Monday, August 11, 2014

Murchie (and Buster) Plus Books - August 3rd to 9th

The premise: I love books. I love my dog. I've decided to photograph my dog in front of every book I read or listen to (except the stuff I get from Marvel Unlimited, of which there was rather a lot last week. I think I'm addicted to HAWKEYE).

The photos: go live on Instagram as I take 'em and appear here in digest form once per week. Or twice, when I'm catching up. Sometimes thrice, like this week, but I swear it'll never be more than that.

A golden lab--Buster--lies beside an e-reader so only his face is visible. The e-reader's screen shows the cover for The Saint, which features a presumably naked woman lounging on her side with her back to the reader. Only her long hair is truly visible. The entire cover is cast in shades of blue.

Wait, who's this golden lab? Where's Murchie???

I spent most of last week in the country, petsitting for Buster (pictured above) and his feline brother, Ollie. Since Murchie was unavailable, Buster stepped in to pose beside my books.

He makes his debut alongside THE SAINT by Tiffany Reisz, a highly anticipated June release I had to bump to the side while I finished my Hugo reading. I loved the book, as I expected I would, and Buster proved an excellent model. Thanks, Buster!

Buster rests his head nose up on a pillow patterned in bronze and blue designs against a white background. To his left (our right) sits a white iPod with the cover of Emerald Green on its screen. The cover is primarily white scrollwork against a bright green background, with an oval portrait barely visible in the centre at the top. It's difficult to make out the oval's contents but it appears to show a dark-haired pale person.

Country living provides one with less listening time than does the city, mainly because there are fewer places to walk to. (We're talking about the Manitoban country here. It's full of straight gravel roads and fields with enormous "No Trespassing" signs. Not nearly as interesting as, say, the mountainous country, or the heavily forested country, or the seaside country.) Still, I got through a little more than half of EMERALD GREEN by Kerstin Gier with Buster at my side. Look how nicely he laid his head beside my iPod. What a pro.

Buster's front paws sit on either side of an e-reader showing the cover art for The Adorned. The cover displays a man's naked back and arms extensively tattooed with patterns that aren't entirely visible in the picture.

Buster and I rounded our time together with THE ADORNED by John Tristan, an impulse buy I fell for after the two-chapter sample on Kobo and--you guessed it--immediately had to put aside while I finished my Hugo reading. It proved the sort of book that sneaks up you; very good, until the moment when it becomes unputdownable. I was sorry to leave this world.

Buster didn't quite agree with me. While he let me position my e-reader between his paws, he spent most of my actual reading time hounding me to lay it aside and come play tennis with him.

Come to think of it, that was his modus operandi the whole time I was with him. Books; no. Tennis and walkies; yes!!!!!

Photogenic Buster may be, but he's not nearly as pleasant a reading companion as my own wee Murchie.

Speaking of whom...

A fuzzy grey poodle--Murchie--lays on a fuzzy, cream-coloured pillow. His head is twisted to view something outside the right side of the frame. To his right (our left) sits a hardcover copy of To Kill A Mockingbird. It's primarily black with a small, square inset featuring a tree with pale green leaves against an orange background.

Murchie's back! Or, more accurately, I'm back. I promptly cornered the little guy on his sheep-shaped pillow and snapped a picture of him beside TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee.

It was a tough one. He tried to run, but I cleverly sat on his doggie stairs so he couldn't get away. [insert villainous laughter] He lay back on the sheep; I got the shot. Nobody came off worse for wear.

This is the first time I've read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. All my friends experienced it during Grade Ten English, but I was in Honours and Honours apparently meant fewer books. We read two novels, one play, and a bunch of essays, short stories, and poetry, compared to the regular class's syllabus of five or six novels and a whole pile of shorter material.

At the time, I wasn't too bothered about this. Nowadays, I feel cheated. Stupid Honours English. We'd spend for frickin' ever discussing each book, too, which is why we read so few of them. To this day, I can't abide bookish discussions that go on longer than a week or so. It's probably why I'm not particularly good at fandom or group reads.

Buddy reads, on the other hand, are right up my alley. In fact, I attempted to buddy read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD with Terri of Terri Talks Books and Nat of In Spring it is the Dawn. It didn't work out on my end because I disliked the book (and I absolutely refuse to be ashamed of that), but I'm sure the two of them will enjoy talking about it once they've both finished.

Next week: who knows? We're all caught up now, so anything at all could happen. Maybe Murchie will turn into a professional dog model overnight. Maybe my photography skills will improve so much that his tendency to turn his head at exactly the wrong moment won't matter. Maybe I'll read nothing at all, leaving me with little choice but to share random photos of trees (I love trees). Come back on Sunday to find out!


  1. I'm shattered you didn't like TKAM. It is one of those books I can't be reasonable about because Atticus Finch reminds me of my own lovely daddy. But of course you should not be ashamed! No book is for everyone!

    Does Murchie not like having his photo taken, or does he just move around a lot, and thus must be trapped for photo opportunities?

    1. I did like Atticus! Atticus was lovely! It was mostly a matter of Lee's prose. Her syntax and I did not get along, which made it difficult for me to really connect with the story.

      Murchie has gotten much better about having his picture taken, but he's still liable to move his head at exactly the wrong moment (and/or decide he's bored and wander off). We're working on it.