A Few Incidental Book Reports

Published June 23, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

Rather, a few mini-reviews of books that aren’t for the Read Harder challenge.  (Even though the first two totally could be.)


First up, A Case of Possession and Flight of Magpies, books two and three of the Charm of Magpies series by K. J. Charles.  (The review of the first one is here.)  You may be wondering, before I get to the mini-review, why these two covers look so different.  Well, that’s because I screwed up.  When I ordered A Case of Possession, I didn’t go ahead and order the third book along with it, even though I knew I’d want to read it.  I did this for logical reasons, because I was sure if I had both, I’d read both right away, instead of reading something else I “should” have been reading.  Then while I was so bogged down in The Story of Egypt, I said to myself “okay, I deserve a treat, so I’m getting the next magpie book!”  And when I went to Amazon, the paperback had gone spectacularly out of print, suddenly costing upwards of $35.  For a book that runs about 120 pages.  I do love these books, but I don’t love them that much.  So I had to get the Kindle edition instead.  Which is better from the “I have no space in this house even for what I already have, let alone anything new” perspective, but it’s just not as much fun to read on my iPad as it is to read an actual book.  Anyway,  these books are hard to review, because they’re very much “more of the same” with the first one.  With the major difference that now our two lovebirds are an established couple, instead of first meeting and becoming involved.  The second two books focus heavily on Stephen Day’s job as a justiciar, the magical equivalent of a police detective, and although the idea is for him to be hunting warlocks who break any and all of the rules of their magical community, in these books that tends to resolve itself into the form of hunting down magical murderers.  We get to meet Stephen’s co-workers, who are also fun and interesting characters, and the Council who oversees things, who are a different sort of interesting and no fun at all.  (Not that they’re supposed to be fun.  They’re the people responsible for running Stephen ragged and giving him grief about it rather than properly thanking him.)  A Case of Possession featured two things especially worth noting.  First, it settled some of the worries I had coming out of The Magpie Lord about the way their relationship was going to play out.  And second, while The Magpie Lord had featured the POV of both men (and even a guest POV from Crane’s manservant Merrick), A Case of Possession was exclusively from Crane’s POV.  Given the story, it really had to be, but the change was surprising, and the POVs went back to normal for Flight of Magpies, the third and final book in the series.  As the final book of a trilogy, it wrapped up a number of loose ends for a satisfying conclusion that really felt like a conclusion.  I don’t feel like these second two books had quite as much world building as the first one, but there was some additional world building, and playing around with what was already there.  Somehow, the sex scenes in these two didn’t seem quite as exciting as the ones in the first book, either, but I guess that’s because the sex had gone from “finally!” to “routine”…er, okay, not “routine” exactly, but…instead of being this explosion of their pent-up desires and a discovery of what the other likes/dislikes/does/doesn’t do in making love, it’s just one more act in a play that’s been going on for a long time.  Yeeeaaaaaahhhhh, that made no sense.  I guess I can’t explain it.  Maybe it’s just me, anyway.

You Are Here:  An Owner’s Manual for Dangerous Minds by Jenny Lawson.  I kind of wanted to put up a book report on this as soon as I got it, but…it’s sort of hard to review, because it’s half coloring book.  Sort of.  Her wonderful drawings alternate with text, some of it funny, some of it advice, some of it impossible-to-sum-up-in-one-word.  I love the drawing style, and some of the text was so funny I nearly cried laughing, while other parts of the text were sobering, or even sorrowful.  It’s something that needs to be experienced rather than described, ultimately.  (BTW, is WordPress dropping blogs from anyone else’s follow list?  When I went to get the URL for her blog, I realized it wasn’t showing up on my sidebar of “blogs I follow” and I started to get worried…but apparently WordPress just removed her from my list in May.  Which certainly explained why it had felt like a long time since I’d seen a blog post from her, but it’s frustrating/alarming to realize that I’ve got blogs just being dropped like that without asking me.  At least one other got dropped, too.  Is there, like, a maximum number of blogs you can follow?)

Just when you thought it couldn’t get more ridiculous than to do a review on You Are Here, then you scroll down and see that the final book in this post is Black Butler Artworks 2.  Because of course.  There’s so much to review here, right?  (If I did emojis on this blog, I would put a winking face with its tongue sticking out here.  But I don’t use them on this blog, so it would be very odd to suddenly start.)  I just finished looking through this yesterday and figured “why not include it?”  (Hey, just be grateful I’m not listing all the manga I’ve been reading!  That would get…actually, that would get pretty embarrassing…)  Inside the eye-injuring houndstooth print covers, this book is chock full of Yana Toboso’s incredible artworks.  Which is great for me, but your mileage may vary.  There are three sections:  full color manga illustrations, illustrations for the anime, and unrelated Toboso art, primarily collaborative illustrations of characters from other intellectual properties.  Thankfully, the pictures are followed up by a few pages of commentary on the images by Toboso, sometimes explaining certain poses or art styles, and usually answering the “who the heck is that?” questions I kept having in the anime section.

I’ve no idea when the next book report will come out, ’cause I’m not sure what I’m going to start reading next.  I was going to read the “classic by an author of color” challenge book next, but I can’t figure out where I put the danged book!  It’s somewhere in this blinkin’ house…I just don’t know where.  *sigh*  I still haven’t decided what to re-read, and what to use for a book on war, either.  So…yeah, no idea what I’ll be reading next, and therefore no idea when I’ll finish reading it to post about it.

(When did my blog become a book review blog?  I don’t recall making that change…but it totally seems to have happened…)

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