My words on others' words


097) FF - Volume 1: Fantastic Faux by Matt Fraction and Mike Allred and Joe Quinones, finished September 24
I had thought this was the first volume but as I continued to read I kept thinking it couldn't be. It starts in media res like nothing's started in media res before. (In fact, though it's volume one it begins with issue four because . . . anyway, it's complicated.)

Love the Allred art---I think it's some of his best recent work. And Laura's colors are arguably her best to date. What she does with She-Hulk is just astonishing. And Quinones does the Allred style so well there was really no problem with aesthetic continuity.

Fraction seems to have tried to make this an exceedingly Allredian book---references to Mormon doctrines like eternal family and simply using the word madman seem to exist as much to please Mike's fans as to advance the plot. The political stuff about families is cute but borderline over-the-top.

I like the kid characters and wish there was more of them. Darla Deering similarly seems like she might be interesting but is still underdeveloped. I know that issue-based comics take time to get around to these things and it's a personal bias, wishing this had been a novel rather than a serialization. But I can't help the way I feel, dernit!

Anyway, overall, I see why people liked it. But I still wish I had started a few issues earlier. I feel a bit adrift even after finishing the whole book.
two evenings


096) Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, finished September 17

It's sobering to consider how smart and how stupid our brains can simultaneously be. Gladwell's book focuses on the moments of insight we're capable of---and how we can be deceived either by misinterpreting/ignoring the moment, or by being insufficiently prepared when that moment happens. Gladwell's always worth a read. My thoughts are provoked in the direction of how to harness these capacities in myself.
perhaps as many as ten months


095) The Story of Chester Lawrence by Nephi Anderson, finished September 8

This is my fourth Nephi Anderson book. My first, Added Upon, was enjoyable and insanely ambitious if ultimately not a great novel. My second was Dorian, a second-tier masterpiece. Piney Ridge Cottage was almost as good and probably has a better chance at being resurrected as a Mormon lit crowdpleaser.

The Story of Chester Lawrence is neither ambitious nor a masterpiece nor a crowdpleaser. It's not bad, don't misunderstand me. And it's an almost necessary sequel given that Chester's the liveliest character in PRC and his story is utterly in the air at the end of that book. And the story in this novel and head-crashingly bizarre and delightful while maintaining tidy parallels with PRC. No, the novel had every chance to be as successful as its predecessor. The problem is that Anderson reeeelly needed to do a rewrite. Or even finish writing the first draft. It feels like he is just trying to rush through his outline as quickly as he can and get to press. So there's some filler (once popular with novels) that read like a tourist's guide to Europe and entire vital scenes summed up by something inadequate like
Lucy did not understand exactly what he meant by the "inside," but she did not puzzle her head about it. She was happy to know that her father was so well and that Chester was speeding to her. The day promised to be fair, and the drive to the station would be delightful. She was looking out the window.
Incidentally, about those insane plot twists I mentioned, although they are crazy and will undoubtedly upset some readers, I found them ultimately reasonable and satisfying.

One last note: I read the free epub from Google Books which is imperfectly scanned. For instance:
the gospel but that his will says no There now gTQQ flight SjCSjCSjCSjCSjsSjCSjCSjC3jCS C
Looking back at the original scans, my primary advice to Google is learn how to scan asterisks. And my primary advice to people whose books will someday be scanned by Google is do not underline anything.

Oh! oh! One last thing:

One could argue that the final chapter is an epilogue . . . but not if THAT is the Chester Lawrence of the title and has been all along!!!!!

And I just blew your mind.
couple weeks maybe


094) Calamity Jack by A Bevy of Hales, finished September 7

Having missed out on Comic Con, I decided to drown my sorrows in Mormon comics. On by bedside I have an unread issue of Blammo, the complete run of iZOMBIE, and this book. For whatever reason, I went this way.

I don't regret it. I enjoyed the first book and I've owned this one so long I can't remember where it came from. So it's good to finally off my side of the bed. I gave it to the Big O. He'll like it.

