Below you will find pages that utilize the taxonomy term “book”
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Eternity in the Ether: A Mormon Media History, by Gavin Feller
I have been looking for this kind of book for a long time, and some of my recent publications would have been stronger if this had come out in time for me to reference it beforehand. It’s not perfect: Some wording is awkward and the conceptual framework (while interesting) could be stronger. However, it’s invaluable for the history it offers and I expect to cite it regularly in the future.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Restoration Scriptures: A Study of Their Textual Development, by Richard Howard
I picked up a copy of this book at the 2023 World Conference of Community of Christ, after it being on my wishlist for some time. It does an excellent job of examining the subjectivity of Restoration scripture by tracing its evolution over time. I remarked to a friend earlier this week that it’s a shame it was written in the 90s (and originally, the 60s) rather than now, when there’s so much more available to do this kind of work.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Astro City (MetroBook 3), by Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, and Alex Ross
This is new Astro City material for me, even though it’s been around for a while. There’s still a lot of what makes Astro City great in the long “Dark Ages” story, but not enough to make it shine. I think I like Astro City best when it takes a quick dive into an interesting story, plays with some tropes, and just hints at a broader world and continuity. This tries to explain too much and be too connected, and in doing so, I think it loses a lot of the magic.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron, by Alexander Freed
This book took me a while to get into. I gave up on the print version a year or three ago, and even the audiobook wasn’t doing great at capturing my attention for a while—I had to rush to finish this before it was due back to Libby. I’m glad that I stuck it out, though, because I liked what I got. I never read the X-Wing novels from the old EU, but I wanted something like what I imagined they were.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Astro City (MetroBook 2), by Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, and Alex Ross
This volume isn’t quite as good as the last (mostly because of the filler material that it concludes with), and it has some of the same problems with trying to do diversity but sometime undermining itself. However, I still think the best superhero stories are the ones that pick at and play with tropes, and I haven’t seen anyone do that better than this series.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Astro City (MetroBook 1), by Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, and Alex Ross
I love Astro City. It is definitely not percect (the creative team is a bunch of white guys, and sometimes, that’s painfully obvious), but as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best wholesale reimagining of superhero tropes out there. I’ve read every single story in this volume before, and I read them now with a more critical eye than in the past, but I had a great time rereading them all.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for The Mountain in the Sea, by Ray Nayler
A recent episode of The Incomparable covered this book, and even though the reviews were mixed, it seemed up my alley, so I gave it a try. It’s very obviously a book of ideas and is sometimes clumsy and didactic. That said, I wish I had taken more time to sit with those ideas; I rushed through the book to finish it before my loan was up, and I’m sure I missed bits.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Superman: Secret Identity, by Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen
This is a fun concept—a teenager named Clark Kent who’s tired of the jokes about being named after the fictional Superman suddenly develops Superman’s powers and has to figure out how to live with them. Busiek strikes me as the perfect person to write a story about how a world familiar with superhero tropes would deal with their becoming real, but as much as I love little bits of this story, I just don’t know that it will ever stand out as a favorite of mine.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Danger and Other Unknown Risks, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson
I really wanted to like this more than I did! North and Henderson are one of my favorite creative teams in comics, and North’s dialogue and Henderson’s art come together in perfect ways throughout the story. At the end of the day, though, I don’t know if there was enough to that story or to the worldbuilding to really interest me. There are neat ideas in here, and the plot comes together in smart ways at times, but neither feels fleshed out enough to really stand out.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Red Team Blues (A Martin Hench Novel), by Cory Doctorow
I’m a couple of days late on writing this post: I started listening to the audiobook within hours of Doctorow sending out Kickstarter rewards on Monday and had it finished within a day. I often introduce Doctorow to others by saying that his books sometimes read like op-eds—but that that’s a good thing. I found that to be true in this book. I don’t know that I liked it as much as Walkaway (though I never expected to like that one!
