Christopher Moore’s Secondhand Souls

Hello, dear readers!

I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to be back writing for you! It makes me happy to know you’re all out there, one of those it’s a small world we’re not alone kind of things. It’s a nice feeling, is all I’m saying. =D

23460830This week of return continues with Secondhand Souls, the sequel to A Dirty Job, which I posted about earlier this week. I don’t know what I was expecting when I started to read Secondhand Souls. It’s one of those books I bought without even thinking about it, because as I’ve said I love Christopher Moore and I think he’s brilliant and so on and so forth. So, to finally read it was a bit strange in a way. In true Moore fashion, the shit that was weird got even weirder. But lets face it, who doesn’t like getting weird?

This time around Charlie Asher, Sophie, and the entire cast of the first book are battling something else entirely. He claims to be a new, more elegant kind of Death, come to balance the world from the chaos left over from the first shit storm they all started. Except, he’s not who he claims to be and, actually, he needs to be stopped. Sophie loses her powers, Minty Fresh discovers a few things about himself, Lily finally realizes she’s special. There are ghosts and people jumping off bridges. The harpies are back, fucking shit up as per usual. Oh, and there’s a banshee!

I think my biggest issue with the book was that it was kind of anti-climatic. There’s this whole build up, I’m getting ready, everyone in the book is getting ready, and then womp womp. It was a little bit disappointing. And I don’t know if that’s because the book itself is disappointing or because I’ve come to expect so much from Mr. Moore that I’ve got too many expectation and am putting unnecessary pressures on him to perform. It might be a little bit of both, to be honest.

In any case, the book was entertaining read. Definitely worth it if you’ve read A Dirty Job. It was interesting to see how he solved the whole Charlie being dead and trapped in a small animal with an unnecessarily large dick situation. It was also nice to see how everyone was dealing with the fallout from the first book, especially Inspector Alphonse Rivera who really came into his own in this book. And, you know, they live kind of happily which is always nice.

Hope you’re happy today, readers. Until next time!

Music Therapy

Hello, readers!

Today I was going to post about Christopher Moore’s Secondhand Souls, but instead I decided to share some music with you. Mostly because music is excellent, but also because I had a funky day yesterday and music was where it was at! These are songs that carry me through when I need to slow it down. Wether I just want to relax or I’m upset, these are the songs that float around my room. You’ve probably heard them, you might not have. It’s not expertly curated, but it is always changing as I keep adding stuff to it. Hopefully you’ll like them and find a little joy in it all.

Until next time readers!

Christopher Moore’s A Dirty Job

Middle of the week. Belly button day. Look at it, your belly button. Congratulate it. Today is his day. Her day? Its day at any rate. Belly button day. What a grand celebration we’ll have.

There are few authors I love as enthusiastically as Christopher Moore. Few authors I love with as much brio and gusto. Pizzaz, even. His matter of fact approach to incredibly fantastic things like giant lizards, robot whales, and Jesus never fail to make me happy. He’s also one of the few authors whose work I’ve read almost entirely. I’m missing about one or two, but that’s it. I love this guy, seriously.

33456A Dirty Job was actually my introduction to Christopher Moore. I remember reading it the first time and feeling like I’d discovered pure magic. The book is about Charlie Asher, who loses his wife during the birth of his daughter Sophie and becomes a merchant of death in one fell swoop. A bunch of stuff happens. There’s a tall black guy in a mint colored suit. And a goth girl. And his lesbian sister. And his daughter who could possibly be Death. With a capital D.

I read it years ago and never looked back, as my relationship with this wildly clever man developed. I’ve always meant to read it again, but I hadn’t until now. Mostly because I wanted to read the sequel, Secondhand Souls (which I’ll be talking about tomorrow), and figured a refresher might not be a bad idea. And, let me tell you, it was every bit as amusing and well written as I remembered. I’d forgotten a lot of it, but that only makes it better believe it or not. It’s a weird hybrid experience, where you get the excitement of a new book and the pleasure of reuniting with characters you’re already acquainted with. I love being surprised and finding unexpected things when I read, but that feeling of returning is sweet in its own way.

One of my favorite things about this book is the concept it has of souls. Essentially, not everyone has a soul. When people with souls die, their soul moves into an object they hold dear, which in turn is picked up by a Death Merchant like Charlie. Once the object falls into the right hands, the soul is absorbed into that person. Can you imagine not having a soul? We’re so used to the concept of having one, that the thought of not having one seems completely alien.

