Thursday, January 4, 2018

Reading Challenge Review (2017) and Preview (2018)

Here's the results from my personal 2017 reading challenge. I managed to get everything in except Seven Pillars of Wisdom, which I am in the middle of right now. It's a big book and will be finished in the new year.

Great men
  • English Catholic Heroes edited by John Jolliffe--a companion volume to English Catholic Heroines from last year. Reviewed here!
  •  Medieval People: Vivid Lives in a Distant Landscape by Michael Prestwich--a Christmas present! Reviewed here!
  • Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick--Reviewed here!
  • Fearless: Stories of the American Saints by Alice Camille and Paul Boudreau --Reviewed here!
  • Robin Hood by David Baldwin--Reviewed here!
  • The King's Good Servant but God's First by James Monti --Reviewed here!
  • Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week by Pope Benedict XVI--Reviewed here!
Books made into movies
  • Rashomon by Ryunosuke Akutagawa--Akira Kurosawa put post-World War II Japanese cinema back in America with his brilliant adaptation of "In a Grove" from this collection. Reviewed here.
  • Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor. Reviewed here!
  • The Children of Men by  P. D. James. Reviewed here!
  • The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawiz--made into "The Way Back" a few years back, following POWs escaping a World War II Soviet Siberian prison camp and making it all the way to British India! Reviewed here.
  • Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence--You probably know this author as Lawrence of Arabia. 'nuff said. In Progress!
  • True Grit by Charles Portis--so good those Hollywood folks made it twice! The courtroom scene was exactly the same in both movies, so I assume it will be the same in the novel. Reviewed here!
Great Filmmakers
  • Something Like an Autobiography by Akira Kurosawa. Reviewed here.
  • Serling by Gordon F. Sander. Reviewed here
  • Alfred Hitchcock: A Life is Darkness and Light by Patrick McGilligan. Reviewed here.
  • This is Orson Welles by Orson Welles and Peter Bogdanovich. Reviewed here.
  • The Unseen Force: The Films of Sam Raimi by John Kenneth Muir. Reviewed here.
Also about movies
  • Monsters from the Id: The Rise of Horror in Fiction and Film by E. Michael Jones. Reviewed here.
  • Christians in the Movies: A Century of Saints and Sinners by Peter E. Dans. Reviewed here.
Oh yeah, and Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens because of Fagin the Jew. Reviewed here.

I am going to do another graphic novels challenge. Fairy Tail and Avatar are the only series that I am sure to continue with (though I will be picking up the occasional random Asterix classic ever now and then).
  1. The Eternal Smile--reviewed here.
  2. Troll Bridge--reviewed here
  3. Fairy Tail Vol. 3--reviewed here.
  4. Wonder Woman: The True Amazon--reviewed here.
  5. Irredeemable Premier Edition Vol. 1--reviewed here.
  6. Doctor Strange Vol. 1: Way of the Weird--Reviewed here.
  7. Fairy Tail Vol. 4--reviewed here.
  8. Black Widow: S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Most Wanted--reviewed here
  9. Ultimate Spider-man vs. the Sinister Six--reviewed here.
  10. Avatar: The Last Airbender: North and South Vol. 2--reviewed here.
  11. Invincible Iron Man Vol. 1--reviewed here
  12. Avengers: Endless Wartime--reviewed here.
  13. Fairy Tail Vol. 5--reviewed here.
  14. Wonder Woman: Her Greatest Battles--reviewed here.
  15. Captain Marvel: Earth's Mightiest Hero Vol. 2--reviewed here.
  16. Irredeemable Premier Edition Vol. 2--reviewed here.
  17. Miss Fury Sensational Sundays Vol. 1--reviewed here.
  18. Brendan and Erc in Exile Vol. 1--reviewed here.
  19. Fairy Tail Vol. 6--reviewed here
  20. Brief Histories of Everyday Objects--reviewed here.
  21. Deadpool Killogy--reviewed here.
  22. Vote Loki--reviewed here
  23. Fairy Tail Vol. 7--reviewed here.
  24. Avengers vs. X-Men--reviewed here.
  25. Wires and Nerves Vol. 1--reviewed here
  26. Avatar: The Last Airbender: North and South Vol. 3--reviewed here.
  27. Fairy Tail Vol. 8--reviewed here
  28. Wonder Woman Vol. 2 Year One--reviewed here
  29. Smash!--reviewed here
  30. Hostage--reviewed here.
  31. Irredeemable Premier Edition Vol. 3--reviewed here.
  32. Fairy Tail Vol. 9--reviewed here.
  33. Geis Vol. 1--reviewed here.
  34. Zita the Spacegirl Vol. 1--reviewed here.
  35. Rise of the Dungeon Master--reviewed here.
  36. Spill Zone--reviewed here.
  37. Batman vs. Two-Face--reviewed here.
  38. Fairy Tail Vol. 10--reviewed here
  39. The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up--reviewed here.
  40. Amulet Book One--reviewed here.
  41. The Baker Street Four Vol. 1--reviewed here
  42. Fairy Tail Vol. 11--reviewed here.
  43. Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery"--reviewed here
  44. Amulet Book Two--reviewed here
  45. Spider-man/Doctor Strange: The Way to Dusty Death--reviewed here
  46. Fairy Tail Vol. 12--reviewed here.
  47. Amulet Book Three--reviewed here.
  48. The Walking Dead Vol. 27--reviewed here.
  49. Doctor Strange: Last Days of Magic--reviewed here.
  50. Fairy Tail Vol. 13--reviewed here.
  51. Amulet Book Four--reviewed here.
  52. The Creeps--reviewed here.
  53. Fairy Tail Vol. 14--reviewed here.
  54. Amulet Book Five--reviewed here.
  55. Firefly: No Power in the 'Verse--reviewed here
  56. Fairy Tail Vol. 15--reviewed here.
  57. Runaways Vol. 1--reviewed here.
  58. Amulet Book Six--reviewed here.
  59. Fantastic Four/Inhumans--reviewed here
  60. Fairy Tail Vol. 16--reviewed here.
  61. The Goal: A Business Graphic Novel--reviewed here.
  62. Amulet Book Seven--reviewed here.

