17th 5 Books 2007


neil gaiman fragile things Bat-Poet Randall Jarrell Maurice Sendak Peter Pan J. M. Barrie Gustafson Golden Compass Philip Pullman One Big Self Investigation C.D. Wright

085) Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman, finished November 30
    I bought this book new--a rarity for a hardback--but it was a beautiful object and, well, no matter my qualms re: his novels, he is one of the best when it comes to shorter forms, so this book of stories and poems is an excellent place to start--outside his comics work, the best place to start. Gaiman virgins take note. It's hard to know where to start--so many excellent things--the ToC lists 33 items, but that includes the Acknowledgments and ignores "The Mapmaker"; should I start with the brilliant Sherlock Homes vs. Cthulhu story? The mythic afterlife tale I heard him read in Salt Lake with Lady Steed, Foxy J and Mr. Fob? The end-of-the-world monologue? The marvelous Gothic sendup? The better-than-American-Gods American Gods story? I don't know where to start. Just hit the library and check it out and start reading at random. If you don't like three of your first four, call me crazy and forget it. about fourteen months

084) The Bat-Poet by Randall Jarrell, finished November 29
    I've not been above making exceptions, but this may well be the shortest "book" on the list. But I don't care. It's a great book and it deserves the praise. Randall Jarrell is a poet I didn't know before the Big O and I started reading this book together--I had picked it up at a library sale on a very cheap whim. In essence, the eponymous poet writes poems on chipmunks and mockingbirds et cetera, but in the process has to be awake at day and asleep at night and thus loses track of his batty brethren. The entire book--not just the poems--is poetic and beautiful and the illustrations from Maurice Sendak are wonderful. I couldn't recommend this book more highly to anyone hoping their children might develop a poetical bent. The Big O wants to start it right over again. Maybe it will only take, mm, two months to read this time. several several months

083) Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie, finished November 29
    Shortly after beginning Thmusings, Lady Steed and I watched Finding Neverland. I knew then that I would write about it on my blog (I never did) and that I would often review media hereat (excepting this series of book notes, I never really have). So it goes. One of the things I really liked about the movie was that, for the first time, I understood the appeal of Peter Pan to children. This was not something I had ever really experienced before. So when the Sbooks gave us the Gustafson-illustrated edition, I was quite jolly for trying it. It was some while before the Big O was willing to give such a big book a go (and it has taken us a very, very long time to read it), but he loved it and is anxious to start reading it again. And I have to say: it was indeed quite good. It's representation of childhood is honest and sweet while still being honest and cruel. It's a pretty tricky road to run. Nice job, Mr. Barrie. some many months

082) The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, finished November 21
    First, this book has a couple of the most exciting bits I've read in a long, long time; namely, the battle at Bolvangar and the beary duel. Second, this is supposed to be the Atheist Narnia. I'm withholding judgment on that until I've read all three. But I'm not about to jump into book two just yet. Third, this has the potential to be an awesome movie. The director made one of my favorite movies, but this is quite a different sort of thing. So we shall see. Fourth, this is the first book I've carried around that my fellow English teachers praised. Interesting, that. week and a half

081) One Big Self: An Investigation by C.D. Wright, finished November 19
    I picked this book up from the new shelf, then kept trying to put it down. Never with success. I would slide it in then slide it back out. I would open it close it. I would lean in then lean away. So I checked it out. I haven't read much poetry this year; my nearly finished copy of Spoon River seems permanently lost; so it was nice to have this genius arrive to fill in this gap. I have never read poetry like this, more collage than creation--not to knock collage-- It reminded me of when I unexpectedly was called a poet for what I would now term a thimprov or an abstruct. The waffling definition of poetry--- The book is lovely, from the introduction to the list of books and the note in the back, each bit is poetry--and made me want to see the original version with pictures. Her purpose is to make reader feel what it is to do hard time. I am not a lover of prisons and tend to avoid reading or watching or imagining
      slide it in slide it out open it close it lean in lean away
    Devour. The little stories the little tragedies the little lives the souls in all shapes and sizes For a New Englander, she gives a vision of Louisiana that feels equal and congruent to Codrescu's, while divergent and separate and But who wouldn't rather throw beads at carnival and search out delicious craw? Codrescu is from Transylvania---
      not the same as going there at all.
    I'm happy to meet another living poet whose work I like. Perhaps, next, Translations of the Gospel Back into Tongues? Mm, no. Not at those prices.... one week or eight days

....previously in 2007....

