Sunday, June 19, 2016

Murchie Plus Books: June 12th to 18th

The premise: I make my tiny and beloved dog pose with every book I read. Sometimes this is an easy task. Sometimes he wanders off mid-session in search of food and/or someone who won't shove a camera in his face.

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 read a bunch more UNCANNY X-MEN, of course! I'm past #200 now, and I've blogged about the series up to #150

I went back and finished Guy Gavriel Kay's CHILDREN OF EARTH AND SKY, too, and it was magnificent. I hope I'll have a review for you this week.

A disheveled grey poodle, Murchie, sprawls on his side in a fuzzy dog bed. His front legs splay out before him. Beside him, tucked into the upper right hand corner of the photo, is a hardcover copy of Wandering Son Volume Five. The visible portion of the cover features a young Japanese person with short brown hair raising their hands to their cheeks as someone hands them a bouquet of pink flowers.

I missed a picture from last week. Oops. I thought my last post felt a little scant...

Anyways, I read volume five of Shimura Takako's WANDERING SON the week before last, and I'm afraid the series isn't holding my interest. It's far quieter than the comics I typically latch on to; not necessarily a bad thing, but not really my thing, either (especially given the concerns I mentioned a couple weeks back). I finished this one and returned Volume Six unread.

I knew Murchie was tired because he didn't even flinch when I slid my iPod up beside his cheek.

An important thing about me: I'll at least try to read anything you tell me to read, but I won't necessarily get to it quickly. Like, I added Luis Alberto Urrea's INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH to my Hoopla Favourites immediately after Jenny wrote about it in April of 2015, and here we are in June of 2016. That ain't what you'd call a speedy follow through.

Jenny was right, friends. This book is delightful. It's all about a young Mexican woman who rounds up her three BFFs and undertakes a journey into the beautiful north (ie, into the United States), where they hope to find seven men who're willing to come home and help protect their town from banditos. They face heaps of struggles along the way, some of them distinctly undelightful, but the focus always remains on moving forward and forging connections and gaining a new understanding of the world around you. I haven't quite finished it yet, since I was sick last week and couldn't walk as much as I usually do, but I adore what I've listened to so far.

(Also, I know Jenny loves hearing she's right, so I'm pleased I can give her this small punch of happiness.)

Murchie sits on a white woman's lap, his paws draped over the side of one tan-clad leg. Behind him, the woman holds a hardcover copy of The Raven King. Its cover features the silhouette of an Irish Elk surrounded by ravens in flight

Okay, so, I didn't reread all of THE RAVEN KING last week, but I had to pause and reread the epilogue after I finished the gorgeousness that was CHILDREN OF EARTH AND SKY. As a gorgeousness chaser, you know?

I had a print copy out from the library because I finally persuaded my mother to read THE RAVEN BOYS. She got about halfway through it and made me borrow THE DREAM THIEVES and BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE1 for her so she'd have them on hand the moment she needed them. And the morning after she finished BLLB, she ordered me to visit a distant library and borrow their express copy of THE RAVEN KING because she needed MOAR.

My mother is very demanding, and also disinclined to get her own library card because of reasons or something.

Murchie refused to hold still when I read THE RAVEN KING, quite likely because I borrowed the audiobook and he's unaccountably nervous around my iPod, so I'm glad I was able to get a (still slightly blurry) photo of him and my mother reading it together.

Murchie, now with much shorter and less unruly hair, lies curled up asleep on a bronze comforter. In front of him, very close to the camera, is a hardcover copy of Every Heart A Doorway. Its cover features a wooden door standing ajar in the middle of a forest. Red-gold sunlight peeks out from around the door, resulting in a magical lens flare effect.

Seanan McGuire's EVERY HEART A DOORWAY is deeply relevant to my interests, to the point where I might want to write more about it. For now, lemme tell you it's concerned with portal fantasies and their aftermath, and it's about an asexual girl, and a trans boy plays a large role, and I absolutely loved it.

