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Rusty’s Reading List 2017

January 11, 2017
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mosquitocoast

I had previously seen the movie adaptation of this book, starring Harrison Ford. I liked it, but either I didn’t quite grasp the whole message or it was quite watered down from what was in the book. Actually, that latter is the case no matter whether the former is true or not.
I recently read the IMDB page for the movie and I saw people making comments that Allie Fox (played by Ford) was right.
Scary.
I don’t think anyone who read the book would say that. At least I hope not.

This book could be renamed ‘Mansplaining: The Novel’.

It is really about a man who is so convinced that he is right – always – that his whims become manias. He is absolute family dictator and then turns to absolute abuse before this is over. He is racist. He is a massive hypocrite as he decries the ‘modern’ world and then immediately tries to modernize the ‘savage’ world whenever he can. He lies constantly – to himself as much as anyone else.

Maybe Harrison Ford makes some benefit of doubt. Allie Fox does not.

By the end… the horrific end, if I being honest… it feels like a relief.

This is a good book, though it can be exhausting.

 

Books read in 2017

The Mosquito Coast – Paul Theroux
Guff Ink – Wes Ryan
Hurting God – Rita Ann Higgins


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Rusty’s Reading List 2017

January 7, 2017
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wes-ryan

 

Guff Ink is a chapbook by Wes Ryan that he gave me last year and has made its way to the top of my reading pile. This one is interesting because unlike a lot of chapbooks by Spoken Word artists, I did not immediately hear Wes’ voice when  I started reading it.  That is because the work here is quite different (at least to start, I recognized more near the end). The poems are shorter and many have some design elements in the way they are laid out that does not immediately make one think of ‘spoken word’.

This is good work, which should be no surprise. There is a depth and weight to Wes’ work without it feeling overwhelming. It does not assault the sense like some ‘trauma poetry’. It isn’t that. It has thought and caring.

Thanks Wes.

 

 

Books read in 2017

Guff Ink – Wes Ryan
Hurting God – Rita Ann Higgins


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Rusty’s Reading List 2017

January 1, 2017
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hurting-god

I started this in 2016 but finished it at about two in the morning on January 1st.

This got off to a rocky start for me due to, of all things, the introduction. It gave me a mental version of Higgins that was not too flattering, but when I read the book, it did not hold true.

This was a hit and miss book for me, with a lot of not resonating, but the strong parts were really strong. The combination of ‘A Future Pickled With Funerals’ and ‘Unadorned’ took my breath away. Powerful work.

 

Books read in 2017

Hurting God – Rita Ann Higgins


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Rusty’s Book of the Year 2016

January 1, 2017
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ocean_at_the_end_of_the_lane_us_cover

This was a tight race with Sheri-D Wilson’s and Amal El-Mohtar’s books.

Ocean is a very deceptive piece of writing. On one hand it is a relatively simple fantasy story. On the other hand it deals with come complex issues of memory and self-determination. It is a book form a child’s point of view that barely hides some adult content.

Pardon the ocean run, but it is quite a deep book.

I also didn’t read a lot of good fiction this year, so it stands out.


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Rusty’s Comic of the Year 2016

January 1, 2017
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secretpath

 

The two volumes of March that I read would be strong candidates for this ‘award’ but Secret Path just resonated on every level. It is a powerful, moving story told in a very effective moving way. Gord Downie’s personal story also adds to it, but this is a great work regardless.

 

And it comes with an album of Downie performing his poems as songs.

 

Great, great work.


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Rusty’s Reading List 2016

December 29, 2016
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bombora

Photo Credit: Pearl Pirie

Emilie Zoey Baker is an Australian poet who featured at VERSeFest a couple of years ago. I picked up this book but it vanished into my to-read pile until now.

This book is a lot of fun. Baker often has that deceptive train-of-thought style that comes across as ‘easily’ written but hides well formulated and creative text. I especially like ‘Fuck You, Glee’ for that.

Good read.

