Sunday, May 1, 2016

Murchie Plus Books: April 24th to 30th

The premise: I make my dog pose with every book I read because he's cute and I'm a big meanie. I don't make him keep his head still alongside single issue comics because I'm not that mean.

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: heaps and heaps of UNCANNY X-MEN. I'll soon have read enough to write yet another recap/commentary post to add to my extensive backlog of X-Men recap/commentary posts for which I need to verify issue numbers and find pictures. Finding pictures (and editing them, and writing image descriptions for them) is my least favourite thing about blogging, so it's anyone's guess when I'll finally buckle down and make myself do it.

A fuzzy grey poodle, Murchie, lays on a sheep-shaped pillow. He wears an orange t-shirt with brown trim and has his head raised and twisted to one side. His front paws are tucked under him. Beside him is a white Kobo with the cover of The Raven Boys on its screen. The cover features a blue-black raven with a flaming heart soaring above four greyscale boys who're trying to fade into the white background.

It took me for frickin' ever to finish THE RAVEN BOYS. While this was my third time through the book, it was the first time I'd read it instead of listening to it, and I kept pausing to think about everything and/or reread paragraphs I particularly like.

It's tough to do that on audio, and THE RAVEN BOYS is extremely worthy of this sort of treatment.

I did finish it eventually, and it was marvelous, and I have a lot of emotions about Noah. About everyone else, too, but I try to pay particular attention to Noah because I didn't properly appreciate him the first time I read this book and I feel like I've gotta make that up to him.

Murchie, still in his orange t-shirt, curls up on his sheep-shaped pillow close beside a white Kobo with Southern Bastards's red-tinted cover on its screen. The cover features a mob of white people running towards someone holding a thick wooden stick. The person wears jeans and is positioned so the left side of their body and their head are out of the frame.

I read about half the first volume of SOUTHERN BASTARDS on my flight home from Victoria, around two months ago, and completely forgot to finish it. Um.

The gap definitely impacted my response. I appreciated it very much, but I don't feel like I'll be in a position to really gauge it until I've reread it in one or two sittings. That'll happen as soon as the library can get me the second volume.

Which may be an issue because three of their four copies are missing. Dammit, people. Return your library books.

Murchie, now naked, hovers above a white iPod with Persona's cover on its screen. The cover features a single coil of a read snake against a black background divided in two by a vertical blue bar.

A confession: I often struggle with fast-paced novels. I read primarily for character, and it's tough for me to form a connection with a fictional person when the plot focuses on shoving them through a situation as quickly as possible.

I appreciated Genevieve Valentine's PERSONA very much, what with its media-centric take on the politics of the future, and I can admire how it doesn't dick around even a little bit on the making-shit-happen front. That said, I never clicked with it emotionally, partly due to the pacing and partly because the narrative often cuts back and forth in time with minimal auditory cues as to what's just happened. With Daniel's POV in particular, I had to perform some mental gymnastics to recognize that certain scenes took place before he met Suyana, not while he was rushing around Paris with her.

I'm sure I'll read the sequel, but I'll do so in print.

Murchie lays in a pink-striped dog bed with his front paws stretched out and his head tilted to one side. He wears a blue hoodie with white trim and is brilliantly lit by a sunbeam. In front of him is a white Kobo with the cover of The Dream Thieves on its screen. The cover appears dim in the sunlight, but the outline of a fire-hearted boy surrounded by ravens is visible through the gloom.

I know, I know, THE DREAM THIEVES doesn't show up particularly well in the outdoor light, but I had to go with this picture instead of trying for a clearer one because Murchie was too cute to keep to myself. Please appreciate his sunlight happiness.

Note, also, the return of his dedicated outdoor dog bed. This dog has as many beds as a reigning monarch or a super-important business person who owns homes in multiple cities. My parents keep buying them for him, and I keep finding new places to stick them. His sheep-shaped pillow goes on the couch, while his soft-sided basket sits in the dining room. The one pictured above is strictly for outdoor use. His orange pillow, his paisley lounger, and a wicker basket he inherited from the dog who died when I was five are in storage. Finally, his brand new low-sided rectangular bed (purchased because Duffy has one just like it) sits behind the recliner on the offhand chance he wants to flop there for a little while.

We've had The Talk about the proper number of dog beds for one teensy poodle, but it clearly hasn't stuck.

Moving on...

THE DREAM THIEVES and I have such an intense relationship that I'm gonna invoke the I Don't Wanna Talk About It clause1 (hence all that padding re: dog beds). You've either read it and you know how wonderful it is or you haven't and you don't.

I did try to write about it after the first time I read it, so you can take a look at that if you're really curious.

Next week: more Maggie Stiefvater as I wend my way to THE RAVEN KING. Probably some comics, too. Definitely a new audiobook. I actually started one the other day, but put it on hold because I realized I couldn't spend the entirety of my long-ass Saturday walk away from THE DREAM THIEVES and promptly borrowed the audio so I wouldn't have to.

  1. I last invoked this clause re: A GATHERING OF SHADOWS by V.E. Schwab. We're now a few weeks out from that moment, so I now feel prepared to tell you I loved it because it's got pirates and siblings and queer folks and MAGICAL FUCKING SPORTS.

    It'll probably take me a couple more years to work my way around to anything more substantial than that.


  1. Remember when I told you my week was slow?? I only finished one book last week! So, very slow reading week for sure.

    1. One-book weeks bum me out and leave me SO grumpy. I need way more story than that.

  2. RONAN LYNCH, n'est-ce pas? And yeah, on rereads I try to pay extra close attention to Noah. Truly he is the most precious of cinnamon rolls, and I am not just saying that because of how often I now apologize for my cold hands by explaining that I've been dead for seven years. THANKS NOAH. GREAT LINE.

    1. HOW have I never stolen that line? I have the coldest hands in all the world.

  3. I DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW ONE LITTLE CREATURE COULD BE SO CUTE. I have a lot of pet envy happening right now - my bird hates me.