Could this be the final list of 2011 books?


I was hoping I would get to 100 books this week, but, clearly, I have fallen short yet again. Maybe my shiny new Nook will get me back to that mark next year. Time shall tell.

Also, if I stopped picking up old issues of The New Yorker. That might help the book count.

As if the book count even matters.


Anyway, here are the the final few books of 2011. Unless I surprise myself in the next nine hours.

094) Flora Segunda by Ysabeau Wilce, finished December 26/27 (midnightish)

I have terribly ambivalent feelings about this book. Luisa recommended it to me (reason enough to get it from the library) in part because of the Bay Area connections.

These connections were fun, although I had a hard time reconciling the geography --- I think the Bay Area of the fantastical Califa is somewhat smaller than the Bay Area of the realistical California. But no matter.

What bugged me most about the book was how overly (and cutely) plotted the book was. Constant minicliffhangers, many of which were cheap and unnecessary. (Example: we hear of a character who is Very Dangerous, then it ends up he's probably dead, then he's really strong, then he's really friendly, then he's going to eat our hero, then he's really nice again . . . and so on --- the book's full of little switchbacks like this.)

Which is not to say I did not like it. In fact, I'm going to strongly recommend it to Lady Steed, whose taste, I think, will better appreciate the book.

But I was not enamored of it. I could set it doing in the middle of an Exciting Part and not even think about the characters until I picked it up again. I was never really vested in the characters. Until about the last fifty pages.

That said, what I am enamored of is Wilce's world-building. Clearly, this world is built and built well. I would probably get more enjoyment of a history book of Califa than I did of this novel. I'm as curious about the for-adults short stories set in this world as I am in the further YA adventures of Flora Nemain Fyrdraaca ov Fyrdraaca. I would love to read detailed synopses of these books, but I found them too frustrating to read to want to read all the subsequent volumes.

Other things I liked: The use of eths in the language. The use of a nonce writing system to spell magical words (brilliant, really, when you think about it --- JK Rowling should have thought of this). I loved the apparent etymology of nonce words. I loved the richness of allusion.

In other words, I like the nuts and bolts of the words, but not the plot and characters. A weird thing, when I think of it.

The way the book ended, I do suspect further volumes may get better. I suspect, however, that I will completely forget about book one before I decide whether or not to read book two.

nearly three weeks


093) The Trouble with Igor by Christopher P. Reilly and Gus Fink, finished December 23

A bit like Frank in its surreality but without providing the pleasure Frank gives me. I think because I didn't so much care for the art, which was jerky and sloppy which made characters hard to distinguish from one another.

Not to say I didn't find things to like. The hand-puppet reaper was a fun idea, for instance. But, ultimately, I didn't find much enough to like here.

Anyone want my copy?

two or three days


092) Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Reader's Guide by Grant Hardy, finished December 20

An utterly brilliant book. Buy a copy.

(my motley-vision review)

I also highly recommend his Reader's Edition.

some months

Previously in 2011 . . . . :


091) Fountain City wrecked by Michael Chabon, finished December 20


090) Missile Mouse: The Star Crusher by Jake Parker, finished c. December 13
089) The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carré, finished December 10
088) Uzumaki, Spiral into Horror by Junji Ito, finished December 9
087) How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster, finished December 9
086) Umney's Last Case by Stephen King, finished December 6


085) Room by Emma Donoghue, finished November 30
084) The Armed Garden and other stories by David B. (translated by Kim Thompson), finished November 27
083) The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told, finished---was it November 26?


082) Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov, finished November 13
081) Variant by Robison Wells, finished November 12
080) Tom Sawyer Abroad by Mark Twain, finished November 10
079) The Devil Colony by James Rollins, finished November 9
078) Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol, finished November 7


077) The Best American Comics 2011 edited by Alison Bechdel, finished November 5
076) The Complete Peanuts 1977-1978 by Charles Schulz, finished November 3
075) Ghost Story by Peter Straub, finished October 27


074) Duncan the Wonder Dog by Adam Hines, finished October 23
073) Poem Strip by Dino Buzzati, finished October 15
072) No Arm in Left Field by Matt Christopher, finished October 18
071) Hamlet by William Shakespeare, finished October 18


070) The Canterbury Tales adapted by Seymour Chwast, finished October 12


069) A Stainless Steel Rat Is Born by Harry Harrison, finished October 4
068) Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett, finished September 27
067) Modern Masters Volume Sixteen: Mike Allred by Eric Nolen-Weathington, finished September 19
066) iZombie: uVampire by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred, finished September 15
065) Knight and Squire by Paul Cornell and Jimmy Broxton, finished September 12

064) Alice in Sunderland: An Entertainment by Bryan Talbot, finished September 21

063) Blacksad written by Juan Díaz Canales and drawn by Juanjo Guarnido, finished September 5
062) 21 by Wilfred Santiago, finished September 4
061) Bone by Jeff Smith, finished August 29
060) Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: Race to Death Valley by Flody Gottfredson, finished on a date that's a little hard to identify exactly
059) Shakespeare Wrote for Money by Nick Hornby, finished August 18

058) Take Time for Paradise by A. Bartlett Giamatti, finished August 11

057) The Shining by Stephen King, finished August 9
056) I Don't Want to Kill You by Dan Wells, finished August 6
055) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, finished August 2
054) Moneyball by Michael Lewis, finished July 12
053) Madman New Giant Size Super Ginchy Special by Mike Allred et al, finished approximately July 9

052) The Influencing Machine by Brooke Gladstone and Josh Neufeld, finished July 8
051) Wilson by Daniel Clowes, finished July 6

050) Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut, finished July 1
049) Housekeeping vs. The Dirt by Nick Hornby, finished June 25
048) The Light Princess by George Macdonald, finished June 22
047) Half a Life by Darin Strauss, finished June 17
046) Babymouse: Cupcake Tycoon by Jennifer L. Holm and Matt Holm (siblings), finished June 16

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. Ooh, sorry you didn't love Flora the way I did. I'd be interested to know what Lady S. thinks of it if she gets to it.

    Buying the Hardy.

  2. .

    As much as I thought it dragged, as time goes on I'm forgetting that complaint and remembering the things I liked.