2017 Books and Reading Follow-up

Intro

I am going to try and follow-up on all of the goals and things I set myself to track in my 2017 reading.

First though, I am going way minimal next year. I really found that I don’t give a crap about much of this—especially the writing of reviews and the godawful amount of data tracking. Who needs it? Life is way too short. [More on this soon.] I am happy enough with my reading and need less pressure; especially so regarding self-pressure.

The writing of reviews : several of my challenges involved writing and posting reviews as part of the challenge but fairly early in the year I decided I simply did not care. If a book sparked a well-done review out of me then “Woohoo!” But if not then move along, quickly. And let the pressure go. …

2017 Reading Challenges & Goals

http://marklindner.info/blog/2017/01/01/2017-reading-challenges-goals/ 2017curr #2017poss #2017look #2017gnc #2017nfc #2017transl #2017reading

Generic goals: [# finished in 2016 : # finished in 2017]

  • More poetry; re-reading encouraged here [2 : 8 [3 re-reads]] Excellent!
  • More erotica, sex & gender [3 : 9 + 1] Also excellent.
  • More literature [1 : 6] Also excellent.
  • More librariana [1 in progress; slowly : 3] Better.
  • Translations same-ish [14 : 6, gave up on 1] Oh. My. Perhaps a little commitment here next year.
  • More ebooks [8 : 27] Very excellent.
  • Nonfiction same-ish [54 : 53] Cool.
  • More essays and short stories [1?, unknown for sure : 4 + 3] Also excellent.
  • [Fiction 48]
  • [Total books [F / NF / Poetry] 48 + 53 + 8 = 109]

Books currently reading being read [2017curr]

Finish all 4 of the books I am supposedly currently reading.

Finished 1 of 4 : Glushko, et al. – The Discipline of Organizing

2017 Books To Read Challenge (personal) [2017poss]

2017 Books To Read Challenge (personal) post

Total of 85 books (which includes some 8 on pause) I challenge myself to complete 2 from each of the 16 categories and a total of 35

Finished 17. Currently reading one together, of which we are on page 258 of ~307. So not so good. But I also don’t care. [See below for breakout.]

2017 “the looking all around list” Self-Reading Challenge [2017look]

2017 “the looking all around list” Self-Reading Challenge

At least 30 of 40 categories read in.

Finished 28 categories, with a possible 1-2 more if seriously scour list. A total of 21 titles met these 30. Not shabby. [See below for breakout.]

2017 A Novel Idea selection (Deschutes Public Library, Bend, OR)

Homecoming by Yaa Gyasi [A Novel Idea] I finished this on 01 January 2017 and it was excellent.

2016-2017 Author! Author! Literary Series

Finished 1 of 3.

  • Dave Eggers : 19 January 2017 [not reading anything for this]
  • Anthony Doerr : 4 February 2017 : All the Light We Cannot See
  • Siddhartha Mukherjee : 10 April 2017 : The Emperor of All Maladies [gave up]

Categories I am tracking in 2017:

  • fiction 48
  • nonfiction 53
  • ebooks 27
  • translations 6
  • beer 18
  • biography / memoir 10
  • Central Oregon 1
  • cookery 2
  • erotica 9
  • essays 4
  • graphic novels 37 : 29 F / 8 NF
  • history 16
  • language 4
  • librariana 3
  • literature 6 [but, oh the counting thereof …]
  • on pause Bagan with 4; ended with 6 [others?]
  • philosophy 3
  • photography 2
  • poetry 8
  • post 2016 election 9
  • renewal 4
  • re-reads 7
  • science 8
  • sex & gender 1
  • short stories 3
  • tech & software [2016poss only] 2
  • together
  • wander 7
  • YA & children 12
  • [gave up 4]

Challenges hosted elsewhere

2017 Goodreads Challenge

My goal is 100 this year, same as last year.

Finished 108, but seems 1 is missing. Should be 109.

2017 10th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge [2017gnc]

24 for Silver Age [all needed reviews]

Read 37. Reviewed 12. Yay! Not yay.

Nonfiction Reading Challenge 2017 [2017nfc]

Read a minimum of 50 nonfiction books and review a minimum of 25 of these.

Read 53. Reviewed 9. Yay! Not yay.

Books in Translation Reading Challenge 2017 [2017trans]

Read a minimum of 16 translations and review a minimum of 12 of these.

Read 6. Gave up on 1. Reviewed 2. Not yay. At all.

