Books I Read in 2007!

This is a list of the books I read in 2007, with a few of my thoughts on each.

Go here for 2006's list! Go here for 2008's list!
Go here for the jump-off point of all the years I've been recording my reading list, separated by year!

12/28/07 Diane Duane
Wizards at War
I can't believe I didn't get around to reading Young Wizards 8 until now, but so be it. It was excellent as her books always are. I enjoyed the story of this rather different battle with the Lone One, and how the characters reacted when wizardry got turned on its ear. I don't think I'd have what it takes to be a wizard in their universe. . . .
12/15/07 Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata
Eyeshield 21, Volume 17
More fictional football yumminess. It's the Devilbats vs. the Wild Gunmans (heh, well, this translation actually calls them "Gunmen"), with the game finally winding up. I was all proud of how Sena handled Riku, and can I just say I love Hiruma? I love Hiruma. There. What's cool is volumes like this in which THE HOME TEAM LOSES is a distinct possibility. It definitely reminds you that it's not a given that they're going to the Christmas Bowl. . . .
11/12/07 Adam Selzer
How To Get Suspended and Influence People
I bought and read this 'cause my friend is engaged to the author and I wanted to read something he wrote. I thought it was very readable and fun young adult book--my only criticism is that (like a lot of kids' books) the characters' dialogue was often more witty and well-constructed than you'd expect even adults' dialogue to be (which I found difficult to swallow despite the fact that they were supposed to be "gifted pool" kids--I was in the gifted program and we weren't quite that well-spoken I'm afraid), and sometimes I felt like the narration was aware that there was an audience reading (like, it "performs" for you sometimes). That said, I thought Leon's situation was amusing and funny and that Adam nailed the "middle-school boy" character very well with all its embarrassments, eagerness to be accepted as well as to appall others, and fun-loving yet "hoodlum-ish" qualities. And he had the balls to include concepts and phrases and words most books for that age group are afraid to cover--much like the protagonist handles taboo subjects and deals with it in his own way when it gets him in trouble. I definitely found it easy to read and look forward to picking up another one of his books.
11/10/07 J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
I didn't get around to reading book 7 in the series 'til now 'cause it came out at a very inconvenient time for me (I was in the middle of moving). So I finished it today and I thought it was a good book and a good series. Unfortunately the author still ended it with that whole "everything is explained at the end" technique she does in every volume, and Harry spends a lot of time in the dark but at least he grew a spine. I've read each book once and I'm not obsessed with it or anything, and haven't gotten particularly attached to any characters in it, so the sort of bloodbath she has going on at the end didn't really bother me. I just kinda shrugged and said, "Wow, that's pretty sad" and kept reading to find out what was going to happen. (I generally don't have a hard time putting these books down and picking them up whenever it's convenient, but I think they read well.) In any case there are a few things Rowling does very well (like how she makes a distinction between morality and following authority). I thought it was a good book.
10/3/07 Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin, and Giovanni Rigano
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
Being that I'm a big fan of the kids' series Artemis Fowl, I had to get the graphic novel. I liked seeing it visually, but if I hadn't already loved the original so much, I would've found this pretty much uninteresting. It didn't really capture the magic for me. Sorry.
9/28/07 Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata
Eyeshield 21, Vol 16
Yay, new one out. Man, those Seibu guys are something else. I really liked how Hiruma forced the Kid to reveal his super-speed throwing by coming in on his blind side! Such a great tactician. Too bad Kid still outsmarted him in some ways. I feel bad, though, watching Deimon get their asses handed to them in those important duels between the mastermind quarterbacks, the star receivers, and (of course) the running backs. . . . :o
8/4/07 Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata
Eyeshield 21, Vol 15
Got to see the end of the Kyoshin game, the silly filler stuff with the field day, and the meeting with the guy who taught Sena how to run. WOO. I enjoyed this, especially seeing Hiruma in a bunny suit . . . with a gun.
7/16/07 Sara Ryan
Empress of the World
