Through fifty-four


054) The Best of Connie Willis by Connie Willis, finished July 4

I love Connie Willis. More than any other SF writer, when I read her, I want to return to the genres I imagined spending my writing career in. I love her nearly-now worlds and her thoroughly recognizable human characters, and the transparency of her sentence-level art. She's something.

This new collection includes all the stories that won Hugos and/or Nebulae, along with comments on the stories and three speeches (one never delivered). Reading those too make me view her as the best possible model for aspiring writers. Just love her.

You won't have the context of just reading the book, but this comes after the book's final story, which takes place in a world in which dogs---and, nearly, RVs---have gone extinct, and covers almost everything I had planned to say in this review:

about three weeks or so


053) Battling Boy by Paul Pope, finished July 27

This book is awesome! I suppose it treats the Greek gods slightly like the Nordic ones are treated in Marvel's Thor, but somehow this is just a thousand times better and aimed at a kid audience. And because it's Paul Pope, the writing and art are both excellent. I'm glad to hear a couple prequels have been released, but I want to read on with the story! At least, I suppose, at least I'm so excited to read on I can't yet be heartbroken that reading on is impossible.

Srsly. The writing is sharp, the characters are drawn instantly---both good and bad---and it's awesome and scary and inviting all at the same time.

two days


052) Prophet Volume 2: Brothers by Brandon Graham, Fil Barlow, Giannis Milongiannis, Simon Roy (Contributo, Farel Dalrymple; finished June 26

If I had known this was volume two, I wouldn't have taken it home from the library. Not that I think it would have made much difference. The book has the sense of being of being enormous and universal and mythic in a way that beginning at the beginning or ending at the ending don't really seem like meaningful concepts.

Prophet was one of the Image comics I remember seeing on the shelf back in the '90s. And like most of those Image comics, they were ugly (even though I knew enough to say the art was "good" and "super realistic") and unwelcoming. The art in this new version is much more compelling. I'm surprised this character was resurrected after under twenty issues more than twenty years ago, but this version's massive mythic scifiness was apparently not part of the original run. In other words, this is pretty much whole cloth. I won't be picking it up again, but I enjoyed the trip.



051) Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach, finished June 26

Mary's on top form here. I loved this book as much or more as any of her books (and I've read all of her noncollections save Packing for Mars, but only Spook and Bonk since beginning the five-books project). This one takes us from food's entrance to our body along its exciting journey to the toilet. The intestines seem a bit neglected, but along the way we learn why fat Elvis wasn't exactly fat and why not being exactly fat was what killed him. We learn that sticking dirty fingers in your mouth isn't what gives you a cold---it's sticking them in your nose. We learn that if you eat enough organs, you don't need fruits and vegetables (making my regret growing out of a willingness to eat cow liver and chicken hearts).

Mary Roach is one of the most witty writers we have going (and she shares my love of unnecessary but fully delightful tangential minutia) and if you haven't read her yet, chastise yourself the way you would if you'd never read Bill Bryson or Calvin Trillin. And maybe add her to your any-five-people tea-party list.
coupla weeks


050) Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets by Dav Pilkey, finished June 24

This is an early book. The good captain can't even fly yet!
about an hour

Previously in 2014 . . . . :

Books 44 - 49
049) Big Nate: In the Zone by Lincoln Peirce , finished June 23
048) Lying by Sam Harris, finished June 23
047) Donald Duck Adventures 17, finished June 23
046) Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell, finished June 22
045) Swamp Thing (the New 52) Volume 1: Raise Them Bones by Scott Snyder, Yanick Paquette, Marco Rudy, finished June 21
044) The Antler Boy and Other Stories by Jake Parker, finished July 19

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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