Books --- corrections and additions


I've uncovered more errors in my booklisting this year! Apparently, I suck.

Here is the new official order since Calamity Jack:

103) Dorian by Nephi Anderson, finished October 14
102) Famous Modern Ghost Stories edited by Dorothy Scarborough finished October 13
101) Adventures in Cartooning by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, Alexis Frederick-Frost finished on October 11
100) Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan et al, finished ~October 1
099) Dead Girl by Peter Milligan, Nick Dragotta, Mike Allred, finished September 29
098) FF - Volume 1: Fantastic Faux by Matt Fraction and Mike Allred and Joe Quinones, finished September 24
097) ZF-360 by Luisa Perkins, finished ~September 19
096) Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, finished September 17
095) The Story of Chester Lawrence by Nephi Anderson, finished September 8
094) Calamity Jack by A Bevy of Hales, finished September 7

A full corrected listing with links will appear below.

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100) Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan et al, finished ~October 1

Yep. Read the whole darn thing. Bootleg this guy gave me of every issue. Glad to have it done.

As a whole, it's pretty tightly constructed. The characters are well developed and grow and change over the course of the almost sixty issues. And, to my surprise, the doublesize final-issue epilogue was not merely a lame capout epilogue. Started out that way, sure, but they found new things to do with this decades-later ending.

Overall, a good show will inklings of good ideas. Pure populist entertainment not afraid to flirt with big ideas. The sort of thing we can always use more of, frankly.

over a year

099) Dead Girl by Peter Milligan, Nick Dragotta, Mike Allred, finished September 29

It makes efforts to be funny and socially conscious and clever and complicated and mythic. And succeeds at being thoroughly adequate. Or at least mediocre

several days

Previously in 2013 . . . . :


book post the next


101) Dorian by Nephi Anderson, finished October 14

More of an exceedingly thorough skimming as I worked on the endnotes. Still good!
say a week


100) Famous Modern Ghost Stories edited by Dorothy Scarborough finished October 13

Usually I wouldn't read an anthology like this so quickly. But I was assigning it to my freshmen, so.

The Willows by Algernon Blackwood
No surprise Lovecraft loved this one. Any kids who choose to read this and manage to get all the way through it may have experience an eldritch change of heart
The Shadows on the Wall by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Although I knew Blackwood would be a matter of taste, this story first made me concerned about the ability of a kid belonging to a generation that prioritizes horror over terror (I had them read this article before we started). Maybe they'll surprise me and find this very very quiet story effective.
The Messenger by Robert W. Chambers
I thought this one was a nice classic horror story. Only one kid's chosen this story, read it, and told me about it so far. He didn't like it. But then, he also told me he's read all the short ones and has no idea what they're about because he's just skimming.
Lazarus by Leonid Andreyev
This story is a genuinely unsettling telling of what happened to Lazarus after Jesus raised him from the dead. Imagine "Monkey's Paw" without the third wish?
The Beast with Five Fingers by W. F. Harvey
I'm still not sure what to make of this one. I liked the terrory first half. It's turn to horror was, I thought, a bit silly.
The Mass of Shadows by Anatole France
This read like an old ghostly legend. Not much to get involved with, methought.
What Was It? by Fitz-James O'Brien
This is one of my new favorite monsters. I'm not totally satisfied with where the story ended up, but for most of the ride I was very satisfied.
The Middle Toe of the Right Foot by Ambrose Bierce
I've read this before, though I can't remember where. This also feels like a legend retold to the point of being less effective. But if you read it for the first time, alone, late at night, it could work quite nicely on you.
The Shell of Sense by Olivia Howard Dunbar
This story has too dang much ettiquette. It's a nice enough conceit, but I just skimmed through it for three minutes before I could remember it. Scary stories should be scary, dernit.
The Woman at Seven Brothers by Wilbur Daniel Steele
This is one of the more effective stories in the collection, I think. It has aged, but it has aged well.
At the Gate by Myla Jo Closser
Ghost dogs! Loyal still!
Ligeia by Edgar Allan Poe
Like many of these stories, very little happens here, but it has a decided effect. Even though I knew what would happen, when it finally happened, it got me. I guess that's what makes Poe Poe.
The Haunted Orchard by Richard Le Gallienne
I found the ghost's motivation a bit confusing. But, well, see my comment on Maupassant below.
The Bowmen by Arthur Machen
Apparently this was considered one of the great stories of the age. Which I take to mean that we don't remember The Great War like once we did.
A Ghost by Guy de Maupassant
It's hard. Tell too much you dispell the spell. Tell too little and you don't cast it in the first place.
under a month (unless you include dorothy's introduction which I read much longer ago)


