The photos: go live on Instagram as I edit them and appear here in digest form every Sunday.
Not pictured: I read a bunch more CABLE & DEADPOOL early last week, and damn is it ever entertaining. My favourite thing about it is Deadpool's disrespect for the fourth wall. My least favourite thing about it is the misogyny. I'd love to read another arc or two today, if I can swing it.
If you'd like to do the same, or if you've got your eye on another series, remember today--May 17th, 2015--is the last day you can sign up for a free, one-month Marvel Unlimited subscription.
Moving away from comics, I finally hunkered down and finished WARRIORS as part of Bout of Books. It was par for the course with anthologies; ie, I loved some stories, really liked others, found a few tedious, and elected not to finish maybe three of them.
Murchie got a haircut! The groomer left his muzzle a bit longer this time, so he's got an adorable, Border Terrierish thing going on. His whiskers are still visible, too, which is a nice change from the norm. I love Murchie's whiskers, but I never get to see them when he's shaved right down.
He's also been living in his wee shirt, partly because the temperature dropped last week and partially because he needs sun protection. Little dude doesn't have very much hair on his back, so he gets sunburnt.
Anyways, he helped me read the first volume of Ursula Vernon's DIGGER, a comic that was recommended to me during Women In SF&F Month. It reminded me a little of Jeff Smith's BONE, what with its stark black and white illustrations and its focus on an inhuman character stranded far from home, but I'm not completely sold on it yet. Y'all know I always give comics a couple of volumes to hook me, though, so you can bet I'll continue with the series. Here's hoping DIGGER is the next HINTERKIND or YOUNG AVENGERS.
Speaking of young superheroes...
I sort of feel like my library and Marvel Unlimited are in competition. Will Marvel Unlimited upload a full arc's worth of issues of any given comic before or after my library purchases the relevant volume, processes it, and gets it into my hands?
This time around, the library won. I gulped down THE ULTIMATE ADVENTURE, the latest trade collection from ALL-NEW X-MEN (which y'all know I love and adore to an absurd degree) last week. Now part of me's happy I got to read it sooner than expected, while part of me's bummed out I'll have to wait a few more months for new-to-me issues to hit Marvel Unlimited. It's a good-times-bad-times type of deal.
You'll be unsurprised to hear I continue to love the series. This particular volume made me want to know more about the Ultimates universe, too. I've been shoving Marvel comics into my eyeballs for nine and a half months now, but I'm still clueless about the whole Ultimates thing beyond what little I gleaned from MILES MORALES: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN. This must change.
I finished FAIREST on Tuesday and turned to Scribd in search of a new audiobook. It spat out IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME?, Mindy Kaling's sorta-memoir, sorta-essay collection.
I listened to a little less than half the book before I decided it wasn't for me. Kaling uses a lot of subheadings; a great strategy in print, but an awkward one on audio. It was often difficult to tell whether she'd finished one essay and started another or simply switched to a supporting topic. As a result, her anecdotes bled together and failed to fully engage me.
I was already considering the DNF option when I got to the essay about how she profited from an ongoing rape joke she and a coworker shared, but that clinched it.
I meant to carry on with the Wheel of Time two Sundays ago, but SKIP BEAT took over my life, and THE SECRET HISTORY OF WONDER WOMAN was more moreish than I expected, and I decided I ought to finish WARRIORS, and the library gave me EVEN MORE SKIP BEAT, and... well. Here we are.
I'm well into CROSSROADS OF TWILIGHT now, though, with Murchie's capable (and necessary) help. This is the last of the books that's a reread for me. I revisited the series shortly after it came out in 2003, and the moment I finished I swore I wouldn't return to this world until the entire thing was complete and in paperback, because fucking hell, was this ever a difficult hardcover to hold.
I'm reading the ebook right now and it's approximately eleven times easier on my hands. (Never have tiny hands. They make everything awkward.) This paperback, purchased from the library sale in anticipation of my eventual reread, helps me track my progress because it's bloody difficult to tell where I'm at with the omnibus edition.
I was on track to finish the book today, but then I ran into a pressing need to do something that wasn't super boring. Oh, CROSSROADS OF TWILIGHT. Why so dull? Why?
I'll try to polish it off tomorrow.
Tiny Deadpool has volunteered to take some of the pressure off Murchie and become my regular manga model. Thanks, Tiny Deadpool!
And on that note: MORE SKIP BEAT OMG.
This picture's missing a few volumes because my library couldn't get 'em to me all at once since other people were reading them (oh, other people), but it's okay. Y'all can just imagine they're there, yes?
