T is for . . . a whole lotta things, actually


043) T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton, finished May 14

We see here a return to an experiment she introduced in S, alternating points of view. Of course, that's standard procedure in thrillers but it is a serious break from the first-person, written-reports conceit of the alphabet novels. In this one in particular there is no way to justify the other p-o-v chapters as reconstructions. It's just fiction. And because of the larger novelscape in which it arrives, it's almost meta.

Of course, I'm thinking about this more than the average duck. When they were coming out, and presumably mostly read by people who read lots of contemporary mystery fiction, the shift might not have even been felt.

The villain today is a sociopath who reminds me of Cathy Ames. There are many significant differences between them, but the cold use of others is strikingly akin. (The East of Eden film was namedropped in A, fwiw.)

In other respects, the novels seem to have stagnated. I had expected the Kinsey's family element to become a major part of the series as time went on, but it now seems completely dropped. the books are constrained in time and subject matter, but it's been a while since any major developments on this front. I don't see her bringing it back anymore, which I find disappointing.

One exciting aspect of this was it's double climaxes. We had what felt like a book-ending climax and then, ten pages later, we had another. How about that?

And the subplot---I realize I'm posting a lot of SPOILERS today---resolved to a child molester who was treated with far more sympathy that I expected.

Really, this volume was a good one for bit characters. And I thought my fear of the death of Henry might finally come to pass, but he got away. So phew.

Final bonus, she introduced me to two California painters I was unfamiliar with: John Gamble and William Wendt. I appreciate that, Sue. 

over a month

045) Sweet Tooth – Volume 3: Animal Armies by Jeff Lemire, all finished May 22
It's been over ten years since I was first wowed by Sweet Tooth but the trailer for the new Netflix show was the impetus needed to finally finish them. They're all published now, so no more excuses.

So I went to the library's online catalogue and immediately got confused. I put one of each title on hold, which meant a one, a two, another two, and a three. When they arrived, the first two were much thinner than the latter two. Two completely different publishing schemes. But between the four books I had all the original issues except #12, which falls between the skinny two and the fat two. So I went to Hoopla and checked out number three of the first set of collections.

Anyway, it's all explained on Wikipedia if you're interested.

When I first read Sweet Tooth, the first two collections were all that existed. Those twelve issues were Lemire's original contract.

They were also the first time I'd seen his inks colored in a traditional comics way. It works fine but Lemire's inks have such visceral power I do like his work better with less CMY. But it is the right choice for the way the story is told and drawn.

It's funny, picking up a pandemic book here at the end of our own (much kinder) pandemic. It's still a fantasy---and of course this one has so little in common with our own, any judgy feelings I may have irrelevant---but I don't think I'll read worldenders the same anymore.

So I'll pick up a few chapters into my second second volume and see you there!
 all late one morning

046) Sweet Tooth Deluxe Edition – Volume 2 by Jeff Lemire, finished May 22
047) Sweet Tooth Deluxe Edition – Volume 3 by Jeff Lemire, finished May 23

Sweet Tooth is not just a fun read, it is emotionally potent and it has important things to say.

The sort of thrills a movie gives? Sweet Tooth provides those. When the hockey buddy says let's roll out? I was as thrilled as I've ever been in any medium. And the final sequence is moving both emotionally and spiritually.

The art is great. In some flashbacks and dream-sequences we get more Lermirey watercolor colors. A historical sequence at the beginning of book three three is drawn by someone else but it works great. No problem.

But I can't overstate how much I love Lemire's line. Albeit in pretty much entirely opposite ways from another line I love, Craig Thompson.

In the end, the old world ends and a new, wiser world takes its place. For a story filled with such violence and ugliness, Sweet Tooth ultimately is about goodness and beauty and kindness and, perhaps, even innocence.

Highly recommended.

an afternoon and a night and one more afternoon for the author interview

Previously . . . . :

books from this year

1, 2, 4, 5, 6

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
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

7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 3

argin-top-alt: auto;">007) iPlates: Zerin's Sacrifice by Stephen Carter and Jett Atwood, finished January 21
008) iPlates: Alma in the Wilderness by Stephen Carter and Jett Atwood, finished January 24
009) Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard, finished January 27
010) ved edited by Theric Jepson, finished February 4
011) The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, finished February 4
003) Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, finished January 6

12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

argin-top-alt: auto;">012) Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, finished February 5
013) My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett, finished February 15
014) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, finished February 16
015) Sisters by Raina Telgemeier, finished February 18
016) A Desolating Sickness: Stories of Pandemic edited by D.J. Butler, finished February 21
017) Nothing Very Important and other stories by Béla Petsco, finished February 22

18, 19, 20, 21, 22

argin-top-alt: auto;">018) Muppets Present "The Great Gatsby" by Ben Crew, finished February 24
 Uncanny Avengers: Counter-Evolutionary by Rick Remender and Daniel Acuna, finished February 28
 Guts by Raina Telgemeier, finished March 2
 The Hoboken Chicken Emergency by D. Manus Pinkwater, finished March 4
022) Ghosts by Raina Telgemeieir, finished March 5

23, 24, 25, 26, 27

argin-top-alt: auto;">023) Consent (for Kids!): Boundaries, Respect, and Being in Charge of You by Rachel Brian, finished March 11
 Memoirs of an Invisible Man by H.F. Saint, finished March 12
 Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh, finished March 20
 The Invisible Saint by Curtis Taylor, finished March 25
 Black Orchid by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, finished March 25

28, 29, 30

028) Scrap Mettle by Scott Morse, finished March 26
029) Dugout: The Zombie Steals Home by Scott Morse, finished April 1
030) The Barefoot Serpent by Scott Morse, finished April 1

31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36

031) Is Sex Necessary? Or, Why You Feel the Way You Do by James Thurber and E. B. White, finished April 1
032) Boys Who Became Prophets by Lynda Cory Hardy, finished April 11
033) George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends by James Marshall, finished April 12
034) Stuart Little by E.B. White, finished April 14
035) Achilles by Elizabeth Cook, finished April 15
036) Have It Your Way, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz, finished April 15

37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42

037) The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne, finished April 21
038) The Mystery of the Dinosaur Graveyard by Mary Adrian, finished April 22
039) The Garden of Enid—Volume One by Scott Hales, finished May 2
040) Tiny Writings by Danny Nelson, finished May 5
041) Whispering Death! by R.A. Christmas, finished May 6
042) Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, finished May 9

final posts in this series from

2007 = 2008 = 2009 = 2010 = 2011 = 2012
2013 = 2014 = 2015 = 2016 = 2017 = 2018 = 2019 = 2020


the most recent post in the books-read series *

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