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Star Wars: Heir to the Empire, by Timothy Zahn
This book is one of the mainstays of the old Star Wars EU. I hadn’t read it in years, but after exploring some of the new canon and hearing the news about a likely remixing of it into a Dave Filoni movie, it seemed like a good time to revisit. The audiobook production was great, and even if I’m not planning to finish the trilogy, I enjoyed checking this title out again.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for The Book of Forgiving, by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu
I have enjoyed going through this book. It’s the kind of book that invites personal action instead of just letting you read it, and that’s felt overwhelming at times (particularly as my life has gotten busier in recent weeks), but it’s a good invitation, and I know I’ll need to revisit this slowly and deliberately to get the most out of it.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Star Wars: Bloodline, by Claudia Gray
I read (and listened to) a lot in the early months of this year and have hit a wall recently. This audiobook was a nice way to get back into reading; I’ve felt a hunger for Star Wars media recently, and this book came recommended on a podcast I’ve sampled. It’s fun to get more into the new canon: I thought this did a good job of setting up some of the Episode VII worldbuilding, and it reminded me of the fun I had reading through the old EU growing up.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
I’m sure that I’ve read this before, and I expected to really enjoy a reread, so it was kind of a disappointment to, well, be so disappointed by it. The book is interesting for its interrogation of whether new technologies are less rich than old ones—an argument that has clear relevance today, as perhaps illustrated by Bradbury’s alleged reluctance to allow for an ebook version in the early 21st century. I’m not opposed to this kind of argument, but I think it’s easy for this kind of claim to get tied up in hand-wringing about civilizational decline and old/high culture being better than new/pop culture—and I feel like Bradbury ultimately has more to say about the latter than about the former.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Obsidio, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
After the weak middle volume in the trilogy, I wasn’t sure that I’d revisit the final one, but I’m glad I did. This book gets back to what made the first one so interesting: A mix of YA tropes, epistolary creativity, and moral complexity. It was self-indulgent at times, but it earned it by not shying away from the horror of the conflicts its teenage characters were the heroes of.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for The Haunting of Tram Car 015, by P. Djèli Clark
I wasn’t sure about this novella at first, which was a bummer because it’s beloved by the folks at The Incomparable. As I kept reading, though, I got sucked in and wound up loving it! It makes the most of its short length, easily working in the worldbuilding and even lampshading the tropes it uses to do so. The characters are fun, but what stands out the most is how deliberately and delightfully non-Western it is.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for La réinvention du nom de Dieu [Reinventing God's Name], by Gérard Siegwalt
A few months ago, I began listening to the Radio Télévision Suisse show Babel again; I have an off and on relationship with the show and decided it was time for another on. I was impressed with an interview Siegwalt gave discussing this book and put it on my list. It turned out I could buy it from the Swiss publisher, which offered a flat 5€ shipping fee, even to have it sent here to Kentucky.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Gender Queer: A Memoir, by Maia Kobabe
This is a frank, vulnerable memoir that I learned a lot from; I’m glad for Kobabe’s willingness to share eir story. I also appreciated the art style. I’d been meaning to read this in print a while ago but had checked out too many books from the library and had to return it before I got to it. I’m glad it was available on Hoopla so I could read it on my phone instead of mindlessly scrolling through TVTropes.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Gemina, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
This book has a lot going for it: Good worldbuilding, an interesting “disaster dominoes” plot, and a good audiobook performance. I love the first book in this series, so I ought to like this book too! I did enjoy listening to it, but I just don’t find the characters as interesting, and it feels more like it uses YA cookie cutter archetypes than the last book. Enjoyable, but not my favorite… and leaving me wondering about whether to finish out the trilogy.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Saga Volume 10, by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan
Well, this is the last of the PDFs I got from the Humble Bundle, and I think that means I’m caught up on Saga in trade paperback format. I’m hooked, though, so I’ll have to find other ways to keep up with it!
