Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Third Annual Ralphies (3): Books

BEST NON-FICTION BOOK (Scholarly): Again, I didn't read anything published this year. The closest I came was in reading Joe Fitzmyer's 3rd edition of his commentary on the Genesis Apocryphon (2004; good) and Klaus Beyer's revised volume 2 of Die Aramäische Texte vom Toten Meer (2004; ditto). But the Ralphie goes to Alan Millard's Reading and Writing in the Time of Jesus (2000), an excellent survey, and subtly subversive of a number of scholarly shibboleths.

BEST FICTION: I read and enjoyed King Dork (2006) by Frank Portman, but the best novel I read all year was one I read the same week in May: The End of the Affair, by Graham Greene. Very moving.

BEST GRAPHIC FICTION: So many to choose from. Marvel's Civil War series is great, if published at a glacial pace; also great is the current story arc of Ultimate Fantastic Four written by Mark Carey. I also have to mention the must-read Hatter M; my nephew Greg Cook works on that book as "Cartographic Chronicler and Historian." The Ralphie, however, goes to Brian K. Vaughan's Y: The Last Man. No, it's not a male fantasy; it's an exciting quest tale that illuminates, and deconstructs, a number of assumptions (both male and female) about what the world would look like if all the men died (except one). Vaughan has recently been hired as a writer for ABC's drama Lost.

That's it for this year, folks!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember reading the FIRST Fantastic Four comic - remember where I was and where I bought it. Before that I was a big fan of Fing Fang Foom. . . .