Saturday, January 25, 2020

7. Understanding Comics

By Scott McCloud (215 pp)

I had the crud in January and spent several days in bed or lounging around the couch and trying to finish books that have been buried in my nightstand drawers for a long time. This is one of those books. It's about all about comics: history, how the medium tells a story visually, the panels, the lines. He talks about art and culture. The book was written in 1993 and his predictions about the rise of comics were on target.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

6. Syllabus

By Lynda Barry (200 pp)

Everything Lynda Barry does is fabulous. This is a book about her teaching university courses that involve art, drawing, story-telling, music -- everything. She sometimes shows and sometimes tells about her approach to teaching -- it's hard to explain. One of my main takeaways is she talks about being present, not just when doing the work, but in life -- observing, listening, being open to what's happening rather than chasing after things. If you're a Linda Barry fan, you'll like this. If I take a writing sabbatical I'm going to follow the lessons in this book.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

5. 10% Happier

By Dan Harris (237 pp)

This is a book about meditating written by a news anchor who goes into the subject with great skepticism. He interviews a number of popular spiritual guides and struggles with meditation and is completely honest about his experience. Ultimately, he finds meditation helpful and gives realistic guidelines for starting a meditation practice.

4. Olive, Again

By Elizabeth Strout (289 pp)

I love Olive Kitteridge and I loved revisiting her, especially since aging parents, not just mine but among my peers, is a  major theme right now. I thought there were a few weak bits in here but the stories where Olive was the main character were terrific. I love the setting in Maine and Olive's son (and family) is a great character. I particularly liked, Light. I thought Olive's brusque manner was exactly what the other woman needed. Recommend.

Friday, January 17, 2020

3. Yes, Please

By Amy Poehler (329 ebook)

I don't often go for celebrity memoir but I heard so many good things about this one I grabbed it when it was on sale. When you know how successful she is now, it's easy to gloss over how long and hard she worked before she got a break. Some good juicy stories and advice for people doing creative work.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

2. The Only Harmless Great Thing

By Brooke Bolander (p138 ebook)

This was on my phone and I had no idea what it was or where it came from but it was fabulous and made me want to go back and read more speculative fiction again. It's also to describe briefly but it's an alternate history with sentient elephants and radium girls.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

1. A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove #2)

By Tessa Dare (354 pp ebook)

It's already February and I am just now posting my January books although I will back date them so it will be hard to tell. This is a romance that was on my phone and I needed something I could read on the bus. This one was super fun. The heroine is a science nerd being held back by her gender, the hero a handsome rake and they have to run off on an adventure where they encounter numerous setbacks.