Adventures in Etymology: Dyscalculia

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Dyscalculia

Reason for Adventure

This is an Adventure in Etymology that comes purely from my day-to-day non-reading life. One of my Facebook friends (and a Book of Faces Bookbagger!) introduced me to the word, and the knowledge that there is a learning disability for numbers and maths as dyslexia is to words and letters. As I’ve never been great with maths I right away connected with the word, plus it’s a fantastic sounding word – very Latin ūüėõ – so perfect for this feature.

Dictionary.com Definitions/Origins

Pronunciation:
dis-kal-kyoo-lee-uh

Form:
noun

Definition:
1. acalculia. (Dictionary.com based on Random House Dictionary)

2. severe difficulty in making simple mathematical calculations, due to cerebral disease or injury (Collins English Dictionary)

3.  Impairment of the ability to solve mathematical problems, usually resulting from brain
dysfunction. (The American Heritage¬ģ Stedman’s Medical Dictionary)

Origin: 
1950‚Äď55;¬†dys-¬†+¬†calcul(ate)¬†+¬†-ia

Sources:

dyscalculia. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dyscalculia

dyscalculia. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary РComplete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from Dictionary.com website:http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dyscalculia

dyscalculia. (n.d.).¬†The American Heritage¬ģ Stedman’s Medical Dictionary. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from Dictionary.com website:http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dyscalculia

Online Etymology Dictionary Information

dys-
word-forming element meaning “bad, ill, abnormal,” from Greek dys-, inseparable prefix “destroying the good sense of a word or increasing its bad sense” [Liddell and Scott], “bad, hard, unlucky,” from PIE root (and prefix) *dus- “bad, ill, evil” (cf. Sanskrit dus-, Old Persian duŇ°- “ill,” Old English to-, Old High German zur-, Gothic tuz- “un-“), a derivative of *deu- “to lack, be wanting” (cf. Greek dein “to lack, want”). Very productive in ancient Greek, where it could attach even to proper names (e.g. dysparis “unhappy Paris”); its entries take up nine columns in Liddell and Scott. Among the words formed from it were some English might covet: dysouristos “fatally favorable, driven by a too-favorable wind;” dysadelphos “unhappy in one’s brothers;” dysagres “unlucky in fishing;” dysantiblepos “hard to look in the face.”

calculate (v.)
1560s, “to compute, to estimate by mathematical means,” from Latin calculatus, past participle of calculare “to reckon, compute,” from calculus (see calculus). Meaning “to plan, devise” is from 1650s. Replaced earlier calculen (mid-14c.), from Old French calculer. Related: Calculable.

*As Dyscalculia wasn’t listed this was the closest I could get*

Source:

Harper, D. (2014). Online etymology dictionary. Retrieved March 24, 2014 from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=calculate&allowed_in_frame=0

Harper, D. (2014). Online etymology dictionary. Retrieved March 24, 2014 from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=dys-&allowed_in_frame=0

For more information on Dyscalculia go to www.dyscalculia.org ūüôā

Collective Nounitude: Swans

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Swans

The Wild Swans by kelleybean86 (DeviantART) used with artist's permission Check out more of her beautiful art at kmcmorris.com

The Wild Swans
by kelleybean86 (DeviantART) used with artist’s permission
Check out more of her beautiful art at kmcmorris.com

Most Common:

A Bevy of Swans

Alternatives:

A Wedge of Swans (flying in a V)

A Bank of Swans (on the ground)

A Drift of Swans

A Eyrar of Swans

A Flight of Swans

A Game of Swans

A Herd of Swans

A Lamentation of Swans

A Sownder of Swans

A Team of Swans

A Whiting of Swans

A Whiteness of Swans

A Squadron of Swans

A Moron of Swans (not from a swan fan obviously :/)

¬†a Taleb¬†of swans (Ha! It’s ballet backwards!….except spelt wrong..)

