120) A Christmas Carol: The Graphic Novel by Charles Dickens et al, finished December 23
119) Strange Stories for Strange Kids edited by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly, finished December 23
- The Big O and I hit these ones out today.
He had bought me Strange Stories for my birthday then was visiting grandparents the next week while I read it. Then he missed much of our Christmas Carol-reading time so we did the comics version this afternoon. We enjoyed both, even if neither was per our original plan.
less than hours even together
118) Justice Be Done by James Robinson, David S. Goyer, and Steve Sadowski (et al), finished December 20
- I've tried hard to think of something nice to say about this book and I found something: I like the respect paid to Golden Age heroes. Particularly Wesley Dodds, the era's Sandman.
Something nice. Thumper's dad would be pleased.
Mr Fob lent me this one, I think, for the Starman intro. But I remember this Starman now from books he lent me back in Utah. And it's not the one he recently sold me on.
Anyway, this book was stupid and with embarrassingly obvious commercial motivations and awfulawfulawful exposition. Plus, the characters were almost universally dull, the only possible exception being the newly introduced Sandman replacement Sand.
Takeaway: Don't read this one.
a long while considering it's brevity, perhaps a week
117) Manhunter: Unleashed by Marc Andreyko et al, finished December 15
- I've now read all the Manhunters Mr Fob lent me. I have to say I enjoy them immensely.
about three days
116) The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E. L. Konigsburg, finished December 12
- Even though what I knew about this book can be summed in one sentence ("Lady Steed thought the introduction to the main character made her really irritating."), I was still predisposed to like it because of the dozen or so times I read From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler when I was younger. The only other Konigsburg book I ever read was Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth which creeped me out, but now that I'm on an inspired-by-Macbeth kick (three movies this week! 1 2 and 3!), maybe it's time to try it again.
Anyway, after reading it, I did like it. But listen: I'm making no qualms about spilling spoilers today, so stay away if that's going to upset you.
Lady Steed finished the book a couple days before I did; it's this month's book for her book club and when possible, I like to read them too so we can talk about them and when she talks about book club, I get what was said. I'm not in a book club so I get some vicarious literary thrills this way.
Anyway, the more we talked about it, the more our conversation swayed from the feels-good girl-saves-the-day surface of the story to an unsettling subtext where, really, the little people felt good about their accomplishment but really they failed, utterly and completely.
Now that all the spoiler-haters are long gone and the rest of you have spent the afternoon reading the book, let's chat: What was she trying to do? Save the towers. Okay, fine, good. Why was she trying to save the towers? The person who wrote the flapcopy didn't know. That yahoo said it was because she "knows the towers for what they truly are: irreplaceable works of art." No. It never even occurred to her that they are art until someone else calls them such. Because she loves them? Yeah, sure, that's part of it. A big part of it. But at the end of the day, it's less about the towers and more about her uncles whose work they are.
They worst thing about the towers being torn down is that their destruction will ruin the uncles --- their pending destruction already is! The tower-building part of them has died as is evidenced by the fact that they've stopped maintaining the paint, they're not building the fourth . . . isn't that death the truly horrifying part of the towers' destruction for the hero? Isn't that what she's trying to save?
Then through a miraculous series of lucky breaks she gets some handy adults involved and they save the towers and she feels like she has really accomplished something, and she has, but she has not resurrected that dead part of her uncles souls. Are they back to maintaining? No. The towers are now owned by a massive corporation and fenced off and the uncles cannot even touch them. Are they building the fourth tower? No, they are still prevented from building any more towers.
Allegedly the best part of the towers is standing inside them and looking up. But no one can do that anymore.
Allegedly the towers needed to be saved because they were a vital part of the neighborhood. But the tower-haters still won the day: the towers are gone.
Gone with the exquisite irony that a new yippily arty community has been built up around the towers' new location and the people who once hated them for lucrecentric reasons now worship them for lucrecentric reasons. The people who took them over to destroy them have now taken them over to trivialize them.