 

Books Read in 2016

Bombora! – Emilie Zoey Baker
The Princess Bride – William Goldman
Oratorealis #2
A perimeter – rob mclennan
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood – Howard Pyle
Gypsy Guitar – David McFadden
Why Does My Placenta Smell Like Cranberries? – Nina Vuleta
0123456789 – Christian Bök
Touch the Donkey #10
Sex in Sevens – Pearl Pirie
The Key – Simon Toyne
Oratorealis #1
The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
The Pemmican Eaters – Marilyn Dumont
ARC Poetry Magazine #72
ARC Poetry Magazine #70
Out Of My League – Dirk Hayhurst
King Kong – rob mclennan
Manufacturing Consent – Edward S. Herman & Noam Chomsky
ARC Poetry Magazine #79
Mother Said {Poems} – Hal Sirowitz
7 Dollar Bill – Chris Gilpin & Sean McGarragle
Extreme Government Makeover – Ken Miller
Memoirs of an Occasional Superheroine – Valerie D’Orazio
The Claremont Review #46
Strangler Fig – Magpie Ulysses
All The Gold Hurts My Mouth – Katherine Leyton
Live Animal – Johnny MacRae
The Serial Killers Club – Jeff Povey
In A Springtime Instant – Milton Acorn
The British Museum is Falling Down – David Lodge
True Grit – Charles Portis
The Diamond Age – Neal Stephenson
Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution – Alix Olson (ed.)
Blue Marrow – Louise Bernice Halfe
Open Letter: Woman Against Violence Against Women – Sheri-D Wilson
Yummy Mummy – Erin Dingle
Peter F. Yacht Club #22
If These Streets Are Haunted… – Magpie Ulysses
The Honey Month – Amal El-Mohtar
Sunsets for Daydreamers – Megan Ann Ward
September – Brandon Wint & Ikenna Onyegbula


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Rusty’s Reading List 2016

December 27, 2016
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princessbride

Ar you a fan of The Princess Bride? Wonderfully schmaltzy and funny movie from the 80s starring Cary Elwes and Robin Wright? (Or, more likely you remember it as starring Mandy Patinkin and Andre the Giant.)

This is the book it was based off and even though I am one of those who think that Mandy and Andre stole the movie, after reading the book, I give full credit to Rob Reiner, because he made that wonderful and memorable movie out of this steaming pile of crap.

Wow, did I hate this book. Starting from the ‘insights’ into William Goldman from his intros (which are made up of a certain amount of ‘staying in character’, meaning I have no idea how much is real… I hope not a lot), where we are introduced to a writer who is a racist, body-shaming, homophobic misogynist.
Maybe that isn’t him, but the first and last admonitions on that list are certainly born out by the text of the book itself.

Even if you can ‘get past that’ (ugh), the book just isn’t very good. Remember the charming framing sequence in the movie? The framing of the book is just annoying.

Goldman is an established screenwriter and he wrote the screenplay to the movie so maybe writing a novel was just overreaching for him.

I will watch Princess Bride again. I won’t read this book again.

Books Read in 2016

The Princess Bride – William Goldman
Oratorealis #2
A perimeter – rob mclennan
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood – Howard Pyle
Gypsy Guitar – David McFadden
Why Does My Placenta Smell Like Cranberries? – Nina Vuleta
0123456789 – Christian Bök
Touch the Donkey #10
Sex in Sevens – Pearl Pirie
The Key – Simon Toyne
Oratorealis #1
The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
The Pemmican Eaters – Marilyn Dumont
ARC Poetry Magazine #72
ARC Poetry Magazine #70
Out Of My League – Dirk Hayhurst
King Kong – rob mclennan
Manufacturing Consent – Edward S. Herman & Noam Chomsky
ARC Poetry Magazine #79
Mother Said {Poems} – Hal Sirowitz
7 Dollar Bill – Chris Gilpin & Sean McGarragle
Extreme Government Makeover – Ken Miller
Memoirs of an Occasional Superheroine – Valerie D’Orazio
The Claremont Review #46
Strangler Fig – Magpie Ulysses
All The Gold Hurts My Mouth – Katherine Leyton
Live Animal – Johnny MacRae
The Serial Killers Club – Jeff Povey
In A Springtime Instant – Milton Acorn
The British Museum is Falling Down – David Lodge
True Grit – Charles Portis
The Diamond Age – Neal Stephenson
Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution – Alix Olson (ed.)
Blue Marrow – Louise Bernice Halfe
Open Letter: Woman Against Violence Against Women – Sheri-D Wilson
Yummy Mummy – Erin Dingle
Peter F. Yacht Club #22
If These Streets Are Haunted… – Magpie Ulysses
The Honey Month – Amal El-Mohtar
Sunsets for Daydreamers – Megan Ann Ward
September – Brandon Wint & Ikenna Onyegbula