A Serenity of Swans

A Neck of Swans

A Pen of Swans

A Grace of Swans

An Elegance of Swans

A Lake of Swans

A Glide of Swans

A Bottleneck of Swans

My suggestions:

An Ugly Duckling of Swans (for a group of awkward signets)

A Float of Swans

A Hiss of Swans

Swans Finals Campaign by Bojan1558 (DeviantART) used with artist's permission

Swans Finals Campaign
by Bojan1558 (DeviantART) used with artist’s permission

Reason for choice:

Reading¬†Shades of Grey¬†by¬†Jasper Fforde, where the characters often mention giant, carnivorous swans ūüėõshadesofgrey

Sources:

Wikipedia

rinkworks.com

collectivenoun.co.uk

all-sorts.org

The 2013 Book Polygamist Awards!

Welcome Ladies, Gentlemen and super-intelligent cats who secretly surf the web while their owner is at work, to the 3rd Annual Book Polygamist Awards!

Since 2011 the Awards have been publicly aired on my humble little blog, rather than the bottomless pit of Facebook, or the relative privacy of my book journal, and as long as Book Polygamist sticks around each year I will share my quirky Awards with you, my precious few Bookbaggers ūüôā

Like last year and the year before the Awards will be broken up into two categories: the Annual Awards, which are the same each year, and the Special Awards, which change with the calibre of books read and any patterns I notice.

This year, since I read more comics/graphic novels than ever before there will be some Awards specifically for the format i.e. Best Inside Art.

So without further ado I present: The 2013 Book Polygamist Awards!!!

Annual Awards

Shortest Read (Book):

the-amber-amuletThe Amber Amulet by Craig Silvey Рapproximately 1 hour

Honorable Mentions:

The Tiny Wife by  Andrew Kaufman Рapproximately 2 hours

Married With Zombies by Jesse Petersen Р6 days

Longest Read:

Tales of mystery and imaginationTales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe Р1 year, 1 month and 1 day!!!

Honorable Mentions:

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller Р43 weeks, 6 days!!

Kraken by China Miéville Р30 weeks, 3 days!

Most Books/Graphic Novels Read by a Single Author:

Gaiman,_Neil_(2007) Neil Gaiman Р2 books (Anansi Boys and Neverwhere) and 6 Graphic Novels (The Sandman Vol # 1, #2, #3 and # 4; Death: The High Cost of Living; and The Books of Magic)

Honorable Mentions:

Stacia Kane – 5 (Unholy Ghosts; Unholy Magic; City of Ghosts; Sacrificial Magic; Chasing Magic)

Gail Carriger – 5 (Changeless; Blameless; Heartless; Soulless Vol #1; Etiquette and Espionage)

Best “New” Author Award:

Every year I try to discover authors I’ve never read before (in addition to my old favourites and follow-ups to “new” authors from previous years) and then I compile a list of ones I want to read more from, and pick one from the bunch that’s the stand-out. It’s always a tricky process because I find so many great authors that are new to me, but usually I just weigh-up the impact they made on me with the amount of work they have that I can continue on with, plus take into account how new they are to writing, and how unknown they were to me (and sometimes others) before I discovered their work. In the case of the winner for this year I had never heard of them before picking up the first book, and since then their series was one of the highlights of my reading year and has become a bit of an obsession for me and my best friend, Sarah ūüôā

stacia kaneStacia Kane (Unholy Ghosts; Unholy Magic; City of Ghosts; Sacrificial Magic; Chasing Magic)

Honorable Mentions:

 China Miéville (Kraken)

 Max Brooks (World War Z)

 Jasper Fforde (Shades of Grey)

Special Awards

The Best End to a Series Award:

house of many waysHouse of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones

Honorable Mention:

chasing magicChasing Magic by Stacia Kane

This is a cheeky honorable mention because it’s not actually the end of the series, but at the time of reading it I did think it was the end, and it was a fucking awesome end! Lucky for me and Sarah the next book is due to be published at some point ūüėÄ

The Best Start to a Series Award:

shadesofgreyShades of Grey (Shades of Grey Book 1) by Jasper Fforde

Honorable Mentions:

Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane

Married With Zombies by Jesse Petersen

The Sandman Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman (writer), Sam Kieth (penciler),Malcolm Jones III (inker), Robbie Busch (colourist), Todd Klein (letterer)

