What I'm reading - <i>The Alps</i>, <I>The Resistance</i>

As the weather in the Basin takes a turn for the disgustingly hot (although there's a chance it might get cooler again, but I'm not holding my breath), I might have to read even more because I'm trapped inside!

I've been reading a bunch of novels in a row (such are the vagaries of my alphabetical by author order in which I read books), but next I've broken open Andrew Beattie's The Alps: A Cultural History, which is, if you can believe it, the second book about a mountain range I've read (the first was about the Caucasus). It's pretty fascinating, too - the Alpine region has always been a mish-mash of ruling tribes, only united briefly under the Romans and later Charlemagne, so the history is convoluted and messy, with Prince-Bishops and Savoyards and Habsburgs leading armies up and down the mountains slaughtering each other. Although I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to geology, the geological portions of the book are fascinating, too. I haven't gotten to the culture of the mountains, but I'm looking forward to it. The only bad thing about the book so far is that Beattie doesn't include any maps, so I'm reading it with my atlas next to me. I know the big cities of the region - I know where Geneva, Bern, Zurich, Como, Innsbruck, and Salzburg are (I've visited several of them), but some of the smaller places are unfamiliar to me, so I need to look at a map. Anyway, if you read one book about a mountain range this year, why not read this one?

The Resistance is an eight-issue mini-series from IDW. Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti wrote it, and Juan Santacruz drew it. These gentlemen collaborated on The Twilight Experiment from Wildstorm, which wasn't bad. Story-wise, The Resistance is decent - it's a fairly standard post-Apocalyptic tale, with the ruling class oppressing the populace and bunch of young and sexy people fighting for their rights. Gray and Palmiotti bring energy to everything they write, but it's still a but formulaic. However, Santacruz is magnificent. He has a bit of an Adam Warren vibe going on, and his vision of this future dystopia is amazing. The details are stunning, the layouts are excellent, and everyone (even the men) manages to look sexy but still a bit ragged around the edges. If you've never seen Santacruz's art before, it's a treat.

Are you reading anything, or have the NBA playoffs taken over your brain? Testify in the comments!

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