Oh, Life…

How it gets in the way.  I’ve been super busy lately and that’s why I haven’t been posting much here.

And I’m still busy, so this is just going to be a short one! First I want to point you all to my Goodreads: It’s meeeeee! Goodreads is a neat social networking site and a way of keeping track of the books you’ve read and what your friends are reading.

I’ve read a couple of things recently. The first was a YA fantasy called Graceling, by Kristin Cashore. I’m probably going to write a longer review of it, but it was as fantastic as I’d heard and I’m looking forward to the sequel! I’ve also been reading Hikaru No Go, a manga about the game, Go. (For those of you who have never heard of it, it’s a strategic board game similar to chess, but with much deeper gameplay.) The anime based on this manga is so, so good, and the manga is almost exactly the same, so I’m in reread heaven right now.

The Secret History of the Mongols

The Secret History of the Mongols

“The Secret History of the Mongols is the first literary monument concerning the Mongols. It is believed to have been written in the year 1240 A.D. The author of it still remains unknown. This is the only immediate source of information about medieval mongolian life and self-consideration and also it is the invaluable treasure for historians, linguists, ethnographs and ethnologist engaged in the field of oriental studies.”

Reading Habit Changes

Right now I’m reading an epic fantasy book and it’s making me realize that I’ve been having a really hard time with adult fantasy lately. This book, which I will probably name and talk about later, is extremely well written, original, and everything else that would have made it a winner for me just a couple of years ago. What has changed?

Have any of you found a previously-faovrite genre hard to read lately?

And now for a short meme:

  • Grab the nearest book.
  • Open it to page 56.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
  • Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

“Before we begin, you must remember that I am of the Edema Ruh. We were telling stories before Caluptena burned. Before there were books to write in. Before there was music to play. When the first fire kindled, we Ruh were there spinning stories in the circle of its flickering light.” (Obviously that’s more than one sentence, but as it’s one connected idea, I say it’s kosher.)

(And does anybody else wonder what a reading habit, as in a riding habit, looks like?)

Murder Mysteries by Neil Gaiman

I love to see stories told in two different mediums – a book turned into a movie, to use the most common example. It excites me to see how the story is changed to fit the new medium. I do have to have a period of separation from the old medium before experiencing the new, but as long as I have that, I can (generally) appreciate the new wholeheartedly. As long as it’s good, of course.

t3702Murder Mysteries by Neil Gaiman is one of the more unusual examples. Gaiman wrote it originally as an audio play and P. Craig Russell adapted it as a graphic novel. It is the tale of a man stuck in LA, revisiting a strange part of his past, who meets another man, who begins to tell him a story. It is the story of the angel Raguel, the Vengeance of the Lord, who is summoned for his first mission after another angel dies. Gaiman creates a breathtaking place, before the world was created, a silver city that exists and the darkness outside of it.

It is a wonderful story both in the graphic novel and audio play, but this review is not as much about the story (though you should definitely read/hear it) as it is about the different experiences the mediums produce.  I heard the audio play first, and as is so often the case, I think I prefer my original experience. Because it is an audio play, and not an audio book, there are different actors, sound effects, etc. This is wonderfully effective. I am a visual person, so one might think that the graphic novel would inspire me more, but the audip play actually enabled me to imagine the visuals while filling in all the blanks that I am less able to imagine. That is my own bias, but I also think the audio play might fit the story and setting better. It is set, as I said, in a silver city surrounded by darkness. I wasn’t terribly impressed with the portrayal of the city or how it fades into darkness. I imagined a much more classical architecture in the city whereas the drawings depicted it as much more futuristic or modern. I also, when listening to the play, only imagined the Darkness from the perspective of the city. The graphic novel pulls out to give a wide view of the city and the darkness beyond and it was less than inspiring for me. The only other objection I have for the graphic novel is that the angels are so human and so male. The voices, of course, are also male in the play, but because they are described as sexless and because I had no objecting visuals, I allowed myself to think of them as much more androgynous or at least had the ability to populate the silver city with more female looking angels. I lacked that when reading the book and it frustrated me.

story

With those caveats, I wholeheartedly loved both versions of this story. I have the audio play on my computer and would be happy to share it if anybody wants it. I can make CDs for those of you in my area or I could just share it online.

book cover memes

Memes are fun, easy and sometimes AWESOME. I especially like these visual ones, because I am studying art and am generally a visual person. So, during the middle of my work week, I am going with the easy postings and showing you my YA and fantasy book covers!

Here is my debut YA book cover (from 100 Scope Notes). I didn’t follow the rules exactly because I’m incapable of following rules exactly, but I’m pleased with the results.

And my debut fantasy, which I think looks maybe a little more sci-fi. It was, interesting, a lot easier to find an SF font than one that would work for fantasy.

Too much fun! And I promise, a serious, thoughtful post is coming up this weekend.