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Saga Volume 9, by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan
Heck of a volume right here; I can see how it would be frustrating for the series to go on hiatus right after this, and I’m glad I’m reading the series post-hiatus. It’s interesting to see just how willing Vaughan is to change things up hard, and I wonder how this will affect the running themes of the book moving forward. As usual, it’s also fascinating to follow the beautiful, very weird art.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Saga Volume 8, by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan
This volume is a perfect encapsulation of everything Saga: I think it hits on all the main characters, it’s weird in delightful ways, it tackles heavy subjects (but sometimes veers into edgy for edgy’s sake), and it left me excited to read more.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Saga Volume 7, by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan
At this point, I’ve read so much Saga this week that it’s hard to remember what happened in what volume. That said, even if Volume 7 ended on a downer, I remember that I liked what I read here.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Saga Volume 6, by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan
I don’t know what it is about particular volumes of this series that makes them rise above the rest, but this was one of them. Maybe it was adorable Ghüs becoming a badass when needed or a father-daughter reunion or something else. Whatever it was, this series continues to deliver.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Saga Volume 5, by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan
Still reading, still enjoying! It’s interesting to watch the stories and themes play out (sometimes slowly) over time.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Saga Volume 4, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
I still love so much about this series and am looking forward to continuing it. Vaughan is blending together characters and plot threads in interesting and new ways, and I’m eager to see where he goes with it. This didn’t get as high as a review from me as the last volume, though. Maybe it’s because there was some more of the gore that’s my least favorite part of this, or maybe it’s because I don’t like media about couples going through rough patches, even if it’s well done.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Saga Volume 3, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Okay, no more caveats. I’m really into this series now. The themes (the difficult love of family and the creeping destruction of war) are more clear, and the art and weirdness continue to be excellent.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Saga Volume 2, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
You know, I still feel like Saga leans into being a comic for adults by putting adult material in there just because it can. That said, I’ll admit that I have a certain amount of inherent prudishness that may be coloring my thinking there. More importantly, I enjoy the art, the story is getting better and more interesting, and I’m eager to keep reading.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Saga Volume 1, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
I gave Saga a try a few years ago, but it didn’t quite work for me (or my prudishness), so as good of a reputation it had, I didn’t stick with it. I just got the first ten volumes through a Humble Bundle, though, and so it’s time to give it another try. I’m no longer bothered by swearing and sex like I was a decade (or whatever) ago, though I’ll admit that casual gore is not something that endears me to comics.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
This is my third time reading this book—I couldn’t resist coming back to it for the “epistolary novel” square of my library’s “Books and Bites Bingo” challenge this year. The print book is amazing, the audiobook manages to adapt a book that shouldn’t be adaptable, and I enjoyed this read as much as the last two. The language and worldbuilding are subtle but effective, it’s morally complex without trying too hard to be, and the characters are a good mix between believable and, well, archetypal characters in a YA novel.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Nigerians in Space, by Deji Bryce Olukoton
I picked this up after hearing about it in the show notes of an EFF podcast the author appeared on. This is not the book that I expected to read, I’m not sure I entirely got it, and it even feels a bit like a shaggy dog story at the end. I still enjoyed it, though, in a way I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s neat to read fiction from deliberately African perspectives, the shaggy dog-ness is probably the point, and the characters are compelling.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
What a wild listen! I started this right after finishing Doctorow’s Little Brother because it’s recommended in the supplementary materials. It’s a bit odd to read in 2023: The idea of cryptocurrency has been tainted with recent news, it spectacularly fails the Bechdel test, and it seems to me to use more casual racial slurs than the chapters in the Pacific Theater might allow for in the name of realism. Yet, it’s intricately plotted, well written, just absurd enough to make it better, and technical without being overwhelming.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Chroniques de jeunesse, by Guy Delisle
J’ai déjà lu la traduction anglaise de cet album magnifique—Delisle est assez connu aux États-Unis pour paraître (en traduction) dans les bibliothèques près de chez moi. Pourtant, il y a toujours quelque chose de decevant quand je sais que j’aurais lu le lire en français. Quand une ami a visité Bruxelles récemment, je lui ai donc demandé de m’acheter l’album en français. Ayant passé quelques étés dans des usines, l’expérience de Delisle m’a beaucoup marqué.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Top 10, by Alan Moore
There’s a lot to love about Top 10, which is why I read it for what is at least the third time (likely more). The story is well-crafted, the concept is interesting, it riffs on superhero tropes while breathing new life into them, and the art is full of so many easter eggs for the savvy reader (my favorite is probably the Astérix and Obélix cameo, but there are lots of other great ones).