I'm glad my library had it, too, because its position as the first novella to appear in hardcover ensures the ebook is horribly expensive. The hardcover is lovely and I'm sure devoted McGuire fans will give it pride of place on their shelves, but $10.99 is far too much for an ebook under 200 pages. Even a particularly wonderful one.

Murchie turns his head to the viewer's left so he appears in profile. Propped up beside him is a white Kobo with Bookburners S1's red cover on its screen. The cover features a minimalist illustration of a woman brandishing a gun as she steps out of a pale yellow orb and onto a black carpet with a seven-pointed red star on it.

Here's a better look at Murchie's long-delayed haircut. I took this photo soon after he returned from the interim groomer's, and I fear he no longer looks quite as put together as this. Dog beards are basically nastiness magnets.

BOOKBURNERS S1 hasn't become my primary read, but I'm spending so much time with it that I figured I should call upon Murchie to do his thing. It's a serial consisting of sixteen episodes about the Vatican's crack anti-magic team, which I know sounds like totally not my thing, given my vocal distaste for the Death of Magic, but I promise it's cool and interesting and not entirely unbalanced on the anti-magic front.

I'm reading an episode here and there around other things, since serials make it easy to do that, and I'm loving it. With any luck, I'll finish it by the time S2 premieres on the 22nd.

A shot from above. Murchie stands within a circle of six manga volumes. Each of their covers features a small, green-haired girl. It's tough to make out the action on most of the covers, but the most prominent ones involve her sitting on someone's shoulders, riding a bike, reading a book, or standing between two friends.

Kiyohiko Azuma's YOTSUBA&! is my new favourite. The central character, Yotsuba, is so eager to learn about the world, and the people around her do tons to encourage her curiosity instead of grinding her down because she's weird. It's cute and hilarious and happy-making, and it sustained me during a difficult week filled with horrific news and personal illness.

I borrowed up to volume twelve after I devoured volume one, but I couldn't get volumes two through five in the picture because volumes seven through nine came from a different branch and didn't arrive until I'd read quite a bit and was ready to return some stuff. Other library patrons need Yotsuba, too, so I decided not to hold onto them for the sake of a photo.

Murchie lies on a fuzzy pillow, his head raised and his ears perked in heroic fashion. In front of him, filling most of the left side of the shot, is a trade paperback copy of Bombshells Volume One. Its cover features Wonder Woman dressed in a 40s-style getup of tight red shirt and tight blue shorts with stars running down each leg. She wears a yellow bandana with a star on it and a pair of chains she's just broken.

BOMBSHELLS, written by Marguerite Bennett and drawn by a rotating team of mostly female artists, hit me in just the right place. It's packed full of women, including queer women and Jewish women (but not, alas, many WOC). It's got a great aesthetic. And it focuses on characters like Batwoman, Wonder Woman, and Supergirl, all of whom I've come to know through my DC reading project and my TV viewing.

I do so love things that examine familiar ideas from new angles. I'll look forward to the next volume.

Next week: some quick stuff, or some wallowsome stuff. I haven't decided what I'm in the mood for.

  1. I own the first three books in the series, but I had to get Mumsie library copies of the second and third volumes because I only have them as ebooks. Oh, how I long for the day when all ebook platforms allow you to lend stuff! The medium's nontransferrable nature is its only downside.

    At least until the apocalypse comes and we can no longer charge our ereaders because electricity isn't really a thing, as depicted in Emily St John Mandel's remarkable STATION ELEVEN.


  1. I can't wait for BOMBSHELLS VOLUME 2 either! And I am so happy I noticed EVERY HEART A DOORWAY as an ebook deal or I would never have got to read it this week, too!

    1. Y'see, $2.99 was a good price for it. I wish it were $2.99 so I could recommend it to all the people whose libraries didn't buy it.

  2. Oh I DO love hearing that I'm right! I love hearing that I'm right, and I also, of course, just love it when someone I like reads a book I like. That is an all-around good situation. I'm so glad you liked it! YAY. BOOK RECS BY ME.