Fabulous Fiction Firsts #103

Tired of the bleak Feb. days? Looking for something light and engaging? You might want to try Gods Behaving Badly by first time novelist Marie Phillips.

The immortals of Mount Olympus have fallen, and not just on hard times. Apollo, Aphrodite, Artemis, Eros and Zeus are slumming in modern day London, working menial jobs as a dogwalker, a phone sex operator, a TV psychic; and falling for their cleaning woman, all the while worrying about their waning power and each other with their endless squabbling.

"Phillips imagines a hilarious world that explains all that is inexplicable in our own". "Fanciful, humorous and charming, this satire is as sweet as nectar" ~ Publishers Weekly.

Phillips is a graduate of Cambridge University currently working at the BBC and writes for the blog StrugglingAuthor.blogspot.com.

Have Sword Will Travel

One of my favorite fiction characters of all time is Conan the Barbarian. Robert E. Howard introduced the world to Conan in 1932 in several stories he sold to Weird Tales. In The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian you will find a collection of 13 stories as originally written by Howard, including my favorites The Frost Giant's Daughter and The Tower of the Elephant. The library has a nice collection of both books and graphic novels featuring the coolest barbarian around if you're looking for even more Hyborian adventure.

Stardust

StardustStardust

Best movie of 2007 (in my opinion anyway) now available at the library! It's based on the illustrated novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman. If you haven't seen it, put it on hold or rent it from our Zoom Lends today!

I was expecting to be supremely disappointed by this movie, but watching an interview with Neil Gaiman coaxed me into seeing it. I'm glad I did. I loved this movie. This was one of the best fantasy movies I've seen in years. Period. I really shouldn't have doubted Neil. Of course, to be fair, it was actually Hollywood I was doubting which I think is entirely fair. The God of movies is often fickle and cruel, but every so often true gems fall to Earth from his devilish workshop and Stardust is one of those gems.

An Epic Tale

David and Leigh Eddings have been writting epic fantasy for many years. Their first series is The Belgariad. In the first book Pawn of Prophecy we are introduced to Garion, a farm boy being raised by his Aunt Pol. Together, they leave the farm travelling with Mister Wolf the story teller to recover a mysterious object stolen by a no-name theif. You too can travel with them by reading this and the rest of the books in the series, Queen of Sorcery, Magician's Gambit, Castle of Wizardry, and Enchanters' End Game.

Sabriel

I generally like listening to audiobooks but I had some issues with the audiobook of Garth Nix's Sabriel. The story itself is compelling: the tale of a young girl who inherits her father's powers as a necromancer and goes on a journey to find her father only to discover that she must defeat a formidable, albeit long dead foe. Tim Curry's performance is also engaging. My complaint, and it sounds like a small one, is the music at the beginning and end. It sounds like music from a bad slasher movie which is not appropriate for the actual tone of the novel. This made me very dubious of the story when the first strains pierced my ears and annoyed when it was played over an otherwise moving ending scene. Then there's also the fact that it's a complicated story which is probably better understood when read. Although, I did have a professor say that her husband got addicted to this audiobook while on their car trip so this clearly isn't everyone's opinion of the audio.

The same but different

After reading the Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks wrote The Sword of Shannara. The story follows Shea Ohmsford's adventures to recover the Sword of Shannara and defeat the evil Warlock Lord. The story shares many elements of Middle Earth, but takes place on a alternate world in the distant future, after the downfall of the high tech society. Published in 1977, this was the fantasy novel to ever to appear on the New York Times bestseller list.

Alternate Histories

Thanks to Patrick O'Brian, Aubrey–Maturin series, and Bernard Cornwell, Sharpe series, my interest has been piqued regarding the Napoleonic Wars. One of my coworkers suggested Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and His Majesty's Dragon to me as great fantasy stories set in the same time period. In one, England uses magic to help defeat Napoleon and his armies. In the other, it's dragons.

I must say, I loved one of the books and really hated the other. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell was boring. It started boring and didn't get any better. The only reason I finished the book was that I hoped it would get better. It didn't. Oh well.

Making Money

While perusing the blog I noticed that, while there are two posts concerning the news about Terry Pratchett's health, there are none with a full review featuring his latest book. So I've decided to remedy this by providing one myself.

Making Money continues the adventures of Moist Von Lipwig and his lady friend Adora Belle Dearheart from their introduction in Going Postal. Moist, who is currently the Postmaster General, has managed to make the City of Ankh-Morpork's once ruined Post Office into a well-run machine. Unfortunately, this makes his life horribly hum-drum. In the absence of the sobering Adora Belle (don't let the name fool you, she's quite formidable), Vetinari, the City's Patrician (aka. Tyrant), convinces Moist to take on the job as master of the Royal Bank and Mint. Danger, intrigue, and hilarity ensue in this witty satire of how money and banking really work.

Oh, and there's little dog named Mr. Fusspot. He's very important. But you'll have to read it to find out why.

A MEMORY OF LIGHT, the final novel in the Wheel of Time

Since the death of Robert Jordan (Wheel of time author) in September fans have been left wondering if the final book of the wheel of time series would remain unfinished and unpublished.

Late last week Tor the publisher of the wheel of light gave a press release that that have signed a deal to have Brandon Sanderson finish the final book "A MEMORY OF LIGHT" with scheduled delivery of the manuscript in December 2008 and a planned publication date of Fall 2009.

Brandon Sanderson is best known for his Alcatraz books Alcatraz Versus The Evil Librarians being the first book.

Books to Films - December Blockbusters

Ian McEwan’s Atonement on which the film is based recounts events in the unusually hot summer of 1935, when a privileged young woman’s vivid imagination and recklessness forever alters her life and lives of those she loves. Film critics are loving “the stunning landscapes and gorgeous camerawork”.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman is part of a trilogy called “His Dark Material”, set in a parallel universe. The series has often been compared to the Harry Potter novels. The movie is churning up some controversy on both sides of the border for its anti-Catholic bias. Be your own judge and check out the New York Times Review. Better yet, go see the movie.

At long last - the much-anticipated The Kite Runner is here. It's based on Khaled Hosseini’s popular novel that traces the unlikely friendship of a wealthy Afghan youth and a servant's son, in a tale that spans the final days of Afghanistan's monarchy through the atrocities of the present day. Read the latest news on what is happen with the young actors.

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