Sunday, December 11, 2016

Murchie Plus Books: December 4th to 10th

I make my tiny dog pose with every book I read, barring single issue comics. 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.

This week's comics included GROOT (sweet), GALACTA (short and fun) NOMAD: GIRL WITHOUT A WORLD (slightly longer and fun, with some sorrow woven in), MARVEL DIVAS (great), and a bunch of Star Wars comics (awesome).

A fuzzy grey poodle, Murchie, lies with his chin flat against a grey-clad leg. Behind him is a white Kobo with the cover of Knit Tight on it. The angle casts most of the cover into shadow, but a large turqoise diamond with the title and a pair of knitting needles in it is clearly visible, as is someone's sweater-clad shoulder.

Awkward Murchie selfie time! He's been glued to my lap lately and I didn't have the heart to make him move.

I was gonna pace myself with Annabeth Albert's Portland Heat novellas, but this proved impossible. I had to shell out a Scribd credit for KNIT TIGHT [Amazon | Scribd] the very moment I finished DELIVERED FAST.

SHE'S JUST SO GOOD, Y'ALL. Like, this one's about a barista who's raising his siblings because his parents died in a car crash two years ago, and he meets this knitwear designer who's come back to Portland to help his beloved lesbian aunt while she goes through chemo, and IT'S ALL KINDS OF AFFECTING. THEY BOTH HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO LET PEOPLE HELP THEM. I CRIED SO MUCH.

I'm beyond excited for DANCED CLOSE, the next Portland Heat novella. This has quickly become a favoured series.

I also want to knit something. I've crocheted a few stuffed animals this year, but I don't think I've had a proper knitwear project since I made my red hood two winters ago. I'll have to think about what I might need. Socks sound fun to make, but I only wear athletic socks so I'm not sure they're the right option for me. Hmmm. Maybe I could make doll clothes? Or a sweater for Murchito?

Murchie's face hovers over a trade paperback copy of A Change of Heart. Its cover features a Desi woman with a green sari drawn diagonally across her face so only one eye is visible.

I fear I did Sonali Dev a disservice by reading A CHANGE OF HEART [Amazon | Scribd] right after my glorious Annabeth Albert binge. This particular book is filled with drama and grief and people who fully accept they aren't to blame for the terrible things life may do to them, and I feel like I should have loved it but I had a hell of a time sinking into it. It didn't help that I had to take a couple days' break most of the way through to finish a library book I couldn't renew.

I'll handle things differently next time Sonali Dev's got a new release. From the way this one ends, I assume Rahul and Kimi's story will be up next.

Be aware, this book includes a graphic rape scene and multiple brief flashbacks that delve into the heroine's emotional state.

Murchie curls up beside a black and gold pillow on a red blanket. In front of him is a massive hardcover copy of Hamilton The Revolution. Its beige cover features the black silhouette of a man with his legs splayed and one hand raised like he's dancing. He perches atop a star.

The library book in question was the Hamiltome [Amazon], and it was totally worth putting everything aside for. The Hamiltome (more formally titled HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION) collects the complete libretto of HAMILTON, with annotations by Lin-Manuel Miranda and essays on the play's genesis by Jeremy McCarter. It's fascinating stuff if you have any interest in how the theatrical sausage gets made.

Murchie, dressed in a pink and cream houndstooth sweater, lies with a white iPod propped up againt his side. It has the orange cover of Fifteen Dogs on its screen.

Here's the fun thing about CanLit: it's really fucking depressing. Everything's terrible, then shit gets worse, then the book ends. Sometimes there's a teensy bit of hope woven through the story, too, but don't count on hope winning out. Okay?

I kinda forgot this when I declared myself eager to read more CanLit, stat. Ten minutes into André Alexis's FIFTEEN DOGS [Amazon | Scribd] and I remembered it all too well. The basic premise is, Apollo and Hermes have certain questions about humanity and suffering, so they imbue fifteen dogs with human intelligence and wait to see what happens.

Spoiler: bad shit happens.

I mean, it's excellent bad shit. This is a great book. Maybe don't seek it out when you're in the mood for a feel-good read, though, and be forewarned you'll feel seventeen kinds of awkward if you listen to the audiobook around your dog. I speak from experience.

It's probably a coincidence that Murchie took a funny turn after last week's audiobook-enhanced holiday baking session. Probably.

Murchie lies on a brown pillow below a glass-topped table. He wears his pink and cream sweater. On the table is a white Kobo with the cover of Throne of Glass on its screen. The cover features a white girl with very long blonde hair. She wears a lot of leather and holds a jagged sword in each hand.

Y'all know THRONE OF GLASS [Amazon | Scribd] underwhelmed me the first time through, but I did enjoy THE ASSASSIN'S BLADE so I'm hoping I just need to give the series another shot. As planned, I'll expect something potentially fun that won't necessarily deliver the level of diversity I hope for from my best beloved books.

I've made a small start on it as I write this, and I already like it more than I did the last time. Surely that's a good sign. I hope it keeps up, because I procrastinated I've only got three days before my library copy expires.

Murchie lies with his head twisted towards a white iPod with the cover of Bloodline on its screen. The orange cover features Princess Leia standing with her arms crossed while a formation of five x-wings flies behind her.

I've been craving science fiction in general and Star Wars in specific, so I nabbed Claudia Gray's BLOODLINE [Amazon | Scribd Audio] off Scribd and made a dent in it while I wrapped presents and cooked Christmas cupcakes. It's my first Star Wars novel in a lot of years, if you exclude the time I borrowed AFTERMATH and promptly realized I wasn't in the right mood for it, and it's both nice and weird to spend some more time in this universe. Nice because Star Wars rocked my world when I was eight and was super important to me throughout my teenage years; weird because I always have to perform mental adjustments when I read about characters I'm used to seeing.

The audio format helps a bit with that, seeing as how I'm actually hearing everyone. The book is also auditorily illuminated with lots of sound effects to mimic things like radio announcements and peoples' coms going off; a fun touch.

I'm enjoying it very much and hope I'll be able to scrounge some more listening time today.

Next week: hopefully an Annabeth Albert novel or two. I've finished Portland Heat, but I still have two books left in her Perfect Harmony series and an ARC of the first title in her forthcoming military series. I also want to hunker down and make some progress through both my Scribd library and my public library stack.


  1. Looks like a good week in reading. I should probably check out the new Star Wars books one of these days. I also have not read a Star Wars book in years.

    1. BLOODLINE convinced me I need to pay attention to them. It's amazing.