 FreakAngels #1 by Warren Ellis (writer) and Paul Duffield (artist)

The Longest and Strangest Title Award:

BookofHumanInsectsThe Book of Human Insects by Osamu Tezuka

Honorable Mention:

Ball Peen Hammer by Adam Rapp  (author) and George O’Connor (artist)

The Tick That Off The Bucket List Award:

catch22Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

in 2013 I continued the accidental tradition of reading a book from my¬†Top 10 Classics I Want to Read¬†list – in accidental order and all! – which definitely deserved another award! To continue this tradition I will have to read¬†The Catcher in the Rye¬†by¬†J D Salinger¬†this year so I better locate it quick smart ūüėõ

The My Brain Hurts But I Love It! Award:

kraken-by-china-mieville-UKKraken by China Miéville

As I said in my Top 10 Books I Read in 2013 list, this book was the literary equivalent of taking a trip and at times the language and sheer craziness of the world hurt my brain, but I loved every second of it! ūüėõ

Honorable Mentions:

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

Best Cover Art (Book):

the-tiny-wifeThe Tiny Wife by  Andrew Kaufman

Honorable Mentions:

shadesofgreyShades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

Neverwhere (1)Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

kraken-by-china-mieville-UKKraken by China Miéville

the-amber-amuletThe Amber Amulet by Craig Silvey

Best Cover Art (Graphic Novel):

willow wonderlandBuffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow ‚Äď Wonderland¬†
by Jeff Parker, Christos N. Gage (writers) Brian Ching (penciler), Jason Gorder (inker),
Michelle Madsen (colourist), David Mack (cover artist), and Joss Whedon (executive producer)

Honorable Mentions:

persepolis coverPersepolis by Marjane Satrapi

the unwritten vol 1The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity (The Unwritten, Volume # 1) by Mike Carey (writer), Peter Gross (artist), Chris Chuckry and Jeanne McGee(colourists) and Todd Klein (letterer)

BallPeenHammer_COVER_300rgb(1)Ball Peen Hammer by Adam Rapp  (author) and George O’Connor (artist)

buffy talesBuffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales by Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson,  Becky Cloonan (writers)
Tim Sale,Doug Petrie, Leinil Francis Yu, Gene Colan and others (artists)

Best Inside Art (Graphic Novel):

buffy talesBuffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales by Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson,  Becky Cloonan (writers)
Tim Sale,Doug Petrie, Leinil Francis Yu, Gene Colan and others (artists)

This is a bit of a cop-out as this anthology contains a whole bunch of amazing artists making it the easy choice, but with such diverse art from story to story this was a clear winner. Below is an example of some of my favourite art styles for you to ogle ūüėõ

Buffy tales art

Honorable Mentions:

Zombies Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Jim McCann (writers), David Baldeon (penciller), and Jordi Tarragona (inker)

Star Trek TNG: Hive by Brannon Braga (story) and Joe Corroney (art)

Most Fun Challenge:

comiccompanions-badge

While I set myself some great challenges last year, I had to choose Comic Companions as the best as it led me to read so many amazing comics and graphic novels! This year I’m not continuing this challenge but I’ve decided the graphic novels pile is just as important as the others so I’ve been going through the same process in reading them – when I finish one I pick another from the pile (or rather a random green piece of paper from my book-choosing jar so I don’t have to choose which wonderful graphic novel I want to read next – I’m chance’s bitch instead ūüôā )

Best Book Chosen for Old Books October:

Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

guards guardsI haven’t actually finished Guards! Guards! since I’ve been pretty slack with reading this year, and I got distracted with other books and comics at the end of last year, so I’ve been reading this very funny Discworld novel for a while, but every time I do read a bit its highly entertaining! Plus the other book I chose for Old Books October is Brisingr¬†by¬†Christopher Paolini which I have been even more slack with, so this was a no-brainer ūüėõ

Best Graphic Novel Chosen for Old Books October:

