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Signing up for the 2010 Graphic Novel Challenge gave me the perfect excuse (in case I really thought I needed one) to re-read the Neil Gaiman Sandman series from scratch, alongside the fascinating-and-occasionally-dipped-into-but-never-properly-read Sandman Companion by Hy Bender. And of course you start at the beginning, with Preludes and Nocturnes.

The thing about the need for an excuse is that my TBR pile (which with my tendency to be unable to avoid buying books plus all the stuff the Book God has in his possession) has actually become a TBR room, if not taking over the whole house, and so any re-reading has to be carefully thought through because there are just so many new(ish) books waiting for me to pick them up.

This is a problem that will not go away for two reasons:

  • the Book God and I currently have a combined age of 106, and if you assume that we both started buying our own books as teenagers (let’s say arbitrarily 15) then that’s potentially 76 years of book buying

Which brings me to reason number 2:

  • I am constitutionally incapable of getting rid of anything vaguely book shaped. At all. So I almost certainly have just about everything I have bought since I was a teenager

So you can see my problem.

Nevertheless the draw of Sandman was irresistible and I ploughed on, really enjoying the opportunity to get back inside a world that I have always enjoyed. And then  another issue hit me – how do I review this? I mean, I can’t really review this as if I have come to it fresh, because I haven’t, and it is such a well-loved series and so many other bloggers have written about it all so eloquently. So I’m not going to attempt the feat at all.

I love it still, and if you haven’t read the series I urge you to have a go.

———–

I’ve also had a couple of relatively rare outings this week (I don’t count cocktails with Silvery Dude and friend on Wednesday because in my simple little mind that’s the sort of thing I should be doing every day); no, this is proper going out for the evening stuff, involving:

  • on Thursday, the Birmingham Royal Ballet performing Sleeping Beauty at the London Coliseum – wonderful stuff with costumes based on the court of Louis XIV and a classic fairy tale on stage the way it should be done
  • on Saturday, The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers at the Royal Albert Hall, with the full score performed live by the London Philharmonic Orchestra – and lovely to see Howard Shore, the composer, take a bow at the end.

And then home to Dr Who and River Song. What more could a girl want?

So having enjoyed volume one (reviewed here) and just so happening to have volume 2 kicking around the house for some strange reason, I decided to leap straight into the world of Fables once again with Animal Farm.

So after the fall out from the events of volume 1, not to be discussed here in case there is someone out there who has been even tardier than me in coming to the series, the Fabletown Mayor, Snow White, is heading upstate from New York for her annual visit to the Farm. This is the property, hidden by a glamour, where the non-human fables can live away from the prying eyes of the “normal” world. So we have the Three Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, a few dragons and sleeping giants and so forth.

But all is not well; these fables want to take their homelands back from the Adversary, and are fomenting a revolution in order to do so, led by a very different take on Goldilocks than you would have seen before. Can Snow White stop them, and who can she trust to help her?

If anything this was even more fun than the previous story, with some well-known characters from literature (Shere Khan and Baghera, anyone?) involved, plus who could resist animals with weapons? Not giving away what happens but the fable approach to justice is brutal if necessary.

And you have to feel a bit sorry for Colin the Pig.

Will definitely be continuing to follow this series.

This was my third read for the 2010 Graphic Novel Challenge.

Well, bit of a blogging hiatus as I recovered from the fun-packed-but-tiring read-a-thon with a mountain (well, small pile) of reviews to catch up on both here and over at the Screen God blog. Plus work has been really busy so not reading much that’s new.

All very feeble excuses but the tide is about to turn, and I’m going to start with Bill Willingham’s Fables:Legends in Exile, first in a graphic novel series which is hugely popular in the blog world, and to which I have come, as always, as a late adopter.

So the land(s) of the fairy tale and other legends have been taken over by the minions of the evil being known (so far) only as The Adversary, and they have all been driven out to live alongside us normal folk (well, in New York) in their own environment of Fabletown. And there has been an apparent murder, so the question is who killed Rose Red?

This is really great stuff if you like the idea of a world ruled by King Cole, where Snow White is the Mayor and the Big Bad Wolf (in human form) is a private detective. The mystery isn’t really the point though it’s a good way to get immersed in the world of the fables.

So in summary, a good story, strong artwork and a nice premise makes for an enjoyable read.

And I went straight onto volume 2 which I’ll review shortly.

This was my second read for the 2010 Graphic Novel Challenge.

