“Read a Damn Book – 001: Scientific Progress Goes ‘Boink’”

About seven years ago, I started publishing LISTS of the books that I’d been reading. After publishing a dozen reading lists, I realized that the 13th list, which I’d been compiling for about two months, was ACCIDENTALLY ERASED when I reformatted my tablet (without remembering to BACK UP the list before erasing the machine. Silly on my part…) Instead of trying to remember all the books that I’d read and written down and because I’d started writing little mini-reviews for some of the books, I decided that it was time to retool the project, focusing on ONE book per entry instead of a whole list at a time and trying to give some context to and analysis of the work, or explaining why I read it and what I thought of the book afterwards. 

As a writer and an artist, people had frequently asked me, “Where do you get your ideas?” To answer that question as simply as possible, I honestly read A LOT… TONS!!! I watch some television, too, and I listen to a ton of music, but my most transformative influences are definitely from my reading, and I read a lot of DIFFERENT TYPES of materials. I read comic collections, manga, science books, biographies, art books, social critiques, lit theory, weird conspiracy texts, fantasy, science fiction, philosophy, humor books… I love to learn, but I also just ENJOY reading, and I frequently read three or four books at a time. Once I’ve finished a book (if I had trouble “getting it” or I really enjoyed it,) I’ll sometimes turn back to page one and read it again, maybe two or three times, and then I'll write my review. 

The point of the reviews, more than anything, is to SHARE what I’ve been reading with folks who might be interested, but it’s ALSO about digging into the text AND into my own head. I try to figure out what I did or didn’t like about the books I read, what kept my interest, what made me angry, and then I sometimes compare the works to other texts, films, or ideas. To me, this is fun.

Hopefully, the reviews are slightly fun to read, too, and maybe they’ll even introduce a new book (or provide a reminder of an old one) to a potential reader! (Tentacles crossed!)

I originally started publishing these READ A DAMN BOOK reviews on The Primitive Entertainment Workshop, a daily blog that I ran for about seven years. Next, I moved the project to, then back to the P.E.W., then to the Steem blockchain, and then to my NonComArts blog, and then to Hive…and NOW, I’m publishing these reviews AGAIN, right here, right now, and starting with the very first review (from 2017!) (They get more complex and interesting as I got the hang of the project.) Anyway, I hope you enjoy my reading suggestions, and I hope they interest you enough that you go out and buy a book or two, and then actually READ them, as well!!!

Now, it’s time to stop pre-rambling around and get to the review!!!

“Read a Damn Book – 001: Scientific Progress Goes ‘Boink’”

radb - 001

[This is a photograph that I took of the actual book that I read. The image is included for review purposes only!]

Bill Watterson – Scientific Progress Goes ‘Boink’ (1991)

For anyone who doesn’t know Calvin & Hobbes, Watterson’s classic comic strip was about a hyper-imaginative kid and his stuffed tiger (that he treats as a real tiger) and the adventures that they have together, do I have a book for YOU! Within these pages, Calvin and his imaginary friend travel through space and time, terrorize the babysitter, find creative methods for avoiding homework, and try to manipulate Calvin’s parents, usually unsuccessfully. Calvin himself is a wicked, hyperactive, insubordinate, beast of a child, who Watterson makes feel VERY real and, somehow, endearing. You root for Calvin and often get caught up in the magic spells woven by his sugar-fueled imagination.

I’ve been a fan of Watterson’s comic for decades, and I’ve read this particular collection several times, but I needed something fun to help me through some rough circumstances, and it proved to be just the ticket! If you’ve never read Watterson, you should give him a try, (all of his collections are entertaining), and even if you have read him before, then it just might be time to read him again!

---Richard F. Yates

(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

[Originally posted on February 19, 2017 by me. All words by me, and I give myself permission to reprint the old words here. The intro is new. ---RFY]


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Richard F. Yates
Richard F. Yates

I'm an artist, author, poet, editor, and critic living in the Pacific Northwest. (Bigfoot Country!) I like weird stuff.

Read a Damn Book (Book Reviews)
Read a Damn Book (Book Reviews)

In this blog, I will be sharing my thoughts on a number of different novels, comics collections, biographies, and other non-fiction works on topics what I find interesting!

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