February 24th, 2013

Dead Dog Cat


Sometime, in all the activity of the last few days, I managed to finish reading Osprey New Vanguard #49: Mississippi River Gunboats of the American Civil War 1861 – 65. I've always had a soft spot for naval history and fiction, but the riverine warfare of the Civil War isn't an area that I'd learned much over the years. This book fills that gap nicely.
eyeroll at the gun

Book #6: As Meat Loves Salt

Book #6

Title: As Meat Loves Salt

Author: Maria McCann

Pages: 565

Genre: Historical Fiction, LGBT Fiction, 17th- 19th Century

Stars: **** (4)

Summary: Born into nobility, Jacob Cullen was reduced to servant status after his father died. Years later he, and his two brothers, are living relatively comfortably as house servants. Jacob is also about to be wedded to a woman he loves. However, his past catches up with him when he realizes he was seen killing a man and the law is after him to bring him to justice. This leads to a series of events where, while battling his inner daemons, he creates a path of destruction through the lives of everyone he meets, strangers as well as those he loves.

Review: I loved and hated this novel at the same time. The back cover says that this is a dark erotic (nothing too graphic and not that much either) tale but it really is so much more. McCann weaves the dark and violent with sweet and innocent brilliantly. Jacob is really twisted; he has anger management issues and doesn’t seem to be able to control himself when emotions take over. And yet as he goes through life hurting people, strangers as well as those he loves, I couldn’t help but cheer for him and hope and beg of others for forgiveness (and a happy ending). What makes this book great is also what kept frustrating me. The destruction he leaves behind is painful, even revolting and he seems to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. It is like a train wreck that you see coming, over and over, and each time you are powerless to stop it and yet, yet you can’t stop watching.

McCann has a wonderful way with words and seems to grasp realistically a way of speaking in 17th century England. The book is long but beautifully written (each word as necessary the others around it), the words seem to flow of the page so it doesn’t take too long to get through it. She is one of those authors that can transport you into another time and place, straight into the lives of these characters.
once upon a time

Books 33-34: Fables Vols 11-12: War and Pieces and The Dark Ages

Book 33: Fables Vol 11: War and Pieces.
Author: Bill Willingham, 2008.
Genre: Graphic Novel. Re-told Fairy Tales. Myth and Legend. War.
Other Details: Paperback. 192 pages.

Collects Issues 70-75. The first story Kingdom Come (#70) sees various residents of Fabletown and the Farm preparing for war. Skulduggery (#70-71) has Cinderella undertaking a mission in South America, again associated with the coming war. Finally in War and Pieces (#73-75) the Fables go to war against the Empire.

The art work here was very impressive in terms of conveying aspects of the conflict in large panels. It was a complex story that has been building since the very first issue. There was also quite a twist in the tale, which leads to all kinds of possibilities for the future of the series.

I read this and the next five of the graphic novels over the course of a week as I had borrowed them from the library and they were reserved by another reader and due back. I rationed myself to about one a day which wasn't difficult given the format.

Book 34: Fables Vol 12: The Dark Ages.
Author: Bill Willingham, 2009.
Genre: Graphic Novel. Re-told Fairy Tales. Myth and Legend. War.
Other Details: Paperback. 173 pages.

Contains Issues 76-82. Around the Town (#76) in which the newest resident of Fabletown is given a guided tour. The Dark Ages (#77-81) sees the dawning of a new era for the residents of Fabletown and includes a story of two rouges named Freddy and Mouse, a clear homage to Fritz Leiber's sword and sorcery duo Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. Finally Waiting for the Blues (#82) is an epilogue to The Dark Ages.

After the events of Volume 11 here begins a new arc in the aftermath of the war complete with the arrival of a dangerous new enemy. There was also an unexpected death that saddened me and some quite major shocks. It will be interesting to see how things develop from here. Terrific series.
kiki and Jiji

Books 1 to 6

1: Gargoyle - Andrew Davidson: Very much enjoyed this book. I felt like it nicely encompassed a story of history, love, art and religion.
2: The Dark side of the Sun - Terry Pratchett: First book of Pratchett's I've read and I admit most of it was quite confusing to me, but I all together found it funny and entertaining.
3: Silver Linings Playbook - Matthew Quick: Although I read this book quickly I did find it quite hard going. It's much better than the film in detail and the connection to the characters you feel. I felt at times the film viewed more like a chick flick whereas the book has slightly deeper meaning to it.
4: The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern: Thought this book was brilliant. It really does engulf you in its story of magic and illusion.
5: The girl who circumnavigated fairyland in a ship of her own making - Catherynne Valente This book made me very nostaligic for the sorts of fairystories I read as a child, except I feel as though it also had a lovely adult feel to it. A great fairy tale for young adults
6: A stranger in a strange land - Robert Heinley: Thought this was a brilliant piece of writing and really made me reflect on religion, culture, and indoctrination.

That's all i'm up to so far. I have been compiling my 50 book challenge based on peoples recommendations. I have asked people to recommend to me one book, if they were only allowed to ever recommend one book ever, and that I will make an effort to read it. If anyone can pick out one book that they would recommend leave it in the comments and I will try to read it :)