Sunday, October 5, 2014

Murchie Plus Books: September 28th to October 4th

The premise: I love my dog. I love books. I combine the two by photographing wee Murchie with every book I read, barring (most of) the stuff I get through Marvel Unlimited. Last week, this was a nice helping of my beloved HAWKEYE, plus a bit of DEADPOOL, some leftover Cosmic stuff, a smidgen of RUNAWAYS, and a few vintage THOR issues I apparently need under my belt if I'm to gain a complete understanding of the Inhumans.

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

A tiny, short-haired grey poodle, Murchie, curls into a tight ball on a sheep-shaped pillow. A white e-reader with the cover of Take Me On on its screen is propped at an angle in front of him. The cover shows a white boy in kickboxing gear gentling touching the side of a similarly dressed white girl's face.

Last Sunday was cold, dark, and entirely unappealing. Murchie chose to spend the day curled into a tight ball while I tried to read TAKE ME ON by Katie McGarry before I gave in to the inevitable and had a PARKS & RECREATION mini marathon instead.

Sometimes, a girl needs TV more than she needs books. Especially when she's waiting for April and Andy to get together already, dammit, and when Ben has just appeared and fostered an instant enmity with Leslie. You know?

On top of that, I always fall into the same pattern with Katie McGarry's books. Her openings leave me cold and convince me I should be reading something else entirely--but her books gather so much steam as they chug along that I'm inevitably bawling my eyes out by the end. It took me a couple of days to reach that point with TAKE ME ON, but it was so worth it. So, so worth it.

Murchie sits before a white and grey fleece blanket draped over a chair back, my e-reader beside him. Its screen shows the cover for Hawkeye #18, featuring a masked woman visible through a screen of yellow and red honeycombs. Murchie wears a black tank top with red piping. His head is twisted to view something off the left side of the screen.

I know I always say I don't--won't--photograph Murchie with my Marvel Unlimited reading, but I couldn't resist getting a shot of him with HAWKEYE #18. I mean, Pizza Dog is a very important character in the book, so it only made sense to get my own pizza-loving dog in on the action. Right?

Anyways, HAWKEYE is my favourite current Marvel comic, but I held off on reading past #12 because I approach comics by arc, not by issue. The very moment #18 hit Marvel Unlimited, I cleared my schedule for the evening and dove in, expecting something resembling a complete story.

I didn't get it. HAWKEYE is about both Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, and their stories diverge as of #12. Kate heads to L.A. with Lucky (aka Pizza Dog); Clint stays in New York with the bros and his own bro. The series alternates between them on an issue-by-issue basis, so this portion of Kate's story won't wrap up until #20, while Clint's will carry through to #22.

If I'd known this ahead of time, I would've held off until all the relevant issues were on Marvel Unlimited. I'm mighty glad I didn't know, because these six issues were fucking awesome.

We're talking five stars here, folks. Y'all know how rarely I give anything five stars.

I grinned and gasped and giggled in pure delight. Kate is my new favourite. Clint remains gloriously inept at everything that doesn't involve shooting people with arrows. Pizza Dog is an icon. You can bet I'll be buying this entire series as my entertainment budget allows.

Murchie huddles under a comforter. Before him sits my e-reader with the cover of The Sunbird on its screen. It depicts a silvery metal sculpture of a bird in flight near a branch against a variegated orange background.

I fell prey to a weird, flu-like thing on Wednesday, so Murchie and I tucked up in bed with THE SUNBIRD by Elizabeth Wein. It was my first book through Freading, an e-book subscription service my library recently added to its repertoire, and it won't be my last. They have tons of books I've been hankering after, including the rest of this series.

THE SUNBIRD is a sequel to THE WINTER PRINCE, which I loved, and A COALITION OF LIONS, which I did not. I mostly stuck with the latter because people told me the rest of the series was wonderful, and I'm pleased to report THE SUNBIRD does, indeed, deliver the goods. It sports Wein's usual stellar writing and sensitive treatment of difficult issues such as abuse and recovery. I'm looking forward to reading the next two once I can carve some time in my reading schedule.

Sleepy Murchie flops on a bed with only his fuzzy face visible. His eyes are almost closed. Behind him lies a paperback copy of Lord of Chaos with the title and a hint of the cover image visible. A pale-skinned woman in a blue shawl raises her hands to a pale-skinned man in a white shirt.

I said I'd try to start another chunkster this week, and I've done just that. I aim to finish LORD OF CHAOS by Robert Jordan in less than nine days; an improvement over THE FIRES OF HEAVEN, which took me for frickin' ever. Right now, I think I'll read it straight through, but I reserve the right to make it my in-between book if I get too annoyed with my reading pace.

As per usual, I'm reading the e-book (it's sooooo much easier on my tiny hands) and using my old paperback copy to track my progress.

Next week: a new audiobook, if the Library Gods are kind to me, and perhaps some shorter fantasy. We'll see.


  1. Oh MURCHIE. He just couldn't be cuter in these pictures. Did you get as far in Hawkeye as the one with all the sign language? I am curious how that one translates if you don't know any American Sign Language -- I know a bit, enough to know the words they were signing to each other.

    1. No, that one isn't on Marvel Unlimited yet. :( I look forward to it, even though I only know weird scraps of ASL. Like, I can say "bullshit," and I'd probably remember the alphabet if I tried really hard.

  2. I just wanted to let you know that I checked out a book featured in Murchie Plus Books! Guardian of the Dead!