Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What I read in 2014

Read a good bit in 2014.  My resolution a couple years back was to read (or listen) to an average of a book a week.  I think I finished around 48 in 2013.  Got to 51 in 2014.  A couple of factors played into this...around June I decided to re-read The Stand, while listening to A Dance with Dragons.  Each of those took me about a month.  Then, December became a clusterfuck during the freight train rumble from Thanksgiving to Christmas (I've been thumbing through both Kip Thorne's book about the Science of Interstellar and Cherie Priest's Fiddlehead all month).

Anyway, a month-by-month breakdown of what I read this year:


Outer Dark, by Cormac McCarthy (Dark and Beautiful.  Like a poem about a nightmare).
A Feast for Crows, by George R.R. Martin  (started in 2013, but finished in January)
The Alchemy of Stone, by Ekaterina Sedia
Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny, by Garrison Keillor
This is Where I Leave You, by Jonathan Tropper  (still need to see the flick...)


He Drank, and Saw the Spider, by Alex Bledsoe   (good one, from Alex....)
Alas, Babylon, by Pat Frank   (one of those I'd always meant to read....Twilight Zone-y)
Horns, by Joe Hill
Ted Williams: Biography of an American Hero, by Leigh Montville


Story of Civilization, part I:  Our Oriental Heritage, by Will Durant
Beyond Bartman, Curses & Goats: 105 reasons it's been 105 years, by Chris Neitzel
True Grit, by Charles Portis   (a re-read, but a great one)
Child of God, by Cormac McCarthy
Blackout, by Connie Willis


Crooked Little Vein, by Warren Ellis
I Never Met a Story I Didn't Like, by Todd Snider
Ganymede, by Cherie Priest
30 Tickets to Paradise, by Cody Kaufman
Sacre Blue, by Christopher Moore  (made me find a new appreciation for Moore)


Union 1812, by A.J. Languth
Trail of Tears, by John Ehle  (the one that got me into my family history research, this year)
Serpent of Venice, by Christopher Moore
Under the Bright Lights, by Daniel Woodrell


A Dance with Dragons, by George R.R. Martin
The Stand, by Stephen King


Flight, by Sherman Alexie
Sea of Poppies, by Amitav Ghosh
The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss


Marvel Comics: the Untold Story, by Sean Howe
Mr. Mercedes, by Stephen King
The Man Who Killed Richard III, by Susan Fern  (And I may have Kingslayer in my blood)
The Smoke at Dawn, by Jeff Shaara


Jam, by Yahtzee Croshaw  (maybe the most pleasant surprise of 2014)
Dixieland Delight, by Clay Travis
Night Film, by Marisha Pessl
Maplecroft, by Cherie Priest
Nightwoods, by Charles Frazier
Sandman Slim, by Richard Kadrey


Flood, by Andrew Vachss
Supergods, by Grant Morrison
Fuzzy Nation, by John Scalzi
South of the Pumphouse, by Les Claypool


Moonwalking with Einstein, by Joshua Foer  (A great recommendation by Teresa)
The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Graham
Rot & Ruin, by Jonathan Maberry
A Load of Hooey, by Bob Odenkirk
Nos4a2, by Joe Hill   (a re-read, because I upset Shyam when I let her read it...)


Kiln People, by David Brin  (my buddy Steve recommended this one...was awesome!)
In the Woods, by Tana French
The Science of Interstellar, by Kip Thorne
Fiddlehead, by Cherie Priest

A quick note.

There were a couple aborted reads in 2014...one I won't go back to, and another I will.

I tried, for the second time, Bill Bryson's At Home.  I've liked Bryson in the past, but this one just kept alternating between boring and snotty.  I don't think I'll try it again.

The other was David Mitchell's Bone Clocks, which just wasn't striking me right.  I think I might go read a couple others of his before I go back to this one.....

Friday, December 12, 2014

Things Better than Chicken Wings to Yell About

I got yelled at about chicken wings today.

It's a long story that I can't really write about because I've agreed not to as a condition of employment.  Meet me out behind the Dairy Queen next Tuesday night, and while we pick through the Dumpster Leavins, I'll tell you the tale in all its hilarious glory in person.

Anyway.  If you find yourself yelling about chicken wings (a food sold by damn near every restaurant in town, as well as every other grocery store, by the way), you really just need to realize that you're the asshole.  Chicken wings are a stupid thing to yell about.   I have taken the time to make short (and by no means exhaustive) list of things better to yell about than chicken wings:

  • War
  • Pestilence
  • Famine
  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • Agism
  • Deism
  • Atheism
  • Christmas
  • Christmas Music
  • Christmas Decorations
  • The complete lack of Kwanzaa decorations at my store.
  • The complete lack of WWE Royal Rumble memorabilia at my store.
  • Monkeys stealing your shit
  • Monkees stealing your shit (especially that fuckwit Peter Tork).
  • That thing where one nostril is clear, but the other congested
  • The fact that Jon Lester, if he averages 115 pitches a game, over 32 starts, if you break it down by pitches, will make what I make after 7 pitches next year.
  • Bears in the house.
  • Wolves in the house..
  • Pigs in the house.
  • Birds in the house
  • Bats in the house
  • Bugs in the house
  • When somebody doesn't replace the toilet paper in the rest room.
  • When the elastic on the boxers wears out, and they slink down inside your pants, held in place only by the pants crotch
  • People who don't use their turn signal
  • People who take forever to turn right off of a road
  • People who don't utilize the shoulder in such occasions.
  • The fact that Dwyane Wade spells his name that way
  • The fact that Guacamole Doritos will never come back.
  • Some people are pushing for the DH in the National League
  • Hats
  • Bats
  • Cats
  • Brats (the sobbing children, and whatnot)
  • Brats (the sausage)
  • The fact that I can't get Chicken Korma delivered to my house.
  • Couples who share facebook accounts
  • Husbands who post on their wife's Facebook account.
  • Bear in your house
  • Bear in your car
  • Bear in your shower
  • Bear under the sink
  • Bear in the commode
  • Toilet Snakes
  • Ebola
  • Legionnaires Disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Leprosy
  • Lepropepsi
  • The fact that King Kong Bundy isn't in the WWE Hall of Fame
  • The fact that Koko B. Ware is.
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Mike Tyson
  • Milton Bradley
  • Pete Rose
  • My damnable crush on the Wendy's girl
  • The mere suggestion that Seth Rogen should play me in a movie
  • the University of Alabama
  • Blueberry Frosted Mini Wheats (I was actually yelled at about these, too)
Yelled at.  

I'm not exaggerating.

Who yells at a stranger about cereal?  Or wings?
Who does that?