Sunday, January 25, 2015

Murchie Plus Books: January 18th to 24th

The premise: I love my dog. I love books. I bring the two together by photographing my tiny, sweetie-pie dog with every book I read, barring the digital comics I get through Marvel Unlimited. Last week, that was lots and lots of X-Men.

Why did it take me so long to dive back into the X-Men? I love the X-Men.

I also elected not to photograph the issues of FIRESIDE MAGAZINE I whipped through, seeing as how each one was pretty short and I don't like to bother Murchie more than I absolutely have to. (That's why I take so many pictures of him laying down, if you've been wondering. I try to take his preferences into account, and he does love a good sleep.)

The photos: go live on Instagram as I take them (or, more accurately, as I edit them) and appear here in digest form every Sunday.

A sleek grey poodle, Murchie, lays in a blanket nest. Before him sits a trade paperback copy of Fortune's Pawn with a woman's helmet-clad face on its cover.
I finally finished an entire novel, and I loved it! Hurray!

I read FORTUNE'S PAWN, the first book in Rachel Bach's Paradox Trilogy, so I could participate in Anastasia's new #SFFWomen Book Club. The first Twitter discussion takes place today (Sunday the 25th) at 4pm PST/7pm EST, with a blog discussion happening all this week. If you've read the book, you should considering chiming in.

I requested the next two from the library before I'd even hit the halfway mark with this one, but I've gotta earn the right to read 'em by knocking a few more books off la TBR. Hopefully that won't take too long now I've rediscovered my novel-reading mojo.

Murchie stands beside a hardcover copy of Warriors. He's wearing a thick, red and tan hoodie and he looks pretty durned nervous. The book is almost as tall as he is.

Sometimes I read books larger than Murchie. This frightens him.

I found myself in need of some new titles for my short fiction rotation, so I dipped into la TBR and pulled out WARRIORS, a massive, multi-genre anthology edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. The stories herein are mostly pretty long, so I plan to read one or two whenever I finish a novel instead of sticking to my usual story-or-two-per-day approach. In the meantime, my ongoing magazine catch-up should keep me well supplied with shorter stories.

Murchie lays on a fuzzy pillow. He makes a noir face at a white Kobo with Mr Kiss and Tell's red-tinged cover on its screen.

I asked Murchie to make a noir face to go with MR KISS AND TELL, Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham's latest Veronica Mars novel, and I reckon he did an okay job of it.

Murchie is a tortured soul. He smokes a lot and asks himself why his boyfriend left him for his ex best friend, even though he knows deep down it was because of his single-minded obsession with the lady who killed his mother. Or maybe it was the drinking. He hopes his next case will walk through the door soon so he can afford another bottle of scotch.

Also, most of his life happens in the rain.

MR KISS AND TELL served as an excellent drug-free painkiller during a recent bad patch. It was a review copy, so I should have some more detailed thoughts on the plot, and the book's place as a Veronica Mars continuation, in the next couple of weeks.

Murchie lays in a blanket nest with his face directly to the viewer, eyes almost closed. Behind him sits a white Kobo with Jackdaw's cover on its screen. It depicts two white men in historical dress.

The little dude was rather less willing to feign interest when I posed him with JACKDAW, KJ Charles's forthcoming historical fantasy, but that's just Murchie for you.

This, too, was a review copy, so I'll have a review for you around its release day on February 17th. Spoiler: I loved it.

Murchie lays on his fuzzy pillow, a disgruntled expression on his face. In front of him is a white Kobo with If I Stay's cover on its screen. It shows a girl laying on her back in a field. Only her forehead and the tip of her nose are visible in the picture.

Now this is Murchie's, "Why you gotta photograph me twice in one day?" face. Because it was Saturday and I couldn't delay if I wanted to get this post up on time, that's why.


I requested Gayle Forman's IF I STAY right after I saw the movie. Months later, here it is! (And the digital copy's wait list was way shorter than the physical copy's. Popular book, this one.)

As I write this, I'm about a quarter of the way through it and I think this is one of those rare cases where I prefer the movie to the book. I cried pretty hard at the movie, but I'm not getting the same emotional punch from the book. Still, it's early days yet. It could still knock me on my ass.

Murchie lays on his fuzzy pillow, head twisted to one side and ears up. In front of him sits a white Kobo with Alex + Ada's cover on its screen. It depicts a pale-skinned young man facing a pale-skinned young woman with a piece of plastic draped over her head like a veil.

I finally dipped back into my Image Comics stash yesterday with the first volume of ALEX + ADA, Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn's comic about a guy who gets an android sexbot as a gift from his grandma. (Ew. Except, my grandma used to lend me books with a simple, "You'll like this. It's raunchy" endorsement, so maybe that's just grandmas for you.) Don't worry; he doesn't sleep with her. Instead, he starts to wonder if sentience really is as impossible for androids as the manufacturers claim, and whether there's something he can do to help Ada attain it.

I'm not totally hooked yet, but this opening volume definitely intrigued me. ALEX + ADA covers some of the same ground as CHOBITS, albeit in a different way and with the squickiness more front-and-centre. I might write something more about it in the next couple of weeks, as it certainly sets the stage for some fascinating stuff and gives the reader a lot to mull over.

Next week: more X-Men, which I shall continue to not photograph. Some more stuff from la TBR. A new audiobook, assuming I'm healthy enough to move around again. (I'm currently on antibiotics, so fingers crossed!). Hopefully one of those Paradox novels.


  1. I'd like to read more about Alex + Ada, so I hope you do write that post. Also, I should really read the Veronica Mars novel I've had for almost a year now. I know it'll make me happy, so why am I delaying? Oh self.

    1. I'll try to draft an outline this afternoon, in and around the post I'm writing about Hugo-eligible comics. :)

      I think you'll enjoy the first VM novel. It plays around with a lot of the things that made the show so great and finally delivers some payoff in one of my favourite areas.

  2. I AM READING COMICS THIS WEEKEND. It's been great. And I just discovered that I have access to the first FOUR volumes of The Manhattan Projects, so I'm preeeetty excited about that. And I read Rat Queens at last and liked it a lot. No Alex and Ada yet, so I will wait to read your post about it.

    (That wasn't hinting. But it was though. I would like you to write a post about Alex and Ada, just like if you have time no big deal.)


      I was going to outline a post about ALEX + ADA yesterday, but I started thinking about all the super-duper-awesome comics I read last year and I got distracted. I'll try again this evening.