Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

Library Book Sale Finds: Twelve Angry Librarians by Miranda James

Well, squiders. We were supposed to be on a cruise tomorrow. But, alas, that’s not happening, for obvious reasons.

Sad times.

So, a little over a month and a half ago, I went to another library book sale. Cuz I hadn’t in a while, and they were doing bags of books for $6, and I am weak.

(Actually, now that I think about it, I went to one in December too, though that wasn’t the best. The books were expensive. If I’m paying $6 per book, what’s the point? I should buy it new at that point so the author gets some of the money. I did get a ton of easy chapter books for the bigger, mobile one, though he has refused to read them.)

(He is mostly interested in books about Minecraft. Sigh. Though he doesn’t mind a story if someone else reads it to him. We just started The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler.)

ANYWAY, this sale wasn’t the best either–not a lot of material, just a few carts of books and old movies. I did manage to end up with six hardcovers, though.

And here we are. In a timely fashion, for once.

Title: Twelve Angry Librarians
Author: Miranda James
Genre: Mystery
Publication Year: 2017

Pros: Cat
Cons: Not enough kooky side characters

There is something to be said about a bag full of old paperbacks, where you’re getting a mixed bag of who knows what from who knows when. Modern books are less fun, in that regard.

Now, you guys know I love mysteries, and you know I love cozy mysteries. But that being said, I find that most cozy mystery series, especially modern ones, don’t really do it for me. I’m not a big historical fiction person, but I tend to like historical cozy mysteries. Gives them something, I guess. Contemporary-based cozies feel the need for some sort of something extra, which is really hit or miss as to whether or not it works.

I’m guessing we’re doing a two-for-one here, in that we have a helpful pet (ala The Cat Who series) plus it’s library-themed. (I am as bad as the next writer about being a sucker for stories about writers/librarians/etc. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that said stories are any good.)

This is a well-established series (this is the eighth book) with Charlie Harris, late middle-aged career librarian, as our protagonist. Charlie is likable enough, if a bit dull, but that’s fairly par for the course. His cat, Diesel, is properly charismatic.

And maybe the other books in the series are better at this, but I kind of feel like a cozy mystery series, if not carried by the protagonist, needs a cast of wacky side characters. And we should get them here–the book takes place at a librarian convention–but we don’t especially.

There’s nothing bad about the book. It’s perfectly serviceable. But it’s also forgettable.

Read other books in the Murder in the Stacks series, squiders? Thoughts about how essential the side characters are? Favorite cozy series in general?

Free Comic Book Day Round-up From a Non-comics Person

I love Free Comic Book Day. It’s the first Saturday of every May here in the States, and has apparently been going for 15 years, judging by the “Celebrating 15 years!” on a lot of the books.

You can go to your local comic book store and pick up one of multiple (seems to vary on different store’s individual policies) sample comic books. I take the family and we always grab a few.

I should clarify that I like the general idea of comics–storytelling with a combination of pictures and words–but I am not wild about comic books themselves. I just don’t understand paying $4 for ~30 pages of content that I can read in five minutes. I prefer collections or graphic novels instead. So FCBD is really the only time that I pick up a comic book.

I ended up with four this year, and I also read one that my husband picked up. The larger, mobile one ended up with several kids-aimed ones (Spongebob, Pokemon, Sonic) that the husband has read to him, so I have no opinions on that lot.

  • Archie (Mark Waid/Fiona Staples)
    I’d heard that they’d rebooted Archie and Riverdale and the lot, making it more modern (and grittier, maybe?) so I picked this one up out of curiosity. I’m not wild about the new art style–everyone looks weird as opposed to more realistic. I was fairly familiar with the original incarnation of this, so I don’t know how I feel about the personality revamps. Jughead seems, hm, kind of like the Riverdale version of Loki, honestly, but not necessarily in a good way. The sample seems like it’s got to be the intro to the new series. Veronica hasn’t shown up yet. Didn’t really like it–or remember it.
  • Avatarex Destroyer of Darkness (Grant Morrison/Jeevan J. Kang)
    This one seems to be based on Indian mythology, which is kind of cool. But it does lead me to another of my complaints about comic books, and that this manages to be all world-building set-up because there’s just not enough space to actually get into the story. It’s made worse because they’ve stuffed two previews into the sample, the other being for 18 Days which seems to be related to Avatarex somehow which is not immediately clear. Interesting concept. I might pick up a collection and see if it was worth reading past the intro if I saw one on the shelves.
  • Doctor Who
    Every year they put out a DW sampler, which includes a few pages from recent adventures with a variety of Doctors. Last year there were three stories; this year there’s four, one each from 9-12. Each doctor gets about 6 pages of story. I will say that this year’s stories were actually interesting (Twelve sounds just like Capaldi, and Nine’s has both Rose and Jack, so I’m already interested) so I might actually pick up a collection or two. I mean, not necessarily of these stories, just DW comics in general. It is interesting, however, that in the end the collections aren’t actually any cheaper than buying the story issue by issue.
  • Mooncop (Tom Gauld)
    I love everything about this one. It’s cute, it takes place on the moon, there’s an animatronic Neil Armstrong that has escaped from the museum, etc. I’m sold. The book doesn’t come out til September, though, alas. I’m smitten enough that I’m also considering picking up his other books. Best of the bunch for me.
  • Spectrum (PJ Haarsma, Alan Tudyk, Sarah Stone)
    Looks like your standard aliens have invaded/resistance fighters story with a bit of a twist. Not enough in the sample for me to determine if it’s something I would like or not. And I guess it’s not actually out? The sample says “#0” on the front and there’s an ad in the back that says to look for “#1” next month. So, I dunno. My comic book store is really a coffee shop/game store so I’m in there quite a bit for other reasons, and if I remember I might look at the issue when it comes out.

Did you guys do Free Comic Book Day? Find anything you liked? Have opinions about the above or comics in general?

My shop also sells back issues for 50 cents, so I picked up an arc of the current IDW nu!Star Trek series. It’s issues #21-#23, an arc called After Darkness. (I picked it up because it was the only complete arc in the box, and I’ve been meaning to look into the Trek comics to see if they’re any good.) It’s an interesting concept–dealing with Pon Farr after the destruction of Vulcan–but I feel like the story was so shallow because they didn’t have time to really do anything with it. I think it could have been done a lot better in a different medium, or with a couple more issues.