Doing great, thanks.


Before we get into the books I've read, let's review this year's goal of not starting new books:

Sorrrta good. Although I've found new categories of exceptions, I've overcome to start new books in the manner in which I usually start them. And I think there's some evidence that I'm not setting aside books that take longer to finish (this time last year, I'd finished 18 books---double this year's number).

The first book you'll read about (#9) I picked up from a wee free library during a long walk home. I was without anything to read while walking and this fit the bill. I had intended only to read an essay or two during my walk then put it back in a box, but Beck's writing is too compelling to just put down, and the importance of listening across cultural boundaries is just as important now as it was in the early '70s.

Then: two books we listened to during a drive to Utah. Then: two books I read because I'm reviewing them or interviewing the author. So: zero of this books were started prior to January.

I'll get better!

009) The Naked Soul of Iceberg Slim by Robert Beck, finished February 29

Throughout my white Mormon upraising, I have never met anyone like Iceberg Slim. His best known book is Pimp: The Story of My Life, in which he lays out how he ended up in that life. The book I read is a collection of essays, many mere vignettes, ranging from forgotten friends to why only people who hate women get into the pimp game, to the problems with being black in "racist America." It's difficult to read about, say, police shooting down unarmed black men, and argue that we've come that far. On the other hand, I can't read his words and really believe it's quite where we are today. Although parts of America are as far apart as ever, I think a serious percentage of us are finding middleground.

Still: I certainly know young black men as angry as Iceberg Slim. Both Ice-T and Ice Cube named themselves after him; I'm not sure how directly he's influencing the current generation, but indirectly he's still with us.

I highly recommend checking him out. His language is not my language, but his anger and pain and fatigue are honest. And current.

eight days


008) Half Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer, finished Feb 20

This was the third audiobook from our trip (we skipped a few parts of book two, which I'll be finishing in paper form as we have a copy around here somewhere).

This is what I expected from Colfer, only without any fantasy. But it doesn't need to be fantastic. It takes it's hero seriously enough (and puts him into serious enough situations) that reality holds as much weight as a dwarf who rockets dirt out his butt.

The kids dug this even though we were listening to it long past the time they would normally sleep---they didn't sleep as much as they should have.

In short, this is Encyclopedia Brown if his life were more like Sam Spade's. It made the kids laugh and it kept the energy and tension high and although it was a bit overlong, no one thought to complain except the 36-year-old woman.
a long slog all the way from midnevada to home


007) Bless this Mouse by Lois Lowry, finished February 16

This was the first of three audiobooks we listened to on our drive to Utah. I haven't read any Lowry besides her dystopian fic and this is not that. This is a charming story about mice living in a Church who have adopted the religion but still must fear the day the priest calls an exterminator.
basically nevada


006) Dendo by Brittany Long Olsen, finished February 14

I loved this book. Long Shimai's daily comics journal is a wonder. I've never read a missionary story that successfully built a new human from the mundane moments of a mission. Even the marvelous amazing moments are shown clearly in their mundanity. And that is one of the most honest things a missionary memoir can do. Expect more from me about this book in he future.
about two weeks


005) Dream House on Golan Drive by David G. Pace, finished February 5

I'm writing a serious review of this for Dialogue, so nothing much from me here. Just know it will be largely about a symbolic feedback look. Tempting, eh?

couple weeks

Previously in 2016

1 – 4
004) Mormon Shorts, Vol I by Scott Hales, finished January 23
003) Shirt in Heaven by Jean Valentine, finished January 18
002) Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, finished January 14
001) Spy School by Stuart Gibbs, finished January 9


* most recent post in this series *


final booky posts of
2015 = 2014 = 2013 = 2012 = 2011 = 2010 = 2009 = 2008 = 2007

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