Th. &c.


115) Men, Women & Dogs by James Thurber, finished November 21

I probably could not overstate the influence Thurber's had on my own work. In large part because I likely do not know the full influence he's had on me. The shock I had a few years back! opening my own chemistry folder from high school and finding me practicing Thurber's occasional Th signature on his cartoons! I mean---my thet of theudonyms doesn't date back to high school. And yet. On some subconscious level. It appears they do.

This is a collection of cartoons.

This is the stuff little therics are made of.
two days


114) Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allen Crow by James How, finished November 21

The first four Bunnicula books are seminal bits of lit from my childhood. I am, however, now an adult, and so it is difficult to compare this volume to those---I'm far from the same person reading them. Certainly there were funny bits, but I have a hard time imagining hilarity ensuing were we to all read this together, as my mother read Bunnicula to us one road trip long ago. I believe I spent my own money buying books 2 and 3 and 4.

It's weird to me, the adult reader, that Harold is getting old and arthritic while Howie is still a puppy (for instance). But I also admire how kids lit can be both grounded in its own reality while loose with the concept of reality generally. Even adult fantasy doesn't quite have that freedom. Being a kid is rather postmodern---but kids have always been this way (cf the first book I started November 20). Adults can't own it the same way.

Anyway, new characters are introduced and things get nutty and never scary, but I enjoyed spending time with the crew. Probably would have enjoyed more a return to one of my old faves, though, Howliday Inn and The Celery Stalks at Midnight.
two days


113) Oh The Moon by Charlyne Yi, finished November 15

I've had this book for months and its back copy intrigued me, but it was thick and it seemed like to much to begin. Little did I realize it's mostly sketches and whitespace.

Geez. Open a book, why dontcha.

Anyway. Lady Steed was digging under the bed for some other book and pulled this out and in a moment of distraction I picked it up and a couple minutes later I was dozens of pages in. It's pretty quick reading.

Early on, I'm amazed at what a good agent can get published. Frankly, much of what's in this volume is the sort of absurdist silliness that passes for Big Ideaing that high-school students get into. I certainly did. And a lot of what I came up with then, I wouldn't be ashamed to let anyone read. I might, however, be ashamed to make anyone pay for it.

Really: much of this is extremely high-school in nature. Including the pages whose purpose is, in part, look! I can draw trees real good!

The other reference point for me is those text/linedrawing books from the 70s about love and stuff. You know, from Love Is... to Shel Silverstein's more adult works to a million points both beyond and inbetween. That stuff.

Another: It seems to me that part of the reason this may have been published is to bring the success of Wimpy Kid (and its million imitators) to the adult market.

Anyway. Enough with the speculation and the complaints (which is, let's be frank, hypocritical of me---have you seen my YouTube channel?---and I am fond of her aggressive style of antihumor). Although the book begins in absurdity and meanders through halfbaked surrealism, etc etc, Yi isn't just trading her B-grade celebrity for a brief shining moment on Barnes & Nobel's $3.99 table. In fact, she is attempting something rather ambitious, with interweaving and symbols and crap like that. That, in my opinion, it mostly doesn't come off matters less to me than that it was attempted and that it's interesting and it is, remember, ambitious. And the almost-last story "Strange Love" is actually very good. I hope BAC gives it a shot for their next goround.

one eventide


112) Beauty by Hubert and Kerascoët, finished November 14

This is probably the best modern fairy tale I've read since The Bloody Chamber.

The tale starts with young Coddie, a genuinely ugly girl who words as (and smells like) a professional fishscale-scraper. Treated cruelly by all those around her, when she does an accidental kindness to a fairy and is offered a gift in return, she wishes to be beautiful. And her wish is granted. Her actual person has not changed, but she appears as the perfect woman to all who see her. Almost immediately this seems to be a curse as her godfather attempts to rape her, followed by the men of the village attacking her and requiring her to flee her home.

She is renamed Beauty and Beauty's beauty swings wildly between blessing and curse. She begins to use it to abuse and corrupt and manipulate. She is torn many directions. By virtue of being Beauty, she is inoculated from her own ignorance and others' poverty. Destruction follows in her wake. It seems certain we are reading a tragedy.

And then---somehow---Beauty finds salvation.

It is a remarkable story. And the art is stunning. The swinging back and forth between seeing Coddie as she is and Beauty as others see her keeps us both complicit in others' evil and aware of their errors as they themselves often cannot be.

