Romancing the Werewolf—Sweet, Fluffy, and Mildly Angsty

Romancing the Werewolf by Gail Carriger book cover
Romancing the Werewolf by Gail Carriger

Romancing the Werewolf, a novella in the Parasolverse by Gail Carriger, follows the reunion of Biffy—newly minted Alpha of his werewolf pack—and Lyall—who’s been pack Beta for hundreds of years. This is a full-on romance, with a tiny bit of a mystery—who’s leaving infants on the doorstep pack’s new home and why? But mostly it’s Biffy and Lyall navigating their ways to their new relationship.

Note: no explicit sex scenes in this one, that stuff is under the author’s G. L. Carriger name.

Also note: I read this story as part of a limited-edition and out-of-print omnibus collection, Fan Service, but Romancing the Werewolf is available as a stand-alone.

1—A Love Both Old and New

When Lyall returns from twenty years’s service to another pack, so much has changed that now neither he nor Biffy is certain the other still wants him, and neither wants to take advantage of the other. They were lovers once, but under very different circumstances. On BIffy’s part, he’s not certain his new position as leader wouldn’t constitute a breach of ethics. On Lyall’s part, he doesn’t want to complicate Biffy’s life since Biffy is still learning to be a leader. It’s totally in character for both of them, and each’s worries and not wanting to impose on the other feels natural, rather than something contrived keeping them apart at the beginning. And since this is a novella, it’s not too long before they get together. Continue reading “Romancing the Werewolf—Sweet, Fluffy, and Mildly Angsty”

Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone—The Beginning of the End of the World

Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone by G. S. Denning book cover
Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone by G. S. Denning

Warlock Homes: A Study in Brimstone, by G. S. Denning, is a fantastic, comedic take on Sherlock Homes, and is just as ludicrously fun as it sounds. Being the journal of one Dr. John Watson, it chronicles his first cases with the bumbling but powerful Warlock Holmes, and starts with John’s apology for ending the world.

1—The Characters

I loved the characters in this book. There is, of course, Dr. Watson, who narrates. Watson is observant and sarcastic—not to most of the people he speaks with, but to his reader, and, once comfortable with him, to Warlock. Next there’s Warlock Holmes himself, who is less than observant, and yet endearingly so. There’s Vladislav Lestrade, a nihilistic vampire and Scotland Yard detective, as is Torg Grogsson, an honorable ogre with a love of ballet dancers. There’s also a host of characters that don’t repeat from story to story, each with their own individual quirks. Continue reading “Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone—The Beginning of the End of the World”

Saving Mr. Banks—The Story of a Story

Saving Mr. Banks movie poster
Saving Mr. Banks

Saving Mr. Banks is the tale of how Walt Disney came to acquire the rights to make the movie Marry Poppins. Marry Poppins was created by P. L. Travers, a quirky and hard to get along with woman who doesn’t like animation, or Walt Disney. The movie also covers Mrs. Travers’s childhood and the events that shaped what would become Marry Poppins.

1—Two Stories

The two stories—of how Walt Disney convinced Mrs. Travers to let him make the movie, and the story of the experiences that young Mrs. Travers took to make Marry Poppins—are intertwined skillfully. The conceit is that Mrs. Travers is remembering her childhood, that dealing with Walt Disney and his team as they go over the story is bringing up memories both wonderful and painful. Mrs. Travers is to an extent unlikeable because she is so demanding and exacting, and I love that about her. Part of the movie seems to be about how life scars us, and how that’s ok. Continue reading “Saving Mr. Banks—The Story of a Story”

Julie & Julia—Two Stories, Only One of Which I Liked

Julie & Julia movie poster
Julie & Julia

Julie & Julia is the simultaneous stories of Julia Child learning to cook and publishing her landmark book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and Julie Powell in 2002, who decides to spend a year making all the recipes in the book and blog about it.

1—Julia’s Story

Julia Child moves to Paris with her husband Paul, who works for the American government and was stationed there. Julia falls in love with the people and food and decides to attend Le Cordon Bleu. While at a party, she meets Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, who are writing a cookbook—a cookbook which needs to be rewritten. They ask Julia for help. After many trials, the book finally finds a home with Alfred A. Knopf and is published. Along the way, her sister gets married, her husband is interrogated by the government he serves (this was the McCarthy era), and she meets a pen pal. Continue reading “Julie & Julia—Two Stories, Only One of Which I Liked”

Overly Sarcastic Productions—History, Myths, and All Kinds of Good Stuff

Overly Sarcastic Productions
Overly Sarcastic Productions

Overly Sarcastic Productions is a simply animated Youtube channel hosted by Red and Blue, who recap classic literature—like the Iliad and Beowulf and Paradise Lost—Shakespeare, legends and myths, and history in an informative and amusing way.

