to mitigate that, it’s better than not trying. I really would urge writers to pick this one up – it’s one of the strongest craft books I’ve read recently.

So there we have it. The second half of my May wrap up. I read 16 books in May, and my current total on Goodreads (at time of writing on 12/06) is 66/75 books read for 2020. I originally set my goal at 50 with the plan being to revisit it this month, but I upped it previously as I’d exceeded 50. If I managed to hit 75 this month, I’ll be amending my goal to 100. Let’s see how that goes.

How did your May go? Did you read everything you wanted to? Anything unexpected you really enjoyed?

Spider-Man/Deadpool, Vol 1 [Books]

spiderman deadpoolFunny story behind this one. A long time ago, on a trip to Margate, the BF and I went into an awesome little comic book store. I picked up a few graphic novels, and through visiting various second hand bookshops in the area, a whole lot of new books. I’m still working my way through them all. But recently, I picked up the Spider-Man/Deadpool graphic novel, eager to sink in and read it.

And found out it was actually volume 2.

So I jumped online, found volume 1 and ordered that, went to start Sandman and realised I’d done the same thing (but got #3 instead!) so went and got volume 1 of that too and…

Honestly, this is why you Google these things while you’re in the shop, kids! (Also it would help if graphic novels – and fiction books! – could include a number, on the cover or spine. Or something! I know some do but please can this be more common)

Anyway! The review!

At the point this story starts, Deadpool is part of the Avengers, and because of his presence of the team, Spider-Man has opted out. But Deadpool wants to impress good old spidey, and prove to him he really has changed. The problem being, Deadpool has been hired to kill someone he believes to be an evil tyrant – Peter Parker.

I’ve read a few Deadpool graphic novels before – I especially loved Kills the Marvel Universe – and I always enjoy them. Deadpool here is a conflicted man, who wants so much to be seen as a good guy, but who doesn’t quite know how to go about it. He wants Spider-Man to help him, believing if he can get a ‘real’ hero to hang out with him, Spidey’s heroicness will rub off on him.

I really liked the storyline here, and of course the art is great. But here you see how Parker is trying to mimic his hero, Tony Stark. Parker is the head of a large company, and is trying to do what he can to help people through science, as well, but he’s struggling to act as CEO and spend time as Spider-Man. And he now has Deadpool to deal with.

Throughout, we – and Spider-Man – start to see another side to Deadpool, more than the merc with a mouth, and see how much DP really does care and want to do better. The relationship between the two is really interesting too, and comes across as natural, even when DP gets on Spidey’s nerves, and when DP tries to do something for the guy he wants as his best friend, only to see it backfire.

This graphic novel does a lot to deepen Deadpool’s character, and create an interesting relationship between the two characters. It makes sense to have them together, and their remarks and banter make this really enjoyable.