Coach of Alva's 2022 Roots

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Coach of Alva's 2022 Roots

1Coach_of_Alva
dec 31, 2021, 9:29 pm

My modest 2022 goals are:
Minimum 25
Audiobook 1 a month
Book 1 a month
Comic collection 1 a month
Magazine 1 a month

2cyderry
dec 31, 2021, 11:08 pm

Glad you're back!

3connie53
jan 1, 2022, 3:47 am

Hi David, Happy New Year and good to see you back with the ROOTers.

4Jackie_K
jan 1, 2022, 6:18 am

Welcome back, happy new year!

5rabbitprincess
jan 1, 2022, 10:41 am

Welcome back and good luck with your goals!

6Coach_of_Alva
jan 1, 2022, 12:31 pm

>3 connie53: I hope to enjoy my reading this year. Happy New Year!

7Coach_of_Alva
jan 1, 2022, 12:32 pm

>5 rabbitprincess: Thank you. I wish the same for you.

8Coach_of_Alva
jan 1, 2022, 12:32 pm

>2 cyderry: Glad to be back! I hope we both have a good year.

9connie53
jan 1, 2022, 1:15 pm

Thanks, David! Enjoy!

10rocketjk
jan 3, 2022, 2:42 pm

Happy reading in 2022!

11MissWatson
jan 4, 2022, 5:27 am

Welcome back and happy reading!

12Coach_of_Alva
jan 4, 2022, 12:31 pm

>10 rocketjk: Same to you!

13Coach_of_Alva
jan 4, 2022, 12:32 pm

>11 MissWatson: Thank you. I hope you have a good reading year, too.

14Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: feb 18, 2022, 12:54 am


1) Title THOSE ACROSS THE RIVER
Author CHRISTOPHER BUEHLMAN
Berkley, 2011 - Ebook - 351 pages - Horror -
Date Finished 2021-01-08 Rating ****


Buehlman uses familiar horror tropes – heirs moving to an inheritance, urban sophisticates moving to a small town, Yankees moving to the South, the continuing judgment on slavery, and, last but not least, werewolf lore – to create a surprisingly fresh novel. I found the two main characters made the novel: a philandering former college professor/nightmare-haunted veteran and his lover and, eventually, bride, a beautiful woman who is committed to him without losing any of her own identity. Their fight against the consequences of their inheritance, and the town’s abandonment of a tradition, creates a story that is exciting, horrific, moving, and somehow believable.

15Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: feb 18, 2022, 12:53 am


2) Title THE PHARSALIA
Author LUCAN - Reader CHARLTON GRIFFIN - Translator J D DUFF
Audio Connoisseur, 2017 - Audiobook - 10 hours 39 min - Epics -
Date Completed 2021-01-09 - Rating ****


I have always been a fan of Julius Caesar and enjoyed reading how he put those effete and parasitic senators in their place. I didn’t much attention to the views of the other side. I have now heard them, and through an unexpected source. I learned through some algorithm that a poet named Lucan turned the history of the Civil War into an epic poem on the scale of Homer and Virgil. I thought at first (hoped? Expected?) that he had been forced to commit suicide at the age of 25 because the chief critic of the day, Nero, took exception to his take on his ancestor. According to Wikipedia, though, it seems that the youth was part of the conspiracy of 65 AD.

Lucan never lets his reader forget that everything Julius Caesar did, from the Rubicon onwards, was illegal and, therefore, tyrannical. He doesn’t make Pompey come alive as a worthy opponent, despite referring to him as Magnus, spending a book on his death, underlining the nobility of his widow, etc. Caesar’s true antagonist is Cato the Younger, the embodiment of every virtue the old Romans admired. He becomes more than a marble model in book nine, where he is shown holding an army together after Pompey’s defeat and murder and setting so impressive an example of duty and self-control that a dying soldier would feel ashamed to groan in his presence. I was especially impressed that Cato felt that his patrician values made him feel bound to demand nothing of his men that he wouldn’t do.

Lucan has many great set pieces: an official protected the treasury while letting the state go to heck; a Roman trying to learn his fate from the oracle at Delphi; Pompey’s unworthy son consulting a Thessalian witch before the climatic battle; Caesar crossing the sea at night during a storm; Cato marching his men through the snakes of the Libyan desert. Lucan was in the middle of describing another one, Caesar’s embattlement at Alexandria, when he was forced to end his work and his life.

Lucan, like Homer especially, provided bloody battle descriptions, most effectively in the siege of Massilia, where he provides all the action a movie could desire. I wish I thought that the court poet had seen a battle himself. Lucan also provides many lessons in geography. I wished that I had made attention to them better. I had to wonder what living under Nero and treating this subject did to his soul. One character, after Pompey’s defeat, snarled that Chance, not Justice, ruled the world. I wondered if he believed that.