Like Rapunzel's Revenge, it's fun, it's exciting, it's got a strong female lead (although the secondary female lead makes one vital plotty decision that didn't quite ring true), and it's utterly cinematic. Good thing Tangled was a good movie or I would not be able to overcome my bitterness at its likely prevension of the eventual filmic adaptation of these books.

Anyway. Why should things have to become movies? Isn't this fun enough?
two days

Previously in 2013 . . . . :


Books 90 - 93
093) The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver, finished August 28
092) Martyrs' Crossing by Melissa Leilani Larson, finished August 24
091) Mile 21 by Sarah Dunster, finished August 22
090) Piney Ridge Cottage by Nephi Anderson, finished August 20

Books 83 - 89
089) The Book of Job: When Bad Things Happened to a Good Person by Harold S. Kushner, finished August 19
088) From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg, finished August 18
087) Canyons of Grace by Levi S. Peterson, finished August 17
086) Good Dog by Graham Chaffe, finished August 16
085) Stone Rabbit #4: Superhero Stampede by Erik Craddock, finished August 6
084) Food Rules by Michael Pollan, finished August 4
083) Martha Speaks: Canine Comics: Six Daring Doggie Adventures by Jamie White, finished August 1

Books 78 - 82
082) Gone Fishing: A novel in verse by Tamera Will Wissinger, finished July 31
081) Making Money by Terry Pratchett, finished July 30
080) F-Stop by Antony Johnston and Matthew Loux , finished July 29
079) Almina by Nephi Anderson, finished July 29
078) Creature Feature 2 by TW Brown, finished July 28

Books 73 - 77
077) Salt Water Taffy: A Climb Up Mt. Barnabas by Matthew Loux, finished July 25
076) Doing Time by Kazuichi Hanawa, finished July 24
075) Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut, finished July 23
074) Treasure Fever! by Andy Griffiths, finished July 22
073) Salt Water Taffy: The Legend of Old Salty by Matthew Loux, finished July 19

Book 72
072) Diary of a Single Mormon Female by Aleesa Sutton, finished July 17

Books 67 - 71
071) Gone Fishing: A novel in verse by Tamera Will Wissinger, finished July 12
070) Salt Water Taffy: A Climb Up Mt. Barnabas by Matthew Loux, finished July 12
069) The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket, finished June 29
068) Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg, finished June 28
067) And Now We Shall Do Manly Things by Craig J. Heimbuch, finished June 27

Books 62 - 66
066) Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling, finished June 20
065) World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks, finished June 20
064) The Little Friend by Donna Tartt, finished June 20
063) Encyclopedia Brown Finds the Clues by Donald Sobol, finished June 19
062) Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary, finished June 19

Book 61
061) The Backslider by Levi Peterson, finished June 14

Books 54 - 60
060) The City: A Vision in Woodcuts by Frans Masereel, finished June 13
059) Gods' Man by Lynn Ward, finished June 12
058) Mad Man's Drum by Lynn Ward, finished June 11?
057) Destiny: A Novel in Pictures by Otto Nückel, finished July 8
056) Passionate Journey by Frans Masereel, finished June 7
055) The Sugar Bean Sisters by Nathan Sanders, finished June 3
054) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, finished May 28

Books 47 - 53
053) Farm 54 by Galit Seliktar and Gilad Seliktar, finished May 20
052) Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, volume seven by Hayao Miyazaki, finished May 18
051) Dark Day in the Deep Sea by Mary Pope Osborne, finished May 15
050) The Big Skinny: How I Changed My Fattitude by Carol Lay, finished May 14
049) Moonlight on the Magic Flute by Mary Pope Osborne, finished May 12
048) This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz, finished May 6
047) Blizzard of the Blue Moon by Mary Pope Osborne, finished approximately May 4

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 some Ed.D., finished January 10
001) Jellaby by Kean Soo, finished January 8

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