Thursday, April 4, 2013

Older Reads

For any regular readers, I'm sorry if posts have been a bit scarce lately. I've been trying to branch out this year and read some adult fiction as well as children's and young adult. Sometimes I'll review those here, mostly when they're things I know I would have liked to read in high school, but other times I won't. If anyone is curious, here are some of the things I've read and loved over the past few months that would appeal to older readers (especially those who enjoy speculative fiction, which, if you've made it this far, you very likely do).

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman's best and most ambitious novel yet, a scary, strange, and hallucinogenic road-trip story wrapped around a deep examination of the American spirit. Gaiman tackles everything from the onslaught of the information age to the meaning of death, but he doesn't sacrifice the razor-sharp plotting and narrative style he's been delivering since his Sandman days. -Borrowed from Goodreads

This I actually did read and love in high school. I mostly wanted to reread it while listening to the exhaustive (and excellent) American Gods Mix Tape by Tor. You can find nearly complete playlists of these songs on YouTube for easy listening.

In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente

A Book of Wonders for Grown-Up Readers.

Every once in a great while a book comes along that reminds us of the magic spell that stories can cast over us to dazzle, entertain, and enlighten. Welcome to the Arabian Nights for our time a lush and fantastical epic guaranteed to spirit you away from the very first page.
-Borrowed from Goodreads

If you'd ever like to know what the inside of my head is like, check my Pinterest boards, listen to some Decemberists, and read something by Catherynne M. Valente. It's pretty much that. If I gush about her any more on this blog people will think I'm secretly funded by her, so I shan't.

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I normally loathe movie/TV tie-in covers with a violent passion. But this one features Mssrs. Cumberbatch and Freeman, so I'll allow it this once. Also, if you haven't watched the very nearly perfect Sherlock yet, what in the Queen's name are you waiting for, an official summons from Mycroft?!

If convenient, watch at once.

......... If inconvenient, watch anyway.

The Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

 "You, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart—no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon’s presence, even for the briefest of moments—even at the risk of one’s life—is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. . . ."

I bemoaned the occasionally lackluster nature of historical protagonists in a previous review, especially those with a connection to the sciences. Brennan's Lady Trent more than makes up for that complaint with a wry, subversive voice reminiscent of Dame Judi Dench.

Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente

Filled with fascinating glimpses through the fabled looking glass and a close-up look at hard living in the gritty gun-slinging West, readers will be enchanted by this story at once familiar and entirely new. -Borrowed from Goodreads

Valente. Vess illustrations. A fairytale reimagining set in the American West smack in the middle of my Deadwood phase. Can a girl ask for more? Not this one, no sir.

Have you read read anything fantastic (in any sense of the word) this year?


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