No one cares that I've learned how to read.


053) Farm 54 by Galit Seliktar and Gilad Seliktar, finished May 20

I enjoyed this comix's cinematic phrasing a great deal. Just three widescreen-shaped panels per page and a deliberate pacing and I felt like I was watching a great little movie. One of the better Israeli comix I've read, to be sure.



052) Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, volume seven by Hayao Miyazaki, finished May 18

Although, sure, the books have moments when they pseudoreligious philosophy can be almost too much, in the end, Miyazaki has crafted one of the greatest epics I've ever read. I found it powerful and moving---although I'm not convinced he kiled enough characters and some of the characters are a tad too godlike. But the bulk of the characters are richly drawn and human, the cultures are layered and real. Even the most evil of villains can surprise and even the holiest of heroes remains vulnerable. Unquestionably worthy of reading and study.
three days


051) Dark Day in the Deep Sea by Mary Pope Osborne, finished May 15

I just read on Wikipedia that this is the longest book in the series. Ironic, then, that it's the first I've read in a single night. But Large S offered to do dishes while I kept reading, so I did. Then I finished it while he brushed his teeth. Voila!
an evening


050) The Big Skinny: How I Changed My Fattitude by Carol Lay, finished May 14

I was so blown away by the last Lay book I read that I asked my library for this one even though it wasn't a topic I was terribly interested in. I found it a bit dry since I'm not in the market to shed pounds, but I still find her style compelling and fun. And the recipes looked pretty great, frankly.
say three weeks


049) Moonlight on the Magic Flute by Mary Pope Osborne, finished May 12

Another Magic Tree House book. And the hits just keep coming.
three days


048) This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz, finished May 6

I'm not sure what I think of this book. On the one hand, even expecting a lot of sex and language, this book has So Much Sex my head sometimes spun. Now, sure, this is a book about failed romantic relationships and sex plays a big role but still. So much sex.

Second, while I'm not opposed to dialect and although Díaz handles it well, the book has enough Spanish words that at times long blocks of text were blocked from my understanding.

Third, back to the sex, so much sex. Since Yunior is famously quasi-autobiographical, I have to wonder if this book is either supposed to be public confession or public wish fulfillment. I mean: does anyone f*** like these characters? Seriously. It's out of control. For instance, the high-school teacher who shacks up with a student while his exwife---a teacher at the same school---merely disapproves. It's so hard to imagine this happening even in the most oversexed innercity New York neighborhood.

Fourth, given all those caveats, I still mostly enjoyed the book. Even though reading was like trailbazing through a machismo jungle with only a dull machete, moments of real beauty and pathos shined through.

Speaking organizationally, since the bulk of the book is Yunior stories, I don't understand the insertion of stories without his presence. While thematically similar, they don't seem to fit. Why not save them for another collection?

I suspect I would like Oscar Wao better than Yunior, but although I don't regret reading this collection, I certainly didn't care for it enough to run out and pick up another Díaz book. I think one was enough.

But my proudly Mexican TA has been sneaking this book from me every chance she gets. She loves it. So maybe I'm just being really white about all this.
two or three weeks


047) Blizzard of the Blue Moon by Mary Pope Osborne, finished approximately May 4

The boys keep bringing these home and Lady Steed and I split the reading. This is the first I've read the entire text of in a while, but I've grown quite an appreciation for these Magic Tree House books.
within a week


Previously in 2013 . . . . :

Books 41 - 46
046) The Red Diary / The Re[a]d Diary by Teddy Kristiansen / Steven T. Seagle, finished April 28
045) The Five Books of Jesus by James Goldberg, finished April 22
044) The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, finished April 20
043) Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Volume 6 by Hayao Miyazaki, finished April 18
042) Baseball as a Road to God: Seeing Beyond the Game by John Sexton with Thomas Oliphant and Peter J. Schwartz, finished April 15
041) The Hand of Glory by Stephen Carter, finished April 13

Books 35 - 40
040) Leprechaun in Late Winter by Mary Pope Osborne, finished April 8
039) You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon, finished April 7
038) Illiterature: Story Minutes, Vol. I by Carol Lay, finished April 2
037) "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" by Lemony Snicket, finished March 29
036) Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Vol. 5 by Hayao Miyazaki, finished March 29
035) Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Vol. 4 by Hayao Miyazaki, finished March 28

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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