Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sarton Sunday 25 I 2015 - The Lion and the Rose by May Sarton

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The Lion and the Rose
by May Sarton
Published by Rinehart & Company, 1948
104 Pages • Hardcover

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THE WORK OF HAPPINESS

I thought of happiness, how it is woven
Out of the silence in the empty house each day
And how it is not sudden and it is not given
But is creation itself like the growth of a tree.
No one has seen it happen, but inside the bark
Another circle is growing in the expanding ring.
No one has heard the root go deeper in the dark,
But the tree is lifted by this inward work
And its plumes shine, and its leaves are glittering.

So happiness is woven out of the peace of hours
And strikes its roots deep in the house alone:
The old chest in the corner, cool waxed floors,
White curtains softly and continually blown
As the free air moves quietly about the room;
A shelf of books, a table, and the white-washed wall—
These are the dear familiar gods of home,
And here the work of faith can best be done,
The growing tree is green and musical.

For what is happiness but growth in peace,
The timeless sense of time when furniture
Has stood a life's span in a single place,
And as the air moves, so the old dreams stir
The shining leaves of present happiness.
No one has heard thought or listened to a mind,
But where people have lived in inwardness
The air is charged with blessing and does bless;
Windows look out on mountains and the walls are kind.

I have nothing profound to say about Sarton's third book of poetry. A good decade has progressed since her first book of poetry, so there is obvious growth in her writing. The poems are becoming, at least in my opinion, more what she was to become known for in her later years.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Death of Wolverine by Charles Soule, illustrated by Steve McNiven

 photo 078519351001_SX175_SY250_SCLZZZZZZZ__zps8814669d.jpgDeath of Wolverine
by Charles Soule, illustrated by Steve McNiven
Published by Marvel, January 20, 2015
144 Pages • ISBN 978-0785193517 • Hardcover

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Book description:
All roads must end somewhere, and every hero's story eventually comes to a close. For Logan, the century-old mutant known as Wolverine, that time is now. The loss of his healing factor and the traumatic events of "Three Months To Die" have all led to this, the single most important X-Men event of the decade. Over the years, Logan has been a warrior, a hero, a renegade, a savage, a samurai, a teacher - and so much more. Logan has spent decades being the best there is at what he does...but even the best fade away eventually. And now, the greatest X-Men hero will play a role he's never played before in this solemn special event brought to you by industry superstars Charles Soule and Steve McNiven.

COLLECTING: Death of Wolverine 1-4


Not really sure what the big deal over this was. The story is ultimately a big meh. The only saving grace for the book is McNiven's art, and even that didn't seem to be up to his usual standards. To be honest, I wanted this book to be great. Wolverine is one of the most overused characters Marvel has, and I truly expected something way better for his death than what this series offered.

And to be fair, part of me expected there to be a "non-death" at the end of this story. You can't just kill off a character who appears in roughly half your books, right Marvel? See you after Secret Wars, Wolverine.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Marvel 100th Anniversary by Jen Van Meter, Sean Ryan, Robin Furth, and James Stokoe, illustrated by In-Hyuk Lee, Jason Masters, Gustavo Duarte, and James Stokoe

 photo 078515413201_SX175_SY250_SCLZZZZZZZ__zps1bbad1b0.jpgMarvel 100th Anniversary
by Jen Van Meter, Sean Ryan, Robin Furth, and James Stokoe, illustrated by In-Hyuk Lee, Jason Masters, Gustavo Duarte, and James Stokoe
Published by Marvel, November 4, 2014
112 Pages • ISBN 978-0785154136 • Paperback

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Book description:
A remarkable artifact from the future of Marvel Comics! What happens when Marvel's favorite heroes hit the centennial mark? It's 2061, and the world of the Fantastic Four has turned upside-down, complete with the granddaughter of Doom... and the Richards-Banner twins! It's 100 years after Spider-Man's creation, and the Kingpin has stolen Spidey's ultra-powerful techno-symbiote suit! Have the X-Men of 2061 achieved Xavier's dream of mutants and humans living in harmony? How will the Avengers of 2061 cope following the failed Badoon invasion of Earth... and America's disappearance into the Negative Zone? And just in time for the release of their seventh epic motion picture, the Guardians of the Galaxy take on the Silver Galactus!


I don't even know what to say about this other than it's bad. If this is where the Marvel Universe stories are heading in 25 years, I'll be passing. Maybe if there was some sort of overall arc told throughout the five titles it would have been a little better, but we're basically dropped into the middle of "existing" story arcs, and not a single one of them read as something that I wish I could read the entire arc over.

