Friday, January 4th, 2013

retsuko: antique books (books)
In Books:

The Incense Game, by Laura Joh Rowland (Sano Ichiro mysteries, #16): Beginners beware, this is not the place to start this excellent series; you'll spend too much time wondering who is who, and not enough marveling at Rowland's ability to spin a murder mystery in the middle of a tale about recovery from terrible disasters. The story opens with the murder itself, which takes place just prior to the earthquake of 1703, also vividly described. Rowland deftly juxtaposes the small tragedy against the backdrop of the larger one, as people scramble to recover from the disaster that's leveled much of the city. I think one of the strongest testaments to her storytelling power is that even sixteen volumes in, I still remember and care about each of the characters. I think she only needed a sentence to remind me of who they were and the problems they're facing. I often wish these books had a larger fandom and/or could be made into a compelling mini-series; there is so much rich plot and character development in them that they would catch on like wildfire. What an excellent read, and with a plausible but completely surprising twist about three quarters of the way through.

At the Movies:

Les Miserables: Funniest overheard dialogue prize of the entire holiday season goes to my Dad, who overheard the following sentiment about this movie, while at Ralph's: "Why would anyone go see a movie called 'The Miserables' during the holiday season?!" another shopping earnestly asked another. There's a longer answer, of course, but the shorthand one that I came up with long after hearing this story (and therefore unable to use it to actually answer the original, overheard speaker) is that suffering is part of this story, but it's not the whole, and the whole is a beautiful, uplifting thing. Read more, with... uhm, spoilers. Can I really spoil for this story? Anyway, more beneath this cut. )

Wow, two great starts for 2013! I like how this is going so far.

May 2016

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