Fourth Five Books Finished in 2007


20) A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers, finished March 16
    So. Contrary to what I may have led you to believe, I am not totally in love with this book. And Dave Eggers is more like himself than he is like me. And I think the reason people went nuts over this book, is not just because it is a good example of what it is (though it is), but because it was the first time they saw that a book written like this could exist. At least, that's my theory. ¶ I read the self-contained appendix and introductory fun before starting the bookbook portion of the book to build up steam and to believe I really could read it. And I have other posts in me in regards to Eggers and this book that I may or may not ever write, but yes. I did like the book. Yes. I do recommend it. Unless you don't like that one vulgarity that refers to sexual intercourse. Cuz it's pretty rampant. ¶ But at the end of the day, it's a good book and I liked it and Eggers is still invited--but now we have to meet after midnight. If that's okay.
    not quite a month

19) Batman: Gothic by Grant Morrison et al, finished March 13
    Batman: Gothic
    I like Batman. And I liked Morrison's take on Arkham. And I liked a couple things about this book. Alfred was pretty funny, for instance. But as a whole, ixnay on the othicgay. Ywhay? Because I just don't like the supernatural creeping into my Batman. Batman, though fantastic, needs to be firmly grounded in the natural world. To me, anything unnatural is a betrayal. It's weird that Batman and Superman exist in the same universe, but at least we can pretend Superman is natural. 300-year-old demon-monks, not so much.
    maybe a couple hours

18) Wild at Heart by John Eldredge, finished March 7
    Wild at Heart
    When I started this book, I had in mind joking about how it was the Christian, nonfiction Fight Club. And that is true enough, I suppose, but rather unfair all the same. Even though the parallels are many and varied, in the end, Fight Club is nihilistic and Wild at Heart is God-centered. ¶ Eldredge's points are easy to sum up, but difficult to sum up without slighting or making seem silly. In the end, for all the points I remain skeptical about, overall, I am a convert to his view of what God made men to be. ¶ The book is a good starting point for men to look at their own lives and see what is missing. (And it would be a great foundation for a brand of literary criticism.) I would recommend it to anyone without reservation. ¶ Although the recommendation might not be reserved, I would not ask anyone to take the entire book as gospel. From my Mormon perspective, I started picking out "false doctrine" on page ten. And sometimes he uses bad facts to reach good conclusions. Which is not something you see very often.... ¶ My brother Reb gave me the book for Christmas. And he gave one to our father and brother. He has a whole box of these books (from here?). He bought it because he was sick of lending his copy to someone who really needed it and never getting it back. I guess I can understand that. And I can easily see how this book could change lives. ¶ Rather than go on and on (which I could if there weren't fresh cookies in the other room), let me just say that this book is worth reading. I'm not suggesting you (or anyone) will agree with every word out of Eldredge's mouth, but his arguments are so compelling, they must have some element of truth. ¶ How much truth? That's not my job to say. But enough that I would say go ahead and read the book.
    under two months

17) Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid by Megan McDonald, finished March 7
    Short, fast, funny. Has a moment of horrific violence and lots of James Madison. And mini comicstrips ala Captain Underpants (illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds). That's probably all you need to know.
    under an hour

16) <50 Professional Scenes for Student Actors: A Collection of Short 2 Person Scenes by Garry Michael Kluger, finished March 6
    Scenes scenes scenes
    Another busy day at the office and another book picked off a teacher's shelf and read through. The scenes in this book are heavy with advertisers, crime scenes, interrogations, restaurants, cops and reporters. Most are pretty good. I would recommend it to another high school drama teacher as a source for scenes to assign. Other than that though, why would you need it?
    a couple hours


15) Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda, finished March 5
14) Frindle by Andrew Clements, finished March 1
13) Brain Wave by Poul Anderson, finished February 27
12) The Best American Comics 2006 edited by Harvey Pekar and Anne Elizabeth Moore, finished February 26
11) Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, finished February 15
10) The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ edited by Mormon and Moroni, finished February 7
9) Lisey's Story by Stephen King, finished February 1
8) The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett, finished January 26
7) Empire by Orson Scott Card, finished January 24
6) Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, finished January 22
5) Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh, finished January 17
4) Superman Adventures Vol. 1: Up, Up and Away! by Mark Millar, finished January 16
3) A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, finished January 12
2) Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, finished January 11
1) Galápagos by Kurt Vonnegut, finished January 10


  1. Do you know you helped me immensely in finding a way to spend my Barnes & Noble gift certificate?

  2. .

    Happy to hear it! I take it you've decided not to buy Batman:Gothic now?

  3. I felt about the same as you about AHWoSG, I think. I fell in love with the introductory material, but then the book just sort of went on and on. The funny thing is that Dave tells you up front what the book's problems are, and he's mostly right.

  4. .

    Maybe that's why he gets to be a genius anyway.