Saturday, August 31, 2013

Four more books to my reading challange


1.      Mornings Like This: Found Poems by Annie Dillard
Mornings Like This is one of the most interesting collections of poetry I have ever encountered. The author describes the poems within the collection as “instead of presenting whole texts as ‘found,’ [this volume] offers poems built from bits of broken text. The poems are original as poems’ their themes and their orderings are invented. Their sentences are not. Their sentences come from the books name. I lifted them. Sometimes I dropped extra words; I never added a word.” The books she found or lifted the poems from range from New Testament Apocrypha to nature books, grammar handbooks to the letters of Van Gogh. And while I will admit that there are a few duds in the collection, most of the poems are stunning and quite brilliant. The new meanings unearthed when the sentences are rearranged are lovely, heartbreaking, and beautiful. I highly recommend this volume of poetry for anyone interested in poetry or the style of Annie Dillard (it’s remarkable how her style even comes through when she is using other people’s words…). July-August 2013.

2.      Superboy: Volume 2, Extraction by Scott Lobdell, Tom DeFalco, R.B. Silva, and Rob Lean
I am a huge fan of the Superman franchise. So I have been following the new 52 storylines, even with all the sexism going on there (that’s enough for another post, but simply search “New 52 controversy” and you’ll find out what’s going on). So anyway, Superboy is a clone of Superman and a mysterious human (spoiler alert: most likely Lex Luthor). This incarnation of Superboy is very melodramatic, but not too much to turn me away. The problem with the second volume collection is that the Superboy series is tied in so closely with Teen Titans and Legion Lost that there were a lot of cross-over stories making this volume confusing as hell as a standalone story. In order to get the complete tale I’d need to get Teen Titans and Legion Lost and frankly I’m not interested in the story enough to do that. August 2013.

3.      Supergirl: Volume 2, Girl in the World by Michael Green, Mike Johnson, and Mahmud Asrar
This treatment of Supergirl isn’t as sexist as others (just search “Powergirl costume” and you’ll see what I mean), but it’s not without its faults. Her costume is a bathing suit, and with blonde hair and blue eyes she’s more of a sex symbol than action hero. How is her skin tight bathing suit with cape supposed to be Kryptonian armor? All someone would need to do is aim at her legs and she’d be a goner. The story is decent, but is full of the fish out of water tropes as Supergirl is trying to get adjusted to life on earth. It’s decent, but not anything special. August 2013.

4.      At Home in Mitford (Number 1 in the Mitford Years series) by Jan Karon
My mother and grandmother LOVED this series. If you know my mom or knew my grandmother, that’d be enough of a review. The book series follows an Episcopal priest, Father Tim, as he struggles with turning sixty, diabetes, new love in his neighbor, balancing his personal life and ministry, and deals with the craziness of small town parish ministry. The book is full of cheesy moments, and the whole town of Mitford is a self-professed love of the pastoral genre, the town being practically a paradise with no crime (except for outsiders that later find Jesus and repent), no significant illnesses (except for the rector who has to learn to manage diabetes), and rich parishioners that see to the church’s financial needs, even gifting the church a heft multi-million dollar sum to build a new nursing home. Having spent much of my life in rural congregations, the whole thing just seemed to fake and idealistic for me to really enjoy (and also full of pietistic theology, which gets on my nerves). The characters are compelling though, which tempts me to at least consider reading the second in the Mitford Years series. August 2013.

Currently Reading
Under the Dome: A Novel by Stephen King
Three Treatises from the Edition of Luther’s Works by Martin Luther, various translators
When I was a Child I Read Books: Essays by Marilynne Robinson

Up Next
Doctor Who Shada: The Lost Adventure by Douglas Adams by Gareth Roberts
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Apocalypse Now and Then: A Feminist Guide to the End of the World by Catherine Keller


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