Sunday, November 9, 2014

Murchie Plus Books: November 2nd to 8th

The premise: I love my dog. I love books. I combine the two by photographing my dog with every book I read, aside from the stuff I get through Marvel Unlimited. Last week, that was the tail end of Civil War, some YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS (because I must have my Kate Bishop), and a volume of THE MIGHTY AVENGERS.

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

A fuzzy grey poodle, Murchie, lies on a fuzzy pillow. Behind him sits a book club-sized hardcover with a pale-skinned young man on its cover. Murchie and the man have their heads twisted to the side in the same fashion.

I finished THE SUMMER QUEEN on Sunday, sobbed wretchedly for a while, took a recovery day to finish Marvel's Civil War, and dove back into my Joan D. Vinge binge with PSION, the first of her Cat books.

Murchie consented to make pretty well the same face as the dude on my omnibus edition's cover. What a star.

He also expressed his distaste at the cover's whitewashed state. Ain't it great when brown characters are drawn with super pale skin?

(No. No, it is not.)

Regarding PSION itself: I... didn't care about it. Like, I didn't outright dislike it, but it didn't do anything at all for me. I could hardly believe it came from the same pen as THE SNOW QUEEN and THE SUMMER QUEEN, both of which laid waste to my emotions. If I hadn't been committed to this Joan D. Vinge binge, and if I hadn't had the other two books in the series on hand, I'd have put it aside.

Hello, crushing disappointment.

Thankfully, I enjoyed CATSPAW, the omnibus's second offering, much more. Hell, I loved it. There were a few patches where my interest waned, and I never became as fully engaged as I was with the Tiamat books, but there were plenty of moments of strong emotion and refreshing heartache. It left me eager to read the third book, DREAMFALL.

Murchie sits on a black leather couch. Beside him is a hardcover copy of THE RAVEN BOYS, featuring a raven in flight on its cover. Something red glows from the raven's chest. A white iPod with the same image on its screen is propped up against the hardcover.

But first: fuzzy, poorly lit Murchie beside Maggie Stiefvater two ways. Winter light is the best.

(No. No, it is not.)

My library is a lovely institution that has made great strides in its speediness over the last few years, but it still takes its sweet time getting most young adult novels on the shelves. BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE has been out for so long that all my Raven Cycle-loving friends have already read it, but my library still has it on order, both in print and on physical, folder-full-of-CDs audio.


Thankfully, the library also subscribes to Hoopla, an instant music, movie, and audiobook service, and Hoopla has BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE. Hurray!

I'd planned to reread the first two books in print before I tackled the newest one in the same format, but I'm flexible. I promptly borrowed the audio of THE RAVEN BOYS from Overdrive and began listening to it the very second I finished my last audiobook (THE RING OF SOLOMON by Jonathan Stroud. It was a ton of fun).

I've fallen in love all over again. Rereading excites me because it gives me a chance to view beloved characters through new eyes, even as I delight in simply being able to spend time with them again. I know these people now. I understand what they mean when they allude to things that'll become important later on. I know how this incident or that realization will shape them into the person they are by the end of THE DREAM THIEVES.

I'm having the best time, y'all. Like, I'm willing to embrace really tedious tasks just so's I'll have more opportunities to listen. This afternoon's marathon cleaning session will suck far less than it should because I've got Blue et al to keep me company.

Then it's on to THE DREAM THIEVES. I am so excited.

Now, back to Joan D. Vinge.

As I write this, I'm about 150 pages into DREAMFALL, the last (maybe just for now?) Cat book. I got off to a slightly rocky start with it, perhaps because my mind was full of THE RAVEN BOYS, but I'm now enjoying it very much and I look forward to settling in with it again this evening.

That said, I think Vinge is a writer who works best for me in third person. THE SNOW QUEEN is one my favourite books of all time, and I loved the hell out of THE SUMMER QUEEN. Both are in third person. WORLD'S END and CATSPAW, two (mostly) first person titles, both won my love, but it was a dicey thing; and y'all already know I didn't care about PSION (which, again, is in first person).

We'll see where DREAMFALL comes out. Right now, I like it very much and am willing to fall in love with it if it lets me. I hope it does.

Next week: the last two Joan D. Vinge titles on la TBR. Probably a YA contemporary I got from the library. THE DREAM THIEVES on audio, and maybe BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE as well if I listen quickly enough.


  1. "Rereading excites me because it gives me a chance to view beloved characters through new eyes, even as I delight in simply being able to spend time with them again."

    This is so true, and I really ought to reread more often. yay for Hoopla - I can't wait for you to get to Blue Lily, Lily Blue :D

    1. I'm SO excited about it! If I keep to my current pace, I'll finish THE RAVEN BOYS either later today or tomorrow, then whip through THE DREAM THIEVES by no later than Friday. Then it's all about the new stuff!

  2. My wonderful Raven cycle. I'm not reading Blue Lily Lily Blue again -- although I want to -- until it's time to read it to my sister. We're tearing through The Dream Thieves at a tremendous rate of speed, and now that she doesn't have to work on Saturdays, I anticipate we'll get finished with Dream Thieves by the start of December or so. And then I can bask in Blue Lily Lily Blue again!

    1. Hurray! I wish I could interest my family in these books. I tried to lend THE RAVEN BOYS to my mother, but she never read it so I got it back and installed it on my Super Awesome Books shelf where it belongs.