These books we read


052) The Ghost by Robert Harris, finished April 7

Having got tired of my in-the-car book, I replaced it with the appropriately titled volume. Which was a much more pleasant and breezy read. Much more exciting too. And the politics are more contemporary.

Set-up: After his first ghostwriter dies, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain is connected to a new fellow who experience is more rock stars and reality queens.

Ends up that first ghostwriter's death was no accident, but our new fellow's in way over his head!

It's fun and exciting and ends abruptly leaving me wondering why we still have so many pages left.

Naturally: there's a twist.

And it's a twist that is obvious in retrospect but which caught me totally offguard. As a good thriller should do.

This is my third Harris book (after Fatherland and Pompeii) and maybe the best (though my memory's shaky). Coming into the modern era is a good choice for him---this books seems to mean what it's saying a bit more, if you know what I mean. I'll wager this was even more so in Britain, tapping into the sense of being manipulated by the American government during the Iraq War / War on Terror / etc.

One other thing: I must have been a hundred pages into the novel before I realized that the point-of-view had no name. Which is very appropriate of course. And impressive to do it so cleanly I took so long to notice. Well done.

Next up: the movie.


051) Injection, Vol. 1 by Warren Ellis & Jordie Bellaire & Declan Shalvey, finished April 7

So it appears that innovation is about to plateau and the world will thus get boring.

Not to worry! A solution is at hand!

Inject the internet with an AI that's fueled by the facts on which folklore is based.

I need not tell you this does not turn out exactly as planned....

three or four days


050) Letters to a Young Mormon by Adam Miller, finished April 2

So I know everyone's already told you that this is pretty much the best book ever written and so my amen might not make much noise, but they aren't wrong: this is a great book.

But why?

My primary reason for loving this slim livre, speaking personally, is that Miller defamiliarizes topics such as sin and love in ways that would have been very healthy for me as a teenager or while in my twenties or, heck, now. So much of the way I interpreted my relationship to these abstract concepts proved to be problematic and sources of self-loathing at earlier eras in my life. I've moved past all that now, but my teleological framework is, in some places, still shaky. Miller simply and clearly lays out a new way to think about these things. I want to read the book again and this time mark it up, but I also want to stick to my original plan and, having read it, press it on my 13yrold.

Maybe I need a second copy.

Anyway. The point today is the buzz is real and deserved. Read this book.
about seven months because I just didn't want it to end


049) Fences by August Wilson, finished March 30

Still one of the most fun books to read with students. I wonder if the movie will infiltrate culture enough that I'll stop seeing them be surprised--?
four days


048) Art Ops Vol. 2: Popism by Shaun Simon and a crapton of artists including a panoply of Allreds, finished March 29

I didn't know until I hit up Amazon that this is volume two. Maybe I would have read it differently, had I know, and thus, perhaps, my experience would have been different.

But anyway, Art Ops is high-concept stuff. Essentially cops who deal with art that has escaped the frame into the real world. It's a fine enough idea and the supporting cast dresses fab, but there are too many characters to really care about. Parts of the team have no development whatsoever, and even some of the main characters have perplexing motivations. And the parallel storylines seem wildly offcenter.

But again: perhaps I would have been more grounded for all this had I known it was a volume too. I suppose the world will never know.

three days

Previously in 2017

44 – 47
047) The Natural by Bernard Malamud, finished March 28
046) Let Me Drown with Moses by James Goldberg, finished March 26
045) Kaptara Volume 1: Fear Not, Tiny Alien by Chip Zdarsky and Kagan McLeod, finished March 25
044) The Big Book of Exit Strategies by Jamaal May, finished March 22

40 – 43
043) Casanova: Acedia Volume 1 by Matt Fraction and Fábio Moon and Michael Chabon and Gabriel Bá, finished March 18
042) Wolfie & Fly by Cary Fagan, finished March 15
041) Cyrus Perkins and the Haunted Taxi Cab by Dave Dwonch and Anna Lencioni, finished March 13
040) An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen, finished March 10

36 – 39
039) Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, finished March 9
038) In the Great Green Room: The Brilliant and Bold Life of Margaret Wise Brown by Amy Gary, finished March 5
037) Ritual and Bit by Robert Ostrom, finished March 3
036) Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman, finished March 3

33 – 35
035) Under Brushstrokes by Hedy Habra, finished February 24
034) Rapture by Sjohnna McCray, finished February 20
033) The Destroyer in the Glass by Noah Warren, finished February 19

29 – 32
032) Old Boy, Vol. 8 by Garon Tsuchiya & Nobuaki Minegishi, finished February 18
031) Ms. Marvel Vol. 6: Civil War II by G. Willow Wilson et al, finished February 18
030) White Sand by Brandon Sanderson & Rik Hoskin & Julius Gopez, finished February 18
029) Honest Engine by Kyle Dargan, finished February 17

24 – 28
028) Best American Comics 2016 edited by Roz Chast, finished February 16
027) Old Boy, Vol. 7 by Garon Tsuchiya & Nobuaki Minegishi, finished February 16
026) Old Boy, Vol. 6 by Garon Tsuchiya & Nobuaki Minegishi, finished February 12
025) Old Boy, Vol. 5 by Garon Tsuchiya & Nobuaki Minegishi, finished February 11
024) Old Boy, Vol. 4 by Garon Tsuchiya & Nobuaki Minegishi, finished February 10

19 – 23
023) Ms. Marvel Vol. 5: Super Famous by G. Willow Wilson & Takeshi Miyazawa, finished February 9
022) Ms. Marvel Vol. 4: Last Days by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona, finished February 7
021) Ms. Marvel Vol. 3: Crushed by G. Willow Wilson & Takeshi Miyazawa & Elmo Bondoc, finished February 7
020) Ms. Marvel Volume 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson & Jacob Wyatt & Adrian Alphona, finished February 6
019) Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona, finished February 5

14 – 18
018) Curses by Kevin Huizenga, finished February 4
017) Precious Rascals by Anthony Holden, finished January 31
015 & 016) Anthem by Ayn Rand, finished January 31
014) Old Boy, Vol. 3 by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi, finished January 30

9 – 13
013) On Jupiter Place by Nicholas Christopher, finished January 30
012) Old Boy, Vol. 2 by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi, finished January 29
011) Old Boy, Vol. 1 by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi, finished January 28
010) Summerlost by Ally Condie, finished January 27
009) Heat Wake by Jason Zuzga, finished January 24

4 – 8
008) How the End Begins by Cynthia Cruz, finished January 19
007) Delinquent Palaces by Danielle Chapman, finished January 19
006) Pilot by pd mallamo, finished January 19
005) Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, finished January 16
004) I Hate Fairyland Volume 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young et al, finished January 14

1 – 3
003) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, finished January 12
002) F in Exams: The Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers by Richard Benson, finished January 10
001) States of Deseret by William Morris, finished January 10


* most recent post in this series *


final booky posts of
2016 = 2015 = 2014 = 2013 = 2012 = 2011 = 2010 = 2009 = 2008 = 2007

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