The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists by Neil Gaiman (writer), Kelley Jones, Malcolm Jones III, Mike Dringenberg, Matt Wagner, P. Craig Russell,George Pratt, Dick Giordano (artists), Daniel Vozzo, Steve Oliff (colourists), and Todd Klein (letterer)

sandman4

Best Book Chosen for New Books November:

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

shadesofgrey

Best Graphic Novel Chosen for New Books November:

 FreakAngels #1 by Warren Ellis (writer) and Paul Duffield (artist)

freak angels vol 1

2013 was a really interesting year for me, both in my reading life and personal/professional life, and I certainly have some good memories from it. I hope all my Bookbaggers also had an excellent year with a bevy of brilliant books (gosh I love alliteration :P) and tons of good memories, and that your 2014 is just as fruitful ūüôā

Quote

Notable Quotable # 90

Some things that you could try with zombies, but which won’t work:
Panic.
Don’t panic. Remain calm.
Call the police.
Take them out to dinner. Get them drunk.
Ask them to come back later.
Ignore them.
Take them home.
Tell them jokes. Play board games with them.
Tell them you love them.
Rescue them.

  • “Some zombie contingency plans” by Kelly Link, The Living Dead¬†by Various, pg. 38the_living_dead

Top 10 Graphic Novels I Read in 2013

Hello all and welcome to the first (and hopefully annual) Top 10 Graphic Novels list! I had to do a list of graphic novels as well as my usual one of their pictureless brethren this year as I read so many great ones (thanks in no small part to my Comic Companions challenge). As my re-kindled love affair with comics continues I hope that I can make this list a regular part of my yearly awards to serve as recommendations to any comic-loving Bookbaggers ūüôā

So without further ado here is my very first Top 10 Graphic Novels I Read in (insert year here) list:

1.  The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists

by Neil Gaiman (writer),
Kelley Jones, Malcolm Jones III, Mike Dringenberg, Matt Wagner, P. Craig Russell,George Pratt, Dick Giordano (artists),
Daniel Vozzo, Steve Oliff (colourists), and Todd Klein (letterer)

sandman4I read Volumes 1-4 of The Sandman in 2013, which were all amazing but Season of Mists¬†was definitely my favourite so far. Firstly the story of Morpheus/Dream/The Sandman trying to make amends for the revengeful punishment of his lover millenia ago leading him to being the reluctant new owner of Hell with beings from all over¬†vying to be its new master was epic. Secondly it was really cool to see almost all of The Endless (Dream and his siblings) together, especially the gloriously coloured pages which described them. Thirdly the various beings which gathered in Dream’s realm to petition him for ownership of hell (including Gods from various religions, demons and agents of order and chaos) were so different in their methods and reasons for wanting Hell, making the final scenes riveting and wonderfully suspenseful.
If you are a fan of fantasy graphic novels you really must read this fantastic series ūüôā

2. The Beatles Graphic by Hervé Bourhis

beatles graphicI learnt so much about The Beatles from this comprehensive biographical comic which goes through every significant moment in the band’s development as well as the personal lives of John, Paul, George and Ringo (plus a bit of background on important figures in their lives, such as Yoko Ono). As it’s written by a Frenchman the book also gives a unique perspective on the Beatles influence on Europe which I found really interesting, and as a fan he did short reviews of every album and single released, not only by the Fab Four, but solo and other collaborative projects, and he was very honest with his opinions. Definitely recommended for Beatles fans and people interested in musical bios.

3. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

persepolis coverThis was another biographical graphic novel (autobio this time) which taught me a lot about Iran before, during and after the Iranian Revolution of¬†1979, but was also a touching, thoughtful and at times very funny coming-of-age tale. I decided to read¬†Persepolis in honor of¬†Banned Books Week¬†and right away I empathised with the frustrated students who were robbed of this fantastic graphic novel. Yes, it was very confronting which I guess is why people felt it should be banned, but it was well worth it, and I think it would be especially poignant to kids the same age as the author when her story began. If you don’t know much about Iranian history and culture besides what is parroted by the media, or you want a unique perspective on life in a very different world, I would highly recommend¬†Persepolis.¬†

