Read in 2011
List of the books I’ve read in 2012
- December 2011—Zero history from William Gibson.
The last book of the Bigend trilogy, he sends Hollis Henry and Milgrim on a hunt for a secret brand of clothes.
I loved this book, a superb end to the trilogy. The universe of the book is both fantastic and very close to reality, I loved the characters.
- December 2011—Les bretonnismes from Hervé Lossec.
A book on how French langage spoken in Brittany includes locutions borrowed from breton.
It’s surprising to realise that, without ever having been immersed in breton language, you have integrated some of its structures. The book is very nicely constructed, funny and interesting. The only “trouble” with it is that after reading it, you hear “bretonnisms” everywhere.
- December 2011—L’actu en patates : Quinquennat nerveux from Martin Vidberg.
Drawings from the L’actu en patates (mostly about French news) gathered and grouped by themes.
The introductions by the aged artist and the chapters are good ideas, some strips are really very funny or clever, others less so.
- December 2011—Simon’s cat et le chaton infernal (Simon’s cat in kitten chaos) from Simon Tofield.
In this third book, Simon’s cat must live with a very very boisterous kitten.
It’s often very funny, even if animated versions are funnier. It feels like the author is not really comfortable with drawing on paper, some sequences of drawings have gaps and are not very easy to grasp.
- December 2011—Onmyôji 6 : l’unique du ciel from Okano Reiko & Yumemakura Baku.
More Abe no Seimei and Hiromasa adventures, first the story of a hand coming out of a pillar, then a demon swapping its flute with Hiromasa’s.
The first story includes lots of interesting explanations about ying and yang, elements and directions, the second one is less explanatory and more mysterious, another superb book.
- December 2011—The prisoner of Zenda from Anthony Hope.
The adventures of a young Englishman in Ruritania, where he is going to attend the coronation of the king.
A very classical adventure with interesting characters, plot twists, romance, a very quick read.
- November 2011—Moonfleet from J. Meade Faulkner.
In a village on the southern shore of England where smuggling is a popular trade, a young boy tries to find a treasure.
A classic adventure story, we are taken along with the boy further and further, it’s nicely built and interesting, even if the plot twist to get to the ending is a little bit too much.
- November 2011—Maliki 5 : Prismatique from Maliki.
The follow-up to Maliki’s adventures, with her cats, Fang, Lady and Electro.
It’s good to see longer stories than in book 4, with the explanation of Fang’s presence. I also loved the story of the lid.
- November 2011—La Hulotte #96.
The most popular magazine in burrows tells us about the common brimstone butterfly and the griffin vultures.
As usual, very interesting to read and beautiful to look at!
- October 2011—The book of Dave from Will Self.
The stories of a London cabbie, Dave, who loses custody of his son, turns a little mad and writes a book, and of people living hundred years later on an island, in a society that worships this book as its gospel.
A brilliant story, witty, making you laugh a little, but mainly despair. The cockney transcriptions are hard to grasp but I can’t help thinking of this book almost every time I see a story about religion.
- September 2011—Magnitude 9 : des images pour le Japon (Magnitude 9:images for Japan).
The book of drawings collected by the tsunami.cfsl.net/ website to gather money after the Japanese tsunami.
It’s first of all a very beautiful book, with varied and superb illustrations, and, to boost all this, it is a “good deed”.
- September 2011—Maliki 4 :
Roseblanche from Maliki.
The follow-up to Maliki’s adventures, with her cats, Fang and the viking, among other characters.
It’s still very funny even if the strips are shorter in this book, the slugs and the wild boars are very good.
- September 2011—The wind in the willows from Kenneth Grahame.
The adventures of the Mole, the Rat, the Badger and the Toad, a classic of children’s fiction
A nice story, an easy read, and I can only agree strongly with the fact that there’s nothing better than messing around in boats.
- August 2011—Night Watch from Terry Pratchett.
The commander of the night watch, Sam Vimes, is sent back in his past, and must catch a murderer without meddling too much with time.
