Some books are good books.
Some books are better books.
Some books are best books.


052) Remember the Revolution! by James Goldberg, finished July 14

Most of what's in this book I've read before (and it irked me every single time those previously-published credits weren't accessible, James) which is exactly why I bought it. Some of the essays in here are the reasons it might seem like I'm always talking about James. "Wrestling with God" I've discussed as often as any essay this past ten years, in LDS settings, in English-class settings, you name it. For a while, "Four Faces of a Rhetorical Triangle" made its way into my schoolteaching as well. And I'd forgotten about "Remember the Revolution" even though it might be the most deserving of constant quotation.

Some of the short stories (notably "Tales of Teancum Singh Rosenberg") remind me of some of Ted Chiang's fiction.

The fiction is as provocative with possibility and insight as are the essays. Take this excerpt from "Teancum" which imagines a people equal parts Mormon and Jewish and Sikh, with some Hindu and Muslim tossed in for flavor:
Rabbi Eliezer said “Only when two or more prophets speak the same truth can it be considered equal to a word of the Lord. As it is written, ‘whether by mine own voice or the voice of my ser-vants, it is the same.’ ‘Servants,’ not ‘servant.’ When a prophet speaks alone, he may speak as a man, but when he speaks with the intent and witness of another prophet, their words are surely Ha-Shem’s.”

Rabbi Tarphon, however, said “It is also writ-ten, ‘whatsoever they shall speak when moved by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture.’ That is, even the words of a prophet speaking alone are surely of the Lord when he is moved.”

Rabbi Ben Azaryah said, “I am like a man of seventy years old, and yet I could not succeed in interpreting this scripture until Ben Zoma ex-plained it to me. ‘Moved by the Holy Ghost’ means the Prophet cannot remain the same, he must be moved to speak against his natural prejudice and inclinations. Only then are his words surely also the Lord’s words. Otherwise, the counsel is binding but the perfection uncertain.”

Rabbi Akiva then said, “What does the saying mean, that the Prophet will never lead the people astray? Is it not written, ‘all we like sheep have gone astray.’? ‘We’ is the people, ‘All we’—this includes the prophets. And it is also written, ‘The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!’ It is possible, then, for a Prophet, also, to break faith, for a Prophet, also, to fall.”

Teancum Singh answered, and said, “The Prophet can never lead the church away from the Lord because a Prophet can never escape the Lord. As it was in the days of Jonah, so it is in the last days: even a disobedient Prophet does not cease to be a Prophet, and even his rebellion is swallowed up into the purpose of Ha-Shem. A prophet is bound to the Lord, even cursed with Him: as it is written, ‘the burden of the word of the Lord.’

“God will forge every prophet into his Story.”
This exchange inspired by the Haggadah makes a terrific model for Mormon Sunday School, don't you think?

Also, it moves Razia Shah up my wish list.

I do want to complain about the no-prevpubbed one more time on my way out though. It's helpful to know provenance, just like with papyrus. To pick the first piece as an example, "Toward a Mormon Renaissance" was, I believe, first read aloud at a New Play Project event. Then, next, as an introduction to a book. I want to say it's appeared elsewhere since then, but memory fails. It seems to me that one purpose of a book like this is to mark the past clearly---a shortcut for potential readers, students, scholars, researchers, who may walk this way.

Anyway, rightly or not, it really got on my nerves.
a few weeks


053) Future Day Saints by Matt Page, finished July 19

I had imagined a straightforward comicbook story, but that's not what I got at all. Instead, I got a mix of 80s comics and advertisements for 80s toys and a story from The Friend (heeey!) and bits from an activity book for long car rides and something like those old Parker Brother books from the 80s and a retelling of a classic hymn and---

It's so much more than a straightforward story.

I highly recommend you pick up your own.



054) Animal Man: The Hunt by Jeff Lemire & Travel Foreman, finished July 22

After reading Morrison's Animal Man, I decided to see what Lemire did with the same paints and, deep into it, started to realize I had heard of the red and the green before...somewhere. Had I read the New 52's Swamp Thing? Maybe. But looking around, it appears I had already read volume four (this is volume one).

