Started and Finished reading on Jul 2, 2020.
Batman: Last Knight on Earth by an author ( )

Twenty years in the future, Bruce Wayne wakes up in Arkham Asylum. Young. Sane. And…he’s never been Batman. So begins this sprawling tale of the Dark Knight as he embarks on a quest through a devastated DC landscape, featuring a massive cast of familiar faces from the DC Universe. As Batman tries to piece together the mystery of his past, he must unravel the cause of this terrible future and track down the unspeakable force that destroyed the world as he knew it…

From the powerhouse creative team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo, the team that reinvented Batman from the emotional depths of Batman: Court of Owls to the epic power of Dark Nights: Metal, DC presents what could be the last Batman story ever told! Collects Batman: Last Knight on Earth #1-3.

Started and Finished reading on June 29, 2020

Well, I was expecting something as good as the Batman:Year One. I was disappointed in this. The Superman Earth One novels were a better retelling of Superman’s initial years.

Superman: Year One ( )

From legendary writer Frank Miller comes a groundbreaking, definitive treatment of Superman’s classic origin story, with art by John Romita Jr.

From the collapsing spires of Krypton to the bucolic fields of Kansas, from the submerged splendors of Atlantis to the chaotic energy of the Daily Planet, the story of Clark Kent, last son of the House of El, is the stuff of legend. Now, two of comics’ greatest creators join forces to bring a bold new vision of the Man of Steel’s origin to life.

With Superman: Year One, writer Frank Miller (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Ronin, Sin City), and artist, John Romita Jr. (Iron Man, The Amazing Spider-Man, Kick-Ass) bring their renowned storytelling talents to bear as they reimagine the formative trials that young Clark must undergo to claim his place I our world.

As he learns to balance the grave responsibilities of his powers against their limitless possibilities, Clark must also build his humanity just like everybody else-one relationship at a time. Greater than a super-powered adventure, more powerful than a coming-of-age tale, Superman: Year One is a visceral exploration of the fundamental importance of choice in this American icon’s journey into heroism.

I liked this lovely collection of stories, some of them particularly frightening.

Since Max wanted some horror stories, I repurposed Dark Carousel, Faun, and In the Tall Grass as bedtime stories for him.

I also watched In the Tall Grass on Netflix after reading the story.

June 7, 2020 – Started Reading
June 28, 2020 – Finished Reading

Full Throttle by an author ( )

Thirteen relentless tales of supernatural suspense, including β€œIn the Tall Grass,” one of two stories cowritten with Stephen King and the basis for the terrifying feature film from Netflix.

A little door that opens to a world of fairy-tale wonders becomes the blood-drenched stomping ground for a gang of hunters in β€œFaun.” A grief-stricken librarian climbs behind the wheel of an antique Bookmobile to deliver fresh reads to the dead in β€œLate Returns.”

In β€œBy the Silver Water of Lake Champlain”—now an episode on Shudder TV’s Creepshowβ€”two young friends stumble on the corpse of a plesiosaur at the water’s edge, a discovery that forces them to confront the inescapable truth of their own mortality. And tension shimmers in the sweltering heat of the Nevada desert as a faceless trucker finds himself caught in a sinister dance with a tribe of motorcycle outlaws in β€œThrottle,” cowritten with Stephen King.

Replete with shocking chillers, including two previously unpublished stories written expressly for this volume (β€œMums” and β€œLate Returns”) and another appearing in print for the first time (β€œDark Carousel”), Full Throttle is a darkly imagined odyssey through the complexities of the human psyche. Hypnotic and disquieting, it mines our tormented secrets, hidden vulnerabilities, and basest fears, and demonstrates this exceptional talent at his very best.

May 27, 2020 – Started Reading
May 31, 2020 – Finished Reading

Quillifer the Knight by an author ( )

Quilliferβ€”now a member of the nobilityβ€”finds himself further immersed in court politics as the outcast princess Floria is suddenly in a position of power with a rebellion stoked by a certain brilliant tactician, in this thrilling sequel to Quillifer.

Rogue. Joker. Lover. Reluctant conspirator.

The ambitious young Quillifer was been knighted for services to the crown, but was then banished from court by a queen who finds him obnoxious. Now, after a two-year voyage to improve his fortunes, Quillifer returns to court and is plunged immediately into a maelstrom of intrigue that triggers duels, plots, amours, and rollicking adventure. Bounding back and forth from the high councils of state to the warm bed of his mistress, Quillifer must exert every ounce of seductive charm and low cunning in order to survive.

Queen Berlauda’s foreign husband brings war in his wake, along with a clutch of officials who enforce the royal will with violence, torture, and judicial murder. A dragon menaces the realm, and political conspiracy threatens the life of Quillifer’s young patroness, Princess Floria. It’s the traditional job of a knight to fight dragons and rescue princesses, but Quillifer is hardly a traditional knight, and he brings to the job an array of unorthodox skills that dazzles his swarm of rivals, seduces their wives, and threatens the realm.

But there’s a greater menace to Quillifer than deadly political intrigue, for once again he finds himself hunted by the cruel, beautiful, and vengeful goddess Orlanda.

Fast-paced and reminded me of the Querencia sequence of Peter F Hamilton’s Void trilogy… Next up is Quillifer the Knight.

May 25, 2020 – Started Reading
May 26, 2020 – Finished Reading

Quillifer by an author ( )

Rogue. Joker. Lover. Reluctant soldier.

