Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Congratulations Mr. Gaiman!

The Graveyard BookI was very excited yesterday to read that Neil Gaiman had been awarded the 2009 Newberry Medal for The Graveyard Book. It was a most excellent book and I got the pleasure of hearing him read the last half of chapter 7 in Boulder on his book tour. I did a post about my Evening with Neil if you would be interested in reading more about his reading. Then if you haven't had the wonderful experience of reading The Graveyard Book, I highly recommend it. You can go to my The Graveyard Book post for more information on the book.

Funny, I remember while reading the book I had a dental appointment. I brought it along with me not only to occupy my time but to take me to a place far far away from the one I was having to be in at the moment. The dentist came in and made some comment about me reading a horror novel. I told him it really wasn't a horror story but more of an adventure about a little boy being raised by ghost in a graveyard. I went on to explain that Neil Gaiman wrote it, how he came up with the idea and it was like the juggle book but instead in a graveyard. I believe I may have even added my excitement about getting to go to his book tour.

Then for the next several minutes (in dentist time I believe it is equivalent to an eternity) with numerous instruments in my mouth thus unable to defend my dear favorite writer, I got to hear how ridiculous of a story that would be, totally unbelievable...uh, excuse me, but that is why they call it FANTASY!! He went on that the Jungle Book was far fetched but not as an absurd of a concept as The Graveyard Book. He continued to rant on after that how a better storyline would have been a little boy lost in the city raised by homeless people. I will be honest, at that point I started drifting, thinking what would be cooler is if talking rats or perhaps a mutant race of homeless people would raised him. I doubt if my dentist and I would ever be Goodreads buddies.

Any way, I guess a story of a little boy being raised by ghost in a graveyard isn't so absurd after all.

Congrats Neil!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The World of Edward Gorey by Clifford Ross and Karen Wilkin

The World of Edward GoreyThe World of Edward Gorey is a perfect gift for the Gorey Groupie. Since I am a Gorey Groupie, this was a most excellent Christmas gift from my husband. Loved the interview with between Clifford Ross and Edward Gorey at the beginning of the book:

CR: What about other objects you collect? Your house is filled to overflowing with all kinds of things.

EG: It’s filled with little animals. Little things-

CR: Finials?

EG: Well, I do adore finials...

And really who does not enjoy a good finial? I have a few scattered about myself. Then the book is stuffed full of his inquisitive artwork and sketches. At the end of the book are a few photos of the above-mentioned collection of things in his home. If allowed, that could so be my sister’s house. Yes, a perfect addition to my growing Gorey collection.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar

The Good Fairies of New YorkGet ready for a wild ride with The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar. First there is Heather and Morag, Scottish thistle fairies, that only wanted to start the first radical fairy punk rock but end fugitives fleeing to New York. Then there is their task of matching an overweight disgruntled inept violinist with a beautiful free-spirited artist who has pledged her life to complete her flower alphabet to beat out her ex-boyfriend’s production of a Midsummer Night’s Dream in a local community art contest. Unfortunately Heather's and Morag's attempt at this creates havoc with the Italian, Chinese and African New York fairies. Meanwhile back in England, Aelric the leader of the Cornish Fairy Resistance Movement is trying to sabotage the oppressive leadership of Tala, the Fairy King of Cornwall, who by the way, is setting forth an invasion on New York. During all of this we also have a delusional bag lady that always happens to be in the wrong or right place depending on how you want to look at it as well as a ghost of a dead rocker who is trying to track down his lost guitar. All I can say is...whew!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall by Bill Willingham

1001 Nights of SnowfallI have not read any of the graphic novels in the Fable series, but since Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall was listed as a prequel to that collection, I thought I would take a chance of being able to follow along. In the introduction by the author, Bill Willingham, explains that Fables is a modern day account of those fairytale characters we grew up with like Snow White, Prince Charming, the Big Bad Wolf and so on. These immortals have been chased out of their magical realm by an evil warlord known as The Adversary and forced to live in our world in a secret underground colony known as Fabletown, bidding their time until they are strong enough to over throw The Adversary and reclaim their homelands.

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall takes place before the Fable series began. Snow White travels to Arabia as an ambassador from the exiled Fables community to seek an alliance with the sultan against The Adversary, but instead of his guest she ends up his prisoner. With her execution looming, Snow attempts to charm her captor with not-so-familiar stories of the familiar Fable characters. This is no Disney folks; these captivating tales definitely put the grim in fairytale. If you like happily ever after this book is probably not for you. But if you like intriguing story-telling reminiscent to that of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman entwined with intense imagery, then I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hellboy Volume 1: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola

HellboyWhen my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I told him The Sandman Volume 10: The Wake, the last chapter in the incredible Sandman series. So imagine my surprise when I opened up my present on Christmas Eve to reveal Hellboy Volume 1: Seed of Destruction. Oh well, at least he made it to the right section in the bookstore.

I have seen the first Hellboy movie and the second one is on my “to-see” list. I just assumed that this book would be a rehash of the first movie but again to my surprise, it was quite different. Hellboy is a great paranormal investigator. After being attacked by a mutant frog, he and his two paranormal sidekicks, pyrotechnic Liz and gilled-friend, Abraham Sapien, take a visit to a 150 year-old American home to find some answers. There he not only discovers the secret of his own origins, but also a dangerous force about to be released upon the world.

I have a birthday coming up at the end of the month so maybe I will get my coveted last volume of Sandman then, but if it happens to be Hellboy Volume 2: Wake of the Devil, I will not be disappointed.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Discworld Graphic Novels The Colour of Magic & The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

Discworld Graphic NovelsLast year I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Last Hero: A Discworld Fable by Terry Pratchett. Several LOL moments. Thus I was very excited when I stumbled across the first two volumes of the Discworld series in graphic novel form, The Discworld Graphic Novels: The Colour of Magic & The Light Fantastic. It was right before Thanksgiving and I decided to go ahead and treat myself to a pre-holiday gift. And after reading it, may I just add, I have excellent taste in gifts.

In a parallel universe hurtling through space is Discworld, a flat world sitting on the backs of four elephants balanced on a giant turtle. I am already hooked. The adventure starts out with Twoflower, Discworld’s first ever tourist, hiring Rincewind, an apprehensive wizard, to be his guide. Rincewind gets a little bit more than he bargained for with this new job including encounters with dragons, trolls, barbarians, a giant squid-like creature, druids, and the occasional visit from the Grim Reaper. He also has to contend with Twoflower’s luggage that has a mind of its own and many feet. Oh, did I mention along with all of this that the turtle hurtling through space with four elephants standing on its shell with Discworld balanced on their back is headed straight into a sun and Rincewind is the only wizard who can save them all from a fiery death?

This was a pretty thick graphic novel that I thought would take me a good week or more to get through, but it only took a few days as I could not put it down wondering what on earth (or I guess in this case Discworld) would be happening on the next page. There were several “...did not see that coming.” All in all, a humorous read with great detailed illustrations. I will definitely have to think of more gift giving occasions for myself for future Discworld reads

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2009 Karma

freekibblekatI received an email last Friday from freekibble that during 2008 they served 590,333 delicious and nutritious meals to dogs and cats in shelters across the country. If you want to rack up a few good Karma points here in 2009, visit freekibble.com and freekibblekat.com daily to answer fun canine and feline trivia questions. Whether right or wrong, everybody wins as they will donate 10 pieces of kibble to animal shelters to help feed their hungry cats and dogs. You can even set up a daily email reminder. A pretty easy way to earn those Karma points.

Thursday, January 1, 2009