So, final outcome:

  • Currently reading: When Last I Died by Gladys Mitchell
  • Books finished: 4 (After the Armistice Ball, Anthropology, Nightmares & Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Time, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie)
  • Pages read: 59
  • Running total of pages read: 1025
  • Amount of time spent reading: 50 minutes
  • Running total of time spent reading: 10 hours 15 minutes
  • Mini-challenges completed: 2
  • Other participants I’ve visited: 23 (though not always leaving comments – shame on me)

Final meme for the read-a-thon:

  1. Which hour was the most daunting? 1am when I realised I’d made it half way but was starting to acknowledge how tired I was
  2. A few high-interest books for others? Don’t think I’ve read enough to make that recommendation, but found crime fiction was both light to read and interesting enough to keep me going
  3. Suggestions for next time? Not really, I thought it was very well-organised and have nothing but admiration for the hosts
  4. What went well? Cheerleaders were very important, I enjoyed reading their comments on my posts
  5. How many books read? 4.75
  6. Names of the books? See above
  7. I enjoyed the first one the most, though pleased that I liked all of my chosen reads
  8. I suppose I enjoyed Nightmares & Fairy Tales the least (though I still enjoyed it); a bit grim for this type of event
  9. I wasn’t a cheerleader
  10. I will definitely take part in future events, probably still as a reader

And that’s me, thrilled at having read over 1000 pages, and off to have some lunch and enjoy the London spring sunshine.

On the home stretch now, less than an hour to go!

  • Currently reading: When Last I Died by Gladys Mitchell
  • Books finished: 4 (After the Armistice Ball, Anthropology, Nightmares & Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Time, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie)
  • Pages read: 95
  • Running total of pages read: 966
  • Amount of time spent reading: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Running total of time spent reading: 9 hours 25 minutes
  • Mini-challenges completed: 1
  • Other participants I’ve visited: 23 (though not always leaving comments – shame on me)

Not sure I’ll finish my las book before the end of the challenge, but going to do my best!

So, here I am, back again after sleeping way longer than I meant to but (as my old mum used to say ) I must have needed it. Planning to read for the remainder of the ‘thon, just under 2 and a half hours – great way to spend a Sunday morning.

As a reminder, progress since last post:

  • Currently reading: When Last I Died by Gladys Mitchell
  • Books finished: 4 (After the Armistice Ball, Anthropology, Nightmares & Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Time, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie)
  • Pages read: 0
  • Running total of pages read: 871
  • Amount of time spent reading: 0 minutes
  • Running total of time spent reading: 8 hours
  • Mini-challenges completed: 1
  • Other participants I’ve visited: 23 (though not always leaving comments – shame on me)

See you all later, and here’s hoping I can finish another book!

Progress since last post:

  • Currently reading: Not started anything new
  • Books finished: 4 (After the Armistice Ball, Anthropology, Nightmares & Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Time, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie)
  • Pages read: 97
  • Running total of pages read: 871
  • Amount of time spent reading: 55 minutes
  • Running total of time spent reading: 8 hours
  • Mini-challenges completed: 1
  • Other participants I’ve visited: 23 (though not always leaving comments – shame on me)

I am going to call it a night; it’s 2.15 am and I am cross-eyed with tiredness, having been awake now for 18 hours and 45 minutes, and I have to acknowledge that I no longer have the stamina I used to…..

So off to bed and hope to rejoin the challenge once I’ve had some sleep.

Progress since last post:

  • Currently reading: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
  • Books finished: 3 (After the Armistice Ball, Anthropology, Nightmares & Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Time)
  • Pages read: 114
  • Running total of pages read: 774
  • Amount of time spent reading: 85 minutes
  • Running total of time spent reading: 7 hours 5 minutes
  • Mini-challenges completed: 1
  • Other participants I’ve visited: 23 (though not always leaving comments – shame on me)

Am now seriously beginning to flag but pleased that I’ve reached my first goal, which was to keep going for 12 hours, so that’s £50 at least for my nominated charity. I think I can keep going until 3am or I finish my current book (whichever comes first) but then may have to succumb to sleep, given that I’ve been up and awake for nearly 18 hours. But let’s see, shall we?

Progress since last post:

  • Currently reading: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
  • Books finished: 3 (After the Armistice Ball, Anthropology, Nightmares & Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Time)
  • Pages read: 0
  • Running total of pages read: 660
  • Amount of time spent reading: 0 minutes
  • Running total of time spent reading: 5 hours 40 minutes
  • Mini-challenges completed: 1
  • Other participants I’ve visited: 23 (though not always leaving comments – shame on me)

So since my last post I have cooked and eaten a late dinner, watched this week’s episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars (the one with the Zillo Beast aka King Kong in Space) and most importantly the second of Matt Smith’s appearances as Dr Who (still loving it, BTW).

Now back to the reading thing.

Progress since last post:

  • Currently reading: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
  • Books finished: 3 (After the Armistice Ball, Anthropology, Nightmares & Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Time)
  • Pages read: 81
  • Running total of pages read: 660
  • Amount of time spent reading: 55 minutes
  • Running total of time spent reading: 5 hours 40 minutes
  • Mini-challenges completed: 1
  • Other participants I’ve visited: 20

The Book God has reappeared after a nap and plans for dinner and Dr Who mean I probably won’t post again until 11pm or thereabouts.

Bride of the Book God

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Scottish, in my fifties, love books but not always able to find the time to read them as much as I would like. I’m based in London and happily married to the Book God.

I also blog at Bride of the Screen God (all about movies and TV) and The Dowager Bride, if you are interested in ramblings about stuff of little consequence

If you would like to get in touch you can contact me at brideofthebookgod (at) btinternet (dot) com.

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