Redniss – Radioactive

Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love & Fallout, 1st ed. by Lauren Redniss

Date read: 28-29 January 2015

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cover of Redniss' Radioactive

Hardback, 205 pages

Published 2010 by It Books

Source: Deschutes Public Library

This was an excellent book! It is a work of art from the tactile cover to the paper used to the (mostly) cyanotype prints to the custom-designed typeface, which was created by the author.

This is the story of Marie Curie and her work, of the men in her life and their work, of her family and their work, of the times, and of science. It does not focus entirely on the Curie’s and spins off into other issues such as the bombing of Hiroshima,  Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, The Manhattan Project and Irving Lowen’s FBI file, radium-based face cream, famous Poles, and so forth.

The use of color is generally excellent but, while I understand the intent, the medium-dark gray on black does not work (p. 106). It is appropriate as it is Marie’s description of being faced with Pierre’s lifeless body after he was run down by a horse-drawn carriage but it almost impossible to read.

There are some endnotes, which mostly provide citations to the various quotes used throughout.

Highly recommended! Excellent and beautiful. Although it did leave me wanting far more details of some things. I may have to read a “proper” biography of this remarkable woman.

This is the 33rd book in my GN2015

It also counts for my Nonfiction Reading Challenge.

Mina and Larsson – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Book 2

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Book 2 by Denise Mina (adaptor), Stieg Larsson (adapted from), Leonardo Manco and Andrea Mutti (illustrators)

Date read: 25 January 2015

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cover of Mina and Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Book 2

Hardback, 1 v. unpaged

Published 2013 by Vertigo

Source: Deschutes Public Library

Meh. Read this last night when I couldn’t sleep and my knees were really hurting so I got up in the middle of the night. About the same as the first book. Seems harder to follow than the movie. Will quit this series now.

This is the 32nd book in my GN2015

Mina and Larsson – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Book 1

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Book 1 by Denise Mina (adaptor), Stieg Larsson (adapted from), Leonardo Manco and Andrea Mutti (illustrators)

Date read: 25 January 2015

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cover of Mina's adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Book 1

Hardback, 1 v. unpaged

Published 2012 by Vertigo

Source: Deschutes Public Library

This is the other book I grabbed when we were a few minutes early for a program at the public library on Saturday. I saw the original movie (not the pointless American remake) when it came out and thinking quickly thought the graphic novel might be OK. I did not realize that it would be two volumes per book in the Millennium trilogy though.

It has been a couple years but this seems fairly true to the movie; I have no idea how true that is to the book. It is also a lot easier to take than the film. The film may not quite be on the level of Requiem for a Dream but it gets close and may be worse for folks sensitive to sexual violence. Oh wait. Yeah. Not quite Requiem [Requiem has that base covered too]. 

I did pick up the second one from the public library today. We’ll see how that goes.

This is the 31st book in my GN2015

Anno – Sakuran: Blossoms Wild

Sakuran: Blossoms Wild, 1st ed. by Moyoco Anno

Date read: 24 January 2015

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cover of Sakuran: Blossoms Wild by Anno

Paperback, 296 pages

First published in Japan in 2003 by Kodansha Ltd. English language version produced by Vertical 2012.

Source: Deschutes Public Library

I grabbed this when we were a few minutes early for a program at the public library on Saturday. The blurb on the back begins: “In Sakuran Moyoco Anno lifts the veil on life in the Edo-period pleasure quarter, Yoshiwara. ….” Yoshiwara came up briefly early on in Ōoku, which is also set in Edo-period Japan, and much more so in Book 3 so I thought I’d give this a try.

Rated Ages 18+ and while not rife with sex it is present, as is murder and a bratty child. I liked it well enough but the main protagonist is/was that bratty child. Maybe I was hoping for more about the protocol and running of the pleasure district. We did learn a bit about courtesan levels and names but not that much beyond the names. Nor much else beyond that overall.

Decent but not overwhelmed.

This is the 30th book in my GN2015

Yoshinaga – Ōoku 4

Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 4, VIZ Signature ed. by Fumi Yoshinaga. Akemi Wegmüller (Translator)

Date read: 23-24 January 2015

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cover of Ōoku 4 by Yoshinaga

Paperback, 216 pages

First published in Japan 2008 by HAKUSENSHA; English language translation rights arranged. VIZ Media, 2010.

Source: Deschutes Public Library

These continue to be fine but not sure how much longer I’ll continue, although I did request the next two volumes from my public library. Mainly just varying amounts of court intrigue amongst differing peoples across time.

This is the 29th book in my GN2015

Foglio, et al. – Girl Genius 11

Agatha Heterodyne and the Hammerless Bell (Girl Genius v. 11), Electronic ed. by Phil Foglio (story, pencils), Kaja Foglio (story), & Cheyenne Wright (colors)

Date read: 21 January 2015

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cover of Foglio, et al. Girl Genius volume 11

Ebook (PDF), 172 pages

Published 2010-2011 by Airship Entertainment & Girl Genius

This material originally appeared from November 2010 to November 2011 at www.girlgenius.net

Source: Kickstarter reward for backing The Rats of Mechanicsburg game.

Lots of laughs! I think this volume had me laughing more than any other. So many good in jokes and little jabs and other humorous touches.

Maxim, Oggie and Dimo meet with the Jäger Generals. No saluting for these boys:

Dimo: “Ve vos detached.”