4. Batman: The Killing Joke: The Deluxe Edition

by Alan Moore (writer), Brian Bolland (artist, colorist, writer), Ellie De Ville and Richard Starkings (letterers)

the-killing-joke-deluxe-front-cover1This one is straying into more traditional comic territory, but this spectacular deluxe edition which I borrowed off my friend Scott, is far more than your run-of-the-mill Batman comic. Firstly, let me just say, I use to read any and every Batman comic that came into my local library, and would reread my favourites (namely anything with Harley Quinn) over and over. When I borrowed¬†The Killing Joke¬†it had probably been 10 or 15 years since I’d last dived into a Batman comic and yet it felt like I had never left, and it was even more engrossing than I remember. This may be thanks to the brilliantly twisted mind of Alan Moore, or to Brian Bolland’s amazing art, or maybe just because it delved deep into the past of the Joker like nothing I’d ever read before, but whatever it was made for a gripping read! I would of course recommend this to Batman fans (if they haven’t already read it of course) but also to people who like Batman but don’t really know where to begin in the huge backlog of comics – this one is not to be missed.

5. Clive Barker Omnibus (collecting The Thief of Always ; The Great and Secret Show ; and Seduth)

by Clive Barker, Kris Oprisko, Chris Ryall,  Christopher Monfette (writers), Gabriel Hernandez, Gabriel Rodriguez, Ray Zone (artists),  Robbie Robbins (letterer)

CliveBarker_OmnibusAs a Clive Barker fan I was eager to read this omnibus, especially since I had read The Thief of Always earlier in the year, The Great and Secret Show was one of my first trips into the world of Barker and was starting to become a vague memory, and Seduth had never been published elsewhere. None of them disappointed either in the story-telling/adaptation or the artwork Рhell, even the lettering was stunning and perfectly fit the mood of each story! I read each story on a different day (in fact I think I read The Great and Secret Show over a couple of days because it made up the bulk of the omnibus) so I was fully immersed in each story at the time, and even though I had read two of the three in novel form, I felt like I was experiencing them for the first time. I would definitely recommend this to Barker fans, but also to people who may have wanted to read his stuff before but prefer a graphic novel format.

6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales

by Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson,  Becky Cloonan and others (writers)
Tim Sale,Doug Petrie, Leinil Francis Yu, Gene Colan and others (artists)

buffy talesThis was without a doubt one of the best presents I got on my last birthday, if not the best hands down and it definitely had to go on this list! My lovely workmate Scott gifted it to me around my birthday in October and I was in love from the moment I looked at it. It contained a treasure-trove of stories I never even knew about before, written by former writers of the show amongst a bevy of other talented writers, with each story beautifully, and uniquely brought to life by a cast of gifted artists. There wasn’t a single story I didn’t like (though some of course stood out more than others) and it made New Books November¬†even more fun in its role of Official Mascot. I have already raved about it to my Buffy-loving friends (though I keep forgetting to loan it to my best friend Sarah, a Buffy fan from way back, as its so big and ironically gets missed whenever I give her a bunch of graphic novels to try) but I would highly recommend it to any Buffy fan out there, especially if you love comic art – there’s so many styles on offer here its a veritable sm√∂rg√•sbord for comic-art geeks ūüėÄ

7. The Books of Magic

by Neil Gaiman (writer), John Bolton, Scott Hampton, Charles Vess and Paul Johnson (artists)

books of magicThis one was read later in the year, just days before Christmas, but I enjoyed it so much I was willing to push earlier titles off the list in order for it to make my Top 10. Being written my Neil Gaiman, with a somewhat Sandman-esque feel to it and each section illustrated by a different artist to fit the mood of each realm, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I loved this graphic novel. It was one of those stories that you just fall into, and for the minutes, hours, or days that you read it you are lost to another world. In the case of The Books of Magic I was gone for about an hour or so as it’s a sort of mini-series kind of graphic novel, with 4 parts. I have since put my brother on to it, and he was just as lost (I watched him read it so I can attest that he was definitely not all there anymore!) and I plan to find and add it to my growing comic/graphic novel collection ūüôā I would recommend this to Neil Gaiman fans, especially if you like the Sandman, and fans of epic, archetypal fantasy.

