I realized yesterday that I haven’t posted anything since geeking out about the AMAZING new Ghostbusters last Friday nor have I really been on WordPress since the weekend. It was unplanned but proved to be a nice mind-clearing, resetting sort of mental holiday. Anyway, it’s Wednesday and you know that that means – it’s Top Five Wednesday time! This week’s topic, care of the good folks running the Goodreads group, is the top five books you’re dying to add to your collection. Sounds fun :). Yay!
Now, my birthday has just came and went and, as a result, I received a lot of wonderful new books from my parents, David, Kalie, Kelly, and Jeff. So…the idea of wanting a bunch of new books right now is a little tough. It’s hard to conjure up new desires when I’m still exploring all of my wonderful new books. Still, I’m not one to walk away from a Top Five Wednesday challenge (and there’s always books you want if you take a second to think about it!).
5) Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster — This is the official novelization of the film. I haven’t bought it yet because, well when the movie was in theatres I saw it a grand total of nine times. So I’m pretty familiar with the story. I also have the DVD now, of course. Also, I normally don’t enjoy novelizations of films. If it’s a book-to-movie thing, I tend to prefer the book. If it’s a movie script-to-book adaptation, I tend to like the film better. It’s never been a conscious decision but there’s something about how a story was originally envisioned that connects with me.
However, here’s the thing. I have the novelizations of all the other Star Wars films. I love Star Wars! Annnnnd I have all of the novels that are part of the new Disney Canon (save The Force Awakens). And I have them all in hardcover! If I don’t get this, it will eventually go to paperback and then the neglect in buying it will haunt me forever. I just need to suck it up and buy this book! What am I waiting for?!?
4) Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by James Tynion IV & Freddie Williams II – If you read the post, you’ll know I LOVED Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters! Maybe “love” is too weak a word… Anyway, the team-up was SO fun! I started reading IDW’s brilliant Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the middle of this new miniseries. I debated trying to pick them all up through back issue channels, but quickly decided that patience was the better way to go. The trade paperback, collecting the six issue miniseries, comes out at the end of August. I’ve been dying to get my hands on it though! I keep looking at the page on Amazon, soaking in the cover art and hoping the release date will change. I also keep imagining it gazing at me from the shelf at Barnes & Noble. Oh what a day it will be when I take that thing home from the book store!!
I’m not under the illusion that it can be anywhere near as good as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters was. Those two teams, under the care of Tom Waltz and Erik Burnham, are a master class in perfection. Also, as a casual glance at this blog will illustrate, I’m not much of a DC guy. But I do enjoy their characters, even if I don’t read them regularly. So I’m excited to see what happens when the Dark Knight meets the Heroes on the Half Shell! Also, I hope the trend of the Turtles teaming up with other comic characters continues. Can you even begin to imagine how cool it would be to see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles team-up with Daredevil?!? When Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird created the Turtles they were, in large part, a satirical look at Frank Miller’s super serious Daredevil. (Think, Daredevil fights the Hand and the Turtles the Foot, Daredevil’s mentor is an old ninja master named Stick who walks with a stick while the Turtles have Splinter, the Kingpin is uniting the criminal organizations in New York just like the Shredder, etc. When I learned this is blew my mind!) To see those worlds collide would be EPIC.
3) To Be Or Not To Be: A Choosable Path Adventure by Ryan North, William Shakespeare, and ME! – this is the FIRST Shakespearian choose-your-own-adventure book written by Ryan North. I didn’t know this was a thing until recently. Well, given how much I’ve loved Romeo and/or Juliet, I clearly NEED to own this book! Now that I know a) there are new choosable path adventure books I can play as an adult and b) they are CRAZY FUN, I’ve realized I’ve wasted a lot of my adult life reading other books with the audacity to not let me choose my own path. Why would I force myself to endure that any longer?!? And now I know there’s another amazing book in this apparent series! I say with dignity and restraint – WOOOO HOOOO!!!!
Seriously, Romeo and/or Juliet has been one of the most fun and original books I’ve ever read. And the fun hasn’t wavered or lessened since I began! I just finished up a several day journey through the book that saw a character whisper the line, “Don’t let the ninjas win.” I’m going to let that sink in. And it’s THAT cool without context! Imagine how amazing the story was. Now multiple that amazement level by ten. I love this book! So yeah, I totally need to get To Be Or Not To Be. The path I choose is to this book!
2) Lord John and the Hand of Devils (collected novellas) by Diana Gabaldon – Okay, so it’s no secret that I looooove Diana Gabaldon. I’ve always been a big reader. I pride myself on bouncing around different genres. I’ve never found anything like the world of Outlander. The emotional journey of the characters, the scope of the story, the size of the world building, the anchoring in history…it’s amazing. In fact, Outlander has become my second favorite book of all time, second only to The Alchemist. I devour the novels when I’m reading them and I think of the characters and the story all the time when I’m not. I’ve passed along Outlander to many family and friends and everyone who’s picked it up has loved it too.
Well, for my birthday, Kelly got me The Scottish Prisoner novel which is a side story happening during the Outlander series narrative and starring Lord John Grey. After my friend Lauren turned me onto Outlander, I quickly talked Kelly and my mom into reading the series too. We’ve all geeked out over everything about these books ever since!! So this was a solid birthday score on Kelly’s part :). You see, Diana Gabaldon has written three novels and five novellas featuring Lord John Grey. This is incredible. I love John Grey! I love the world of Outlander!! I love Diana Gabaldon’s writing!!! So, with The Scottish Prisoner now on my shelf, I NEED to collect the rest. I figure the collected novellas would be the best place to start!
1) The Amazing Spider-Man #121 by Gerry Conway & Gil Kane – …this…this is sort of a personal Holy Grail. This is the iconic issue where the Green Goblin, after learning Spider-Man’s secret identity, kidnaps Gwen Stacy and tosses her from the Brooklyn Bridge. Spidey tries desperately to save her…but his webline ends up snapping her neck accidentally. The Goblin killing Gwen Stacy is a defining moment in the life of Spider-Man. And, as a Spider-Man lover, it’s an issue I’ve always wanted.
I will never forget, as a kid, buying a mint condition copy of The Amazing Spider-Man #122. It was in the counter window at my local comic store. I would stare, longingly, at it every week. It cost $100!! That’s a lot for me now, let alone for Past Michael as a little kid. BUT twice a year, my local comic shop would run a back issue sale where all the back issues where 50% off. I knew the odds of it still being there when the back issue sale rolled around were slim. But each week I waited and each week I watched. I saved my money AND asked that it be a birthday gift as well. That first fateful day of the back issue sale arrived…and The Amazing Spider-Man # 122 was still there!! I’d never in my life bought anything near that expensive but, with slightly shaking hands, I purchased The Amazing Spider-Man # 122. I carried it to the car like some sort of treasure. I’ve only read it a few times, with extra care. But it’s mine! I’ve always dreamed of having The Amazing Spider-Man #121 to sit alongside The Amazing Spider-Man #122 in my collection. The comic currently clocks in between $300-700 sooooo I don’t see myself springing for it anytime soon (or, you know, ever). But that’s why it’s Number One on the wish list!
Whelp, there you have it – my Top Five Wish List picks. I guess now’s as good a time as any to put this out there – should anyone have an old copy of The Amazing Spider-Man #121 that they aren’t using, I’ll still happily accept birthday presents. Just sayin’… :).