Unless you are a really hardcore Marvel reader, I'd say that this could be easily ignored.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

In Search of Lost Dragons by Elian Black’Mor, Carine-M, and Jezequel Book Trailer


I just discovered this trailer, and I just had to share it. Isn't it fantastic?!

Here's the book description:
On the trail of dragons forgotten, an intrepid illustrator and reporter journeys from Europe through the Middle East and finally to Saigon in search of the dark caverns and mountaintop perches where the elusive winged serpents dwell. With the gift of seeing the invisible, our explorer friend records each encounter in a journal of gorgeous, fully painted artwork, capturing every majestic and fearsome visual detail of the scaly behemoths, and accompanies his findings with snippets of local lore as evidence that these hidden beasts continue to shape the world in ways we may never expect!

Yeah, I'll be picking this up sooner than later.

Happy reading!

Monday, January 19, 2015

ConFusion 2015 - Back to the ConFusion (or in my case, First Time to the ConFusion)

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Some friends and I went to ConFusion 2015 this past weekend and got to hang out with a great group of authors, including Karen Lord (Guest of Honor), Cherie Priest, Mary Robinette Kowal, John Scalzi, Myke Cole, Jim Hines, Steven Erikson, Joe Abercrombie, Ted Chiang, Kameron Hurley, Robert Jackson Bennett, and Ron Collins, just to name a few. I attended several panels on various aspects of SFF and there was also a signing event, and all the books in the pic above are signed! It was a really great time, and I plan on attending future events.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sarton Sunday 18 I 2015 - Inner Landscape by May Sarton

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Inner Landscape
by May Sarton
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1939
94 Pages • Hardcover

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ADDRESS TO THE HEART

You cannot go back now to that innocence—
the pure pain that enters like a sword
making the bright blood flow
and the slow perfect healing, leaving you whole.
This is a deeper illness,
a poison that has entered every tissue:
Cut off your hand, you will not find it there.
This must be met and conquered in each separate atom,
must be lived out like a slow fever.
No part is mortally afflicted.
Each part will have its convalescence surely,
and yet you will arise from this infection
changed,
as one returns from death.

Sarton's second book of poetry seems to suggest her later need of solitude and the sanctuary that can bring for some people. The poems are still strong, though, but they speak to me of a need to center in on one's self and find the peace you are seeking in life there.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Taking a short break from #audiobooks

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I'm taking a short break from audiobooks for a while. I need some time away from Westeros, I think, so I'm going to be catching up on one of my favorite podcasts, Welcome to Night Vale. If you've never listened to Night Vale and you like something just a little bit on the odd side, then this podcast is for you.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jim Hines promotes his new book, Unbound


I totally stole this picture from my friend, Whitney Spotts, the events coordinator for Schuler Books.

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Jim Hines stopped by Schuler Books earlier this evening to promote the release of the new book in his Magic ex Libris series, Unbound.



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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sarton Sunday 11 I 2015 - The Single Hound by May Sarton

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 photo 039330785901_SX175_SY250_SCLZZZZZZZ__zpse6bfeb9a.jpgThe Single Hound
by May Sarton
Published by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1938 (reprint 1991)
256 Pages • ISBN 978-0393307856 • Paperback

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Book description:
“Only a poet and, perhaps, only a young poet could have written this beautiful and distinguished first novel.” —New York Times

This is the story of two poets, one an elderly Belgian woman known to the world as Jean Latour, the other a young Englishman. When Mark Taylor finds his life and art broken up by his love for an older, married woman, he turns for help to the poems of Jean Latour and finds the help he craves in the poet herself. In this early work we see the first flowering of May Sarton’s special ability to depict sensitive people who find they must travel new pathways if they are to discover their true selves.

This first novel, published in 1938, shows the importance that poetry plays in the life and writing of a young Sarton; the story is brimming with poetic imagery and turns of phrase.

The story centers around the friendship of three elderly teachers, the "Little Owls": Doro, the teacher and poet; Annette, who likes to be in charge; and finally Claire, the beauty. In one phrase that describes the characters interactions within their combined lives perfectly, Sarton writes, "the truth is that they had adapted themselves to each other so completely that when one was absent it was just like a trio without a violin. Nothing quite came off." The story also revolves the meeting of two poets, Mark Taylor, and the poet he turns to for help when his life starts to unravel, Jean Latour.

Largely autobiographical, Sarton describes her own writing habits through the writing habits of Doro. I'm sure that each of the "Little Owls" is in some way inspired by Sarton herself. The writing can become very dense at times, and a little flowery in the use of poetical phrases, but it is her first novel, and such techniques diminish as she becomes more sure of herself as a novelist in her later years. You can definitely see the spark here that will grow as she develops as a writer.