Winter Break Reading Festival

…which takes place every day I am on break, from approximately 9 am to Noon, in my lumpy red Gryffindor armchair, with a big fat mug of tea or coffee.

I’ve recently dived into Brian Jacques’ The Bellmaker, the 6th?  7th? book of the Redwall series.  This book is more of a continuation of Mariel of Redwall, featuring the familiar characters of Joseph the Bellmaker, Tarquin L. Woodsorrel (one of my favorites) and Dandin the Mouse.  Some fascinating new characters are introduced, such as the sea-faring sea otter Finbarr Galedeep and the self-awarded Field Marshal Meldrum the Magnificient.  As always, Brian Jacques has a flair for language and an infectious desire for no holds barred adventure.

Browsing the stacks at my bookstore, I came across Here, There Be Dragons, by James A. Owens.  This is the first of the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series, where three intrepid Oxford scholars named John, Jack, and Charles embark on a journey across the high seas with a map of all the fabled lands of yore, such as Atlantis and Avalon.  Hmmm…scholars from Oxford?  John, Jack, and Charles?  Could it be….?  Turns out, yes it can!  John, as in John Ronald Ruehl Tolkien; Jack as in CS “Jack” Lewis; and Charles as in Charles Williams.  The Inklings on an adventure?  What could be better?  Well, perhaps the pacing of the book is off a bit- could use more descriptive passages to immerse the reader in the story, instead of jumping from plot point to plot point, but it is a rollicking adventure nonetheless, and since it features my favorite authors, worth the read.

Also new to my bookshelves is Foundling, part one of D.M. Cornish’s Foundling’s Tale Monster Blood Tattoo series.  He is compared to Tolkien, which are some pretty big boots to fill.  Reviews also note that he took 13 years to write the book, which is on par with Tolkein’s laborious writing of LOTR.  The cover has a wonderfully bleak Dickensian look about it, and while I regard it as trite, I am nevertheless a sucker for interesting covers.

Two more sidenotes: picked up Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Why?  For some reason, I had an urge to revisit Jim Henson’s Storyteller series, which is now streaming on Netflix.  Many of the tales are based on actual old folktales from Europe and the Far East, so I am going to one of the major sources of collection for these stories.  Could this be the recovering English major rearing his head?  Possibly, but for right now beyond the surface of articulation.

Lastly, for some reason this blog is getting more hits than usual, which, if my calculations are correct, should push it over the 10,000 mark by New Year’s.  Woo-hoo!  An unexpected Christmas present!  I’ll be there when the wheel turns…I guess blogs are much like cars in that respect.

Definitely planning a post for Christmas Day, but if you are signing off before then, God rest ye merry gentlemen (and women!)  A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

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