A great listen, thanks again to that perfect reader of classical texts, the organ-voiced Charlton Griffin.

16MissWatson
jan 10, 2022, 3:52 am

>15 Coach_of_Alva: Thank you for putting this on my radar, it looks fascinating!

17Coach_of_Alva
jan 11, 2022, 7:53 pm

>16 MissWatson: You're welcome.

18Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: feb 18, 2022, 12:50 am


3) Title DAREDEVIL BY BENDIS AND MALEEV ULTIMATE COLLECTION. VOLUME 3.
Writer BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS - Artist ALEX MALEEV
Marvel, 2013 - Ebook - 450 pages - Superhero
Date Completed 2021-01-16 Rating *****


Bendis says in the epilogue to this collection that he told the editors at Marvel that his plan for his run was to expose Daredevil’s secret identity as blind lawyer Matt Murdock at the beginning, and to put in jail at the end. Which is what he did. In the meanwhile, he wrote scenes that read like screenplays for the Marvel series. In the storylines collected here, the best is “Decalogue,” which has our hero, unmasked, attended a support group meeting in a church, said support group being for people whose lives were impacted by Daredevil. Maleev in the earlier collections created iconic portraits of some of Daredevil’s greatest foes, and his work continued strong here.

One thing had me wondering. I have no doubt that any comic writer worth his salt could figure out a way to get Matt Murdock out of jail, but how could anyone rehabilitate the status of superheroes, since a driving premise of this run is that Daredevil’s vigilantism is illegal?

19Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: feb 18, 2022, 12:49 am


4) B.P.R.D. HELL ON EARTH VOLUME 1
Story by MIKE MIGNOLA and JOHN ARCUDI – New World, Seattle, Gods art by GUY DAVIS – Monsters and Russia art by TYLER CROOK – An Unmarked Grave art by DUNCAN FEGREDO – Colors by DAVE STEWART
Dark Horse Books, 2017 - Ebook - 443 pages - Paranormal
Date Completed 2021-01-22 Rating ****1/5


The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense ended the Plague of Frogs in its first series, only to create a greater menace in its wake. The planet is now fighting monsters who are crawling out of places no one could anticipate. I got the feeling of Rome try to fend off the barbarians. Our heroes, like good Romans, are fighting on.

They consist of Dr. Kate Corrigan, the human who runs the agency, Abe Sapien, a fish-man, Panya, a resuscitated mummy, and Johann Kraus, a German medium existing as a spirit in a suit. Liz Sherman, the fire starter who made everything worse, is hiding out in a trailer park. Ben Daimo, whose lycanthropic alter-ego slaughtered many of his comrades, is hiding out in the Canadian wilderness. Two new characters are added: Fenix Espejo, a homeless teenage psychic, and Iosif Nichayko, a reanimated corpse who runs the Russian version of the BPRD.

This sounds like it would be a depressing read, and the feeling of apocalyptic doom is always present. That doesn’t mean that our characters have lost their decency or courage. Also, the action scenes are as exciting as they are gory. They are unpredictable, too, for the writers don’t equip their characters with plot armor. As for the artists, Guy Davis was great at designing monsters and as mentioned, drawing action, but his characters looked like they were born in Innsmouth. Tyler Crook draws his characters in a slightly cartoony style, but at least he uses more than one head shape.

20Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: feb 20, 2022, 12:00 pm


5) B.P.R.D. HELL ON EARTH VOLUME 2
Created by MIKE MIGNOLA – The Devil’s Engine and The Return of the Master / story by MIKE MIGNOLA and JOHN ARCUDI; art by TYLER CROOK – The Long Death / story by MIKE MIGNOLA and JOHN ARCUDI; art by JAMES HARREN – The Pickens County Horror / story by MIKE MIGNOLA and SCOTT ALLIE; art by JASON LATOUR – The Transformation of J. H. O’Donnell / story by MIKE MIGNOLA and SCOTT ALLIE; art by MAX FIUMARA – The Abyss of Time / story by MIKE MIGNOLA and SCOTT ALLIE; art by JAMES HARREN – Colors by DAVE STEWART
Dark Horse Books, 2018 - Ebook - 474 pages - Paranormal
Date Completed 2021-01-28 Rating ****1/5


The postapocalyptic horror comic series barrels ahead with one harrowing escape story, one tragic ending, a vampire tale, a Hellboy tale (yea!), a caveman story that Edgar Rice Burroughs or Robert Howard could have written, and the terrifying revival of an old B.P.R.D. enemy. I liked the use of fresh writers and artists.

21Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: feb 20, 2022, 11:57 am


6) THE GREEK PLAYS
Sixteen plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.
New translations edited by Mary Lefkowitz and James Romm
Modern Library, 2016 -- 826 pages – Print – Drama --
Date Finished 2022-02-02 -- Rating *****

CONTENTS:
AESCHYLUS: Persians / translated by James Romm – The Oresteia: Agamemnon; The Libation Bearers; The Eumenides / translated by Sarah RudenPrometheus Bound / translated by James Romm.
SOPHOCLES: Oedipus the King; Antigone / translated by Frank Nisetich -- Electra / translated by Mary LefkowitzOedipus at Colonus / translated by Frank Nisetich.
EURIPIDES: Alcestis; Medea; Hippolytus / translated by Rachel KitzingerElectra; Trojan Women; Helen; The Bacchae / translated by Emily Watson.


I like this solid anthology of and introduction to Athenian tragedy. I know that the literary qualities were much reduced in translation, but I could tell how beautiful the originals might be from the English versions. I welcomed the deep ideas suggested by the plays but appreciated the authors of the translations and closing essays pointing out what the deep ideas were not present, i.e., Antigone is not a proto-libertarian, Medea was not jealous of a younger woman but furious at Jason’s breaking of his word. I like that the plays were still great entertainment: the suspense in Agamemnon, Oedipus, and Medea; the happy endings in Alcestis and Helen; the shocking, liberating blasphemy of Prometheus; the strong women; the gory violence; the angry speeches.

22Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: feb 20, 2022, 12:04 pm


7) B.P.R.D. HELL ON EARTH Volume Three
Stories by MIKE MIGNOLA and JOHN ARCUDI – Wasteland / art by LAURENCE CAMPBELL; A Cold Day in Hell / art by PETER SNEJBJERG; Lake of Fire / art by TYLER CROOK – The Reign of the Black Flame / art by JAMES HARREN --
Dark Horse Books, 2018 - Ebook - 415 pages – Paranormal –
Date Completed 2022-02-06 - Rating ****


I learned how the B.P.R.D. storyline ended as I was reading this anthology and I was depressed enough to discontinue reading the series in spite. I persevered and I am glad. If I had stopped, I wouldn’t have seen B.P.R.D. agents traveling on horseback, Liz Sherman battling a madman in a hospital, Fenix Espejo nesting next to a cult worshiping a giant monster egg, and battles in frozen Russia and Black Flame-occupied New York.

23Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: feb 20, 2022, 12:05 pm


8) B.P.R.D. HELL ON EARTH Volume Four
The Devil’s Wings / story by MIKE MIGNOLA and JOHN ARCUDI; art by LAURENCE CAMPBELL – The Broken Equation / story by MIKE MIGNOLA and JOHN ARCUDI; art by JOE QUERIO – Grind / story by MIKE MIGNOLA and JOHN ARCUDI; art by TYLER CROOK – Flesh and Stone / story by MIKE MIGNOLA and JOHN ARCUDI; art by JAMES HARREN – Exorcism / story by MIKE MIGNOLA and CAMERON STEWART; art by CAMERON STEWART – The Exorcist / MIKE MIGNOLA, CAMERON STEWART, and CHRIS ROBERSON; art by MIKE NORTON
Dark Horse Books, 2018 - Ebook - 409 pages - Paranormal -
Date Completed 2022-02-15 - Rating *****


I have recovered from learning the ending of the Hellboy/B.P.R.D. saga enough to enjoy these stories, which include a teenage Hellboy tale, a kaiju tale, a slice-of-life tale, a hero vs. monster tale, and, best of all, a long tale about a young lesbian agent who discovers abilities as an exorcist. This latter series reminded me of the good old days of Hellboy.

24Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: feb 18, 2022, 12:44 am

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25Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: feb 23, 2022, 12:54 am


9) Title AL CAPONE: HIS LIFE, LEGEND, AND LEGACY
Author DEIRDRE BAIR - Reader ROB SHAPIRO - Random House Audio, 2016 - Digital Audiobook – 16 hrs, 9 min - True Crime, Biography - Date Completed 2022-02-22 - Rating ****

Ms. Bair's biography of Al Capone uses recollections of the surviving members of the gangster's family. Her unique take on the mans emphasizes the family man, the celebrity, and the legend over the criminal. The result is a work with much interesting new material and fresh insights, though unbalanced.

26connie53
mar 5, 2022, 5:38 am

Hi David, I've been away from LT Threads for a while. Too much going on in my life the last months. I see you are still going strong with your reading.

27BrookeDevaney
mar 5, 2022, 6:19 am

Detta konto har stängts av för spammande.

28Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: apr 6, 2022, 10:00 pm


10) Title HOUSES UNDER THE SEA: MYTHOS TALES
Author CAITLIN R. KIERNAN - Subterranean Press, 2018 - 613 pages - Ebook - Dark Fantasy -
Date Finished 2022-03-22 - Rating *****

This is a collection of thirty tales that Caitlin Kiernan wrote that were derived from the mythology created by H. P. Lovecraft. Kiernan was inspired especially by “Pickman’s Model,” “The Shadow over Innsmouth,” and the Dreamlands stories. I liked the last influence because I too think that his fantasy stories deserve more attention. I subscribe to Kiernan’s e-zine “Sirenia Digest” and had read many of these tales before. I did panic at the beginning when I found one story that I’d loved on first reading now seemed melodramatic and overblown. Fortunately, the others equaled or surpassed my remembrance of them.

29Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: apr 22, 2022, 1:57 am


11) Title HOUSES UNDER THE SEA: MYTHOS TALES Author CAITLIN R. KIERNAN - Readers CHELSEA STEVENS, TAVIA GILBERT, NEIL HELLEGERS, SUZANNE TOREN, KEVIN KENERLY, LAUREN EZZO, XE SANDS, BRONSON PINCHOT, ROBERT FASS - Blackstone Publishing, 2018 -
Digital Audiobook - 21 hrs 5 min – Dark Fantasy -
Date Completed 2022-03-22- Rating ****

I was put off by the reading of the first few stories, finding them grating to my taste. Fortunately, the readers improved as the stories did, ending up creating an audiobook that did the print version justice.

30Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: apr 6, 2022, 10:14 pm


12) Title B.P.R.D. HELL ON EARTH
Volume Five Stories by MIKE MIGNOLA and JOHN ARCUDI – Nowhere, Nothing, Never / art by PETER SNEJBJERG; Modern Prometheus / art by JULIAN TOTINO TEDESCO; End of Days, and, Cometh the Hour / art by LAURENCE CAMPBELL – Dark Horse Books, 2019 - Ebook - 416 pages – Paranormal - Date Completed 2022-03-23 -- Rating *****

I put off reading this last volume in the series because I knew it would end in the death of at least two beloved characters. No matter. They died as they lived, well. I may take a while to get to the series that ends the Hellboy universe, the one in which everyone fails and dies. I doubt I will find it inspiring or entertaining.

31Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: apr 22, 2022, 1:57 am


13) Title ALEXANDER THE GREAT
Author PHILIP FREEMAN
Reader MICHAEL PAGE
2011 - Digital Audiobook – 12 hrs 34 min – Ancient History -
Date Completed 2022-04-19 - Rating ****

Philip Freeman has here provided a popular biography of Alexander that makes is accessible to a public library audience without offending a snob. He said he was writing a narrative, not an analysis, and he does. One odd effect is that the reader seems to connect with Alexander the royal tourist as the Macedonian rube arrives at the great Eastern cities and gapes at their wonders.
Freeman judges him by the standards of his time and doesn’t find him better or worse morally. The standards of the time, it is understood, included destroying the lives, often literally, of thousands of civilians who trying to live their lives. What was exceptional about him was his genius as a general, his ambition, and his impact. Freeman surprised me twice when discussing the latter. He believes that Greek culture might have been another cultural backwater if Alexander hadn’t spread it as a military necessity. (Freeman trucks no nonsense about Alexander the cultural ambassador.) And he believes that Christianity couldn’t have spread throughout the Roman Empire if the use of “Alexander’s Greek” hadn’t been widespread.

32Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: apr 22, 2022, 2:06 am


14) Title THE KING IN YELLOW
Author ROBERT H. CHAMBERS
Reader STEFAN RUDNICKI, with GABRIELLE DE CUIR
2014 - Digital Audiobook – 7 hrs 37 min – Horror, Short Stories -
Date Completed 2022-04-21 - Rating ***1/2
CONTENTS: The repairer of reputations -- The mask -- In the court of the dragon -- The yellow sign -- The Demoiselle Dy's -- The prophet's paradise -- The street of the four winds -- The street of the first shell -- The street of Our Lady of the Fields -- Rue Baree.

This short story collection, originally published in 1895, is famous for the first four stories, which are not only for being fine tales in their own right, but for their influence on later writers, such as H. P. Lovecraft and the creator of True Detective. Chambers used Ambrose Bierce's land of Carcosa and added a new trope, concerning an evil book that destroys readers by connecting them to hidden and malign forces. Stefan Rudnicki read the stories in his usual strong, authoritative voice, surprising me by his lively renditions of conversations, which made me wonder if I was listening to a cast recording, and his handling of women's voices, which never grated.

33Coach_of_Alva
maj 1, 2022, 8:51 pm


15) Title GRANT Author RON CHERNOW
2017 - 1074 pages - Ebook – Civil War -
Date Finished 2022-04-27 -- Rating ****1/2

Chernow adds this biography to the growing list of 21st century works on Grant that (usually) tend to restore his place as a great American, a great general, and, at least, a better president than he has been given credit. I was impressed by Grant's determination and courage, his surprisingly contemporary views on race, and his sound ideas on money, international arbitration, and Indian policy.
I was astonished again at his gullibility. The poor man was, if I remember correctly, swindled of his savings three times before he left the military in the 1850s. He was betrayed by his closest friends while he was President. He and his family were swindled one last time after he left office, forcing the old soldier to write his memoirs while he was dying painfully of throat cancer. A great American, for sure.

34Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: maj 1, 2022, 9:01 pm



16) Title HOUSE OF M Author BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS Penciler OLIVIER COPIEL
Marvel, 2017 - Ebook - 280 pages - Superhero -
Date Completed 2022-04-30 - Rating ****1/2

This is the famous and influential crossover epic where a crazed Scarlet Witch alters reality, with her new world having her fellow mutants - Homo Superior - in charge over their successors and former oppressors - Homo Sapiens. The world-building is brilliant, the characterization is sharp and on point, the plot is predictable, perhaps, save for the Witch's final curse.

35Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: maj 30, 2022, 7:09 pm



17)
TITLE Children of the Night
AUTHOR Dan Simmons
PUB DATES 2012, original 1992
SERIES Seasons of Horror
SIZE 467 pages
FORMAT Ebook
GENRE Horror
COMPLETED 2022-05-14
RATING ***1/2


A woman immunologist, with the aid of a priest, is determined to rescue her adopted baby from a secret society of vampires operating in post-Communist Romania, lead by none other than the original Vlad Tepes.

Simmons makes his tale plausible enough by his description of the physical setting and political and cultural woes of a country ravaged by tyranny, greed, and stupidity. He tries to make vampirism plausible by describing the biology of a vampire in long, incomprehensible, no doubt accurate, medical jargon. His ending is over-the-top but entertaining and satisfying.

36Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: maj 30, 2022, 7:04 pm


18)
TITLE Batman and Son
WRITER Grant Morrison
ARTISTS Andy Kubert, J. H. Williamson II, Tony S. Daniel
PUBLISHER DC Comics
PUB DATES 2014, original 2006-08
FORMAT Ebook
SIZE 350 pages
GENRE Superhero
COMPLETED 2022-05-06
RATING ****

I know much about this series and thought I was going to read a tale about the Caped Crusader domesticating his son, who had been trained by assassins, into a worthy successor to the title of Robin. As it turned out, Damian was around for only the first tale in an anthology. The other stories, which had Batman surviving an "And Then There Was None" scenario and defeating a gang of Batman imitators, were good, so I shouldn't complain.

37Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: maj 30, 2022, 7:05 pm


19)
TITLE Uzumaki
STORY ART Junji Ito
PUBLISHER Viz Media
PUB DATES 2013, English original 2002
FORMAT Ebook
SIZE 658 pages
GENRE Horror
COMPLETED 2022-05-19
RATING *****

A teenage girl tells the harrowing story of how her small coastal town is destroyed by the appearances of spirals. What to the spirals appear as? Well, I remember pottery, corpses, scars, cremation ashes, star-crossed lovers, hair, springs (in a corpse), human snails, lighthouse steps, umbilical cords, and, in an unpublished issue, galaxies. In the climatic storyline, the spiral, as a storm, turns the town into an isolated post-apocalyptic hellscape in its image. Somehow, amid this, pregnant women and then their babies become vampires. Ito the writer came up with brilliant variations on his theme, while Ito the artist came up with some visuals that would have ruined my life if I had seen them as a child. I am, as an adult, impervious to them, but I will admit that this is a masterpiece of its genre.

38Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: jun 13, 2022, 2:38 am


20)
TITLE The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft:
Beyond Arkham
EDITOR Leslie S. Klinger
INTRODUCTION Victor Lavelle
PUB DATE 2019
SIZE 490 pages
FORMAT Print
GENRE Horror
FINISHED 2022-05-24
RATING ****1/2
CONTENTS The Tomb -- Polaris -- The Transition of Juan Romero -- The Doom That Came to Sarnath -- The Terrible Old Man -- The Cats of Ulthar -- Facts concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family -- The Temple -- Celephais -- From Beyond -- Ex Oblivione -- The Quest of Iranon -- The Outsider -- The Other Gods -- The Music of Erich Zann -- The Lurking Fear -- The Rats in the Walls -- Under the Pyramids -- The Shunned House -- The Horror at Red Hook -- He -- Cool Air -- The Strange High House in the Mist -- Pickman's Model -- The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath.

Editor Klinger, in this sequel, collects, edits, and provides interesting notes for the tales he left out of the original. As the subtitle indicates, he left out in the first volume the tales that didn’t involve Arkham. In this hodgepodge, he presents and annotates masterpieces, unappreciated gems, Lovecraft’s three valentines of hate to New York City, and Lovecraft’s “Dunsany” tales, cumulating in Randolph Carter’s dream quest. Klinger’s second anthology isn’t as good as the original simply because many of the stories aren’t as good, but fans like me need it.

39Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: jul 25, 2022, 12:31 am


21)
TITLE Velvet. Vol. 3, The Man Who Stole the World
WRITER Ed Brubaker
ARTIST Steve Epting
PUBLISHER Image Comics
PUB DATE 2016
FORMAT Ebook
SIZE 137 pages
GENRE Spy and Intrigue
COMPLETED 2022 05 27
RATING ***1/2

English spy Velvet Templeton ends her hunt for the traitors who murdered the man she loved in this period thriller. Brubaker and Epting, in the first two volumes of this series were reasonably realistic in their depiction of their heroine’s exploits. In this conclusion, they have Velvet swooping down on a speeding car like Batman and discovering the truth about the Watergate Scandal in the most outrageous manner imaginable. Well, it is a comic book, and Velvet is still a great heroine.

40Coach_of_Alva
maj 30, 2022, 7:55 pm


22)
TITLE Shiver: Selected Stories
STORY, ART Junji Ito
PUBLISHER Viz Media
PUB DATE 2017
FORMAT Ebook
SIZE 402 PAGES
GENRE Horror
COMPLETED 2022-05-30
RATING ****
CONTENTS Used RecordShiverFashion Model – Hanging Blimp – Marionette Mansion – PainterThe Long DreamHonored AncestorsGreased – Fashion Model: Cursed Frame.

Junji Ito presents an anthology of graphic stories with commentaries on how he got the ideas for them. (The last story is original.) He is good at literary concepts but much better at horrific images that will stick in your mind.

41connie53
jun 5, 2022, 7:12 am

Hi David. I've been neglecting the ROOTers for some time. Live, sunny days, babysitting the grandkids and doing volunteer work for the library at Lonne's school. And reading of course. Today is a rainy day with some thunderstrokes. A perfect Sunday for reading al those neglected threads.

I see you have read quit a lot of ROOTs. Keep it up!

42Coach_of_Alva
jun 13, 2022, 2:18 am

>41 connie53: I am. Thank you for the encouragement.

43Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: jul 1, 2022, 2:50 am



23)
TITLE The Underwater Welder
WRITER ARTIST Jeff Lemire
PUBLISHER Top Shelf Publications
PUB DATE 2012
FORMAT Ebook
LENGTH 216 pages
GENRES Literary
COMPLETED 2022-06-03
RATING *****
REVIEWS
The titular hero is a quiet, sad man dealing with the stress of becoming a father while dealing with the unprocessed pain of his father’s death. One day while working, he sees an object on the sea floor that sends him on a journey to his past. At the end, the reader is comforted by the thought that the hero has cleaned his wound and embraced his future. Lemire’s artwork is primitive, but it works, the issues starting in color before fading into black-and-white.

44Coach_of_Alva
jul 1, 2022, 2:52 am


24)
TITLE The Ghost in the Shell. Vol. i
WRITER ARTIST Shirow Masamune
PUBLISHER Kondasha Comics
PUB DATE 2016
ORIGINAL DATE 1991
FORMAT Ebook
LENGTH 366 pages
GENRES Science Fiction, Thrillers
COMPLETED 2022-06-11
RATING ***1/2
REVIEWS
The Major is a young female cyborg who leads a special ops unit in the future that battles technological crime. I encountered this story first in an anime feature which was a little dull but full of fascinating ideas and buoyed by a marvelous music soundtrack. When I began reading its source, this comic, I wondered if I was making a mistake, after I saw the major reacting to an order from a superior by sticking her tongue out. Fortunately, Masamune’s comic was better that its film adaptation, with intrigue, thrills, and just enough fan service to keep me interested while I was amazed at the potential and the perils of a technology that can merge with body and soul. Reading the afterword made my poor non-tech brain ache and melt.

45Coach_of_Alva
jul 1, 2022, 2:54 am


25)
TITLE Summer of Night
AUTHOR Dan Simmons
PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Griffin
PUB DATE 2011
ORIGINAL DATE 1911
FORMAT Ebook
LENGTH 611 pages
GENRES Horror
COMPLETED 2022-06-12
RATING *****
REVIEW
The author opens with a new introduction bemoaning the waning of the free-range childhoods he and others enjoyed in small towns in the middle of the last century. He writes wonderful scenes that make you experience the joys of that life. Alas, this is a horror novel, and he put his young heroes through the grinder (in one case, literally) as they try to save their town and themselves from an evil seeping from their soon-to-be demolished schoolhouse. Again, Simmons ends with a clash that is preposterous and great fun.

46Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: jul 1, 2022, 2:57 am


26)
TITLE The Book of Cthulhu: Tales Inspired by H. P. Lovecraft
EDITOR Ross E. Lockhart
READER Fleet Cooper, Teresa DeBarry
PUBLISHER Audible Library
PUB DATE 2013
FORMAT Digital Audiobook
DURATION 27 hours, 10 minutes
GENRES Horror
COMPLETED 2022-06-22
RATING ****
REVIEW
I think one personal sign that a story has become a classic is when I reread it in different anthologies. This was my third reading of Caitlin R. Kiernan’s “Andromeda Among the Ruins” and my second reading of Ramsey Campbell’s “The Tugging,” and Michael Shea’s “Fat Face,” and T.E.D. Klein’s “Black Man With a Horn.” The two stories that struck the deepest were David Drake’s “Than Curse the Darkness” and John Langan’s “The Shallows.” The former had heroes saving a world that perhaps didn’t deserve to be saved, and the latter suggested that the worst outcome of the awakening of Lovecraft’s gods would be survival. On the light side, Molly Tanser’s “The Infernal History of the Ivybridge Twins” and Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.’s “To Live and Die in Arkham” provided pastiches and Edward Morris’s “Jihad over Innsmouth,” Cherie Priest’s “Bad Sushi,” Steve Duffy’s ‘The Oram County Whoosit,” Joe R. Lansdale’s “The Crawling Sky,” and Laird Barron’s “The Men from Porlock” provided heroes who fight back more. This was a great anthology, and I can’t wait to read the next volume.

47Coach_of_Alva
jul 1, 2022, 2:59 am



27)
TITLE H. P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, Vols. 1 and 2
ADAPTER ARTIST Gou Tanabe
PUBLISHER Dark Horse Comics
PUB DATE 2019
ORIGINAL DATES 2016, 2017
FORMAT Print
LENGTH 288, 336 ages
GENRES Horror
COMPLETED 2022-06-29
RATING *****
REVIEWS
This was one of Lovecraft’s foundational tales, where he revealed the secrets of his Elder Gods to explorers who discover the ultimate ancient astronauts and the magnificent city they abandoned in Antarctica. I always thought it was a great work of imagination, but I didn’t share the narrator’s dread and horror, and despised his efforts to stop further exploration as an unmanly abandonment of his principles as a scientist. Now, in this manga adaptation, I don’t have to feel emotions from descriptions. Thanks to the sinister talent of Gou Tanabe, Japan’s Richard Pickman, I can see the land, the ruins, and the aliens, the Old Ones and their shoggoths. I at last can see why the narrator described them as blasphemous abnormalities and why he is afraid for him or anyone else to study them. A great achievement.

48connie53
jul 10, 2022, 11:03 am

Great job again, David. Summer of Night sounds intriguing.

49Coach_of_Alva
jul 10, 2022, 7:38 pm

>48 connie53: It is. I haven't read Stephen King's "The Body," but I think it inspired several horror writers to put their small town childhoods into their work. Dan Simmon's book, set in a small town in 1960 Illinois, was one. I'm reading another, Robert McCammon's "Boy's Life," set in a small town in Alabama in the 1960s, and it is also good. Simmon's book is more outrageous that I let on. I'll say that the ending is the wish fulfillment of more than one school child.

50connie53
jul 19, 2022, 9:33 am

>49 Coach_of_Alva: I put it on my wish list.

51Coach_of_Alva
jul 21, 2022, 1:11 am

52Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: jul 21, 2022, 1:15 am



28) TITLE Harrow County Omnibus 2
WRITER Cullen Bunn
ARTIST Tyler Crook
PUBLISHER Dark Horse
PUB DATE 2021
ORIGINAL DATES 2016-2018
FORMAT Ebook
LENGTH 408 pages
GENRES Horror
COMPLETED 2022-07-20
RATING *****
CONTENTS Issues 17-32
REVIEWS
Emmy Crawford, a well-intentioned young witch living in Appalachia knows no peace in these stories, as she must struggle against her best friend, her evil sister, and her monstrous mother. The stakes are high, but so is the quality of the storytelling and the art. An epic ending.

53Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: aug 7, 2022, 4:06 pm


29) TITLE Boy’s Life
AUTHOR Robert McCammon
PUB DATE 2011
ORIGINAL DATE 1991
FORMAT Ebook
SOURCE Amazon
LENGTH 627 pages
GENRES Horror, Fantasy, Thrillers, Coming-of-Age
COMPLETED 2022-08-07
RATING *****
REVIEW
Like Dan Simmons’ “Summer of Night” (set in rural Illinois), “Boy’s Life” is a novel by a horror writer that is based on the author’s childhood (1960s Alabama). McCammon has one scene where the boy protagonist listens to his small town’s sole author weep over having to ruin his novel about local life by being forced by his publisher to add material about a serial murderer. I wondered if McCammon’s publisher made him put something Gothic or otherwise outrageous in every chapter. I don’t really believe that, for everything here, including the strange material, seems heartfelt. A great read. I hated to finish it.

