Thursday, May 31, 2007
This series, the final volume is to be published in late 2007, is usually filed away in young adult fiction in libraries but I am suggesting that adults may like to read this as well. Anyone interested in fantasy should borrow a copy and dip into the wonderful delights of Hearn's writing.
Another great series that is shelved with young adult and children's books is the Redwall books by Brian Jacques. It is easy to dismiss these books as only being fit for kiddies as all the characters are anthropomorphic animals. Good guys are usually mice, badgers, hedgehogs and the like, while the bad guys are foxes, stoats, weasels and cats.
Don't let this fool you though, the stories are great reads that are fun and exciting. Don't be surprised if you find yourself flying through the books as they are easy to read. This doesn't mean that they are poor quality, just that Jacques writes with such a fluent style.
So the moral of this post is don't be afraid to look in the young adult or children's sections of your library for something to read, a lot of good fiction is being published for kids. For example I noticed that David Eddings' fantasy series the Belgariad is now being marketed as young adult fiction.
A Banks novel is always going to include complex, but not confusing, storyline with politics and war all playing a part in driving the plot forward. When reading it is easy to sit back and let the words flow over you like a river that sweeps you along.
If you don't like the sound of Banks' science fiction, you could try his general fiction published under the name of Iain Banks. These too are well worth reading, with their supernatural twists and family dramas.
In other news Star Wars turned 30 this month. (I can't believe I'm only a few months older than Star Wars.) So Happy Birthday and hopefully people will continue to enjoy watching this landmark film.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Some of Morrison's best work is in series like;
- Animal Man, where Animal Man eventually meets his creator. Literally Animal Man moves beyond the confines of his comic and gets to meet Morrison.
- The Invisibles, about a group of psychic freedom fighters led by a tantric assasin who are trying to save humankind from the forces of darkness.
- Doom Patrol, where a group of failed heroes take on enemies like Mr Nobody and the painting that ate Paris.
- The Filth, about a group of special agents who protect civilisation from all sorts of threats both seen and unseen.
- Arkham Asylum, about Batman's journey to mental hell and back inside Gotham's asylum for the criminally insane.
As you can see Morrison likes convaluted plots which manage to weave in and out of reality. For example in The Filth we meet one of the Soviet space monkeys who has been affected by cosmic waves and then brainwashed by the KGB and is responsible for shooting JFK.
If you like your stories to border on the absurd with a heavy dose of the supernatural and surealism then Morrison is one author you should be checking out. Just don't expect it to make sense all of the time, and be prepared for some wild adventures.
Monday, May 28, 2007
These long books which are part of a longer series make it hard to dive in and enjoy. Whenever a new Jordan book is released I feel compelled to read all the others in an attempt to remind myself what has gone before. This goes for the others as well, and it is getting to the point where the catching up is taking longer than actually reading the new release.
But the fan in my wants to keep reading, and I do enjoy reading these series so I suppose I will continue to immerse myself in these writer's worlds, just don't expect to see me for a while, especially when Jordan releases his latest book, it could take months just to catch up.
On a related note I am excited to hear that American company HBO is looking to make a television series out of Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series. This can only be a good thing coming from the company that released The Sopranos, Deadwood, and Rome. I for one will be interested to watch it.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
If you pick up one of his books be prepared to be taken on a ride that will leave you breathless, and not just because you had to carry these 500 page tomes home! Don't be afraid by the size of these novels though, trust me, they will fly.
Friday, May 25, 2007
amis has become quite focussed on the Soviet Union of late, and his last few books have all referenced it to some degree. It is clear that he has been doing a large amount of research on the subject, so I suppose that it is only natural that he puts this research to use.
I can truthfully say that anyone who enjoys the work of Amis will find something to like in The House of Meetings.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
The first book I want to talk about is The Tale of the Children of Hurin by Tolkien. I absolutely love Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, but I was shocked by how much this latest book reminded me of all the things I don't like about Tolkien's writing. Long lists of similar sounding names makes my brain go dead, and this book has its fair share of these. Also the book highlights the fact that really Tolkien is not that great a writer, he really loves the sound of his own voice so to speak and this intrudes into the narrative. The story does pick up, though the ending is a bit of a downer. Personally the book comes across as another attempt to cash in on the success of The Lord of the Rings. Hopefully we will not see further attempts to sully the creation of J R R Tolkien.
On the other hand I have been enjoying the Gunslinger series by Stephen King. I have tried to read this series in the past but never really got into it, but for some reason this time I can't put it down. Funnily enough this series was inspired by Tolkien, though King wanted to give the characters a more American feel, and he succeeds quite well at this. Set in a mythical wild west, the sort of place Ford shot his films and John Wayne roams, the story weaves in and out of time and space in a sureal manner. I am really enjoying this and am looking foward to finishing all the books in the series. And seeing if Roland does reach the Black Tower.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Explore the world of superhero comics, visit a public library and browse, you never know what you might find.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Salutations, and thank you for reading this blog.
I work as a Reader Services Librarian in a public library and thought this would be a great way to promote reading and other interesting things that are a part of my job.
Currently I am trying to encourage people to read graphic novels.
I think that they are an exciting and important medium, which speaks to everyone. Also I really enjoy reading them.
So where do I start?
There have been some great graphic novels published, and I would like to discuss some of them here. They are also great starting points for people interested in this medium.
- Watchmen by Alan Moore. Alan Moore is one of the creative giants of this field and this tale of superheroes in a world that is slightly different from ours proves this point. Taking its premise from a quote by Juvenal, Moore explores the problems of having super-powered beings loose in society.
- Lone Wolf and Cub by Kazue Koike. This highly detailed and exquisitely rendered story is set in Edo period Japan. The story follows one man and his young child as they wander around Japan following the path of Ronin. The story does contain large amounts of violence, nudity and sex, but these do not distract from the adventure.
- Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb. Arghhh, men in tights. I can see some of you switching off now, but hear me out. At its heart this tale is a true detective story, and this suits the character of Batman. (After all his strongest weapon is his brain.) The colourful cast that support any Batman story help to keep the story rolling along, and the quirky art of Tim Sale brings everything to life.
- Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. This is the place to go if you ever wanted to think more seriously about comics as an art form. McCloud has put a lot of time into this graphic novel, and it shows. One of the leading philosophical works devoted to comics and understanding them. I challenge anyone who reads this not to come away with a different perspective on graphic novels.
This is just a small number of the many graphic novels I have read and enjoyed. Join me next time as I explore some more of my favourites, and who knows I may even discuss some books.