Four Graphic Novels

I’m only about a month late but I’ve started the whole Cybils shortlist thing and am slowly making a dent in the list. Graphic novels were a good way to dive in.

El Deafo was excellent. Really. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it — so much hype around it! But, it was well deserved hype.

Bad Machinery: The Case of the Good Boy, sigh. I just don’t like Bad Machinery. I don’t get why everyone else does. This one was better than the last one I read (or tried to read) but I had to force myself to get through this one, too. If it makes the Cybils next year, I’m just not going to read it. Blah.

Gaijin: American Prisoner of War — I liked it. The art was excellent.

Bird & Squirrel on Ice was super cute. I particularly like Sakari and her role in the story.


Gah. If Conjured had not been on the Cybils shortlist, I never would have finished it. I hated this darn book.

The idea of it was good. The ending of it was good. The first half (if not more) was so damn slow and repetitive that I was cursing it pretty much nonstop.

Eve is in a witness protection program. She has memory loss. A lot of memory loss. The agents guarding her want her to tell them… something… what, nobody knows because the author doesn’t tell us and Eve has memory loss. Eve can do magic and when she does, she blacks out. When she wakes up, days (weeks? months?) have passed and she’s apparently been awake and interacting with society but she can’t remember anything that’s happened at all.

Rinse and repeat. Over and over and over for a good 1/2 of the book. That’s pretty much all that happens. And it’s annoying. By the time the story started moving, I was so disgusted that I barely wanted to finish. But I did. It was hard but I did it.

I hate books like this. Move a little more quickly or give us some reason to keep reading the slow mess at the beginning. Do not make a book for kids a struggle to read. Stupid.

All About Homesteading

I’m playing catch up with the non-fictions now. Homesteading. A lot of books about homesteading. Some were good. Some weren’t. Let’s start with the one I didn’t finish.

Rural Renaissance — dry as I don’t even know. I won’t say burnt toast because I effing like burnt toast, (I know. I’m weird. Blame my mother.) I couldn’t finish it. There are not enough reading hours in one lifetime for me to have wanted to finish it. TW tried to warn me, she didn’t finish it either, but I didn’t listen. I should have listened. I wasted half an evening on that.

The Practical Homestead — Hoo boy. This book could scare you off the idea of homesteading, lol. So much to think about. And it’s all very serious. And they do warn you off of trying x,y & z quite a lot. At first glance, the layouts for various farm sizes seem cool but then you realize it’s really not what you personally are interested in. Unless you win the lottery or come into some inheritance because no, all we really want is a kitchen garden, some fruit trees, some chickens and a big ass yard for the damn dogs. Cool book. I might read it again in a couple of years. Seriously.

The Weekend Homesteader was interesting. I liked the way it was laid out — a few assignments each month. Cool way to start slow and keep encouraging people to make small changes and take on small projects.

Back to Basics: Traditional Kitchen Wisdom was a pretty cool book. I skimmed a lot because I don’t particularly need to digest all of that kitchen wisdom at once. It’s a good book to just have on the shelf.

I believe this is the last of the homesteading books. I hope. I kind of also hope I don’t read anymore of these for at least a year. I’m homesteaded out.

Six Children’s Books From the Cybils Shortlist

Let’s see…

JMP loved Joe and Sparky Go to School. The book was in the back seat of my car and he read it many times all by himself. I didn’t read it until last night and it’s very cute.

I read most of Sophie’s Squash to JMP and while he was not impressed, I was. It’s a very cute story. I’m going to read it to him again next year, I think he just wasn’t in the mood to read the night we tried it.

When Thunder Comes was excellent. Very well done with a wide range of civil rights leaders represented.

What the Heart Knows is a beautiful book. The illustrations. The charms, chants and blessings. The little red ribbon. I might have to buy this one.

Pug and Other Animal Poems was ok. The illustrations were better than the poetry. I was fascinated by the poem about the mouse. That’s not something you see very often in children’s poetry. What? Go read it for yourself.

The Meanest Birthday Girl was my least favorite. In fact, I hated it. Which is too bad because there’s a big white elephant in the book. There’s enough meanness in the world that we really don’t need it in a children’s book — not like this.

2 Non-Fiction for Grandparents

I impulsed picked a bunch of books from a Grandparents’ Day display at the library. The two non-fiction were Grand Activities: More Than 150 Fabulous Fun Activities for Kids to Do with Their Grandparents and Kids and Grandparents: An Activity Book.

The first was… not good. It was primarily things that kids can do with PARENTS in relation to the child’s grandparents or things to do and send TO grandparents. Not what I was looking for at all.

The latter was a nice enough book if you need help thinking about old-fashioned games and activities to do with kids. One thing that was interesting to me was thinking about the fact that so many of these activities are really REALLY old-fashioned. It won’t be long before grandparents have never done any of these activities as kids… which leads me to wonder what the next book of old fashioned fun for grandparents and grandchildren will look like. If I had more time or inclination, I’d write that book, lol.

The Waking Dark

Not only am I behind on reading, I’m behind on blogging what I have read. I’ve almost forgotten what I’ve read — thankfully, there’s GoodReads.

So, the easy one first. The Waking Dark. On audio. From the Cybils shortlist.


All the killing. And the descriptive killing.


Did not enjoy.

Also, too many characters and we found ourselves constantly confused by which was which.

Would hope my teens wouldn’t enjoy it if they read it.



I generally like trans lit, particularly coming of age trans lit but Adam … just annoyed me, disturbed me and then ticked me off.

If there was a stereotype not displayed in the book, I don’t know of it. I just… no. All the no.

I Quit Another Book

Ghost Writer — it was on some list of creepy books I saw around Halloween. I’d never read it. I reserved it. It stunk.

So slow.

I tried to get through it. I gave it a full week and was half way through and for two days I just couldn’t bring myself to pick it up so I quit and it’s back at the library where I hope it finds someone who enjoys it. That someone would not be me.

Dexter’s Final Cut

Sigh. I’m disappointed in Dexter’s Final Cut. So disappointed. I get that Dexter wasn’t a good guy, even though most of us grew to really love him. But… this. This was too much. It’s ok to kill off the Dexter series, it’s not ok to fuck with the people who’ve read your books for all of these years and have come to appreciate the characters and the storytelling.

It’s not OK at all. If you’ve ready all of the other books, don’t read this one. :-(


I’ve never seen Woman, by Richard Matheson, before. Didn’t know it existed. So, I was kind of excited by it when TW put it in the library bag. I liked I Am Legend and Hell House. (TW is a Somewhere in Time fan.)

But… I didn’t particularly like Woman.

I didn’t hate it but I definitely did not love it. It’s a mean book, I think that’s what bugged me. A cautionary tale for men that’s completely irrational because it’s about women. I don’t know. It bugged me.