It’s an elegant concept I think. Just imagine it though, kind of having to earn your soul, having to become worthy of it. Like they’re waiting for us somewhere, hoping for the day we’re less shitty and they can finally come home. Nice, right?

Until next time, readers!

The Hollows series Part III

Hello, readers!

I’m excited to be back so I’ve decided to post every day this week. Why not? Let’s get crazy up in here! And crazy is an apt word because I’ll be starting grad school in a little over two weeks. Let me tell you, crazy. CRAZY.

Over the past two months I’ve been rereading and posting about Kim Harrison’s the Hollows series, you can read parts one and two of that. I’m pleased to tell you guys I’ve finally finished the series! I’m actually really excited about it, in the last four books a whole bunch of unexpected stuff happened. Seriously, a whole bunch of what the hell is happening stuff went down. It was cool though, weird, but cool.

When I finally got to the end it felt infinitely satisfying. Sometimes you reach the end of something you’ve been keeping up with for a while, whether it’s a book series, tv show, graphic novel series, and you feel empty. Like there were things missing and more could’ve done and this can’t possibly be the end, can it?  And then, the worst bit off all is the fact that you have to leave with that longing for things to be fixed or added or sometimes simply explained.

This experience wasn’t like that, I can honestly say I’m fully satisfied with how things went down. There’s nothing I’d change or add to it. And that’s all you want from a series, really. I feel like it ended when it needed to and it took care of everything. For me this end has been so long in the making, just because it’s taken me an insanely to read them. So, it’s gratifying to reach the end with no regrets, no laments, just pure satisfaction.

Rachel was such a cool character to get to know, mostly because I understood her mess and her general fuck it attitude. It was never a burden to stay with her, to read about all the shit that went down in her life. I cried for her losses and felt happy when things worked out for her. I worried about her partners and felt angry when people were shitty. And let me tell you, people were super shitty. So, I’m ecstatic to find that in the end things worked out for her.

I closed the book. The thirteenth book in what had been a long, but exciting journey. I closed it, took a breath, and was happy that somewhere in a fictional world, Rachel was happy too.

Until next time, readers!

Destination: Florida

Hello, readers!

Lets all take a deep breath and smell that fresh Monday smell. It’s a combination of fresh cut grass, dew, and soul decay. A tantalizing bouquet, no?

Florida.png

We’ve made it to Florida, you guys! I’ve actually been to Florida a few times, haven’t been there in years though. I think the last time I was there we spent New Year’s Eve at Epcot and that was awesome! I highly recommend it, if you get the chance. Each pavilion had a party with different music, the fireworks went on forever. Good times. Although, you have to get there really early and dress yourself in the color of so much fucking patience. Buddha level peace, my friends. But it was worth it in the end.

anansi_boysI ended up reading Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman for Florida. And, although a lot of the action takes place in England and the Caribbean, there’s a back and forth happening with Florida. Anansi Boys is the story of Charlie who after attending his father’s funeral finds out he has a brother he didn’t know about. Oh and also that his dad was a god and his brother got all the powers. With his brother in his life, Charlie’s life gets turned upside down, sideways, inside out, thrown into another dimension. Shit gets real, you guys.

I’ve always loved Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane, get on it!), his writing is always simple, but incredibly engaging and entirely his own. There’s no way to mistake him for someone else and that’s awesome to me. He has a way of taking seemingly random, ordinary things and imbuing them with importance and meaning. Anansi Boys had that in the form of a lime. Charlie is visiting Saint Andrews, looking for a very old lady to help with all the problems he’d gotten himself into. Along the way he acquired a lime, and after this interaction….

“Do you have any luggage?”

“No,” said Fat Charlie, apologetically.

“Nothing?”

“Nothing. Just this lime.”

He filled out several forms, and she gave him a key and directions to his room.

Fat Charlie was in the bath when a knock came on the door. He wrapped a towel around his midriff. It was the bellman. “You left your lime in reception,” he said, and handed it to Fat Charlie.

“Thanks,” said Fat Charlie. He went back to his bath. Afterward, he went to bed, and dreamed uncomfortable dreams.”

