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52 Weeks of Reading - 2017

A forum specifically for the visual and literary arts.

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Galefore
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Post by Galefore » Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:16 am

26: The Mist by Stephen King. This man is a hell of a writer. Of all the books that I've read this year few kept my rapt attention like this classic. It made me quite irate at the mishandled ending to the film adaptation and was a blast to read. Stephen King is so proficient and making a reader suffer the stomach churning dread of its characters along with them, and this was on display here at its finest.

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Post by Valigarmander » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:15 pm

Read Ivy by Sarah Oleksyk. It's a graphic novel about a teenage girl in a small town who dreams of leaving home and becoming a painter. The story is about fulfilled and broken dreams, losing and gaining friends, and trying to run from your problems. This was yet another spur-of-the-moment purchase, and it ended up being better than I expected. And the author is local, which is cool.

[spoiler]1. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko - 4/5 (Jan 15)
2. The Nazi Conscience by Claudia Koonz - 5/5 (Feb 4)
3. The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade - 2/5 (Feb 2[plain] 8) [/plain]
4. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 6)
5. Octopus Pie, Vol. 2 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Mar 22)
6. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 26)
7. The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (Apr 14)
8. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (May 4)
9. Discovering Fossil Fishes by John G. Maisey - 4/5 (May 24)
10. Concealing Coloration in Animals by Judy Diamond & Alan B. Bond - 5/5 (May 25)
11. A Game For Swallows by Zeina Abirached - 3/5 (May 2[plain] 8) [/plain]
12. Angora Napkin by Troy Little - 3/5 (May 30)
13. La Perdida by Jessica Abel - 3/5 (Jun 6)
14. Sucker Bait by Graham Ingels - 5/5 (Jun 16)
15. Good-bye, Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson - 5/5 (Jun 1[plain] 8) [/plain]
16. Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker & Julia Scheele - 4/5 (Jun 22)
17. Tank Girl: One by Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin - 4/5 (Jun 24)
18. Empire State by Jason Shiga - 4/5 (Jun 25)
19. A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki - 4/5 (Jun 29)
20. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel - 4/5 (Jul 2)
21. Embroidery by Marjane Satrapi - 3/5 (Jul 5)
22. Ivy by Sarah Oleksyk - 4/5 (Jul 6)[/spoiler]

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Galefore
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Post by Galefore » Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:14 pm

27: Strangers, by Taichi Yamada. This was a very powerful and tense little modern thriller with a strong emotional center. It's the story of a troubled scriptwriter who encounters his long dead parents exactly as they were when they died. His visits allow him a reprieve from his personal life and a sense of comfort he had previously forgotten. It uses a similar protagonist to the type I'm used to lately, the middle aged artist confronting loneliness, but it places a greater emphasis on childhood desires and the psychology of letting someone love you. Definitely effective and quite heart wrenchingly sad.

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Post by Valigarmander » Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:00 pm

Read The Coming World Dictator, a short book written in 1981 by Billy Graham apprentice John Wesley White. It warns how the USSR, conflict in the Middle East, and rock-and-roll music are paving the way for the Antichrist's rise to power.

[spoiler]1. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko - 4/5 (Jan 15)
2. The Nazi Conscience by Claudia Koonz - 5/5 (Feb 4)
3. The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade - 2/5 (Feb 2[plain] 8) [/plain]
4. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 6)
5. Octopus Pie, Vol. 2 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Mar 22)
6. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 26)
7. The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (Apr 14)
8. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (May 4)
9. Discovering Fossil Fishes by John G. Maisey - 4/5 (May 24)
10. Concealing Coloration in Animals by Judy Diamond & Alan B. Bond - 5/5 (May 25)
11. A Game For Swallows by Zeina Abirached - 3/5 (May 2[plain] 8) [/plain]
12. Angora Napkin by Troy Little - 3/5 (May 30)
13. La Perdida by Jessica Abel - 3/5 (Jun 6)
14. Sucker Bait by Graham Ingels - 5/5 (Jun 16)
15. Good-bye, Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson - 5/5 (Jun 1[plain] 8) [/plain]
16. Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker & Julia Scheele - 4/5 (Jun 22)
17. Tank Girl: One by Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin - 4/5 (Jun 24)
18. Empire State by Jason Shiga - 4/5 (Jun 25)
19. A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki - 4/5 (Jun 29)
20. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel - 4/5 (Jul 2)
21. Embroidery by Marjane Satrapi - 3/5 (Jul 5)
22. Ivy by Sarah Oleksyk - 4/5 (Jul 6)
23. The Coming World Dictator by John Wesley White - 2/5 (Jul 7)[/spoiler]

I guess one benefit of being laid off from work is that you have plenty of time to read.