Very nice story about a girl who goes to a gifted camp and meets some important friends as well as makes some important discoveries about hersef. Nicola (Nic) likes to write and draw and thinks she might want to be an archaeologist, and she finds it puzzling when she doesn't seem to have a crush on someone who should logically fascinate her. Instead, she develops a crush on another girl, and realizes that not everything in her life is as easy to categorize and put in a box as her archaeology class suggests. Real lives and real meanings don't always fit together all that neatly. I must say this is one of the only books I've read that was written in present tense that really didn't *feel* like it was trying to be all avant-garde present-tensey; it just seemed right. Partly because so much of it was well-written dialogue and the characters talked how real quirky teenagers talk. Everyone was believable. The story was pretty good too, though I kinda wished it was longer so there would have been room to flesh out the background. And I also have to mention this is the ONLY book I've ever read that made a Weetzie Bat reference. Major points, Ms. Ryan.
7/14/07 Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata
Eyeshield 21, Vol 14
More of the tournament! This is getting so exciting. It's weird, because even though I know there'd be very little to draw a manga about if the home team lost, you still really think they're going to lose each time. That's another great thing about this manga--you love the home team partly because they DO sometimes have losses and ties, and they DO have vulnerabilities and defeats, large and small. What a great team. I wish they were real so I could go watch Deimon play. It'd be the first time I'd be interested in watching a football game, let me tell you.
7/13/07 Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata
Eyeshield 21, Vol 13
This is pretty much just detailing the outcomes of the sweet 16 games . . . Deimon's still in, unsurprisingly, but there were some surprising defeats. Those Kyoshin guys are kind of jerks.
7/12/07 Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata
Eyeshield 21, Vol 12
Here's the ending of the Amino game (ha on you, Cyborg idiots), and then Deimon's next game against the Yuhi Guts. Yeah, I felt bad for those guys. And it was cool seeing the White Knights, the Gunmen, and . . . the Poseidons(?) play. . . . The season is going to be interesting, that's for sure. And Sena's really having fun with that Devil Bat Ghost move. . . .
7/9/07 Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata
Eyeshield 21, Vol 11
There was some great background info on Sakuraba and Takami's relationship, and I thought it was cool of Sakuraba to make his choice and show his true colors. And then we have the first team practice after the death march, and the announcement of who made it. (It made me sad, though.) Finally, all the hoo-ha leading up to Deimon's first game (against the Amino Cyborgs) and . . . Sena actually trusting Taki to get on the right train . . . OMG, stupid. . . . (EW! Doburoku-sensei thought Mamori was Hiruma's girlfriend! HWARF!)
7/7/07 Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata
Eyeshield 21, Vol 10
Okay, we get a continuation of the Death March and some nice inside scooping on the rival White Knights' training style. So, am I happy that Sena found a possible tight end for the team? Yes. Am I happy that Natsuhiko Taki is extremely annoying? NO! The guy doesn't even know the rules of football and is extremely vain and is always striking annoying poses. But he is good at what he does, and his hyper roller-blading sister Suzuna is very enthusiastic and cute. I loved seeing Sena's ghost move developing, and Yukimitsu's struggle to go on is very touching. But the best thing ever is Hiruma counting cards to win at blackjack . . . how DOES he do that stuff??
7/6/07 Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata
Eyeshield 21, Vol 9
Ooh, the end of the Aliens game and the beginning of the training in America. With a beach football game involving the Wild Gunman team (hahah, the Devil Gunmans). Um, running from Houston to Las Vegas in forty days? Sounds like a Death March to me. . . . (And I love everyone's reaction to Sena's secret identity, hee hee HEE!)
7/5/07 Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata
Eyeshield 21, Vol 8
Yeah, football game against the NASA Aliens--nice story arc about Panther and how Sena wants to compete against him. And I can't tell you how much I enjoy watching Hiruma kick ass and take names as quarterback. GAHHH!
7/5/07 Steve Martin
The Pleasure of My Company
After I liked Shopgirl, Brendon lent this to me so I could read it. I was very impressed with the story of Daniel, who's a neurotic, obsessive-compulsive man living on government assistance by a set of self-imposed rules he follows slavishly. He can't handle curbs and he has a thing about how much wattage of light is allowed to be burning in his apartment. He's also a mathematical genius of sorts, but is crippled by his "rules." This is a story about how he learns to overcome his fears and turn his weirdnesses into strengths, through the power of following others' example . . . and being an example to them.
