ex02 — Annotated TBR, Baby Bookshelves Edition

Here’s the first installment—because I expect there to be many—of The Annotated TBR. That is: Here’s a selection of some of the books in my to-be-read list; here are the books that, when I first held them at the bookstore, I felt that I should read at the very soonest, read right that minute, possessed and squirreled away. Basically: Here are the books I’ve ignored for the longest time. Maybe it’s a way to make amends? Maybe it’s a way to push myself? Maybe it’s a way to revisit that initial need and that urgency. We’ll see. [Continue reading.]

GREENBERGER — The Batman Vault

I’ve had a really fun weekend—among other things: I am a total sap for this Valentine’s business, which I don’t think comes as a surprise to anybody. Anyway. This early morning’s bout of insomnia (which, in effect, extends the weekend, I guess) is more welcome than usual. I’m taking bloggerly advantage of the relative chillness and the good vibes. So, hello, godforsaken blog—here’s a rundown of some of the books I’ve read lately, aka housekeeping: The Dinner by Herman Koch, Longitude by Dava Sobel, the first two volumes of Justice League Dark, and The Batman Vault by Robert Greenberger. [Continue reading.]

CHABON — The Final Solution

I am pleased to announced that my first foray into post-canon reading was a blubbery success: I’ve read Michael Chabon’s pastiche on Sherlock Holmes, The Final Solution, and absolutely loved it. It was, I think, a nice book to read in transition from the canon, to whatever reading I feel like doing next—either a reread of Doyle, or a digging up other pastiches that place their stories firmly as career stories. Mostly because it’s a nice nod to my having ended that first run through the canon—it’s a tidy novella about a Sherlock Holmes old and retired and, in fact, only alluded to. [Continue reading.]

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I was supposed to write just about Brubaker’s The Man Who Laughs, but then it kept swerving into a rant about “the barriers of entry” in comic book reading. So here’s that indulgent swerve. See, barriers have an amazing way of reminding you that they existed for you because a) you’re a girl, and b) you got into comics way too late to ever catch up. So, to me, even if the barriers have been tiptoed past or crashed into—out of sheer will, or through a surfeit of giddiness—those barriers keep haunting; they’re like your very own Greek chorus dispensing aphoristic helpings of an inferiority complex. Hell and damnation. [Continue reading.]

ex02 — February, Thus Far

I’ve kept up the wonky momentum of January—characterized by good books and really good books resolving to nudge away a smattering of meh books—up until the start of February, but I’m seeing the possibility of even that faulty system flagging. This is, I am aware, an as-faulty observation—since three of the four books I’ve read since the month began were really, really good books. It’s only that, I suppose, I’ve more recently been mired in books I can’t bring myself to care for—books that I have been excited for, and books that would really be for me if some secret thing inside me wasn’t so listless lately. I look at my bookshelves and think horrible thoughts, among them: How can I be so drawn to all of you, but nothing at this moment appeals? [Continue reading.]

PEIRENE PRESS — Turning Point Series

Peirene Press’ “Turning Point” series made its way to my shelves, and I delved into the books, reading them almost one after the other. These three novellas approach craft in their own peculiar ways; that is: In an as unconventional a manner as possible. Each novella is a successful exercise in style and tone and voice and storytelling. Mussel has that breathless and urgent stream-of-consciousness, Darwin was admirably adept at picking out individual voices one moment and pushing forward the collective the next, and Chasing was just exemplary in temperance sharpening scenes into a fine point. [Continue reading.]

PUTNEY - The Rake

For the TL;DR crowd: The Rake is a powerful and compelling exploration of a hero’s fatal flaw; the brandy-swilling hero narratively pushed to an addiction. Read it for that. And if you like long discussions of how to run an estate, idk. The romance is secondary to Reggie’s development as a character and his struggle with his alcoholism, which I understand and I respect and am actually quite thankful for—but, unfortunately, it’s a distant second within the narrative. A little more effort could have been put in to make Alys seem to me as compelling? A little more angst and love and passion? A little more conversation that didn’t involve sheep? [Continue reading.]

ex01 — January Books Read

The above books make up the wee dent I’ve managed to inflict onto my To-Be-Read landmass. Frankly, January was not as enriching a bibliophilic experience as I would have liked—the first books read in the year put up a struggle or bored me to tears. Some books were just myeh, their biggest offense was that they existed for me only to help me pass the time. But, of course, thankfully, there were highlights. [Continue reading.]

January 2014 books bought from various sales of ruination

These are the books I bought this January, and all but two were from a series of Fully Booked sales. That’s thirty-five books bought in the first month of 2014—I bought more books than there are days in the year thus far. A few certainties: Having rearranged my shelves during the holidays, I’ve had absolutely no room in my shelves left for books since the holidays; there will be no eating right for the next two weeks; I am exploring the possibility of maiming someone just so I can have world enough and time for these books; I am so, so very happy; Batman definitely does not approve. But let me explain. [Continue reading.]

FFORDE - The Eyre Affair

There ought to be a term for the bookish adultery that compels you to actively search for echoes—or even reiterations—of books you’ve loved for the longest time. Then again, the brand of fidelity attached to this venture is a curious, if twisted, thing, too—you welcome things that remind you of the original, which would always, always have its fist wrapped around your fervently beating-for-it heart. I am talking about Jane Eyre. In this instance. [Continue reading.]