2017 Books To Read Challenge (personal)

2017 Books To Read Challenge (personal) http://marklindner.info/blog/2016/12/17/2017-btr/

Finished 17 out of 35 challenged from a total of 85 books (which includes some 8 on pause). I also challenged myself to complete 2 from each of the 16 categories.

We are currently reading one together, of which we are on page 258 of ~307, but won’t finish it tonight [31 Dec 2017].

Beer and Brewing [4: 18 total]

Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements) – John J. Palmer and Kaminski [own] Read 25 February – 24 March 2017

New Brewing Lager – Noonan [own] Read 13-18 February 2017

The Brewer’s Companion – Mosher [own] Read 7-8 February 2017

The Homebrewer’s Companion – Papazian [own] 21-25 January 2017

Central Oregon [*1 : 1 other]

*Hiking Oregon’s History – William L. Sullivan [DPL] [own] [currently reading]

Erotica [0 : 9 others]

History [1 : 16 total]

Hip Hop Family Tree, v. 1 [have Lib] Read 24-26 April 2017

Librariana [1 : 3]

Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age – Alex Wright [own]Read 2 February – 27 April 2017

Language [Language and related] [1 : 4]

Integrationist Notes and Papers 2014 – Roy Harris [own] Read 27 January – 3 February 2017

Literature [(lit, poetry, essays, short stories) and literary theory] [ 6 + 8 + 4 + 3 = 21]

Imagination in Place: Essays – Wendell Berry [own] Read to Sara 11 January – 06 March 2017

Philosophy [loosely defined] [2 : 3]

Self and Soul: A Defense of Ideals – Mark Edmundson [own]

Philosophy on Tap – Lawrence [own] Read 21 May – 7 June 2017

Post 2016 Election [0 : 9 others]

Renewal [0 : 4]

Soul: An Anthology – Cousineau [own] Read 1 January – 6 March 2017

Sex & Gender [0 : 1 other]

Tech & Software [2 total]

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation – Pollan [own ebook] 16 January – 14 February 2017

Abuse of Language—Abuse of Power – Josef Pieper, Lothar Krauth [translation] [library]

Wander [1 : 7 total]

Selected Stories – Walser [translation, short stories]

Assorted/Too Lazy to Classify [0 of 4]

Re-reads [3 : 7 total + 1 in progress]

*Reverence – Woodruff [renewal] [own] [reading]

On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year – Roripaugh [poems] [own] 17-30 March 2017

What Do We Know – Oliver [poems] [own]

Winter Hours – Oliver [poems] [own] Read 6-16 March 2017

On Pause [0 of 8]

2017 “the looking all around list” Self-Reading Challenge [2017look]

At least 30 of 40 categories read in.

Finished 28 categories, with a possible 1-2 more if seriously scour list. A total of 21 titles met these 30.

  • A book about the production of a favorite beverage, or one of great interest : began Alworth’s Cider [intend to get back to it] but let’s be honest, I read ~15 books and beer and/or brewing this year. This is ticked.] 9-17 January 2017 Sustainable Homebrewing by Loftus
  • An ethnography
  • A biography or memoir : 02 January 2017 Johnny Cash by Kleist
  • A work of classic literature
  • A book with more than 500 pages : 09 January 2017 All the Light We Cannot See
  • A book published this year (2017) : 08 February 2017 The Lunar Chronicles 1: Wires and Nerve
  • A book with a number in the title
  • A book by a female author : 01 January 2017 Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • A book of short stories : 23 February – 12 March 2017 The Slab by Glen Humphries
  • A book of essays : 01-10 January 2017 Ways of Seeing by John Berger
  • A book set in a different country : 01 January 2017 Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet : 27 January – 3 February 2017 INP 2014 by Roy Harris
  • A book a friend recommended : 12-13 January 2017 March, Book One – Three by John Lewis, et al. Recommended by Angel Rivera
  • A book at the bottom of your to-read list
  • A book more than 100 years old [1917] {older, yes, 150 is 1867} : 19 June – 14 August 2017 Selected Stories by Walser [1916]
  • A book you can finish in a day : 01 January 2017 Howl: a graphic novel
  • A graphic novel : 01 January 2017 Howl: a graphic novel
  • A book by an author you’ve never read before : 01 January 2017 Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • A book you own but have never read : 01 January – 06 March 2017 Soul: An Archaeology
  • A book that takes place in your home town : 14 December 2017 Eat, Play, Lust by Fenske
  • A translation : 02 January 2017 Johnny Cash by Kleist
  • A book about war or a battle : 09 January 2017 All the Light We Cannot See
  • A book about feminism : 20-21 May 2017  We Should All Be Feminists
  • A self-published book : 3-6 January 2017 Beer, in So Many Words, Adrian Tierney-Jones, ed.
  • A book about the region you live in [Central Oregon]
  • A book of poems or about poetry : 01 January 2017 Howl: a graphic novel
  • A book of erotica : 14-21 March 2017 The Naughty Pleasures Bundle
  • A book on sex/gender : 20-21 May 2017 We Should All Be Feminists by Adichie
  • A book about your professional realm [librariana] : 2 February – 27 April 2017 Cataloging the World
  • An ebook : 16 January – 14 February 2017 Cooked
  • A re-read : 16 March 2017 Winter Hours
  • A book for post-election understanding [fascism, race, economic disparity, social justice, …] : 12-13 January 2017 March, Book One – Three by John Lewis, et al.
  • A book from an opposing viewpoint
  • A book by an author of a different race : 01 January 2017 Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • A book about a different faith or religion
  • A book from a genre you don’t normally read : 09 January 2017 All the Light We Cannot See
  • A book about Puerto Rico
  • A book about Cuba/Castro
  • A book of Latin American history or literature
  • A microhistory : 12-13 January 2017 March, Book One – Three by John Lewis, et al.

