Monday, July 6, 2009

Recently loved

Here is a sampling of some of the books and music I have recently enjoyed. (NB: Yes, I link to Amazon. Not because I get any money from sales made with click-throughs, but because there is almost always a fairly decent product description, and things tend to be available there. I like it when people buy things and support artists. If you happen to have a cool independent bookstore in your area, you might also consider taking your business there.)

The City and the City, China MiƩville. This was the first MiƩville I read. I love stories of interstitial things, and I love the fantasy of place, and I really loved this book. It's a detective story, set in a city that is also another city, and the residents of each must carefully unsee each other and the other city to avoid Breach. It's a mind-exploding concept, and extremely well-executed.

The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen, Delia Sherman. I got to hear Delia read from this at WisCon. My friend, E. J., loved what he heard so much he immediately wanted to buy the book. If it hadn't already been on my to-buy list, that would have been my reaction, too. It's an utterly delightful story, and written in such an effortless fashion that I was able to just be swept away by my enjoyment of it. Set in New York Between, this is a modern fairy tale. And the scenes at Miss Van Loon's School for Mortal Changelings (which were some of my favorite parts of the book) might serve as a gateway into fantasy literature for the Gossip Girl crowd.

Tooth and Claw, Jo Walton. Somehow I missed this when it came out in 2003. It is a Victorian novel. With dragons. Not people who just happen to have scales and wings, but dragons. An excellent example of mannerist fantasy, and it just happened to win the World Fantasy Award.

Recorded Delivery, Thea Gilmore. Further proof that I really need to hear this woman perform live. I'm not even going to tell you how many times I've listened to "Concrete" because I'm pretty sure the number is embarrassingly high. If you like a beautiful voice singing intelligent lyrics, you'll love this.

God Help the Girl, God Help the Girl. A soundtrack for a movie that doesn't yet exist, this is a side project of Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch. It's lovely.

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