54Coach_of_Alva
aug 27, 2022, 12:39 am


30) TITLE Locke & Key, Vol. 2: Head Games
WRITER Joe Hill
ARTIST Gabriel Rodriguez
PUBLISHER IDW
PUB DATE 2009
FORMAT Print
SOURCE Science Fiction Book Club
LENGTH 160 pages
GENRES Horror
COMPLETED 2022-08-26
RATING ****

55Coach_of_Alva
sep 3, 2022, 1:53 am


31) TITLE The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1,001 Nights. Volume 2
INTRODUCTION Robert Unwin
TRANSLATORS Malcolm Lyons, Ursula Lyons
PUB DATE 2010
FORMAT Ebook
SOURCE Amazon
LENGTH 890 pages
GENRES Folklore
COMPLETED 2022-08-26
RATING *****

56Coach_of_Alva
sep 3, 2022, 1:55 am


32) TITLE Hell’s Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men
AUTHOR Harold Schechter
PUB DATE 2018
FORMAT Ebook
SOURCE Amazon
LENGTH 335 pages
GENRES True Crime
COMPLETED 2022-08-26
RATING *****

57Coach_of_Alva
sep 9, 2022, 12:25 am


33) TITLE Adrift on the Haunted Seas: The Best Short Stories of William Hope Hodgson
AUTHOR William Hope Hodgson
EDITOR Douglas A. Anderson
PUB DATE 2005
FORMAT Print
SOURCE Gift
LENGTH 288 pages
GENRES Horror
COMPLETED 2022-09-07
RATING ***1/2
CONTENTS On the Bridge -- The Voice in the Night -- Verse: Grey Seas Are Dreaming of My Death -- Out of the Storm -- The Voice in the Dawn -- The Haunted Jarvee -- From the Tideless Sea (Part 1) -- From the Tideless Sea (Part 12) -- The Derelict -- The Wild Man of the Sea -- Verse: The Place of Storms -- The Haunted Pampero -- An Adventure of the Deep Waters -- Demons of the Sea -- Through the Vortex of a Cyclone -- The Finding of the Graiken -- A Tropical Horror -- Verse: Thou Living Sea -- The Mystery of the Derelict -- The Stone Ship -- The Shamraken Homeward-Bounder -- Verse: Farewell.

58connie53
sep 16, 2022, 10:34 am

Hi David. It seems like you have reached your goal, Great job and Congrats!

59Coach_of_Alva
sep 26, 2022, 10:18 pm

>58 connie53: Thank you. I have enjoyed reading more this year than I have in a while.

60Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: sep 27, 2022, 12:01 pm


34) TITLE Atlas Era Strange Tales Masterworks Vol. 1
WRITER Various writers
ARTIST Various artists
PUBLISHER Marvel
PUB DATE 2007
ORIGINAL DATES 1951
FORMAT Ebook
SOURCE Amazon/Comixology
LENGTH 273 pages
GENRES Horror
COMPLETED 2022-09-25
RATING ***
SUMMARY A collection from a horror comic series published by the company that eventually retitled itself as Marvel Comics.
CONTENTS Strange Tales #1-10

61Coach_of_Alva
Redigerat: dec 20, 2022, 11:35 pm


35) TITLE The Iliad
AUTHOR Homer
TRANSLATOR Barry Powell
PUB DATE 2013
FORMAT Ebook
LENGTH 624 pages
GENRES Poetry, Epics
COMPLETED 2022-12-12
RATING ****
REVIEW The basic story is great and largely invulnerable to misjudgments. Barry Powell provided maps, illustrations from Greek antiquities, and notes that dared to point out Homer’s mistakes. I was distracted by the strange choices he made in his translation, the most distracting being his use of “goatskin fetish” instead of “aegis.”

62Coach_of_Alva
dec 20, 2022, 11:36 pm


36)TITLE Monstress Volume 7
WRITER Liu, Marjorie M.
ARTIST Takeda, Sana
PUBLISHER Image
PUB DATE 2022
FORMAT Ebook
LENGTH 173 pages
GENRES Dark Fantasy
COMPLETED 2022-12-16
RATING ***
SUMMARY Maika and her symbiote Zinn are captives of the Dusk Court. The Halfwolf is in a coma while evil scientists plot to remove her powers and her friends try to save her.
REVIEWS The previous volumes provides jailbreaks, sea voyages, grim battles and sieges, betrayal by parents and friends, and many strange characters in a wonderful world. This volume takes place largely inside the haunted house of Maika’s mind. I have trouble making sense of it and spent my time wondering when the heck she was going to wake up and start the action again.

63connie53
dec 22, 2022, 9:01 am

Hi David, Happy Holidays and all the best for 2023.

Hope to see you next year too.

64Coach_of_Alva
dec 23, 2022, 1:17 pm

>63 connie53: You will! Happy Holidays.

65connie53
dec 24, 2022, 1:41 pm

>64 Coach_of_Alva: Good to hear, David!