Excellent comics, black and white all, and two excellent novels---one for adults and one for kids


067) Marble Season by Gilbert Hernandez, finished September 3

My darling dear fixed the kids' hallway bookshelf so, you know, book spines and be seen and books can be found. And yon toddler's immediate response was to find Marble Season and demand a reread. It was a low-quality reread in that we skipped a few pages here and there, but this plotless book still help her attention all the way through.

And rereading it so soon after our last read made me realize that this is a truly excellent book. It's one of the most honest childhood stories I've ever read. And though it is doused in nostalgia, it's kids' p-o-v so it never comes off as mere nostalgia. It feels lived-in in a very now sort of way.

And I got sad that Charles Schulz never got to read it. I would kill to know what he thinks. I suspect he would have really dug it. Alas, alas.



068) Half Magic by Edward Eager, finished September 4

Coupla somehows to start this review.

Somehow I never heard of these books when I was a kid.

Somehow boy number three started reading them which led to him getting the first four in a boxset for his birthday. Which led to him pushing book one on me.

 And it was great! It's from the 50s and takes place in the 20s so there are a couple moments that have aged subexcellently but as a whole it's a total delight. If you're looking for something for your kids, not a bad choice at all.

perhaps a week 


069) Lux by Elizabeth Cook, finished September 12

When I accepted a copy of this book for review, I was under the impression I was receiving a slim little thing; so when a 400+-pager showed up instead, I was a bit nonplussed. But the original pitch---David and Bathsheba, Henry and Ann, both filtered through Thomas Wyatt, with wisdom and poetry and subtle religion---still attracted me. So eventually I picked it up from the floor under my nightstand and started reading. 

And was immediately enraptured by the quality of the prose. Cook is a marvelous writer.

The first two thirds of the book are about David and Bathsheba and it dances through theirs and other characters' points of view, before largely settling on David as he hides in a cave during the early stage of his penance. It's not until these hundreds of pages pass that we then switch to England where Thomas Wyatt will be our companion the rest of the way. I was perplexed that we had had to wait so long for his appearance. And although in the early pages of Wyatt's appearance we see an elaborate tapestry starring David and Bathsheba which the king has purchased, the connection between the two portions of the book remains ambiguous.

Ambiguous but certain. This is the first time in as long as I can remember* that I have an impulse to immediately start reading the book again because I think I will understand it utterly anew if I do so. But will I?

I've intentionally left it on the bed. I've already told Lady Steed she will like it, so if she jumps right in I won't get the chance. And I rarely reread these days because it makes me impatient. But this could be the exception.

The cover is a curious thing as well. It's lovelier in person---and stranger as well. It's a peculiar cover and I suspect it's terrible as selling the novel, but I actually quite love it. It's just as subtle and unclear as the title  and it only makes sense if you put some work into understanding it.

Which I'm not sure is the accepted purpose of bookcovers, but still. At least it's utterly different and interesting and pleasant to have around.

Anyway, this novel is a sentence-by-sentence pleasure and is filled with hidden treasures and richly drawn characters and fully plumbed emotions and provocative themes wisely explored. 

The one thing is it not is tiny. Although it did not feel like a slog at all. I enjoyed every page and the chapters are mostly short so it feels not so dissimilar from tiny after all.

a few months


070) Rachel Rising 1: The Shadow of Death by Terry Moore, finished September 12
Rachel Rising Vol. 2 : Fear No Malus by Terry Moore, finished September 12

I broke these out because I've been wanting to reread them and because Lady Steed is interesting in picking up some comics (it's been a comics-dry year for her). Although I remember loving them (1, 2---these links good for pictures, too) I didn't remember much in the way of details. And that's staying true. I really haven't remembered anything yet until it occurs. In other words, I'm having the full measure of fun!

a day 


072) Rachel Rising Vol. 3 : Cemetery Songs by Terry Moore, finished September 14

Moore's casual shuffling of mythologies with naturalistic and full characterizations are part of what make these books so pleasurable. Getting to know realistic characters as they plumb the chaos of a suddenly greater unreality---this is what, say, Stephen King is good at too.

It's interesting to me how my mind sorts and remembers things. I can read a novel for the second time twenty years later and every moment comes back to me as I read. But this comic that I read only six years ago is a revelation at all times, as if I had never seen it before even though I last read it six years ago.


073) Rachel Rising Vol. 4 : Winter Graves by Terry Moore, finished September 15

I know this is probably unfair of me, but I just never expect serialized fiction to be this well plotted. Here we are at the end of Rachel Rising's first arc and what do you know---everything slides together so nicely and with resonance no less!

I haven't read any of Moore's other work (although I own Echo)  but I read today that they are all couniversal and a sequel of sorts exists.

But first, I own three more volumes!

(previous read)


074) Rachel Rising Vol. 5: Night Cometh by Terry Moore, finished September 17

I'm a little worried I've never read this before. I can't find a previous review and I can't be sure if I recognized anything. Very peculiar!

Some of the ink work---notably in the early pages---has changed from the earlier volumes. Although the story reached a natural conclusion in 4, plenty of threads are still here ready to be pulled. And I'm appreciating how it's expanding.

My best guess is, having reached a nice conclusion, I kept buying volumes but waited to read them until the story was complete? then forgot I hadn't done so? I'm really not sure.

The other possibility is the post is lost thanks to this weird glitch with Blogger where some posts just never get indexed. It's very strange.

an afternoon

075) Rachel Rising Vol. 6: Secrets Kept by Terry Moore, finished September 17

Yep. Feeling pretty confident I haven't read these last three volumes before.

I think what I love about these books is pretty typically Theric. I like explorations of darkness. I like books peopled with female protagonists. I like interesting new takes on favorite mythologies and I favor no mythology like Eden.

Lilith has been a character since the opening pages of volume one, but only now are we getting her memories of Creation. And they are a new Creation story. But this isn't feeling like a  sneaky switcheroo--these newly revealed details fit into what we already know and have explanatory power.

As I said above, I'm impressed by serialized works that come together like this. I don't know if it was planning or discovery, but it's terrific.

right up to midnight

076) Rachel Rising Vol. 7: Dust to Dust by Terry Moore, finished September 18

The conclusion! Past the halfway mark I could not figure out how he was going to wrap it up, but he found a satisfactory close---then twisted it with some postcredits play.

And, since a sequel proper never appeared, I guess I have to go read this.

(Somehow, explanation unknown or unremembered, this copy o' mine is signed. Curious.)

an afternoon


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

books fifty-eight through sixty-two
057) Alive: New and Selected Poems by Elizabeth Willis, finished August 4
058) Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson, finished ~ August 7
059) Beyond Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulllch, finished August 9
060) Sisters by Raina Telgemeier, finished August 11
061) Marble Season by Gilbert Hernandez, finished August 15
062) Frogcatchers by Jeff Lemire, finished August 17

books fifty-eight through sixty-two
063) Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell, finished August 21
064) Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay, finished August 24
065) by William, Barrows, et al., finished August 28
Martian Manhunter Vol. 2: The Red Rising by William, Barrows, et al., finished August 28

No comments:

Post a Comment