Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Urban Forest

Finished a Jane Yolen book this morning and started, The Forest of Serre, by Patricia McKillip this evening. I remember reading her first book of the Riddlemaster series when I was 12 and enjoying it; but, like R. McKinley, I never managed to pick up anything afterwards.

Unlike McKinley, (whom I have since become reaquainted with and truly enjoy, Sunshine anyone?), I did meet up with Ms. McKillip (no, not personally) while wandering the Booksmith one evening. I was pining for a new deLint and one of the booksellers recommended Atrix Wolf.


But I did eventually pick up a copy. Never read it. Ended up giving it away, unread, when I moved cross country. One day I saw a copy of The Alphabet of Thorn and brought it home.

I liked the scribes area.

Oh dear. Can you tell what's coming? I don't know what it is. I have heard several people strongly recommend PM. I do think her stories are nice. I don't dislike them....But it's kind of like someone saying, "Oh you like the Cranes? Well then, you'll like the Cranberries!" (uh, no). Or, "You like the Cocteau Twins? You'll really like Kate Bush!" (uh, double no). Perhaps I'm too much of a city person and her books are too forested? That doesn't feel like the reason though...

I'm giving Priscilla another try. Just because I don't like all the books, or even many of the books, an author publishes does not mean I won't like one or two :)

Speaking of which I did read Something Rich and Strange the other day. So I do like two of her books. It reminded me of Lord Dunsay's, The King of Elfland's Daughter. *****CV

Monday, November 28, 2005

true (book) love

Ahh Powell's how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love you for your four (count 'em 4) city block sized, new and used, book filled floors. I love you for being open late. I love you for having three copies of the same book, identically packaged at different prices: one for 45- one for 30- and one for 6.50 and that the cheap one is the better edition! I love you for author appearences that bring me in from the cold or send me to a church so I can hear a tribute to HP Lovecraft. I love you for your medieval book selection. And though you be skimpy in the celtic department I forgive you. I love you for the many computer stations that allow me to see that, yes, according to your system you do have the book I seek but when I look on the shelf--three days running--it is not there and yet when I do ask a human being this one finds it in the employee overstock section.

I used to feel this way about Green Apple Books in SF. GA had wonderful stairs hidden away and rooms that led sideways into other rooms. Also, the old Main Library in SF where one could disappear into the stacks by climbing a narrow iron staircase behind the page's desks, after producing the requisite card from the card catalog of course :)****CV

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

vowel trouble

Correction : the historical fiction is Coram not Corum (please excuse my flashback to the Eternal Champion days of youth. Speaking of which, did anyone else have the Avengers theme runnng through their head whilst following the adventures of Jerry Cornelius? Just curious.)

Picked up a couple of Katherine Briggs books today. I may finally have an answer to that Finvarr question soon. There was a link to an interesting article on Gaiman's site about a construction company in Scotland having to call a halt because of Fair Ffolke influences. Hmmmmm***CV

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Too much is never enough

Having reassessed my finances (along with much positive rationalization) and with an eye towards a day of serious loafing, I stopped by the wee store called Powell's tonight. After perusing the selection I came away with four titles: Corum, an historical fiction of 18th century England; Elidor, by Alan Garner; The Dubious Hills, by Pamela Dean; and, Black Hearts & Ivory Bones, an anthology edited by T. Windling and E. Datlow.

I finished Shakespeare's Spy. I look forward to reading the first two in the series but may simply check them out of the library. Started Elementals by A.S. Byatt Ahh surrealism so dreamlike and allegorical :)*****CV

Monday, November 21, 2005

lead paint and cochineal

Finished the Wild Reel: good to know the author had some experience with the Henson group. It goes quite a ways towards explaining how he can characterize the goodde ffolke and company so well. Check out the trolls feeding patterns; gross, but I can easily see it muppet style :)

After finishing the Wild Reel, I read An Earthly Knight (Tam Lin variant) and, Knight's Wyrd last night. Initially I started KW fully intending to stop and finish it today but the pacing was so thoughtful that I ended up reading it in one go.

So now I am taking a wee rest and reading one of the Shakespeare stories by GaryBlackwood: Shakespeare's Spy.****CV

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Wild Reel

I took a break between the last phaerie tale (the Hunter's Moon, by O.R. Melling) and the next by finishing up a Lloyd Alexander story called, the Iron Ring; in which LA plays fast and loose with the Mahabharata. I have now begun the Wild Reel by Paul Brandon.

Interestngly enough the faeirie King in Melling's book and in Brandon's share the same name, Finnvarr. I do not know if this is a common name, like Bob, or if it is referencing a particular King. If anyone out there knows could you provide an answer in the comments?

Meanwhle, I am on a search for books retelling classic Gaelic myths, other that the Tain and the Mabinogion.****CV

Friday, November 18, 2005

So, I have been on a serious Phaerie reading binge. Tithe, Valient, The Hunter's Moon, Tamsin, the Little Mysteries, Thomas the Rhymer, the Druids Rune, Hounds of the Morrgain. And I have finally realised that Gaelic is impossible to read (unless you're a native of course).

How, you might ask, did I come to this realisation? Because I was very silly and instead of utilizing the early learned trick of skipping over a new, vowel challenged, word (and figuring out what was happening by context alone) I tried to read the bloody geographical names aloud. Yep. That and a funny hat will get you nto the realms of ridicule right quick.

Did you know a selkie was realy a silkee? Or that the sidthe were not sith but shee? I think this type of story telling should be heavily annotated along the margins of every page with a pronunciation guide: don't you?***CV

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Upon reflection....

Upon reflection, this may be a rather tidy way of keeping track of the reading I am currently involved with. A voracious reader as a child I somehow fell out of the habit for several years. Got to involved with other self-importancies. Since summer I have felt I could truly indulge again.
Thus, after consuming all of the works of Haruki Murakami, Robin McKinley, and Jasper Ffordde, as well as an assortment of Goodwill finds I am now immersed in the realm of YA. (Bloody Jack; Lloyd Alexander; Patricia Wrede; Billingsley; Hikaru no Go; etc)
'Course as soon as Mr. deLint chooses to release a new novel, or a new Monkey King edition appears, or Mr. Gaiman makes another tour, I will happily trot back over to the "adult" section :)****CV

Tuesday, November 15, 2005