Feb. 21st, 2016

maribou: (book)
The Snow Day by Komako Sakai, and Snow, by Sam Usher
The Snow Day was adorable and odd and imagination-stirring (it also had a protagonist that different reviewers have gendered differently, which I found cool). Which was awesome, but did make me like Snow less, since it is merely cute and amusing, and I read them close together.
(88, 89)

The General, by Janet Charters, illustrated by Michael Foreman; and The Moon Jumpers, by Janice May Udry, illustrated by Maurice Sendak
Two classics from my childhood that I had forgotten about, but fell in love with all over again on a second reading. Both texts are just exactly how they should be. The art for The General is whimsical and resplendent, while the art for The Moon Jumpers is innocent and dreamlike, with a touch of deeper mystery - so both illustrators matched their wonderful texts wonderfully well.
(90, 91)

Little Long-nose, by Wilhelm Hauff, illustrated by Laura Stoddart
A curious and enchanting fairy tale from outside the usual canon. I wish more fairy tales that involve spending seven years as a squirrel were INSIDE the canon, and this one is definitely a good candidate. Stoddart did a swell job with the illustrations, too.

Beyond the Western Deep, vol. 1, by Alex Kain et al
Charming anthropomorphic fantasy comic; the first volume was too short for me to really get invested in it, but I'm curious about what will be next.

Persephone, by Warwick Hutton
Beautiful, spare, well-illustrated retelling of the myth that I found most compelling (and beautiful and disturbing) as a child.

Sleeping Beauty, by Mahlon F. Craft, illustrated by Kinuko Craft
Kinuko Craft is one of my favorite illustrators of all time, so I loved this book, but mostly for intimate, art-related reasons. For example, I spent several minutes staring at one of the dresses' brocades, and tracing the pattern with my finger.

The Promise, by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin
Beautifully illustrated but ultimately frustrating picture book. Just too bluntly didactic and oversimplifying for me. But! Still worth it, because a) it started out well, and b) the illustrations.

Stella, Queen of the Snow, by Marie-Louise Gay
Delightful. Still enjoying the formula of this picture book series, and the artwork is vibrant and playful and carries the reader along.

Bryant & May and the Burning Man, by Christopher Fowler
Oh man. Did I enjoy this? Yes. Would I have enjoyed it if I weren't already so fond of most of the characters in the series? Really not sure I would've. I wish there wasn't so much pressure on later series volumes to get published quickly instead of thoroughly edited ... or maybe the editor just wasn't very involved. Either way there were large chunks of this that read woodenly. The splendid parts were as splendid as ever, though.

Ted Harrison Collected, compiled and commented on by Robert Budd
Beautiful, beautiful lithographs, with very little commentary. Despite the title, it is not every Ted Harrison Art ever, but rather only covers the prints he made. Some of my favorites were included, including some old favorites I'd forgotten about.
maribou: (book)
Flutter, vol. 2: Don't Let Me Die Nervous, by Jennie Wood et al
Wanted this second graphic novel in the series enough to buy it, even though I'm trying not to buy things. Glad I did. It was very interesting in the way that makes me want to keep a book around. Gender stuffs, but also power stuffs.
(100, O3)

On Cats, by Doris Lessing
There's a lot of inaccuracy presented as truth in this book (at least as far as cat psychology and biology are concerned), but I really don't care, because 1) it's obvious how much Lessing cares about and is fascinated by her cats, 2) lots of stories about cats, and 3) Lessing seems to be one of those writers I could read and love no matter the topic. I haven't tested 3 out very hard yet, but so far, it does appear to be true.

Bear's Dream, by Janet Slingsby
Decent story about a teddy bear dreaming he is with all different kinds of bears. The illustrations are better than the text, but the text has the rare virtue among children's anthropomorphic books of not contravening biology. Er, I mean, other than the part where bears, both real and toy, can talk and all that. The *ecology* is sensible, is more what I'm appreciating here.

