Telling the truth about sports and monsters.


049) Big Nate: In the Zone by Lincoln Peirce , finished June 23

I'm not sure I've ever bumped into Nate in the newspaper funny pages, though he's been there for over two decades. Anyway, if I have, he didn't make an impression. These books though, beloved by my kids and amusing to me, have made an impression. I find the packaging interesting. Instead of booking the strips chronologically, year by year, they're thematic. This one is sports-themed. The first section is basketball, the second baseball, the last soccer. In true Charlie Brown fashion, their baseball team is the most hapless.

I was going to post a strip from the book here, and I've found quite a few sports-themed strips at gocomics.com, but none from the book. Looks like it could have been twice as long. And you'll just have to look for yourself.
two days


048) Lying by Sam Harris, finished June 23

I haven't read much by the New Atheists (occasionally bumping into them in online videos is grating enough), but Harris's arguments against lying are some of the best reasoned and replicable I've read. This is a terrific book I highly recommend. It's crazy short (you could easily read it in an afternoon) and inspiring. I've been moving away from justification of white lies for a long time and I'm now going to redouble my efforts.

If you feel that lying to get out of engagements or to make people feel better or to avoid conflict is justifiable, I encourage you to think again. Let Harris take a crack at your antipathy.
just over a week


047) Donald Duck Adventures 17, finished June 23

Three stories which lack much sense but succeed as goofy tales.
a couple nonconsecutive days


046) Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell, finished June 22

I bought this book for the middle child, in hopes that townspeople delighted to be scared would give him some tools for dealing with his anxiety. In fact, the better lesson was from the hapless monster, overcome with feelings of inadequacy who has to find his inner monsterness in order to reach his heroic potential. He likes the book. I hope it will be good for him.

As for me, I enjoyed it. Bright art, attractive lines, witty wordplay. I was startled by the bad language (I'm using this gterm very liberally---it wasn't awful or anything, but I'm not used to seeing bloody hells in a children's comic) and the use of colors in the word bubbles seemed to have no consistent reasoning. They don't identify characters and that inconsistency is confusing. Plus, sometimes they're just regular white for pages. I have no idea what the thinking was here. And there are no female characters to speak of.

But all that said! Fun book.
one sitting


045) Swamp Thing (the New 52) Volume 1: Raise Them Bones by Scott Snyder, Yanick Paquette, Marco Rudy, finished June 21

I'm also reading the Snyder-penned Death of the Family (it's okay) and have read the first many issues of American Vampire (which I really liked, though that started off being cowritten by Stephen King, worth noting). This first collection of his Swamp Thing is good, but just a taste of where things are going. In true superhero fashion, our hero is battling the end of life, the universe, and everything. With a love story thrown in. Of course, he's in love with the enemy. It's pretty good, but impossible to judge just yet.

It's a horror title, and it is certainly horrific---the amalgamations of dead bodies is something to see. Some tropes I hate though. For instance, the child who seems like a child until it's revealed he's a supervillain then talks like he's been hunting Bond for decades. What's up with that? Can't the devil be a child? It would be more interesting, possibly more terrifying, and feel less manipulative.

The layouts are at times impossible to follow. I can't decide if that's more the penciler's fault or the colorist's, but they really need to work that out.
through the day


044) The Antler Boy and Other Stories by Jake Parker, finished July 19

Having been hit in the head with a rock, Little Lord Steed just wanted to hold ice to his bandaid and be read to after we got the bleeding stopped. And this is what he wanted to read. And he would like more Lucy Nova and Hugo Earhart, please.
all at once

Previously in 2014 . . . . :

Books 40 - 43
043) Rachel Rising 1: The Shadow of Death by Terry Moore, finished June 16
042) Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World by Carl Hiaasen, finished June 9
041) Missile Mouse: The Star Crusher by Jake Parker, finished June 8
040) Silas Marner by George Eliot, finished June 5

Books 36 - 39
039) Screwed by by Tyler Kirkham, Keith Thomas, David Miller; finished June 3
038) Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein, finished March 2
037) Missile Mouse: Rescue on Tankium3 by Jake Parker, finished May 30
036) Undeath & Taxes by Carter Reid, finished May 26 or maybe a couple days earlier

Books 33 - 35
035) Of Many Hearts and Many Minds: The Mormon Novel and the Post-Utopian Challenge of Assimilation by Scott Hales, finished May 22
034) Field Notes on Language and Kinship by Tyler Chadwick, finished May 21
033) The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson, finished May 20

Books 29 - 32
032) Mormon X: Confessions of a Latter-day Mutant by Ben Christensen, finished May 8
031) Consenting Adults; or, the Duchess Will Be Furious by Peter De Vries, finished May 6
030) The Sleep of Reason edited by C. Spike Trotman, finished April 30
029) Ruby's Secret by Heather B. Moore, finished April 12

Books 22 - 28
028) Road to Bountiful by Donald S. Smurthwaite, finished April 7
027) Atlas of Prejudice: Mapping Stereotypes, Vol. 1 by Yanko Tsvetkov, finished April 6
026) Thelwell Country by Norman Thelwell, finished April 6
025) The House at Rose Creek by Jenny Proctor, finished March 31
024) Barnaby, Volume One by Crockett Johnson, finished March 17
023) A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver, finished March 17
022) Irene #3 edited by dw, Andy Warner, Dakota McFadzean; finished March 15

Books 18 - 21
021) Love Letters of the Angels of Death by Jennifer Quist, finished March 14
020) The Iowa Baseball Confederacy: A Novel by W. P. Kinsella, finished March 12
019) The Complete Peanuts: 1989 - 1990 by Charles M. Schulz, finished March 11
018) Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poppypants by Dav Pilkey

Books 14 - 17
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
016) Who Was Jim Henson? by Joan Holub, finished February 18
015) The Reluctant Blogger by Ryan Rapier, finished February 15
014) The Maid's Version by Daniel Woodrell, finished February 14

Books 10 - 13
013) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, finished February 12
012) Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown, finished February 5
011) The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell, finished January 27
010) The Complete Peanuts 1987-1988 by Charles M. Schulz, finished January 25

Books 6 - 9
009) Heat by Mike Lupica, finished January 22
008) Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel, finished January 21
007) Impasse by Kohl Glass (story by Jason Conforto), finished January 16
006) Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan, finished January 16

Books 1 - 5
005) The Man Who Grew His Beard by Olivier Schrauwen, finished January 12
004) Pokémon Black and White, Vol. 1 by Hidenori Kusaka and Satoshi Yamamoto, finished January 10
003) Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hick, finished January 7
002) The Drop by Michael Connelly, finished January 7
001) The Rejection Collection, Vol. 2 edited by Matthew Diffee, finished January 6

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