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Rusty’s Reading List 2016

December 26, 2016
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ortorealis1-2

 

I finally read the second issue of Oratorealis cover to cover. (For some reason, I had mostly flipped over to page 72…. yes, I am in this one.)

This issue is another triumph. (Yes, I am biased. So what?)

Let me point some highlights for me: ‘Prayer for the Plaid Skirt’ by Chimwemwe Undi, ‘Brunch’ by Mike Johnston, and especially ‘3 Passengers on 1 Train’ by Stacey Forrester. It is creative and powerful.

When does issue 3 come out? (And when are submissions open?) 🙂

 

Books Read in 2016

Oratorealis #2
A perimeter – rob mclennan
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood – Howard Pyle
Gypsy Guitar – David McFadden
Why Does My Placenta Smell Like Cranberries? – Nina Vuleta
0123456789 – Christian Bök
Touch the Donkey #10
Sex in Sevens – Pearl Pirie
The Key – Simon Toyne
Oratorealis #1
The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
The Pemmican Eaters – Marilyn Dumont
ARC Poetry Magazine #72
ARC Poetry Magazine #70
Out Of My League – Dirk Hayhurst
King Kong – rob mclennan
Manufacturing Consent – Edward S. Herman & Noam Chomsky
ARC Poetry Magazine #79
Mother Said {Poems} – Hal Sirowitz
7 Dollar Bill – Chris Gilpin & Sean McGarragle
Extreme Government Makeover – Ken Miller
Memoirs of an Occasional Superheroine – Valerie D’Orazio
The Claremont Review #46
Strangler Fig – Magpie Ulysses
All The Gold Hurts My Mouth – Katherine Leyton
Live Animal – Johnny MacRae
The Serial Killers Club – Jeff Povey
In A Springtime Instant – Milton Acorn
The British Museum is Falling Down – David Lodge
True Grit – Charles Portis
The Diamond Age – Neal Stephenson
Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution – Alix Olson (ed.)
Blue Marrow – Louise Bernice Halfe
Open Letter: Woman Against Violence Against Women – Sheri-D Wilson
Yummy Mummy – Erin Dingle
Peter F. Yacht Club #22
If These Streets Are Haunted… – Magpie Ulysses
The Honey Month – Amal El-Mohtar
Sunsets for Daydreamers – Megan Ann Ward
September – Brandon Wint & Ikenna Onyegbula


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Rusty’s Reading List 2016

December 21, 2016
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Circle drawing the sketch. A vector illustration

This isn’t the new book by rob, it is a chapbook featuring the title poem from said book.

I find rob’s work to be challenging for me. I am not a ‘learned’ poetry aficionado, and came to poetry by way of spoken word, which tends to be much less opaque. It is easy to read rob’s stuff and not have a clue what it is he is talking about. As it is, I am not totally sure… but I will say this – when I finished reading it, I went right back to the front and read it again. That is not something I do often.

I think the Julie Carr quote to kick things off is the key. I think rob’s work isn’t meant to be ‘read’. It is meant to be studied.

 