Wrap-Up

So that’s it for my reading in 2017.  I also read 2 issues of Lapham’s Quarterly [Magic Shows and Communication] and they are in Goodreads but how to count them?

Brubaker, et al. – The Fade Out

The Fade Out, Deluxe edition by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, colors by Elizabeth Breitweiser
Date read: 9-12 May 2017
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2017gnc

Cover image of The Fade Out, Deluxe edition by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, colors by Elizabeth Breitweiser

Hardback, 400 pages
Published 2016 by Image Comics
Source: Central Oregon Community College Barber Library [PN6727.B77 F33 2016]

I quite enjoyed this even though noir is not my normal fare. I doubt I have read more than 3 or 4 noir books in my life, although I am familiar with several of the film classics.

Highly recommended. Lots of period research went into this and besides the author and illustrator’s own research, they hired Amy Condit, “a Noir Film and Hollywood crime expert,” to assist them. Lots of good touches are brought in both narratively and visually.

The story revolves around the death of a famous actress, which in many ways is just another routine day of cleanup in old Hollywood. The producers, directors, security men, screenwriters, starlets, and others all make up the seedy underbelly of Tinseltown.

Recommended for noir and old Hollywood fans, in particular.

I have also read both Fatale, v1, Death Chases Me and Fatale, v2, The Devil’s Business by the same authors. Those I gave 3 stars each. They have done other work together including, Sleeper, Criminal, and Incognito.

This is the 10th book in my 2017 10th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge [2017gnc]

Image for 2017 10th Annual Graphic Novel & Manga Reading Challenge

Designed by Nicola Mansfield

Seems I got off count in these too between books finished, reviews in progress, and reviews posted. This is number actually number 10 posted.

 

Lewis, et al. – March, Book One to Three

March, Book One to Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell (art)
Date read: One 12 January 2017; Two and Three 13 January 2017
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2017gnc, 2017look, 2017nfc

Cover image of March, Book One by John Lewis, et al.Cover image of March, Book Two by John Lewis, et al.Cover image of March, Book Three by John Lewis, et al.

Paperback, 121, 179, 246 pages
Published 2013, 2015, 2016 by Top Shelf Productions
Source: Central Oregon Community College Barber Library [E840.8 .L43 A3 2013 v.1 / 2015 v.2 / 2016 v.3]

My timing for reading books is kind of uncanny lately. We started reading Berger’s book the night before he died and thanks to COCC getting these and putting them on the new book shelf I was able to read Rep. John Lewis’ autobiographical graphic novel series just before that jackass Donald Trump attacked this icon of the civil rights movement and American hero.

I truly enjoyed these books. They did a wonderful job bringing together some things I have heard about vaguely over the years of my life but should have known more about.

President Obama’s first inauguration provides the bookends to the series, along with being woven throughout it.

The sense of personal duty to others and to the cause of justice and humanity is in the forefront of these books. One would be hard pressed to not come away with a profound respect for John Lewis and the many others who put their lives on the line to make America a better place.

