Yeah, yeah. More books.


089) Masterful Marks: Cartoonists Who Changed the World edited by Monte Beauchamp, finished November 4

Sounds like a great idea, talented comic artists writing short in-comics biographies of luminaries (an all-male list consisting of Charles Addams, R. Crumb, Walt Disney, Edward Gorey, Hergé, Hugh Hefner, Al Hirschfeld, Jack Kirby, Harvey Kurtzman, Winsor McCay, Dr. Seuss, Charles Schulz, Joe Shuster, ‎Jerry Siegel, Osamu Tezuka, Rodolphe Töpffer, Lynd Ward). But, sadly, most of them fall flat. Just a bunch of exposition. And, frankly, if you know much at all about one of these people, you're unlikely to be surprised. And although I love Edward Gorey as much as the next person, seems odd he beat out, say, George Herriman. And considering how many times Fredric Wertham came up, maybe he should have just had his own story?

I get how these things work. You have an idea. You get people involved. You hope for the best. You can't know ahead of time that it'll be two chickens walking in the rain, one of them reciting an encyclopedia article. You hope for the best, put it together, send it out. If you're interested and are starting from scratch, this is a good enough place to start.
over a week


088) The Bishop's Wife by Mette Ivie Harrison, finished November 2

Pretty terrific book. Expect more than one post on AMV.
under a week


087) Fences by August Wilson, finished October 31

Sure, it's a bit obvious in places, but it's obvious in beautiful and poetic ways.

My students loved this book. I'm just glad to finally get around to reading it.

Terrific look at American culture---midcentury, black, sports, work, family, you name it. Simple---follows Aristostle's unity of place---but layered. Great book for kids to write about. I'll be teaching this one again.
three days


086) Richard III by William Shakespeare, finished October 18

What I know about Richard III before beginning to read it is that he's the evillest guy out there (save Iago), and at the end of the story, he'll be desperate with regret and mortality, willing to trade everything for a horse. As it ends up, I'm not convinced that latter bit is the best interpretation of his kingdom for a horse, but your interpretation works just fine, sweetie. I'm not here to say you're wrong.

I do think Richard is a more complex character than he's often given credit for as well. Sure, he's a scumbag and a megalomaniac and a machiavellian pile of crap, but . . . is he really that much worse than other people in the histories? I mean---all other characters say he is, but of course they would say it. Take the interesting arguments Queen Margaret has with people, telling them how awful Richard is---which they don't disagree with--while simultaneously having them remind her how awful she is. Or take Anne, who begins one scene hating on Richard for killing her family only to end it thinking, well, he does think I'm pretty and that would make me queen. . . .

They all walk his talk.

And take the final speeches on the field of battle. Both were good, but Richard's was better. In part because it was more honest. Not completely honest, but more honest. Richmond's is wholesome and cheery, but by putting Richard's second, he shows the holes in Richmond's argument.

I suspect Shakes was annoyed at how poorly people had uncovered irony in the St Crispin's Day Speech and didn't want his audience to pretend any of these royals were that much better than any others. Richmond's and-now-we-shall-live-happily-ever-after speech is half ironic commentary on what didn't happen next and half political argument for acting as we pretend we should.

Anyway. It's a swift play, hollow in sections, demands a lot of previous knowledge to get the nuance, etc etc, but it starts out craaaaazy and keeps things happening all the way to the end. That's Shakespeare, baby.
over a week


085) Red Dragon by Thomas Harris, finished October 16

I picked this book up with the idea that it would hold my attention and distract me from my upcoming surgery. Good job, book. But then it grasped onto my fevered recovery mind and that was less good job. The novel's tightly constructed though it did a bit too much explaining for my taste and pulled a double-twist at the end I found a bit cheaty. But it was a quick read and the monsters felt real. That's the best thing a monster book can do.
one week

Previously in 2014 . . . . :

Books 81 - 84
084) The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith, finished October 11
083) Non-Essential Mnemonics: An Unnecessary Journey into Senseless Knowledge by Kent Woodyard, finished October 8
082) Superman: Earth One by J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis, finished September 28
081) Usagi Yojimo 20: Glimpses of Death by Stan Sakai, finished September 28

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

final booky posts of

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

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