Weekly Geeks: MIA

February 22, 2010 at 12:10 am 3 comments

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a Weekly Geeks prompt this week. Nevertheless, it’s Monday and we have to have some sort of post. As a compromise, I’ve updated the Classics Challenge page with the books for next month, and for the real post, here’s a “What I Have Been Reading” compilation:

Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan — Less a retelling and more a riff on the “Snow-White and Rose-Red” story, this YA novel tells the story of a sexually abused young woman who retreats to a magical haven to raise her two infant daughters. The haven, however, is unable to fully protect these characters from the intrusions of tiny thieving men and rather dangerous bears, and eventually the women have to decide if staying isolated from the real world is the best way to live.

Sorcery and Cecilia; or, the Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermeyer — The best way to describe this novel is probably by saying that it’s like Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, only with more parties instead of all the fairies. It’s written in the form of letters between two cousins who become entrapped in a web of magical intrigue when one of the girls goes to London for the Season and the other is left behind to entertain the interesting new neighbors. A must-read for any fan of fantasy, Jane Austen, or both.

The Sandman, Vol. 1-5 written by Neil GaimanFirst let me say that I prefer my fantasy to be a little fluffier than the fantasy/horror hybrid Gaiman has created here (especially in Volume 5, where I lost much of my interest when one character skinned the face of a corpse, nailed it to the wall with its tongue and eyeballs, and made it speak). Also, I’m not a comics expert and have very little eye for art, so approximately half of what is happening on any given page is lost on me, an admitted amateur when it comes to graphic novels.

That said, with the exception of the very strange and not entirely enjoyable fifth volume (seriously, I started gagging), this series is well-deserving of its sterling reputation. Gaiman is a master at creating a dream world, contrasting it with a more realistic one, and them twisting everything so we realize the two worlds he’s created are really not at all dissimilar.

After reading Sandman, I’ve never been more convinced of Gaiman’s genius — though I don’t always appreciate it like I should. For casual readers who just want an idea of the series, I’d recommend Dream Country, the third volume that works quite well as a stand-alone, or Fables and Reflections, the seventh volume that appears to be similar to the third one in structure.

What have you all been reading lately? Tell me all about it in the comments!

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Entry filed under: Collections and Lists, Weekly Geeks. Tags: , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Corey  |  February 22, 2010 at 8:49 am

    After I realized how much time I’m spending reading novels lately, I’m trying to hunker down and read some nonfiction (namely Edward Said’s Orientalism at the moment and then hopefully the Oxford History of the British Empire, Vol. II-III). It’s been a while and I don’t want to go into graduate school cold, as it were!

    Reply
  • 2. Aishwarya  |  February 25, 2010 at 10:19 am

    What did you think of Tender Morsels?

    I have been reading terrible regency romance novels, mostly.

    Reply
    • 3. KT  |  February 25, 2010 at 10:30 am

      I’m ambivalent toward Tender Morsels. It was an interesting take on the fairy tale, and it was a pretty good read, but I’m not entirely sure what the author was trying to tell me.

      That might be more my fault than hers, though. All I can come up with is that real life is preferable to fantasy because it’s real…but even the ‘real’ world of Tender Morsels is distinctly fantastic, which would seem to negate her point.

      Reply

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