Your New Year’s Lauds and Libs

So, happy 2014!

Since I’m having some delightful beer and some epiphanies right now, a Lauds and Libations post is most appropriate.

Libations:
I had some mighty fine Brau Brothers for my New Year’s drink.
Brown ale Ring Neck

Lauds:

Apparently I read a lot at the very end of this year. Some specific reads that stick out, mostly because I read them all on my winter vacation and so they are fresh in my mind:

Bossypants by Tina Fey
This made me laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh. My favorite kind of book, except for those that make me cry and cry and cry and cry. Although I did laugh until I cried at a couple of points, so maybe this book fulfills all my favorite-y needs.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
I think I need to write a full review of this one. Oh boy howdy though did I love it. It made me into this year’s official Worst Christmas Guest, because instead of singing carols, throwing snowballs, or watching Die Hard, I sat in the corner and read for a day. Party with me! It’s fun!

Shadows by Robin McKinley
I loved this one, too. Structurally (narratively?) it followed a very similar path as Sunshine, almost too similar, but there were differences enough in the worlds that overall I wasn’t bothered. Also, I am in love with Takahiro. (Obviously.) I think most of my love comes from her hitting her regular high points, which for me are her interesting yet just-folks characters, her fabulous world-building and/or magic systems and/or alternative slang, and her chatty writing style. However, I do have two quibbles — 1) I think the amount of italics found in this book are excessive. Even in the brain of a 17-year-old. And 2) I wanted way more from this book. It reads like YA, and I don’t know if that’s why I felt it needed more detail. I’ve certainly read plenty detailed YA before. But I wanted more overall: more of this world, these people, basically more anything-more everything.

I also read Hope Larson’s graphic novel adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. It was fun and really well done, and Larson is obviously a huge fan of the source material. Ultimately it made me want to reread the original again, which is saying something since it’s already one of my regular yearly rereads. It also reminded me of the last time I saw an “illustrated” version of AWiT, way back in sixth grade, in probably the worst classroom filmstrip stills + audio ever. (And yet now I want to watch it again. Looks like 2014 will be the year of the masochist!) That’s my favorite decade, the nineties–teetering on the cusp of new technology while jogging back and forth between laser discs and filmstrips. And people think that paper books are going to disappear. HA, I say.

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