In which Theric (!) complains about sex. Twice.


086) The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey, finished August 4

Up in the middle of the night writing a screenplay and eating cereal and reading this. Although I think the images could have been cranked a bit further comedically, this was a fun book. I enjoyed it.

My kids have enjoyed it too, though I think it might be best aimed at an under-eight crowd.
a few minutes


085) Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen by Dylan Horrocks, finished August 3
This is an ambitious book. It's filled with metametanarrative and philosophical discussions on literature and fantasy and self-realization and all sorts of hifalutin concepts. In the final analysis, though, it really seems like the philosophy is just sugar dusting the book's real raison d'être: drawing lots and lots of naked women.

For all its firm discussion of and ironic-winking commentary on the appropriateness of making women subject to male fantasy, it's hard to read this book as anything but a full submersion into just that. And that's not the only double-standard the book wants to engage in. Or to reject. Tentacle-monster/teenage-girl sex is discussed in largely the same tone, but Horrocks doesn't indulge in pages and pages of drawrin it.

Maybe I'm a prude. Perhaps. But what bothered me was less the sex than the high-minded preaching that was in direct war with what the book was actually doing. You can call that ambiguity if you want, but I think it would be more accurate to call it hypocrisy. Or perhaps merely horny laziness.
about a week


084) Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk, finished August 3
I listened to this on a lone car drive. This was probably better than reading this as the conceit is that the book is narrated into a plane's black box as its lone passenger waits for it to crash. Of course, the downside is that whenever the narrative pushes that conceit a bit past believability it is perhaps more obvious that this is the case.

I didn't know when this book was published but somehow I imagined it wasn't that long ago. But this assumption became obviously wrong as time went on. Some items it seems like Palahniuk should have anticipated (in 1999, wasn't it already obvious how the internet would change pornography?), but some probably could not have been (how America views and deals with hijackings took a sudden turn, after all, in 2001). But I'm not complaining about any of the above.

My primary complaint is how Palahniuk, near the end of the book, has a member of an ultraconservative Christian cult present a hyperliberal view of sex. The way this side character had been presented from the very first minutes was the initial damage against my suspension of disbelief. This character who could know very little started out by knowing a whole lot. And when his opinions change, the way he speaks about this change goes against his entire history. I can accept his change in opinion. What I cannot accept is the manner in which he speaks this opinion. I don't know if his opinions are Palahniuk's, but it sure feels the author stepping in, turning a character into a puppet, and soapboxing his opinions.


That said, this is a book in the Fight Club or Invisible Monsters vein, and its criticism of modern American culture is largely on-the-nose. Both cruel and fair.
Largely. It is satire, so your mileage may vary.

But really: the most remarkable thing about it is how well it documents how much we've changed since 1999. It's not just porn and planes; it's many small,
subtle things.
two days


083) CatStronauts: Mission Moon by Drew Brockington, finished July 29

This is a charming book. The cats are cats, even if they're scientists and politicians, and the details are suitably witty for even an adult to enjoy.
not very long at all


082) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, finished July 29

Believe it or not, I've never read A Wrinkle in Time before. I read A Swiftly Tilting Planet many times because I owned it and it was one of the books I frequently reread, but my only experience with its forebear was a teacher reading it aloud in elementary school.
I remembered the concept of tesseracting clearly, but otherwise all that was left was a vague sense of disquiet I did not desire to revisit.

Rereading it now, I can see the legitimacy of that sense of disquiet, but still. It's a beautiful book. Granted, I seem to be going through a weepy stage,
but weepy I got. And I knew the book was supposed to have Christian undertones, but I don't know if "undertones" is the right terminology---it quotes scripture at length, darn it.

Anyway. Even with modern film technology, this still seems nigh unto unfilmable. I haven't see the trailer for the new film yet, but I wish them well.

I'm excited to read the rest of the quintet. I didn't know there were more than three books until recently and not that there were five until today. I'm looking forward to working my way through all these unread words. (And to see how well I remember ASTP.)
about three weeks


081) The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing, finished July 15

I'm not sure where I got it into my head to read this, but I asked the library to get me a copy upon my return from our travels and I read it during a solo shot to San Francisco to buy discounted pants. I'm glad I did.

It hasn't settled yet, a day later.

I don't know whose side I'm supposed to be on. The parents seem like good people. And the baby is horrible. But a baby can't be to blame. But if removing a baby returns happiness . . . is the baby to blame?

This book takes easy questions and makes them very very difficult to answer.

From what I've read, it seems this is one of those Instant Classics that didn't get assigned in schools and so has slowly slipped below general public awareness.
I'm seriously considering rectifying this. I love it as a companion to Frankenstein . . . .

And then maybe show Eraserhead for a fun finale?
one day

Previously in 2017

76 – 80
080) The Novel by James C. Michener, finished July 12
079) Dodger by Terry Pratchett, finished July 11
078) Big Nate: Great Minds Think Alike by Lincoln Peirce, finished July 10
077) Living Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson, finished July 7
076) The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, finished June 30?

72 – 75
075) Norse Mythology by Neil Gaimain, finished June 19
074) Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes by Matt Kindt, finished June 16
073) Wyrms by Orson Scott Card, finished June 15
072) Cairo by G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker, finished June 13

68 – 71
071) Abstract City by Christoph Niemann, finished June 9
070) The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple, finished June 8
069) Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham, finished June 5
068) Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, finished June 1

64 – 67
067) One Minute till Bedtime selected by Kenn Nesbitt, finished May 30
066) The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder, finished May 25
065) Wonder Woman: A Celebration of 75 years by (various), finished May 24
064) Leiathan with a Hook by Kimberly Johnson, finished May 12

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. .

    Two addenda:

    What I meant to say about The Magic Pen is that Horrocks, in terms of sexual fantasy, wants to have his cake and east it to. Did it work? That's up to you.

    Second, I forgot I've read another Palahniuk book---his short-story collection. It was another audiobook, I believe read by the author. Not sure if I finished it. This was before I started doing fivebooksatatime.