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Post by Valigarmander » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:51 pm

Read the third collection of Octopus Pie by Meredith Gran. Still love it, same as the other collections. Frequently swings back and forth between making me laugh and giving me feels.

[spoiler]1. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko - 4/5 (Jan 15)
2. The Nazi Conscience by Claudia Koonz - 5/5 (Feb 4)
3. The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade - 2/5 (Feb 2[plain] 8) [/plain]
4. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 6)
5. Octopus Pie, Vol. 2 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Mar 22)
6. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 26)
7. The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (Apr 14)
8. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (May 4)
9. Discovering Fossil Fishes by John G. Maisey - 4/5 (May 24)
10. Concealing Coloration in Animals by Judy Diamond & Alan B. Bond - 5/5 (May 25)
11. A Game For Swallows by Zeina Abirached - 3/5 (May 2[plain] 8) [/plain]
12. Angora Napkin by Troy Little - 3/5 (May 30)
13. La Perdida by Jessica Abel - 3/5 (Jun 6)
14. Sucker Bait by Graham Ingels - 5/5 (Jun 16)
15. Good-bye, Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson - 5/5 (Jun 1[plain] 8) [/plain]
16. Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker & Julia Scheele - 4/5 (Jun 22)
17. Tank Girl: One by Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin - 4/5 (Jun 24)
18. Empire State by Jason Shiga - 4/5 (Jun 25)
19. A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki - 4/5 (Jun 29)
20. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel - 4/5 (Jul 2)
21. Embroidery by Marjane Satrapi - 3/5 (Jul 5)
22. Ivy by Sarah Oleksyk - 4/5 (Jul 6)
23. The Coming World Dictator by John Wesley White - 2/5 (Jul 7)
24. Octopus Pie, Vol. 3 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Jul 10)[/spoiler]

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Galefore
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Post by Galefore » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:40 pm

28: Tomie, Vol 1 by Junji Ito. At first this felt like the work of an inexperienced author, but faster than most authors it feels like ito gets his feet under him and each new Tomie chapter is richly atmospheric and **** horrifying. I love that Ito explains basically nothing and that, for me, is what sells the terror.

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Post by Saria Dragon of the Rain Wilds » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:57 pm

A Plain-Dealing Villain
The Killing Floor Blues
The White Gold Score
The Castle Doctrine
Double or Nothing, Craig Schaefer

The Confessions of St. Zach
The Burden of Indigo
The Near Future
The Far Future, Gene O'Neill
Nonsense, I have not yet begun to defile myself.

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Post by ScottyMcGee » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:59 am

1. Death Note Black Edition IV by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata - YEAH
2. Death Note Black Edition V by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata - YEAH
3. Death Note Black Edition VI by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata - YEAH
4. The Only Pirate at the Party by Lindsey Stirling and Brooke Passey - Okay
5. The Steam Man of the Prairies by Edward S. Elis - Meh
6. The Heads of Cerberus by Francis Stevens (penname of Gertrude Bennett) - YEAH
7. The Gift of the Magi and Other Stories by O. Henry - HELL YEAH
8. Double Indemnity by James M. Cain - HELL YEAH
9. Henchgirl by Kristen Gudsnuck - HELL YEAH
10. Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne - HELL YEAH

11. The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain - Cool

12. Finding Arthur: The True Origins of the Once and Future King by Adam Ardrey - HELL YEAH - Holy hell, this book took me FORRREEEVVERRRRR to finish. While it was always engaging, it's so dense. SO dense. It's like hacking through the jungle with a machete. Nevertheless, the theory is fascinating.
SUPER FIGHTING ROBOT

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Post by Valigarmander » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:25 pm

Read Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal, 7th ed., by Terence Ball and Richard Dagger. I bought this for one of my community college classes about eight years ago, and held onto it afterward because I thought it might be worth reading in full sometime. After many years I finally got around to reading it. The book explores the history of major political ideologies (liberalism, conservatism, socialism, fascism, etc.), examines the differences of thought within them, and explains their relationship to the "democratic ideal". I thought it was a concise look at a very complex topic, and I'm glad I held onto it for so long.

