You were mighty fine, 2009

2009 has been an unprecedented year in reading for me.  I have been keeping track of my reading since 2001 and I have never, ever, even come close to reading so many books in one year.   And so many GOOD books.  Quality is, of course, the most important thing.  I can only think  of maybe two books I was really disappointed with.  The rest… well… let’s just say it was really hard to pick a top ten list this year.  Here’s the breakdown:

Books read: 125
Pages:
Fiction: 119
Nonfiction: 6 (I am ashamed. That is terrible.)
Young Adult: 47
Children’s: 16
Graphic Novels: 17
Audio books: 17
Challenges Attempted: 5, I think (Graphic Novel Challenge, Once Upon a Time, RIP IV, and Harry Potter)
Challenges Completed:  2? (Once Upon a Time and RIP IV, I think.  I am one shy of the Graphic Novel Challenge – if I don’t fix that before the end of the year!)

As for my favorites, like I said, it was very hard to pick 10. So I narrowed it down by categories!  These are in no particular order.  I actually think I do know which is my favorite book of the year, well, the top two, but this felt easier. Forgive me for grouping series books together, but most of them I read practically back to back, which made them feel like one, great big, book to me.

Young Adult Favorites

Fiction favorites

Graphic Novel Favorites

Audiobook Favorites

  • Hunger Games/Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, read by Carolyn McCormick
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Heartsick/Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain, read by Carolyn McCormick
  • The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (Storm Front, Fool Moon, and Grave Peril) read by James Marsters (Spike!)
  • The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, read by Bianca Amato and Jill Tanner

It is easier for me to pick my two favorite books than to pick a top ten.  If I sit still and really think about it (which is actually hard for me, as I can’t be still) the first two books that always come to mind are The Swan Thieves and Tales from Outer Suburbia.  It hasn’t been that long since I finished The Swan Thieves and I won’t know for a few months if it will continue to stick with me like it has, but I’m pretty confident it will.  I already want to reread it, maybe in audio.  I haven’t reviewed it yet, simply because I don’t quite know how.  It was such an amazing book for me and I don’t quite know how to put all my feelings for it into words.  I already loved Kostova – I think I’m pushing more into adoration now.  The Historian is one of my favorite books ever and now, so is The Swan Thieves.   As for Tales of Outer Suburbia?  I can’t remember ever reading a book that married words with art in such an unusual, powerful, and simply haunting way.  These two books will be rereads for years to come; I will get something new from each every time I read it and I will never get tired of them.

What were some of your favorite reads in 2009?  Tell me!

Beautiful Creatures by Garcia and Stohl

I am a Southern girl. When I say I have a thick Southern accent, ah meen ah hayve ah theek Suthern axcent, that no amount of education has been able to rid me of. Reading this book brought out some Southern in me I didn’t even know I had and Lawd-a-mercy I loved every minute of it.

Ethan Wate is sixteen, star player on the basketball team and best friends with Link.  He’s never really had a girlfriend.  He’s smart.  He’s cute.  And he has been dreaming horrible dreams for months about a mysterious girl he’s never met.  So when he meets Lena Duchannes, the girl of his dreams – literally – he falls hard and fast.  What follows is an intelligent, modern fantasy and an original tale of star-crossed lovers, one of whom has a dark, dangerous secret that could get them both killed.

Beautiful Creatures is a delicious, lush, and haunting Southern gothic tale of some of the most memorable Southern characters, I’ve ever met.  And I’ve read Faulkner and lived to tell the tale.  Garcia and Stohl draw the reader into a dark world full of magic, voodoo, and create a gorgeously crafted Southern stew of which you will never get your fill.