The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband, by E. J. Copperman and Jeff Cohen
You know, I can't decide if this mystery, whose protagonist is a man with Asperger's who works admirably hard at having a satisfying life (including going into business as a question-answerer), was more awkward and sometimes implausible-for-that-character than the first one, or if I am just more critical now that the OMG BEST PROTAGONIST EVAR excitement of the first one has worn off. Either way, I really enjoyed the book, still, and am digging on the series, still. At its best, it is all of the good things I want in a mystery novel.

The Divine Hours, vol. 2: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime, by Phyllis A. Tickle
I am still fitfully engaging with the liturgy / devotional practices of my childhood, and over Advent I was very much less fitful. The Advent prayers, hymns, psalms, etc in this volume made it even better than the other two... though perhaps it's just that Advent is my favorite season.
(104, O4)

Star Wars: Before the Awakening, by Greg Rucka
My inner fangirl was so happy with this, as it made some goofy things from the movie make more sense, and did not introduce anything new that irritated me. Plus! Greg Rucka! Can write in any genre like nobody's business! Clean, sharp, the kind of writing that seems effortless but probably takes a hell of a lot of work to pull off.

All Men Fear Me, by Donis Casey
Eighth volume in the Oklahoma-set Alafair Tucker mysteries. Sometimes they get a little heavy on the exposition, but in a way that I find endearing. Mostly I just love these characters, and their stories, so much. And I appreciate that even though she keeps bringing in new characters (and/or making quaternary characters central to a particular story), they always *fit*, feeling like part of the story right away. I wish I could have 5 or more books this good, in this series, TODAY, but I will be patient and appreciate the long, careful process the author takes with each new title. This series has, if anything, gotten better with age.

The Firefly Letters, by Margarita Engle
So I really don't like most novels written in free verse, insofar as it's just not a style that I enjoy at novel length. Especially YA novels, which are often (not always) verbally simpler than an adult novel-length poem would be. So it's no surprise that I didn't enjoy the style of this book nearly as much as I would've the imaginary book that the same author wrote that was, you know, a NOVEL novel. But that is hardly her fault. And it's a really good story. And the images are vivid.

The Gifted, by Gail Bowen
Oh boy. Another series mystery where I feel like the early books were much tighter, cleaner, and generally more well-revised than they are now. (Also, the crime that gets solved? happens about HALF-WAY through the book. Sign of bloat.) BUT, also another series where I'm really fond of the characters, I want to know what they're up to, and the best-written scenes have just as much sparkle and power as the earlier books did. *makes hand-wavey gesture* What're you gonna do?

Harley Quinn, vol. 2: Power Outage, by Amanda Conner et al
With this book, Conner's Harley grew into all the potential I saw in the first book, and then slammed her way through my expectations and gave me more. Lobo-esque self-parodying wit, tons of plot, and art that keeps you wanting to turn pages all the way through.

Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson
As if the universe said, "What would be the perfect graphic novel for Maribou right now?" and then Noelle Stevenson made it. So many loves for all the parts of this book that if I start gushing, I'll be writing until tomorrow. And spoil the book for you. Just read it!

Do Unto Animals, by Tracey Stewart, illustrated by Lisel Ashlock
As a text on how to deepen your relationships with the animal kingdom, I didn't particularly enjoy this book. Way too many points of departure between me and the author, and the stuff I do think is good is either much more basic than I need, or outside my interests. However!!!!!! The artwork is amazingly wonderful, classic fauna/flora style (almost like Beatrix Potter? but a bit more robust and less British; shades of Merian and Audubon, sort of thing). If you like those kinds of pictures, you should absolutely take a look at the book, because it is copiously illustrated (almost every page has something great). If you are intrigued by the art but will not be picking up the book (or even if you will be!), you could always take a look at Lisel Ashlock's website.


Oh My Goodness, y'all! For the first time since I don't even know when (July? May?), I AM CAUGHT UP ON BOOK POSTING. Feels good. *wanders off to read some more books*


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