Monday, February 12, 2018

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 2/10/18

This week I have books in two categories to mention to you, which means the less mentally agile of you might get confused. (And that I'm turning to insulting my audience in this thirteenth year of my blog -- hey, it's something to do.)

First up is an epic fantasy novel that came from the publisher, and which is brand-spanking new. Then I'll get into some recent graphic novels that I got from my local library to feed the Book-A-Day maw.

So: direct from the fine folks at Pyr is Jon Sprunk's Blade and Bone, the third book in his series "The Book of the Black Earth." (Raising once again that old epic-fantasy question: how can a series be "The Book" when it takes three or four or twelve books to get through it?) It hits stores on February 27th, and does not promise to be the last in the series. This time out, our hero Horace -- Horace? that's an interesting name for a hero in a book at least somewhat inspired by ancient Egypt -- is still in charge of the slave rebellion and leveling up as a magician, but there's now also "an unstoppable army of undead creatures under the control of a mysterious sorcerer," so his dance card is getting pretty full.

Everything else is from the library -- I think these are all 2017 books, since I'm plundering some "best of the year" lists, but no promises.

Everything is Flammable by Gabrielle Bell -- If I haven't lost track of things (which is a big "if"), this was Bell's first big comics collection since 2012's The Voyeurs. If I did lose track of things, then I have no idea.

Poppies of Iraq by Brigette Fidakly and Lewis Trondheim -- As I remember it, Findakly is Trondheim's wife, and this is her memoir of growing up in Iraq, which he drew. (Looking at the book itself, that's all true, but Trondheim is also credited as co-writer, possibly because he has more experience putting things into comics form.)

Lucky Penny by Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota -- This is some manner of contemporary comedic romance fiction, and I have no idea how I heard of it. Somebody recommended it, I guess, and now I'll read it.

And last is Tillie Walden's Spinning, a memoir of figure skating and coming out and the other things that happen along the way. I've never read any of Walden's work -- I think this is her first big book, but I could be wrong -- and this has gotten a lot of praise.

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