The march on Washington, the lunch counter sit-ins, the Freedom Rides, Martin Luther King, Julian Bond, Malcolm X, SNCC, the Voting Rights Act, and many other events and icons of the civil rights movement are all here.

U.S. Representative John Lewis represents Georgia’s 5th congressional district which covers much of urban Atlanta. He was elected to this position in November 1986 and has held it ever since. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 by President Obama.

I highly recommend this series. Being graphic novels they are a quick read but provide enough coverage of the people and events of the time that one could easily branch out to learn more about them as one wished.

If you are at all confused as to why people are upset Trump attacked this man then you need to read these books. Trump is the worst sort of jackass and learning about those he attacks will be one of the best ways to understand how truly damaged and damaging he is.

This is the 3rd – 5th books in my 2017 10th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge [2017gnc]

Image for 2017 10th Annual Graphic Novel & Manga Reading Challenge

Designed by Nicola Mansfield

This is the 3rd – 5th books in my Nonfiction Reading Challenge 2017 [2017nfc]
and 2nd – 4th reviews.

These books count for the categories: A book a friend recommended (Angel Rivera), Post-election understanding, and a microhistory, in my 2017 “the looking all around list” Self-Reading Challenge. With these categories I have now completed 16 of the goal of 30 out of 40 categories. Not bad for the first half of January.

Berger – Ways of Seeing

Ways of Seeing by John Berger
Date read: 01-10 January 2017
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2017look, 2017nfc

Cover image of Ways of Seeing by John Berger

Paperback, 166 pages
Published 1977 [©1973] by British Broadcasting Corp. and Penguin Books
Source: Central Oregon Community College Barber Library [N7430.5 .W39 1973]

I read this to Sara beginning in the evening of 1 January and the next day saw via Twitter that Berger had died.

There are seven essays, three of which are entirely visual, while the others contain lots of images to illustrate his points.

I quite enjoyed this book although at times I simply had to suspend belief, if you will, as his writing style here is very aphoristic. He makes many claims, most with little to no justification. When I understood what he was on about—happened several times—then I pretty much agreed. When I did not it was easier to begin questioning those claims.

Essay 7 on what he calls “Publicity” is about advertising (and perhaps slightly broader) and I understood almost all of it. And agreed with most all of it. But then I once did a couple semesters with Richard Stivers on technology and advertising and spent much time with his books, The Technology of Magic and The Culture of Cynicism, so was well prepared for Berger’s take.

The book is a very 1970s book in so many ways. That in no way diminishes its value today though.

If you can take the aphoristic writing style then it is highly recommended. I only gave it 3 stars for that reason. I prefer a little more “justification” with the claims I read. If one has to know enough about something to be able to understand, and potentially agree with, an author’s claims then what is the point of reading them in the first place?

This is the 2nd book in my Nonfiction Reading Challenge 2017 [2017nfc] and 1st review.

This book counts for the category A book of essays in my 2017 “the looking all around list” Self-Reading Challenge.

2016 Reading Challenges followup

This post covers my 2016 Reading Challenges and goals, as best as my data and time allow.

Personally set goals and some counts

Total number of books finished in 2016:  120

  • Nonfiction:  54
  • Fiction:  64
  • Graphic novels: 60
  • Ebooks:  8
  • Beer & Brewing:  15
  • Biography:  2
  • Central Oregon:  3
  • Cookery:  6
  • Erotica/Sex & Gender: 3
  • History: 5
  • Librariana:  0; 1 in progress very slowly
  • Literature/Language:  2
  • Memoir:  2
  • Philosophy:  3
  • Photography:  2
  • Poetry:  2
  • Renewal:  5
  • Science:  6
  • Tech/Software:  2
  • Translations: 14
  • Wander: 3
  • YA & Kids:  13

I know one book counted as both fiction and nonfiction: Aesop, Five Centuries of Illustrated Fables. No doubt some counts in some of the categories could be retroactively changed if I felt like reanalyzing many entries. For instance, science just went up by 2 [doubled] with just a quick look. Taking data as is though until I see a need to do otherwise. It has already received a fair bit of “fact checking” and cross-checking.

These were my generic goals for 2016:

  • More poetry; re-reading encouraged here,
  • More erotica, sex & gender.
  • Less graphic novels.
  • More literature.
  • Librariana? didn’t read any in 2015. “Who have I become?, one might ask.
  • Translations check.
  • Ebooks check.
  • Nonfiction check.
  • More essays and short stories.

How did I do on these?

