From Steampunk to the Rez


121) The Art of Steampunk by Art Donovan, finished December 7

The publisher contacted me and offered this book for my review.

Although part of the selling point of this book is writing from experts described with words like "Dr" and "Oxford University," in fact this book contains no real criticism of the field. Just boosterism. Which I suppose is fine for someone bumping into Steampunk for the first time, but if you're familiar with the field, it seems like a real lost opportunity. Some real analysis would have been terrific and made me much more enthused over this slim, glossy, photo-filled volume.

It seems pretty clear that many if not all of the artists wrote their own bios and captions, giving the impression that the curator's curating was minimal. Another lost opportunity. But I suppose the artform is young and it's practitioners are few and you take what you can get. Anyway, it sometimes feels that way.

But. That said, there is still some crazy awesome stuff in this book. Here are some artists to explore further: Jessica Joslin, Tom Banwell, Mikhail Smolyanov, Richard Nagy. I picked these because their stuff is cool and they're wildly different from each other. This steampunk is a broader field than your punk kid thinks.
four or so months


120) The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman, finished December 7

This has been the car book since The Little Friend. Sadly, unlike that novel, it's not a masterpiece of prose that rewards the reader who's dropping by for a paragraph or two while waiting with the hazards going. No, Hillerman pops corn. So eat it fast, before it gets stale and the fake butter congeals.

That said, I did enjoy the look into Navajo culture which, given Hillerman's awards from Navajo groups, I assume is fair and reasonably accurate. Frankly, although on one level, this is just another popcorn thriller, its milieu makes it absolutely worth reading and I'm very happy the series has been so popular. Reading something so . . . forgive me, alien, increased my sense of humanity and my empathy for a people this country has not always been terribly kind to (cf litotes). And that, methinks, is extremely worthy.
six months


118) The New Yorker Album 1925-1950, finished DATE

This was a glorious library-sale find, and the most surprising thing is that even though the book's sixty-two years old, it's pretty much impossible to distinguish, design-wise, from any other New Yorker book ever. I love how they got it right the first time and then never had to fix it. Tiny tweaks only.

Anyway, this collection has a lot of cartoons I've never seen before, and I've been devouring New Yorker cartoon collections over twenty years. Many of them are very much of their time---some to a level to which I can barely guess. Some artists who seem pivotal now---James Thurber, Charles Addams---are surprisingly lightly represented.

It's like a time machine to Flapperville and World War II. And some tropes I thought were fairly recent---old ladies' dogs being their children---surprised me with their age.

All in all, a delightful read. Even with some shades of old-timey racism and sexism, this is a pretty swell book to have on the shelf for my kids to find someday and to introduce them to the great heritage of New Yorker cartoons.
about a month


117) Going Postal by Terry Pratchett, finished December 1

Like I said about the second book in the series, this was an utterly delightful listen and although it has more damns than Encyclopedia Brown, I'm glad my kids are into it.

Sadly, we've had no long road trips lately so getting through a 12-cd book in only a single renewal was not easy. We had to take a long drive tonight in order to get it back to the library on time.

But Moist was his regular rascally self and the book pops like all of Pratchett's work should, and the third in the series is on cd is just a few months.

We're all very excited.
about a month


116) The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks, finished November 26

The Big O recently read all of these books (a feat I never accomplished---the last two books were published while I was in high school or years graduated) and loved them. He pushed me to make this our next out-loud book. Large S enjoyed it quite a bit and even Little Lord Steed got into it by the end.

As for me?

It holds up. I don't suppose one would call it properly quote-unquote enlightened, but it's not ignorant of more modern racial thinking. And it's a good yarn. Reid does an impressive job balancing the inherent wonder and horror of the situation---even if she certainly errs on the side of fun and forgiveness. As she must, given her audience. A spoonful of sugar and so forth.
a few weeks

Previously in 2013 . . . . :

Book 113 - 115
115) Every Day by David Levithan, finished November 25
114) Boxers by Gene Luen Yang, finished November 21
113) Saints by Gene Luen Yang, finished November 15

Book 109 - 112
112) Have You Seen Marie? by Sandra Cisneros and illustrated by Ester Hernandez, finished November 9
111) Haunting at Home Plate by David Patneaud, finished November 9
110) Scholar of Moab by Steven L. Peck, finished November 8
109) Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen, finished November 4

Book 104 - 108
108) We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Jay Fowler, finished November 3
107) The Dark Wood by Christine Weston, finished October 23
106) Sunshine and Shadow by Lynn Johnston, finished October 18
105) Scarecrow by Michael Connelly, finished October 18
104) Third Helpings by Calvin Trillin, finished October 16

Book 101 - 103
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

Books 99 - 100
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

Book 97
097) ZF-360 by Luisa Perkins, finished ~September 19

Books 94 - 96, 98
098) FF - Volume 1: Fantastic Faux by Matt Fraction and Mike Allred and Joe Quinones, finished September 24
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

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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