Allthesepieces - Again...

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Allthesepieces - Again...

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Jan 14, 2013, 2:51 pm

Fell short last year. (Okay, really short.) Figured I'd give this another go!

Jan 14, 2013, 5:56 pm

In the end the number doesn't matter, does it? As they say, its the process not the product!

Jan 14, 2013, 7:40 pm

Welcome back! And as Judy says, it's not the number that matters, it's the reading. :)

Jan 15, 2013, 2:36 pm

Welcome & good luck!

Jan 15, 2013, 8:51 pm

Good luck, and yes, it's definitely about the reading and not numbers.

Jan 16, 2013, 4:43 pm

Good to see you all. :)

Jan 17, 2013, 6:33 pm

I'm looking forward to seeing what fantasy or science fiction you'll be reading this year.

Jan 23, 2013, 1:39 pm

So far, I'm slowly working my way through A Song of Ice and Fire and I hope to read some of Vonnegut's work this year. We'll see what else pops up. Have you found anything good, recently? we go...

1. The Jungle (F, 326 pgs.) - This had to be one of the most depressing books I've ever read. I was glued through the first half (before I started to detest the protagonist), but started losing interest towards the end of the book (as the focus shifted from the lives of the characters to the politics governing them).

Meh, I don't feel like dragging out the soapbox. I won't have much more to say on this one right now.


2. The Number 73304-23-4153-6-96-8 (F, 144 pgs.) - A few of you might remember I was impressed last year by Shaun Tan's The Arrival. I was intrigued by the concept of telling a story entirely in images, with the result being something much more complex than a mere picture book. That story was a work of art. I wasn't expecting a match when I first heard of this one, but both the "cheesy horror" hook and that the original work was completed on scratchboard were enough to reel me in.

The story follows an executioner who, after flipping the switch for one prisoner, discovers a slip of paper with a string of numbers printed on it. Puzzled, he tucks the slip away and carries it home with him. Soon he begins noticing the numbers everywhere he turns.

The story takes a predictable twist, albeit one that lends to some bizarre artwork. Sure, it was cheesy, but that's part of what made it fun.

On the subject of artwork, there were a few really interesting and well-designed blocks, but I did think most of it was mediocre. That's probably the only reason I wouldn't give this a higher rating.


3. The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale (F, 296 pgs.) - A young cartoonist attempts to capture his aging father's story of surviving Auschwitz and The Holocaust. The story is definitely worthy of all the accolades it has received. The artwork, however, left much to be desired. It seemed rushed. "Prisoner on the Hell Planet" and earlier prints show the work Art Spiegelman is capable of producing. There were subtle elements in several blocks which betrayed that more thought than effort was put into them. Still, I was so absorbed in the story that I was able to ignore those things until I finished the book.


4. Pyg: The Memoirs of Toby, the Learned Pig (F, 288 pgs.) - This began as a sweet and charming story of a young pig who, with the help of his only human friend, managed to escape slaughter. It progressed to the nearly torturous repetition of "shame on humans," and ended seeming like it was just a show of the author's morals and vocabulary. Maybe I missed the point.

I enjoy reading. But I typically hate it when it feels like I'm reading.


Jan 23, 2013, 4:57 pm

Number 2 sounds very interesting. It is on the wishlist.

Jan 24, 2013, 6:19 am

It's been a while since I read Maus, and it was a very early graphic novel for me so I may be more sophisticated now, but I thought the simplicity of the art complemented the story very well. I think beautiful art may have detracted from the power of the story.

I also think I may need to re-read this one sooner rather than later. :)

Speaking of Shaun Tan, I picked up Tales from Outer Suburbia from the library the other day, my daughter had read some of it at school so she was happy to find it. Must read it!

Too many books, not nearly enough time....

Jan 24, 2013, 6:27 am

I love Tales from Outer Suburbia its the kind of book I like to give as a present to kids to :) haven't read that Tan book, I will look out for it.

Jan 30, 2013, 5:25 pm

I do have Tales from Outer Suburbia buried somewhere in one of my wishlists. I've become so much more interested in graphic novels over the past few months. Amazing what happened just from noticing that "gap" in my library! (Anyone grab Building Stories, yet? That one looks quite nearly insane. Meaning I can't wait to try it.)

I definitely will be looking into more of Thomas Ott's work since reading The Number 73304-23-4153-6-96-8, but I am hoping for some more consistently interesting artwork. The few panels which stood out were awesome, so I have an idea what he's capable of. I still think it's worth picking up, definitely.

