24 July 2013

2013 reading list, March - June

Daniel Klein, NothingSerious.  Sag Harbor, NY: Permanent Press, 2013.

Digby Maxwell was the next big thing, but now he’s just the burnout to run a small philosophy journal into the ground.  Except, stoned as he is when he’s hired, people still buy his ideas.  And everything else around him goes wrong, too—so he eventually gets a happy ending for everyone.

Unfortunately, Digby can’t seem to settle on a voice, so in addition to a very readable, traditional third-person narrative, we get italicized flashbacks, first-person asides, and other editorial comments that do add to the story, but also detract from its readability.  It’s a lot of fun with light philosophy, just the same.

Sibley, along with Crossley and Audubon, is one of the big names in birding, and has written many beautiful books about various aspects of bird life and identification, including several easy to use identification guides.  This isn’t one of those books, which describe individual species in great, illustrated, detail.  Instead, this slim volume discusses the techniques birders develop to recognize birds in the field—how to look for the field marks or listen to birdsong, where to look first, what the correct terms are for clear communication with other birders, and other bits of introduction to a challenging, relaxing pastime that anyone can enjoy, almost anywhere, making it an excellent resource for public libraries.

David Malki! DapperCaps & Peal-Copters.  Venice, CA: Bearstache, 2013.

A collection of Wondermark comic strips, with other assorted fun stuff, which does not comprise a coherent whole: it’s a singles collection, not a concept album, but no less enjoyable for that.

Peter Ackroyd, TheClerkenwell Tales.  NY: Doubleday, 2004

Modeled on Chaucer’s CanterburyTales, this collection of closely-related tales, each told from its title character’s point of view, weaves a fictionalized account of the machinations placing Henry Bolingbrook on England’s thrown.

            See full review here

The first of a contemporary classic series, this is the delightful story of a girl named September who rides the Green Wind to Fairyland, where she must choose between losing her way, her heart, her mind, or her life.  She risks her heart, loses her shadow, battles an Evil Queen, and ends up back home in bed before even noticing that she has, in fact, lost her heart. 
Larry Lester, Rube Foster in His Time.  Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2012.
            See full review here