I think it's safe to say my reaction to volume one is much like my reaction to volume four.


055) Superman: Before Truth by Gene Luen Yank & John Romita Jr. & Klaus Janson & Dean White, finished July 27

This book was put on hold by someone with a name similar to mine and so it was in the pickup pile the librarian delivered to me via covid protocols. I feel bad.

But if I'd known Gene Luen Yang was writing Superman, I probably would have picked it up intentionally. So there is that.

Although, under those circumstances, I probably would have been even more disappointed.

Not that this is bad. It's not. It's fine. But...that's all. And the volume ends such that the story never really gets started.

In this iteration, Jimmy's the only civilian to know Clark's secret identity, though Lois figures it out before the book is out---as does the rest of the world.

I think I might be a bit soured on superheros at the moment, to be honest. I keep thinking about systemic issues in our society and I can't see how superheros can be part of the solution. I'm ready for a radical recreation.

Can you think of a more likely candidate that Gene Luen Yang to write such a thing?


056) Castle Waiting: The Lucky Road by Linda Medley, finished August 1

Although I don't like reading comics aloud, there is one exception: excellent comics read to a child I want to get interested in longer narratives because I want a change from the nightly stack of picture books. Such is the case here. I saw Castle Waiting on the shelf and thought this might be the moment.

I've written about Castle Waiting before (this book, the next book---pictures at both links).

All my love holds true.

I really can't recommend these books enough. I'm so glad I was able to read this one to my three-year-old. Now I have to decide whether she gets Roller Girl or Bone next....
a week or more


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 twelve 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

books twenty-eight through thirty-two
028) If Mother Braids a Waterfall by Dayna Patterson, finished April 2
029) Witchy Kingdom by D.J. Butler, finished April 11
030) Prayers in Bath by Luisa Perkins, finished April 14
031) On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden, finished April 22
032) Missile Mouse: The Star Crusher by Jake Parker, finished April 22

books thirty-three through thirty-seven
033) Irreversible Things by Lisa Van Orman Hadley, finished April 27
034) Pillar of Light: Joseph Smith's First Vision by Andrew Knaupp and Sal Velluto, finished May 3
035) Hermana by Becca McCulloch, finished May 13*
036) Best American Comics 2017 by Ben Katchor, finished May 19
037) "Q" is for Quarry by Sue Grafton, finished May 22

books thirty-eight through forty-two
038) Draft No. 4* by John McPhee, finished May 22
039) Salt by Susan Elizabeth Howe, finished May 25
040) Endless Night by Agatha Christie, finished June 5
041) A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle, finished June 8
042) Caldera Ridge by Jack Harrell, finished June 10

books forty-three through forty-seven
043) God's Man by Lynd Ward, finished June 13
044) Zot! 1987–1991 by Scott McCloud, finished June 17
045) Big Fish by Daniel Wallace, finished June 20
046) Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz, finished June 24
047) Exhalation by Ted Chiang, finished June 28

books forty-eight through fifty-one
048) iZOMBIE: Dead to the World by Chris Roberson & Michael Allred (et al), finished July 4
049) iZOMBIE: uVAMPIRE by Chris Roberson & Michael Allred (et al), finished July 4
050) iZOMBIE: Six Feet Under & Rising by Chris Roberson & Michael Allred (et al), finished July 6
051) iZOMBIE: Repossession by Chris Roberson & Michael Allred (et al), finished July 6

books fifty-two through fifty-six
052) Remember the Revolution! by James Goldberg, finished July 14
053) Future Day Saints by Matt Page, finished July 19
054) Animal Man: The Hunt by Jeff Lemire & Travel Foreman, finished July 22
055) Superman: Before Truth by Gene Luen Yank & John Romita Jr. & Klaus Janson & Dean White, finished July 27
056) Castle Waiting: The Lucky Road by Linda Medley, finished August 1

No comments:

Post a Comment