Charlie became known as the guy with the lime. And that lime later became a fake engagement ring, chapters later. I think it takes a lot of elegance to turn something as innocuous and turn it into an engagement ring, in a way that you would’ve been surprised if the lime hadn’t been used as one.

The rest of the book is like that, full of graceful writing and funny situations. It’s witty, charming, and as imaginative as only Neil Gaiman can be. It’s got gods, cops, ghosts, and, of course, a lime. Definitely worth a read if you’re into awesome things.

Until next time, readers!

Getting Back on the Horse

Hello, hello readers!

It’s been a while since I’ve written something for you guys. Still love you though. That’s good, right? Something about love in the distance and the heart growing fonder and tandem suicides. Wait, what? That escalated quickly. Getting back on track now…..

As always, even when I disappear it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped reading. Actually, I’ve been insanely productive with my reading, I’m up to seven books this month alone. Part of it is that I found a really comfortable reading that pulled me along, but really I’m just cramming books in before I start grad school and lose my soul. I’ll make a post for everything I’ve read, novels and graphic novels.

My next post will be Florida, but after that I’m going to be scaling down on the Destination posts to focus on other books. I’ve a TBR that will not be denied and I’m constantly finding new books to read. They usually don’t fit in with the challenge, but I’d still like to share them with you guys (RE: I love you). So, I’m changing up the format, posting books as I read them and posting a Destination per month or posting them out of order in response to the books I’m picking up. I still haven’t decided, you guys are definitely welcome to comment and/or make suggestion.

In other news, I’m going to England for a week in November! I’m excited to be going back, even if it’s just for a little bit. I had such a great time when I was there last year. I’ll be heading to Brighton this time. Again, if you have any suggestions of things to do while I’m there (especially bookish things!) don’t hesitate to send them my way. I’m still figuring out the details, but so far it’s looking pretty promising!

As far as blogging goes….

what-do-we-do-when-we-fall-off-the-horse-o

Riding something has never felt so good. What? *Shrugs* I couldn’t help myself.

See you Monday, readers!

Frank Peretti & Ted Dekker’s House

Hello, readers.

In an attempt to streamline my process I’ve decided to focus on the book for each destination rather than make two posts for each. If I don’t like it or if I start feeling like I miss the Destination posts I’ll take them back up. We’ll see. The world is our oyster. Maybe we can have our cake and eat it too. The early bird gets the worm. What?

Alabama.png

We’ve made it to Alabama! Resting place of Miss Baker, monkey astronaut. Apparently she was the first US animal to make it to space and return alive. She died in 1984 after having been married twice, well on her way to challenging Ross’ number of marriages. Her grave is located in Huntsville, Alabama, outside of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

My pick for Alabama ended up being House by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker, which I’d actually read before. However, since I barely remembered what happened in the book, I figured why not revisit it? And, while it didn’t disappoint, it also wasn’t as exciting as I remembered it to be. I think the religious overtones rubbed me the wrong way this time around.

The novel follows two couples as they get stranded in the middle of nowhere Alabama, next to a conveniently placed inn. Just as they’re realizing their hosts aren’t all there, the lights go out and they’re locked in by a man who demands one dead body before dawn or he’ll kill everybody. It quickly becomes apparent that they’re dealing with supernatural forces and a house that is very much alive and working against them. In the end, the whole thing devolves into a fight between good and evil within each character which will determine whether or not they get out of the house alive.

I’d forgotten how in the end it all came down to the good and bad that resided in each of them. They realized the house drew power from the evil inside them and that the people they kept fighting were actually themselves. It was pretty disappointing that the whole novel ended in this sort of find god and be saved sort of deal. I would’ve liked to see them work through their issues or find that actually there was good enmeshed with the bad. Or maybe they could’ve realized how insane it is to spend your life constantly fighting and sabotaging yourself. Because that’s kind of what we go through day to day, no?

We get caught up in our mistakes, the things we didn’t do or say and the ones we did when we shouldn’t have, when we should be working to make ourselves better. And I know how cheesy that sounds, but it’s true. We fight ourselves and each other every step of the way, instead of sifting through the rubble in our minds to help us improve and accepting help from the people around us.

Fighting ourselves – our desires, our past, our instincts – ultimately leads to a sort of painful death where we lose sight of who we really are and what we could be. Maybe the key is to see and accept ourselves, changing the bad and improving the good, so that we can put our demons to rest. And maybe get out of the House alive.

Until next time, readers.