Just amazing.

two days


111) "E" Is for Evidence by Sue Grafton, finished November 13

This one had the most thrills-per-pound yet. And while there's always the question in a detective series whether book or tv if one detective can really see this much action, who cares? Kinsey is nice to hang out with and I like to see her win. Even if she has to weather a couple explosions in the process.
perhaps two weeks

Previously in 2015 . . . . :

Book one hundred-seventh to one hundred-tenth

110) The Complete Peanuts: 1993 to 1994 by Charles M. Schulz, finished November 10
109) Ball Peen Hammer by Adam Rapp and George O'Connor, finished November 7
108) Magic Trixie Sleeps Over by Jill Thompson, finished November 6
107) "D" Is for Deadbeat by Sue Grafton, finished November 5

Book one hundred-second to one hundred-sixth

106) The Secret of the Stone Frog by David Nytra, finished October 18
105) The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood, finished October 27
104) Magic Trixie by Jill Thompson, finished October 18
103) Binky Under Pressure by Ashley Spires, finished October 17
102) Humor, Horror, and the Supernatural by Saki, finished October 15

Book ninety-eighth to one hundred-first

101) 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King, finished October 14
100) Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio and Will Staehle, finished October 5
099) Wonderland by Tommy Kovac and Sonny Liew, finished September 29
098) Johnny Cash — I See a Darkness by Reinhard Kleist, finished September 26

Book ninety-seventh

097) Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, finished finished September 24

Books ninety-third through ninety-sixth

096) North 40 (volume one) by Aaron Williams and Fiona Staples, finished September 23
094) Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar, finished September 17
093) Castle Waiting Volume 2 by Linda Medley, finished September 15

Books ninetieth through ninety-second

092) Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O'Brien, finished September 5
091) The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink, finished September 5
090) The Animal Family by Randall Harrell, finished September 4

Books eighty-seventh through eighty-ninth

089) Zenith: Phase 1 by Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell, finished September 4
088) The Last Dragon by Jane Yolen and Rebecca Guay, finished September 1
087) Anthem by Ayn Rand, finished September 2

Books eighty-second through eighty-sixth

086) A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales edited by , Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, finished August 31
085) Castle Waiting by Linda Medley, finished August 30
084) An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell by Deborah Levy, finished August 30
083) Women at Church: Magnifying LDS Women's Local Impact by Neylan McBaine, finished August 30
082) The League of Outsider Baseball: An Illustrated History of Baseball's Forgotten Heroes by Gary Cieradkowski, finished August 25

Books seventy-fourth through seventy-seventh

081) Saint Cole by Noah Van Sciver, finished August 20
080) That A Guise, John? by Brace Pannier, finished August 19
079) A Blink of the Screen by Terry Pratchett, finished DATE
078) Revival Volume Four: Escape to Wisconsin by Tim Seely and Mike Norton, finished August 16

Books seventy-fourth through seventy-seventh

077) Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, finished August 15
076) Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, finished August 6
075) The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, finished August 4
074) The Erotic Spirit: An Anthology of Poems of Sensuality, Love, and Longing edited by Sam Hamill, finished July 28

Books seventieth through seventy-third

073) Dial H: Exchange by China Miéville et al, finished July 27
072) Sir Charlie: Chaplin, the Funniest Man in the World by Sid Fleischman, finished July 24
071) "C" is for Corpse by Sue Grafton, finished July 22
070) Isle of 100,000 Graves by Fabien Vehlmann and Jason, finished July 19

Books fifty-ninth through sixty-ninth

069) Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett, finished July 17
068) Dial H: Into You by China Miéville et al, finished July 15
067) Benny Breakiron: The Red Taxis by Peyo, finished July 15
066) Bossypants by Tina Fey, finished July 14
065) Liberating Form: Mormon Essays on Religion and Literature by Marden J. Clark, finished July 12
064) The Rise of Aurora West by Paul Pope and J. T. Petty and David Rubín, finished July 12
063) Battling Boy by Paul Pope, finished July 11
062) The Last Days of Video by Jeremy Hawkins, finished July 6
061) Arabel's Raven by Joan Aiken, finished July 3
060) Templar by Jordan Mechner and Alex Puvilland and LeUyen Pham, finished July 2
059) Heaven Knows Why! by Samuel W. Taylor, finished June 26

Books fifty-sixth through fifty-eighth

058) Itself by Rae Armantrout, finished June 21
057) Western Wind: An Introduction to Poetry by John Frederick Nims and David Mason, finished June 19
056) Matilda by Roald Dahl, finished June 15

