Sunday, October 12, 2014

Murchie Plus Books: October 5th to 11th

The premise: I love my dog. I love books. I combine the two by photographing my dog with every book I read, barring the ones I get through Marvel Unlimited. Last week, that was lots of DEADPOOL.

The photos: go live on Instagram as I take them and appear here in digest form every Sunday.

A short-haired grey teacup poodle, Murchie, lounges in a blanket cave with only his face, chest, and crossed paws visible. One ear is cocked, and his mouth appears twisted in derision. He wears a black tank top. Beside him sits You Are Not Who You Claim, a turquoise volume of poetry with a black and white portrait of a girl of Chinese descent on its cover.

I'm still committed to the whole poetry thing, so I picked my way through Evelyn Lau's YOU ARE NOT WHO YOU CLAIM last week. I believe this was her first poetry collection, and it shows more in the subject matter than in the language. It's seeped in her time on the streets, which often makes it brutal. Still: good stuff.

I have one more volume of Lau's poetry to read before I've exhausted my library's collection. Guess I'll have to hope the others crop up at the thrift shop.

And that, my friends, was the sum total of my not-already-pictured reading from Sunday to Friday. You may recall I began LORD OF CHAOS the Thursday before last, keen to read it straight through and determined to finish it in less than nine days.

It took me eight days.

Which is less than nine? But still not great (and kind of surprising, since I loved most of this one).

Thank goodness the books get shorter from this point on. I might have cheered when I realized A CROWN OF SWORDS is only 740 pages. That ain't nothin'.

Murchie stands with his head twisted to one side so a hand can scratch behind his ears. Directly below his chin is a white iPod with the cover of The Golem's Eye on its screen. The cover shows a minotaur. The entire picture is blurred.

So I didn't burn through a lot of prose fiction last week, but I did get my hands on the audio of THE GOLEM'S EYE by Jonathan Stroud. Hurray!

I'm about halfway through it now and am enjoying it much more than I did the first time, though it's still not as immediately awesome as THE AMULET OF SAMARKAND proved on my recent reread/listen. I've got about a million hands-on tasks to tackle over the next two days, so with any luck I'll finish it early next week. This time, I'll be able to go straight into the next one; I proactively borrowed PTOLEMY'S GATE so I wouldn't have to endure another long wait between volumes.

Murchie decided to be recalcitrant when I asked to take his picture with this one. He absolutely refused to stay near my iPod unless I agreed to scratch his ears--and that, as you can see, resulted in much blurriness. This photo was the best of the lot.

Dogs, man. Always wanting ear-scritches.

Murchie stands on a chair beside a stack of hardcover copies of A Bride's Story. He wears his black tank top. One of the manga is set upright to display the cover art, which features a woman in black-and-red central Asian dress with her arms spread wide and one foot crossed before the other as though she's dancing.

I devoted myself to DEADPOOL once I finished LORD OF CHAOS (last week's readerly theme was Dudes With Voices In Their Heads), but I think I need a short break from him. To that end, I settled into a mini Saturday night marathon of A BRIDE'S STORY by Kaoru Mori.

I read the first three volumes of this manga shortly after they appeared in English and was... underwhelmed. Mori's1 artwork was as wonderful as always, but I wanted more emotional resonance from the story.

In hindsight, I think I expected A BRIDE'S STORY to be basically another EMMA, when in fact it's a fabulous story with a completely different focus. I probably have enough thoughts for a proper review (or something resembling a review, at any rate), so I shall say no more than that I'm loving it. I reread the first three books last night and should manage to catch up on volumes four and five today, in and around other things.

Next week: at least one novel! Some poetry! Hopefully another audiobook! Annnnnnnnd whatever I get through during next Saturday's Readathon! It's gonna be intense.

  1. I've just learned her English publishers flipped her name. All these years, I thought Mori was her first name; an easy mistake, since I'm not so familiar with Japanese names as I might be, and because she calls herself Mori in her afterwards. Turns out, it's far more common for people to use their last names that way in Japan than it is here in Canada.


  1. I've already squeed over A Bride's Story on tumblr, but once more with feeling: so glad you're reading and enjoying them and so looking forward to your review.

    Also, I need to read Jonathan Stroud one of these days.

    1. You totally do! Bartimaeus is fantastic. I'm especially looking forward to the fourth book (which is a standalone), since it was my favourite the first time through.

  2. I tried again with the two dogs I have access to, and they absolutely decline to be photographed with a book. Jerks! Jazzy cannot be swayed with promise of treats (she cares nothing for them), and Penelope can't connect the idea of treats with the idea of being-photographed-with-book. ONE OF THESE DAYS MEMORY I SWEAR.