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Showing posts from July, 2016

God and My Father by Clarence Day: I Love This a Weird Amount

You know how when you're a kid, you love things uncritically, and when you're an adult, it's hard to walk back that love, or sometimes even understand it? 'Why do I want to punch someone who insults Fievel Goes West?' you might ask yourself. Or, in this particular case, 'How the hell did I grow to love Life With Father so much?'




Yes, Life With Father, the 1947 turn-of-the-century film about a harsh father, his silly wife and their four red-haired sons, based on a series of books by Clarence Day. The film centers around the discovery that Father has never been baptized. HOOKED YET?




I know I watched it a ridiculous number of times as a child, and I have no idea why. Did I find it on YouTube and do I still think it's funny? YES, obviously. But could that be seven-year-old Alice still reacting to the hilarity that is Oldest Teenage Son having issues with dating a young Elizabeth Taylor because they go to different Protestant denominational churches?



Anyway. So…

24in48: I am not good at focusing

Let me amend the title – I am good at focusing in short bursts on things I'm obsessed with. But otherwise? Hahahaha no. But let's do this anyway! Sounds fun. And I haven't done a readathon in a while and I have so many books. So many.

Let's get on to book selection! Which was done hastily 10 minutes ago before I leave to cat-sit and then do a Chicago Pokemon meetup because #priorities.



I Hate Fairyland by Skottie Young. Something I love about Image (ONE OF MANY THINGS) is that they tend to price their volume ones at $9.99, which is an easy entry price. Then when you're hooked, bam! $15.99. But they're a business, guys. Gotta try to make some money. But yes, anyway, so I appreciate the initial low price thing. And also the technicolor insanity of this particular comic that I'm very much looking forward to checking out.

Without a Doubt by Marcia Clark. O.J. Simpson. So hot right now. Who saw this coming? Whatever, it's been extremely helpful. The trial happe…

Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes: So...people're just normal in Wonderland then.

I got a lot of confusing feelings about this book. Like, hey, it's cool that you're doing a backstory on the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. I am INTO it. But like...how...sympathetic are we going to make her.



Or, more to the point, how UN-INSANE are we going to make her? Are we going to make Wonderland a place where anything makes sense? Wonderland is where the Jabberwocky lives, and therefore where the author lives who wrote 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves/Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:/All mimsy were the borogroves,/And the mome raths outgrabe.

But yeah, all those people are just noooormal.

So...the deal here is that the princess of Wonderland is named Dinah (sure), and her father rules Wonderland, but he's a bloodthirsty tyrant who hates her (and maybe thinks her mom banged another dude? unclear). He brings in some girl he says is his bastard daughter (suspicious) and she's super pretty, so immediately you're like "oh, no way is Dinah t…

The Cloud by K.I. Zachopoulos: This book does not deserve this art

My friend and I were walking the halls of Book Expo America when we ran across a booth for graphic novels. Great! So exciting. We're fans. One stuck out in particular – The Cloud by K.I. Zachopoulos, with art by Vincenzo Balzano. The cover art was striking and it was gorgeously presented in hardcover with a little ribbon that matched the binding.


It was the last day of BEA, and publishers wanted to get rid of stuff so they didn't have to bring it back with them, so the guy manning the booth just gave it to us. Wow, so exciting, much happiness, look at this beautiful book.

You guys the writing in it is so garbagey.

At first I thought it was me. 'You just don't like exclamation points and they're used...a lot in this,' I told myself. But when I read a pirate saying "Say yar prayers, scallywag!" I was like





But the thing is – THE THING IS – the art in this book is so. damn. good. It's like a cognitive dissonance where you're seeing these soul-enrichin…

How We're Closer to the 14th Century Than We Think

I didn't think while reading a book about the Black Death in 1348, I'd find something that resonated so strongly with me in 2016.

The Black Death, a plague that swept across Europe in the late 1340s and killed approximately 1/3 of the population, changed the course of human history so thoroughly that it's impossible to trace back all the "what might have been" threads that were snipped by it. A princess who might have united England and Spain died. An archbishop who could have ushered in a golden age of scientific discovery never got that chance. And who of the countless peasants, gentry, and noblemen who were taken by it would have made their mark if they had been allowed to. Which snuffed out families could have had descendants who changed the world 100, 200, 700 years in the future?

But the Black Death carried with it something that is shatteringly familiar to us. Something that should absolutely not be left out of its history. In that time of fear and confusion…

Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure: An innocuous mystery with a ghost from that universe Ghostwriter came from

You know sometimes...sometimes life is just hard and you need a book where nothing really bad can happen. Which is what the Aunt Dimity series is. Oh, there're issues, like how will the village populace get the glass display case from the bossy pub proprietress for their museum, and what if Sally who runs the tea room gets upset about the main character liking someone else's pastries more, but real problems? Nah.

Jumping in on the 21st book in a series is rather nice, because it discusses events that no doubt took entire books to unfold, but now that they're done with they're referred to glancingly, you say "oh how nice" and move onto the current mystery. Which is about a bracelet.

Since reading Murder By Candlelight: The Gruesome Crimes Behind Our Romance With the Macabre i've felt more and more guilty about murder mysteries. It essentially says we read them for fun (true), that they trivialize death (also true), and make it just one part of a logic puz…