“Look! A monster breakfast bans romance! Young fry of treachery!”


101) The Glass Looker by Mark Elwood, finished on October 3

Perhaps I knew this when I purchased the book from the author, but I was surprised to get not only the book, but also a couple bookmarks and a numbered print as well. Moves the $35 I spent from a tad pricey to a fine deal indeed.

The concept of the book (and the coming series) is that Elwood collects all the contemporary accounts of Joseph Smith's early years (or, more accurately, accounts by contemporaries) and puts them in chronological order without judging their likely accuracy or how pleasant (or not) they are. So you end up with a Joseph Smith who is the strongest and hardest working kid and a Joseph Smith who is so crippled he's essentially farm-worthless. An honest child and a conniving child. And lots of seerstones.

At times, certain pieces of art were too pencilly for my tastes, but in the end I was won over. The art is effective. Which is necessary for a comic to work—it can't be all words and research. It's the marriage of art and word that makes comics comics. I look forward to watching the art refine in coming issues.

Speaking as someone who has above average knowledge of Mormon arcana, this book is still filled with stuff I didn't know. Sally Chase, for instance. How did I not know about her?

This book seems like a must-have-around for any collection. It touches on any interest in lit, comics, and history. A fascinating work.

threeish reads

102) A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness after Siobhan Dowd, finished on October 6

Dowd began this story featuring terminal cancer while she had terminal cancer. The cancer got her before she'd written very much and Ness accepted the task of taking her concept and beginning and making it so.

I had no idea this was a book when the movie came out in 2016, five years after the book. And when I found the book in a Little Free Library, from the look of it (shape and Jim Kay's illustrations) I assumed it was a midcentury classic.

Behold, my ignorance!

Anyway, it's a good book. And it moved me. And I suspect the movie will be even better. I look forward to finding out. But I suspect that the strengths of film will work particularly well here if executed from boldness, which, from reviews I read at the time, I suspect will be the case.

Anyway: boy, monster, mother. Plus supporting characters.

a few days

103) Poison for Breakfast by Lemony Snicket, finished on October 12

Do you realize it has been 22 years since the first Lemony Snicket book was released? That's a lot of years.

I bring it up because whether Poison for Breakfast is a betrayal of the Lemony Snicket brand or its ultimate expression depends a lot on who you are.

If you started with his first book, new when you were in first grade, you are 29 years old today. That's a lot of years.

But have you grown in those years? I suspect you have. But have your desires of Mr Snicket also grown in these years? Or do you yet desire from him maudlin tales of woeful (but scrappy) orphans?

As I began this book, just before it first claimed to be a work of philosophy, I realized it reminded me of another book I had read recently, by which I mean six years ago. So perhaps not so recently after all.

Anyway, do you reread for pleasure or read for new challenges? Do you want a work of philosophy? An essentially plotless book? Man wakes up. A mystery arises. He fails to solve it and fails to solve it. Until he discovers that the solution to the mystery is that there is no mystery. Or, more accurately, that it is not more mysterious than everything else. Which is a lot mysterious.

At first, I felt we were spinning in the sand and getting nowhere. But by the end, I was won over. This is a book of negative epistemology. Not to say that reading it will make you more susceptible to QAnon—quite the opposite in fact—but that it will inspire more humility in your own epistemology.

Also, if you are like me, you will also laugh a goodly number of times. And the notes charm as well.

Have some poison for breakfast.

going on a week

104) Banned Book Club by Kim Hyun Sook, Ko Hyung-Ju, Ryan Estrada; finished on October 13

I really wanted to like this book. And I suppose I did, sort of. It was a frustrating read, though. It really needed another good edit before going to press. It has a few problems with the storytelling which get in the way of more fully appreciating the history and the characters living it.

That said, largely, it worked. One emotional beat hit well.

I just...wish it had been better.

afternoon and early night

105) Romance or The End. by Elaine Kahn, finished on October 14

Here we have poetry of sex (of the cumming variety as well as the metaphorical variety) and violence (usually of the sexual kind [by which I mean physical, sure, but especially the emotional variety]). It is largely excellent although some of the poems work in the collection but could not stand alone. So if that annoys you, now you know.

There's a spread near the end of the book that struck me as a sort of thesis for the whole—even before I realized it coincides with the collection's title (click to enlarge):

since october fourth

106 & 107) Macbeth by William Shakespeare, finished on October 18

It was a slow read as not every day is Macbeth day but we made it through.

Some class reads are great. Some are terrible. This was subpar but not abysmal.

Hard to get conversation going in masks. Even with microphones.

about three weeks

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

70, 71, 72, 73, 74

070) It's a Magical World by Bill Watterson, finished on July 29
071) Future Day Saints: The Gnolaumite Crystal by Matt Page, finished on August 1
072) Dutch House by Ann Patchett, finished on August 5
073) Long Walk to Valhalla by Adam Smith and Matthew Fox, finished on August 7
074) House of Women by Sophie Goldstein, finished on August 10
075) Through the Woods by Emily Carroll, finished on August 10

76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83

076) The House by Paco Roca, finished on August 11
077) Are Comic Books Real? by Alex Nall, finished on August 13
078) Top Ten by Alan Moore and Gene Ha, finished on August 16
079) Baby-sitters Little Sister: Karen's Roller Skates by Katy Farina, finished on August 17
080) Lulu Anew by Étienne Davodeau, finished on August 17
081) The Nature of Oaks: The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees by Douglas W. Tallamy, finished on August 24
082) Thor: The Goddess of Thunder by Aaron/Dauterman/Molina, finished on August 24
083) Pashima by Nidhi Chanani, finished on August 25

84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89

084) Now We're Getting Somewhere by Kim Addonizio, finished on August 27
085) I Am Young by M. Dean, finished on August 30
086) The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye presented by Sonny Liew, finished on August 31
087) The Oven by Sophie Goldstein, finished on August 31
088) Witchlight by Jessi Zabarsky, finished on September 3
089) Loverboys by Gilbert Hernandez, finished on September 3

90, 91, 92, 93, 94

090) Apocalypse Taco by Nathan Hale, finished on September 4
091) In by Will McPhail, finished on September 4
092) Deadpool Does Shakespeare by Gerry Duggan and Ian Doescher, finished on September 4
093) WE3 by Grant Morrison, finished on September 4
094) The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin, finished on September 21

95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100

095) Deeper Thoughts by Jack Handey, finished on September 23
096) Lightfall: The Girl & the Galdurian by Tim Probert, finished on September 23
097) Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O'Connell, finished on September 28
098) My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones, finished on September 29
099) Anne of Green Gables by Mariah Marsden and Brenna Thummler, finished on September 29
100) The Grownup by Gillian Flynn, finished on October 1

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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