Weekend Update – The Four Things on January 15th Edition

Posted by on Jan 15, 2017 in Weekend Update | 3 comments

Weekend Update

Four things:

  1. I’m done with Winter. Last weekend we had an ice storm then we got nearly a foot of snow Tuesday night and most of it is still here because it’s barely been above freezing since then. Both of these things are unusual for Portland. Luckily, I can work from home.
  2. I love the Illustrated Edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets except for one thing. I have to read the pages with the spiders very fast.
  3. Vacations are nice. We’ve got a couple of long weekend getaways planned and I’m looking forward to both of them.
  4. I’m going to the Women’s March on Portland on Saturday. I know many of my friends are participating in marches all over the country. We’re in this together!!

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Fables Vol. 17: Inherit the Wind by Bill Willingham

Posted by on Jan 13, 2017 in 2017, 4.5 stars, Bill Willingham, Book Review, Comics | 1 comment

Fables, Vol. 17: Inherit the Wind by Bill WillinghamFables Vol. 17: Inherit the Wind by Bill Willingham with art by Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, et al.

Genre: Fantasy, Comics
Format: Trade Paperback Comics Collected Edition
Series: #17 in the Fables series
Publisher: Vertigo
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 144
Source: Library

The Book:
This volume 17 is a compilation of issues 108-113 of the comic series
From the back cover:

And a child shall lead them

The fearsome Mister Dark is dead, killed in a kamikaze attack by the only entity even colder than himself: The North Wind, King of the Frozen Wastes, Ruler of the Cardinal Winds — and Bigby Wolf’s deadbeat dad.

Now, with Bigby having renounced any claim to the throne, one of his cubs must take up the crown — and he and his wife Snow White must watch as the North Wind’s servants subject their children to a series of trials to determine who will reign supreme.

Meanwhile, winds of change are blowing in other lands as well: the once-winged monkey Bufkin’s impromptu revolution against the new ruler of the Pan Ozian Empire is gaining unexpected allies; Rose Red’s reconnaissance team finds good tidings at the Farm, just in time for Christmas; and in Castle Dark the former Nurse Spratt waits for the return of the Fables with bated breath — and sharpened blade.

My Thoughts:
I’m glad to move on from Mr. Dark. This volume has a couple of major story lines. I really enjoyed the one that focused on Bigby Wolf and Snow White’s children. One of them will take over in their grandfather’s place as the king of the North Wind. The children are subjected to a series of tests to determine which of them is the rightful heir. It’s a bit odd and fun but also a tad bit dangerous.

The second major story involved Bufkin and his crew traveling through Oz. I usually enjoy Bufkins adventures but this time around it just didn’t click with me for some reason. It was okay but I didn’t enjoy those parts of the book as much as I did the rest.

In addition, there are a couple of shorter stories. I really enjoyed Rose Red’s version of A Christmas Carol.

The artwork throughout was wonderful. The majority is by Mark Buckingham. He’s done most of the Fables series and I always enjoy his work The final issue is done by several artists and the variety of styles works well with the series of short tales that are not part of the main ongoing story line.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5

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It’s Monday What Are You Reading #72

Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, What Are You Reading? | 3 comments

Monday What Are You Reading #65

It’s Monday What Are You Reading? is a weekly reading roundup is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

This is technically a weekly meme but I don’t read fast enough to make that worthwhile so I post it every two or three weeks.

Holiday prep and all the associated stuff has really put a damper on my reading for the past couple of weeks.

Finished in Print

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

I enjoyed the first two books in this series more than I expected to. I’m looking forward to getting the third one soon.

May Day by Jess Lourey

May Day by Jess Lourey

This is the first in a cozy mystery series set in a small town in Minnesota. It was short. I don’t plan on continuing with the series.

Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery": The Authorized Graphic Adaptation by Miles Hyman

Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”: The Authorized Graphic Adaptation by Miles Hyman

The graphic adaptation of the classic short story is by Shirley Jackson’s grandson. In some ways it wasn’t as chilling as the original and other ways it was more so.

Fables, Vol. 17: Inherit the Wind by Bill Willingham

Fables, Vol. 17: Inherit the Wind by Bill Willingham

I love this series and I am so glad it has moved beyond the Mr. Dark story line.

