Read a Damn Book List (Book Reviews)

“Updated: 5 December 2018”

We are currently at 125 books reviewed by RFY for the Read a Damn Book Project, with one additional review by Mr. Shane Grove. (Hopefully, we’ll get more guest reviews someday, but for now, it’s usually just me…) I’m still loving the reviews, though. I’ve always enjoyed reading, and I’m a fan of sharing the stuff that I enjoy, so as long as I can still read and then write about what I’ve read, I’ll keep doing this.

Also, now that I’ve reached 100 reviews, I’m going to compile them into a book—because I also love making books. (If you don’t believe me, check out the “Books You Can Buy!” page and see what I mean!)

—RFY


Here’s the previous update, which has some good EXPLAINING in it, so I’m keeping it. The LIST of books that I’ve reviewed so far is below this little bit! (I promise!)

“Read a Damn Book List Update (with Chit Chat from Sept. 2017)”

About seven months ago, I decided to start writing reviews of the various books that I read. Since 2013, I’ve been making Reading Lists, so that the people who read my stories or enjoy my art can see “where I get my ideas.” (I steal them, of course…) Unfortunately, as I was getting ready to post my 13th reading list, I did something stupid, had to reformat my tablet, and lost the entire list… (I’m better with paper and ink than electronics.) So, instead of trying to remember what I’d read and recreate it (not possible), I went in a different direction.

My rules were simple: read a damn book, cover to cover (no skipping bits,) and then write an honest review. If I’d already read the book at some time in the past, I still had to read it again before putting fingers to keyboard. RE-reading is actually much cooler than most people think. There are a lot of words in most books, and no one can remember them all. In addition, if it’s been a long time since you read a book, YOU might be different now, even if the book isn’t, so what you take away from the rereading may be different than what you got from the book the first time—or second or third… Sometimes books get better—and sometimes they don’t.

The BENEFITS of writing reviews are numerous. First, I like to share stuff that I enjoy with other people. It makes me feel good, and I often read old or obscure or forgotten books that a lot of people don’t remember or might not have heard of, and I’ve made it my policy not to keep these things hidden for myself. I like to share. Another benefit of writing a review is the boost you get to understanding. (Writing IS thinking.) It’s important for people to analyze and consider what they take in instead of just passively consuming it. If you love a story, ask yourself WHY you loved it? If there was something about it that made you uncomfortable, what was it? What elements made the book really work, and where did it fall short? The secondary result of this type of reflection, especially when you bother to write these thoughts out, is that others, whether they’ve read the book or not, can benefit from an honest examination of a text. Does the book sound like it’s worth reading? Was there something going on in the book that I totally missed last time I read it? “Literary analysis” sounds like a scary thing (and I know most people HATE writing papers), but it’s what I was trained to do, and I love doing it.

Since I started doing these reviews (back in February), I’ve finished 46 books. Some of those books were short, but some seemed EXTREMELY long to me, even if they weren’t. (I read slowly—even MORE slowly if the book isn’t keeping my interest.) Either way, 46 is a lot of reviews, and unfortunately, my book reviews were getting lost amidst the drawings and photos and poems and stories at The Primitive Entertainment Workshop where they were originally posted. They were getting buried rather quickly because I post anywhere from 3 to 7 items per day at the Workshop, sometimes more. To help keep the reviews above water, I started a new site, Read a Damn Book, which was ONLY for the reviews, but even there, with all those words stacked one on top of the other, most people probably don’t go all the way back and read the reviews of the earliest books very often. (That blog has since been abandoned, primarily because it didn’t get many readers and I was tired of wasting time keeping it updated. Now YOU FOLKS, I don’t mind wasting time keeping updated…) And thus, I have created this “Table of Contents” thing, so people can quickly and easily see which books have been reviewed and click on the ones they want to look at. (Consider it a public service.) Enjoy!

