017) Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part 2: The Revenge of the Ridiculous Robo-Boogers by Dav Pilkey, finished February 22
Dav Pilkey, let's just say, is extremely good at what he does. God bless him.three days
016) Who Was Jim Henson? by Joan Holub, finished February 18
I read this MBtFH method, but I can assure you it's an excellent overview of Henson's life and career---perfect for kids, with interesting little sides on Disney and whatnot (the one on the Women's Movement was a bit odd though). Even speedreading, the part where he dies brought back that sense of loss. He should still be with us today. He should still be with us today.at the store
015) The Reluctant Blogger by Ryan Rapier, finished February 15
Posts up now! on AML! AMV! MMM!coupla months i suppose
Anyone want my copy of the book? It was given to me by the author and it's now heavily marked up but I'm happy to share.
014) The Maid's Version by Daniel Woodrell, finished February 14
I've never read Woodrell before, but I did like the movie made of a previous work. This novel too is set in a South so real it feels almost foreign while thoroughly American. It has a couple throughlines, but many of the stories are just a couple pages long---just long enough to make you fond of its characters---before killing them in the dancehall explosion.a coupla weeks
The novel is short, but it took me most of the pages to find my footing. But no question it's an excellent work of art, and I secretly lust to teach it.
And then there's the language. Here are a couple passages from pages 126-127 and 128:
"Dad, Bill and Speed aren't the ones who steal our milk---don't you ever even once in a while wonder about Grandpa Buster?"
"Your grandpa Buster was a bum."
"Just because you're a bum doesn't mean you're bad."
"You're right, son. It doesn't. I stand corrected. It absolutely does mean you're a bum, though." He tossed a few dollars on the bar and scooped his cigarettes, left the change. Rita said, Come back soon, John Paul, and he winked like he might and led me to the door and out. He squinted in the sunlight, yawned, stretched, yawned. "I've got two goddam tests coming this week---Modern Business Theory and Shakespeare, and Shakespeare's the one I'm worried about."
"We haven't got to him yet."
"That flowery fart has things to say, but he sure doesn't make it easy to get what he means." We walked along the old warped street toward our wheels and paused to stare at the river when we were between buildings and could see the water and all the way across to the next thicket. "But when you do it it, it was worth the trouble." Dad slid into the Mercury wagon on his side and me on mine. It started right up at the turn of the key, which was an only occasional result, and we pulled into traffic to drive six blocks up Derby Street to home. At the first stop sign Dad paused with his foot on the brakes and stared ahead in reverie down the uneven bricks of Main. "I think I like Speed."
* * * * *
Trains have haunted the nights in West Table since 1883 and disrupt sleep and taunt those awakened. The trains beating past toward the fabled beyond, the sound of each wheel-thump singing, You're going nowhere, you're going nowhere, and these wheels are, they are, they are going far from where you lie listening in your smallness and will still lie small at dawn after they are gone from hearing, tolling on singing along twin rails over the next hill and down and up over the next onward to those milk-and-honey environs where motion pictures happen fore real and history is made and large dashing lives you won't lead or even witness are lived.
Obviously, those two beautiful bits could not be more different.
Yet both prove the trains wrong: these little, lost, unheralded lives are the ones worth witnessing.
Previously in 2014 . . . . :