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Mech Cadet Yu (Volume 3), by Greg Pak
Still a fun series, and I’m glad it’s short enough that I could go ahead and finish it out. It continued to get more interesting as it went along, but it also didn’t give any of its twists and turns enough time to feel deserved.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Mech Cadet Yu (Volume Two), by Greg Pak
I liked Volune Two more than Volume One: The story breaks free of simple troping and the characters become a bit more interesting. That said, none of this is enough in my mind to really set the series apart. I wonder if this would be better as a long-ish YA novel than as an ongoing comics series.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Mech Cadet Yu (Volume One), by Greg Pak
The premise is fun, and I liked (most of) the art, but I felt like the story moved too fast to move beyond recycled tropes—or let the characters be more than flattish archetypes. It probably won’t stop me from reading the next volume, but I think it’s aimed at a younger audience than me.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow
To my own surprise, I’ve been getting into audiobooks recently, and having listened to Doctorow’s “Walkaway,” I decided to revisit his Little Brother series in audio form. Parts of the first book haven’t aged well (including some language that was bad enough to be edited out of the print version I have), and while I enjoy Doctorow’s opinions, they sometimes overwhelm the story here. That said, to quote TVTropes, some anvils are worth dropping, and the messages about privacy, surveillance, and civil liberties are as relevant as ever, I don’t know if I enjoyed the book as much as I did my first time through, but I still like it enough to give it four hearts.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Shelley
I haven’t read this in over a decade, so I recently decided to listen to an audiobook version and see how I liked it this time through. The overall story is excellent! I found particularly compelling the question of scientific (and technological) responsibility, and the creature’s railing against his creator at Chamonix in the middle of the book struck me as almost Job-like. I wasn’t expecting the Chamonix scene to resonate with me as much as the tech allegory, but it will also stay with me, I think.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Swisstory: The Untold, Bloody, and Absolutely Real History of Switzerland, by Laurie Theurer
Swisstory wasn’t awful, but it’s pretty clear it’s written for kids: Lots of playing up the bloody and gross, and not as detailed as I would have liked. I own a French-language accessible history of Switzerland with illustrations by the late Swiss cartoonist Mix & Remix, and I wish I’d reread that instead.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Walkaway, by Cory Doctorow
I bounced pretty hard off of Walkaway a year or so ago, but I recently decided to give it another try. I felt like I needed a boost of hopeful thinking, and I’d seen Doctorow post about the book as being hopeful. Did it ever deliver! Walkaway is hopeful on a nearly religious level, and it was exactly what I needed. The book is not naïvely optimistic but rather tenacious in its belief that we can still make this a better workd.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for The Handbook to Lazy Parenting, by Guy Delisle
I’m a big fan of Delisle’s comics, but in the past, I’ve skipped his series on parenting. This morning, though, a friend visiting Brussels offered to bring me back a copy of Delisle’s « Chroniques de Jeunesse », so when I went to the library later in the day, I couldn’t help but pick up something else he’s done. His art is great, and his stories are funny and sweet. My only complaint is that I couldn’t read the original French edition (though I should be glad Kentucky libraries carry the English translations!
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Terms and Conditions, by R. Sikoryak
Reading an actual Apple terms of service document can only be so interesting, but at least creating a graphic novel version helps. The sheer audacity of the project is most of why I liked this comic, but it’s also quite fun to see Sikoryak’s homages to different comics, always with a Jobsian twist. It’s weird, and I don’t see myself rereading it, but I think it’s great.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Heike's Void, by Steven Peck
What a weird, profound, and beautiful book. This is a very Mormon novel, and in all the best ways. It takes Mormonism seriously—even literally—but not uncritically. I’d wager that Peck has read Grant Hardy, and my favorite bit in an amazing book is a throwaway joke about farewell expressions in French in a way that only someone who knows and loves the Book of Mormon would do. More than all of that, it is a profound and optimistic (but never naïve) story about redemption knowing no bounds.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Superman: Earth One (Volume One), by J. Michael Straczynski
I’ve read this a couple times before, so I knew it wouldn’t be great, but it was on sale for a dollar at a used book store, and I have a soft spot for it (including its sequels), so I picked it up and gave it another go. I think this retelling makes big mistakes about Superman (believing that destructive fights and interstellar intrigue are what makes the character interesting) and about origin story retellings (gesturing to the reader and including shocking plot twists), but it also asks the important questions about power and responsibility that make Superman stories good.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Belonging, by Nora Krug
What a beautiful book! Krug’s story of exploring both what it means to be German and her family’s connection to Nazism is moving, and her multimodal approach—combining text, photos, and drawings—really helps the story come alive. It was sometimes hard to follow all the names and threads, but that’s largely my own fault. I’d been meaning to read this for a while and was pleased to randomly find it on a library shelf.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for A Short Stay in Hell, by Steven Peck
I’ve read this short novella at least four times already, but I received a physical copy for Christmas and couldn’t help but give it another read. Despite being existentially horrifying, it’s one of my favorite books of all time. The protagonist is a Mormon man who dies and wakes up to his surprise in hell. This hell is specifically promised to be finite, but it’s a vast kind of finite: It’s a Borges-inspired library that consists of every possible book (as if written by monkeys on typewriters), and once you find the book that tells your life story, you get out of hell.