New books!


001) Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 3 by Ta-Nehisi Coates &‎ Brian Stelfreeze & al., finished January

A strong finish to the Wakandan civil war as the nation takes on a ... Scandanavian-like royalty. Sorta. But instead of sharing old issues of yesterdecade at end of the volume, it instead included a contemporary story that required waaay too much other-Marvel cosmic knowledge to be terribly enjoyable on its own for a noncarer like myself
a couple days


002) The Complete Peanuts 1950-2000 by Charles M. Schulz & al., finished January

Instead of the concordance I'd been asking for, this was a book of books. Several of the standalone books (like Happiness Is a Warm Puppy, but not that one as it's never been hard to find) are included. Some I'd never seen. Some I had only seen on the walls of the museum (eg, It Was a Dark and Stormy Night). It also includes much of the insane amount of good work Schuz did to promote the Ford Falcon. And a bunch of other like things. All great work. All of which merely hints at how much great work is NOT in the Complete Peanuts.

It also includes a nice note from series designer Seth. And a lovely afterward by his wife Jeannie.

The nice thing about this closing volume is how clearly it reveals that this has been a labor of love.
A money-maker, I'm sure, but a labor of love as well.

Now: Time to start over!
a couple weeks


003) The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, finished January 10

I shouldn't have interrupted my reading to fit in a couple library books. I lost some of the emotional momentum. That said, it's not hard to see why this book has moved so many people. I finally read it because I got tired of admitting to my students than I had not. It comes up every year. They read it the previous year and want to make connections to Slaughterhouse-Five. So I'm a better person now.

He is indeed some kind of writer. I'm not sure I understand the passion for him, but we'll all be a little better after reading this book. If I never read another Vietnam collection, at least I've read this one.
couple months


004) El Deafo by Cece Bell, finished January 12

A charming comics memoir aimed at kids. It manages to walk that dangerous line between sentimental and ridiculous, to show the darkness of childhood without falling into cynicism.
over a month

final booky posts of
2007 = 2008 = 2009 = 2010 = 2011 = 2012 = 2013 = 2014 = 2015 = 2016 = 2017


Looking back over 2017's books


Hi. No complicated statistical analysis here. It's just---every year I have a sense of what I read. But am I right? I logged over 140 books in 2017, but I don't feel like I read that much. I feel like I read a lot of comics and poetry. Books that aren't as word heavy as finally getting Gibbon read.

So here's a pdf.

I did read a lot of comics (62 volumes---almost half the total) and what I guess is probably a lot of poetry (17 volumes), but there were surprises as well. For a fellow who does not think of himself as a big reader of nonfiction, I fit in 17 volumes. Which ain't shabby, even if a couple of them are humor books. I even read multiple straight-up political books in 2017! Crazy!

I should note that not all the books' categorizations are inarguable. For instance, if I'm putting Letters to a Young Mormon into the minors category, shouldn't I also for Between the World and Me? Could well be. There are multiple examples of such conundrums. Books are complicated things.

Other interesting things I noted:
Only one Mormon novel this year (unless you include the Orson Scott Card scifi number.

Speaking of Mormon stuff, depending on how you count, add two comics, a YA novel, two nonfiction tomes, five volumes of poetry.

Picking up a manga series bulks up a books-read list real fast.

I averaged two works of adult fiction finished per month. Not terrible, but not a happifying number either.
Anyway. That's enough navelgazing for one day.