note: two of today's authors are featured in my post today for motley vision
065) Hooper Haller by Dean Hughes, finished July 18
- I first read this as a child, borrowed from my grandmother's personal library. I remember nothing of what I thought of it then. My grandmother has since passed away and this passed into my own library. Not because of the Big O's baseball obsession (he wasn't walking then) but because I had taken a class from the author and he had served as an important mentor to me.
Anyway, because of the baseball obsession, I chose this book to read to the boys.
Eldon Haller is from small town Hooper, Utah (near Ogden) where he was a master of the mound for his high school baseball team. He's drafted by the Royals and heads to Kansas City.
Hughes is a notable writer of baseball books and the game scenes crackle. Biggo loved those. But the parts about the girl or Eldon's existential crises or buying a car or flying on planes or sitting my a stream or somebody's little brother dying? Not nearly so good. Which is why it took us so long to finish. One-sitting picture books are still the lit of choice around here.
Because it took us so long (and because I had to reread the games scenes and read the rest while trying to play catch at the same time), I really don't know how good this particular book is. But it certainly wasn't bad. I would read its sequel.
But if you're considering reading a Dean Hughes YA book (and don't particularly care whether it's one of the DB-published ones), may I recommend Millie Wilenheimer and the Chestnut Corporation (funny and about money) and Family Pose (serious and about hotels)?
064) Stay by Moriah Jovan (MS POLICY), finished July 15
- My faith that I put in Moriah after reading The Proviso was justified. This book is good. Parts of it are excellent. And it's still only a draft. It still has explicit sex (though not as much) but you should have no other qualms about checking this one out when it's released in a few months.
Congratulations, Moriah, on a great book. Keep 'em coming.
063) The Question: The Five Books of Blood by Greg Rucka et al, finished July 14
- A fairly interesting idea based on a beloved character, but disappointing. Basically, there is a religion of crime whose sacred work stars Cain and Lilith and, yeah, doesn't pay off. Too bad.
about half and hour plus a couple minutes the next morning
062) Daisy Kutter: The Last Train by Kazu Kibuishi, finished July 13
- Page one is below. If you want my take, proceed to Fob Comics.
like half an hour, max
061) Gravity vs. the Girl by Riley Noehren, finished July 11
- Before I started this book, I thought I would compare it to this book, which, though I haven't read it, is a Minx (and I've reviewed several) and has, at least on the surface, a similar conceit. But Good as Lily's just gonna have to wait for me to read it because this book deserves much more than comparison to an unread comic.
Gravity vs. the Girl is that rarest of beasts: the Good Comic novel.
I don't know why this beast is so rare. There is no reason on this earth that comic novels shouldn't be excellent. But they rarely are. Most comic novels I've read have inconsistent character development, bad plotting, di ex machina, and other grievous sins mostly born of laziness. The worst this book does is misspell Macauley Culkin.
Anyway. Back to the conceit. (I'll let the backcopy do the heavylifting.)
"Samantha Green has just spent an entire year in her pajamas, and she is beginning to regret it. What's more, she is haunted by four ghosts that are former versions of herself. First up is the overachieving and materialistic attorney, who is furious with Samantha for throwing away the career she worked so hard to build. Second is the lackadaisical college student who is high on life but low on responsibility. Next is the melodramatic teenager, who is consumed with her social standing, teal eyeliner and teased bangs. Finally, there is the scrappy six-year old, whose only objective is to overcome gravity so that she can fly."
That's all you need to know about the story. Now I'm going to spout some stuff that will hopefully make you think I'm smart or at least Mormon and then I'll close by suggesting you read the book.
In order for Samantha to move forward with her life, she first needs to move backwards, giving the text a chiastic structure that is understated and quite successful. Even after I began to see how things were unfolding, the final ghost's raison d'être was strong enough to justify its role as the entire book's foundation.
I'm impressed by the book's cohesiveness. A game like the one Noehren is playing here is easy to screw up but there are no false steps here. And when the book offers lessons it does so in an honest way --- as opposed to most comic novel's that feel a need to preachify to excuse their funniness. BEING FUNNY IS NOT A CRIME. This book knows that and feels no shame in making you laugh. So refreshing.
It closing up with an epilogue even Edgy could love that provides unusually perfect bookending.
And although there is nothing explicitly Mormon about this book, it's clean enough to recommend to my mother. So no one here will feel the need to feel betrayed.