[spoiler]1. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko - 4/5 (Jan 15)
2. The Nazi Conscience by Claudia Koonz - 5/5 (Feb 4)
3. The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade - 2/5 (Feb 2[plain] 8) [/plain]
4. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 6)
5. Octopus Pie, Vol. 2 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Mar 22)
6. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 26)
7. The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (Apr 14)
8. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (May 4)
9. Discovering Fossil Fishes by John G. Maisey - 4/5 (May 24)
10. Concealing Coloration in Animals by Judy Diamond & Alan B. Bond - 5/5 (May 25)
11. A Game For Swallows by Zeina Abirached - 3/5 (May 2[plain] 8) [/plain]
12. Angora Napkin by Troy Little - 3/5 (May 30)
13. La Perdida by Jessica Abel - 3/5 (Jun 6)
14. Sucker Bait by Graham Ingels - 5/5 (Jun 16)
15. Good-bye, Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson - 5/5 (Jun 1[plain] 8) [/plain]
16. Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker & Julia Scheele - 4/5 (Jun 22)
17. Tank Girl: One by Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin - 4/5 (Jun 24)
18. Empire State by Jason Shiga - 4/5 (Jun 25)
19. A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki - 4/5 (Jun 29)
20. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel - 4/5 (Jul 2)
21. Embroidery by Marjane Satrapi - 3/5 (Jul 5)
22. Ivy by Sarah Oleksyk - 4/5 (Jul 6)
23. The Coming World Dictator by John Wesley White - 2/5 (Jul 7)
24. Octopus Pie, Vol. 3 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Jul 10)
25. Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal by Terence Ball & Richard Dagger - 4/5 (Jul 29)[/spoiler]

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Post by Apollo the Just » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:23 am

Binged on the whole ORAS arc of Pokémon Adventures since it's all finished now. Was surprised to find that I had apparently stopped catching up when it was 2 chapters from the end, but it's better this way because it was more satisfying to read it all in one go.

Not the strongest arc, but that's no surprise because FR/LG and HG/SS were two of the weakest chapters in the series. That said I LOVED the development of character dynamics between Ruby and Sapphire; especially how it addressed Sapphire's ack of agency thanks to Ruby toward the end of R/S as a character flaw rather than heroism on Ruby's part, and now builds the two of them as teammates and rivals on equal footing. (The voice thing was kind of dumb though.) Ruby's confession scene was absolutely adorable and genuine in a way I didn't expect his character to be in front of another person, but the writers went there and the payoff was well worth it.

[spoiler=greatest manga confession of all time]"blah blah Feelings and I Care About You and I'm Scared blah PLEASE GO TO SPACE WITH ME SO WE CAN BE TOGETHER"[/spoiler]

Also, the scenes with Ruby and Norman were fantastic because their relationship has repaired somewhat since the events of R/S but it's still very awkward. Norman still bosses his **** of a son around and Ruby is still terrified of him, but the dynamic is (comparatively) a lot healthier now. So that was fun to see.

It was also neat to get cameos from all the other gens, although Red got too much screen time as usual. That's nothing new though, not in any iteration of Pokémon.

I'm a lot more emotional about finishing it than I thought I would be. Makes sense seeing as how I was caught up to the manga before ORAS was announced and Ruby was my favorite character by far. Since the day the ORAS games were announced I was just excited for the return of this vain douchelord in the manga, and it's been probably a couple years since then and now the arc is finished. So worth it. Like I said, not the strongest arc objectively, but so worth it to give a satisfying follow-up to Hoenn's story and characters. Goodbye, last manga arc to ever be published featuring My Beloved Garbage Ruby as protagonist.
~ * ~ a true gentleman leaves no puzzle unsolved ~ * ~

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Post by Valigarmander » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:55 pm

Read Lost States by Michael J. Trinklein, a book that chronicles numerous proposed American states that never were, such as Jefferson, Texlahoma, West Florida, and Montezuma. A good coffee table book.

[spoiler]1. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko - 4/5 (Jan 15)
2. The Nazi Conscience by Claudia Koonz - 5/5 (Feb 4)
3. The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade - 2/5 (Feb 2[plain] 8) [/plain]
4. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 6)
5. Octopus Pie, Vol. 2 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Mar 22)
6. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 26)
7. The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (Apr 14)
8. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (May 4)
9. Discovering Fossil Fishes by John G. Maisey - 4/5 (May 24)
10. Concealing Coloration in Animals by Judy Diamond & Alan B. Bond - 5/5 (May 25)
11. A Game For Swallows by Zeina Abirached - 3/5 (May 2[plain] 8) [/plain]
12. Angora Napkin by Troy Little - 3/5 (May 30)
13. La Perdida by Jessica Abel - 3/5 (Jun 6)
14. Sucker Bait by Graham Ingels - 5/5 (Jun 16)
15. Good-bye, Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson - 5/5 (Jun 1[plain] 8) [/plain]
16. Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker & Julia Scheele - 4/5 (Jun 22)
17. Tank Girl: One by Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin - 4/5 (Jun 24)
18. Empire State by Jason Shiga - 4/5 (Jun 25)
19. A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki - 4/5 (Jun 29)
20. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel - 4/5 (Jul 2)
21. Embroidery by Marjane Satrapi - 3/5 (Jul 5)
22. Ivy by Sarah Oleksyk - 4/5 (Jul 6)
23. The Coming World Dictator by John Wesley White - 2/5 (Jul 7)
24. Octopus Pie, Vol. 3 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Jul 10)
25. Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal by Terence Ball & Richard Dagger - 4/5 (Jul 29)
26. Lost States by Michael J. Trinklein - 4/5 (Aug 2)[/spoiler]