Books Read in 2016

A perimeter – rob mclennan
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood – Howard Pyle
Gypsy Guitar – David McFadden
Why Does My Placenta Smell Like Cranberries? – Nina Vuleta
0123456789 – Christian Bök
Touch the Donkey #10
Sex in Sevens – Pearl Pirie
The Key – Simon Toyne
Oratorealis #1
The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
The Pemmican Eaters – Marilyn Dumont
ARC Poetry Magazine #72
ARC Poetry Magazine #70
Out Of My League – Dirk Hayhurst
King Kong – rob mclennan
Manufacturing Consent – Edward S. Herman & Noam Chomsky
ARC Poetry Magazine #79
Mother Said {Poems} – Hal Sirowitz
7 Dollar Bill – Chris Gilpin & Sean McGarragle
Extreme Government Makeover – Ken Miller
Memoirs of an Occasional Superheroine – Valerie D’Orazio
The Claremont Review #46
Strangler Fig – Magpie Ulysses
All The Gold Hurts My Mouth – Katherine Leyton
Live Animal – Johnny MacRae
The Serial Killers Club – Jeff Povey
In A Springtime Instant – Milton Acorn
The British Museum is Falling Down – David Lodge
True Grit – Charles Portis
The Diamond Age – Neal Stephenson
Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution – Alix Olson (ed.)
Blue Marrow – Louise Bernice Halfe
Open Letter: Woman Against Violence Against Women – Sheri-D Wilson
Yummy Mummy – Erin Dingle
Peter F. Yacht Club #22
If These Streets Are Haunted… – Magpie Ulysses
The Honey Month – Amal El-Mohtar
Sunsets for Daydreamers – Megan Ann Ward
September – Brandon Wint & Ikenna Onyegbula


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Rusty’s Comic Reading List 2016

December 17, 2016
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luke-cage

 

Marvel is kind of dumb. Netflix had a hit series based on Luke Cage yet virtually none of the Marvel Luke Cage collections are in print. Except this one, which reprints the full run of ‘Luke Cage, Hero for Hire’ (before it became ‘Luke Cage, Power Man’).

Maybe they are kind of embarrassed that the first black Marvel character to have on ongoing series was a big completely created by white men. (Except for Billy Graham, who was the inker sometimes and penciller sometimes).

This led to some embarrassing spots like when Steve Engelhard did not understand the offensiveness of the Yiddish word he had been told meant ‘black man’. Not quite.

That aside, this is quite a fun book. It is very much ‘of its time’ and as long as you read it that way, it works. It is pretty clear why Netflix updated the image while still using some of the same characters. Shades is there, but with a pretty stupid costume. Diamondback is there, though fairly minor. Black Mariah is super-offensive. Claire Temple was actually downgraded from a  doctor to a nurse (so that she can also be Night Nurse).

When the Netflix series comes back are they going to include Señor Muerte? Or is it Suerte? How about Big Ben Donovan? Doctor Doom?

“Where’s my money, honey?”

 

Comic Books Read in 2016

Marvel Masterworks: Luke Cage, Hero For Hire Vol. 1 (Goodwin / Engelhart / Tuska / Graham)
Fun Home (Bechdel)
Secret Path (Downie / Lemire)
Rob Malo’s Tibert Le Voyageur (Lamoureaux / Miranda)
Marvel Visionaries: Peter David – Incredible Hulk Vol. 3 (David / Purves)
Marvel Visionaries: Peter David – Incredible Hulk Vol. 2 (David / McFarlane / Larsen / Purves)
Marvel Visionaries: Peter David – Incredible Hulk Vol. 1 (David / McFarlane)
Punisher: Army of One (Ennis/Dillon/Palmiotti)
Punisher: Welcome Back Frank (Ennis/Dillon/Palmiotti)
Animal Man: Origin of the Species (Morrison / multiple artists)
Animal Man (Morrison / Truog / Halewood / Grummett)
The Wicked + The Divine Vol.2 – Fandemonium (Gillen / McKelvie / Wilson / Cowles)
Lumberjanes Vol.2 – Friendship To The Max (Stevenson / Ellis / Watters / Allen)
March Book Two (Lewis / Aydin / Powell)
Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 1 – Vader (Gillen / Larroca / Delgado)
March Book One (Lewis / Aydin / Powell)
Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 – Crushed (Wilson / Miyazawa / Bondoc)
Saga Vol. 5 (Vaughan / Staples)
Captain America: Winter Soldier Vol. 2 (Brubaker / Epting / Lark / Perkins)
Captain America: Winter Soldier Vol. 1 (Brubaker / Epting / Lark / Leon)
Step Aside, Pops – A Hark! A Vagrant Collection (Kate Beaton)
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 1 – Squirrel Power (North / Henderson)
The Wrenchies (Farel Dalyrimple)


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