Quillifer is a young man, serially in love and studying law, when a family tragedy throws him into the world to seek his fortune. A charmer rather than a fighter, he soon finds himself embroiled with a bandit gang, caught up in vicious court intrigues, and the plaything of an angry, beautiful, and very jealous goddess. While he struggles to establish himself in the capital, the country finds itself pitched into a civil war, and Quillifer, a unwilling soldier at best, finds himself caught up in the action, and able to tip the scales of fortune.

Quillifer, with its engaging hero and his exploits with lovers, brawlers, warriors, and privateers, is a book that bursts with life. It’s the first volume in a new epic fantasy by bestselling and award-winning author Walter Jon Williams.

What If… Wonder Woman was the most powerful witch in the universe? Sounds like an Elseworlds topic. But this not-quite-a-crossover within the Justice League Dark’s The Last Age of Magic storyline is a bit off-putting since there was no actual crossover other than a scene in the Hall of Justice where the rest of the Justice League are featured.

May 20, 2020 – Started Reading and Finished Reading

Wonder Woman & Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour by James Tynion IV

An ancient force of dark magic is stirring and the Justice League Dark stands in its way. The only problem? The source of its power lies deep inside one of their own–the soul of their leader, Wonder Woman!

Hecate, the witch-goddess of magic, always knew that this day would come, when the monsters from which she originally stole the power of magic would return. All these millennia, she’s been hatching a plan, and now is the time to take back and use the power she’s hidden across Earth inside The Witchmarked, human beings with vast reservoirs of power secreted inside them. And the most powerful Witchmarked of all…? Wonder Woman!

In an event that will change the face of DC’s Dark universe forever, James Tynion IV (Detective Comics) and a team of all-star illustrators present Wonder Woman/Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour! Collects Wonder Woman/Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour #1-2, Wonder Woman #56-57 and Justice League Dark #4.

An interesting start to the Justice League Dark. But the story wanders into an unexpected exposition in the πŸ“š Wonder Woman & Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour by James Tynion IV midway. So one has to read that one too to make sense of the story.

May 19, 2020 – Started Reading
May 20, 2020 – Finished Reading

Justice League Dark, Vol. 1: The Last Age of Magic

The new Justice League Dark is here! Led by Wonder Woman this team of Zatanna, Swamp Thing, Man-Bat and Detective Chimp (?) must bring the fight against all supernatural foes too big for the World’s Greatest Super Heroes!

From the pages of JUSTICE LEAGUE: NO JUSTICE comes writer James Tynion IV’s epic new series JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK! Earth’s magic once belonged to them. Now they want the magic back. But who exactly are they? It’s up to the new Justice League Dark to find out and stop this nightmarish new threat at all costs! After the events of NO JUSTICE, Wonder Woman guides the misfit magic mix against enemies too fantastic even for the Justice League. Plus, what awful things are coming through the Tree of Wonder? Dark days ahead…

Written by James Tynion IV (Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) with phenomenal illustrations from Alvaro Martinez (Detective Comics), this bold new graphic novel series is one of the most anticipated in years! Collects issues #1-3 and 5-6.

As always, the Constant Reader will be delighted with these four stories.

May 13, 2020 – Started Reading
May 19, 2020 – Finished Reading

If It Bleeds by an author ( )

This extraordinary collection includes four new and compelling novellas β€”Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, The Life of Chuck, Rat, and the title story If It Bleedsβ€” each pulling readers into intriguing and frightening places.

News people have a saying: ‘If it bleeds, it leads’. And a bomb at Albert Macready Middle School is guaranteed to lead any bulletin.

Holly Gibney of the Finders Keepers detective agency is working on the case of a missing dog – and on her own need to be more assertive – when she sees the footage on TV. But when she tunes in again, to the late-night report, she realizes there is something not quite right about the correspondent who was first on the scene. So begins ‘If It Bleeds’, a stand-alone sequel to the No. 1 bestselling The Outsider featuring the incomparable Holly on her first solo case – and also the riveting title story in Stephen King’s brilliant new collection.

Dancing alongside are three more wonderful long stories – ‘Mr Harrigan’s Phone’, ‘The Life of Chuck’ and ‘Rat’. All four display the richness of King’s storytelling with grace, humor, horror and breathtaking suspense. A fascinating Author’s Note gives us a wonderful insight into the origin of each story and the writer’s unparalleled imagination.

I’ve been a fan of Randall Munroe for a long time. I believe he is one of the best explainers of science. And How To is an excellent book if you ever want to try out something outrageous like taking your house off the grid.

Continue reading “πŸ“š How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems by Randall Munroe”

How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems by an author ( )

The world’s most entertaining and useless self-help guide, from the brilliant mind behind the wildly popular webcomic xkcd and the million-selling
What If? and Thing Explainer

For any task you might want to do, there’s a right way, a wrong way, and a way so monumentally bad that no one would ever try it. How To is a guide to the third kind of approach. It’s full of highly impractical advice for everything from landing a plane to digging a hole.

Bestselling author and cartoonist Randall Munroe explains how to predict the weather by analyzing the pixels of your Facebook photos. He teaches you how to tell if you’re a baby boomer or a millennial by measuring the radioactivity of your teeth. He offers tips for taking a selfie with a telescope, crossing a river by boiling it, and getting to your appointments on time by destroying the moon. And if you want to get rid of this book once you’re done with it, he walks you through your options for proper disposal, including dissolving it in the ocean, converting it to a vapour, using tectonic plates to subduct it into the Earth’s mantle, or launching it into the sun.

By exploring the most complicated ways to do simple tasks, Munroe doesn’t just make things difficult for himself and his readers. As he did so brilliantly in What If?, he invites us to explore the most absurd reaches of the possible. Full of clever infographics and amusing illustrations, How To is a delightfully mind-bending way to better understand the science and technology underlying the things we do every day.