December 21, 2015

Recent Reads

150. Sweet Tooth, Vol. 5: Unnatural Habitats
The fifth installment in this graphic novel series collects issues #26-32.

Unlike the previous books in the series, this one does not start by picking up where we last left our merry band of travelers. Instead, we get an entirely new story line, one set in 1911 Alaska. It's a first contact story - a trope I love, and while I did not love the art in this section as much as the rest of the book, it was interesting to learn some of the mythology behind the mysterious plague.

But what does all this have to do with Gus, and the rest of the gang? Read it and find out. I've got the last book in hand as I type. Rating: 4 stars.

151. Sweet Tooth, Vol. 6: Wild Game 
The sixth and final installment in this graphic novel series collects issues #33-40.

Everyone is in Alaska. The gang is all here, and you just know that an epic showdown is in the cards.

I am often disappointed with how a series ends. So many of them lose their steam along the way, so was braced as this one drew to a close. Imagine my surprise when I found a satisfying ending.

I'd highly recommend this graphic novel series to fans of apocalyptic fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, animal lovers, and environmentalists. So basically anyone with a heart. Zombies need not read this one. Rating: 4 stars.

152. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Book blurb: One hundred thousand years ago, at least six human species inhabited the Earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism?

Stop for a second and think about the scope of this book. Yes, the author clearly has done immense research, but it is his ability to weave all that research into a narrative that reads like a fast paced thriller that impresses me. This is narrative non-fiction at its best. The book weaves in anthropology, biology, chemistry, sociology, history, philosophy, politics, religion .... no that's not it, I'm just tired of typing.

I was educated, entertained, and had my mind blown by some nugget in almost every chapter. How often can one say that? The audiobook is superbly narrated by Derek Perkins, and I've spent the past month or so immersed in changing my mental maps of the world as I know it.

I am not a re-reader, but I have little doubt that I will read this fantastic book again. Highly recommended.
  Rating: 5 stars.

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