Cats, Feces, Zombies, Jews, Wars, Princesses, Prophets, Exes, Screenplays


034) The New Yorker Book of Cat Cartoons, finished March 24

Just what you imagine it to be.
mere minutes


033) What Shat That? by Matt Pagett, finished March 24

I admit I did not read every word. Instead I read it using the Brother-Backman-the-Famous-Historian Method so it certainly still counts. Plus, I learned so many interesting things about goldfish poop and koala poop and wombat poop and whale poop and a hundred other kinds of poop that I'm set with cocktail conversation FOR MONTHS.
not at all long


032) Zombies Hate Stuff by Greg Stones, finished March 22

Do you remember when things like uses for a dead cat could make for a bestselling book? Nowadays, seems more likely a project like that would end up on Tumblr yet here is a series of painting of things zombies hate in a book form, just like the good old days.

Good stuff too. Couple good gags. A pleasant way to spend fifteen minutes.

mere minutes


031) Jews and Words by Amos Oz and Fania Oz-Salzberger, finished March 22

I didn't expect this book to rearrange my thinking as much as it did. (I also didn't expect that Asimov's insanely long chapter on Jewish jokes would be my best preparation coming into this book.)

I have a couple other posts planned coming out of this book, but for now, some unorganized thoughts.

One: I suppose many Christians may agree with this notion, but as a Mormon I could not disagree more when the authors suggest that Jesus's appeal to being as a little child is a call to ignorance.

Two: I love the idea of a people being bound less by geography or genealogy or genetics, and more by the words they hand down from generation to generation---as much teacher to student as parent to child.

Three: We Mormons are terrific at sharing our Torah with each other, but lousy at passing down the full richness of our Talmud. Not that all of our Talmud-equivalent is worth knowing, but I think we let too much of our textual heritage fall away. I'm guilty of this myself.

Four: Although the authors come at this task from a directly atheistic/secular point of view, they remain fully Jewish. And, given their explanation of the history of "Judaism" as and idea and a word, that seems perfectly reasonable. And I'm let wondering again how open my own tradition is to nonbelievers of like heritage. And how open it is incumbent upon us to be.

Five: Look here for some favorite passages.
three or four weeks


030) Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, vol 3 by Hayao Miyazaki, finished March 13

When I finished the first two books,I intended to just jump right into this one. Then I didn't and I didn't then I thought, ah, well, here I am not finishing books, why bother with this one. I'm forgetting the story etc etc. But then it was late and a comic sounded just right and oh yeah! This is AMAZING stuff! So I read it and I've put the other four volumes on hold at the library.

We're doing this thing.
two days


029) The Princess Bride: Shooting Draft by William Goldman, finished March 11

Apparently reading screenplays instead of grading is my new thing. Fwiw, the darn thing almost made me cry. Twice.
shorter than i expected


028) The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother by Lucy Mack Smith, finished March 5

I checked this book from my ward library to carry with me as I walked to before-church meetings. Then I was released from that responsibility and only picked up Lucy Mack to read a bit every now and again.

Reading this book as a lifelong Mormon is a lot like watching Casablanca as a lifelong American parts are so familiar you swear you've seen it before, but it holds secrets you never before imagined.

Lucy Mack Smith is one feisty lady, and something of a prophetess to boot. Her perspective on her family's travails comes with the passion of a mother and the insight of a mother and the wisdom of a mother.

And it's a fun read with mostly short chapters. Check it out.
perhaps three years


027) Scott Pilgrim vs the World by Edgar Wright & Michael Bacall, finished March 5

I read this one because I was told to think Scott Pilgrim. Which, having read it, I realize I already was. Now that I know screenplays are just lying around online, maybe I'll read more.
this evening


026) Screenplay by Syd Field, finished March 3

I was upset when the library made me return Syd Field's Screenplay before I was finished with it. And startled that when they sent me a new copy it was the 70s version instead of the 2005 revised which I had been reading before. (And which I'll argue is superior in many ways but not all.) The two are different enough that it seems strange to claim I've "finished" reading the book when, in fact, I've read half of two quite different books.

I checked it out initially because I'm developing an interest in different ways to structure fiction. Field is the most famous proponent of structure in screenplay, but even those who resent his fame admit the point (if not the details). But a funny thing happened while I read the book. I got excited about writing screenplays.

As an experiment, I'm adapting Byuck. And I do not intend to abandon novels for screenplays. But I am enjoying my experiment and I already have another idea which I've sculpted for screenplay shape, not novel shape. So I may flirt more with this form in the future.

In fact. I would call it certain.
couple months

Previously in 2013 . . . . :

Books 22 - 24
025) Mortal Syntax by June Casagrande, finished March 2
024) The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo, finished March 1
023) Moby Dick by Herman Melville, finished February 28
022) Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis & Christos H. Papadimitriou & Alecos Papadatos & Annie Di Donna, finished February 22

Books 20 - 21
021) The Complete Peanuts 1985-1986 by Charles M. Schulz, finished February 22
020) The Princess Bride by William Goldman, finished February 20

Books 14 - 19
019) Magic Tree House #10: Ghost Town at Sundown by Mary Pope Osborne, finished February 17
018) The Report Card by Andrew Clements, finished February 17
017) Justice (volume one) by AUTHOR, finished February 16
016) The Green Mile by Stephen King, finished February 15
015) Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl, finished February 12
014) The Silver Cord: Book One ~ Nephilim by Kevin Kelly et al., finished February 7

Books 8 - 13
013) Teen Titans: The Prime of Life by JT Krul and Nicola Scott, finished February 2
012) Batman: Vampire by Doug Moench and Kelley Jones and John Beatty and Malcolm Jone III, finished February second
011) Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor by Isaac Asimov, finished January 26
010) Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind, Perfect Collection 1 by Hayao Miyazaki, finished January 22
009) The Complete Peanuts 1983-1984 by Charles M. Schulz, finished January 21
008) My Letter to the World by Emily Dickinson, finished January 21

Books 1 - 7
007) Spacecave One by Jake Parker, finished January 19
006) The Antler Boy and Other Stories by Jake Parker, finished January 19
005) The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons, finished January 14
004) The Crab with the Golden Claws by Hergé, finished January 14
003) The Adventures of Tintin: Red Rackham's Treasure by Hergé, finished January 11
002) Using the Common Core State Standards... edited by Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Ed.D., finished January 10
001) Jellaby by Kean Soo, finished January 8

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