Tuesday, March 8, 2011

An Ajosshi Reads - February

February Books

February was a tour month for me, travelling to Daegu, Daejeon and Busan for the final few weeks of our Five Fools tour. Long hours on trains and buses ask for slightly lighter fare, so this month is peppered with graphic novels and a couple of pot-boilers...

Twelve books in total...

February Books

The Invisibles: Say You Want A Revolution
Written by Grant Morrison
Illustrated by Steve Yeowell, Jill Thompson and Dennis Cramer

The first in Morrison's Invisibles series introduces us to the rather freaky gang of heroes out to save the world in rather odd and often psychedelic ways. I've read this first volume before, but I wanted to get reacquainted with the bizarreness inside. A rather strange read that certainly isn't for the fainthearted, but rewarding in its own twisted fashion.

February Books

The Invisibles: Apocalipstick
Written by Grant Morrison
Illustrated by Jill Thompson, Chris Weston, John Ridgway, Steve Parkhouse and Paul Johnson

More of the same in volume two combining voodoo, fox hunting and South American mysticism.

February Books

The Invisibles: Entropy in the U.K.

Written by Grant Morrison
Illustrated by Phil Jimenez, John Stokes, Tommy Lee Edwards, Paul Johnson, Steve Yeowell, Dick Giordano, Mark Buckingham and Mark Pennington

Gideon Stargrave, conspiratorial cops and insect people populate volume three. Gripping stuff for my fevered imagination, but volumes four to seven will have to wait until I have enough cash....

February Books

Lobo/Authority: Holiday Hell
Written by Keith Giffen and Alan Grant
Illustrated by Simon Bisley

To be honest I only bought this for Simon Bisley's artwork. He has been a favourite of mine ever since I was a spotty teenage reading 2000 AD. He is an incredible artist (his unfinished collection of illustrations of the bible is astonishing), but the book itself is just a piece of ultra-violent fluff. Following the rather nasty adventures of Lobo as he kills Santa Claus and does terrible things to the Easter Bunny.

February Books

Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America

Written by Jeph Loeb
Illustrated by John Cassaday, David Finch, Ed McGuinness, John Romita Jr. and Leinil Francis Yu

To be honest I bought this on a whim from the second hand section of What The Book. I'm not usually one for superhero comic books and this just confirmed to me that I'm better off spending my money on rather more esoteric texts.

February Books

The Rule Of Four

Written by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason

I wanted something to trashy to read on tour and I got exactly what I paid for with this Dan Brown-alike mystery. It starts off well with the promise of a mysterious Italian book and the secrets it has to unlock, but unravels into a rather pedestrian and ultimately pointless tale with very little intrigue. Blergh.

February Books

Duma Key

Written by Stephen King

More trashy fare, but this time of a much higher quality. After exhausting all of his earlier fiction as a teenager, I pick up one of King's more recent books every couple of years and each time I find myself sucked into his dark little worlds. This time was no exception, plenty of chills kept me hooked and had me curled up in a chair at every opportunity trying to read as much as I could.

February Books

An Appointment With My Brother

Written by Yi Mun-yol
Translated by Suh Ji-moon

A rather touching tale of an imagined meeting between the author and his North Korean stepbrother. It makes me want to seek out some of Yi Mun-yol's other works.

February Books

I Have The Right To Destroy Myself

Written by Young-ha Kim

KTLit has been having a Young-ha fest recently (especially if you include Charles' appearance on The Seoul Podcast) and I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Well worth reading, this disturbing little novel gripped me from start to finish.

February Books

The Korean Nights Entertainments

Written by Tae Hung Ha

Published in 1970 as part of the "Korean Cultural Series" by Yonsei University Press, this curious collection of stories often seems fractured, incomplete and yet it still fascinated me. It's not the greatest collection of Korean folk tales ever printed, but it contains a few classics and is useful as a reference tool when searching for particular themes in folklore.

February Books

Pink Room, Blue Face - Yun Suknam

Edited by Beck Jee-sook

A collection of essays and interviews on the life and work of feminist artist Yun Suknam. Worth perusing for the photos alone, it's an interesting read and a good introduction to Yun's work. A must have for anyone interested in the Korean art scene.

February Books

The Korean Way Of Tea - An Introductory Guide

Written by Brother Anthony of Taize and hong Kyeong-Hee

My favourite book of the month, read for both work (more on that soon) and pleasure. A beautiful short book allowing a peek into the world of Korean tea. Brother Anthony writes beautifully on the subject and Seoul Selection have produced an outstandingly good book. Well worth having on your shelf.

So there we have it for another month. I must go and get stuck into "The Will of Nostradams" among other things. Any thoughts, hints, tips and recommendations on books to read would, as always, be appreciated...

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for a short overview, I'll try to read some. You actually gave ne a nice idea, find translated Korean literature and read it. It's so simple but I have never thought about it before. I don't know why...