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028) If Mother Braids a Waterfall by Dayna Patterson, finished April 2

Instead of writing here, I need to get to work on my Dialogue review....

maybe two weeks


029) Witchy Kingdom by D.J. Butler, finished April 11

I took longer to read this book than the first two combined---in large part because I was a bit burned out, reading the same genre so long, and took breaks to read other books, some of those breaks quite long.

Which is no comment on the book's excellence. It is excellent. Just, all combined, this trilogy comes near two thousand pages. And it ends nicely setting things up for more books. Which I happen to know he's writing.

I know many people love this. I'm afraid I'm much more into beginnings and endings rather than endless middles.

Which is a lot of complaining about a book I genuinely loved and absolutely admired. It's excellent adventure, excellent fantasy, excellent americana, excellent mormonism, and excellent religion. It does everything well.

I think I most admire its incorporation of initiation ritual---temple ritual as we Saints think of it---into this new world. It's striking and provocative. I was impressed by the coronation scene, but it just kept getting better.

I really can't recommend these books enough.

And if, for you, two thousand pages is just a nice chops licking, you'll fit into them even better than I have.
over seven months


030) Prayers in Bath by Luisa Perkins, finished April 14

This lovely little book is by a friend (see an interview I did with her or one she did with Wm about this book) and it is indeed both lovely and little. Something that could have included an extra two hundred pages of intrigue clocks in at 109 pages (including four pages of art and several gaps filled with art-relevant design). It's quiet and modest, and punches a great emotional wallop for all that.

I was caught offguard by how emotional I found the book at points, notably the final page. (Which I did not think would be the final page, but I was gratified and satisfied to discover it was.)

There are probably one or two awkward sentences per chapter, but I can't really nail down a pattern. They're more common when there are spiritual moments, but most of the spirituality is handled with aplomb. They're more common when there is conflict, but maybe that's for the best? I just mention these sentences because they are really the book's only flaw.

I've read three of Luisa's novels (two of the three published novels and one unpublished) and this is my favorite. I think (based on old memories of the other two books) that it's the most consistent throughout, and the most...honest? I'm not sure what I mean by that, but I do mean it. Perhaps not coincidentally, it's the only one that is openly Mormon rather than Mormon through allusion and subterfuge. The novel deals directly with lived spiritual experience and does it in a calmly realist manner. It's a great success.
four days


031) On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden, finished April 22

This is a long and beautiful book. I do have some complaints, but most of those may be seen as virtues by other readers (characters whose ages run together, coloring that makes characters at times indistinguishable, ambiguous word bubbles, occasional [period inappropriate?] preachiness). My issues with coloring for instance, no doubt, are do at least in part to the poor lighting I read most of the book in.

Brief summary: In the future of our solar system, humanity has people the Solar System. For unexplained reasons, no one biologically male is left (I didn't realize this until page ~135). Our main character's story is split between two timelines: highschool at a fancy boarding school and her post-highschool working on a ... not really a salvage ship ... repair crew? Anyway, she makes a new family with those on their flying goldfish and off they go. The mechanics of the plot are such that it's the collision of the past with the present that engines the story forward.

Overall, I loved spending time in this world. Walden does wonderful things with panels and colors and the design of the worlds and ships we visit. I love how matter-of-fact everything is (except, and this is my #1 complaint, when the crew is dealing with a replacement captain), how lived-in and normal---while being absurdly imaginative and challenging to what science fiction "looks like."

I was also happy with not getting the dumb ending I feared and that the actual ending become something utterly unexpected, while honest to the story thus far. She has two more books out. They might be worth looking into.


032) Missile Mouse: The Star Crusher by Jake Parker, finished April 22

Baby wanted a mouse book and looking over the shelves I saw this. Reading it to her involved a lot of pointing and half the words, but it was a fun read and she followed the story fine.

I still don't like reading comics aloud, but it's worth making an exception for those learning the early ropes of reading themselves.


books from the recent and distant past

books one through five
001) Titiana in Yellow by Dayna Patterson, finished January 1
002) The Tree at the Center by Kathryn Knight Sonntag, finished January 5
003) After Earth by Michael Lavers, finished January 12
004) Monstress, Volume One: Awakening by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda, finished January 15
005) The Last Hot Time by John M. Ford, finished January 17

books six through eleven
006) The Marriage of the Moon and the Field by Sunni Brown Wilkinson, finished January 25
007) My Parents Married on a Dare by Carlfred Broderick, finished January 26
008) The Garden of Enid: Adventures of a Weird Mormon Girl (volume one) by Scott Hales, finished January 26
009) The Garden of Enid: Adventures of a Weird Mormon Girl (volume two) by Scott Hales, finished January 27
010) Solid State by Coulton / Fraction / Monteys, finished February 9
011) Into the Sun: Poems Revised, Rearranged, and New by Colin B. Douglas, finished February 16

books thirteen through sixteen
012) Wag the Dog: A Study on Film and Reality in the Digital Age by Eleftheria Thanouli, finished February 17
013) Flaming Carrot Omnibus: Volume 1 by Bob Burden, finished February 17
014) The Electric State by Simon Stålenhag, finished February 22
015) The October Faction Vol. 2 by Steve Niles and Damien Worm, finished February 24
016) Minus by Lisa Naffziger, finished February 26

books seventeen through twenty-two
017) Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks, finished February 29
018) Calexit by Matteo Pizzolo | Amancay Nahuelpan | Tyler Boss, finished March 7
019) Emma by Jane Austen, finished March 8
020) Animal Man by Grant Morrison, Book One, by Morrison and team, finished March 14
021) The Chuckling Whatsit by Richard Sala, finished March 16
022) Gloriana by Kevin Huizenga, finished March 18

books twenty-three through twenty-seven
023) Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive by an Allred-led team, finished March 20
024) Homespun and Angel Feathers by Darlene Young, finished March 25
025) Jinchalo by Matthew Forsythe, finished March 28
026) Lost Dogs by AUTHOR, finished March 28
027) The Pearl of Greatest Price: Mormonism's Most Controversial Scripture by Terryl Givens with Brian M. Hauglid, finished March 29

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