Sunday, January 3, 2016

Murchie Plus Books: December 27th to January 2nd

The premise: I love my dog. I love books. I bring the two together by photographing my dog (or one of his stand-ins) with every book I read, barring the comics I get in single issue form.

The photos: go live on Instagram as I take them and appear here every Sunday in digest form, with descriptive alt tags and additional commentary.

Not pictured: I read lots of comics this week, starting with some Star Wars titles. I'm still working my way through the various Tales of the Jedi miniseries by omnibus instead of by publication order. I'll count them by omnibus, too, because my reading list needs zero padding.

I also gulped down the recent Princess Leia miniseries, which I loved. More Leia doing awesome things with other women, please.

Finally, I've been blasting through stuff for Comic Book Herald's My Marvelous Year reading series. The week-by-week project tackles the entire Marvel Universe via ten key stories per publication year. This premiere week focuses on 1962, which means lots of Fantastic Four, some Thor, and the origin of Spider-Man, alongside a few anthology titles. It's been a good excuse to read older material and see the oft-told origin stories in action.

A black Schnauzer, Duffy, faces the camera at a Dutch tilt. He has one paw on a white hand holding a white Kobo with New Amsterdam's cover on its screen. The green-tinted cover features a woodcut of a woman floating the ghostly image of a skull in one hand while candles float in the background.

I know I promised you Murchie would return this week, but Duffy's people had an issue arise and he's staying here for a few days so they don't have to worry about rushing back and forth to attend to him. And he was so obliging when I asked him to pose with Elizabeth Bear's NEW AMSTERDAM, a book Murchie has studiously avoided since the moment I started it.

Y'all know my master plan for 2016 is to read whatever the hell I want, and I've been meaning to return to NEW AMSTERDAM for ages. It's a fabulous collection of novellas and novelettes about a wampyr detective and a forensic sorceress, and it takes place in a gorgeously realized alternate world filled with the sort of cultural and technological differences that make me squee with delight. I'm enjoying it just as much now as I did the first time through, and I can't wait to reread the next couple of books before I finally finish the series.

A fuzzy grey poodle, Murchie, lays on a red tapestry comforter with his face in profile and his paws curled under him. Slightly behind him, propped against a black and gold pillow, is a white Kobo with Minimum Wage's cover on its screen. The cover features a blond white man surrounded by white women with very large tits and asses.

And here's Murchie! He and Duffy curled up on either side of me yesterday morning, and I took advantage of Murchie's reluctance to climb over Duffy to corner him and make him pose with Bob Fingerman's MINIMUM WAGE.

Which, I fear, was not to my taste. I actually started it before NEW AMSTERDAM, but I wanted to lead with the good stuff. Fingerman's semi-autobiographical look at life as a divorced artist who's trying to bolster his career and find love again has its merits, but it didn't grip me the way I wanted it to. The art, too, is of the sort where all the men have poor posture and all the women are highly sexualized. I actually appreciate comics characters with poor posture, seeing as how few people have excellent posture in real life, but it strikes the eye differently when the men slump and the women burst out of their clothes.

I decided to put it aside on page 40. Maybe I'll try again someday

Murchie lays on a fuzzy white pillow as he sniffs a Star Destroyer perched beside him. The Star Destroyer is a solid grey diamond-shaped spaceship on a clear plastic stand. Murchie wears a red t-shirt with green grim.

I spent most of last week finishing LIES AND PROPHECY (which was great, but slower going than I expected) and gulping down Marvel comics, so please accept this Murchie Plus Star Destroyer photo in lieu of another bookish offering.

I got a new iPod early last year, and was dismayed it wouldn't find into any of my speaker docks because Apple changed the size of the connector port. You can buy adapters, yeah, but they're expensive around here and I couldn't quite psych myself up to spend lots of money on a tiny little gadget when I could just strap my iPod to my arm and listen via my earbuds.

That does get a bit annoying in certain situations, though, so when Shoppers Drug Mart had Bluetooth speakers shaped like Star Destroyers on for $20 after Christmas, I leaped at the chance to get one. Even better, I was shopping with my mother, who collects Shoppers Optimum Points and had gone so far over the normal collection limit that she had to use some of them right away lest she lose them. So the speaker cost me $5 total, and it's brilliant. It lights up while it plays music, and it's totally wireless except for its battery charger, and it blares the Star Wars theme if you tap one of the engines while it's in Off mode.

Murchie loves it too, as you can see.

Next week: whatever the hell I feel like reading. Some more special guest stars, too, since I'm off to look after another couple of animals.


  1. Yay for reading whatever the hell you want!

    1. I only worry that by the time I've finished my current read, I'll no longer feel like reading the stuff that's calling to me right this second.

  2. But that Star Destroyer is wondrous! I love it! I am so envious! I want to get one for Randon except I dunno how much music he listens to and maybe he wouldn't want one?

    I wrote that and then realized it was insane. Of course Randon would want a thing that would let the sounds of Hamilton emerge from a Star Destroyer.

    1. I myself have played Hamilton through my Star Destroyer, and I can confirm it's tops. It's also been great for Led Zeppelin and Flogging Molly, and for audiobooks.