099) Adventures in Cartooning by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, Alexis Frederick-Frost finished on October 11

My kids really liked this book from the Center for Cartoon Studies. I don't know if it actually will get them adrawing though. And that's the real test of any book like this. So . . . time will tell?
two days

Previously in 2013 . . . . :


Svithetacular 183.5
(Sunday only)


I've let the Svithetacular die of late because as the nature of social media has changed, it has seemed a less helpful exercise. But: Saturday I had a hard time focusing on Conference without any decent excuse. And so I'm taking notes svithetacular-style Sunday to see if it helps. (I may not do afternoon however, as we may be watching it at someone else's home.)


President Eyring
But one plan of happiness: to follow all the commandments of God.

Starting with the two great commandments, yo.

cleanliness ≈ happiness

rejecting or neglecting calls to serve the savior can put us in spiritual danger

ambiguous phrasing: She offered him a chance to do what he thinks best and he turned down the offer.

I like how, after closing his quote, he mentioned the speaker again by name. That should lessen the likelihood of the quote being misattributed to him.

faithful enough to come into the world while many others were not

we can't force it on others but we can let them see it in our lives

Elder Oaks
this talk also gets into the two big commandments, this time to discuss priorities

declining married rates is a legit topic, as nervous as it may make some corners of the Twitter Stake

Sister Oscarson
by antibiotics are twisting my stomach and the kids have gotten crazy loud of a sudden---this plan is not working as well as I'd hoped....

Elder Maines
no idea what he's going on about---I've been feeling a series of parenting crises

be spiritually prepared

Joseph Maines, missionary, dies suddenly. Not immunity from death, but victory over it through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Elder Scott
Ammon missionary, tale of those people---I missed the connection between them and the virtuous teenaged Idaho girl

youth taking up arms as an important decision for their community as we consider the feelings of their parents

fathers, not children, are supposed to protect their families

one could make the argument that being willing to lose their souls to protect their families would be the higher decision / they were clean, fully repented / so why were they counseled not to pick up their weapson?

because part of repentence is to bear the short- and long-term consequences of their sins...eg, carnal appetite.

the Lord sees weaknesses differently than he sees rebellion . . . he sees them through the lens of mercy

all come to earth with the light of christ

weak things become strong

Satan will try to use our memory of any previous guilt to lure us back into his influence

the same good things about those people can be true of us

but I'm still waiting for that teenager's reappearance . . . I have a feeling I missed the segue though and she aint coming back

remember, repentance is not punishment

it is a hope filled path to a more glorious future

President Monson
he's found this one of the most inspiring sessions of all time

no period of human history lacked its share of human misery

I like Job.

shall we falter or shall we finish

we will be able to face our difficult problems

heartache and sorrow not so easy to measure

"My dears, I'm going to die this week. Will you please call Tommy Monson? He'll know what to do."

heavenly father has been so good to me

through sunshine and sorrow with Primary-ready actions.

whether hours of sunshine or rain may his promise ever be our watchword: i will never fail thee nor forsake thee

holy prophetic testimony

SUNDAY AFTERNOON (if I manage it)


previous svithe

svithetaculars disorganized


Missed a book . . . .



097) ZF-360 by Luisa Perkins, finished ~ September 19 (MS POLICY)

I'll be writing a lot about this book in the coming weeks, so I'll just say it was an extremely promising manuscript and I hope to press it on a lot of people in the future.
coupla weeks


A is for A


The Pirates are playing tonight. But my kids are Friday ready.