The leprechaun went to Iraq. Had tea with a mysterious child who never showed his face.


040) Leprechaun in Late Winter by Mary Pope Osborne, finished April 8

I'm happy to read these books to my kids. Partially because they're the books that finally got my oldest to read and partially because they're pretty good reads.

Plus, this one is the latest in a serious of small events encouraging me to read Lady Gregory.



039) You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon, finished April 7

You ever have that experience where, by the end of the first couple pages, you are absolutely confident that this writer will take you somewhere wonderful? That, based on these beautiful sentences, you're certain their pages and books will be just as beautiful?

That's what happened to me as I began Fallon's debut collection. I knew immediately she would not fail.

Now, I grant, sometimes those beautiful sentences can be deceiving and a book may wander around getting nowhere. But that didn't happen here. Each of the stories in You Know When the Men Are Gone delivers. They are not all truly excellent, but each is at least very good. Take "Remission" which I thought began and continued rather weakly but, in the end, was the only story to make me cry.

The stories in You Know When the Men Are Gone are about the men---and, more particularly, the families they leave behind---of the Iraq War. The stories are centered mostly, but not entirely, in Fort Hood where those families remain. And wait. And fear.

Fallon shows us wives and girlfriends and soldiers and commanders. Little moments and enormous moments. And them all with grace and beauty.

It's not a subject, I shamefacedly admit, I'm likely to assign myself. So I'm glad Lady Steed put it into my hands and told me to read it.

Be a more empathetic American.

Read this book.
a few weeks but mostly three days


038) Illiterature: Story Minutes, Vol. I by Carol Lay, finished April 2

Although each story is only a one-page comics, this is one of the best short story collections I've read in a while. Each is a perfect, faceted jem of storytelling. I'm so upset I had never heard of Carol Lay before.

And it's not just the story telling in a generic way. The words are spare and rely as much on implication as what is said. The lines are clean and the inking is stark and feeling. (She should stick with b&w as a look at her website will show you.) And her sense of anatomy is so full and expressive, which I wasn't expecting when I judged her figures by her lower jaw = teeth styling.

Impossible to pick a favorite, but I have to show you something.

two or three weeks


037) "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" by Lemony Snicket, finished March 29

Although a fan of the Series of Unfortunate Events, I did not like Snicket's unauthorized autobiography and had no intention to read more novelgazing from the once-great agent. Then a student lent me his copy and I'm so glad I read it. Besides giving information about Snicket's organizational past, his trademark obfuscative wit is on display.
three or four or five weeks


036) Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Vol. 5 by Hayao Miyazaki, finished March 29
didn't even start this one till after midnight

035) Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Vol. 4 by Hayao Miyazaki, finished March 28
past midnight and into a new day

Holding off on further comment till I finish the final books in the series.

Previously in 2013 . . . . :

Books 26 - 34
034) The New Yorker Book of Cat Cartoons, finished March 24
033) What Shat That? by Matt Pagett, finished March 24
032) Zombies Hate Stuff by Greg Stones, finished March 22
031) Jews and Words by Amos Oz and Fania Oz-Salzberger, finished March 22
030) Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, vol 3 by Hayao Miyazaki, finished March 13
029) The Princess Bride: Shooting Draft by William Goldman, finished March 11
028) The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother by Lucy Mack Smith, finished March 5
027) Scott Pilgrim vs the World by Edgar Wright & Michael Bacall, finished March 5
026) Screenplay by Syd Field, finished March 3

Books 22 - 25
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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