Not so well. I read 1 less in poetry [3 vs 2 (2015 vs 2016)]; same number on erotica, sex & gender [3]; less than two-thirds as many graphic novels, so nailed this one [99 vs 60]; 7 less in lit [8 vs 1]; still 0 in librariana but I am working on one (very slowly); 7 less translations [21 vs 14]; 28 less ebooks [36 vs 8]; 14 less nonfiction [68 vs 54]; and as best I can tell no change in essays and short stories [0? vs 1?]. Not so well at all. The only one I actually accomplished was reading less graphic novels. ::sigh::

Books currently reading being read [2016current]

Finish all nine of the books I am supposedly currently reading.

  • Dunegan – Best Hikes Near Bend (A Falcon Guide)
  • Berlin – The Power of Ideas
  • Oliver – The Brewmaster’s Table
  • Bennett, ed. – Japanese love poems
  • Bishop – Living with Thunder
  • Gilbert – Collected poems [gave up]
  • Kabat-Zinn – Full Catastrophe Living
  • Farhi – The breathing book
  • Hornsey – Alcohol and its role in the evolution of human society

Finished 5 and gave up on one. Sara and I were reading that to each other and we both agreed to quit it. So calling this 5 for 9. Not great but acceptable.

2016 Books To Read Challenge (personal) [2016poss]

Read 12 of 44 possible

Read 11 of 12. Of the 11 categories I read books from this list in 7 of them [and one is currently being read from another for 8]. I read books in all those other categories, just not from this list. So calling this one close enough.

2016 Goodreads Challenge

My goal is 100 this year, up from 75 last year. I have been alternating between demolishing my goals and being a bit over here for several years.

Made this a while ago. Not quite as early or numbers as high as last year but I also read a lot less graphic novels. Total read is 120.

Challenges hosted elsewhere

Nonfiction Reading Challenge 2016 [2016nfc]

Master level 16-20 books (top) Reached 20 on 05 June 2016 [well, finished reading; not posted yet],

25 reviews posted. 54 nonfiction books read in total.

Books in Translation Reading Challenge 2016 [2016trans]

Linguist 10-12 books (top)

12 books reviewed. 14 translations read.

2016 9th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge [2016gnc]

  • 12 for Modern Age [Reached 31 January 2-16]
  • So 24 for Bronze Age [Reached 8 May 2016]
  • 52 for Silver Age [Reached 15 December 2016]

52 reviews posted but 60 graphic novels or manga read.

More breakdowns [books by month; from libraries]

These are the books I finished in 2016 by month (6 were started in 2015 and 1 in 2014!):

Author Title

January

  • Bennett, ed. Japanese love poems
  • Oliver The Brewmaster’s Table
  • Modan The Property
  • Fetter-Vorm Trinity
  • Berlin The Power of Ideas
  • Harris Integrating Reality
  • Hester Vegan Slow Cooking: For Two or Just for You
  • MacLean ApocalyptiGirl: Aria for the End Times
  • Lee and Hart Messenger: The Legend of Joan of Arc
  • Brrémaud and Bertolucci Love: The Fox
  • McKendry Aesop, Five Centuries of Illustrated Fables
  • Brontë, A The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
  • Modan exit wounds
  • Pond Over Easy
  • Tezuka Ode to Kirihoto
  • Way & Ba The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite [1]
  • Abouet & Oubrerie Aya
  • Modan Maya makes a Mess
  • Way & Ba The Umbrella Academy: Dallas [2]
  • Foster Porter (Classic Beer Styles 5)

February

  • Wang Koko Be Good
  • Brrémaud and Bertolucci Love: The Tiger
  • Foster Brewing Porters & Stouts
  • Williams A Pictorial History of the Bend Country
  • Backes Cannabis Pharmacy
  • Modan Jamilti and Other Stories
  • Hayden The Story of My Tits
  • Alanguilan Elmer
  • Simone, et al. Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues (1)
  • Simone, et al. Red Sonja: The Art of Blood and Fire
  • Black The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book
  • Morrison, et al. The Invisibles : say you want a revolution
  • Strong Brewing Better Beer
  • Waters Tipping the Velvet

March

  • Gunders Waste Free Kitchen Handbook
  • Thug Kitchen Thug Kitchen Party Grub
  • Dunlap-Shohl My degeneration: a journey through Parkinson’s
  • McQuaid Tasty
  • North & Henderson The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 (2015)
  • Delavier Delavier’s core training anatomy
  • Hennessy, Smith and McConnell The Comic Book Story of Beer
  • Vitrano The Nature and Value of Happiness
  • Hoffman Survival lessons

