Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Killing Time with Comics & Carrie Bradshaw

I am so so excited that Justin Cronin's sequel to The Passage, The Twelve, is coming out tomorrow, as is the newest Kate Morton novel, The Secret Keeper. It's hard to decide which one to read first, but I think it has to be The Twelve. It's the perfect time of year to read a creepy book and since I'm stuck at home for another week recovering from surgery, I really need something awesome to read.

I finished The Casual Vacancy last Thursday and after the joyless soul sucking plot (seriously, it was like the Dementors of books), I needed something light and breezy and fun to read before diving back into the hefty (but awesome) world of The Passage.

Fortunately, the sequel to The Carrie Diaries arrived in my email from the library last week, giving me something short to plow through until tomorrow.

I don't really remember much from The Carrie Diaries, but I do recall that it didn't really mesh in my head with Sex and the City, which I watched, like most women my age. Summer and the City was relatively entertaining. It covers the summer after Carrie graduated from college when she attended a writing seminar at The New School during the 1980s. She ends up living with Samantha, who flits in and out of the story. Samantha is engaged to a wealthy guy named Charlie and is up and coming in the advertising world. She is the cousin of one of Carrie's high school friends, which is how they met. Since Samantha basically lives with her fiance, Carrie is able to crash at her West Village apartment after being kicked out of the place she was originally living in.

Carrie spends much of the summer wrestling with writer's block. She also wanders around the city and meets a lot of random people, including Miranda (!), who she becomes fast friends with. Carrie is naive in a lot of ways, especially as she gets into a relationship with an older playwright named Bernard. She also interacts with two guys from her seminar: Ryan and Capote. The relationships between these people are all pretty obvious but again, it was a light and easy read. I wasn't looking for much and after rolling my eyes a bit at the beginning, I got into the story. By the end, Carrie will have met her best friends for life and is off to college at Brown. I'm not sure if Bushnell is going to continue the series (I'll have to read the interview I posted below) but I know the CW is making a show out of The Carrie Diaries that is premiering this January, I think. I probably won't watch it but I'm sure they'll do a decent job leading up to Carrie's life in the city as an adult.

Candace Bushnell interview with EW

Buy it at amazon and Barnes & Noble

Broken (Star Wars: Legacy, Vol. 1) (v. 1)

Unfortunately I finished Summer and the City on Sunday and then had two days to kill with nothing to read. Geoff made me promise to read a comic of his choice, so he picked out Broken, the first of Star Wars: Legacy, a series that takes place 137 years after the first Star Wars movie, featuring Luke's great-grandson, Cade Skywalker. While the timeline seemed a little suspect to me (Luke is obviously dead but if he's a jedi, shouldn't the people in his family be longer lived? I can't believe that Ben - Luke's son - is dead too. Does that mean Han and Leia's daughter is also dead? Probably... I just think more time should have passed to make this more "realistic". Anyway, I really only intended to read one of these but we have the first three and as our cousin Sean says, "Star Wars is like crack to the Sassos". I ended up reading all three. While I still find it stupid that the same lines are passed around through generations of SW characters (from the horrific prequels to these comic sequels), it was still pretty well done. If you like Star Wars, you'll probably be a fan of these.

Then I moved on to the 14th Walking Dead comic, No Way Out. I haven't read the whole series in a long, long time, so I had a little trouble remembering what was going on. The main characters I knew well, like Michonne and Rick and stupid Carl, but there were a few newer characters introduced around book 12 that I didn't really remember. As usual, it was fast paced and intense and things do not look good for the characters at the end. I didn't pick up 15 yet, but I'll get to it eventually.
The Walking Dead, Vol. 14: No Way Out
Did anyone see the premiere of season 3 on TV last week? I watched it last night and FINALLY, something interesting happened. It was more in tune with the tone of the comics, which I appreciated. And everyone was useful, including Carol, Lori and Carl. How'd that happen? Keep it up, writers.

After that I entertained myself with two short stories featuring two of my favorite detectives. The longer one was a new Lady Georgie (Royal Spyness) book by Rhys Bowen called Masked Ball at Broxley Manor (a Dorothy title if there ever was one).
Masked Ball at Broxley Manor
This cute short story takes place four years before Georgie becomes a spy. She is still living with her brother and his awful wife in London at the end of her season and she quickly begins to suspect that she is being thrown together with a Prussian prince to possibly marry. But if you've read any of these books, you'd know that Lady Georgie will never get married unless it's for love. She attends a masked ball, doesn't solve a mystery as it's before her spy days but does have a brief encounter with a favorite from the series. I'm not spoiling who, although it's perfectly obvious from the second this person shows up, even if they are in a mask!

An East End Murder
An East End Murder is an even shorter mini mystery featuring Charles Lenox, who investigates a murder of a man who lived in the Dials, a poor area of London. The whole story was super short and was solved rather abruptly, but still it was a nice lead in to the next Lenox mystery, even if it didn't feature any familiar characters besides the detective himself.

Both short stories are previews of the new books coming out by Rhys Bowen and Charles Finch. If you've read this blog for a while, you probably know that I love Bowen's Royal Spyness series. I recommended the books in the blog post that I wrote for Glamour magazine last year, which kicked off this blog (It's been almost a full year!). Her newest, The Twelve Clues of Christmas comes out November 6. Clearly it's a Christmas book (Masked Ball was a Halloween story). Poor Lady Georgie is stuck up in Scotland celebrating the holidays with her brother and his wife but being the intrepid girl that she is, she ends up hosting a holiday party in a little village where her mother (the bolter) is spending Christmas. Of course, she stumbles on a murder (this poor woman has seen SO many murders since the book started) that needs to be solved and the gorgeous Darcy eventually shows up to probably be infuriating and adorable at the same time.  I'll probably tear through that one pretty quickly.

The next week, on November 13, the newest Charles Lenox, A Death in the Small Hours, comes out. While I read the last Royal Spyness book (Naughty in Nice) immediately when it came out last year, I had just started the last Charles Lenox when my kindle was stolen from the gym so I literally just read it last month and it was excellent. In this book, Charles is a new father and continuing to rise in Parliament, but of course he gets dragged into a mystery that he has to solve with John Dallington, the young man that he has been training as a detective. I really enjoyed the last book, although my biggest complaint was that since Charles was traveling for the British government, most of the regular characters were barely in it, like Lady Jane. I hope she's more of a presence in this book since Charles now has a daughter with her.

Anyway, lots to look forward to. But now I have to focus on The Twelve, the sequel to Justin Cronin's The Passage, one of the best books I've ever read. I'm SO excited to keep reading it!

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