I really like what Carrie Ryan, author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth said about the book:

“Like a thick, hot Carolina summer, this story seeps into you until it’s all you can think about.”

for while I was reading this book, it was all I could think about, and for several days after.  And if you have ever been in North or South Carolina during the summer, y0u know just what it feels like.  Thick.  And hot.   That feels like an apt description of this book.  Beautiful Creatures stays with you, which in my opinion, is saying a lot about a current Young Adult book. This is what I love about Young Adult literature.  Writers can take the fantastical and make it feel real, feel normal, and feel relevant.  While there is magic and the supernatural here, there are many important issues (not only to teens, but to adults as well either as parents or as suffers themselves) like dealing with the death of one parent, the abandonment of the other one, discrimination, looking for acceptance, and just the growing pains of growing up.  I’m in my thirties, but I’ve already dealt with the loss of both my parents, grandparents and always deal with the pain of growing up!   I highly recommend to anyone who likes YA and especially those who enjoy a little more depth in their YA reads.

I can hardly wait for the sequel.

Beautiful Creatures
Written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 576 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (December 1, 2009)

? Purchase from The Book Depostory ?
? Or shop Shop Indie Bookstores ?

I received this book from a kind friend who sent me her copy to read.

Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain

It is rare that I have a…hmm….how to put this…a bodily reaction to a book?  Now, I’ll cry over sad parts, sweet parts, and bittersweet parts.  I’ll get mad and throw a book, rarely, but I have done it.  But I can’t ever remember actually getting so freaked out by a book that the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and I look around shifty-eyed waiting for something to GET ME.  

UNTIL SWEETHEART STIRRED ME UP so much that I even had a NIGHTMARE about it. 

For reals y’all, I got so messed up over this book that I went home and dreamed about Gretchen freakin’ Lowell.  I listened to this book in my car as I tooled around to work, to shopping, to everywhere when the kids weren’t with me (because hello! I’m not trying to raise miniature serial killers!) and got so wrapped up in the story that I came home and dreamed about it.  Like, the dream PICKED RIGHT UP where I had left off.  Which was a very intense, SCARY part.  

So yeah, proceed with caution.  Don’t read it at night.  Leave the bedside light on if you do. Because Gretchen freakin’ Lowell will mess with your head. 

Honestly, I loved every freakin’ minute of it. Truly. 

So, yes, if you don’t know, and it’s possible you don’t, Sweetheart is the sequel to Heartsick.  Both books follow serial killer Gretchen Lowell, the killer who defies all profiles and, well, pretty much does as she damn well pleases.  Archie Sheridan is the damaged cop, and her victim, out to get her. And, as with most books like this, there is a secondary plot that is no less suspenseful.  In the first book, Gretchen is in jail.  

In this one, she escapes.  

Let the nail-biting begin. 

I felt that Sweetheart was better than Heartsick, and I really enjoyed Heartsick.  Like most first books in a series, Heartsick was about establishing story, finding footing, and setting things up.  Sweetheart begins delivering on the promise. And boy, DOES IT DELIVER. 

I cannot recommend this series enough.  If you like heart-pumping action, heart-stopping action, things to maybe get a little freaky, and caring about the characters, this is the book, no, series, for you.  

Sweetheart
Written by Chelsea Cain
Audio CD
Publisher: Macmillan Audio; Unabridged edition (September 2, 2008)
Language: English 

? Purchase from The Book Depostory ?
? Your local Indie Bookstore

I received this book from the publisher. Thank you MacMillan Audio!

All I Want for Christmas…

is a few books.  And, like most readers I know, I didn’t get many at ALL.  In fact, I got two. Less than my hubby, less than my daughter and even less than my son; all of whom are NOT READERS.  *sigh*

I put bunches on my wish list. I can’t understand why they don’t want to get me what I looooove.  They get my hubby movies and games! Lots of movies and games!  *sigh*

However, I did get LOTS of other fantastic presents!!!!! Clothes, coats (which I really needed), a new Lightwedge (Yes!! Finally!!), boots, Julie & Julia (which I have already watched and LOVED), and lots of little doodads in my stocking.  And my kids got me things for the kitchen.  Paula DEEN things.  Like, a new rolling pin!! 

I really need a bread cookbook.

The kids really racked up.  Spoiled rotten, the both of them. And hubby too.