April

  • Tucholke Wink Poppy Midnight
  • Immonen & Immonen Moving Pictures

May

  • Miyazaki Princess Mononoke: The First Story
  • Rail Why Beer Matters
  • Tezuka Apollo’s Song
  • Lawson & Smith Sidewalk Flowers
  • Guojin The Only Child
  • Stuppy, et al. Wonders of the plant kingdom
  • Rail The meanings of craft beer
  • Miller Dave Miller’s Homebrewing Guide
  • Jackson The New World Guide to Beer
  • Kemp A bouquet of gardenias
  • Love Bayou, volume one
  • Dysart, et al. Neil Young’s Greendale

June

  • Yana Toboso Black Butler I
  • Yana Toboso Black Butler II
  • Stevenson Nimona
  • Dunegan Best Hikes Near Bend (A Falcon Guide)
  • Chapman The 5 Love Languages
  • Love and Love Shadow Rock
  • Love and Morgan Bayou, volume two
  • Toboso Black Butler III
  • Ratey Spark
  • Toboso Black Butler IV
  • Tonatiuh Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras
  • Halloran The new bread basket
  • ACSM ACSM’s Health-Related Physical Fitness Assessment Manual

July

  • DeConnick, et al. Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine(Bitch Planet (Collected Editions))
  • Miller Water: A Global History (The Edible Series)
  • Kissell Take Control of Upgrading to El Capitan

August

  • Martin, et al. A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, volume 1
  • Herz & Conley Beer Pairing
  • Martin, et al. A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, volume 2
  • Arcudi, et al. A god somewhere
  • McCool and Guevara Nevsky: a hero of the people
  • Martin, et al. A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, volume 3
  • Martin, et al. A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, volume 4
  • Ottaviani & Purvis The imitation game
  • Vaughan, et al. Paper Girls 1
  • Abel La Perdida
  • Carriger Prudence (The Custard Protocol; 1)
  • Carriger Imprudence (The Custard Protocol; 2)
  • Ottaviani & Wicks Primates: The fearless science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Gladikas
  • Owens How to Build a Small Brewery
  • Orchard Bera the one-Headed Troll

September

  • Rowling The Tales of Beedle the Bard
  • Cantwell & Bouckaert Wood & Beer
  • McCoola & Carroll Baba Yaga’s Assistant
  • Hales, ed. Beer & Philosophy

October

  • Samanci Dare to disappoint: growing up in Turkey
  • Ellis, et al. Trees, volume one: In shadow
  • Schuiten & Peeters The leaning girl
  • Tsutsumi, et al. Out of Picture Volume 1: Art from the Outside Looking In

November

  • Stockton South Sister: a Central Oregon volcano
  • ATK Healthy Slow Cooker Revolution
  • Protz The ale trail
  • Smith The Wander Society
  • Krucoff Healing Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Pain: Easy, Effective Practices for Releasing Tension and Relieving Pain
  • Hensperger & Kaufmann The ultimate rice cooker cookbook
  • Sumner Brewing Science, Technology and Print, 1700-1880
  • Duarte Monsters! and Other Stories

December

  • Maltz, ed. intimate kisses
  • Milne The Complete Tales & Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh
  • Out of Picture Volume 2: Art from the Outside Looking In
  • Brown Andre the giant: Life and legend
  • Hanh How to walk
  • Brubaker & Phillips Fatale, Book 1: Death Chases Me (Fatale #1)
  • Brubaker & Phillips Fatale, Book 2: The Devil’s Business (Fatale #2)
  • Ottaviani & Big Time Attic Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards: Edward Drinker Cope, Othniel Charles Marsh, and the Gilded Age of Paleontology
  • Smith, et al. Long Walk to Valhalla
  • Colfer, et al. The Supernaturalist
  • Montellier & Mairowitz The Trial
  • Culbard, Edginton; Doyle The Hound of the Baskervilles
  • Bagieu Exquisite Corpse
  • Bishop Living with Thunder
  • Bryson Tasting whiskey
  • Dawson The Place WherE I Come From

Totals finished per month are:

  • Jan 20
  • Feb 14
  • Mar 9
  • Apr 2
  • May 12
  • Jun 13
  • Jul 3
  • Aug 15
  • Sep 4
  • Oct 4
  • Nov 8
  • Dec 16

Not entirely sure what happened in April, July September or October. Perhaps I simply was reading more longer books then and thus finished less. Or, I cut my right index finger to shreds along with minor finger and hand injuries in April so … who knows?