And the men who built them are relegated to rich folks' dinner party stories: "It became something of a contest to see who had the best story to tell."
This is a victory? Everyone seems to think it is. Looks more to me like they got played. Someone threw the plebes a bone. So they wouldn't notice they were being screwed.
Hope I haven't ruined the book for anyone.
Incidentally, I really hope you heeded my spoiler warning. Because not knowing about the whole tower thing makes it possible to enjoy the first half of the book. Lady Steed tells me that knowing the towers are coming renders the first half of the book a mere waiting game, while I really enjoyed the first half.
ps: are you as smart as my wife and thought immediately of these?
115) Manhunter: Origins by Marc Andreyko et al, finished December 11
114) When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt, finished December 11
113) Witchblade Volume 1 by Ron Marz, Mike Choi, et al, finished December 11
112) Manhunter: Trial by Fire by Marc Andreyko et al, finished December 9
111) A Christmas Carol: The Graphic Novel by Charles Dickens et al, finished December 8
110) The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg, finished December 2
109) Re-Gifters by Mike Carey et al, finished December 2
108) Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater, finished November 30
107) Old School by Tobias Wolff, finished November 28
106) Madman Atomic Comics Volume 1 by Mike Allred et al, finished November 23
105) The Brave & the Bold, Book 2 by Mark Waid et al, finished November 16
104) Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, finished November 15
103) Dali & I: The Surreal Story by Stan Lauryssens, finished November 15
102) Brave & The Bold Vol. 1: Lords Of Luck by Mark Waid and George Pérez, finished November 13
101) The Black Whole edited by Jacqueline M Jones, finished November 13
100) Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin, finished November 10
099) Batman and Son by Grant Morrison et al, finished November 9
098) The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, finished November 7
097) Manhunter Vol. 1: Street Justice by Marc Andreyko et al, finished November 4
096) Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism by Joel Andreas, finished November 4
095) Our America: Life And Death On The South Side Of Chicago by by LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman with David Isay, finished October 22
094) Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt, finished October 21
093) Carrie by Stephen King, finished October 14
092) Barnaby by Crockett Johnson, finished October 9
091) Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, finished October 8
090) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, finished October 6
089) The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, finished October 3
088) Mr. White's Confession by Robert Clark, finished October 1
087) Concrete: Fragile Creature by Paul Chadwick, finished September 28
086) Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 1: The Assassin's Road by Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima, finished September 27
085) A Lion and a Lamb by Rand H. Packer, finished September 20
084) What Jesus Meant by Garry Wills, finished September 20
083) The Lost Ones by Steve Niles et al, finished September 18
082) Dorian by Nephi Anderson, finished September 17
081) If You Want to Scare Yourself by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg, translated by Rene Vera Cafiero, with illustrations by Helga Spiess; finished September 12
080) Madman Gargantua by Mike Allred with Laura Allred, finished September 9
079) Star Wars by George Lucas, finished September 9
078) Angel Falling Softly by Eugene Woodbury, finished September 1
077) The Night Listener by Armistead Maupin finished August 29
076) Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, finished August 25
075) Added Upon by Nephi Anderson, finished August 24
074) The Last Flower by James Thurber, finished August 19
073) Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form by Scott McCloud, finished August 17
072) The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories by Nicholas Gurewitch, finished August 12
071) The Dreamer by Will Eisner, finished August 12
070) The Blot by Tom Neely, finished August 6
069) Strange Stories for Strange Kids edited by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly, finished August 6
068) Survival Rates by Mary Clyde, finished July 30
067) A Week in October by Elizabeth Subercaseaux, translated by Marina Harss, finished July 29
066) Lehi in the Desert & The World of the Jaredites by Hugh Nibley, Ph. D., finished July 29
065) A Son Is Forever by various, finished July 29
064) Good ol' Snoopy by Charles M. Schultz, finished July 13
063) Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi, finished July 13
062) A Doré Treasury edited by James Stevens, finished July 12?
061) Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.; finished July 8
060) The Enoch Letters by Neal A. Maxwell, finished July
059) Sock Monkey: The Inches Incident by Tony Millionaire, finished July 3
058) The Number 73304-23-4153-6-96-8 by Thomas Ott, finished July 2
057) Chicken with Plums by Marjane Satrapi, finished July 1
056) 300 by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley, finished June 16
055) Fox Bunny Funny by Andy Hartzell, finished June 16
054) Where Did I Leave My Glasses?: The What, When, and Why of Normal Memory Loss by Martha Weinman Lear, finished June 15
053) The Mystery Guest by Grégoire Bouillier, trans. Lorin Stein, finished June 14
052) The Legend of Spud Murphy by Eoin Colfer, finished June 10
051) Good Bones and Simple Murders by Margaret Atwood, finished June 10
050) Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans: The Best of McSweeney's, Humor Category edited by D. Eggers, K. Shay, L. Epstein, J. Warner and S. Kleid, finished June 9
049) Bikeman by Thomas F. Flynn, finished June 5
048) Fool Moon by Jim Butcher, finished June 5
047) The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, finished June 2
046) Sixty Poems by Charles Simic, finished May 30
045) Replay by Ken Grimwood, finished May 28
044) The Age of the Conglomerates: A Novel of the Future by Thomas Nevins, finished May 27
043) W;t by Margaret Edson, finished April 19
042) Halo and Sprocket Volume 1: Welcome to Humanity by Kerry Cullen, finished May 17
041) Storm Front by Jim Butcher, finished May 16
040) 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill, finished May 9
039) I Am the President of Ice Cream by Geoff Sebesta, finished May 4
038) On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan, finished May 3
037) The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester, finished May Day
036) The Drifting Classroom Vol. 1 by Kazuo Umezu, finished April 30
035) The Complete Peanuts 1965 - 1966 by Charles M. Schulz, finished April 29
034) Nextwave: Agents Of H.A.T.E Volume 1: This Is What They Want by Warren Ellis et Stuart Immonen et al, finished April 29
033) Batman: Hush, Vol. 2 by Jeph Loeb et al, finished April 29
032) Batman: Hush, Vol. 1 by Jeph Loeb et al, finished April 28
031) Chéri by Colette, finished April 17
030) Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett, finished April 13
029) Animal Farm by George Orwell, finished April 8
028) Macbeth by William Shakespeare, finished April 7
027) On the Road to Heaven by Coke Newell, finished April 4
026) The Great American Citizenship Quiz: Can You Pass Your Own Country's Citizenship Test? by Solomon M. Skolnick, finished March 23
025) Long After Dark by Todd Robert Petersen, finished March 23
024) The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, finished March 21
023) Robot Dreams by Sara Varon, finished March 10
022) The Complete Peanuts 1963-1964 by Charles M. Schulz, finished March 9
021) Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters, finished March 7
020) Unorthodox Practices by Marissa Piesman, finished March 5
019) Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta, finished March 4
018) A War of Gifts: An Ender Story by Orson Scott Card, finished Leap Day
017) Watership Down by Richard Adams, finished February 26
016) Old Boy Volume One by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi, finished February 25
015) Case Histories by Kate Atkinson, finished February 18
014) Ultimate Spider-Man: Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley, finished February 15
013) Trusting Jesus by Jeffrey R. Holland, finished February 11
012) Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall by Bill Willingham et al., finished February 11
011) Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach, finished February 4
010) The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, finished February 3
009) American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang, finished LDotFMotNY
008) Zombification: Stories from National Public Radio by Andrei Codrescu, finished January 22
007) Marriage Lines: Notes of a Student Husband by Ogden Nash, finished January 22
006) Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, finished January 20
005) The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time by Douglas Adams, finished January 14
004) Lord of the Flies by William Golding, finished January 10
003) Rising Sun by Michael Crichton, finished January 7
002) The Marketing of Sister B by Linda Hoffman Kimball, finished January 2
001) Animal Farm by George Orwell, finished January 1
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