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 felt ready to continue my UNCANNY X-MEN read-through, so I had myself a most enjoyable binge--until I discovered Marvel Unlimited doesn't have the whole series after all. Their library jumps right from #66 to #94, so I'll have to rejig my plans. Sadness.
I'm so bummed I'll miss the issue where Beast becomes blue and hairy. I've been wondering about that for decades, and googling it would be way too easy.
I've been picking away at another TALES OF THE JEDI miniseries, too. Someday I'll even finish it.
I resisted SKIP BEAT!'s siren song for as long as I could, desperate to lessen the wait between volumes 36 and 37, but last Sunday I caved and used my Amazon affiliate earnings to get volume 36. (This is what I plan to do with all my thus far unimpressive takings. Please buy stuff through the link in my sidebar and help me collect the whole series! #shamelessplug) I gulped it down as quick as I ever I could, and when I was done my face hurt from all the grinning.
Now I've gotta wait months upon months for volume 37, which I expect will make me sob as well as grin because it looks an awful lot like we'll finally meet Kyoko's mom. FEELS.
Seriously, though, how long do you think it'd take me to learn Japanese so I could read each chapter as it comes out? Because I don't buy anything in issues, but I'd buy this.
Panels recently ran a list of five excellent standalone DC stories, and I promptly searched my library's catalogue for the lot. Unfortunately, my library's rather spottier with older DC trades than they are with Marvel, and THE NEW FRONTIER by Darwyn Cooke is the only title I've got easy access to. (Thank goodness for the recent reissue!) I requested it, picked it up, and dug in with the intent of reading a chapter or two a day until I'd finished this massive tome.
A hundred and fifty pages later, I admitted I was in it until the end and damn anything else that might crop up.
THE NEW FRONTIER begins at the end of World War II and stretches through to the very end of the 50s. It's deeply rooted in the company's core set of heroes, but it celebrates them in a way established fans and newcomers can both enjoy. It hit all the notes I knew to expect from my patchy knowledge of DC even as it took me places I didn't expect. While Cooke celebrates this era, he doesn't ignore its dark side. There's war here, and racism, and horrific perversions of justice. The sort of stuff a League devoted to Justice could help with, maybe?
I devoured the whole thing, then went back and reread large chunks of it as I worked my way through the extensive endnotes. My enthusiasm for my DC reading project waned somewhat during my disappointing experience with BATGIRL, but I'm now primed and ready to keep reading. I'm especially looking forward to exploring Green Lantern, since THE NEW FRONTIER made me ridiculously fond of Hal Jordan.
I had this wonderful, wonderful plan for A GATHERING OF SHADOWS by V.E. Schwab. It involved a couch and Murchie and a marathon reading session, possibly with Led Zeppelin or Janelle Monae playing in the background.
So of course, I struggled to focus on prose fiction in print last week. Blah.
I finally managed to find the time yesterday, and once I settled in (with Tori Amos and The Doors in the background) I could hardly tear myself away. A GATHERING OF SHADOWS is my third 5-star book of 2016.
And as I approached the end, I realized something odd. I loved this book with all my soul, and I did not want to talk about it.
I paused and reflected on how that never, ever happens to me. Then I realized it actually happens on a fairly regular basis, but I always push through. I always make myself write a review, or engage in some short(ish)-form gushing during a Murchie Plus Books segment, or at least ALL CAPS on Twitter.
In the past, the books I've loved in this particular over-the-moon-about-it-don't-wanna-gush-about-it way have been review copies, or books with smaller readerships, or books I felt I should talk about because they did important things and I felt the need to prove I grasped their importantness. This time, I've fallen in love with a library book with a good-sized readership (and a TV option), and I don't want to muck around with justifying that love in any way, shape, or form.
So let's leave it at that for now. Maybe I'll change my mind and write a couple thousand words on my response to both A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC and A GATHERING OF SHADOWS. Maybe I won't.
Or maybe I'll feel up to some long-form justification when I reread them in preparation for the third book, which I hope and pray will be out early next year because I need moooooooore.
(But if it's not, no worries. I can be patient! Just look at how well I've been waiting for THE DOORS OF STONE by Patrick Rothfuss!)
I dislike owning things, so I've spent the last few years divesting myself of craploads of stuff and asking people not to give me physical presents for birthdays or holidays. This being the case, I figured it was about time I compared notes with Marie Kondo.
There are areas where she and I diverge1, but for the most part I did a lot of nodding and smiling and resolving to find a copy of THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP for certain family members who shall remain nameless.
I'm also all fired up to get rid of some more crap, because owning stuff you don't love is the woooooooorst.
My iPod's almost full and Sync is fast approaching, so I figured it was about time I listened to (and deleted) some of the audiobooks I got last summer. I decided to start with A CORNER OF WHITE by Jaclyn Moriarty because I couldn't even sort of remember what it was about and there was a chance I'd end up abandoning it right away, thereby freeing myself up to listen to something else.
Nope. Turns out, A CORNER OF WHITE is quite wonderful. It's about a girl in Cambridge who ran away from her old life, mother in tow, and isn't quite sure how to adjust to her new circumstances. And it's about a boy in the Kingdom of Cello who can't abandon hope of finding his vanished father, even though everyone knows the odds of surviving a Purple attack are really frickin' slim. They start writing to one another via a crack that connects a Cambridge parking metre with a Cello art installation, and everything's gloriously weird and off-kilter. It reminded me a little of Laura Ruby's BONE GAP2 and a little of Kerstin Gier's RUBY RED, less for the plot than for the atmosphere.
Thankfully, Hoopla has the sequel on audio. I'm gonna listen to some nonfiction to preserve my readerly balance, then dive in in defiance of this whole "clear shit off my iPod" plan.
Please note, also, that the puzzle I set the book (and my trusty Star Destroyer speaker) atop kicked my ass while I listened. I hereby swear off close-in vineyard puzzles for the rest of my natural life.
Next week: hopefully both THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT and HALF LOST. They're due back within a couple days of each other, so I've gotta hurry the hell up if I want to avoid going back in the queue.
- You'll be unsurprised to hear we're furthest apart on books. Kondo believes one shouldn't own more than thirty books or so, because who the hell rereads their books anyways?
Uh, me? For the last ten eight or nine years, I've only kept books I intend to reread. For the last two, I've only kept those that're important to me. (When I want to reread the ones I discard, I'll borrow them from the library.) I replace physical copies with ebooks whenever they show up in $2.99 or lower sales, too, but even with this strategy in place I doubt I'll ever have fewer than thirty physical books in my life.
- Which, FYI, will be free during the final week of Sync 2016. Y'all want to listen to it because it's initially confusing but ultimately awesome. I bawled my fucking eyes out when Roza did the thing. BAWLED. THEM. OUT.