Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday Salon: My first try


This is my first time with The Sunday Salon, so please have patience while I learn the ropes! Thanks to my fellow reader and LTer Irisheyz for my discovering this community.

I'm actually in the middle of two books right now.

First off is Jonathan Barnes The Somnambulist. I had an extraordinarily hard time this last week deciding on a book to read. Nothing quite felt right. I finally settled on The Somnambulist as I had been looking forward to it's release since I found out about it through LT's Early Reviewer program and I hadn't gotten around to it yet.

It is just what I needed!

The book opens, "Be warned. This book has no literary merit whatsoever." While I'm only 63 pages into it as of right now, I can't say whether for sure this statement is entirely accurate, but I can say that in those 63 pages I've found the beginnings to a quirky, fun and amusing murder mystery. This is Jonathan Barnes first novel, and thus far, he hasn't disappointed.

The second book I'm working on right now is actually a graphic novel, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall. The comic Fables is written by Bill Willingham and is published by DC Comics imprint, Vertigo. Fables tells the story of our favorite fairy tales, legends and lore as if they lived and breathed in the real world and are living in NYC. Having been forced from their lands by The Adversary, the fairy tales have taken refuge in our mundane world in the area of NYC that they have named Fabletown. These are not necessarily your parents fairy tales. These characters have become slightly jaded in their existence, first being forced from their rightful lands and then being forced to live and fit in with our society. All around, it's an interesting take on the fairy tale as a whole.

Fables: 1001 Night of Snowfall is something of a prequel to the story, where we learn a little background on the characters that populate the Fables world. I've only read the very first Fables collection, Legends in Exile, and so I'm not familiar with all the ins and outs of the characters, but since they are all based on characters that we are mostly familiar with, it hasn't proven that much of a challenge for me. I'm just hoping that it doesn't spoil something for me from farther along in the series.

**edit**
I just finished reading Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall and found that I really enjoyed it! Willingham does an admirable job updating fairy tales to match them with the world of Fables. The art throughout is beautifully rendered (each fairy tales story is created by a different artist) and matches the tone of each story perfectly. Overall, a fun little read.

Now, off to dinner at Mom's house and then back to The Somnambulist!

7 comments:

Clare Dudman said...

First, I'd just like to say welcome to Sunday Salon.

I've never tried a graphic novel - not even come across one in a bookshop (maybe I go round like a somnabulist - heh). However I hear a lot about them. Is there one you particularly recommend?

Table Talk said...

Welcome to the Salon; it's just the best place to be on a Sunday.

Why is it that when you have TBR pile that would surely kill you if it fell on you, it just doesn't seem possible sometimes to find a book you want to read? I'm so glad I'm not the only one who can be heard to wail "I've got nothing to read" when to anyone else that looks like a patent lie.

Megan said...

Losts of first timers this week! Welcome to the Sunday Salon.

I have only read graphic novels in digital format and would like to read some in paper sometime. I am determined to read V for Vendetta some day!

I am happy you found exactly what you were looking for in Somnabulist. I have been wandering through piles of books in my house and I have been having a hard time finding things that suit me. I start an Anne Tyler book and I was loving it but I have seemed to stall on it. I hope to be racing some amazing books here soon!

J. Kaye Oldner said...

How cool! I am a newbie at The Sunday Salon too. I look forward to getting to know you better through your blog!

Irish said...

Like you and table talk I too sometimes have a bear of a time trying to find something to read. Its the worst feeling because the desire to read is there but nothing sends that happy little thrill through you.

I'm glad that Somnabulist is filling the void. =) I've been eyeing it at the bookstore ever since I first read about it on LT. I've been really good so far though and have managed to not buy it.

Literary Feline said...

Welcome to the Sunday Salon! I was lucky enough to get an early review copy of The Somnambulist several months ago and enjoyed the book for the most part.

Have a great week!

tapestry100 said...

Thanks for all the welcomes! Unfortunately, there will be no more reading for me today, as I just got home from dinner at my mom's house and helping a friend grade some exams. Next Sunday will be better!

I have been reading comics for 25+ years now. It's one of those pastimes from my childhood that I've never given up. As an adult now, I find myself drawn to the collected paperback versions of the stories, as they are easier to read and easier stored.

I think it would depend on what kind of reading you enjoy to recommend a graphic novel, but some of my favorites include V for Vendetta, Watchmen, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol 1 & 2 (all by Alan Moore), Sandman (by Neil Gaiman), Mouse Guard (by David Petersen) and Fables (by Bill Willingham). There are various storylines from the Batman and X-Men franchises that I would recommend, but the ones that I listed I think fall more into the "literary" sense of the graphic novel (Watchmen is even included on the 1001 Book list).

I've already set aside next Saturday to tackle the ginormous Absolute Sandman Vol 1, which collects the first 20(ish) issues of the series.

My friend gave my The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Miller for my birthday, so I think that's what I'll be working on next Sunday.

And I tried to be good about waiting on The Somnambulist. I really really tried, but B&N sent me a 25% coupon in my email one day, and then they had it 30%, then another 10% with my membership, so it ended up totaling around $10, so I couldn't pass it up!