Five comics (and novel makes six)


070) It's a Magical World by Bill Watterson, finished on July 29

Someone picked this book from a free pile last week and today it is already loved into a pretty rough shape. But the kids love it, young and old, delighted to read some Calvin and Hobbes strips they had not before read (let alone dozens of times).

I finally got my hands on it. As I assumed from the collection's title, this takes us into the final stretch of Calvin and Hobbes, ending with the final strip. But there are hints throughout that Watterson is done. Take this from the final week:

But this isn't to suggest that he was coasting. Not at all. The art is still spectacular, the writing still clever and wise.

It's a generous close to his decade-long run and I hope we're all still grateful.

how long goes here

071) Future Day Saints: The Gnolaumite Crystal by Matt Page, finished on August 1

Some where (can't find it now) Matt wrote about feeling a bit sheepish he was shortlisted for the AML Award for comics with the first volume of this series. And really, just sheepish with how much buzz and talk as comics that book received. So resolved to make volume two include more comics.

Which made me glad as, frankly, I felt rather the same. And I am very pleased to say that this book is everything—as comics—that the first book was merely almost.

This book engages more deeply with the capabilities of graphic storytelling. Plus, it's just more interesting! The explanation of Triple Combination's past is nothing I've ever seen before and I'm excited to see where Matt goes next.

The noncomics bits (eg, the advertisements for the Future Day Saints vhs tapes) are as delightful as ever and take up the appropriate amount of space, imho. The bad guys got more interesting and the rules of this world were muddied—not in a Matt-doesn't-know-what-the-heck-he's-doing sort of way, but in a there's-a-lot-here-yet-to-be-explored sort of way.

Volume two came out much much faster than I anticipated. Here's to hoping volume three has just as speedy an arrival!

one day

072) Dutch House by Ann Patchett, finished on August 5

Lady Steed and I read and loved Bel Canto simultaneously. Since then, she has read several more of Patchett's books. I have not until now, with The Dutch House.

I read an article over Lady Steed's shoulder—an interview with Patchett about the novel and about its painting and about the audiobook narrated by her friend Tom Hanks. Lady Steed had already read the book and was almost finished with the audiobook, but we had a long drive ahead of us and she was happy to start over. So I listened to the first fifty pages via Tom Hanks's (excellent) narration (and, later, another twenty or thirty pages in the middle) while reading the rest myself.

Anyway, so it's about this house. Not really, obviously, but also, it is. It's about unique miseries and unique privileges and, specifically, the people these things happen to. The characters never stay one-dimensional, even when other characters try to make them so. The plot unfolds almost invisibly even though this is a novel that provides surprise after surprise.

In the end, it is another work of beauty and honesty. And it makes you wonder why we all haven't read more Ann Patchett.

Anyway, as I type, I realize I'm loathe to give anything away even though I think nothing I might give away could negatively impact your experience.

Your potential experience is simply to wonderful for me to put my grubby little hands upon.

maybe eight days

073) Long Walk to Valhalla by Adam Smith and Matthew Fox, finished on August 7

I wish I liked this book more than I did. Visually, it seemed to be taking some (less exagerrated cues) from Jeff Lemire. It's trying to tie into a curious mix of Norse and Christian mythologies. It mixes realism and fantasy. It's fun monochrome. It's a lot of stuff I like!

But . . . I never quite understood what it was all about. And I'm not convinced the creators do either.

I could (and would if this were a paid review) reread it a couple times and see if it comes together. But I'm not going to. I have three more library comics to read!

over midnight

Weirdly, however, these next two comics from the library, are NOT among the three I mentioned. It's fun to have long lunches across the street from a library!
074) House of Women by Sophie Goldstein, finished on August 10

The black-and-while style ranges from modern European comics to old medieval European art to art nouveau to, most deliberately, Japanese woodcuts.

It's a story in the far future. A group of colonialist nuns are sent by the Empire to see if the native population of this island can be civilized. What follows is a wealth of yonic images and an exploration of sex, violence, and cultural collision. It's a fascinating book.

Plus, props for one of the finest author bios I've seen.

at lunch

075) Through the Woods by Emily Carroll, finished on August 10

I had read one of the stories from this anthology before—online, I believe—but can't remember where. I remember how great it was, however. And every one of the little horror stories in the collection is at least good and some are much more than that. The library has it in the YA schedule and I guess so. I'm checking it out to share with my 12yrold. But oooooooo, be careful.

(This image is from the story I had previously read, but I found it somewhere else. Click it to get your second witness!)

at lunch

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

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) Served 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

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

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

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

43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48

043) T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton, finished May 14
044) Sweet Tooth – Volume 1: Out of the Deep Woods by Jeff Lemire, finished May 22
045) Sweet Tooth – Volume 2: In Captivity by Jeff Lemire, finished May 22
046) Sweet Tooth – Volume 3: Animal Armies by Jeff Lemire, finished May 22
047) Sweet Tooth Deluxe Edition – Volume 2 by Jeff Lemire, finished May 22
048) Sweet Tooth Deluxe Edition – Volume 3 by Jeff Lemire, finished May 23

49, 50, 51

049) A Book of Lamentations by James Goldberg, finished on May 23
050) How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell, finished on May 25
051) We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, finished on May 26

52, 53, 54, 55, 56

052) Vertigo CMYK, finished on June 5
053) Plutona by Jeff Lemire and Eme Lenox and friends, finished on January 5
054) The Age of Movies: Selected Writings of Pauline Kael edited by Sanford Schwartz, finished on June 9
055) Pastwatch: the Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card, finished on June 11
056) American Cult edited by Robyn Chapman, finished on June 12

57, 58, 59, 60, 62, 63

057) Messages on the Water by Merrijane Rice, finished on June 14
058) Words on Fire by Jennifer A. Nielsen, finished on June 16
059) There There by Tommy Orange, finished on June 19
060) The Shakespeare Stories by Andrew Matthews and illustrated by Tony Ross, finished on June 19
062) The Garden of Enid: Adventures of a Weird Mormon Girl, Part Two by Scott Hales, finished on June 20
063) Do the Movies Have a Future? by David Denby, finished on July 14

61, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69

061) World War Z (abridged audiobook) by Max Brooks, finished June 23
064) The Child Buyer by John Hersey, finished on July 14
065) Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, finished on July 15
066) Dani and Ramen: A Nomad's Tale, volume one by Jake Morrison, finished on July 17
067) Dani and Ramen: A Nomad's Tale, volume two by Jake Morrison, finished on July 17
068) The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey, finished on July 23
069) Kirby: King of Comics by Mark Evanier, finished on July 23

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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