READ A DAMN BOOK LIST:

001 – Scientific Progress Goes ‘Boink’ (Calvin and Hobbes) by Bill Watterson
002 – Dada: The Revolt of Art by Marc Dachy
003 – This Ain’t No Disco by Jennifer McKnight-Trontz
004 – The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey
005 – The Atomics: Spaced Out & Grounded in Snap City! by Mike Allred, Martin Ontiveros, J. Bone, Chynna Clugston Flores, and Lawrence Marvit
006 – Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse) by Charlaine Harris
007 – Doctor No (James Bond) by Ian Fleming
008 – The Amazing Spider-Man: Hooky by Susan K. Putney and Berni Wrightson
009 – The Willows by Algernon Blackwood
010 – Snake ‘n’ Bacon’s Cartoon Cabaret by Michael Kupperman
011 – The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
012 – All This and Snoopy, Too (Peanuts) by Charles M. Schulz
013 – Getting Even by Woody Allen
014 – Krazy & Ignatz (Krazy Kat) by George Herriman
015 – Martian-American War by Daniel T. Foster and Michael J. King
016 – Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg
017 – Spy vs Spy: Casebook of Craziness by Antonio Prohias
018 – We Must Remain Focused When Waiting for Thunder by Jesse Reno
019 – Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling
020 – Madman Volume 1 by Mike Allred
021 – The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
022 – The Far Side by Gary Larson
023 – Please Kill Me – The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil
024 – Krazy Kids’ Food! by Steve Roden and Dan Goodsell
025 – Duchamp by Janis Mink
026 – Unsolved Mysteries by Joel Levy
027 – Swag – Rock Posters of the ‘90s by Spencer Drate
028 – The Robot Who Looked Like Me by Robert Sheckley
029 – Flaming Carrot’s Greatest Hits by Bob Burden
030 – Uncle Shelby’s ABZ Book by Shel Silverstein
031 – KLF: Chaos Magic Music Money by JMR Higgs
032 – Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
033 – Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse) by Charlaine Harris
034 – Metropolis by Osamu Tezuka
035 – The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen
036 – Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
037 – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
037a – Fear and Loathing… (Revisited!) – [Guest Review by Shane Grove]
038 – The Dot and The Line by Norton Juster
039 – Principia Discordia by Malaclypse The Younger / Rev. Timothy Edward Bowen
040 – Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
041 – Octopus Girl by Toru Yamazaki
042 – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
043 – Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse) by Charlaine Harris
044 – Super Aces by Mark W. Counts and Michael J. King
045 – The Book of Hallowe’en by Ruth Edna Kelley
046 – Spiders (Little Fears) by Peter Edwards
047 – Cured by Lol Tolhurst
048 – Gregory by Marc Hempel
049 – Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse) by Charlaine Harris
050 – Amphigorey by Edward Gorey
051 – The Status Civilization by Robert Sheckley
052 – Ranma ½ Volume 1 by Rumiko Takahashi
053 – Carnacki, The Ghost Finder by William Hope Hodgson
054 – Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
055 – The Crow by James O’Barr
056 – Monsters and Water Beasts by Karen Miller and Sergio Ruzzier
057 – Mad Night by Richard Sala
058 – An Occult Dictionary by Howard V. Chambers
059 – Zombies Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (reinterpreted by Jim McCann, David Baldeon, Jeremy Treece, etc.)
060 – The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson
061 – The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
062 – Giant-Size X-Men (40th Anniversary Edition) by Mark D. Beazley (ed.) and various others
063 – Creepy Volume One by Shawna Gore (ed.) and numerous others
064 – Dada and Surrealism: A Very Short Introduction by David Hopkins
065 – Dead as a Doornail (Sookie Stackhouse) by Charlaine Harris
066 – The Inhumans – Marvel Masterworks Volume 1 by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Neal Adams, and others
067 – X-Force – New Beginnings by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred
068 – Ranma ½ Volume 2 by Rumiko Takahashi
069 – The King Who Saved Himself from Being Saved by John Ciardi and Edward Gorey
070 – The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers
071 – The Defenders – Marvel Masterworks Volume 1 by Roy Thomas, Ross Andru, Steve Englehart, and Sal Buscema
072 – Make a Zine! by Bill Brent, Joe Biel, and others
073 – Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
074 – Alice Roosevelt and the Tunguska Menace by Daniel T. Foster and Michael J. King
075 – The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone and Michael Smollin
076 – iZombie – Dead to the World by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred
077 – Sh*t My President Says by Shannon Wheeler
078 – iZombie: uVampire by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred
079 – The Present Age by Soren Kierkegaard
080 – The Sandman – Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman, Sam Keith, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, and others
081 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer – The Long Way Home by Joss Whedon and Georges Jeanty
082 – Something Under the Bed is Drooling (Calvin and Hobbes) by Bill Watterson
083 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter) by J.K. Rowling
084 – Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [Translated by Bayard Taylor]
085 – Promethea – Book 1 by Alan Moore, J.H. Williams III, Mick Gray, and others
086 – Last of the Independents by Matt Fraction and Kieron Dwyer
087 – The Strange Case of Edward Gorey by Alexander Theroux
088 – Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom – Volume One by Paul S. Newman, Bob Fujitani, Frank Bolle, and others
089 – Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross
090 – Shade, The Changing Man – The American Scream by Peter Milligan, Chris Bachalo, and Mark Pennington
091 – Aleister Crowley – The Biography by Tobias Churton
092 – Widdershins by Oliver Onions
093 – Wyatt Earp: A Marshal on Mars by Daniel T. Foster & Michael J. King
094 – Doom Patrol: Crawling from the Wreckage by Grant Morrison, Richard Case, and others
095 – Grey Moon (Little Fears) by Peter Edwards
096 – Star Brand by Jim Shooter, Roy Thomas, John Romita Jr., and others
097 – Star Brand Volume 2 by John Byrne, Mark Gruenwald, Sal Buscema, and others
098 – On Writing by Stephen King
099 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – The Ultimate Collection, Volume 1 by Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird
100 – Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
101 – 1984 by George Orwell
102 – Play Ball, Snoopy (Peanuts) by Charles M. Schulz
103 – The Defenders – Marvel Masterworks Volume 2 by Steve Englehart, Len Wein, Sal Buscema, Bob Brown, and others
104 – Ranma 1/2 Volume 3 by Rumiko Takahashi
105 – Ranma 1/2 Volume 4 by Rumiko Takahashi
106 – Deadly Class Volume 1: Reagan Youth by Rick Remender, Wes Craig, Lee Loughridge, and others
107 – Edges of Science by Thom Powell
108 – Bleach Volume 1 by Tite Kubo
109 – Miracle Man by Jack Kirby, Mike Royer, and Vince Colletta
110 – Definitely Dead (Sookie Stackhouse) by Charlaine Harris
111 – England’s Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond by Jon Savage
112 – The Declaration of Independence & The Constitution of the United States by Pauline Maier and various old, dead dudes
113 – The Vampyre; A Tale by John William Polidori
114 – Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, and Lynn Varley
115 – Role-Playing Mastery by Gary Gygax
116 – Daddy is so Far Away…We Must Find Him! by Wostok & Grabowski
117 – Needful Things by Stephen King
118 – From Hell by Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell
119 – Museum of Terror – Tomie 1 by Junji Ito
120 – Ghost Stories by Marilee Hord & Lynn Adair (eds.) and others
121 – The Fantastic Four – Marvel Masterworks Volume 1 by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
122 – 21st Century Tank Girl by Alan Martin and several others
123 – Fifty-One Tales by Lord Dunsany
124 – Reinventing Comics by Scott McCloud
125 – Bleach Volume 2 by Tite Kubo

