My eyes. My eyes.


NOTE: Amazon no longer pays me for your clickthroughs. I haven't decided what I'm going to do instead though so, as of now, my book links still go to Amazon. Don't buy anything though. Out of spite.


050) Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut, finished July 1

I finished Timequake this morning then picked back up Nick Hornby's Shakespeare Wrote for Money in which he immediately suggested that you should NEVER revisit the most important books and movies of your past because their importance suggests that they came to you at Just the Right Moment and that circumstance can never be repeated and thus you are doomed to disappointment.

I mean: I liked the book and much of what I've always said about it remains true, but I'm not convinced it's a great novel. Honestly, if it had been written a few hundred years ago it would be filed as nonfiction. Really, it's an extended essay with some fictional points built in.

So . . . take that as you will. Probably not the book for a Vonnegut novice, but still a must read for the Vonnegut fan.

five days


049) Housekeeping vs. The Dirt by Nick Hornby, finished June 25

After enjoying the first of Nick Hornby's what-I-read Believer columns so much, I greatly wanted to buy the other two. And discovering them on McSweeney's bargain-because-damaged page, I did. (This volume is still there for a mere three bucks.) And they came with less damage than many "undamaged" books have arrived from Amazon over the years.

Once again, we spend some time chatting with Nick over what books he's read and the time he's had reading them and we laughed together and snarled in agreement and just had a dandy time. If you don't have a book club (or, like me, the only one nearby is a girls-only thing), then hang with Nick and make it a club of two.

a week


048) The Light Princess by George Macdonald, finished June 22

My copy was illustrated by Maurice Sendak in what I think of as his Bat-Poet style (although the baby looks a lot like Mickey). The book is a delightful children's book written by this guy:

Clearly the sort of person children love.

Anyway, the story is of a princess who, like Sleeping Beauty, was cursed by someone unhappy at not being invited to the christening, but instead of falling asleep, her gravity is removed. The earth has no hold upon her. So of course it's the story of how she meets a prince and gets her gravity back.

And the book is funny. I lolled a number of times. It's swift and fun and charming and pretty darn funny. Check it out.

(Also, I learn from the Wikipedia article,) it will soon be a musical with music by Tori Amos. Tori Amos! How about that?

two days or about twenty-four hours


047) Half a Life by Darin Strauss, finished June 17

What a remarkable book. I'm not sure how to talk about it in a way that would make even me want to pick it up and read it, so let me start by saying that it's under 200 pages and that includes a goodly number of blanks and plenty of additional whitespace. It won't take you long to read. So it's not much risk to take my word on this one.

But here's the skinny:

Have his life ago, the author killed a girl. Her bike swerved in front of his car and everyone agreed there was nothing he could do, but still: he killed a girl. He was a senior, she was a junior --- he barely knew her, but for the most recent half of his life, he has lived with her. He cannot escape thoughts of her. And he's not sure how he feels because he also have to feel what he's supposed to feel and what he wishes to feel and what he thinks others expect him to feel. And so he's trapped in concentric circles of guilt and uncertainty and this is how his life is lived.

Honestly, I'm not sure why I ever expressed interest in something so clearly awful to read, but somehow I did and I'm so glad I did. I'm not sure how I feel about his book, but I think that's exactly how I should feel. It's how he felt.

Good stuff.

(Note: I received a free copy of this book through Librarything's Early Reviewer program.)

under a week


046) Babymouse: Cupcake Tycoon by Jennifer L. Holm and Matt Holm (siblings), finished June 16

I picked this up at the last second from the new-books shelf while checking out at the library. I started reading it last night while the kids were getting ready for bed, but Large S joined me and asked me to read it aloud and Big O joined not long after. Today they wanted me to reread it, but I insisted O just read it himself to the both of them. (This is how I teach love of reading, ha ha.)

Ends up this is the thirteenth in a series. This book is in lovely pink monochrome and is a good introduction to Walter Mitty, smarmy postmodern narration, and cutting cuteness. Quite a fun and charming book. Utterly silly, but not in a Captain Underpants-esque overwhelmery.

In brief, I liked it. I did not love it. And I don't know what to think that there are fourteen of these and only two Missile Mouse books. Go buy some Missile Mouse today and lets get Jake Parker a contract extension.

maybe fifteen minutes max


Previously in 2011 . . . . :

045) Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card, finished June 10
044) Writings from The New Yorker 1927-1976 by E.B. White (edited by Rebecca M. Dale), finished June 7
043) The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, finished May 31
042) Unnamed book by unnamed client (MS POLICY),
finished May 27

041) Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour by Bryan Lee O'Malley, finished May 14
040) Scott Pilgrim Versus The Unverse by Bryan Lee O'Malley, finished May 14
039) Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together by Bryan Lee O'Malley, finished May 13
037) The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse, finished May 11
036) Scott Pilgrim Versus The World by Bryan Lee O'Malley
035) Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O'Malley
034) The Complete Peanuts 1975-1976 by Charles M. Schulz, finished May 1
033) Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli finished approximately April 27

032) Golden Gate by Seth Vikram, finished April 20

031) Batman: Year 100 by Paul Pope, finished April 18
030) The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby, finished April 9
029) iZombie: Dead to the World by Chris Roberson and Mike Allred, finished April 2
028) A Sense of Order and Other Stories by Jack Harrell, finished April 1
027) Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard, finished March 30

026) The Black Dogs by Ian McEwan, finished March 21

025) Stitches by David Small, finished March 20
024) Arkham Asylum: Madness by Sam Kieth, finished January 19 or 20
023) Hamlet by William Shakespeare, finished March 18

022) Red Rocket 7 by Mike Allred, finished March 10
021) Missile Mouse: Rescue on Tankium3 by Jake Parker, finished March 10

020) The Hotel Cat by Esther Averill, finished February 28

019) Wonderland by Tommy Kovac and Sonny Liew, finished February 21
018) Redcoat by Kohl Glass (MS POLICY), finished February 18

017) Best American Comics 2010 edited by Neil Gaiman, finished February 12
016) Little Bee by Chris Cleave, finished February 10
015) Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck, finished February 2
014) Cursed Pirate Girl: The Collected Edition Vol. I by Jeremy Bastian, finished January 31

013) Sweet Tooth: In Captivity by Jeff Lemire, finished January 30
012) Sweet Tooth: Out of the Woods by Jeff Lemire, finished January 30
011) Essex County: The Country Nurse by Jeff Lemire, finished January 30
010) Essex County: Ghost Stories by Jeff Lemire, finished January 29
009) Essex County: Tales from the Farm by Jeff Lemire, finished January 29

008) Magdalene by Morah Jovan, finished January 27

007) Knightfall Part Two: Who Rules the Night by a slew of DC folk, finished January 23
006) Bayou by Jeremy Love, finished January 17

005) Mr. Monster by Dan Wells, finished January 10
004) The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, finished January 6
003) The Mystery of the Dinosaur Graveyard by Mary Adrian, finished January 5
002) Batman - Judge Dredd: Judgment on Gotham by John Wagner and Alan Grant and Simon Bisley, with lettering by the famous Todd Klein; finished January 4
001) Batman: Venom by Dennis O'Neil et al, finished January 2

1 comment:

  1. I listened to an interview with the author of Half a Life on NPR and it sounded really good. I've just been waiting for one of my local libraries to get it, since I'm cheap like that. I thought it sounded good, but one of the best books I've read recently is a memoir by a woman whose schizophrenic mother kept trying to kill her.

    S-Boogie really likes Babymouse books and brings them home from the library often.