02 July 2005

Latest Reading: Quickly

I've got so very far behind in blogging my recent reading that I'm only going to put in very brief comments.


  1. Shinju by Karen Joh Rowland. A historical mystery set in Japan that completely absorbed me. Not bad for 25 cents from the library discards. I've got another in this series to read, too.
  2. The Dragon Path by Kenneth Morris. Lush, beautiful short stories by a Welsh Theosophist. I've got one of his novels on my shelves. Probably I'll get to reading it sooner, now.
  3. Mr Doyle and Dr Bell by Howard Engel. A novel about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that puts Doyle in the role of Dr Watson alongside Dr Bell (apparently the real-life inspiration for Sherlock Holmes). It was well-enough written, but just Sherlockian enough to make me wonder why I just didn't read a Sherlock Holmes novel instead.
  4. Salt Fish Girl by Larissa Lai. A strange, literate mythic-past and near-future novel. I couldn't resist the title, and now I'll be watching for more of Lai's work.
  5. The Great God Pan by Donna Jo Napoli. I started out disappointed that Napoli chose to make Pan the son of Hermes (as he is in some of the myths, though Pan himself actually pre-dates most of the Olympian gods). In the end, though, I was very pleased with the way the novel ended. Napoli's books never seem to be quite as good as I'd like them to be, but they're usually worth reading once.
  6. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit. One of those YA/children's classics I've been meaning to read for ages. Quite a lovely book, though I rather wish it didn't have a cover from the movie adaptation.
  7. The Geographer's Library by Jon Fasman. A good read, but I really wanted more of the alchemical items from the title, and their story and how they affected the present day. Still, I like the way the past narratives and ongoing present story were interleaved and intertwined.
  8. In the Forests of Serre by Patricia A. McKillip. Whenever I become disillusioned with fantasy fiction (which is often--the genre seems to have more than its share of crap), I only need to read McKillip to have my faith restored. She manages to transplant folkloric elements to fantasy settings and make them seem perfect. Plus her writing is beautiful. In this one, I especially liked the fantasy version of Baba Yaga.
  9. Sorcery and Cecelia, or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. A fun read written by the two authors exchanging letters as if they were their characters. The result is a delightful story, and really, really makes me want to try this. Anyone want to write fantasy character letters with me?
  10. Alphabet of Thorn by Patricia A. McKillip. More gorgeous McKillip writing. This one's got a huge, ancient library, which is one quick way to my heart.
  11. The Beekeeper's Pupil by Sara George. Bees! I love bees. This novel is written as a diary, and is as much about scientific discovery as about people. Go, read it. (Personally, I would have titled it The Beekeeper's Assistant, since The Beekeeper's Apprentice was already taken. "Pupil" is just sich an awkward, unlovely word. And it's a lovely book; I've already requested George's other book from the library.)


  1. At the Water's Edge: Macroevolution and the Transformation of Life by Carl Zimmer. How did mammals evolve from aquatic animals to land animals, and then back again? Cool evolutionary science in a very readable style.
  2. A Sense of the Mysterious: Science and the Human Spirit by Alan Lightman. I'd have liked to read more about the author's experiences as both a scientist and a novelist--the clash of art and science and all that. Some of the earlier essays were kind of slow, but about halfway through I was totally absorbed and finished the rest at high speed.

Sequential Art:

  1. Fruits Basket volume 1 by Natsuki Takaya. I think I'm in love with these characters, and I'll definitely be adding this title to my must-read list.
  2. Hellsing volume 2 by Kohta Hirano. More stylish occult action.
  3. 9-11: Artists Respond. A wide range of styles and themes in this fundraiser. Worth reading, but not something I need to own.
  4. Elfquest: Wolfrider by Wendy Pini et al. I used to be a big EQ reader, but eventualy drifted away. Our library is well-stocked with EQ volumes, so I thought I'd pick up a few I'd missed. Uneven art and stories when Wendy Pini isn't in control of her creation.
  5. Rurouni Kenshin volume 2 by Nobuhiro Watsuki. The usual delightful mix of fun and serious.
  6. Elfquest: Kahvi by Auklandus et al. See notes on Wolfrider.
  7. Rurouni Kenshin volume 3 by Nobuhiro Watsuki.
  8. The New Comics Anthology edited by Bob Callahan. New being the 1990s, if I remember correctly. Quite a lot of the stuff in here really didn't appeal to me, but then quite a lot did. It was worth reading, though, just to see work I'd missed when I read little other than Elfquest. A interesting mix.
  9. Rurouni Kenshin volume 4 by Nobuhiro Watsuki.
  10. Elfquest: Shadowstalker by Auklandus et al. See notes on Wolfrider.
  11. Elfquest: Wavedancers by Pini et al. See notes on Wolfrider.
  12. Rurouni Kenshin volume 5 by Nobuhiro Watsuki.
  13. Dark Shadows: The Comic Strip Book. I've never seen any of the cult-tv series, but picked this up on a whim when I saw it in the library. Fun reading in a campy sort of way.
  14. Demon Diary volume 1 by Kara (art) and Lee Chi Hyong (story). Pretty art and a not-too-bad story. It won't be at the top of my to-read list, but I'll probably pick up others in the series. Might not buy any more, though.
  15. Amphigorey Also by Edward Gorey. It's Gorey. Need I say more?
  16. PhD: Phantasy Degree volume 1 by Son Hee-Joon. I got this for Selena for her birthday, and then read it before I gave it to her. [insert evil laughter] Does my "best auntie" award get revoked? It's a cute, humorous (mostly) series. I'll probably read more, though I don't feel the need to own copies.
  17. Naruto volume 1 by Masashi Kishimoto. A high-energy shonen series about a village of ninjas and the outcast kid who is determined to be the best ninja of all and so gain the villagers respect. Well-drawn, too.
  18. B.B. Explosion volume 1 by Yasue Imai. Not really my thing (it's a bit too girly), but I did enjoy reading this story about a girl determined to make it as Japanese idol singer. I might get more from the library, if they happen to be on the shelf, but I won't go out of my way.

Also read: Book by Karen Brookfield--one of the Eyewitness series with lots of pretty pictures with explanatory captions. I might like to own this one, just because of the excellent photographs of books and book-related items; The Sandman: King of Dreams by Alisa Kwitney--short essays on each story arc of Neil Gaiman's renowned comic series. I learned a few things, and enjoyed reading about the series as a whole, but it's not really something I must have; assorted issues of Wired, Discover, Nintendo Power (yeah, sometimes I'm a game geek), and probably other magazines I've forgotten. I could go look on the finished magazine shelf, but I'm too lazy.


  1. Shivers 2: Harvest of Souls (pc). Not quite as good or absorbing as the first game, but still an excellent adventure game. There were a few really annoying puzzles that I couldn't wrap my brain around (yeah, I resorted to a walkthrough a couple of times), but all in all, it was pretty good. A good thing, though, that I'm really good at tangrams, 'cause there were a whole lot of them.

So, for once I've read more fiction than non-fiction. Hmm. Probably because I set aside the most recent dinosaur book to concentrate on the stack of libary books. Oh well.

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