028) Road to Bountiful
by Donald S. Smurthwaite, finished April 7
See review at AMV.about three weeks
A couple complaints that didn't fit there:
1. What's with the title? Jeez. Really? Road to Bountiful? Geesh.
2. Why did he shred the check? It should be a powerfully symbolic gesture, but as far as I can tell it doesn't mean anything. If it was supposed to mean something, the set-up failed. As it is, shredding the check actually goes against some of the lessons Levi supposedly learned.
3. Why the few paragraphs scattered through the end that bust apart the present tense and turn this into a story from Levi's past?
In the end, it's a good book if seriously flawed. Like the other Whitney finalist listed today, I'm worried if these really are the five best books we've got going. . . .
027) Atlas of Prejudice: Mapping Stereotypes, Vol. 1
by Yanko Tsvetkov, finished April 6
I had to skim half of two of the essays (and skip a couple of the European maps) in order to finish on time, but as best I can tell, Tsvetkov's nailed it. He even understands Americans. Get a glimpse.a bit of afternoon
026) Thelwell Country
by Norman Thelwell, finished April 6
Cartoons that mostly maintain their humor after half a century and whose eye for detail has grown only more compelling.a bit of afternoon
025) The House at Rose Creek
by Jenny Proctor, finished March 31
See review at AMV.about three weeks
024) Barnaby, Volume One
by Crockett Johnson, finished March 17
Today I was recounting how I had read "A Modest Proposal" in my "bad Irish accent" and the boys asked me to demonstrate. So I recited "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and the recognized the voice and cried out, Mr O'Malley! The four-year-old ran to the shelf and pulled off our first volume of Fantagraphics's Barnaby reprints and after dinner we reread some favorite moments.months
We actually finished the comics months ago, but I hadn't finished reading the afterstuff until tonight. I wish, rather, that similar endnotes were included in the Peanuts volumes.
Another difference between our Barnaby and our Peanuts is that the manufacture of Barnaby's a bit crappy. Maybe we blame this on its heaviness and wideness, but it should be able to sit on a shelf, don't you think, without falling apart?
Sigh. Let's hope it's just my copy. It was obviously weakly bound from the time it arrived in the mail.
Anyway, it's easy to see why everyone was gaga over Barnaby back in the day. It's also easy to understand why Johnson didn't have the stamina to stick with it for fifty bleeding years. (Schulz was something unique in the annals of comicsdom.)
Barnaby's unique aesthetic---clean lines, Futura-set text, lots and lots of words, contemporary sensibility, historical and literary references---keeps it both everlastingly fresh and wholly of its time.
023) A Poetry Handbook
by Mary Oliver, finished March 17
This is to writing poetry what I found Stephen King's On Writing to be on writing prose: just as good a guide to reading it. i can't think of a better way to teach poetry than to hand one of these out to each student and say read this---read as she says, write as she says---repeat repeat repeat---now you know poetry.a month or so
I'm seriously considering ordering these for my classes.
022) Irene #3
edited by dw, Andy Warner, Dakota McFadzean; finished March 15
I read this comic somewhere online and, on the strength of it, bought this comic. Although "Dance Yourself to Death" was the best of the bunch, it's pretty indicative of the overall quality.two or three days
Previously in 2014 . . . . :
It's a bit weird though, for one comic to clearly be by and old guy, and then to read the bios and learn he only has a year on me.
Anyway, check out the artists:
! * ! * ! * ! * ! * ! *
I haven't checked out all these yet, but most of what I have checked out has been great.