Well, Await Your Reply was probably a better book than Generosity: An Enhancement. Not that I even really want to make that comparison. There you go. Shows what I know. Not that anyone reads books anymore, but if you're going to take any book recommendation from me, I'd go ahead and say take the You Don't Suck runner-up. There's totally internets in it.
But now that I'm done for the moment reading novels (okay, that's not really true (I'm still in the middle of reading a (less contemporary) novel); you can take the nerd out of the library, but you can't take the library out of the nerd), I can get back to the other things that I like to read, namely, shampoo bottles comics that most people that read comics have already read. For instance, I finally just read Casanova, just in time for internet rumors that Fraction is finally working on the next arc. But, damn, that's a brilliant comic. I never really read comics as a kid, or even as a college student (got into it a little bit in college, reading stuff like Akira and other sundry technical university required readings), aside from a single issue at the barber shop where I used to get my haircut, in which Superman raced The Flash. The race was refereed by some kind of floating leprechaun guy. I forget who won, but I think it made the floating leprechaun guy unhappy. It's been a long time since I've been to the barber (though, full disclosure, I went to a Supercuts in December). So I've had a lot of catching up to do, since now that I like and read comics, I have decades and decades of catching up to do. Luckily, part of being in graduate school is having just about as much time as you'd like to have to dedicate to reading. Without getting into too much of a discussion about Casanova (because, again, I imagine that most of these conversations in the real world took place, like, a couple of years ago), I think what most impressed me about it was how it managed to feel both very unique and personal but also have a kind of broad appeal at the same time, which is a real queue (especially to a person like me, who has spent a fair amount of time here in Culturology talking about audience)). And, it probably goes without saying, but many thanks for Nick for plugging me in to just about every comic book that I've read.
Also just read Brubaker/Philips' Sleeper, which, coming after Casanova, seemed much more rooted in genre, and really kind of lacking on the sci-fi side of things. Liked the atmosphere and main character, and the global black ops kind of plot, but the superpowers seemed really pretty dull. But given the genre-related sense, I'm pretty stoked to start reading Criminal, the first five issues of which are now waiting on my table as the next thing I start reading, 'cause it seems like it pretty much has to be better than Sleeper was.
And speaking of Fraction and Brubaker, I also just read the first arc of the Last Iron Fist thingy that they co-wrote, which is pretty rad. And I'm looking forward to the next sequence, since it's apparently going to take place at a tournament, and I've just finished watching just about every tournament movie made in the last 40 years (look forward to some Tournament Movie March Madness here at Audioshocker, courtesy of Nick and myself).
And speaking of shit that's out of date, John Byrne is, like, a total asshole, right? Or am I incorrectly picking up that vibe from is early '90s Next Men effort?
Other comcis that I'm about to start reading, finally: Umbrella Academy, and Promethea.
I've also had the opportunity to read most of this stuff in single issues, rather than in their trade collections, which I think is also a massive bonus (especially with Casanova, since the book really works so well because of its back-matter). And maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I think it's really important that comics don't get sucked in to be entirely digital. Mostly because even the flimsy paper of physical comics will last longer than most digital storage mediums. And I want to be able to read comics in the case of a massive solar storm wiping out North America's power grid!