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Book 24

  1. Stone, Irving — The Agony and the Ecstasy (439 of 763 pages)
  2. Morpurgo, Michael — The Mozart Question (68 pages)
  3. Unsworth, Barry — Stone Virgin (312 pages)
  4. Phillips, Caryl — The Nature of Blood (212 pages)
  5. Howard, Robert E. — The Conan Chronicles, Volume 1: The People of the Black Circle (549 pages)
  6. Lockwood, Richard & Steve Potz-Rayner — A Little Book of Lies (170 pages)
  7. Vickers, Hugh — Great Operatic Disasters (65 pages)
  8. Howard, Robert E. — The Conan Chronicles, Volume 2: The Hour of the Dragon (574 pages)
  9. Rennison, Nick — 100 Must-Read Classic Novels (164 pages)
  10. Augustine of Hippo (John K. Ryan, translator) — The Confessions of Saint Augustine (422 pages)
  11. Fitzgerald, F. Scott — The Great Gatsby (146 pages)
  12. Harrison, Fraser — Infinite West: Travels in South Dakota (188 pages)
  13. Banks, Iain M. — Consider Phlebas (466 pages)
  14. Banks, Iain M. — The Player of Games (307 pages)
  15. Carter, W. Hodding — Flushed: How the Plumber Saved Civilization (239 pages)
  16. Mandela, Nelson — Long Walk to Freedom (750 pages)
  17. Banks, Iain M. — Use of Weapons (411 pages)
  18. Banks, Iain M. — The State of the Art (215 pages)
  19. Banks, Iain M. — Excession (450 pages)
  20. Kazantzakis, Nikos — Zorba the Greek (345 pages)
  21. Banks, Iain M. — Inversions (407 pages)
  22. Banks, Iain M. — Look to Windward (403 pages)
  23. Nouwen, Henri J. M. & Yushi Nomura — Desert Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers (136 pages)
  24. Gaiman, Neil — The Sandman, Volume 1: Preludes & Nocturnes (217 pages)
Page count
7655
book cover: The Sandman, Volume 1.

In addition to travel-appropriate reading, I am a huge fan of seasonally-appropriate reading. While I don't always get the opportunity, I like to read a baseball book during the summer, something magical during the Christmas season, something of a religious or contemplative nature during Lent — you get the picture. Come October of last year, I was on a tight reading schedule, and if I was to have any hope of completing the Culture novels by the end of the year, I couldn't dedicate much time to appropriate Halloween reading. Fortunately, being a big fan of Neil Gaiman's fiction in general and having been wanting to get into his Sandman series for a few years, I happened to have Volume 1 in my collection, and a graphic novel was the perfect choice given the daunting task ahead of me.

I enjoyed The Sandman, Volume 1: Preludes & Nocturnes for the most part. Admittedly, the inclusion of certain established DC Comics characters did nothing for me, as I am a latecomer to the world of comics and graphic novels. What I enjoyed most, aside from Gaiman's macabre imagination, was seeing the Sandman's character begin to take shape. The introduction by Vertigo Executive Editor Karen Berger suggests that Gaiman is still finding his way in this first volume and that the character of the Sandman really comes into his own in subsequent volumes; I am looking forward to discovering this for myself, as there certainly was enough in this first installment to keep me interested.

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