 From libraries:

  • Central Oregon Community College Barber Library: 12
  • Deschutes Public Library: 58
  • Summit (consortium): 7
  • OSU-Cascades: 3
  • Interlibrary Loan: 1 [suspect is a bit higher]

So, 81 of 120 books came from libraries. Not bad. Then again, several of these started out as books from the library that I/we went on to purchase.

Wrap-up:

There is always more can be said–genders of authors; but that is pretty much a mug’s game–and perhaps I have forgotten something I wanted to count or add but oh well. I have straightened out some categories to track for 2017–things to make life easier, or at least I hope. I already have two posts re books in 2017 up but at least one more will be coming.

Ottaviani & Purvis – The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Decoded by Jim Ottaviani & Leland Purvis (illustrator)

Date read: 15-16 August 2016
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016gnc, 2016nfc

Cover image of The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Decoded by Jim Ottaviani & Leland Purvis

Hardback, 234 pages
Published 2016 by Abrams ComicArts
Source: Central Oregon Community College Barber Library [QA 29 .T8 O772 2016]

 

I enjoyed this, just as I enjoyed Ottaviani’s Feynman, which I read in 2012. I also just marked most of his books as To Read in Goodreads.

“I still work as a librarian by day, but stay up late writing comics about scientists.”

I didn’t know he was a librarian too!

Aha! That’s right. “He now works at the University of Michigan Library as coordinator of Deep Blue, the university’s institutional repository.[1][2]” [per Wikipedia].

The book consists of some prefatory material, 222 pages of graphic novel, an author’s note a bit over a page long, an annotated 3-page bibliography and recommended reading, and 6-pages of notes and references.

The graphic novel proper consists of the following sections: “Universal Computing” (pp. 1-66), “Top Secret Ultra” [think Bletchley Park] (pp. 67-152), and “The Imitation Game” (pp. 153-222) [links are to Wikipedia].

Highly recommended! If you know about Turing, and have, like me, perhaps read his papers on universal computing and the imitation game (philosophy and applied computer science undergrad), then this is still a great resource with all of the notes and references to specific works that might be of particular interest to you.

If you know little to nothing about Turing then this is a great introduction. Far better even than the recent (2014) movie, The Imitation Game, with Cumberbatch and Knightley. The presence of actual citations and sources are the basis for this claim.

This is the 41st book in my 2016 9th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge Sign-Ups

This is the 20th book in my Nonfiction Reading Challenge hosted at The Introverted Reader

This is actually way past 20 nonfiction books for me this year; I simply have failed at reviewing quite a few, or finishing reviews, which is essentially the same thing. Many were started.

Alanguilan – Elmer

Elmer by Gerry Alanguilan

Date read: 09 February 2016
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016gnc

Cover image of Alanguilan's Elmer

Paperback, 1 vol. unpaged
Published 2010 by SLG Publishing [originally self-published by the author in the Philippines]
Source: Central Oregon Community College Barber Library [PN 6727 .A383 E46 2010]

This book kicked my ass! I am declaring it my favorite book of 2016. Calling it now.

I was tweeting about it all evening while I was reading it. I almost never tweet about books while I am reading them. Seven tweets in total. Simply unprecedented for me.

Utterly recommended! For everyone and anyone who may be considered “mature readers,” as labeled on the back cover.

This edition collects together all four of the originally issued comics into a single, coherent whole.

From the back cover:

Elmer is a window into an alternate Earth where chickens have suddenly acquired the intelligence and consciousness of humans, where they consider themselves a race no different from whites, browns, or blacks. Recognizing themselves to be sentient, the inexplicably evolved chickens push to attain rights for themselves as the newest members of the human race.

Elmer tells the story of a family of chickens who lives and struggles to survive in a suddenly complicated, dangerous and yet beautiful world.”

It could serve as commentary on our eating of chickens and other animals, and it does some, but its main focus is a commentary on race, hatred, the irrationality of humans, love, fathers and sons, compartmentalization of roles in society, and humanity at its best in the individual where it ultimately resides.

It is quite graphic in spots, which I will not downplay, but it is in black & white so is not as bad as if red had been splashed everywhere.

