Sunday, January 29, 2017

Murchie Plus Books: January 22nd to 28th

I make my dog pose beside everything I read, barring single issue comics. Some weeks he’s a star and some weeks he refuses to keep his head still.

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.

Last week’s Not Pictured selections included the usual number of X-Men comics. They feel horribly relevant right now.

A fuzzy grey poodle, Murchie, sits on a burgundy carpet beside a hardcover copy of Deceptive. He’s only a little taller than the book. His head is turned away from it. The book’s orange and blue cover features a blonde white girl standing atop the title, which hovers diagonally above a cityscape.

I love it when I ask the library to buy a book and they order a bunch of copies that a bunch of other patrons check out as soon as they're available. Guess I wasn't the only one eager to see how Ciere's story continued.

Emily Lloyd-Jones's DECEPTIVE [Amazon] is the sequel to ILLUSIVE, a book I sought out because I saw it recced on Twitter as X-Men meets Oceans 11 and I love both those things. It was an accurate comp, and it fits this book, too, with the caveat that DECEPTIVE's got a lot more stuff on the fed side of the equation. While it took me a little bit to readjust to this the world after my time away, I was hard into the book by the end and was sorry to say goodbye to all the characters.

So sorry, in fact, that I popped right onto Lloyd-Jones's website to see if there was any chance of a third book somewhere down the line. Alas, she's got ILLUSIVE and DECEPTIVE tagged as a duology. While it's easy to read Ciere's storyline as concluded (with enough dangly bits that she could enjoy more adventures down the line), I feel like both Devon and Daniel have a middle book thing going on. Shit gets dark for them, and the ending puts them in position for the traditional third book Lightening Of Burdens. It's not the worst possible conclusion to their storylines, but I'm still sad we'll never get to see where they go from here.

Murchie lies with his chin flat against a red tapestry comforter. At an angle in front of his head is a white iPod with the cover of Hidden Figures on its screen. The cover features a film still of three black women in 1960s dresses walking across a NASA logo embedded in the floor of a large, arched doorway.

Sometimes my phone flat out refuses to focus on Murchie's fuzzy face, and I get fed up and quit trying.

As I’m sure is the case with many people, I learned about Margot Lee Shetterly’s HIDDEN FIGURES [Amazon] from the recent film adaptation. I spent a Hoopla credit on it and dove in as soon as I’d finished Yaa Gyasi’s HOMEGOING, and it’s been wonderful so far. Shetterly blends scientific facts with personal stories about the black women who were integral first to war-era aviation research and later to the space race. The result is an affecting examination of what life was like for them, personally and professionally, with plenty of science history for them what wants it.

Now I’m even more excited to see the movie. Too bad I suck at actually making it to the cinema.

Murchie lies against a black background with his head raised. In front of him is a white Kobo with the cover of Crown of Midnight on its screen. The cover features a black and white illustration of a young white woman with very long, white-blonde hair. She wears tight fitting clothes and a red cloak, and swirls two swords around her. The background is swirls of red and orange.

I tried and tried and tried to settle in with serious fare last week, but I couldn’t concentrate well enough to enjoy any of it. Rather than go entirely without books and/or end up abandoning something I’d normally get a lot out of, I figured I’d finally read Sarah J. Maas’s second Throne of Glass novel, CROWN OF MIDNIGHT [Amazon | Scribd]. As previously stated, I expect this series to be something mildly fun at best, without the sort of nuance and diversity I look for in my best-beloved books, so the enjoyment stakes were much lower than with anything else on my library stack.

As I write this, I’ve been reading it for three days and I’m less than 20% in. It was probably a good pick for my current mood, which I hope will have faded by the time I finish it and start something else.


  1. Replies
    1. Butting in to selfishly say that I think your reading has been great because you got me reading Ann Bishop's The Others series :D

  2. HI! Murchie is pretty fantastic. I keep seeing Maas's books everywhere and have been considering giving them a try but... mildly fun without nuance and diversity? Sigh. Maybe I'll try to stay away a bit longer. If I want mildly fun I should stick to my TBR pile I guess ;)

    1. Plot-wise, they remind me of the fantasy I used to read in the mid 90s, if that helps. Rep-wise, there're some POC and queer people around the edges, but they often come across as accessories to the white characters' storylines and the internet has led me to believe that's more and more the case as the series rolls along.