The new books in the house?  Because I am totally jealous of my hubby and may just have to read his books too?

  • House of Mystery Volume 1 by Bill Willingham and others
  • House of Mystery Volume 2 by various authors (These two are mine)
  • World War Z by Max Brooks
  • The Living Dead by various authors
  • Arkham Asylum by … I’m not sure who, it’s a graphic novel I got the hubby, it’s a 15th anniversary of the original.
  • Locke & Key 2 by Joe Hill (which is sure to be absolutely insane. I have to read it) (Obviously, the last four are the hubby’s loot)
  • And lots of science books for the daughter.  Six years old and she is obsessed with rocks, science, space, animals, and the like.  It’s so… surprising. And very, very cool.

I hope very much that you and yours had as wonderful a Christmas as we did. 

Oh yeah, one last thing.  My MONITOR died on Christmas Day.  So, I may be missing from here and from your blogs for a few days.  I had really hoped to use this weekend to catch up on my blog reading and commenting!  I’m using the hubby’s laptop now (which is why there aren’t any pictures).  My new monitor is SUPPOSED to be here Tuesday. Hubby let me order a new one!  Woot!

French Milk

frenchmilkAfter seeing several reviews of French Milk around the blogs, I decided I had to get in on that action.  Frenchness, drawings, and rave reviews? Count me in! Oh la la mon cherie!

So, for Lucy’s 22nd and her mother’s 50th birthdays, they decide to go to Paris for a little over a month.  They rent a flat and spend all their time eating, drinking milk, going to museums and cafes, drinking milk, going to kitschy little yard sales, drinking milk and just generally having the time of their lives in Paris.

Did I mention they drank some milk?

Apparently French Milk is sweeter and therefore BETTER than the American kind.  *shrugs* I am not a fan of milk, but I’d give it a go. BECAUSE IT IS IN PARIS. Dude.  C’est magnifique!

Basically, Lucy describes her days of food, fun and milk in the style of a journal, however, instead of really writing entries alone, she also draws pictures, takes photographs, and muses about art school, first loves and her evolving relationship with her mother.  It’s a really lovely little slice of life look at a girl just starting out in life and at the chance of a lifetime-living in Paris. In her 20s. And drinking all the French Milk she can stomach.  All in all, I found it to be a delightfully pleasant read.

French Milk
Written by:
Lucy Knisley 
Paperback:
208 pages
Publisher:
Touchstone; Revised edition (October 14, 2008)

Author also wrote:

Radiator Days

Also Reviewed by:

BermudaOnion | book-a-rama | Pop Culture Junkie | BethFishReads

I am a Book Depository Affiliate and will make a very small profit if you buy a book through one of my links.

I received this book from the library, after they were kind enough to let me check it out.

Ivy and Bean: Doomed to Dance

doomedtodanceNow that my daughter Ellie has started school and is learning to read, I am always on the lookout for new books and stories to share with her.  So when Chronicle Books offered the change to review the latest book in the Ivy and Bean series, Doomed to Dance, I jumped at the chance.

We went into it blind, as in we haven’t read any of the other series yet, but suffice it to say, she (and I) loved it.

Ivy & Bean: Doomed to Dance is about two second-graders, and best friends, Ivy and Bean.  While reading a book about ballet that Ivy’s grandmother had sent her one day, the two friends decide that they absolutely MUST take ballet lesson. Both Ivy and Bean’s mothers try to talk them out of it, but their minds are made up.  They want to take ballet and they will love it.  Their mother’s give their permission, but only if the girls don’t complain AND finish the course.  The girls readily agree.  And live to regret it.  Quickly they begin to think of ways to get OUT of ballet class.  Hilarity ensues.Ivy & Bean Blog Tour Badge

Capricious Girl really enjoyed Ivy & Bean.  I fear that she is in that delicate stage where I’m either going to snag her as a reader or not, so for her to enjoy this book gives me hope.  She likes Ivy and she really likes Bean, which doesn’t surprise me as she reminds me of Bean.   Mama Capricious Reader loved it.  These girls are so fun, so… so REAL, oh my goodness, they remind me so much of me at that age it’s scary.  I took ballet, so I know. I know what it’s like.  I know the clumsiness of Ivy.  I know the boredom of Bean. No, it wasn’t fun at all. 😉

Check out the book’s trailer for more:

Aren’t the illustrations adorable?

