Books to curl up with: a librarian's musings

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Shimmy, shimmy

What happens when you and your boyfriend are living a trendy, arty, undersalaried life and now that he has groupies you are no longer cool? Anne Soffee learns what you do, you go home to Richmond. Soffee tells of her heartbreak and her attempts to find a nice Lebanese boy in this book. However the beat that drives this story is her discovery of bellydancing. The women of the bellydancing world are a lively lot. So shimmy up to a copy and try Snake Hips.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Thursday Next version 2

I inhaled the Eyre Affair and on Sunday couldn't wait any longer. I had my friend drive me to a bookstore on my vacation to buy Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde. It was as good as the last Next book. It involves more literary crime and this time even more jumping in and out of books. Great fun!! On to Well of Lost Plots

Bimbos of the Death Sun

If you have ever gone to a science fiction convention, you will swear author McCrumb has been spying on you and your fellow convention goers. This is a murder mystery set at a con with all the requisite types. I enjoyed the characters so much I didn't even care about the murder part, which happens toward the end. I read this in an older paperback but it has been release with Zombies of the Gene Pool as a hardback.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Douglas Adams meets Miss Marple????

I heard Jasper Fforde read at the Public Library conference. It was hilarious and I was impressed that he could twist his tongue around the repetive wordplay. So this weekend I purchased the first novel featuring the literary detective Thursday Next - The Eyre Affair. The novel is a howl. It is a mystery, but I do get the feeling that Fforde read a bunch of Adams while growing up for the sense of the absurd is wonderful.

Tuesday Next is a detective working for an agency for that solves literary crimes. History itself is also skewed. The Crimean War is still being fought and Next is a veteran of that combat. People still fly in dirigibles. Our criminal Hades is going to be holding books of literature hostage as he has learned how to kill characters in a book so that they don't appear in later editions. Oh, he doesn't mind killing real people either.

Not your ordinary mystery, but great fun. Visit his page at Jasper Fforde. Once you are hooked he has great things to play with.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Titles that draw you in

I read the book Fifty Acres and a Poodle. Well how could you not with a title like that. Jeanne Marie Laskas drew me in with her tale of two Pittsburgh city dwellers, who move to the country. She and her boyfriend become greenhorn farm owners, unsure how rural they even want to be. I really enjoyed her book it was funny, poingant - all that you would expect from that title.

Laskas recently release her follow up biography, Exact Same Moon: Fifty Acres and a Family. It continues their tale of country life and becoming part of the community. It also deals with her mother's illness and Jeanne Marie's baby longings. I inhaled it in one sitting.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Anyone out there?

Grinspoon, author of Venus Revealed, is an astrobiologist. So he has had a lot of time to consider if there is life on other planets and has shared his thoughts in Lonely Planets. The history of how our ideas of the universe have changed was especially interesting to me. I knew of the Epicurians mostly as being called religious heretics. Their work in science wasn't known to me. Cool.

Science doesn't have to be dumbed down for us to understand. Grinspoon does a great job of making the new theories accessible to the layperson too. I also like that he will say which are his favourites, instead of standing outside the scientific fray.

Monday, March 01, 2004


I recently went out of town for training and stuffed books in my bag for the trip. Mercedes Lackey writes so many that I am always behind. What a perfect chance to catch up!!

I am particularly fond of her books set in the kingdom of Valdemar. She has set a number of multi-volume and single titles in this land and it is a captivating world for fantasy. While Valdemar has a ruler, the ruler must also be a Herald and every Herald must be bonded to one of the magical Companions. It is this special relationship that has protected the land and let it prosper. Lackey writes truely compelling characters and I go back again and again to see what is happening in Valdemar.

On this trip one of the one's I took was Exile's Honor, which is the first in the series about Alberich. He had appeared in previous volumes as the weaponsmaster and teacher. He is also an unusual character, because he was a soldier in Karse originally and Karse's most hated enemy was Valdemar. How does Alberich become a Herald and stay true to himself and his love of Karse, if not Karse's leaders. Well you'll have to read it to find out!!

To see a list of the Valdemar novels at Lackey's page