FF: A-Mazing Options

Reminder! I’ll be at Page One Book on Saturday, 11/28/15, at 1:00 pm, helping out with their Small Business Saturday promotion.  Want to talk books?  Have fun (rather than stress) with your Christmas shopping?  Do drop by!

Persephone is Amazed!

Persephone is Amazing!

For those of you just discovering this feature, the Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include details of either short fiction (unless part of a book-length collection) or magazine articles.

The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a bit of description or a few opinions tossed in.

Recently Completed:

Kitty and the Deadman’s Hand by Carrie Vaughn.  Audiobook.  Werewolf Kitty’s plan to dodge all the wedding-related chaos by eloping to Las Vegas rapidly goes out of control.  Out of her own environment, Kitty is less sharp than usual, but I felt her reactions well-supported by the text.

The Black Knight by  Kai Tsugui.  Manga.  Finished the four volumes I had…

Eighth Grave After Dark  by Darynda Jones.  Audiobook.  Despite Charley being restricted in her actions, the plot was all over the place.  Conclusion contained major plot twist.

In Progress:

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. Audiobook.   Invited an old friend to keep me company for the holiday…

The Unending Mystery: A Journey Through Labyrinths and Mazes by David Willis McCullough.  Non-fiction look at the world-wide interest in these patterns.  My only complaint is that it really needs more illustrations.

A World Without Heroes, “Beyonders” series, volume one by Brandon Mull.  I read part of this before deciding to send it to my nephew for his birthday.  Have decided to finish for myself!


Some research into “traditional” healing options, a subject that’s always useful for a writer interested in low-tech (whether fantasy or historical) settings.


12 Responses to “FF: A-Mazing Options”

  1. Louis Robinson Says:

    Well, the only things actually finished are some papers on the mechanics of stripped-envelope core-collapse supernovae. And if that made your eyes cross… all I can say is _I_ think that Physics is Phun 😉

    However, it occurs to me that you could easily devote a Wandering to getting your models to pose for the title photos for these posts. They don’t even nibble on the titles in question!

  2. Paul Says:

    Finished “Murphy’s Romance” last night. Nothing like the movie, except for the James Garner character having Murphy’s name. Makes you wonder why they buy the book rights.

  3. chadmerkley Says:

    UNENDING MYSTERY sounds interesting. I’ll have to see if the library has it.

    I’ve been reading MARIPOSA ROAD, by Robert Michael Pyle. It’s about searching for butterflies across the US. Very good writing. I’m also reading HOT EARTH DREAMS, by Frank Landis (aka Heteromeles). It’s got a lot of good stuff in it.

    I also have a small stack of library books by Margaret Mahy, who was discussed in TT a week or two ago. I’m liking her a lot. One of the ones I read was called THE FIVE SISTERS. It’s a children’s novel with illustrations about a set of five little paper dolls and their adventures. After I finished it, I loaned it to my mother. I got it back with a set of paper dolls tucked inside it. I’ll leave them there when it goes back to the library.

  4. Mentor Says:

    Re: mazes and labyrinths
    Have you ever listened to Ellen Kushner’s old “Sound & Spirit” radio shows? They combined pieces of music with pieces of literature, myth, religious traditions, and more. I remember she did one about mazes, labyrinths and other paths. (She also did one about Lord of the Rings back when “Fellowship” was about to come out.)
    http://www.wgbh.org/programs/Sound–Spirit-226#5003 for “Walking the Path” (the bit about the Labyrinth at Chartres begins at 23:10)
    – James

  5. David Dunham Says:

    Finished A Study in Scarlet by AC Doyle. I enjoyed reading how Holmes and Watson met, rented their flat, and solved their first mystery together. There’s also an interesting part of the novel that takes place in old west Utah, which reminded me of Edgar Rice Burroughs. I never would have compared the two writers before, but now that I think about it, they did both write about people discovering dinosaurs, didn’t they?

    • chadmerkley Says:

      I can see it. Doyle’s science was better. And he never did a Holmes-Prof, Challenger crossover, like Burroughs did with Pellucidar and Tarzan.

      The Utah thing…for a big chunk of the 19th Century, to many English speakers, Utah was basically interchangeable with any other foreign place where the people had strange and faintly scandalous religious practices. You could move that part of A Study in Scarlet to Turkey or Thailand or the lost kingdom of El Dorado without changing the plot at all.

      • Mentor Says:

        As a former student of religions, I found the late 19th century view of Mormons in “A Study in Scarlet” to be a fascinating glimpse into the somewhat histrionic view of that religion during that era. I understand that, later, Arthur Conan Doyle regretted using that negative view.

      • David Dunham Says:

        Chad, the man-against-society tone of the Utah section of reminded me of ERB’s Caspak trilogy, which also involves dinosaurs. I’d forgotten about Pellucidar! Thanks to you and Mentor for your thoughts on Doyle’s story choices–I’ve always wanted to make the transition from Sherlock Holmes viewer to reader, but found it difficult until now. Such insights help!

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