General Khrizhan: “Ah–Indeed hyu vos. Und hyu found uz a Heterodyne gurl!”

Maxim (looking sheepish; how is that even possible?): “Vell… Ectually she kinda found us. Doz dot still count?”

General Khrizhan: “Ho, Yez.”

Maxim (under his breath): ::whew!:: (p. 65)

Tarvek and Gil are hilarious together:

Tarvek: “… I will renounce my crown if you walk down there right now”

Gil: “… That bad?”. (p. 105)

When everyone else advocates Agatha smash up the over-sized monster cat clanks Agatha embraces her heritage:

Excuse me? Those are my fun-sized mobile agony and death dispensers. They’re works of art! You can break your own stuff, thank you very much.” (p. 107)

The Doom Bell has wrung!

By the way, I should have mentioned that the previous three volumes all won Hugo Awards for Best Graphic Story in the first three years of the category (2009-2001). The creators of Girl Genius removed themselves from consideration the next year “in order to show that the category was a “viable award”.”

This is the 28th book in my GN2015

Yoshinaga – Ōoku 3

Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 3, VIZ Signature ed. by Fumi Yoshinaga. Akemi Wegmüller (Translator)

Date read: 19-20 January 2015

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cover of Yoshinaga's Ooku 3

Paperback, 231 pages

First published in Japan 2007 by HAKUSENSHA; English language translation rights arranged. VIZ Media, 2010.

Source: Deschutes Public Library

This story continues the one in vol. 2, which I considered a distraction from where the story was heading at the end of vol. 1. But the end of this volume seems to be in confluence—not temporally but more thematically—with the end of vol. 1 and I hope they pick back up there. I am in possession of volume 4 so will learn shortly.

This volume is mostly court politics and it fills in some reasons for a few things but mostly shows the delivery/acceptance of things we’ve already taken as the state of things. Some of it is interesting but it gets old. If volume 4 doesn’t head in more interesting directions I may give up. Still. is enjoyable.

This is the 27th book in my GN2015

Foglio, et al. – Girl Genius 10

Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse (Girl Genius v. 10), Electronic ed. by Phil Foglio (story, pencils), Kaja Foglio (story), & Cheyenne Wright (colors)

Date read: 19 January 2015

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cover of Foglio, et al. Girl Genius volume 10

Ebook (PDF), 156 pages

Published 2009-2010 by Airship Entertainment & Girl Genius

This material originally appeared from December 2009 to November 2010 at www.girlgenius.net

Source: Kickstarter reward for backing The Rats of Mechanicsburg game.

As the title suggests, we meet another of van Rijn’s Nine Muses. Shenanigans galore. Zola is loose. The Castle has been shut off. Airman Higgs.

Includes the short story “Maxim Buys a Hat,” colored by Katrina Hao. More Jägerkin, and assorted, backstory and just plain fun.

This is the 26th book in my GN2015

David and Lopez – Fallen Angel Omnibus Vol. 0

Fallen Angel Omnibus Vol. 0 by Peter David, David Lopez, others

Date read: 17-18 January 2015

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cover of Fallen Angel Omnibus Volume 0 from David and Lopez

Paperback, 444 pages + 24 plates in the Art Gallery

Published 2010 by IDW Publishing

“Originally published by DC Comics as FALLEN ANGEL Issues #120″

Source: ILL via COCC Barber Library and King County Library System

I quite enjoyed this but I’m not sure how compelling of a narrative it was in the long run, which is why I marked it down a star. It was interesting while it happened and was full of action with some drama, suspense and pathos. Mostly action. Not for children: sex, torture, violent killing for fun, ….

Recommended for non-squeamish adults who like their hero/ines flawed.

This is the 25th book in my GN2015

Foglio, et al. – Girl Genius 9

Agatha Heterodyne and the Heirs of the Storm (Girl Genius v. 9), Electronic ed. by Phil Foglio (story, pencils), Kaja Foglio (story), & Cheyenne Wright (colors)

Date read: 16-17 January 2015

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cover of Foglio, et al. Girl Genius volume 9

Ebook (PDF), 148 pages

Published 2009 by Airship Entertainment & Girl Genius

This material originally appeared January-November 2009 at www.girlgenius.net

Source: Kickstarter reward for backing The Rats of Mechanicsburg game.

Somehow this volume sees very little of the Jägermonsters. That’s almost enough to mark it down a star—OK, maybe kidding—but the authors include some assorted Jägeriana at the end to attempt to make up for it. We get some Jägershots. which was their first attempt at a webcomic; an interesting jelly label from 2002;  a full-page portrait;  full-page ad for Mamma Gkika’s; and a very short hat story. Good times.

The baron’s monster hunter, Othar Tryggvassen, the Castle, impostor met, Agatha’s death ray, chromatic Tarvek, cheeky little clank, Gil and Tarvek, reserve power problems, the waters of the Dyne and the first brewing of the Jägerdraught, “Free!”.

“Delightfully done, my lady. Your enemy is thoroughly crushed.  You are a true Heterodyne” (54).

“And you know what? I can work with that!” (55).

“Spooky girl’s all yours, pal” (91).

I can hardly get enough of this stuff! Highly recommended.

This is the 24th book and will thus earn me the Bronze Age level (24) in myGN2015