I read a book
and a book read me
I read that book
by a coconut tree


016) Snotgirl: Green Hair, Don't Care by Bryan Lee O'Malley and Leslie Hung, finished February 16

I'm a big fan of O'Malley's other books, Scott Pilgrim and Seconds, and so, perhaps, I will get the second Snotgirl collection, but I'm not loving it. Plotwise, I'm curious to see if the p-o-v character is correctly interpreting events or if her allergy medicine is making her kill people, but I don't like any (any) of these characters. His other books have shallow characters with depths. These characters just seem shallow under their shallow exteriors.

At least it didn't take long to read....


017) Ghost of the Grotto by Carl Barks, finished February 20

Hilarious! Barks does't need Uncle Scrooge to have a galloping time---just throw him some ducks and watch the fun commence!
one sitting


018) When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs, finished February 22

I was reading about the movie somewhere which inspired me to get the book (the creator of which, me being American, I only know from The Snowman.). If memory serves, because I could not find the movie. But the book is astonishing. It's so quiet and contained and about so very, very much. The characters with no irony in them whatsoever but, because of the world they live in, all their words become ironic nevertheless.

If only one book about The Bomb survives The Bomb, I sure hope it's this one.

one sitting


019) Temple and Cosmos by Michael R. Collings, finished February 23

Collings is at a point in his career where he seems less interested in impressing people and more interested in scratching every itch he has left. Then he packages them in a themed package and hangs out his shingle.

Temple and Cosmos is such a packaging---mostly new poems, but some that have appeared before, including in Into the Void. The volume is split into two halves---temple and cosmos---and the justaposition means that awe of temple and awe of cosmos are balanced, or at least intended to be.

Among the itches the poet is scratching are those of influence. Emily is all through this book, for instance, and I think I sense some George Herbert as well. Some moderns---Eliot, maybe?

My favorite poem, perhaps, comes from the cosmos half and is a missionary's homecoming talk after two years in distant space. He has come home to speak to his sibling's grandchildren. It also had a nice, additional frisson thanks to the recent announcement, making missionaries less disconnected from home.

I love that Michael is still formally experimenting. And although not everything works for me, it makes me happy to see a retired gentleman with ambition. Never stop scribbling.
a bit over six months


020) The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett, finished February 23

Like The Maltese Falcon, what a book. Hammett has the sentences of Hemingway, but he plots like the genre master he is. Nick and Nora aren't quite what they are in the movies, but that's not to say is one is better than the other. The full warmth of their relationship is helped along by William Powel and Myrna Loy, sure, but the drinking seems more fun-and-games as well. He's clearly an alcoholic in the book, though certainly a high-functioning one.

And the falling-together-of-pieces at the end is a thing of wonder. There is craft in this art.

Does really make me want to binge all the movies. But maybe I'll read Hammett's own sequel first.
coupla weeks


021) Fungus the Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs, finished February 24

Not long after I put When the Wind Blows, Adam Koford tweeted about this book, and so, why not, I threw it on hold two. It came from L.A. (the other only from S.F.) and it's in even worse shape. These thirty-plus-year old paperbacks are falling apart. Time to replace them, libraries!

This one's story is much less compelling---largely it's a punfilled fieldguide to bogeymen. And it's a good read (even has a nice Cold Comfort reference), but it's not one I'll push on you. Read When the Wind Blows first.

(Although, this is the one that inspired a Sir Paul song. Which is crazy since Bogey's hate music.)

two or three days


The other books of 2019

001 – 005
001) Thornhill by Pam Smy, finished January 2
002) How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis, finished January 3
003) Arcadia by Tom Stoppard, finished Janaury 4
004) Third Wheel: Peculiar Stories of Mormon Women in Love by Melissa Leilani Larson, finished January 6
005) Fox 8 by George Saunders, finished January 6

006 – 010
006) SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman, finished January 8*
007) Latter-day Laughs by Stan and Elly Schoenfeld, finished January 16
008) All We Ever Wanted: Stories of a Better World edited by Miner, Palicki, Chin-Tanner; finished January 19
009) Daytripper by Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá, finished January 19
010) Evolving Faith: Wanderings of a Mormon Biologist by Steven L. Peck, finished January 20

011 – 015
011) Kindred by Octavia E. Butler, finished January 22
012) Huck by Mark Millar et al., finished January 24
013) Marketing Precedes the Miracle by Calvin Grondahl, finished January 30
014) Uncle Scrooge:The Seven Cities Of Gold by Carl Barks, finished January 31
015) When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, finished January 31

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