Would you rather sleep on stage, with Wonder Woman, or with the fishes?


067) One Minute till Bedtime selected by Kenn Nesbitt, finished May 30

I really should have read this as instructed---to my kids right before bed. But most of these collections are . . . awful, frankly. So I decided to check it out myself first. And then I read the entire thing. Because it's a terrific collection.

The poems' copyright dates are mostly 2016 or shortly before, so I suspect Nesbitt, more than "selecting" the poems commissioned them. Anyway, however whatever, they're great poems of all types. Rhyming, not rhyming. Serious, silly. Some of the finest concrete poems I've read. It's a terrific collection.

Another thing that makes it great is the illustrations by Christoph Niemann. So many poetry collections for kids have illustrations that battle for the eye's attention. A certain simplicity is required. A certain sense of play with the text. Think of Silverstein's work.

Niemann accomplishes this difficult trick. His mostly monochromatic drawings are simple, but when examined closely, they are infused with an excellent wit. They disappear when needed and reward when attended to.

It's the best book of its sort I've seen.

Or so I say prior to trying it out on my kids.

one evening


066) The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder, finished May 25

I read about New York's current production of this play in passing on The New Yorker (I can't find that article now, but here's their review of the show) and thought to myself---don't I have a copy of that?

I did. It's a production copy for an actor who played Gladys (when and where I do not know). And since I had also just read an article about Wilder's novels (and because, although I barely remember it now, I loved Our Town when I read it in high school) (and because I had just finished Enemy of the People so might as well have started a new play), I decided to give it a shot.

I was mesmerized by it at first, but ended up taking weeklong breaks in the middle of my reading and it's not the sort of thing that makes pure sense even without such unnatural breaks.

The characters have been alive for thousands of years and their world is a weird mix of an anthropology textbook and Genesis. There's a dinosaur. There's a New Jersey boardwalk. It's a mad mix of this and that, with copious breaking of the fourth wall and understudies pulled from the audience. Philosophers play hours of the clock.

But the whole thing is charming and goodnatured, even as it skewers today's political climate with as sure an eye as it did that of its original production.

Expect blood. The theater is not a safe space.
over two months


065) Wonder Woman: A Celebration of 75 years by (various), finished May 24

It took me a while to get through the early stories. Golden Age and Silver Age comics just haven't aged well. It wasn't until the late '80s until it stopped being merely an academic exercise and became actually enjoyable. (Although that does coincide with the art getting . . . anatomically unlikely. Can't win them all, I guess.)

As with any of these kinds of collections, it can be hard to believe that after all the decades THESE are the ABSOLUTE BEST,
but that may be a matter of my personal biases. I will say that one advantage this book has over those two is waiting 25 more years because comics started getting better just around the time those were published.

Anyway! I'm worthy to watch the movie now!
a few weeks


064) Leiathan with a Hook by Kimberly Johnson, finished May 12

Unlike many of the collections I've read this year wherein I start excited by the new voice then grow weary of it by the end, I didn't take to this book at all. It was many pages before I even found lines I liked. As the pages turned, I grew impressed by her innovations but confused by the coherence of imagery---or rather, this coherent imagery's lack of apparent connection to the collection's title. And then the third-to-last poem brought that all together. And the final two poems brought us in for a soft landing.
three days

Previously in 2017

60 – 63
063) Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, finished May 10
062) Cover by Peter Mendelsund, finished May 10
061) Sacred Heart by Liz Suburbia, finished May 8
060) Age of Reptiles Omnibus, Vol. 1 by Ricardo Delgado, finished May 4

57 – 59
059) Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, finished May 1
058) Little Tommy Lost: Book One by Cole Closser, finished April 28
057) Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett, finished April 24

53 – 56
056) Angel Catbird (vol. one) by Margaret Atwood, et al., finished April 21
055) The Dinner Club by Curtis Taylor, finished April 21
054) The Hotel Cat by Esther Averill, finished April 17
053) A Field Guide to Awkward Silences by Alexandra Petri, finished April 9

48 – 52
052) The Ghost by Robert Harris, finished April 7
051) Injection, Vol. 1 by Warren Ellis & Jordie Bellaire & Declan Shalvey, finished April 7
050) Letters to a Young Mormon by Adam Miller, finished April 2
049) Fences by August Wilson, finished March 30
048) Art Ops Vol. 2: Popism by Shaun Simon and a crapton of artists including a panoply of Allreds, finished March 29

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

1 comment:

  1. .

    Incidentally, ALL my kids (7 - 13) disagree with me regarding these DC collections. They find the earliest stories superior both in terms of art and storytelling and character clarity. So there.