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Post by Valigarmander » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:05 am

Read Uncomfortably Happily, a single-volume manhwa by Yeon-Sik Hong. I came upon this at a book store and bought it without knowing anything about it. What an absolute treat it was. It tells the tale of two newlywed artists escaping the noise and stress of urban Seoul to live in the countryside, which proves to hold its own anxieties. The story is at times funny, other times sad, and others heartwarming. I utterly adore the main couple and the relationship they have. This is one of my favorite books this year, and I heartily recommend it.

[spoiler]1. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko - 4/5 (Jan 15)
2. The Nazi Conscience by Claudia Koonz - 5/5 (Feb 4)
3. The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade - 2/5 (Feb 2[plain] 8) [/plain]
4. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 6)
5. Octopus Pie, Vol. 2 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Mar 22)
6. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 26)
7. The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (Apr 14)
8. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (May 4)
9. Discovering Fossil Fishes by John G. Maisey - 4/5 (May 24)
10. Concealing Coloration in Animals by Judy Diamond & Alan B. Bond - 5/5 (May 25)
11. A Game For Swallows by Zeina Abirached - 3/5 (May 2[plain] 8) [/plain]
12. Angora Napkin by Troy Little - 3/5 (May 30)
13. La Perdida by Jessica Abel - 3/5 (Jun 6)
14. Sucker Bait by Graham Ingels - 5/5 (Jun 16)
15. Good-bye, Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson - 5/5 (Jun 1[plain] 8) [/plain]
16. Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker & Julia Scheele - 4/5 (Jun 22)
17. Tank Girl: One by Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin - 4/5 (Jun 24)
18. Empire State by Jason Shiga - 4/5 (Jun 25)
19. A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki - 4/5 (Jun 29)
20. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel - 4/5 (Jul 2)
21. Embroidery by Marjane Satrapi - 3/5 (Jul 5)
22. Ivy by Sarah Oleksyk - 4/5 (Jul 6)
23. The Coming World Dictator by John Wesley White - 2/5 (Jul 7)
24. Octopus Pie, Vol. 3 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Jul 10)
25. Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal by Terence Ball & Richard Dagger - 4/5 (Jul 29)
26. Lost States by Michael J. Trinklein - 4/5 (Aug 2)
27. Uncomfortably Happily by Yeon-Sik Hong - 5/5 (Aug 6)[/spoiler]

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Post by Valigarmander » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:09 am

Read We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a book that was recommended to me. It's short, but insightful.

[spoiler]1. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko - 4/5 (Jan 15)
2. The Nazi Conscience by Claudia Koonz - 5/5 (Feb 4)
3. The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade - 2/5 (Feb 2[plain] 8) [/plain]
4. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 6)
5. Octopus Pie, Vol. 2 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Mar 22)
6. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 26)
7. The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (Apr 14)
8. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (May 4)
9. Discovering Fossil Fishes by John G. Maisey - 4/5 (May 24)
10. Concealing Coloration in Animals by Judy Diamond & Alan B. Bond - 5/5 (May 25)
11. A Game For Swallows by Zeina Abirached - 3/5 (May 2[plain] 8) [/plain]
12. Angora Napkin by Troy Little - 3/5 (May 30)
13. La Perdida by Jessica Abel - 3/5 (Jun 6)
14. Sucker Bait by Graham Ingels - 5/5 (Jun 16)
15. Good-bye, Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson - 5/5 (Jun 1[plain] 8) [/plain]
16. Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker & Julia Scheele - 4/5 (Jun 22)
17. Tank Girl: One by Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin - 4/5 (Jun 24)
18. Empire State by Jason Shiga - 4/5 (Jun 25)
19. A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki - 4/5 (Jun 29)
20. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel - 4/5 (Jul 2)
21. Embroidery by Marjane Satrapi - 3/5 (Jul 5)
22. Ivy by Sarah Oleksyk - 4/5 (Jul 6)
23. The Coming World Dictator by John Wesley White - 2/5 (Jul 7)
24. Octopus Pie, Vol. 3 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Jul 10)
25. Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal by Terence Ball & Richard Dagger - 4/5 (Jul 29)
26. Lost States by Michael J. Trinklein - 4/5 (Aug 2)
27. Uncomfortably Happily by Yeon-Sik Hong - 5/5 (Aug 6)
28. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - 3/5 (Aug 7)[/spoiler]