Back to Maus, Wookie, I think you might be right. I'm not sure I would have appreciated the story as much if I had spent too much time gazing at the artwork. There were a few panels, though, that had me staring anyway. It's just that instead of appreciating the artwork, I was trying to figure out what I was looking at. I think that's what distracted me. Still, the more I think about it, the more I start to feel like that "rushed" feeling may have been intentional. The subtle elements I mentioned earlier were it's not difficult to imagine the entire piece could also be. Imagine trying to capture a story like that! It was really a great book.

Jan 30, 2013, 7:19 pm

I read Tales from Outer Suburbia last night, and it's worthy of a place on your wishlist! Some marvelous stories, beautifully illustrated. Another winner from Tan!

Jan 31, 2013, 6:01 pm

Another winner from Tan!

Another in a long list of winners!!

Editado: Fev 6, 2013, 12:36 pm

Bumping it up, then! :)

5. The Death of Ivan Ilych (F, 76 pgs.) - Anyone who is familiar with graf Leo Tolstoy's writing can testify to the length of some of his work. This was really more of a novella, but that certainly didn't hinder his ability to draw up a realistic cast and use it to tell a powerful story. It asks readers to consider the nagging question; what does it mean to live? I'm currently taking a philosophy class and may not have picked this up were it not on the list of assigned readings. Having read it, I'm glad I had the opportunity to discuss it.

And now, for some reason, I'm anxious to get back to War and Peace...


We just watched a series of clips from Ikiru, which is something else I want to pick up, now. At this rate, I'll be broke by midterms.

Fev 13, 2013, 8:51 pm

6. Rime of the Ancient Mariner (F, 12 pgs.) - More of a booklet, but hey. Here was another one I had to read for my philosophy class. I say "had to" not because I disliked the work, but instead because I'm starting to feel like the black sheep in the classroom. The professor isn't trying to be unfair at all, but some of the questions he asks seem to assume we all carry with us some sort I guess I'm just frustrated. I'm a 4.0 student who's getting points docked because I'm confused about how to answer certain questions without just flat out lying.

Venting done. I did enjoy the poem. I think I may have enjoyed it more if it wasn't presented to me first as an audiobook. Also, if we would stop beating books to death. (Another lesson about dying, perhaps?)


Editado: Mar 27, 2013, 2:41 pm

7. Every Day Gets A Little Closer: A Twice-Told Therapy (NF, 272 pgs.) - Decided to pick this one up for some research on schizoid personality disorder. Much lighter reading than Guntrip's Schizoid Phenomena, but not nearly as helpful.

The book consists of a series of journal entries that both doctor and patient compose (separately) after each therapy session. I'm sure I'll pull some quotes for my assignment, but there was little remarkable content.


8. Frankenstein (F, 182 pgs.) - Here was some penance for Rime of the Ancient Mariner. I loved this book, I loved its history, and I loved the discussions it brought on in and after class. Added to my list of favorites.


I realize I haven't been putting much time into posting. Classes have been keeping me horribly busy. I think if I were to keep track of everything I've been reading, though...academic journals, text excerpts, short stories, scripts, other periodicals...yeesh.

We're moving on to One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, next. I'm looking forward to being bored. ;)

I hope everyone is doing well!

Mar 27, 2013, 3:54 pm

I can understand your professor's, um, "assumptions" being frustrating, but it does sound like you are doing some very interesting reading. Hang in there!

Mar 29, 2013, 7:13 am

Oh, I'm glad you liked Frankenstein! It's a good little book with plenty to think about (although I did have to laugh a bit at the monster's "thee" and "thou" and perfect grammar, silly modern reader that I am).

Dez 28, 2013, 3:27 pm


9. Freeman
10. Trainspotting
11. A Fine and Private Place
12. Survival in Auschwitz
13. War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust
14. A Clash of Kings
15. Among Others
16. Cat's Cradle
17. A Storm of Swords
18. Folklore of Birds
19. Dying to Know
20. The Man Who Forgot How to Read
21. Slumdog Millionaire
22. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock
23. Werewolves
24. Injustice: Gods Among Us #1
25. Injustice: Gods Among Us #2
26. Injustice: Gods Among Us #3
27. Go the F**k to Sleep
28. Song of the Silent Snow
29. The Sign of the Four
30. Tuesdays with Morrie
31. The Raven
32. How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read

...if I was smart enough not to bury my nose in a different book every night, I'd have finished reading a LOT more. (I'm pretty sure there are over a hundred books in that pile. Eep.)

I know it's odd to hear from me after so long, but I did want to stop in and wish everyone a happy new year! Best wishes to you all. :)

Jan 3, 2014, 5:48 am

Happy new year! Glad you hadn't forgotten us. :)