All in all, I highly recommend this book, if not the whole series since I haven’t read them yet. Take that back, I read book one just to get a handle on the series, and it was just as good.  We can’t wait to go back and read the whole series.  Little girls and their mama’s will get loads of enjoyment and bonding time over the misadventures of the clumsy Ivy and the mischievous Bean.

Chronicle Books has graciously allowed me to give away a copy of Ivy & Bean: Doomed to Dance.  To enter, simply leave me a comment and tell me, what other books should I try with the Capricious Girl? Now remember, she’s only six!  Be sure to include your email address, and I will pick a winner at the end of the week.

Ivy and Bean: Doomed to Dance
Written by: Annie Barrows
Publisher and Date: Chronicle Kids, 2009
Hardcover: 129

Author also wrote:

Ivy and Bean | Ivy and Bean and the Ghost That Had to Go | Ivy and Bean Break the Fossil Record | Ivy and Bean Take Care of the Babysitter | Ivy and Bean: Bound to be Bad | The Magic Half

also with Mary Ann Shaffer

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
one of my favorite books of the year.

Also Reviewed by:

Age 30+…A Lifetime of Books | For Immediate Release Reviews

I am a Book Depository Affiliate and will make a very small profit if you buy a book through one of my links.

A huge thank you to Chronicle Books for sending me a copy of this book and turning me, and my daughter, on to the delight that is Ivy & Bean.

Book Blogger Holiday Swap

Did you happen to hear some loud and rather embarrassing squealing just now?  Uh, say around 3:00 EST, when I’m writing this? (Edit: Well, yesterday, as I was writing this?)

That was NOT me.

Really. It wasn’t.

Okay, you got me. It was me.

I just came home to a lovely pile of mail on my front porch yesterday afternoon.  Inside were 5 books I got from Paperbackswap and a rather mysterious box from Amazon.  Now, I’ve been ordering things from Amazon for Christmas, of course, but 1) they don’t usually send USPS and 2) I wasn’t expecting anything on a Saturday.

Well good golly, it isn’t from Amazon!  It’s from Chris!  Chris of Stuff As Dreams Are Made of fame.  HE is my Book Blogger Swap, uh, presentee?  Yay!!!!!  I am positively giddy.  Bouncing around in my desk chair.  Okay, I’m going to tortured myself by opening all my other mail first.  Oh, The Painted Kiss and The Wayward Muse by Elizabeth Hickey, swapped because of my new found obsession with art fiction books (The Swan Thieves is to blame there).  The Law and the Lady by Wilkie Collins! LOVE me some Wilkie!  Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes, because I’m feeling the new to travel to Italy.  And Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, a YA book I heard about ages ago and thought sounded good.

Okay, all the books are unpacked. Now.  The Box.

I am slowly cutting it open.  I’m peeked inside.  The first thing I see is a squarish box with the words Cafe Du Monde on it.  A coffee mug!!!!!  I don’t drink coffee, I can’t make a decent pot of coffee to save my life, just ask my uncle, but I do drink hot chocolate and hot apple cider!! Yummy!  And there, off to the side is the CUTEST monkey bookmark .  I am in love!   I live with a bunch of monkeys, now I get one to carry with me all the time!

Oh wow, there are 3 Christmas wrapped presents down here!!!

Wow Chris, you are an extremely good wrapper for a guy.  My guys can’t wrap worth a tinkers dam!

