Beyond the traditional form of the novel, what are your favorite alternative forms (graphic novels, audiobooks, webcomics, etc)? Do you have any favorite works within these alternate forms? How do you think the changing format affects the reading experience?
If I'm not reading books, I'm reading graphic novels and comics. (But...I admit, I'm usually reading books.) I can't focus on audiobooks or podcasts; when someone's reading or lecturing without the context of their body language or visual aids, I totally zone out. Ages ago, an item on my 101 in 1001 list was to listen through the entirety of the History of Rome podcast, since I had heard so much about it from people whose taste I trusted. I started and then realized I wasn't retaining anything from the podcasts, so then I altered the goal to listen and take notes on maybe a third of the episodes. That got real old, too. So I scrubbed it from the list since it obviously wasn't happening and there wasn't really any good reason I wanted to do it.
My favorite comics/graphic novels...hm. I'll have to sit on this one for a while and then come back.
Okay, I've thought about it. In no particular order:
Ghost World (Daniel Clowes)
Kabuki (David Mack) ("The Alchemy," which is volume 7, has some one of the best art I've seen in comics. It's sumptuous.)
Doom Patrol (Grant Morrison) ("Crawling From the Wreckage" is the best, and "The Painting That Ate Paris" has some great moments in it, but by volume 3 it lost some of its magic.)
Fables (Bill Willingham) (y u gotta be a tool, bro)
Promethea (Alan Moore) (This is the best Alan Moore IMHO, though I admit the series takes a weird esoteric left turn that might not be your cup of tea.)
I read a lot of webcomics in college—Something Positive, Queen of Wands, MegaTokyo, The Order of the Stick, User Friendly—but these days I just stick with my old favorite Cat and Girl, which I've been reading since high school.
Our secondary topic, beyond the blog could focus on the ways you engage in talking about books outside of your blog. Do you participate in book clubs, take classes, meticulously maintain your goodreads profile? Let the world know!
I am a meticulous list-keeper, which is why I love GoodReads so much. I have some fusses over the site. Like, counting rereads, or the same book in different languages, is really tricky; I read Mrs. Dalloway in 2006 and again this past January, but there's no way for me to mark that I've read it twice, so my Good Reads Challenege is actually behind by one book! Or I read The Stranger in English a million years ago, and then read it again in Swedish last year for class. I think that should count as two books, really, but I can't get GoodReads to acknowledge that!
(If you want to creep on me on GoodReads, here I be!)
I'm also part of an online book club. It was started by two women, one of whom is a friend of mine, so it's a good mix of people who wouldn't otherwise know each other, and the books so far have been interesting—often ones that I didn't know about, or would have picked for myself. Like The House of the Spirits. Did I ever hear anything about Isabel Allende in high school? In college? Nope. But now I have, and I get to enjoy an author I would have otherwise maybe never heard of.