Challenge Update: Week 4 of Short and Sweet & 1000+ Pages of Epic Fantasy + Some More Comedy (and not just from yours truly!)

Why hello there my stochastic, sagacious Bookbaggers!

Welcome to the 4th update of my personal reading challenges, Short and Sweet and 1000+ Pages of Epic Fantasy, and a darn good update it is, if I do say so myself!

Lets start off as usual with:

Short and Sweet challenge badgeNot much happened in this challenge (it’s the other one which warranted the darn good statement) but I’ll do a mini mighty numbered list anyway:

  1. I’ve been reading Above/Below by Stephanie Campisi and Ben Peek quite a bit on my lunch break and commute, and I am a couple of chapters away from finishing Above and flipping the book upside down to start Below. I’m really enjoying it so far and Sarah and I have had a couple of convos comparing the difference between starting on one side or the other – for example with her starting with Below she was introduced to that story’s main character right away and so got used to his appearance (especially his…lets just say “enhancements” to keep it vague and spoiler free, shall we?), but I just reached the part where the main character from Above meets the one from Below, so I found his appearance quite shocking. AboveBelow-cover1-300x246
  2. I still haven’t read any more of Cracklescape by Margo Lanagan as I don’t want to get stuck into a really good short story on the bus or during lunch, and then have to leave it part-way through, but I hope to read one or two this weekendCracklescape_lg_large
  3. Lastly, on Sunday I read another story from The Living Dead zombie anthology – “The Third Dead Body” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman, which was even creepier than the last one I read (which I didn’t think was possible). It followed a young prostitute who was murdered by a trick (do people still say “trick” when referring to the customer of a prostitute, or am I behind the times?) and then rises from the dead, inexplicably in love with her murderer and determined to find him due to a Voodoo curse placed on her as a child. Besides being very skin-crawly it was an interesting one because unlike most zombie stories, it was from the point of view of the living dead, and besides having no earthly urges (besides the ones created by her curse which compelled her to find the murderer) and limited senses, she was conscious of her surroundings and had memories of her life.A bunch of different zombie stories by different authors? What's not to love?

As I haven’t found any new books under 200 pages, the contenders remain the same:

a clockwork orangeClockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

i am legendI Am Legend by Richard Matheson

hornHorn by Peter M Ball

BleedBleed by Peter M Ball

deadly belovedDeadly Beloved by Max Allan Collins

ericThe Illustrated Eric by Terry Pratchett (writer) and Josh Kirby

Now onto the other challenge which was really successful last week:

1000+ pages of epic fantasy challenge badgeOn Sunday I had my usual schedule of reading interspersed with “important” stuff like laundry and dishes, but instead of just reading a little of my two gigantic fantasy tomes, I got caught up and a tad carried away:

The Sending:

Maruman on the cover of The Sending70 pages (3 chapters)

Pages remaining: 344

Brisingr:

Brisingr52 Pages (5 chapters)

Pages remaining: 476

Total:

122 Pages (squee!)

Pages remaining: 820

Soooo… I definitely reached my quota…and made up for the week of nothing….and then some O.O I honestly didn’t mean to read as much as I did of either of these books, but they’re both getting so exciting that when I reached the end of the chapter I thought “oh I’ll just do one more and then wash the dishes”… and then I came back to it after the dishes anyway 😛

Besides being engrossed in huge fantasy books and a zombie prostitute story, I also read FreakAngels #2 by Warren Ellis (writer) and Paul Duffield (artist), which has been sitting on my pile looking sad since the end of my breakFreakAngels Warren Ellis Glénat 04 (5)It was as awesome as I expected from the first volume, and even more so because a previously unnamed member of the group was introduced, and she is a hilarious ball-busting no-nonsense sort of chick, which I love, and another character revealed a new ability she had been practicing, which was very cool. I’ll have to track down the other volumes of this series, or maybe just succumb to temptation and start reading the free online version, even though I will likely also buy the hard copies for my burgeoning comic collection 🙂

I then asked my mum to pick me a new comic from the Jar-Of-Choosing (she’s starting to become a more official unofficial Jar Chooser then unofficial Jar Chooser Sarah!) which was one of my new exciting ones:

hinterkindHinterkind: The Waking World Volume 1 by Ian Edginton (writer), Francesco Trifogli (artist), and Greg Tocchini (cover artist). I also randomly picked two comics out of my 20-odd wodge of Free Comic Book Day comics – Worlds of Aspen 2014, which has two previews of upcoming stories in it – a fairy-tale adventure series called Damsels in Excess on one side and an action-adventure called The ZooHunters on the flip side; and KaBOOM! Summer Blast which has stories from Peanuts, Garfield, Adventure Time, and  Regular Show among others.

I haven’t started any of them yet,but since this weekend is meant to be a rainy one, I will probably find myself holed up inside with a blanket and all my delicious reads….mmmmm 🙂

Besides challenge stuff I also went to another comedy gig on Friday night – Michael Workman‘s show “War”, again part of the Perth International Comedy Festival

Michal Workman's tour poster for "War" from wendylikesstories.com click on the image to read her excellent review of the show, as well as one of David O'Doherty's

Michal Workman’s tour poster for “War” from wendylikesstories.com click on the image to read her excellent review of the show, as well as one of David O’Doherty’s

I had previously only seen one show of his – “Mercy” – on Warehouse Comedy, a show that has featured many Australian and international comedians performing in a converted warehouse, but it was so interesting, unique and affecting that I’ve watched it three times – and every time I saw it was to be repeated I was excited to revisit Michael Workman’s amazing story-telling and quirky style. Sarah had never heard of Michael Workman nor seen any of his comedy, but after watching a video teaser of “Mercy” she agreed to go with me, and we had a wonderful time 🙂

On that note I’m off for now Bookbaggers, but I may as well leave you with that same teaser Sarah watched:

Tune in next week for another, hopefully just as successful update, and until then:

so long and thanks for all the fish

 

And since it’s World Turtle Day here’s this little guy as a bonus:

baby turtle gif

Advertisements

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 🙂

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 – approximately 1 hour

Honorable Mentions:

The Tiny Wife by  Andrew Kaufman – approximately 2 hours

Married With Zombies by Jesse Petersen – 6 days

Longest Read:

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

Honorable Mentions:

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller – 43 weeks, 6 days!!

Kraken by China Miéville – 30 weeks, 3 days!

Most Books/Graphic Novels Read by a Single Author:

Gaiman,_Neil_(2007) Neil Gaiman – 2 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 🙂

stacia kaneStacia Kane (Unholy GhostsUnholy MagicCity of GhostsSacrificial MagicChasing 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 😀

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 😛

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! 😛

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 – Wonderland 
by Jeff ParkerChristos 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 WhedonJane Espenson,  Becky Cloonan (writers)
Tim Sale,Doug PetrieLeinil Francis YuGene Colan and others (artists)

Best Inside Art (Graphic Novel):

buffy talesBuffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales by Joss WhedonJane Espenson,  Becky Cloonan (writers)
Tim Sale,Doug PetrieLeinil Francis YuGene 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 😛

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 🙂 )

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 😛

Best Graphic Novel Chosen for Old Books October:

The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists by Neil Gaiman (writer), Kelley JonesMalcolm Jones IIIMike DringenbergMatt WagnerP. Craig Russell,George PrattDick Giordano (artists), Daniel VozzoSteve 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 🙂