Okay, I’m going to just dive in here.  This is obviously a CD, but which one????  It’s a Mix CD!  Lots of artists on there, I’ve never heard of some of these and it’s long!   As I need help with my (sorely lacking) musical education, this is fantastic! Ani DiFranco, Company of Thieves, Matt & Kim, Modest Mouse, and so many, many more.  I can’t wait to listen to this. In fact, I’m going to pop it in right now!  Oh, it says Heather’s Mix on the CD!!! Cool!

Next, oh my goodness, there is a book shaped present.  I wonder what it could be?  I hate to mess up this really pretty paper.  It’s all gold with green and red Christmas trees on it.  Ooo it’s Marcelo in the Real World!  I have been wanting to read this FOREVER!  I know what I’m reading next!!!

Okay, one more.  Hmm…it’s book shaped too, but taller and thinner than Marcelo.  I wonder…

Oh. My. Goodness. Chris!!!!  If I could kiss you I would, right this minute!!!  Tales From Outer Suburbia???  Shaun Tan??????  Holy Mother of….  I LOVED this book and have wanted a copy of my very own for forever!!!  I’m hugging the book now Chris, pretend it’s you.  You have made my day.  Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!

christmas

You can click to see bigger.  🙂

The Foundling by Georgette Heyer

foundlingDo you like historical fiction?  Romantic comedy?  Historical romantic comedic fiction?  A wee bit of slapstick with your costume drama?

Then mayhaps you should give Georgette Heyer a read.

Because DUDE, she has got it going on! In spades!

Incidentally, what does that mean?  Got it in spades?  Is it a card reference?

Ahem.  Anyway.  Sorry.

So, The Foundling.  By Georgette Heyer. Hilarious.  So, so, so good. Perhaps my most favorite one yet.

The Foundling features Gilly.  Gilly is the Seventh Duke of Sale.  And he is extremely young.  Like, 24 years young.  Gilly’s family are, rather, uh, well overprotective doesn’t seem strong enough.  They are obsessed with his safety, his delicacy, his health, mind, weight, heart, hair, and toenails.  Well, not THAT obsessed, but you get the idea.  They are extremely CONCERNED about Gilly.

One day, Gilly decides he has had enough. He is a MAN, dangnabit, and by God, he is going to prove it!

So he sets out, incognito, on a journey through the countryside.  On this journey he meets an intriguing cast of characters including a runaway school boy, a beautiful orphan and an extremely…oh…interesting villain.  One review I read calls this villain “one of literature’s most appealing and well-spoken comic villains” (doesn’t that alone make you want to read it?? I mean, come on!  Well-spoken AND comic? Be still my wee heart!).  Gilly plunges into intrigue after intrigue, one true to Heyer mishap after the other and the result is delightful.

Tis the time of year to give, so give Heyer a chance.  Read her and weep with laughter.  Snort with glee.  And bask in the glow that is a contented read.  This is the perfect time to curl up on the couch with your favorite blanket and a nice hot mug of tea and good ole Georgette.  Heyer is teh awesome.

The Foundling
Written by: Georgette Heyer
Publisher and Date: Sourcebooks, September 2009
Paperback 448 pages
Regency Romance

Other Heyer reviews:

The Corinthian | The Convenient Marriage

Author also wrote:

The woman wrote 56 books in 53 years.  This should get you started.

Also Reviewed by:

A Work in Progress | Bookfoolery and Babble

I am a Book Depository Affiliate and will make a very small profit if you buy a book through one of my links.

Thanks to Danielle at Sourcebooks for supplying this book.

Liar

liarSo. I don’t know if you remember, but back in…oh, around August I think, there was this big fuss about the cover of Liar.  If you didn’t hear, the publisher put a picture of white girl on the cover.  Which is fine, I guess, but the protagonist is black.  Many, including the author, felt that this was done in, to put it nicely, poor taste, and such a stink was raised that the publisher actually consented to change the cover; which is the cover you see here.

The controversy had one good thing going for it. Free advertising!  I had only slightly heard of the book before all that happened.  After, I definitely knew I wanted to read it.  Because, despite the cover, it sounded like an awesome book.

