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Search tags: Illustrations
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review 2019-09-14 16:32
Reading Fatigue: A How To Manual
Amphigorey - Edward Gorey
Amphigorey Too - Edward Gorey
Amphigorey Again - Edward Gorey

Since I read Edward Gorey's biography, I thought it would be a good idea to immerse myself in his books which led me to Amphigorey, Amphigorey Too, and Amphigorey Again. These are collections of his illustrated works and I have to be honest that I don't think I'm intellectual enough to get the 'deeper meaning' behind his grotesque little tales. While I found some of them amusing, I wasn't overly impressed or blown away. Also, I have to agree with Gorey's biographer that his books do best in their tiny format instead of lumped together like this. Reading fatigue hit me HARD while I was trying to get through these (and they really didn't capture my imagination) so it's going to be a 4/10 from me. 

 

What's Up Next: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Exhalation by Ted Chiang

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2019-09-07 02:30
Short but definitely not sweet
The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories - Tim Burton

Ever since I knew of its existence, I’ve wanted to read Tim Burton’s The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories. Unfortunately, my library doesn't own a copy so I had to order it through Interlibrary Loan. Of course, after all of that effort it was a bit of a letdown to discover that it was only 115 pages long. But this short little book did deliver on the quirky, dark humor that we’ve all come to expect from Tim Burton. Organized into small rhymes and stories, these are creepy but hilarious (if morbid humor is your thing) vignettes. A/N: Parents beware if you take issue with your kids reading about death, patricide, suicide, etc.

 

Source: Goodreads

 

Source: Goodreads

 

What's Up Next: Amphigorey by Edward Gorey

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Solaris by Stanislaw Lem

Source: Https://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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photo 2019-02-22 03:34
Nora Krug’s Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home

31 Books in 30 Days: Kate Tuttle on Nora Krug

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review 2018-12-27 15:07
A magical book for readers young at heart. Highly recommended
Tales from the Irish Garden - Sally Cronin

I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher, and I freely decided to review it.

I have followed the author’s blog Smorgasbord Invitation for quite a while. She is an expert on many topics, including health, media, publishing, and she is a great supporter of other writers and artists. She has also published a large number of books, non-fiction and fiction, and she has shared many of her short stories in her blog. I read and reviewed her book Tales from the Garden a while back (you can check my review here) and had been looking forward to this book since I heard about it.

While the original book contained pictures from the author and her relatives’ gardens, for this book she counts with the collaboration of talented illustrator Donata Zawadzka, who provides a black and white ink illustration for each one of the stories/chapters of this enchanting book. The style of the illustrations suits this wonderful realm perfectly, and the images helped bring the stories to life more fully.

The book follows on from the stories of the fairy realm of Magia. Queen Filigree and her subjects have to leave their garden in Spain due to a new property development. Although some of her stone guardians cannot follow to the new location, in Ireland, we get to meet some fantastic new characters, like the Storyteller, a man with his own magic, who helps our friends in need. We have a prince charming for the queen, magical dressmakers; we also learn more about how the palace works, from the royal pigeons and their carer, to the magical spiders, Queen Bee and her subjects, and the frogs who also help with pest control and building work. Some of our old acquaintances are up to no good, and we also learn more about the queen’s daughters (pretty but not always wise).

The stories follow the seasons of the year, and we have many occasions to join in their celebrations, with new musicians and banquets, and we can enjoy stories set in particular times of the year, from local fairs to Halloween. I cannot choose a favourite because I enjoyed them all, from the piglet races to the touching story of the Storytellers’ daughter.

The style of writing is accessible, fluid and suitable to all ages. These fairy-tales contain gorgeous descriptions of places, costumes, foods, and also characters that go beyond the standard cardboard cut-outs we have come to expect. We have witches suffering from age-related aches and pains, princesses who care for each other but can get into serious trouble, fairy queens concerned about their age, foxes that refuse to kill other animals, jealous bulls… Only some human beings are allowed into the magical realm, and I felt privileged to be one of them.

Another magical book from this author, suitable for anybody who is a child at heart and needs a little inspiration to recover the sense of wonder. Queen Filigree has a magical fountain, and we have Sally Cronin’s books to ensure our imagination keeps us forever young. Highly recommended to everybody.  

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review 2018-10-30 18:28
The Gad Nail by Anthony Spaeth
The Gad Nail - Anthony Spaeth

I had the great pleasure to listen to Howl of the Lambergoon and was very happy to see a sequel to the series (Gad the Zig). While this is the second book, it stands on its own. As with Book 1, the story captures the fanciful and instantly pulled me in. I own both the audiobook and the paperbook, so this review is for both formats.

A potter lives a lonely life on the Hebrides so he uses a bit of magic to craft a kid (who gets a robin’s nest for a cap and an iron nail for a heart). Gad is then sent on his first quest – to find a meal. The potter warns him seriously to stay out the Fendrees woods.

And we can all see where Gad will have to venture for one reason or another. There’s a turtle involved and faeries! Gad wasn’t sure he would be able to make it out alive! Thankfully, more than one comes to his aid and the faerie queen of Fendrees woods takes their pleas into consideration.

While the plot is straight forward, it is eloquently told. The cadence and word choice are just as well used as the imagery. I would recommend this for adults and kids as there’s enough here to capture the heart of any age. 5/5 stars.

The illustrations are beautifully done, as with Book 1, even with the change in illustrators. The cover illustration didn’t pull me in as much as Book 1 simply because it has so much pink. I can clearly see the artistry in the cover despite the pink and I knew the story would be worthy. The interior illustrations use the full palette and don’t rely heavily on pink. Once again, I love that there’s a fanciful map at the beginning. The illustrations near the end of the tale, when kids are encouraged to hunt out their own magical woods, were my favorites. It’s great that kids of different walks of life are included, such as the kid in the wheelchair. 5/5 stars.

Narration: Derek Murray gives a superb performance. He nails the rhythm perfectly. He has distinct voices for all the characters and his faerie queen voice is feminine. Murray’s Scottish accent adds to the book since it’s set in the Hebrides. 5/5 stars.

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