8. The Book of Human Insects by Osamu Tezuka

BookofHumanInsectsThis one I have to admit was bought because of its bizarre title (I love me a weird title :P) but I was also intrigued because the author and artist is the mind behind Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion, two of my favourite shows from when I was a kid (thanks in part to them being faves of my mum who saw them new, and the habit of Australian TV in the early 90’s playing lots of repeats of classic shows) but I had never read his graphic novels.¬†The Book of Human Insects was worlds away from the cartoons of my youth, but I loved the juxtaposition of Tezuka’s big-eyed, round-faced characters in a world of sex, manipulation, fraud, violence and intrigue. The feel of the story was very film noir, with a classic femme fatale as the main character, and it was a fun blend of absurdity and relatability. I wouldn’t recommend this to everyone (I haven’t passed it on to my brother or friends coz I’m not sure if they’d like it) but if you like manga with a lot of depth, and many a dash of odd, or if like me you’re curious about Tezuka’s work beyond adorable kings of the jungle and robot boys with rocket books, give this a try.

9. Nevermore 

by¬†Edgar Allan Poe¬†,¬†Ian Edginton,¬†Jamie Delano,¬†John Reppion, and¬†Leah Moore¬†(writers) and¬†D‚ÄôIsraeli,¬†James (Jim) Fletcher,¬†John McCrea,¬†Shane Oakley¬†and¬†Steve Pugh¬†(artists)nevermoreI read Nevermore at a perfect time, right after my Poe.My.God! Challenge when I still had all the stories fresh in my mind. This anthology took 9 of Poe’s most famous tales (The Raven; The Pit and the Pendulum; The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar; The Murders in the Rue Morgue; The Fall of the House of Usher; The Black Cat; The Oval Portrait; The Tell-Tale Heart; and¬†The Masque of the Red Death) and re-tells them in modern (or sometimes futuristic) settings, each illustrated by a different artist in their style, but sticking to a moody black and grey colour scheme. I thought the adaptations were really clever and the black and grey ink work really put me in a dark, gothic, Poe sort of mood ūüôā Unfortunately because this was a library item I couldn’t hand it straight on to my brother (who is a huge Poe fan since he was a kid) but I hope to add it to my collection in the future, and in the meantime if he’s interested, I can always get it out from my work, since that’s the library it came from (albeit a different campus) and make him swear in blood that it returns unharmed. Very fitting for Poe, don’t ya think? ūüėõ I would recommend this to Poe fans, people who like classic tales interpreted into new settings, or anyone who likes a dark, broody graphic novel.

10. Fray

by¬†Joss Whedon¬†(writer),¬†Karl Moline¬†(penciler),Andy Owens¬†(inker),¬†Dave Stewart¬†(colourist) and¬†Michelle Madsen¬†(colourist and letterer)frayThis last one was tricky because I had a bunch of great contenders, but once I discounted parts in ongoing series’ (a rule that made compiling this list easier, but one I don’t think I’ll stick to next year) there was one amongst the final choices that stood out. Fray is another graphic novel loaned to me by my friend Scott, and another one set in the Buffy Universe, but far in the future after magic has left the world and Slayers aren’t even a blip on history’s radar. To me this felt almost like a Buffy reboot as it had some of the great elements of early episodes of Buffy when she was training and coming to grips with her destiny. The difference between Fray and early Buffy though is firstly it is set in a very different time and place complete with amazing futuristic scenery and interesting slang, and secondly Melaka Fray can already kick some arse as she is a sort-of cat burglar by trade. I really enjoyed the story, but what made it stick out in my mind was the art. Wow. The way Karl Moline and¬†Andy Owens drew and inked the characters and backgrounds were stunning, and the colours by Dave Stewart and¬†Michelle Madsen were glorious, especially Melaka’s multi-coloured hair. This is a big recommendation for Buffy fans but even if you’re not really familiar with the show (cue gasps and a look of horror from the author) this is a great stand-alone.