The new year's reading plan is a mostly like previous years. The graphic novels challenge is moving to Facebook so it will be a little easier to for me to post my accomplishments. I'm thinking of switching from Fairy Tail to another manga, maybe Attack on Titan. Anyway, I plan for the 52 in a year plan, though for 2017 I exceeded that number.

For regular books, I have some new focuses (i.e. not all movie-centric):

  • The Christus Experiment by Rod Bennett--a time travel novel where the travelers plan to visit and possibly kidnap Jesus Christ!
  • The Bradbury Chronicles edited by William F. Nolan and Martin H. Greenberg--an anthology of stories written by sci fi and fantasy writers inspired by and in honor of Ray Bradbury. 
  • After the King edited by Martin H. Greenberg--an anthology of stories written by sci fi and fantasy writers inspired by and in honor of J. R. R. Tolkien.
  • Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset--I found this classic at the church rummage sale for a dollar. I've been meaning to read it for a while, and at 1100+ pages I will be reading it for a while.
  • Seven Ideas that Shook the Universe by Nathan Spielberg and Bryon D. Anderson--this has been sitting on the shelf for a while.
  • Christianity and Extraterrestrials? by Marie I. George--another long resident of the bookshelf that bridges nicely into the next category.
  • Spiritual Excellence: How to Make Progress in Prayer and Love by Alban Goodier, S.J.--it's got to be helpful, right?
  • Essays of a Catholic by Hilaire Belloc--Belloc was back in the day with Chesterton, so this should be really good.
  • A History of the Church in 100 Objects by Mike Aquilina and Grace Aquilina--highly recommended by Happy Catholic
  • Crossing the Goal: A Saint Goes Marching On by Danny Amramowicz--football and faith?
  • Saint Joseph: Shadow of the Father by Andrew Doze--my patron saint, so this is obvious.
  • The Life and Times of Fray Junipero Serra by Msgr. Francis J. Weber--tied to the next book...
  • Saint Junipero Serra's Camino by Stephen J. Binz--also recommended by Happy Catholic!
Board Games
  • Dice Games Properly Explained by Reiner Knizia--Knizia has a doctorate in mathematics and has published over thirty board games. 
  • GameTek by Geoff Englestein--From the Dice Tower podcast, a bunch of essays on gaming with a scientific bent.
 Other Stuff
  • Your Child's Writing Life: How to Inspire Confidence, Creativity, and Skill at Every Age by Pam Allyn--my kids are getting interested in writing, so this should be good.
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
  • News from Tartary by Peter Fleming--brother of Ian Fleming (creator of James Bond) who had a life just like his brother's superspy hero.
  • Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions by Guillermo del Toro and Marc Scott Zicree--a lot of the chapters are based on movies, so I will probably read a chapter and watch a movie.
  • Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence--might as well get credit for it!
I'm sure I'll read other stuff, including the occasional A Good Story is Hard to Find book!

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