I kinda missed doing this last week, so despite two posts having gone live already today, here we go. Here’s three books from way back on my to read list; one of them I bought more recently, but I was recced it back in 2011, and the other two books are from my 2011 list too.
So You Want to Be a Wizard, Diane Duane
Nita Callahan is at the end of her rope because of the bullies who’ve been hounding her at school… until she discovers a mysterious library book that promises her the chance to become a wizard. But she has no idea of the difference that taking the Wizard’s Oath is going to make in her life. Shortly, in company with fellow beginner-wizard Kit Rodriguez, Nita’s catapulted into what will be the adventure of a lifetime — if she and Kit can both live through it. For every wizard’s career starts with an Ordeal in which he or she must challenge the one power in the universe that hates wizardry more than anything else: the Lone Power that invented death and turned it loose in the worlds. Plunged into a dark and deadly alternate New York full of the Lone One’s creatures, Kit and Nita must venture into the very heart of darkness to find the stolen, legendary Book of Night with Moon. Only with the dangerous power of the wizardly Book do they have a chance to save not just their own lives, but their world…
Lots of people sing Duane’s praises, and I have enjoyed one of her books that I’ve read before, The Door into Fire. Plus, when she had a sale on at her site I bought the whole series of these books. Actually, there’s nearly always a sale going on there, so don’t feel pressured by any one! more! day! announcements on twitter. Another sale will be round pretty soon.
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal, Christopher Moore
The birth of Jesus has been well chronicled, as have his glorious teachings, acts, and divine sacrifice after his thirtieth birthday. But no one knows about the early life of the Son of God, the missing years — except Biff, the Messiah’s best bud, who has been resurrected to tell the story in the divinely hilarious yet heartfelt work “reminiscent of Vonnegut and Douglas Adams” (Philadelphia Inquirer).
Verily, the story Biff has to tell is a miraculous one, filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes. Even the considerable wiles and devotion of the Savior’s pal may not be enough to divert Joshua from his tragic destiny. But there’s no one who loves Josh more — except maybe “Maggie,” Mary of Magdala — and Biff isn’t about to let his extraordinary pal suffer and ascend without a fight.
This… could be a very bad match for me, but I trusted the person who recced it to me enough to stick it on my list and later buy a copy, so I’ve committed myself to this one. The comparison to Vonnegut and Adams helps a bit, too.
Mortal Engines, Phillip Reeve
“It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea.”
The great traction city London has been skulking in the hills to avoid the bigger, faster, hungrier cities loose in the Great Hunting Ground. But now, the sinister plans of Lord Mayor Mangus Crome can finally unfold.
Thaddeus Valentine, London’s Head Historian and adored famous archaeologist, and his lovely daughter, Katherine, are down in The Gut when the young assassin with the black scarf strikes toward his heart, saved by the quick intervention of Tom, a lowly third-class apprentice. Racing after the fleeing girl, Tom suddenly glimpses her hideous face: scarred from forehead to jaw, nose a smashed stump, a single eye glaring back at him. “Look at what your Valentine did to me!” she screams. “Ask him! Ask him what he did to Hester Shaw!” And with that she jumps down the waste chute to her death. Minutes later Tom finds himself tumbling down the same chute and stranded in the Out-Country, a sea of mud scored by the huge caterpillar tracks of cities like the one now steaming off over the horizon.
I can’t quite see how anyone could read that blurb and not be fascinated. I’m quite hopeful about this one; I’ve read some of Reeve’s other stuff, and people I know have been enthusiastic. It’s just finding the time and the energy.