Books fifty-second through fifty-fifth

055) Bad Houses by Sara Ryan and Carla Speed McNeil, finished June 14
054) Star Wars Underworld: The Yavin Vassilika by Mike Kennedy and Carlos Meglia and whoever, finished June 12
053) Batman Vol. 5: Zero Year - Dark City by by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo (et al), finished June 11
052) Deadpool's Art of War by Peter David and Scott Koblish, finished June 10

Books forty-sixth through fifty-first

051) Men of Wrath by Jason Aaron and Ron Garney, finished June 10
050) X-Men: No More Humans by Mike Carey & Salvador Larroca & al., finished June 9
049) Alex + Ada by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn, finished June 9
048) Miracleman Book 2: The Red King Syndrome by Alan Moore (not credited by name) and a bunch of other people, finished June 6
047) Coffin Hill: Dark Endeavors by Caitlin Kittredge and Inaki Miranda, finished June 6
046) Coffin Hill: Forest of the Night by Caitlin Kittredge and Inaki Miranda, finished June 4

Books forty-second through forty-fifth

045) Castle Waiting: The Lucky Road by Linda Medley, finished at midnight so either June 2 or 3
044) The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami and translated by Ted Goossen, finished June 2
043) The Round House by Louise Erdich, finished June 1
042) Best American Comics 2014 edited by Scott McCloud, finished May 31

Books thirty-seventh through forty-first

041) The Brothers K by David James Duncan, finished May 18
040) Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis, finished May 18
039) Skandalon by Julie Maron, finished May 1
038) The Final Story by Jeff Shaara, finished April 29
037) Shutter Volume 1: Wanderlost by Joe Keatinge and Leila Del Duca et al, finished April 29

Books thirty-second through thirty-sixth

036) The Motherless Oven by Rob Davis, finished April 27
035) Zero Volume 1: An Emergency by Ales Kot et al, finished April 22
034) Deadly Class Volume 1: Reagan Youth by Rick Remender, finished April 19
033) Animal Man Vol. 4: Splinter Species by Jeff Lemire et al, finished April 17
032) Swamp Thing Vol. 4: Seeder by Charles Soule et al, finished April 15

Books twenty-eighth through thirty-first

031) Small Gods by Terry Pratchett, finished April 6
030) The Frangipani Hotel by Violet Kupersmith, finished April 2
029) The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey: A Graphic Novel of Jewish Wisdom and Wit in the Wild West by Steve Sheinkin, finished March 29
028) Vivian Maier: Self-Portraits edited by John Maloof, finished March 23

Books twenty-sixth through twenty-seventh

027) Passing by Nella Larsen, finished March 18
026) Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson, finished March 17

Books twenty-second through twenty-fifth

025) Ghost World by Daniel Clowes and Terry Zwigoff, finished March 16
024) Hawkeye: L.A. Woman by Matt Fraction and some very talented artists, finished March 15
023) Hawkeye: Little Hits by Matt Fraction and a large number of artists, finished March 14
022) Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction and David Aja and Javier Pulido, finished March 12

Books twentienth through twenty-first

021) Does Santa Exist?: A Philosophical Investigation by Eric Kaplan, finished March 11
020) Babymouse #8: Puppy Love by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm, finished March 11

Books sixteenth through ninteenth

019) The Book of Mormon, finished March 3
018) Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse by Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos, finished March 1
017) Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle, finished February 26
016) Drawings II by Jake Parker, finished February 19

Books twelfth through fifteenth

015) The PreHistory of The Far Side: A 10th Anniversary Exhibit by Gary Larson, finished February 18
014) Nation by Terry Pratchett, finished February 16
013) Fences by August Wilson, finished February 10
012) Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, finished February 6

Books tenth through eleventh

011) Adverbs by Daniel Handler, finished February 4
010) Death by Chocolate: Redux by David Yurkovich, finished February 3

Books sixth through ninth

009) The End of the World by Don Hertzfeldt, finished January 31
008) Ms. Marvel: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, finished January 24
007) Drop Shot by Harlan Coben, finished January 18
006) Cardboard by Doug TenNaple, finished January 15

Books first through fifth

005) The Complete Peanuts: 1991-1992 by Charles M. Schulz, finished January 10
004) City of Brick and Shadow by Tim Wirkus, finished January 9
003) Harem Scarem in El Cerrito by Neva Calvert Carpenter, finished January 4
002) iPlates Volume II: Prophets, Priests, Rebels, and Kings by Stephen Carter and Jett Atwood, finished January 4
001) Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut, finished January 3

final booky posts of

2014 = 2013 = 2012 = 2011 = 2010 = 2009 = 2008 = 2007

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