Just bringing this discussion over to ning...

What books are you reading right now that don't have a narrative driven by images as well as words?

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Whoopi Goldberg was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her lead performance in The Color Purple (1986). This was one of eleven Oscar nominations for this movie. It tied the record for the most nominations without a single win. The next excellent (IMO) movie in which she appeared was Ghost (1990) for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. 

Between these two excellent movies, they didn't know what to do with her and cast her in three dogs: Jumpin' Jack Flash, Burglar and Fatal Beauty.

I'm finally getting around to reading Neil Gaiman's nonfiction compilation The View From The Cheap Seats (I've had it on my Kindle as a free borrow for a while). It's wide-ranging, and a fun read. I have heard him read some of the pieces in public, and it's easy to hear his voice as I read them. He narrated the audiobook version, which I'm sure would be great.

I downloaded the Kindle version of Grant Morrison's Luda: A Novel, which was offered as an Advance Review Copy. Looking forward to reading it. Publication date is September 6th, so I'll probably wait to start it.

Secrets of the Force:The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History Of Star Wars by Edward Gross and Mark Altman. I am always up for reading yet another behind the scenes book on Star Wars particularly when the focus is on the original trilogy. Gross and Altman have also produced a two volume oral history on Star Trek.

One point I had never read before comes from Steve Melching, a writer on Clone Wars, who claims that in the early planning stages Episode VI was originally intended to focus on the rescue of Han Solo with Boba Fett as the primary villain. A sequel trilogy would then follow with the Luke/Vader/Emperor conflict as the primary plot. Apparently Lucas' divorce and Star Wars fatigue among the crew led to everything being wrapped up in Return of the Jedi.

That holds true with what I heard way back in '77. Originally, Star Wars had been planned as a trilogy of trilogies detailing the rise, fall and redemption of Darth Vader. I was somewhat disappointed when the saga came to a premature end with Return of the Jedi. When the prequels were released, they didn't exactly meet my expectations, except for Revenge of the Sith, which is pretty much exactly what I had been expecting since 1977. Then I was disappointed again when Lucas said the story was over. I didn't much care for the final trilogy, either... at least not until The Rise of Skywalker. My trilogy is Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back followed by Revenge of the Sith. I've been thinking about this quite a bit recently after having recently watched the Obi-Wan Kenobi television show. 

Your trilogy makes sense although you have a circular plotline with Sith ending where Star Wars begins. You also lose the whole Vader redemption point. And we are left hanging as to the final fate of Han Solo.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

My trilogy is Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back followed by Revenge of the Sith. I've been thinking about this quite a bit recently after having recently watched the Obi-Wan Kenobi television show. 

Yes, I realize that. "My" trilogy is still a work in progress. Return of the Jedi will have to be worked in there at some point to resolve the story threads from Empire. After Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, Revenge of the Sith provides the flashback which reveals the secret of Luke and Leia's parentage. A sort of secondary trilogy (or "placeholder") is Attack of the Clones, Return of the Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, past. present and future, if you will. But I have been very pleased with Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Mandalorian and Boba Fett. I'm content to wait to see what comes "next" (or what gaps are filled in next). Regarding my head canon, the three TV shows are definitely in, Rogue One and Han Solo definitely out

FLORIDA MAN by Mike Baron: 

Potato chips are empty calories with no nutritional value whatsoever, yet I sometimes enjoy eating them. Florida Man is the literary equivalent of eating potato chips. It's 420 pages, but the chapters are short and the lines of text are spaced out, so it's a quick read. There is not a single sympathetic character in the book. Stylistically, it reminds me of the "M*A*S*H Goes to..." paperbacks of the '70s (the ones by "William Butterworth"). There are two more books in the series, but I probably won't be reading them anytime soon. I really can't recommend Florida Man to anyone... unless you're in the mood for potato chips. 

David Hajdu's The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America. I've encountered this story many times before, but not in such detail.

 

 

I just started Our Artists at War from TwoMorrows. It focuses one the American war comics. This came out last fall, and the sole reason I bought it is because my LCS bought a copy, but he didn't know who ordered it. He thought it was me or another dude, but neither one of us did. Thus, he sold it to me at a decent discount.

Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:

I just started Our Artists at War from TwoMorrows. It focuses one the American war comics. This came out last fall, and the sole reason I bought it is because my LCS bought a copy, but he didn't know who ordered it. He thought it was me or another dude, but neither one of us did. Thus, he sold it to me at a decent discount.

I bought this recently directly from TwoMorrows. Like a lot of things, I haven’t made a point of reading it as opposed to skimming it.

Your post inspired me to pull it from the shelf. The Charlton series of stories "The Lonely War of Capt Willy Schultz" (pages 76-81) appeared in the title Fightin’Army. I had kept up with my comics reading while stationed in Northern Virginia. When I arrived in Vietnam I discovered that the comics were three months behind. The regular titles I bought (Marvel and DC) were ones I had already read. (Where I was we had no plumbing but we did have a tiny PX that carried comics.) I began sampling several non-superhero titles, primarily from Charlton. I was really impressed with the Willy Schultz stories and hope to read the entire run one day.

One of the things that jumped out at me in this book was Katusha: Girl Soldier of the Great Patriotic War (aka WWII) discussed on pages 125-127. I just ordered a copy of the complete story from an Amazon vendor and should have it a few days from now. I now realize that the writer-artist, Wayne Vansant, was the artist for the Marvel series The 'Nam, which I greatly appreciate. I had the three TPBs of The ‘Nam and recently wound up buying all of the individual comics that followed the TPBs, stopping before The Punisher was inflicted on the series.

Good deal, Richard. Let me know what you think. In all honesty I had never heard of "The Lonely War of Capt Willy Schultz" until this book. I've been burned so many times by really bad Charlton war comics, I don't pick them up any more.

The father of one of the customers at my LCS had the first 50 issues of The 'Nam, and I ended up buying that. I still need to get around to reading them. I've read some individual issues before, and always liked them.

I find that these type of TwoMorrows books are fun to read on flights. Not that I fly a lot, but they are a decent length, but not too deep. Really a bunch of long form essays with cool pictures.

THE TURN OF THE SCREW by Henry James:

Inspired by the "Ghosts of Quentin Collins and Beth Chavez" arc of Dark Shadows, last week we watched the 1961 Debra Kerr film The Innocents, both of which are based on The Turn of the Screw. I read read The Turn of the Screw once before, in college, for a class. I remember the basic plot and the discussion of it, but I didn't remember much of the novel itself (except that I didn't care for it), so I decided to read it again. Tracy is reading it along with me. I remember that Henry James had a very dense style that didn't appeal to me at the time, but I am a more sophisticated reader now (or I like to think I am). Some high school teachers task their students with rewriting Shakespeare into colloquial English; they could do the same with Henry James. Tracy and I are both reading at the same time, she on her phone and I a used paperback copy.

James needlessly inserts numerous unnecessary phases into the middle of his own sentences: "Until you came out, that way, this morning, you had, since the first hour I saw you, scarce even made a reference to anything in your previous life." I could open the book to any page at random, stick a pin in it, and find a sentence like that one. We continually stop and share obtuse sentences with each other, then take turns making them comprehensible. It was fun (or at least we had fun with it). At least it was short. 

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