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« November, 2017 »
Prince of Fire

These books are good in the wintertime. This one gets away from the Holocaust theme though there is a lot of stuff about Palestine and Israel which is fine and actually fairly interesting. I notice some more subtlety from Silva this time around, some playful language and interesting turns pf phrase which I appreciated.

Plain and Simple: A Journey to the Amish

I started out really disliking this book and they way I felt the author sort of fetishized the simple living of the Amish and at the same time, once she fulfilled a dream of living with them, was super weird and judgey about their lifestyles, their “unhealthy” eating and etc. The author grew up, to my mind, over the course of this book but still seemed to be trying to quell something restless in herself by seeking external validation and guidance. I enjoyed going along on her trip with her.

I work in a public library

A collection of fun anecdotes ripped straight from Tumblr that was more entertaining and less problematic than I thought it would be.

Through the Woods

Really an exceptional graphic novel of very short horror fiction. Carroll has a real way of telling ominous stories that have a really subdued creepiness to them and she doesn’t shy away from showing you the full-on awfulness of some of the creepy things and in other cases just hinting art them.

The Best American Comics 2016

I don’t think Iv’e read any of the books in this series before and I really should. Roz Chast was the editor of this year’s collection of graphic novels and comics. I was surprised how many of them I had read, but also slightly frustrated at how many of them were only excerpts which would drop you right in the middle of a story. Some, most, of them stood on their own but a few did not and I found them an odd choice for this volume.


I was so busy this year I didn’t even note that Mayor had another book out. This one was heavier on the police wonk stuff (not in a bad way!) and lighter on relationship etc. stuff. Was happy to just get to watch the same old crew solve cases in Vermont so I enjoyed this.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

This book was fine. Blogger turned “entrepreneur” who seemed like he’d read Tim Ferris' Four Hour Work Week wound up writing a book that had enough going for it that it became a best seller. Go dude! It’s a fine book, not that eye-opening to people who have been down the self-help path before, but he’s got a really friendly manner and a very casual attitude that will resonate well with some people.


Scott Kelly was a fuck-up as a kid and then read The Right Stuff and decided to be an astronaut and finally decided to apply himself. For Kelly, who mostly appreciated risk and challenges, normal stuff seemed too boring, so he chose a different path. This is different from other astronuat books because it focuses a lot on the day to day lives of the astronauts... how often they change their socks, how often they have to repair the toilet, how often they feel sick and how come, the differences between the US and Russian space program. I enjoyed it. it bops around from topic to topic a lot but at least it’s not a bunch of “Rah rah America!” stuff (the book is nearly devoid of politics) and not a lot of amazing photos of space though there are one or two.

Stamping Our History: The Story of the United States Portrayed on Its Postage Stamps

Sort of a neat coffee table book looking at the history of the United States through looking at some beat old postage stamps. As with a lot of history stuff, this does skew towards “The history of white people in America” which maybe can’t be helped. I did really enjoy some of the interesting anecdotes and the incredibly beautiful photos of the stamps discussed.

The Rock Says...

Enjoyed this goofy tour through the first part of The Rock’s career, before he had really become a wrestler/actor/celebrity and when he was just mostly a wrestler. I had not known he was a third generation wrestler and I loved hearing stories about how he got to where he was, his time playing pro and not-so-pro football and about the backstory behind a lot of bigtime wrestling. Some of the latter part of this book is written as if it’s from The Rock (i.e. the character’s) viewpoint and I found that a little less interesting but over all this was more fun than I thought it would be.

As Lie Is to Grin

This book took a long time to coalesce, for me. It’s a story about a young black man at the University of Vermont and goes backwards in time talking about his first (?) real girlfriend but also about his difficulties adjusting to college at UVM. Since I knew the author was also a young black man at UVM I was very curious how much overlap there was with the author’s own life and this sort of sidetracked me from the plot of the story which was always a little hard to get a handle on. I’d lke to read more by this author but this one didn’t really work for me and if it had been longer I probably would have stopped reading it.