30 May 2004

2 More Books

One more non-fiction and--at last--some more fiction.

  1. The Rat: A Perverse Miscellany (compiled) by Barbara Hodgson. I thought this would be really cool: a little bit of literature, a little bit of natural science, some nice pictures and a bit of analysis to tie it all together. It wasn't a bad book; I did enjoy it, but I was disappointed. There was almost no natural science, and no analysis, and the literature was almost entirely anti-rat or rat-as-evil-dirty-creature. The pictures were nice, though. One of the most disappointing things, I think, was that Hodgson repeated the contemporary legend (aka "urban myth") that cities have 1:1 ratios of rats to humans, without speculating at all on why this perception exists. Anyway, rats are interesting, so pretty much any book about them will have something to offer, even if it isn't as much as one expected.
  2. Child of Faerie, Child of Earth by Josepha Sherman. And after something that disappoints, something that delights. This YA novel is full of the best kind of magic (that the characters have to work for), and yes, fairies. It's also a romance, in the sense that it has a girl and a boy falling in love (not in the sense of "Harlequin romance novel"). True love, too. The best kind. All the way through, I kept thinking, "This would make a fabulous animated movie." Sherman's writing is very visual, which I find appealing, and I found myself picturing the story as a movie while I read it (helped along by the somewhat manga/anime-ish illustrations--of which there could have been many more). (I've got it stuck in my head, too, that Jane Yolen wrote a lovely picture book with this same title.) I notice I've written "the best kind" twice in this blurb. I think that's a good thing (for my opinion of the book, not for my grasp of good writing).

I went to the library a couple of days ago and got a whole pile of fiction: some mystery, some sf, some just odd. I'm also about halfway through Dracula (finally), so once I finish the book on seals that I'm currenly reading, it'll be a long stretch of good, pulpy novels.

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