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Post by Valigarmander » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:54 pm

Read Koma by Pierre Wazem and Frederik Peeters. It's a Swiss graphic novel about about a young girl who suffers frequent fits where she briefly loses consciousness. The story takes some surprising turns, and I ended up really enjoying it.

[spoiler]1. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko - 4/5 (Jan 15)
2. The Nazi Conscience by Claudia Koonz - 5/5 (Feb 4)
3. The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade - 2/5 (Feb 2[plain] 8) [/plain]
4. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 6)
5. Octopus Pie, Vol. 2 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Mar 22)
6. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 26)
7. The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (Apr 14)
8. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (May 4)
9. Discovering Fossil Fishes by John G. Maisey - 4/5 (May 24)
10. Concealing Coloration in Animals by Judy Diamond & Alan B. Bond - 5/5 (May 25)
11. A Game For Swallows by Zeina Abirached - 3/5 (May 2[plain] 8) [/plain]
12. Angora Napkin by Troy Little - 3/5 (May 30)
13. La Perdida by Jessica Abel - 3/5 (Jun 6)
14. Sucker Bait by Graham Ingels - 5/5 (Jun 16)
15. Good-bye, Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson - 5/5 (Jun 1[plain] 8) [/plain]
16. Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker & Julia Scheele - 4/5 (Jun 22)
17. Tank Girl: One by Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin - 4/5 (Jun 24)
18. Empire State by Jason Shiga - 4/5 (Jun 25)
19. A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki - 4/5 (Jun 29)
20. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel - 4/5 (Jul 2)
21. Embroidery by Marjane Satrapi - 3/5 (Jul 5)
22. Ivy by Sarah Oleksyk - 4/5 (Jul 6)
23. The Coming World Dictator by John Wesley White - 2/5 (Jul 7)
24. Octopus Pie, Vol. 3 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Jul 10)
25. Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal by Terence Ball & Richard Dagger - 4/5 (Jul 29)
26. Lost States by Michael J. Trinklein - 4/5 (Aug 2)
27. Uncomfortably Happily by Yeon-Sik Hong - 5/5 (Aug 6)
28. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - 3/5 (Aug 7)
29. Koma by Pierre Wazem & Frederik Peeters - 4/5 (Aug 9)[/spoiler]

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Post by Valigarmander » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:00 am

Read The Political History of the Devil by Daniel Defoe (the dude who wrote Robinson Crusoe). It's an attempt at examining the history of the Christian devil, from his origins, to his interactions with humans during Biblical times, and what he's been up to since (mostly palling around with popes, apparently). I'm not sure how persuasive this book would be to a modern Christian reader, but it's interesting if for some reason you've ever wanted an 18th century Presbyterian's opinion of the devil.

1. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko - 4/5 (Jan 15)
2. The Nazi Conscience by Claudia Koonz - 5/5 (Feb 4)
3. The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade - 2/5 (Feb 28)
4. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 6)
5. Octopus Pie, Vol. 2 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Mar 22)
6. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 26)
7. The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (Apr 14)
8. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (May 4)
9. Discovering Fossil Fishes by John G. Maisey - 4/5 (May 24)
10. Concealing Coloration in Animals by Judy Diamond & Alan B. Bond - 5/5 (May 25)
11. A Game For Swallows by Zeina Abirached - 3/5 (May 28)
12. Angora Napkin by Troy Little - 3/5 (May 30)
13. La Perdida by Jessica Abel - 3/5 (Jun 6)
14. Sucker Bait by Graham Ingels - 5/5 (Jun 16)
15. Good-bye, Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson - 5/5 (Jun 18)
16. Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker & Julia Scheele - 4/5 (Jun 22)
17. Tank Girl: One by Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin - 4/5 (Jun 24)
18. Empire State by Jason Shiga - 4/5 (Jun 25)
19. A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki - 4/5 (Jun 29)
20. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel - 4/5 (Jul 2)
21. Embroidery by Marjane Satrapi - 3/5 (Jul 5)
22. Ivy by Sarah Oleksyk - 4/5 (Jul 6)
23. The Coming World Dictator by John Wesley White - 2/5 (Jul 7)
24. Octopus Pie, Vol. 3 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Jul 10)
25. Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal by Terence Ball & Richard Dagger - 4/5 (Jul 29)
26. Lost States by Michael J. Trinklein - 4/5 (Aug 2)
27. Uncomfortably Happily by Yeon-Sik Hong - 5/5 (Aug 6)
28. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - 3/5 (Aug 7)
29. Koma by Pierre Wazem & Frederik Peeters - 4/5 (Aug 9)
30. The Political History of the Devil by Daniel Defoe - 3/5 (Aug 28)