As of Volume 26, I've lost all impartiality towards this series. I can no longer recognize the very real possibility that it may not be perfect, because IT IS EVERYTHING. (I know that expression gets overused, but it's seventeen kinds of true in this case so just lemme have this one.) MY ENTIRE BRAIN IS A MASS OF ALL CAPS WHENEVER I THINK OF IT. LIKE OMG I JUST WANT TO TELL YOU THE ENTIRE PLOT BECAUSE THERE'S A STORYLINE WHERE KYOKO AND REN HAVE TO PRETEND TO BE BROTHER AND SISTER AND LIVE TOGETHER AND IT'S SO AWKWARD FOR BOTH OF THEM AND THERE'S A SHOWER SCENE AND LORY'S GOT ALL THESE INTERWOVEN REASONS FOR STICKING THEM TOGETHER LIKE THAT AND ONLY ONE OF THEM IS MATCHMAKING AND OMG I AM LOSING MY FUCKING MIND OVER IT WHAT ARE WORDS.
(Sidebar: I imagine this "gotta pretend to be brother and sister even though we're attracted to one another" thing is the sort of situation characters find themselves in in fanfic, which strengthens my resolve to try some more of the stuff. I read a fic about Bucky Barnes and a baby last week, at Renay's urging, and it was great.)
I'm working on an overly long post about exactly why I love SKIP BEAT so much. My notes file is currently 2300 words, and I've got a lot of fleshing out to do to turn my thoughts into a coherent, review-type thing. It will not be for the faint of heart, but I've divided it into three separate sections to make it a bit more palatable. I'll have a Short, Gushy, Ungrammatical Version, of course, and a List Of Awesome Stuff In Skip Beat, followed by a Lengthy and Detailed Version In Which I Gush Some More.
It's gonna be fun to write.
Dealing with the withdrawal will been less fun. I've been procrastinating on reading Volume 34, the last volume translated into English, because I dunno how I'm even gonna cope with the loooooooong wait until the next volume. What I really need is a time machine so I can jump ahead to the point where SKIP BEAT is complete. Get on that, science.
Everyone's talking about THE SELECTION by Kiera Cass, so I downloaded it from Scribd and got to listening.
I never expect too much from books with a ton of hype behind them, but I had a lot of fun with this one! Yeah, the worldbuilding is rather scant, and my interest waned somewhat near the end, but I found it oddly compelling nonetheless. It was probably the reality show vibe. I don't follow any current reality shows, but I used to be a huge SURVIVOR devotee and I paid an undue amount of attention to THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR a couple years back. I guess that sort of thing stays with you.
I love America's friendship with the prince, too. Fictional friendships make me really happy. I know convention says they're gonna fall in TRUE, DESPERATE LOVE, but I'm rather hoping they realize they'd rather just stay awesome friends throughout the whole series. Because awesome friendships really are the best.
Then again, I often start off like, "I hope these platonic, awesome friends stay platonic and awesome because fiction needs more of that" and eventually morph into, "OMG WHY AREN'T YOU TWO TOGETHER YOU ARE PERFECT FOR ONE ANOTHER GET YOUR ACT IN GEAR."
This is how Angel and Cordelia ended up as my all-of-fiction OTP.
So we'll see what happens with these two down the line.
This is surely one of my favourite Murchie pictures. Just look at that little squirt, all perky and interested.
He and I are both super-duper excited about THE SHADOW HERO, which is everything I hoped it would be. I'm about halfway through it as I write this, a small 100 marathon having affected all areas of my reading life, but I don't doubt I finished it after I went to bed last night. It's decidedly moreish.
I finished THE SELECTION yesterday afternoon and jumped right into its sequel, THE ELITE. (Thanks, Scribd!) At first, it suffered from the same waning-enthusiasm issue as the latter chapters of its predecessor, but right before I left off for the day something major happened. Now I'm intrigued again. I hope I can scrounge a bit more time with it today, though I intend to be unproductive and it seems unlikely I'll manage to walk anywhere. (I get a lot of listening done while I graft away at hands-on-brain-off tasks, and on my walks.) It's supposed to rain all day, with snow on the horizon. DAMMIT WINTER IT IS MAY JUST GO ALREADY.
Next week: one more volume of SKIP BEAT, which I won't show you again because it's pictured above. Maybe a Hugo nominee. I dunno. Life after SKIP BEAT seems far less bright and interesting. Whyyyyyyyyyy don't I have a time machine? Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?