Dead supermodel on down


084) The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith, finished October 11

This was recommended to me by a former student now working at my local library. I think he'd read it as a duty, being a grown-up member of the Harry Potter generation (Galbraith now revealed to be a pen name for Rowling).

Having been reintroduced to detective fiction of late by reading Sue Grafton, I tend to think of her pacing as the standard. The Galbraith novel's mystery is about the same size as those in the Grafton books I've read, but it's much, much longer. The swift conclusion arrives about the same distance from the end---absolutely, not proportionally---which is to say it seems a bit too long to get too. I found the twist a little too obvious in the sense that I didn't think THAT person could be the murderer because all the misdirection made THAT person impossible.

Anyway. I think the most important part of these sorts of novels is whether or not we grow fond of the the hero[es] to come back on another adventure with them. In this case, Cormoron Strike is compelling and ultimately likable. His assistant Robin Ellacott even more so. Their love histories and presents are still to be fully explored. (Although choosing to introduce Robin's fiance as a wonderful person and then spend the rest of the book undermining that was an odd choice.)

Yeah. Anyway, the point is it was enjoyable, too long, not remarkable really in any way, wonderfully British, and---because we already know---tastes a lot like JK Rowling. Just with more swears.
two or three weeks


083) Non-Essential Mnemonics: An Unnecessary Journey into Senseless Knowledge by Kent Woodyard, finished October 8

Apparently these originally appeared on McSweeney's, and in many ways, that's a better place for it. My favorite part of the collection is the final chapter in which every mnemonic is something said at his ten-year high-school reunion. The random things which these are made to signify is the undercurrent of humor but the contrarily directed undercurrent of deciphering a "true" story simultaneously makes the whole gag more successful.

Ultimately, this is the sort of book in which a sequence of mildly humorous antijokes set up the more largely funny antijokes.

In other words, hard to imagine that most people won't hate it.

But it's a pleasant humor book of the sort I thought they stopped publishing in the 90s. So if you like these---or enjoy giving them as gifts---it's a solid choice.

[Review of gratis copy from publisher.]
four days


082) Superman: Earth One by J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis, finished September 28

I may someday finish this other loooong comic I'm reading whose name I can't be bothered to look up right now, I may not. I mention it because the introduction talks about how its creator is the creator of Babylon 5 and his genius shines through in comics form as well. Now, I've never seen Babylon 5(and after the good-ideas/holey-execution of that comic, I've no real drive too), but the reason I bring it up is because I just discovered this book is also by that bloke.

I liked a lot about this reimagining of Superman's coming into the public eye, but, at the same time, it did a lot of things that didn't make sense. I'm forgiving those flaws because I liked the parts I liked, but let's face it: no way was this good enough to turn me on to Babylon 5.
two days


081) Usagi Yojimo 20: Glimpses of Death by Stan Sakai, finished September 28

Incredibly, I've never read any Usagi before. Just never happened. I'm always a little leery of martial-arts stories (the oft-repeated trauma of watching Karate Kid is no doubt to blame) and there are sooo many of these books. But I was stuck at the library and looking at the comics in the teen section and they had two, one of which was a standalone. I decided to take that one home, but in the meantime, I read the first few pages of this one. A few turned to forty and I took this home instead. And I loved it. I don't even care that I'm in the middle of some longer tales. Each of these short stories satisfies---and in different ways.

Man, I've wasted a lot of time not reading Usagi.
two days

Previously in 2014 . . . . :

Books 77 - 80
080) Lolita: The Story of a Cover Girl: Vladimir Nabokov's Novel in Art and Design edited by John Bertram and Yuri Leving, finished September 20
079) Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, finished September 18
078) "B" Is for Burglar by Sue Grafton, finished September 11
077) "A" Is for Alibi by Sue Grafton, finished September 2

Books 73 - 76
076) Nonsense Novels by Stephen Leacock, finished August 20
075) Yukon Ho! by Bill Watterson, finished August 16
074) Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell, finished August 16
073) Dangerous by Shannon Hale, finished August 11

Books 59 - 71
072) Tale of Sand by Ramón K. Pérez from the screenplay by Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl, finished August 9
071) The New Yorker Book of Literary Cartoons edited by Bob Mankoff, finished August 9
070) Liō: Making Friends by Mark Tatulli, finished August 9
069) Paying for It: a comic strip memoir about being a john by Chester Brown, finished August 9
068) Richard Stark's Parker: The Score by Darwyn Cooke, finished August 9
067) Ghosts and Ruins by Ben Catmull, finished August 8
066) The Plot: The Secret Story of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion by Will Eisner, finished August 7
065) Unterzakhn by Leela Corman, finished August 6
064) Grandville Bête Noire by Bryan Talbot, finished August 5

Books 59 - 63
063) Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, finished August 4
062) Bubbles & Gondola by Renaud Dillies, finished August 4
061) You Can Date Boys When You're Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About by Dave Barry, finished August 3
060) We Were Gods by Moriah Jovan, finished August 1 or 2 (it was midnightish)
059) The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, finished July 27

Books 56 - 58
058) Rachel Rising Vol. 4 : Winter Graves by Terry Moore, finished July 10
057) Rachel Rising Vol. 3 : Cemetery Songs by Terry Moore, finished July 9
056) Rachel Rising Vol. 2 : Fear No Malus by Terry Moore, finished July 8

Books 55
055) Paso Doble by Moriah Jovan, finished July 7

Books 50 - 54
054) The Best of Connie Willis by Connie Willis, finished July 4
053) Battling Boy by Paul Pope, finished July 27
052) Prophet Volume 2: Brothers by Brandon Graham, Fil Barlow, Giannis Milongiannis, Simon Roy (Contributo, Farel Dalrymple; finished June 26
051) Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach, finished June 26
050) Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets by Dav Pilkey, finished June 24

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

final booky posts of

2013 = 2012 = 2011 = 2010 = 2009 = 2008 = 2007

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