Started in Print

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

We enjoyed the television series based on the first few books in this series. The Hubster read and enjoyed the first four books. I need to catch up.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling Illustrated by Jim Kay

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling Illustrated by Jim Kay

 

Continuing on Audio

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny narrated by Robert Bathurst

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny narrated by Robert Bathurst

I still miss Ralph Cosham who narrated this series until his death but Robert Bathurst is doing a fine job.

What are you reading?

Reviews since my last update:

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

May Day by Jess Lourey

Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”: The Authorized Graphic Adaptation by Miles Hyman

What are you reading?

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Weekend Update – 2017 Reading Plans

Posted by on Jan 8, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Weekend Update | 3 comments

Weekend Update
2017 Reading Plans

I like to keep my reading plans rather nebulous. If they’re too specific or extensive it starts to feel like homework. It’s the same reason I no longer accept review copies. I get resentful when I feel like I HAVE to read this book.

That said, I do have some plans for this year.

Five books this season
I will continue to do my quarterly seasonal “Five Books I Want to Read” lists. Sometimes I read all five and sometimes I don’t but I like picking a few books I want to read in the next few months.

What’s in a Name 2017
I am participating in the What’s in a Name 2017 Challenge. It’s the only challenge I do. This year’s books will be a bit tricky to find but it’s going to be fun.

The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories. (Examples of books you could choose are in brackets – translations and other languages most definitely count!):
• A number in numbers (84, Charing Cross Road; 12 Years A Slave; 31 Dream Street)
• A building (The Old Curiosity Shop; I Capture The Castle; House Of Shadows; The Invisible Library; Jamaica Inn)
• A title which has an ‘X’ somewhere in it (The Girl Next Door; The Running Vixen)
• A compass direction (North and South; Guardians Of The West; The Shadow In The North; NW)
• An item/items of cutlery (The Subtle Knife; Our Spoons Came From Woolworths)
• A title in which at least two words share the same first letter – alliteration! (The Great Gatsby; The Luminous Life Of Lilly Aphrodite; Gone Girl; The Cuckoo’s Calling)

Bout of Books
I’m wrapping up the first Bout of Books for 2017 today. There are two more planned in May and August.
It’s a low key week long readathon that gives me a great excuse to say “not today, it’s my reading week.

Nonfiction
Lastly, I’m going to try to read more nonfiction this year. I have quite a bit of nonfiction on my shelves. I know I hesitate to pick them up because most of them are chunksters, I’m going to set a goal of reading one nonfiction book a month this year.

Do you make reading goals? What are yours?

Hope you’re having a great weekend.

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Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”: The Authorized Graphic Adaptation by Miles Hyman

Posted by on Jan 6, 2017 in 2017, 4 stars, Book Review | 2 comments

Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery": The Authorized Graphic Adaptation by Miles Hyman
Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”: The Authorized Graphic Adaptation by Miles Hyman

Genre: Fiction, Horror
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Hill and Wang
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 140
Source: Library

The Book:
From the publisher:

Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” continues to thrill and unsettle readers nearly seven decades after it was first published. By turns puzzling and harrowing, “The Lottery” raises troubling questions about conformity, tradition, and the ritualized violence that may haunt even the most bucolic, peaceful village.

This graphic adaptation by Jackson’s grandson Miles Hyman allows readers to experience “The Lottery” as never before, or to discover it anew. He has crafted an eerie vision of the hamlet where the tale unfolds and the unforgettable ritual its inhabitants set into motion. Hyman’s full-color, meticulously detailed panels create a noirish atmosphere that adds a new dimension of dread to the original story.

My Thoughts:
I saw a mention of this on Twitter last week and since my library had it available I picked it up that day. The Lottery is such a classic. When I found out that the author and artist of this graphic adaptation was Shirley Jackson’s grandson that just added to my interest.

It’s a stripped-down version of the story. It’s almost all just the dialogue. Hyman’s artwork is striking. It’s richly colored and definitely evocative of mid-century small town America.

In some ways, the graphic adaptation was less chilling than the original story and in other ways it was more so.

The preface by the author was interesting. He has vague memories of his grandmother but I loved his story about ‘Grandma Shirley’s music box’.

4 stars Rating 4/5

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