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« June, 2018 »

Murder, Manslaughter, and Mayhem on the SouthCoast   book icon  
by John Cummings (2017)

read: 29 June 2018
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

Count not resist this on the shelf at my local library. It’s a collection of news reports of people who were killed, who they were killed by, and what eventually happened. Interesting but sort of spotty. Depressing how much stuff is basic domestic violence or people drinking too much. I’ll probably pick up the second volume.

Radio Free Vermont: A Fable of Resistance.   book icon  
by Bill McKibben (2017)

read: 27 June 2018
rating: [+]
category: fiction

This is a fun book imagining what combination of things might lead up to a Vermont secession movement and looking at one way that could go. It’s all about the events leading up to Town Meeting Day and doesn’t actually get into the nitty gritty of how to secede which is just fine with me. This book is the first fiction book I’ve read by McKibben (after finishing his wife Sue Halpern’s book Summer Hours at The Robbers Library last year) and it’s got a great mix of action and humor and a LOT of Vermont name-dropping and inside jokes that I think anyone who has lived in the Green Mountain State would enjoy.

An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories   book icon  
by Ivan Brunetti (2006)

read: 27 June 2018
rating: [0]
categories: collection, graphic novel

I’m not sure why this collection didn’t do it for me as much as the others. I feel that part of it was presentation.... some of the comics are presented in landscape and some in portrait so you wind up turning the book sideways and back. Some of it was the way Brunetti referred to all cartoonists as “he” in his introduction. And some of it was that I just don’t think our comic preferences overlap that much. There were some great classics in this mix, but a lot of comics that were just long and weird and not really my thing. It’s rare that I skim a comics collection.

Gnomon: A novel   book icon  
by Nick Harkaway (2018)

read: 24 June 2018
rating: [0]
category: fiction

So the thing about getting random EPUB files to read sometimes is that you have no idea, on a Kindle, truly how LONG they are. I might have either quit this book sooner if I had known just what sort of a commitment I was getting into. This was a book like Gravity’s Rainbow or maybe Johnathan Strange and Mister Norrel where I kept at it because I felt there was something I was just missing and if I kept reading I’d figure it out. In ALL cases, that did not come true. I know why many people loved this book but I justn felt put out and alienated by it even as I could understand why it is special.

The Best American Comics 2013   book icon  
by Jeff Smith (2013)

read: 24 June 2018
rating: [+]
categories: collection, graphic novel

I always love these but they can be tough to read when they contain a lot of excerpts from larger works that don’t always stand on their own. I was surprised to see a lot of pieces I didn’t know about, but starting it all off with a piece Alison Bechdel’s “Are You My Mother” started everything off on a slightly wrong foot. Great collection but I’d love to see more emphasis on complete pieces.

Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist   book icon  
by Franchesca Ramsey (2018)

read: 23 June 2018
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

Grabbed this book off of a free ARC table at VLA and I’m glad I did. I don’t know Ramsey’s work. It was really interesting to not just learn more about YouTuber culture but to hear someone who is a lot deeper into internet culture than I am talk about things that are important including mistakes they made along the way. Ramsey is very funny and has an easy manner in talking about difficult topics so her advice doesn’t read as preachy at all. I hope everyone reads this book.

The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Decoded   book icon  
by Jim Ottaviani (2016)

read: 22 June 2018
rating: [0]
category: non-fiction

For whatever reason I just really did not like this book. The illustration is great but the plot was sort of meted out by multiple voices simultaneously, spent way too long on very specific and arcane bits of math, and overall didn’t give us a really good feeling about Turing relative to what I’ve already read about him. Was expecting better.

The Property   book icon  
by Rutu Modan (2013)

read: 22 June 2018
rating: [+]
categories: fiction, graphic novel

I loved this rich story by Modan about a Jewish grandma and her granddaughter taking a trip to Poland to find out about The Property, a building that had belonged to the family before the war and lost afterwards. The story is beautifully told and has a lot going on that works at many levels (for example, three languages are spoken and this is handled by them being written using different cases). You get to understand some of the human sides of what was going on in Poland that wasn’t just Nazis and war crimes. Lovely book.

Whoopi’s Big Book of Relationships: If Someone Says “You Complete Me,” RUN!.   book icon  
by Whoopi Goldberg (2015)

read: 21 June 2018
rating: [-]
category: unfinished

I thought this would be amusing relationship advice. It was mostly “Don’t get in a relationship” advice. Which is fine but not what I was looking for.

March: Book One   book icon  
by John Lewis (2013)

read: 20 June 2018
rating: [+]
categories: graphic novel, non-fiction

The first in a series of three graphic novels about the civil rights movements particularly the events happening in the mid to late sixties, interspersed with the inauguration of Barack Obama. Lewis was really at the forefront of a lot of important events and this is a more personal look at the ones he was participating in which provide context from a specifically black perspective on what was going on behind the scenes.

March: Book Two   book icon  
by John Lewis (2015)

read: 20 June 2018
rating: [+]
categories: graphic novel, non-fiction

The second book in this series

March: Book Three   book icon  
by John Lewis (2016)

read: 20 June 2018
rating: [+]
categories: graphic novel, non-fiction

The third book in this series.

The Gigantic Beard that was Evil   book icon  
by Stephen Collins (2014)

read: 19 June 2018
rating: [+]
categories: fiction, graphic novel

What a weird funny book. I decided to spend a day looking at graphic novels because I’ve been bogged down in one book the rest of the time. I went to the library in the summer town I’m in and they had almost none! So I got a series about John Lewis and then picked this one up. It’s fun! And weird. At first it starts out seeming to rhyme and I was concerned but then it turns into this super strange story about a guy with a beard that grows and won’t stop, and it becomes a metaphor for all that is safe and all that is unknown and scary. Liked it. Great illustrations.

Birding Is My Favorite Video Game   book icon  
by Rosemary Mosco (2018)

read: 12 June 2018
rating: [+]
category: graphic novel

So fun this cute little comic about the natural world! I really enjoyed seeing all the different ways Mosco can tell stories about birds, animals, bears, lizards, insects and all sorts of other neat things. The book is not just lovely but it also has an index to all the animals in the back of it. The cutest!

Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter?   book icon  
by Heath Fogg Davis (2018)

read: 9 June 2018
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

Really enjoyed this legalistic exploration into the way various entities deal with sex/gender distinctions along with a look at maybe how they SHOULD be dealing with it. Fogg Davis is a lawyer who is also transgender and he outlines a lot of situations in which people having to indicate their gender (on forms, in person, for reasons) was more of the issue than whatever supposed reason they needed to identify their gender in the first place Fogg Davis makes a compelling case for significantly fewer gender-based restrictions/indicators as people move through society and has interesting and sensible legal reasons for doing so. I liked reading this book and learning more about things I may not think about often enough.

House of Spies   book icon  
by Daniel Silva (2017)

read: 8 June 2018
rating: [+]
category: fiction

These books are becoming a lot less about art restoration and a lot more about dealing with ISIS and especially crazed terrorists and very large scale activities. I liked this book enough but it didn’t have as much of what I liked in the earlier books.

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