This series is always excellent, this time focusing on time paradoxes and popular revolutions, while giving background on Ankh-Morpork’s history.
- July 2011—Le Déchronologue from Stéphane Beauverger.
Captain Henri Villon fights to survive in an ocean of tafia and to face a 17th century ridden with temporal faultlines.
The non-chronological storytelling and the pirates + science-fiction mix work well, but it’s mostly the very lively characters that made me love this book, especially Henri Villon.
- June 2011—Gateways, anthology.
A collection of short stories paying homage to Frederik Pohl, the author of Gateway and many other books.
I loved the variety of stories, captivating or puzzling, be they a few lines or a few dozens pages long. It’s very pleasant to read new stories from authors I love and to discover new authors.
- May 2011—Mise en abyme (Fools) from Pat Cadigan.
In a world close to ours where you can enter other people’s brain, buy their memories, a woman (or several) tries to know where she stands, who she is.
The story goes in all directions and it’s difficult to know who is who, or who’s speaking, but this stylistic effect is a good way of rendering the confusion produced by memories appropriation, or the presence of “clandestine passengers” in the brain.
- April 2011—La plage de verre (Against a dark background) from Iain M. Banks.
Sharrow, an adventurous aristocrat, must escape from religious fanatics who want to make her lineage extinct.
Banks dwells on the warrior theme again (this time a female warrior), but the main character is strong, her adventures, companions and ennemies are interesting, and the settings are full of inventions.
- April 2011—Onmyôji 5 : le dragon bleu from Okano Reiko & Yumemakura Baku.
More Abe no Seimei and Hiromasa adventures.
After a prologue where a biwa becomes infatuated with Hiromasa, a story that mixes palace love intrigues, rivalry between onmyôjis, and of course demons. It’s beautiful, strange and funny…
- April 2011—La nef des fous 7 : terminus from Turf.
The end of the adventures of Clément Ixvédeusi, Clorenthe, Arthur and the others.
As it is the end, all must get back to order, well some kind of order, and we even get explanations. I love the graphics as much as in the previous books.
- March 2011—Les annales des Heechees (The annals of the Heechees) from Frederik Pohl.
A follow-up to the adventures of Robin Broadhead, explorer of the Gateway.
The book is less centered on psychology than the first, and we get the Heechees point of view. The fact that the hero is dead and stored makes him a little omnipotent, it’s different from the blind searching of the first book.
- March 2011—Et le souffle devint signe from François Cheng.
The author introduces his works and his love for chinese calligraphy.
The calligraphies are quite powerful and personal, and the texts that come along with them are varied, sometimes explanatory, sometimes poetic.
- March 2011—Death squad from Mike.
Posted in improbable settings, hopeless, the worst awaits them.
I love the mood! The poor squads take all kind of thorough beatings and it’s funny, the graphics and colour are very nice too.
- February 2011—Watchmen from Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons.
After seeing the movie, I managed to get over the graphics and start reading this comic.
So, I don’t like the graphics, and I like the movie better, even if the book is richer in context.
- January 2011—Jason Silverstone - cœurs parallèles from Vinson & Corso.
An antique dealer, fascinated by a parallel world, goes there to find the cause of terrorist attacks.
Graphics are interesting, especially the colour palettes and settings.
The story is good but rather short (as is often the case for Ankama books it’s too short but bonuses are added, too bad)
- January 2011—Naguère les étoiles book 2 from Bourhis & Spiessert.
Follow-up to the previous book.
You laugh a little then forget quickly.
- January 2011—Naguère les étoiles book 1 from Bourhis & Spiessert.
An unhinged story, based on a spoof of Star Wars.
Quite funny but still rather stupid.
- January 2011—Pandala from Tot & Hottin.
The story of an orphaned panda, told without text.
Very nice graphics for a short story without originality (training with an old master, fights…)
- January 2011—Crise au Sarkozistan from Daniel Schneidermann.
A foreign correspondent describes Sarkozistan without the complacency of local media.
A short, well-written book, sadly funny.