Maribou (maribou) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Cousins Strike Blood

The Spellmans Strike Again, by Lisa Lutz
These Spellman books are, more or less, daffy chicklit versions of that hoary old chestnut, the PI novel. But the combination transcends the parts, and I find I quite love them. This one might have maybe even made me tear up a little at an appropriate spot, but if you ask me about that, I'll deny it.

Greek Street: Blood Calls for Blood, by Peter Milligan and Davide Gianfelice
So the problem with explicitly setting out to retell the great Greek tragedies is that you almost certainly won't be able to improve on them. And if the choices you make tend to steer the story in a more superficial direction, like you're ringing the changes without feeling the chords, mostly by going for cheap, flashy gore instead of the heart-rending sort? You'll probably make me rather grumpy with you, unless I feel like you have a sense of humor about your endeavors. Did not find much humor of any kind in this one. Was more than a bit grumpy. YMMV. PS Some of the art was excellent, and made me curious enough to put a hold on Gianfelice's Northlanders.

Cousins, by Evan Commager
Reading any children's book written in the 50s and set in North Carolina, where the main characters are upper-middle-class white children, is probably going to involve some uncomfortable moments involving issues of class and race and gender, right? Right. That said, it's all of the clueless-rather-than-vicious sort and mostly the book is really good, and full of thoughtful and perceptive and lovely sentences and scenes - which made it entirely conducive to the afternoon-lolling-about-reading-and-drinking-cold-things-and-daydreaming-and-reminiscing-and-falling-in-love-with-several-characters-at-once experience that was such a staple of my childhood summers. Perfect for a lazy holiday Monday.

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