007) iPlates: Zerin's Sacrifice by Stephen Carter and Jett Atwood, finished January 21

Served's gone missing, so we moved onto some more iPlates, picking this one at random. And you know, for a silly comic that turns pikachu into curelom, it has some real emotional beats. Abinidi welcoming Noah to the afterlife was unexpectedly moving, and Zerin seeking for her mother, lost in the chaos of fleeing and suffering from dementia, is sticking with me a day later.

one reading


008) iPlates: Alma in the Wilderness by Stephen Carter and Jett Atwood, finished January 24

There are many Book of Mormon comics in the world now but this one is the best if you are judging by storytelling acumen, wit, depth of emotion, taking the characters seriously as characters, and other stuff that I personally am biased towards. Pick up the collections and be happy.

one reading


009) Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard, finished January 27

President Garfield first became more than a sad trivia question obscured by a cartoon cat when I read Assassination Vacation---a book which, in my memory, consists entirely of a few bits of Garfield trivia. So when my mom tried to impress me with the most basic facts of Garfield's amazing rise and tragic end, I, in my traditionally obnoxious way, could pretty much match fact for fact. But she kept pushing this book on me and I'm very glad she did. Garfield is even better than I knew and his loss is even more tragic than I realized.

Millard's style is much like that of Winchester or Larsen---a major historical story or two, interspersed with fun facts of the era. I do enjoy these books and they are marvelously well researched, but they do always leave me hungry for something heavy and academic (for the record, Millard recommends Peskin for Garfield).

But really: I loved it. And I made so much noise reading in (and such a variety of noises) that my beloved now intends to read it before we return it to my mother.

Damn, he would have been a good president. He may have saved Reconstruction. Can you imagine how different 2020 would have been with a decent Reconstruction? Both BLM and the GOP would have such different histories to draw on.....

two months at the very most

010) Served edited by Theric Jepson, finished February 4
011) The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, finished February 4

 A big night for finishing bedtime books! I think, given how long it took and given she already has another comic lined up for tomorrow night, her passion for Served has finally come to a close. But she now has favorite stories and images and that's kind of cool.

The Phantom Tollbooth---good thing it was as illustrated as it is. Some times it really pushed her patience. But I think it was a good experience. She spent a lot of time with the map, figuring out where Milo'd gotten so far. And certain illustrations stuck with her. And although they weren't mentioned often, she never forgot we were looking for the princesses. After finishing the book, she dubbed it Tock and pondered starting it again tomorrow, but no, it's too long.

Believe it or not, I'd never read this novel before. It never passed my way as a kid (excluding an excerpt that I guess didn't send me scurrying to the library) and I wasn't aware of it as a great classic of my peers' childhoods until well into adulthood.

It's fine.

I do wonder what I would have thought at the time, how it may have affected me.

a couple weeks and a couple months, respectively


NOTE: I forgot to mention a book in the last set. It appears in its appropriate slot below:


001) The Sun Has Burned My Skin: a modest paraphrase of solomon's song of songs by Adam S. Miller, finished January 3
002) You're a Pal, Snoopy by Charles M. Schulz, finished January 4

003) Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, finished January 6

This was my first time (finally!) doing this play with students, a favorite of mine from high school. Online class seemed appropriately absurd.

It was hit-miss, but in part because we crammed it in so fast. But overall, I thought it was a success. Some loved it. And we assigned out pages and put on our own show. Which was terrific.

two days

004) Served edited by Theric Jepson, finished January 9
005) Served edited by Theric Jepson, finished January 17
006) Shem in Zarahemla by Stephen Carter and Jett Atwood, finished January 19

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