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Recent Reads

Wednesday, March 15, 2006
I can't remember if I blogged about it or not, but a couple of weeks ago, I went to the South Carolina Book Festival. Took in a few lectures and panel discussions and shopped. Man, did I shop. I picked up a couple of romantic suspense titles from Echelon Press and I also stopped at a table for a new bookstore in town called Aliens and Alibis. They specialize in SF/F and sell both new and used books. Yeah, that was a plug.

Anyway, as I was browsing at their table, I picked up two real winners. The first is called The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. Y'all, I can't even begin to describe this book to you, so I'm copying and pasting one of the reviews from the Amazon site:

Penzler Pick, January 2002: When I first heard the premise of this unique mystery, I doubted that a first-time author could pull off a complicated caper involving so many assumptions, not the least of which is a complete suspension of disbelief. Jasper Fforde is not only up to the task, he exceeds all expectations.
Imagine this. Great Britain in 1985 is close to being a police state. The Crimean War has dragged on for more than 130 years and Wales is self-governing. The only recognizable thing about this England is her citizens' enduring love of literature. And the Third Most Wanted criminal, Acheron Hades, is stealing characters from England's cherished literary heritage and holding them for ransom.

Bibliophiles will be enchanted, but not surprised, to learn that stealing a character from a book only changes that one book, but Hades has escalated his thievery. He has begun attacking the original manuscripts, thus changing all copies in print and enraging the reading public. That's why Special Operations Network has a Literary Division, and it is why one of its operatives, Thursday Next, is on the case.

Thursday is utterly delightful. She is vulnerable, smart, and, above all, literate. She has been trying to trace Hades ever since he stole Mr. Quaverley from the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit and killed him. You will only remember Mr. Quaverley if you read Martin Chuzzlewit prior to 1985. But now Hades has set his sights on one of the plums of literature, Jane Eyre, and he must be stopped.

How Thursday achieves this and manages to preserve one of the great books of the Western canon makes for delightfully hilarious reading. You do not have to be an English major to be pulled into this story. You'll be rooting for Thursday, Jane, Mr. Rochester--and a familiar ending. --Otto Penzler --

I mean, you know it's got to be good when you realize that the characters in this book do Richard III like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, complete with audience dressing in costume and yelling out the lines. A recommended read, but be warned that you really do need to have at least a basic knowledge of 19th c Brit Lit to fully get all the jokes.

Second was a book by Kage Baker (cool name, huh?) called The Anvil of the World, a fantasy adventure. I'm in the midst of my second reading of it. It's subtle and humorous. A trifle preachy in places, but I'm willing to overlook that for the sake of the story. I understand this was her first foray into fantasy from sci-fi and I'm interested in finding more fantasy stories from her.

I also re-read Kenyon's Dance With the Devil, which I hadn't read in a while. Yep. I still appreciate a man who embraces his insanity. Zarek is definitely one of my favorite heroes.
3/15/2006 02:28:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 7 Comments


Glad you had fun at the frestival too. I'm so proud of myself. I didn't buy a single book. Which means I'm finally making progress in my therapy. Actually, it means I harrassed myself until I put back the stack of books I had... And now I really feel like I missed something!

By Blogger April, at 11:12 PM  

Well, I gave up buying books for Lent. So I guess it's a good thing I went on a book buying binge for Mardi Gras, no? LOL! At least I'm set until Easter. :) And hey, Aliens and Alibis needs lots of business. I talked with one of the owners and she was a lot of fun.

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 7:12 AM  

Looked up Echelon Press.
Did you get a free thong too?

By Blogger Bernita, at 7:52 AM  

Why yes, I did. And it's riding up something fierce! LOL! Actually, it's rather pretty. Sasha White (see sidebar) gave me a thong last year at RWA and I had no clue what the thing was for until she explained it.

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 8:27 AM  

I know what a thong is for, but somehow it doesn't work the same way for me. OK, I had some really inappropriate explanation there. I'll refrain.
I LOVE buying tons of books. I bought a couple of Harlequin Intrigues and called it "research". Justification is important for good shopping.
The books you bought sound good. Let me know what you think when you're done. What Romantic Suspense did you buy?

By Blogger Jen, at 10:00 AM  

Lots of recommends and, may I point out, a thong to an Aussie is something they wear in their feet, as in, flipflop! ;-)

By Anonymous alexandra, at 6:06 PM  

Isn't The Eyre Affair great? The second book seemed to me to be a book to get you to the third book - but I LOVED The Eyre Affair.

Lori :)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:36 PM  

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