And, I learned how to spell Larbalestier without having to look it up!

Micah is a liar.  Compulsively so.  Since the first day at her new school, when she had everyone believing she was a boy, until now, she lies.  She can’t help herself.  Four years later, she still lies.  From habit, for self-preservation, for attention.  But that is all over now.  She is going to tell the truth, from now on. She says:

Weaving lies is one thing; having them weave you is another.

That’s why I’m writing this.  To keep me from going over the edge.  I don’t want to be a liar anymore.  I want to tell my stories true.

But I haven’t so far.  Not entirely.  I’ve tried.  I’ve really tried.   I’ve tried harder than I ever have.  But, well, there’s so much and it’s so hard.

I slipped a little.  Just a little.

Truly.

I’ll make it up to you, though.

From now on it’s nothing but the truth.

Obviously Micah is an unreliable narrator and, while some of her lies seem silly, it’s obvious that she does it to hide something, something important, that she doesn’t want anyone to know.  It’s hard to take anything she says at face value, as her story is constantly changing.  One thing is made abundantly clear however.  Micah’s secret boyfriend Zachary, was murdered in Central Park, and she devastated.   Her grief is overwhelming, as is her desire for vengeance.   Thanks to the love she has for Zach and her understandable desire to find out who did it, she becomes a character worth caring for.  In Larbalestier’s skilled hands, Micah takes on a life, a desire, a need to tell her story that is captivating.  Some may not care for the unreliableness of the narrator or the ambiguous ending, but I loved both, as I usually tend to do.  I finished this book about a week ago and I still find myself thinking about it and know I will be rereading it, very soon.  Liar is not to be missed.

Buy this book here and support this blog:

Liar
Written by: Justine Larbalestier
Reading level:
Young Adult
Hardcover:
384 pages
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books (September 29, 2009)
Justine on Twitter
Justine’s Blog

Author also wrote:

Magic Lessons | Magic’s Child | Magic or Madness | How to Ditch Your Fairy

Also Reviewed by:

Book Addiction | Devourer of Books | Becky’s Book Reviews | and many more…

I am a Book Depository Affiliate and will make a very small profit if you buy a book through one of my links. And then I will love you forever and bless you and all your children and your children’s children.

I bought this book for myself because I was wanting to reads it.  So there.

Peter & Max

peterandmax

I bet you figured I would read this book. If you knew about it anyway. I love, love, love the Fables comics and graphic novels, so I pre-ordered this book as soon as I heard about it.  And, big surprise, I loved this too!

Peter & Max is the first novel Bill Willingham has written set in the Fables universe. (I think it may be his first novel novel too, but I’m not 100% sure about that).

The novel starts out with Peter and Max and their family of traveling musicians.  If you didn’t guess from the cover, with that creepy looking piper, one of these guys is the Pied Piper of Hamelin. That isn’t the only Fable touched on here.  Peter is married to Bo Peep!  And like the Fables Graphic Novels, this novel is rich in folklore, fantasy, and art; it’s a wonderful amalgamation of them all.    It’s a tale of jealousy. Betrayal.  And revenge.  The narrative travels back and forth between present day America and medieval times.  Max believes that their father committed a terrible wrong to him and he plans to make Peter pay for it.    Peter Piper is hunting his older brother Max to put an end to their bitter rivalry, once and for all.

You do not need to have read the GNs to enjoy this book; it can definitely stand alone.  If you have, it’s a rich, textured tale that brings in several beloved characters from the comics and makes for an enthralling read.   If you haven’t read them, it’s a good introduction or, if you haven’t read them because you don’t like to read comics, well, there are only illustrations here.  It’s a straight up novel, an enjoyable novel, one that I highly recommend.

Kailana of The Written World and I both read this at the same time, so we decided to review it together.  What follows is the second half of our conversation about it.  See her blog for the first half and here for the second, as we discuss the book, Fables, and our opinions about both.  She is the black text, I am the red text.