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Re: 52 Weeks of Reading - 2017

Post by Apollo the Just » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:19 pm

Finished the Fellowship of the Ring.

I've watched the extended movies about 5 times and I love the LotR story, but I could never successfully get into the books. They were too dense for me to read without putting a lot of conscious effort into understanding them so I always gave up halfway through.

Maybe it's because after college I'm used to reading textbooks, but I found that when I picked up Fellowship this time around I had no problem getting right into it and found myself enjoying Tolkien's treatises on Hobbit history at the beginning. (I myself have filled virtual and physical notebooks full with my understanding of the history of the worlds in Tales of Symphonia, and find nuanced/in-depth history and lore of fictional worlds to be really, REALLY fascinating... so for me the fact that he goes on for 20 pages about this fake world and the historical complexities that made compiling this fake record difficult, was like delicious immersion fanservice.)

I adore Frodo. Literally will never get over his movie iteration, but book Frodo is an incredibly endearing protagonist. I love that he speaks a little Elvish and tries to show it off in Elven company. He's physically weak but so incredibly brave and thoughtful, and the scene with Boromir at the end of the book is so incredibly impactful because of it (gah, I knew what to expect but my heart still skipped a few beats for poor Frodo). There's so much weight on his tiny shoulders ;_;

Gimli is also rapidly becoming one of my favorite characters. He's somehow both stubborn and gracious at once. Best Dwarf. Sorry, entire cast of the Hobbit, but it's true.

Boromir's development is really good. The movies didn't quite have enough time to make his slow obsession with the Ring feel real so he just comes off like a giant douche, but in the book, he's a giant douche BUT it isn't until he has to face his weakness and greed while meeting Galadriel that it starts to consume him thereafter, and you get to see the reasoning and history in his growing desire so you kind of feel for him, rather than him just feeling like a greedy prick.

Aragorn is a very deep original character do not steal.

The world is phenomenal. I really like the characters as well. I'm excited to see how the remainder of the story plays out.

By far the highlight of this book writing-wise was when Gandalf was translating the book left by Balin's people when they attempted to retake Moria. It started out hilarious as an all-too-real rendition of what it's like to read aloud from an old handwritten tome ("and then... uh, this part's blurred, but then it says something about mithril and then something about digging, then a smudge, then...") and turns into a really chilling look into the horrors of their final hours. The pacing feels more tense because it's missing some words and it's just SO good. DRUMS. DRUMS IN THE DEEP. WE CANNOT GET OUT. So good man

Only criticism is the entire portion with Tom Bombadil is really dumb and the movies were frankly better off without it.

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Re: Re:

Post by Valigarmander » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:12 am

^ If you liked the introduction, make sure you read the appendices at the end of Return of the King. They have a lot of additional history and Middle Earth lore that's really interesting to read.

Read The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs by Gregory S. Paul. As the name suggests it's a field guide describing 700+ known species of Mesozoic dinosaurs. It also has an extensive introduction section explaining the history of the study of dinosaurs, a general look at their evolution, and summaries of what we know about their anatomy, metabolism, coloration, social behavior, et cetera. Very informative, though I think maybe Dr. Paul should've hired a better proofreader.

1. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko - 4/5 (Jan 15)
2. The Nazi Conscience by Claudia Koonz - 5/5 (Feb 4)
3. The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade - 2/5 (Feb 28)
4. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 6)
5. Octopus Pie, Vol. 2 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Mar 22)
6. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 26)
7. The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (Apr 14)
8. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (May 4)
9. Discovering Fossil Fishes by John G. Maisey - 4/5 (May 24)
10. Concealing Coloration in Animals by Judy Diamond & Alan B. Bond - 5/5 (May 25)
11. A Game For Swallows by Zeina Abirached - 3/5 (May 28)
12. Angora Napkin by Troy Little - 3/5 (May 30)
13. La Perdida by Jessica Abel - 3/5 (Jun 6)
14. Sucker Bait by Graham Ingels - 5/5 (Jun 16)
15. Good-bye, Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson - 5/5 (Jun 18)
16. Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker & Julia Scheele - 4/5 (Jun 22)
17. Tank Girl: One by Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin - 4/5 (Jun 24)
18. Empire State by Jason Shiga - 4/5 (Jun 25)
19. A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki - 4/5 (Jun 29)
20. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel - 4/5 (Jul 2)
21. Embroidery by Marjane Satrapi - 3/5 (Jul 5)
22. Ivy by Sarah Oleksyk - 4/5 (Jul 6)
23. The Coming World Dictator by John Wesley White - 2/5 (Jul 7)
24. Octopus Pie, Vol. 3 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Jul 10)
25. Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal by Terence Ball & Richard Dagger - 4/5 (Jul 29)
26. Lost States by Michael J. Trinklein - 4/5 (Aug 2)
27. Uncomfortably Happily by Yeon-Sik Hong - 5/5 (Aug 6)
28. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - 3/5 (Aug 7)
29. Koma by Pierre Wazem & Frederik Peeters - 4/5 (Aug 9)
30. The Political History of the Devil by Daniel Defoe - 3/5 (Aug 28)
31. The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs by Gregory S. Paul - 4/5 (Aug 31)

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Re: Re:

Post by Valigarmander » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:03 am

Read Batgirl/Robin: Year One by Scott Beatty, Chuck Dixon, Marcos Martin and Javier Pulido. Not bad, it was I think it was a good introduction to the two characters.

1. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko - 4/5 (Jan 15)
2. The Nazi Conscience by Claudia Koonz - 5/5 (Feb 4)
3. The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade - 2/5 (Feb 28)
4. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 6)
5. Octopus Pie, Vol. 2 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Mar 22)
6. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 26)
7. The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (Apr 14)
8. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (May 4)
9. Discovering Fossil Fishes by John G. Maisey - 4/5 (May 24)
10. Concealing Coloration in Animals by Judy Diamond & Alan B. Bond - 5/5 (May 25)
11. A Game For Swallows by Zeina Abirached - 3/5 (May 28)
12. Angora Napkin by Troy Little - 3/5 (May 30)
13. La Perdida by Jessica Abel - 3/5 (Jun 6)
14. Sucker Bait by Graham Ingels - 5/5 (Jun 16)
15. Good-bye, Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson - 5/5 (Jun 18)
16. Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker & Julia Scheele - 4/5 (Jun 22)
17. Tank Girl: One by Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin - 4/5 (Jun 24)
18. Empire State by Jason Shiga - 4/5 (Jun 25)
19. A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki - 4/5 (Jun 29)
20. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel - 4/5 (Jul 2)
21. Embroidery by Marjane Satrapi - 3/5 (Jul 5)
22. Ivy by Sarah Oleksyk - 4/5 (Jul 6)
23. The Coming World Dictator by John Wesley White - 2/5 (Jul 7)
24. Octopus Pie, Vol. 3 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Jul 10)
25. Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal by Terence Ball & Richard Dagger - 4/5 (Jul 29)
26. Lost States by Michael J. Trinklein - 4/5 (Aug 2)
27. Uncomfortably Happily by Yeon-Sik Hong - 5/5 (Aug 6)
28. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - 3/5 (Aug 7)
29. Koma by Pierre Wazem & Frederik Peeters - 4/5 (Aug 9)
30. The Political History of the Devil by Daniel Defoe - 3/5 (Aug 28)
31. The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs by Gregory S. Paul - 4/5 (Aug 31)
32. Batgirl/Robin: Year One by Scott Beatty, Chuck Dixon, Marcos Martin & Javier Pulido - 3/5 (Sep 2)

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Re: Re:

Post by Valigarmander » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:19 am

Read Muhammad Ali by Sybille Titeux and Amazing Ameziane. A great biography about a fascinating person. Even if you're not a big boxing fan (I'm not), it's worth checking out.

1. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko - 4/5 (Jan 15)
2. The Nazi Conscience by Claudia Koonz - 5/5 (Feb 4)
3. The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade - 2/5 (Feb 28)
4. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 6)
5. Octopus Pie, Vol. 2 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Mar 22)
6. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 26)
7. The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (Apr 14)
8. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (May 4)
9. Discovering Fossil Fishes by John G. Maisey - 4/5 (May 24)
10. Concealing Coloration in Animals by Judy Diamond & Alan B. Bond - 5/5 (May 25)
11. A Game For Swallows by Zeina Abirached - 3/5 (May 28)
12. Angora Napkin by Troy Little - 3/5 (May 30)
13. La Perdida by Jessica Abel - 3/5 (Jun 6)
14. Sucker Bait by Graham Ingels - 5/5 (Jun 16)
15. Good-bye, Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson - 5/5 (Jun 18)
16. Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker & Julia Scheele - 4/5 (Jun 22)
17. Tank Girl: One by Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin - 4/5 (Jun 24)
18. Empire State by Jason Shiga - 4/5 (Jun 25)
19. A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki - 4/5 (Jun 29)
20. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel - 4/5 (Jul 2)
21. Embroidery by Marjane Satrapi - 3/5 (Jul 5)
22. Ivy by Sarah Oleksyk - 4/5 (Jul 6)
23. The Coming World Dictator by John Wesley White - 2/5 (Jul 7)
24. Octopus Pie, Vol. 3 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Jul 10)
25. Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal by Terence Ball & Richard Dagger - 4/5 (Jul 29)
26. Lost States by Michael J. Trinklein - 4/5 (Aug 2)
27. Uncomfortably Happily by Yeon-Sik Hong - 5/5 (Aug 6)
28. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - 3/5 (Aug 7)
29. Koma by Pierre Wazem & Frederik Peeters - 4/5 (Aug 9)
30. The Political History of the Devil by Daniel Defoe - 3/5 (Aug 28)
31. The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs by Gregory S. Paul - 4/5 (Aug 31)
32. Batgirl/Robin: Year One by Scott Beatty, Chuck Dixon, Marcos Martin & Javier Pulido - 3/5 (Sep 2)
33. Muhammad Ali by Sybille Titeux & Amazing Ameziane - 4/5 (Sep 3)

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Re: Re:

Post by Valigarmander » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:52 am

Read The Spanish Civil War by Paul Preston. As you may imagine, it's about the Spanish Civil War. It provides a good overview, though it probably could've explained the background of the conflict (pre-republican Spain, the political climate in Europe at the time) a bit better.

1. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko - 4/5 (Jan 15)
2. The Nazi Conscience by Claudia Koonz - 5/5 (Feb 4)
3. The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade - 2/5 (Feb 28)
4. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 6)
5. Octopus Pie, Vol. 2 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Mar 22)
6. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien - 4/5 (Mar 26)
7. The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (Apr 14)
8. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien - 5/5 (May 4)
9. Discovering Fossil Fishes by John G. Maisey - 4/5 (May 24)
10. Concealing Coloration in Animals by Judy Diamond & Alan B. Bond - 5/5 (May 25)
11. A Game For Swallows by Zeina Abirached - 3/5 (May 28)
12. Angora Napkin by Troy Little - 3/5 (May 30)
13. La Perdida by Jessica Abel - 3/5 (Jun 6)
14. Sucker Bait by Graham Ingels - 5/5 (Jun 16)
15. Good-bye, Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson - 5/5 (Jun 18)
16. Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker & Julia Scheele - 4/5 (Jun 22)
17. Tank Girl: One by Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin - 4/5 (Jun 24)
18. Empire State by Jason Shiga - 4/5 (Jun 25)
19. A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki - 4/5 (Jun 29)
20. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel - 4/5 (Jul 2)
21. Embroidery by Marjane Satrapi - 3/5 (Jul 5)
22. Ivy by Sarah Oleksyk - 4/5 (Jul 6)
23. The Coming World Dictator by John Wesley White - 2/5 (Jul 7)
24. Octopus Pie, Vol. 3 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Jul 10)
25. Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal by Terence Ball & Richard Dagger - 4/5 (Jul 29)
26. Lost States by Michael J. Trinklein - 4/5 (Aug 2)
27. Uncomfortably Happily by Yeon-Sik Hong - 5/5 (Aug 6)
28. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - 3/5 (Aug 7)
29. Koma by Pierre Wazem & Frederik Peeters - 4/5 (Aug 9)
30. The Political History of the Devil by Daniel Defoe - 3/5 (Aug 28)
31. The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs by Gregory S. Paul - 4/5 (Aug 31)
32. Batgirl/Robin: Year One by Scott Beatty, Chuck Dixon, Marcos Martin & Javier Pulido - 3/5 (Sep 2)
33. Muhammad Ali by Sybille Titeux & Amazing Ameziane - 4/5 (Sep 3)
34. The Spanish Civil War by Paul Preston - 4/5 (Sep 18)

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