Anyway. Buy your own copy.
about three weeks
060) The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy, finished July 1
059) Letters from a Nut by Ted. L. Nancy, finished June 21
058) The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling, finished June 21
057) Lowboy by John Wray, finished June 16
056) One silent sleepless night by Spencer W. Kimball, finished June 14
055) Blue Beetle: Boundaries by Sturges/Albuquerque/Coelho, finished June 6
054) [title in flux] (MS) by B.G. Christensen, finished June 5
053) Invincible Volume 1: Family Matters words by Robert Kirkman, pictures by Cory Walker, finished June 3
052) Der Ostwind (MS) by Kohl Glass, finished June 2
051) The Rumpelstiltskin Problem by Vivian Vande Velde, finished June 2
050) The Bible Salesman by Clyde Edgerton, finished June 2
049) Superman / Madman Hullabaloo! by the Allreds, finished May 29
048) Beyond Fair Chase: The Ethic and Tradition of Hunting by Jim Posewitz, finished May 26
047) Brave and the Bold: Demons and Dragons by Mark Waid et al, finished May 20
046) Atonement by Ian McEwan, finished May 20
045) Love and the Light: An Idyl of the Westland by Orson Ferguson Whitney, finished May 20
044) Tales Of The Batman: Tim Sale by Tim Sale and some motley group of writers, finished May 17
043) Catwoman: The Dark End of the Street by Ed Brubaker et al, finished May 13
042) Aztek - the Ultimate Man by Grant Morrison), Mark Millar, Keith Champagne, Steven Harris; finished May 11
041) Cypher by Brad Teare, finished May 7
040) My Faith in Frankie by Mike Carey, Sonny Liew, Marc Hempel, finished May 5
039) Janes in Love by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg, finished May 5
038) Batman: R.I.P. by Grant Morrison et al, finished May 4
037) 1000 Steps To World Domination by Rob Osborne, finished May 4
036) 110 Per¢ by Tony Consiglio, finished May 4
035) Mendoza in Hollywood by Kage Baker, finished May Day
034) All Star Superman, Vol. 2 by Grant Morrison, and Frank Quitely and Jamie Grant, finished April 22
033) All Star Superman, Vol. 1 by Grant Morrison, and Frank Quitely and Jamie Grant, finished April 20
032) Bound on Earth by Angela Hallstrom, finished April 19
031) Batman: The Resurrection of Ra's Al Ghul by Grant Morrison and colleagues, finished April 18
030) Madman Atomic Comics Volume 2 by Mike Allred with Laura Allred, finished April 14
029) For a Good Time by K. Voss, finished April 11
028) The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told, finished April 11
027) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, finished April 6
026) Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey by Karen Wilkin (essay) and Edward Gorey (art), finished April 5
025) Owly: A Time to be Brave by Andy Runton, finished April 1
024) Blue Beetle: Endgame by John Rogers and Rafaele Albuquerque, finished March 29
023) Blue Beetle: Reach for the Stars by Rogers, Torres, Albuqerque; finished March 26
022) The Complete Peanuts 1967-1968 by Charles M. Schulz, finished March 25
021) Blue Beetle: Road Trip by various, finished March 25
020) Love That Dog by Sharon Creech, finished March 18
019) Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block, finished March 17
018) The Proviso by Moriah Jovan, finished March 16
017) An Ensign to the Nations: History of the Oakland State by Evelyn Candland, finished March 7
016) Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley, finished February 27
015) Batman: The Black Glove by Grant Morrison and Tony Daniel and J.H. Williams III, finished February 23
014) The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story by Richard Preston, finished February 22
013) Lex Luthor: Man of Steel by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, finished February 19
012) Blue Beetle: Shellshocked by Keith Giffen and Cully Hammer, finished February 18
011) The Joker by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, finished February 17
010) Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, finished February 18
009) Superman: Red Son by MJR&M, finished February 11
008) The Best American Comics 2008 edited by Lynda Barry, finished February 9
007) The Blot by Tom Neely, finished February 6
006) JSA: Darkness Falls by Goyer, Johns, et al, finished January 28
005) The Road by Cormac McCarthy, finished January 24
004) Poor Sailor by Sammy Harkham, finished January 19
003) The Waitress was New by Dominique Fabre and translated by Jordan Stump, finished January 19
002) Stagger Lee by Derek McCulloch and Shepherd Hendrix, finished January 12?
001) The Arrival by Shaun Tan, finished January 8
the first five, 1-5
the second five, 6-10
the third five, 11-15
the fourth five, 16-20
the fifth five, 21-25
the sixth five, 26-30
the seventh five, 31-35
the eighth five, 36-40
the ninth five, 41-45
the tenth five, 46-50
the eleventh five, 51-55
the twelfth five, 56-60