These books we read. What are they for?


109) Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville, finished December 15

I picked up this nice lil fancy copy of Bartleby some years ago---I think for free? It's a 1997 edition with a bunch of photographs of old Wall Street and a clear acetate dustjacket. Striking book.

Still, really, Bartleby is a longish short story, even in a book with photos and larger type more or less qualifies it for the list.

Like any reading American, I've been aware of Bartleby as long as I can remember and I know Bartleby's famous line. I didn't know, however, how uncanny the book would be. It felt more like reading Arthur Conan Doyle or Edgar Allen Poe than Moby Dick, honestly. I kept expecting a deliberate turn into the weird.

And I didn't know how it ended! In retrospect, I don't know how else it could have ended, but I had no idea.

In short, I really liked it. And I don't regret my exhaustion today, starting it so late and finishing it all at once.

It's a perfect little thing.

over midnight

110) Take It Easy, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz, finished December 19
This was a weird one in that there was a real attempt at curation but it resulted in weird chunks of stories and themes in unbalanced sizes. Not the finest introduction to Peanuts in my opinion.
nine days
111) The Hotel Cat by Esther Averill, finished December 19

My one two third adult read! This time it was the daughter's turn, having missed the first two reads.

This reading began because, after reading to her and saying prayer, she asks me to tell her stories. For months it's been stories about Bitty and Betty and Booty (if I'd known they would franchise, I would have spent more time on the names), but lately she's taken to asking for stories of when I was little. And, one day, she asked about books I liked as a kid and The Hotel Cat came up. It had recently returned from a lending to a nearby nine-year-old and thus was out anyway. Plus, the new Pogo was not just comics---a bunch of essays and stuff---and she wasn't digging it. So The Hotel Cat moved in.

For a while, we were reading a chapter a night, but then we missed a night or she couldn't make it through a chapter or this or that. It didn't matter much. I don't think she was much invested in the story. She mostly cared about identifying the cats as they appeared in illustrations.

I, however, was quite invested in the story. I got weepy when Tom was fully welcomed by the other cats. And, my 2011 protest notwithstanding, I think there must be some terrible unidentified loneliness at my core.

maybe three weeks
112) Snoopy and His Sopwith Camel by Charles M. Schulz, finished December 20

I get why people like these books (Happiness Is a Warm Puppy being the first): brightly colored pages, the "good parts" excised from the rest of what makes Peanuts Peanuts, doesn't take long to read...but I would rather read The Complete again, myself.
one bedtime
113) R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton, finished December 22

This was an interesting one for a couple reasons. First, the title is purely metaphorical. But second, and more intriguingly, this is a crime novel but is it still a mystery novel?

I suspect Grafton set herself an artistic challenge with R---namely to reveal the mystery upfront and then attempt to still build suspense and excitement, etc. We're not in any doubt who the bad guy is or what he's done. That's all been explained early on.

And then, if all that weren't weird enough, Kinsey is barely an active character in this volume. She gets swept up and becomes a prop in someone else's hijinks. She only has one bit of sleuthing to do.

Her lack of agency in the main plot is balanced by the introduction of a new (and more suitable) romantic plotline, but this second-fiddle status wouldn't work book after book. 

Anyway, it was a fun read. Quite different. I'm looking forward to seeing if Grafton continues with her experimentation.

a small number of weeks


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) Martian Manhunter Vol. 1: The Epiphany by William, Barrows, et al., finished August 28
066) Martian Manhunter Vol. 2: The Red Rising by William, Barrows, et al., finished August 28

books sixty-seven through seventy-six
067) Marble Season by Gilbert Hernandez, finished September 3
068) Half Magic by Edward Eager, finished September 4
069) Lux by Elizabeth Cook, finished September 12
070) Rachel Rising Vol 1: The Shadow of Death by Terry Moore, finished September 12
071) Rachel Rising Vol. 2 : Fear No Malus by Terry Moore, finished September 12
072) Rachel Rising Vol. 3 : Cemetery Songs by Terry Moore, finished September 14
073) Rachel Rising Vol. 4 : Winter Graves by Terry Moore, finished September 15
074) Rachel Rising Vol. 5: Night Cometh by Terry Moore, finished September 17
075) Rachel Rising Vol. 6: Secrets Kept by Terry Moore, finished September 17
076) Rachel Rising Vol. 7: Dust to Dust by Terry Moore, finished September 18

books seventy-seven through eighty-six
077) A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, finished September 19
078) Echo by Terry Moore, finished September 21
079) Bone by Jeff Smith, finished September 21
080) The Resisters by Gish Jen, finished September 22
081) Knight's Castle by Edward Eager, finished September 26
082) Drama by Raina Telgemeier, finished approximately September 28
083) Leaving Megalopolis by Gail Simone and J. Calafiore, finished October 2
084) Don't Hassle Me with Your Sighs, Chuck by Charles M. Schulz, finished October 2
085) The Hard Tomorrow by Eleanor Davis, finished October 2
086) Smile by Raina Telgemeier, finished October 8

books eighty-seven through ninety
087) The Twilight Children by Gilbert Hernandez and Darwyn Cooke with Dave Stewart, finished October 9
088) Sloth by Gilbert Hernandez, finished October 10
089) Poppies of Iraq by Brigitte Findakly and Lewis Trondheim, finished October 15
090) Hot Comb by Ebony Flowers, finished October 18

books ninety-one through ninety-six
091) East of Eden by John Steinbeck, finished Oct 28
092) Impollutable Pogo by Walt Kelly, finished November 2
093) The Regrets by Amy Bonnaffons, finished November 3
094) The Complete Peanuts: 1950 to 1952 by Charles M. Schulz, finished November 9
095) You Are Too Much, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz, finished November 14
096) David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism by Gregory A. Prince and Wm. Robert Wright, finished November 16

books ninety-seven through one hundred two
097) Your Choice, Snoopy by Charles M. Schulz, finished November 17
098) Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics by Stephen Greenblatt, finished November 19
099) This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, finished November 22
100) Lovely War by Julie Berry, finished November 23
101) It's a Dog's Life, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz, finished November 25
102) I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, finished November 25

books one hundred three through one hundred eight
103) By the Great Horn Spoon! by Sid Fleischman, finished November 27
104) The End of the World by Don Hertzfeldt, finished November 28
105) Snoopy by Charles M. Schulz, finished December 10
106) We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, finished December 10
107) Grace Like Water by Merrijane Rice, finished December 12
108) The Lost 116 Pages: Reconstructing the Book of Mormon's Missing Stories by Dan Bradley, finished December 13

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