Sunday, February 15, 2015

Murchie Plus Books: February 8th to 14th

The premise: I love my dog. I love books. I bring the two together by ever-so-kindly asking my tiny and adorable dog to pose with every book I read, barring the digital comics I get through Marvel Unlimited. Last week, that was the first two volumes of HAWKEYE (a reread that was even better the second time through), an earlier Hawkeye comic I read solely so I could see where Clint got his ginormous pile of money, the first arc of Soule and Pullido's SHE-HULK, and the first arc of the latest CAPTAIN MARVEL series (finally!).

A non-exhaustive list of people who are awesome: Kate Bishop; Clint Barton; Jennifer Walters; Carol Danvers.

As I write this, I'm also preparing to launch myself into a reread of MARVEL 1602. I wasn't nearly as familiar with the Marvel Universe the last time I read it, so I'm excited.

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

A sleek grey poodle, Murchie, stands in front of a trade paperback copy of L.A. Woman. Murchie wears a pink hoodie with white trim.

How d'you like Murchie's Pizza Dog cosplay? He's not vaguely golden retriever-ish and I balked at feeding him pizza even for the photo op1, but cosplaying for your body type is an idea that must die and we'll pretend the pizza is already in his belly. Okay?

I started reading the third HAWKEYE arc on Marvel Unlimited months and months and months ago under the mistaken impression that issues 13-18 formed a complete story. Turns out, the comic alternates between two separate arcs on an issue-by-issue basis from #13 on, so I ended up with a sizeable chunk of a story about Kate Bishop and a sizeable chunk of a different story about Clint Barton.

I'd have been annoyed, complete-arcs-only comics reader that I am, except those six issues were some of the best comics I read in 2014. It killed me when the remaining issues remained absent from Marvel Unlimited (was there a HAWKEYE hiatus? I feel like there must've been a hiatus but I'm always scared to read up on HAWKEYE in case it's bad news) (though I already know the series is ending so what badder news could I possibly find?), but the trade collection of L.A. WOMAN finnnnnnnnnnalllllllly made it through processing at my library and arrived in my holds pile last Sunday. I reread the first two arcs and dove in.

The ending wasn't quite everything I'd hoped it would be, but the arc was still frickin' awesome. Kate Bishop remains the light in my heart and the breath in my lungs. (I'm hopelessly smitten with Kate, as y'all might have gathered. Mildmay from Sarah Monette's Doctrine of Labyrinths is still my favouritest of favourite literary characters, but Kate is my second favouritest of favourites.) I grinned so hard, y'all, and this storyline pushes her in some durned awesome directions. I think the ending will impact me more when I reread it, after everything's really sunk in.

Now begins the wait for the end of RIO BRAVO. Will the final issue appear on Marvel Unlimited before or after my library gets the volume through processing? The suspense is killing me.

Murchie lays on a fuzzy pillow with his ears perked. He still wears his pink hoodie. Beside him is a trade paperback copy of Heaven's Queen.

Hey! I finally read HEAVEN'S QUEEN by Rachel Bach, with plenty of help from my hoodie-clad dog.

Never underestimate the support a tiny, hoodie-wearing dog can give.

Even with Murchie on hand, I ran into a major snag with this one. I read the first hundred and fifty pages, loved 'em, and... totally lost my novel-reading mojo. Again.

I pushed on through to the end because I really did want to see what happened to Devi and Rupert, but I started it on Monday and it took me until yesterday morning to polish off the last few chapters. That was way too long.

I haaaaaaate reading slowly. I see some of y'all talk about how you want to read less so you can savour your books more, and I know that would never, ever work for me. I require a steady diet of story.

Murchie lays with his head right against a blue and white patterened blanket. Beside him is an iPod with In the Garden of Iden's cover on its screen.

I also started a new audiobook! Early last week, I realized my new iPod is compatible with Scribd's app (my old one wasn't), so I decided to choose something from their selection as part of my ongoing quest to get the most out of my free trial.

[Insert obligatory thingy about how you can get a two-month free trial if you go through this link, as opposed to a one-month free trial if you just visit their site and sign up. I also get an extra freebie month if you use my link, so we both win. And Scribd has comics now, too! Y'all should read LOCKE & KEY.]

Scribd has IN THE GARDEN OF IDEN, Kage Baker's first Company novel, and it just so happens I've been suffering from hardcore Kage Baker cravings. Perfect.

And y'know, the book is fabulous on audio. The narrator really gets Mendoza's sense of humour across, as well as her simultaneous disgust with humankind and craving for the stuff they produce. (Young, mortal-hating Mendoza doesn't seem to realize that all the books and movies and clothes she loves were heavily informed by mortal experience, but Kage Baker is well aware and she works it all into the text.) I'm having a blast with it and hope to finish it today or tomorrow.

I wish I could get my hands on an audio of SKY COYOTE, too, but I don't see it on Scribd, Audible, or any of the audiobook services my library uses, so I assume it doesn't exist. Shame. The narrator would certainly be different since we switch to Joseph's POV in the second book, but it'd still be awfully fun to revisit the entire series with my ears instead of my eyes. Even if it did mean I'd have to endure Edward Alton Bell-Fairfax without the option to skim the hell over him.

(I hate Edward Alton Bell-Fairfax so much that he appears on my Itty Bitty List of Least Favourite Literary Characters twice. Once wasn't nearly enough to encompass his awfulness. He is the polar opposite of Kate Bishop.)

Next week: comics. Short fiction, which I probably won't show you because I'm in the middle of a couple of anthologies I've already shared on here. Maybe another novel if I'm feeling brave; maybe not.

  1. My childhood dog developed a terrible heart condition when she was around Murchie's current age, so I've tried to keep the little dude on a low sodium diet all his life. The rest of my family feeds him whatever crap they can find, so I'm not sure it's done much good in the long run.

    And yeah, okay, I feed him the occasional piece of pepperoni because he loves the stuff and I want him to have nice things.


  1. Replies
    1. Truth! I'm going to listen to that Christopher Healy novel you recommended after I finish IN THE GARDEN OF IDEN.

  2. >>>I require a steady diet of story.

    Giiiiiiirl this is so true of me also. I want to make some sort of attractive typographic depiction of this comment and put it on my wall, because that is how true it is.

    (There are several remarks about stories I want to make attractive typographical depictions of and put on my wall. I just haven't really figured out how to do it yet. Another one is "It is rather useful than damnable to compose stories," which is a thing Boccaccio says in The Decameron.)

    1. Dude, that is the best quote. (The Boccaccio one, I mean. Not my own quote.)

      I always want to do typographical and/or caligraphical things, but then I forget. It's a problem.