Books acquired: “The Female Man,” Joanna Russ; “The Best of Stanley G. Weinbaum”; “Blade Runner” (movie adaptation), Les Martin; “They Live,” Jonathan Lethem; “Secret Stairs,” Charles Fleming; “Juliet, Naked,” Nick Hornby.
Books read: “Return to the Planet of the Apes Nos. 1, 2 and 3,” William Arrow; “The Return of Tarzan,” Edgar Rice Burroughs; “The Return of Sherlock Holmes,” A. Conan Doyle; “The Return of Fu Manchu,” Sax Rohmer.
There were many happy returns last month, in the sense that all six books I read had the word “return” in the title. Oh, I crack myself up.
On the bright side, I’ve plowed through 12 books in two months. On the down side, this was a particularly lightweight month from a literary standpoint, unless I get points for reading three books from a century ago.
I won’t belabor my choices, most of which were indefensible. The elephant in the room, or really the gorilla in the room, is that I read three novelizations of a “Planet of the Apes” animated series, which I happened to be watching on DVD. (The Apes are one of my guilty pleasures.) Part way through the series I remembered I’d picked up these three books in 2007. If I were ever going to read them, this was the logical time. So I read one per weekend, as quickly as possible.
This might represent the nadir of my serious reading life. I’ll have to get back to Mark Twain soon to recover a few shreds of credibility. Compounding my shame, the show and the books were kind of fun.
As for the century-old stuff, the Fu sequel was okay, the Tarzan sequel quite good (if you’ve read the first one, you should at least read the second, which ties off the loose ends neatly) and the sixth Holmes collection was also great.
For those who care, I’ve carried the Holmes book since boyhood, bought Tarzan and Fu Manchu in 2001 at Book Alley and the LA Comics Show, respectively, and the trio of Apes books in the past decade.
What have you been reading? Other than in quantity, surely I’ve made most of you look good this month. No need to thank me. Just doing my job.