icewolf: box of hearts (box of hearts)
Over on LJ, a friend of mine ([livejournal.com profile] disc_sophist) started a book meme. I've been wanting to jump-start my blogging, and this seems like as good a way as any.

Day 1: the best book you've read during the past year

Without a doubt, The Language of Bees by Laurie R. King. I'm dying, waiting for the followup, The God of the Hive, to become available through the library.

To get first things out of the way first, yes, Mary Russell is married to Sherlock Holmes. Yes, that Sherlock Holmes. Technically, all the Mary Russell books are Holmes pastiches, but they are really so much more. Awesome historical detail, an incredibly intricate but not unintelligible plot, and a healthy dose of humanity, which the Doyle works so often lack, make all the books impossible to put down. Additionally, in Russell King has created a character who is strong and breathtakingly intelligent. She's also emotionally backwards in that way that only genius can be. She is, at once, ahead of her time (currently 1924) and completely a product of it (flying deeply disturbs her explicitly because it is such a new technology). You don't need to read the entire series to follow The Language of Bees, but you do need to read them in order to fully appreciate the book.



The Language of Bees is, in my opinion, the best of the series so far, perhaps because Russell has been so fully fleshed out in the previous books, in the immediate predecessor Locked Rooms especially. The plot centers around the disappearance of someone very close to someone incredibly close to Holmes. After the global galivanting of the past two novels (India in The Game and San Francisco in Locked Rooms), we are back to the Sussex Downs where Holmes tried to retire nine years before. But they're only home for all of fifteen minutes before Russell and Holmes are drawn into an investigation with deeply personal repercussions. The investigation ultimately involves occultism, which makes Holmes's head explode, but is right up theology-major-Mary's alley. It's a fascinating journey through the Lost Generation's search for meaning and purpose, at times by whatever means possible.

Tomorrow, The Most Underrated Book.


Day 03 - A book that makes you happy
Day 04 - A book that makes you sad
Day 05 - Favorite love story in a book
Day 06 - Favorite book adapted into a movie
Day 07 - The most surprising plot twist or ending
Day 08 - A book that you’ve read countless times
Day 09 - A book with the best illustrations
Day 10 - Favorite classic (e.g. Huckleberry Finn, Slaughterhouse Five)
Day 11 - A book that changed your opinion about something
Day 12 - A book that you hate
Day 13 - A book that is a guilty pleasure
Day 14 - A book that no one would expect you to love
Day 15 - A character who you can relate to the most
Day 16 - A book that you used to love but now hate
Day 17 - A book that disappointed you the most
Day 18 - A book that you wish more people would’ve read
Day 19 - Favorite graphic novel
Day 20 - Favorite book with your favorite character
Day 21 - Favorite fiction
Day 22 - Favorite non-fiction
Day 23 - Favorite book you borrowed and never returned
Day 24 - That one awesome book idea that still hasn’t been written
Day 25 - The most hilarious book you’ve ever read
Day 26 - A book that you love but everyone else hates
Day 27 - A book that you wish you had read when it was first published
Day 28 - Favorite book from your favorite author
Day 29 - A book from your childhood
Day 30 - Your favorite book of all time
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Icewolf

August 2011

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