Here’s the first installment of what I hope will be a regular Wednesday feature around these parts. After all, if this is a site about books—and it is—then what better topic could there be for me to blog about regularly than what I’m reading?
But, to put a spin on it, I’m calling this “We Read” instead of “I Read.” I’m going to include not only my own weekly reads, but my family’s as well. I write about families a lot, and about my family a fair deal, so I think the idea fits. Besides, I think what they’re reading could be just as interesting and relevant to you as my own narcissistic navel-gazing would be on its own.
Without further ado, here goes.
This week, I read:
- the last hundred or so pages of Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, a horror novel I found well-written, with well-drawn characters, but that never particularly scared me and that took far too long to get to where it was going for my tastes;
- the superbly told first volume of Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky, which was artistically a little too cartoony for me, but was otherwise flawless;
- the short story “The New Veterans,” from Karen Russell’s Vampires in the Lemon Grove, about the changing face and story of a young vet’s back tattoo as seen through the eyes of his masseuse, a yarn every bit as odd as I've come to expect from Russell; and
- the screenplay to the film Wish I Was Here by Zach Braff and Adam Braff, a film I Kickstarted but forgot to see in theaters and that seems somewhat more pedestrian on the page than Braff's breakout Garden State, but no less heartfelt.
This week, my wife Stephanie continued reading:
- The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan, the eighth book in his Wheel of Time series, a go-to series for her, and one she’s returned to several times (though she hasn't made it posthumous volumes yet).
This week, my older daughter, Kaylee, and I read together:
- chapters from Evangeline Mudd and the Golden-Haired Apes of the Ikkinasti Jungle, by one of my old Lesley MFA profs, David Elliott, which seems to hold Kaylee’s interest a lot better now that she’s 8 than it did when we first tried it when she was 3 or 4; and
- chapters from A Really Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, his kid-friendly version of A Short History of Nearly Everything, which we’re trying again at bedtime after a bit of a break because it caused too much conversation when it was time to go to sleep.
And, lastly, this week, my younger daughter, Melody, and I read together:
- “The Sneetches” from The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss, one of my all-time favorites;
- A Dream for a Princess, a Disney Step-into-Reading book about Cinderella that I, remarkably, don’t hate; and
- The Secret Fairy Garden, a book of poems centered around Disney’s Fairies that were cute but that threw me off with their erratic meter and rhyme schemes.
And that’s all for this week. In the coming days, I’m looking forward to reading my copy of Inaccurate Realities, Volume Four: Superpowers, which features a story (“Retro-causality or the Allergy of Genghis Khan”) by my friend John Herman, as well as Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass & Sorcery. This might also be the week that I finally finish the aforementioned Vampires in the Lemon Grove, which I’ve been working at since the spring.