7/3/07 Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata
Eyeshield 21, Vol 7
Um, Musashi who? :) I like Panther, he's neat. That's one of the things I like about this series: The people who are the main characters' rivals generally aren't evil or conniving bastards or whatever. They are worthy rivals and you kinda want both to win (even if you like the home team better). :)
6/30/07 Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata
Eyeshield 21, Vol 6
Yay for Eyeshield. Hey Sena, football is FUN! Except when you're getting crushed by gigantic guys from Taiyo. And what's the deal with that Nagas team . . . they're actually stronger than Shin's team? Oh man.
6/30/07 Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata
Eyeshield 21, Vols 3, 4, and 5
More Eyeshield, and we meet Monta, and have the Chameleons game, watch those former punks become linemen against the Egyptian-inspired Taiyo team . . . and we have a whole lot more fun.
6/29/07 Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata
Eyeshield 21, Vol 2
Er . . . yeah. Devilbats face off against the White Knights! GO SENA!!!
6/28/07 Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata
Eyeshield 21, Vol 1
Having recently gotten obsessed with the Eyeshield 21 anime and having recently acquired a Borders coupon, I decided to pick this up. I bought it after work and read it while waiting for and riding the bus--what a quick read! And I loved it, and plan to pick up and read the second one with the Borders coupon I got today. . . .
6/14/07 Nicholas Dollak
Jenna of Erdovon
This author's publicist gave me a copy asked if I would read the book in return for a review on Amazon. When I get around to posting one I think they might regret their request. It had a lot of the classic telltale signs of amateur/self-published author, like attempts to be creative through varied permutations for the word "said," and weird-looking illustrations inserted by the author, and lots of sorta overused fantasy elements thrown in to "make it fantasyish" or something. (In the first three pages we had sort of cameo appearances of centaurs, dragonlets, flying islands, two suns in the sky, an ancient magical device that was lost for a thousand years, and a "gather 'round, children, I shall tell the tale" type opening.) Meh.
5/20/07 Richard Dawkins
The God Delusion
Such a fantastically wonderful book. It examines so many different aspects of religious beliefs that it left me with a very full feeling of understanding--everything from the danger of extremism to the abuse of children's sense of logic; from the problem of morality to the beauty of a world that delights in truth without having to be intellectually dishonest with itself--it's all there. Absolutely, 100% recommended.
3/29/07 Francesca Lia Block
Psyche in a Dress
It took me a while to get into this one because of the weird poetry-lines-without-punctuation-or-capital-letters style the author chose, but I was drawn in by the story of the main character being changed and affected by various people in her life who represented mythological figures. Really interesting, but I think I'm going to need to read it again to really get every thread.
2/7/07 Christopher Moore
You Suck
The sequel to Bloodsucking Fiends did not disappoint. The ending was unexpected and I want a third book because I don't like the idea of things ending up that way, but as usual Christopher Moore was hilarious and very original with his different characters. And I'll say one thing: The man can really rustle up a good insult. I'm going to have to use some of these.
2/6/07 Paul Zindel
The Pigman
Finally got around to sampling this well-known young adult author, and I'm glad I did. I liked the style and the realness of the characters, and the ultimate message was actually kinda unexpected, which is unusual in young adult novels where you usually see an underlying moral thread throughout which ends up being some preachy point. Not so here. Awesome.
1/1/07 Caroline B. Cooney
What Janie Found
I'm not sure whether this author is writing more of this series, but she kinda left some stuff unsettled in this one, even though the main plot line was kinda understandably settled but not. It raised some questions about biological parents versus adoptive parents and the notion of blame. I thought it was a pretty good book, but overall it was kinda unsatisfying because it didn't answer some of the questions it raised. I'm not talking "didn't tie everything up in a perfect bow." I'm talking about plot points that got brought up and never addressed again. Feh.

Go here for 2006's list! Go here for 2008's list!
Go here for the jump-off point of all the years I've been recording my reading list, separated by year!

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