New Ardeur; Divine Circus Fathers; Swallowing Saffron Heads; Tina's Unknown Zealand Bar Stories
Essays about the Anita Blake books. Enjoyable fluff for the most part, although a few of them were rather insightful. Also, I was highly entertained by the editor's introductions to each essay; they were always readable, but sometimes quite huffy. Weird at first, but it grew on me - they were very honest reactions.
The Heads of My Family, My Friends, My Colleagues, by Justin Sirois
Poetry that always makes gut sense, only sometimes makes prose sense. I loved it even more than when I was reading the proof sheets hung up on the wall of an exhibition.
Swallowing Darkness and Divine Misdemeanors, by Laurell K. Hamilton (reread)
It has been rather an intense month and I needed something enveloping. Also I realized that I didn't really remember the plot of these last 2 in this series since I gobbled them down in a single evening each last time. Just what I needed.
The Oxford Illustrated History of New Zealand, edited by Keith Sinclair
Slow-moving and occasionally dated. But really interesting nonetheless.
The Mountain and the Fathers, by Joe Wilkins
A lyrical memoir about harsh things, experienced in the softening but not sentimental light of retrospect. I inhaled this.
The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern (reread)
Book club book! I loved it every bit as much on the second go-round. Possibly a bit more because I was not anxious about the author possibly screwing up. :D I did feel a bit meh about 50 pages in, but then I remembered that I felt a bit meh about 50 pages in the first time too... and just like the first time, 30 pages later I was infatuated.
Shades of Grey 1: The Road to High Saffron, by Jasper Fforde
Wow! I don't know why I didn't read this when it came out, especially since evrythgcnhapn liked it so much. This summer, though, I met someone who had a fresh tattoo of a spoon on a field of color, and she made the book sound so good I resolved not to wait another summer. It's gloriously involving, and it walks the line between farce and serious dystopia brilliantly, probably as well as I've ever seen that done. I'm not about to get my own tattoo, but I can totally understand why someone would.
The Buddha Walks Into a Bar ..., by Lodro Rinzler
This is a fun modern / Western distillation of Tibetan Buddhism. I riffled through it in a couple of days, rather than working through its exercises, so I can't really say how helpful it would be to someone using it as one is meant to. It's refreshingly short on things that made me want to throw it across the room though, which is my primary criterion for evaluating books that want to teach me something.
New Zealand: A Natural History, by Tui De Roy and Mark Jones
Soooooooooooooo pretty. There was serviceable text, too, but mostly I just cooed at the gorgeous pictures and thought, "hey! I will be there soon!"
Katherine Mansfield's Selected Stories, by Katherine Mansfield, edited by Vincent O'Sullivan
I had thought she was far more stuffy and mannered than it turns out she was.... I enjoyed all of these, and loved a few of them. And I *would've* enjoyed them even if I still thought I was never going to the Antipodes.
An Angel at my Table, by Janet Frame
Oh my god. This is brilliant. Recommended for anyone who likes a) memoir, b) affectionate family stories that are also sad, c) reading about other people's time in college, d) historical context around psychology and psychiatry, e) stories rooted strongly in a sense of place, f) non-fiction about writing and/or writers, g) New Zealand. As I like ALL OF THESE THINGS, I was well-satisfied.
Tina's Mouth, by Keshni Keshyap, illustrated by Mari Araki
Appealing, if not especially profound, YA graphic novel in the form of letters to Sartre that are also a school assignment. Tasty, especially the bursting-with-life illustrations.
The Tale of the Unknown Island, by José Saramago, illustrated by Peter Sís
Tiny and perfect, flowing seamlessly along like a dream. Also, memorable. I love it when people send me presents like this one.