1—Trope Talks!

The first playlist I went through is Red’s Trope Talks! These are videos where Red talks tropes. Though she references Tvtropes.org on occasion, I don’t believe she’s affiliated with them. One of my favorite of these videos is Red’s take on Romantic Subplots—I totally agree with all her points. She also talks beginnings, Evil Empires, Paragons, the Five Man Band, and the Power of Friendship, to name a few. As of this writing, there are twenty-two videos in the Trope Talks! playlist. I plan to watch them all again when I get through the rest of Red and Blue’s videos, which currently number about two hundred. Continue reading “Overly Sarcastic Productions—History, Myths, and All Kinds of Good Stuff”

Over the Garden Wall—Fun Fairytale About the Brink of Death

Over the Garden Wall poster
Over the Garden Wall

Over the Garden Wall is an animated short series (just ten episodes) following Wirt and his little brother Greg as the traverse the forest of the Unknown and try to avoid becoming prey to the Beast.

1—Liminal Places

Liminal places are places that are between—between life and death, between human and animal, between madness and sanity, between dreams and reality, even between roles in life. Over the Garden Wall is made of such liminal places. Continue reading “Over the Garden Wall—Fun Fairytale About the Brink of Death”

The Resurrection Game—Family is Bloody Business

The Resurrection Game by Michelle Belanger book cover
The Resurrection Game by Michelle Belanger

The Resurrection Game, by Michelle Belanger, is the third Shadowside novel. An urban Fantasy told in first person perspective, it follows Zack Westland—the mortal name of the Anakim angel Zaquiel—as he battles one of his own brothers bent on revenge for an act Zack doesn’t remember committing.

1—Memory Troubles

Zack’s lack of memory is still getting him in trouble. He’s apparently done something to one of his Anakim brothers named Tashiel that’s set Zuriel on his hellbent quest for vengeance. Zuriel has sworn to destroy Zack’s life, to kill all those close to him. It starts with a woman named Marjory, a woman very important to Zack if for no other reason than she holds some of the keys to his past. Now Zack is looking for Marjory’s daughter and hoping he finds her before Zuriel does. Continue reading “The Resurrection Game—Family is Bloody Business”

American Gods—An Unusual Journey

American Gods by Neil Gaiman book cover
American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods, by Neil Gaiman, follows Shadow after he gets out of jail and comes to work for someone who calls himself Wednesday as he tries to rally the old gods for a war against the new.

1—The Gods

We meet gods from many pantheons during the course of Shadow’s journey with Wednesday. Wednesday himself is Odin, from the old Norse pantheon. There’s Mr. Nancy, Anansi, from Africa. And Kali from India. Some of my favorite are Mr Ibis and Mr Jaquel—Thoth and Anubis—and Bast and Horus from Egypt. Easter herself makes an appearance. Czernobog and the Zoryas. And then of course there’s the hall of forgotten gods that Shadow dreams about. Continue reading “American Gods—An Unusual Journey”

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)—Mostly Funny, Sometimes Sad

Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson the bloggess book cover
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson

Let’s Pretend this Never Happened is the memoir of Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess. It’s an irreverent and delightful, at least to me, look into a life even weirder than my own. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is Jenny’s first book and contains stories of her childhood, youth, and some from adulthood. It is, like her second book, a look at all the fucked up in life and finding the humor in it.

1—Things You Shouldn’t Laugh At But Will Anyway

Things like Stanley, the Magical Talking Squirrel (I won’t spoil the surprise on that story), or getting your arm stuck up a cow’s vagina (it makes sense in context). Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is made of these moments. Moments of extremely awkward conversation at parties, or the results of taking too much laxative. They’re funny because Jenny invites us to laugh with her about them. Continue reading “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)—Mostly Funny, Sometimes Sad”

Reading About Other People Reading

My current reading obsessions are several erieses of articles on Tor.com. Here they are.

The Lovecraft Reread

A series of articles wherein “two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s original sandbox”. Rithanna Emrys and Anne M. Pillsworth summarize a story and the comment on it. Both ladies have great commentary on the cosmic horror stories. Continue reading “Reading About Other People Reading”