Before I decided to write individual book reviews, I would publish LISTS of the books that I was reading. Some of these, especially towards the later lists, started to include mini-reviews of the more interesting books. To me, they’re still interesting to look at, even if they aren’t quite as substantial as the full reviews. (Meanest thing I wrote: “I liked the cover.” That was the entire review.)

READING LISTS:

#1 – 5 Mar. 2013 to 26 Aug. 2013
#2 – 6 Sept. 2013 to 6 Nov. 2013
#3 – 22 Nov. 2013 to 6 Jan. 2014
#4 – 12 Jan. 2014 to 2 Apr. 2014
#5 – 5 Apr. 2014 to 1 Jun. 2014
#6 – 4 Jun. 2014 to 22 Aug. 2014
#7 – 4 Sept. 2014 to 31 Dec. 2014
#8 – 2 Jan. 2015 to 28 Apr. 2015
#9 – 4 May 2015 to 2 Sept. 2015
#10 – 4 Sept. 2015 to 16 Nov. 2015
#11 – 20 Nov. 2015 to 5 Feb. 2016
#12 – 3 Mar. 2016 to 31 Jul. 2016

In addition to book reviews, I’ve also started writing VIDEO reviews. Part of what I like about books is that the reader has to participate in the work in order for the story to come to life, whereas a film or television series really just jumps out at you. Still, there are certain shows (films, television programs, documentaries) that I really enjoy, and because I like to share stuff that I enjoy… Heck, why not?

VIDEO REVIEWS:

001 – Lancelot Link – Secret Chimp
002 – The Young Ones
[More to come!!!]

And that’s about it for now…

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Supreme Bunny Lord of The P.E.W.)

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