I see no better way to start the new year off than with a new Bookshelf post. These have been a nice bit of filler for when I don’t have a review or news or anything and also provide a small window into my reading habits and inspirations. Perhaps you have been able to find a new favorite author through these as well. I believe that we will reach the end of my library in the near future and will valiantly try to post more about the various topics my meager mind happens to conjure up. I hope you enjoy.
Monster Spotter’s Guide to North America by Scott Francis: I hesitate to include this here because it could be classified as non-fiction and I have not started posting such books yet. I segregate fiction and non-fiction in my personal library. However, because some of you are skeptical of the unseen, I place this volume here. The guide is a pleasant compendium of monsters and beasts that call North America home. The monsters are categorized geographically and by type. You will find information on such cryptids as The Dover Demon, Bigfoot, Wampus Cat, Hodag and Goatman. It is a small enough book that it fits in your backpack with ease. I recommend this guide to all those in search of and thrilled by the unknown.
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman: This is a wonderful book about the end of the world. The main characters are an angel and a demon that form an easy alliance to make certain that everything happens according to plan. However, they increasingly are not certain they want that plan to succeed. The book is filled to the brim with Pratchett’s fine English wit and Gaiman’s strange imagination. I guarantee this book will make you giggle out loud more than once.
Stardust by Neil Gaiman:A slim but expansive novel about a boy with something to prove, a fallen star with a bit of a hobble and a race to become king. If you have seen the movie, you know what to expect, but the liberties the film version took are often times curious. You will find much enjoyment in the tale anyway. I wish I had the edition with the beautiful illustrations by Charles Vess.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: This is Gaiman’s ode to The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. Substitute Mowgli with Bod, a boy abondened in a graveyard, and Bagheera with a mysterious vampire. Gaiman weaves the fantastic tale with his usual elegant prose and dark humor. This is a book classified for young readers but all ages will benefit from the reading.
The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma: Nothing is as it seems in this story of H. G. Wells and his investigation of a real time machine. It is also a story of adventure, love and ultimately deception. Palma is certainly an accomplished writer and I really did fall in love with the story being told. However, I find my self hesitant to read the sequel to the book. I can still highly recommend The Map of Time to those wanting to fall into a historical fantasy with no expectations but to be entertained. If you fall prey to Palma’s sleight of hand, remember that I warned you.