Single panel from Elmer

There are many ways to tell the story of bigotry, racism, and hatred and this may be one of the seemingly more absurd but it works very well. Of course, a “mature reader” will also explore other perspectives on these topics as one should, be it the lived experience of individual persons of color (or other targets of bigotry) to the collective movements, such as Black Lives Matter, to the things disciplines such as psychology, sociology and anthropology can teach us, to explorations of the structures of racism (and other -isms) built into our laws and societies.

Single panel from Elmer

This book can be difficult. But my heart is ripped apart every single day when I see where American society is still on these topics at this point in history. And, no, this book does not solve any of that. It is not supposed to. Its purpose is to illuminate, perhaps educate, to make one think, to make one question. Maybe even to help one love.

There were a few spots where the transition from one time frame to another was abrupt and not as clear as most, but in the end the story was so powerful that this did not detract from it for me.

I give this the highest recommendation I possibly can. Beautiful. Haunting. Hits so close to the bone that it drills in and starts sucking the marrow out.

Two panels from Elmer

This is the 16th book in my 2016 9th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge Sign-Ups

Wang – Koko Be Good

Koko Be Good by Jen Wang

Date read: 01 February 2016
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016gnc

Cover image of Wang's Koko Be Good

Paperback, 1 volume unpaged
Published 2010 by First Second
Source: Central Oregon Community College Barber Library [PN 6727.W284 K65 2010]

A sort of -coming-of-age story and one of finding oneself in the world. It was alright but between the artwork and even the narrative I was lost far too often. I either had no idea what took place to generate some reaction in one of the characters or I could not understand their motivation when I did.

I generally really liked the artwork but sometimes it just wasn’t clear what was going on.

Your mileage may vary.

This is the 13th book in my 2016 9th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge Sign-Ups

Abouet & Oubrerie – Aya

Aya by Marguerite Abouet & Clément Oubrerie (illus.); Helge Dascher (translation)

Date read: 29 January 2016
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016gnc 2016transl

Cover image of Aya by Abouet & Oubrerie

Hardback, 96+ pages
Published 2008 (2nd hardcover ed.) by Drawn & Quarterly
Source: OSU-Cascades at Central Oregon Community College Barber Library [CASCADES PN 6790 .C854 A92 2007]

A slice of a coming of age story set during the late 1970s in the Ivory Coast, which was undergoing profound economic growth. That growth faltered and now economists term this as “growth without development” (from Preface by Chase, iv).

Despite that, this is a fairly timeless story primarily focusing on a couple young women/teenage girls. Making out, male harassment, unwanted pregnancy, thwarted desires, etc.

Recommended for anyone wanting stories from outside their own backyard, so to speak.

This is the 10th book in my 2016 9th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge Sign-Ups

This is the 6th book in my Books in Translation Reading Challenge hosted at The Introverted Reader

Way and Bá – The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite

The Umbrella Academy, volume one: Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá

Date read: 28-29 January 2016
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016gnc

Cover image of Way and Bá's The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite

Paperback, 1 volume
Published 2008 by Dark Horse Books [This volume reprints the comic books series The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite issue #1-6, and the story from the 2008 Free Comic Book Day book, published by Dark Horse Comics. This volume also includes The Umbrella Academy short story originally featured on darkhorse.com.]
Source: Central Oregon Community College Barber Library [PN 6728 .U43 M39 2008]

Here is the description from the back cover:

“In an inexplicable worldwide event, forty-three extraordinary children were spontaneously born by women who’d previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children; when asked why, his only explanation was, “To save the world.”

These seven children for the Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers. There first adventure at the age of ten pits them against an erratic and deadly Eiffel Tower, piloted by a fearsome zombie-robot Gustave Eiffel. Nearly a decade later, the team disbands, but when Hargreeves unexpectedly dies, these disgruntled siblings reunite just in time to save the world once again.”

The author of this is (or was) a supposed rockstar according to the various commentaries in the book. Not even sure I ever heard of the band (My Chemical Romance) but whatever. According to those same commentaries, he had this world and its characters fully fleshed out in his head. I think a bit of that might’ve been lost in the translation, so to speak, but it was definitely interesting enough that I have requested the second volume from my public library.

I have heard of the artist, Gabriel Bá, and have read a couple books done by him.

According to Wikipedia there are two extant volumes and two in development, along with a TV series in development. This volume also “won the 2008 Eisner Award for Best Finite Series/Limited Series.” [Wikipedia]

I did enjoy this and want to see how it is further developed.

This is the 9th book in my 2016 9th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge Sign-Ups