080) Tintin in the Land of the Soviets by Hergé, finished November 16
079) Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball by Spencer W. Kimball, finished November 14
078) Abraxas And The Earthman by Rick Veitch, finished November 12
077) Gorgias by Plato, finished November 10
076) Bighead by Jeffrey Brown, finished November 7
075) Jack the Ripper: A Journal of the Whitechapel Murders 1888-1889 by Rick Geary, finished November 3
074) Summer of Love by Debbie Drechsler, finished November 3
073) The Borden Tragedy by Rick Geary, finished October 31
072) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, finished October 29
071) Monster by Walter Dean Myers, finished October 26
070) Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, finished October 15
069) Whirligig by Paul Fleischman, finished October 15
068) Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators in The Mystery of the Silver Spider by Robert Arthur, finished October 12
067) Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card, finished October 12
066) Hybrids by Robert J. Sawyer, finished October 6
065) How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy by Orson Scott Card, finished October 1
064) Downy Duck Grows Up by Adda Mai Sharp and Epsie Young, finished September 30
063) Humans by Robert J. Sawyer, finished September 28
062) Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer, finished September 23
061) Making Comics by Scott McCloud, finished August 20
060) Tales of the Black Widowers by Isaac Asimov, finished September 14
059) The Pearl by John Steinbeck, finished September 11 and again on September 12
058) The Dog Is Not a Toy: House Rule #4 by Darby Conley, finished September 3
057) Brother Brigham by D. Michael Martindale, finished August 29
056) The Foundation Trilogy: Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov, finished August 27
055) Ode To Kirihito by Osamu Tezuka, finished August 20
054) Polygamy Was Better Than Monotony by Paul Bailey, finished August 10
053) Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein, finished August 7
052) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling, finished July 24
051) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling, finished July 21
050) The Ruins by Scott Smith, finished July 13
049) Favorite Stories by Margret Rey, illustrated by H.A. Rey, finished July 12
048) Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins, finished July 2
047) Flight Volume Three edited by Kazu Kibuishi, finished June 27
046) Nobody Is Perfick by Bernard Waber, finished June 14
045) First Paragraphs: Inspired Openings for Writers and Readers by Donald Newlove, finished June 12
044) The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking, finished June 11
043) Dune by Frank Herbert, finished June 9
042) The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels by Thomas Cahill, finished June 8
041) The Roald Dahl Omnibus by Roald Dahl, finished June 6
040) Troll: A Love Story by Johanna Sinisalo, finished May 31
039) The End by Lemony Snicket, finished May 23
038) The Complete Peanuts 1961-1962 by Charles M. Schultz, finished May 22
037) The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket, finished May 21
036) The Grim Grotto by Lemony Snicket, finished May 18
035) The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, finished May 15
034) Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, finished May 14
033) Chip Kidd: Book One: Work: 1986-2006 by Chip Kidd, finished May 9
032) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, finished May 7
031) The Complete Peanuts 1959-1960 by Charles M. Schulz, finished April 25
030) Devils & Demons edited by Marvin Kaye, finished April 23
029) Talk Talk Talk: Decoding the Mysteries of Speech by Jay Ingram, finished April 23
028) Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman, finished April 20
027) The Long Chalkboard: and Other Stories by Jennifer Allen and illustrated by Jules Feiffer, finished April 19
026) Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis, finished April 19
025) Frank by Jim Woodring, finished April 12
024) The Complete Concrete by Paul Chadwick, finished April 3
023) The Rumpelstiltskin Problem by Vivian Vande Velde, finished March 30
022) Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, finished March 28
021) Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller et al, finished March 23
020) A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers, finished March 16
019) Batman: Gothic by Grant Morrison et al, finished March 13
018) Wild at Heart by John Eldredge, finished March 7
017) Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid by Megan McDonald, finished March 7
016) 50 Professional Scenes for Student Actors: A Collection of Short 2 Person Scenes by Garry Michael Kluger, finished March 6
015) Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda, finished March 5
014) Frindle by Andrew Clements, finished March 1
013) Brain Wave by Poul Anderson, finished February 27
012) The Best American Comics 2006 edited by Harvey Pekar and Anne Elizabeth Moore, finished February 26
011) Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, finished February 15
010) The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ edited by Mormon and Moroni, finished February 7
009) Lisey's Story by Stephen King, finished February 1
008) The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett, finished January 26
007) Empire by Orson Scott Card, finished January 24
006) Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, finished January 22
005) Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh, finished January 17
004) Superman Adventures Vol. 1: Up, Up and Away! by Mark Millar, finished January 16
003) A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, finished January 12
002) Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, finished January 11
001) Galápagos by Kurt Vonnegut, finished January 10

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