She can sniff it as she can sniff the pungency of the earth where it hides little treasures for the table; or the remains of the long-dead. ― Tallis as described in
Yes, there’s hot cider, blissfully free of spicing, and still-warm apple cinnamon doughnuts on the top of the Bar for our Pub patrons to enjoy on this quite, quite nasty Autumnal day. The Pub has become rather busy and Finch, my associate manager, has called in extra help hours earlier than she usually has to this time of year.
I note with some delight that Charles de Lint just put out a digital edition of The Wild Wood novel. Our review is here, complete with a link to where you can purchase the digital edition of your preference. It’s a wonderful read, which I’ve been doing on this Autumn afternoon in quiet moments. Did I note that MaryAnn Harris, his ever so talented wife, did the cover art for it? When the Pub is much quieter, I’ll go back to reading it on my iPad. Right now, help yourself to those cider and apple doughnuts while I finish this edition off…Ahhh, the egos of authors! Craig has a study of one here: ‘Nowhere on her Web site does novelist Sharyn McCrumb mention her Edgar Allan Poe Award, the most coveted award in the mystery genre and something that most winners would be shouting from the rooftops. One can only assume that this is because the novel for which she won goes by the title Bimbos of the Death Sun. Perhaps she would simply prefer that we forgot all about it. But the fact is that she not only wrote Bimbos of the Death Sun, but also its sequel, Zombies of the Gene Pool, both starring electrical-engineer/science-fiction-author Jay Omega. Both novels are terrific reads and, as a bonus, showcase something missing from McCrumb’s more literate Ballad novels is McCrumb’s quirky sense of humor.’ Read his somewhat silly review here.
Early in his career, Charles de Lint did a number of novels set in Ottawa which is where he and his lovely wife MaryAnn Harris live to this day. Robert has a review of two of those linked novels for us: ‘Charles de Lint is known as “the godfather of urban fantasy,” and indeed, it’s in that genre that he’s made his mark – he’s never been a writer of heroic fantasy: in a better than thirty year career, very few buckles get swashed, although the two short novels included in Jack of Kinrowan — Jack the Giant Killer and Drink Down the Moon — come close, something of a romp a la Dumas pere — by way of Harold Lloyd, perhaps. Both concern the adventures of Jacky Rowan and Kate Hazel, best friends who find themselves enmeshed in the doings of the land of Faerie that coexists with modern-day Ottawa.’
A certain culinary guide has Warner noting that ‘In guide books there are typically the introductory and the exhaustive. Brett Cohen and Mark Luber’s Stuff Every Sushi Lover Should Know falls in the former category. It does so, however, by pressing an impressive amount of information into a small space. While part of QuickBooks series of “Stuff Every…Should Know” is serious, the nature of that series and its individual subject matters means that serves mission quite well on its own.’
Eric Saward’s Doctor Who: Resurrection of the Daleks gets this wrap-up by Warner: ‘Overall this was an enjoyable, short, read. Having a third person point of view help did a great deal, as the internal logic many characters used allowed for strange behavior to make significantly more sense. The action is direct, the characters are consistent, and the book does not feel padded as one often worries they will find in novelizations. This is an enjoyable story featuring the Fifth Doctor, and easily recomendable to someone who enjoys Doctor Who, particularly of slightly older shade of it.’
Liz has a tasty offering for us: ‘Fairy Tale Feasts presents 20 classic fairy tales from around the world masterfully told by ace word slinger Jane Yolen. The tales are accompanied by recipes written by her daughter, Heidi E.Y. Stemple, and illustrations by Philippe Béha. The book includes fairytales from European, African-American, Ashkenazi Jewish, Arabic, Turkish and Chinese cultures. Sidebars give quick facts regarding the stories and the foods mentioned in them.’
The Return of The King, the very last of those Peter Jackson films ,says Grey, was emotional for her: ‘I’ve never laughed and cried so much in one movie. The thing is, I’m not a big movie crier. Those of you who read my Seabiscuit review are thinking, “Yeah, right!” It’s true, I swear. But I think I went into this one with the pump already primed. As I’ve said before, I love The Lord of the Rings, and I’ve spent my life since the first time I heard the story read aloud (by my dad, when I was seven) wishing for it to be made into a movie.’
Christopher has a sweet sounding album for us: ‘New Yorker Susan McKeown has been gradually establishing a reputation as a classy and innovative interpreter of Irish traditional song for some time, without ever gaining the breakthrough she deserves. On first appearances, Blackthorn appears to be a rather low key release in her oeuvre, the to-the-point subtitle Irish Love Songs suggesting a straight-up approach.’
David exclaims ‘Eliza Carthy is a fiddler, singer and folk babe extraordinaire. Rough Music is her latest album. Released in 2005, it’s taken a while for us to review it because…well…I guess I would rather listen to it than write about it! From the striking cover photo, to every note that is played, this is a gorgeous record of English folk music.’
Gary reviews a new compilation of “insurgent country” music from the Chicago label Bloodshot Records, released on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. He says, ‘I’ve reviewed countless compilation discs over the years, and Too Late to Pray is hands down one of the best.’
Gary also liked a disc called Psychedelic Disco Cumbia from the New York band Locobeach. ‘This is such a fun record! Based solidly in cumbia, it has elements of dub, chicha, disco, funk and more, including house, courtesy of those divine analog synthesizers.’
Gary has an album for us that he liked a lot: ‘Ever since they first sang together on the 2002 Vanguard album Evangeline Made, I’ve been waiting for Linda Ronstadt and Ann Savoy to put out another record. Here it is, and it was worth the wait. Adieu False Heart is one of the most touching, graceful and beautiful albums of 2006.’
Mike sees a legendary group: ‘The Dubliners are true legends of folk music, having now performed together as a group for 44 years. Many of the stories they tell of Dublin, are of a city that has all but disappeared in this day and age, and they are now as much a part of folklore as the songs and tunes that they perform.’
Our What Not this time is about a Folkmanis Puppet of an Autumnal Nature, or at least that’s how Cat defined them. They were the ones Cat asked Folkmanis specifically to send and then he handed off to various staff members for review. So here’s the review of one of these puppets.
The Worm in Apple Puppet gets reviewed by Robert: ‘One of the more unusual items to cross my desk from Folkmanis is their Worm in Apple Puppet. It’s a nice, big apple — not shiny, since it’s made of plush, but it is very appealing — unless you count the small green worm peeping out of a hole in the side.’