Sunday, January 17, 2016

Murchie Plus Books: January 10th to 16th

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

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

Not pictured: I spent lots of time with a selection of Marvel comics from 1963 and 1964, including the first few issues of UNCANNY X-MEN. Reading them for My Marvelous Year has finally given me the push I needed to undertake the series as a whole, so that's my ginormous project for 2015. I'll read every issue of UNCANNY X-MEN before the end of September, which is when my Marvel Unlimited subscription runs out. (If the Canadian dollar keeps doing what it's doing, I won't be able to afford to renew the service. Sadness. Any kindly rich person wanna sponsor me?)

I also devoured every new chapter of to the sky without wings as soon as it appeared. Or as soon as I possibly could after it appeared, I should say, because I discovered the last chapter waiting for me when I went to pull that link. I don't doubt I read it as soon as I finished prepping this post.

Sorry, Murchie-fanciers; my own particular dog gets a full week off. Don't worry--Buster and young Oliver proved more than eager to lend their modelling talents to this ongoing animals-and-books series.

Elizabeth Bear's SEVEN FOR A SECRET was even better the second time through. This series is rich and fulfilling on every level, and the worldbuilding's roots run deep. I'm seventeen kinds of excited to reread THE WHITE CITY and finally get to AD ETERNUM and GARRETT INVESTIGATES for the first time.

A ginger cat, Ollie, sits in a sink. One paw reaches out to grasp something outside the shot. On the counter beside him is a white Kobo with Scarlet's cover on its screen.  The cover features a swirl of red cloak and a flash of red hair against a dark blue background.

I was prepared to barrel on through te series, except a new chapter of "to the sky without wings" appeared, then the library emailed me to say I could have a digital copy of SCARLET, and I got a tad distracted.

SCARLET, too, was even better the second time through. This series is so much fun, with the fairy tales and the SFnal stuff, and I really appreciate how it isn't centred on the US. The Earthen characters come from all over the world.

Alas, Meyer does seem to do that thing where the US absorbs Mexico, though she's broken slightly with tradition and had Canada absorbed by the UK instead. Sigh. I'm ever so fond of futuristic YA fiction where Canada gets to stay its own place.

Buster rests his whole head on a chest clad in a dark pink hoodie. His nose is very close to the camera. A hardcover copy of the first Fables Deluxe Edition is just barely visible in the background.

We'll just pretend you can clearly see the first deluxe edition of FABLES behind Buster's enormous nose, okay?

I spent a lot of time flopped on the nearest bed or couch last week, struck down in my prime. TL;DR: I banged my elbow, swore a lot because it hurt, and forgot about it until I realized the elbow-bang had pinched a nerve and probably caused the nausea and numb fingers that've been bugging me for the last few days. Nausea and numb fingers make it tough to do much of anything, including type. That's a prime reason why these little post-photo commentaries are so much shorter than usual.

Anyways, I've been meaning to reread the early volumes of FABLES and catch up on the later ones, and now I'm doing so. Alas, I had a lot of trouble sinking back into the series, largely because I found it rife with casual and unquestioned misogyny--which I suppose I should've been primed for, given Bill Willingham's behavior at GenCon. That article (combined with his extremely disappointing run on ANGEL) put me off so much that I bumped this reread/catch-up back several months to begin with.

I'd found something of a rhythm by the time I finished ANIMAL FARM, though, so I'll read at least the next deluxe edition (comprising #s 11-20).

Ollie lays with the top of his head pressed up against the side of a white Kobo with Cress's cover art on its screen. the cover features a very long, blonde braid wrapped around in red.

Not even half an hour after I finished and returned SCARLET, I got an email saying CRESS was available. That made the whole what-do-I-read-next process super easy.

I'm loving this one all over again, too, but I've been reading it rather slowly thanks to a few time sucks. I probably read a bunch more of it last night, after I finished "to the sky without wings".

Buster side-eyes a hardcover copy of Batman: Earth One, which is propped upright on a coffee table. The book's cover features a young boy and an older man standing at a graveside in the rain. Batman's silhouette looms over them.

One time suck: I had a bunch of comics I wanted to return to the library on my way back into the city, including BATMAN: EARTH ONE by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank.

It was excellent in ways I'd probably articulate at great length if I didn't have numb fingers and a powerful hankering for Star Wars fic.

Since I have both those things, let's just say I'm glad this reimagining of Batman's origins has a sequel. I've already requested it.

Buster sits on the floor with a paperback copy of Avatar: The Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow between his front paws. The cover features two boys of Asian descent, one bald and one with a topknot. Buster's lips are curled back as though he's just about to sneeze.

The latest ATLA arc, SMOKE AND SHADOW, is off to a good start. I'm impressed with how Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru are handling Ursa's PTSD over everything that happened to her when she was married to Ozai, and I'm mighty pleased to see Mai and Ty Lee again. I do hope they'll be able to engage in a few activites that aren't centred on Zuko as the arc progresses, though.

A white iPod with Deadline's green-blue cover on its screen is propped up against a speaker shaped like a Star Destroyer in flight.

I decided to give Murchie the rest of the week off and pose Mira Grant's DEADLINE with my beloved Star Destroyer speaker. I started the book yesterday during 24 In 48, and I'm looking forward to gulping a bunch more of it down as the event continues today. This is excellent stuff, y'all. I wish I'd been able to squeeze it in sooner, and I'm glad there should be no reason why I can't listen to BLACKOUT as soon as I've finished it (with, perhaps, a brief break for Lois McMaster Bujold's WINTERFAIR GIFTS).

Next week: probably some Elizabeth Bear. Hopefully some Chuck Wendig, too. Definitely more comics. Most likely a new audiobook.


  1. I always enjoy your photos with the animals. :-) I really need to get around to reading The Lunar Chronicles. I've told myself I will at least start it this year once the TBR Triple Dog Dare is over.

  2. You are making me want to read The Lunar Chronicles. Also Chuck Wendig. SO MANY BOOKS. SO LITTLE TIME. Also, obligatory: NOOOOOOOOOOSE.

    1. This is the one great problem with reading whatever the hell I want. I want to read EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE, and I can't, and it makes me grumpy.