December Reading

The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie, Wendy McClure.
A charming exploration of a beloved book series from her (and my) youth, quite funny and strangely intimate because of both of our connections to the same books. I really liked it a lot. Five stars.

My Milk Toof: The Adventures of ickle and Lardee, Inhae Lee.
Actually has the subject heading of Photonovela, and that it is, but with elements of children’s story and graphic novel and (maybe only because I learned that the author has a background in animation) stop-motion film. Lee’s baby teeth arrive at her apartment to stay, partly roomies and partly like children. They have various small-scale adventures with lovingly made (maybe some purchased?) tiny props. I was charmed! Four stars.

12 Things to Do Before You Crash and Burn, James Proimos.
The best sort of high-low book for teens– obviously not intended for children (swears and off-page sex), fast plot, characters you can sympathize with, short chapters and short overall. Additional bonus: bits of the Hercules myth with some tips of the hat to the sword-and-sandal film versions (Herc is constantly falling asleep). Fun. Three stars.

Hearts & Minds: A G.I. Joe Graphic Novel, [written by Max Brooks ; art by Howard Chaykin and Antonio Fuso].
The best part of retcon is when it lets people who care more about the story than the original artists can go back and add more depth and character. The drawback for me is that it was none of the characters I remember. Otherwise pretty good (and why won’t Brooks write another novel already???). Three stars.

Bossypants, Tina Fey (audio)
Autobiographies by performers performed by those performers have a nice extra bit of flair and enjoyment, says me. The book, however, contains everything and the kitchen sink, and could have used an editor/a few more years of anecdote. Four stars.

The Psychopath Test, A Journey Through the Madness Industry, Jon Ronson. (audio)
Ronson has been a radio and television presenter/narrator, more in the UK than US, so add this to the books by performers also performed by him (and I’m very fond of his narration). His research is in-depth and quickly gets intertwined with his life. The Psychopath Test explores the hard-to-understandness of people who seem to be without humanity and our desperate desire to find a way to stop or cure them. I liked it a lot. Four stars.

When You Reach Me, Rebecca Stead (audio)
I’m going to file this under the sort of book that only seems impressive because it is a genre book hidden in the mainstream. It would get much less acclaim from people more familiar with fiction involving (spoiler) messages back through time. Like me. Or maybe I’m an old poop. One star.