K: Yeah, the flutes are a good touch. Two piper brothers, but one was good and one wasn’t. Max was written very well. He was the ‘bad’ brother and you could really believe it. He wasn’t so crazy that it didn’t make any sense. Then, Peter was a sweet kid, but he wasn’t an angel. Having him and Bo be big readers was a really fun idea, too. It didn’t necessarily play a big role, but just having it mentioned was a nice touch! The inclusion of familiar characters worked well, too. By having the two main characters be ones that have never been mentioned before, this book wasn’t really a spoiler for those that haven’t read all the graphic novels. I hope, though. that if he writes more books in this format they will build on some of the characters we have seen all ready.

H: I really liked Bo and Peter.  I liked that she was the one who became an assassin!  And that Peter became the master thief.  And Max was an excellent bad guy.  His *costume* choices cracked me up.  I agree though, I would love to have a back-story type of book about one of the more familiar characters to those of us who have read the GNs. I know Bigby has his own GN mini-series coming up and so does Cinderella, but, I don’t know, someone like Rose Red, or Boy Blue, or even Flycatcher would be so great I think, to have their own spin-off novel.

I didn’t know about the Bigby and Cinderella stories. That’s very cool! I love anything to do with Willingham and his books, so I don’t really think I would be unhappy about anything that he does. What was your favourite scene from the book?

Oh wow, that’s a hard one. There are so many that were interesting.  I really liked when Bigby was after Peter and Max in the Black Forest.  I liked the first time Max and Peter played their flutes against each other.  I liked the scene where Bo hides in the pumpkin.  But my favorite, or, at least the very first scene that came to my mind, so apparently has stuck with me, is when the witch is walking through the woods with that goat and those knights come up and kill it.  Whatever that thing was that escaped the goat’s body has irked me, because we are not told what, or who, it is.  My husband and I have discussed it and my theory is that it’s Mr. Dark from the new arc in the comics.  He doesn’t think so, but he doesn’t know what it was either.  I hope it comes up again, either in the GNs or a book, because it really bugs me!!

What do you think it was?

I have no idea! It is just one of those things, I guess. It is obviously something evil that the witch has tried to capture, so I would say Mr. Dark. Otherwise, it must be something that hasn’t been shown yet, but I think he would have explained it more if it was new. That being said, the books are written so that if you haven’t read the graphic novels you can still read this book. I guess when it comes down to it I really have no idea what it is! Any of the scenes with my witch are my favourite, though. She’s a great character and I always think she is written so well. One minute she is all hunched up in her rocking chair knitting, but then next thing you know she is fighting evil. She is rather complex, so I enjoy her. The scene in the pumpkin was one of my favorites, too!

I really like the witch too. She’s so ambiguous; I know she’s supposed to be “good” now, helping Fabletown and all after the amnesty, but somehow, deep down, I think she’s not entirely as good as she lets on.  Like she’s only their for her own interests, whatever they may be.  Maybe Willingham should write a book or GN about her next!

I really did enjoy this book.  I think most anyone would enjoy it and could even be a good introduction to the Fables world.  Here’s hoping there will be more!

Oh, yes, a book on the witch would be really great! I really enjoyed this, too, and recommend it! I can’t wait until more!

Peter & Max
Written by: Bill Willingham
With illustrations by Steve Leialoha
Publisher and Date: Vertigo Comics, 2009
Hardcover: 368 pages
Bill Willingham on Twitter

Other Peter & Max links:

the book’s website
excerpt from the book (PDF link)
excerpt (chapter 1) (PDF link)
excerpt (chapter 2) (PDF link)

Author also wrote:

Too much to name!  Just look up Bill Willingham on Amazon or some other bookstore, you’ll get a ton of hits.

Also Reviewed by:

I can’t seem to find any by bloggers. If you have reviewed it, let me know and I’ll add you!

I am a Book Depository Affiliate and will make a very small profit if you buy a book through one of my links.

I received this book from Amazon.  When I bought it. For myself.