bibliomania bi:bli,o,mei.nia. [f. biblio- + Gr. mania madness, after Fr. bibliomanie. ] A rage for collecting and possessing books.
1734 T. Hearne Diary 9 Nov. (1921) XI. 389, I should have been tempted to have laid out a pretty deal of money without thinking my self at all touched with Bibliomania.
1750 Chesterf. Lett. 220 II. 348 Beware of the Bibliomanie.
1809 Dibdin (title) Bibliomania, or Book-madness; containing some account of the history, symptoms, and cure of this fatal disease.
1835 T. Hook G. Gurney (1850) II. i. 153 The bibliomania which appeared to engross my friend.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
I'm in the midst of what I'm terming the great migration - everything from Bibliomania is being moved over to a shiny new site with its own domain name. All new entries will be posted on http://www.twistedlibrarian.com.
So update your bookmarks, and come visit me! I'll maintain links with prior exchangers - if you want to trade links, pop an email to impcardigan at gmail dot com.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Entity, E. Satifka - schitzophrenia, corporatation-hate and aliens. An early draft from a writer you should all know about within a few years.
Spares, Michael Marshall Smith - Darkly compelling, Spares concerns a techno-driven near-future where science lives only to serve the whims of the wealthy. Ostensibly about the title Spares, (clones grown by the ultra-rich for spare parts and treated like cattle), this is also an exploration of nightmares, and the actualization of everything horrible you've heard or seen about pointless war. A futuristic Apocalypse Now on even more acid.
Definitely Dead, Charlaine Harris - The latest Sookie Stackhouse novel is just as much brain candy as the last. Sookie travels to pre-Katrina New Orleans to dispose of her cousin's estate, and ends up in the middle of an uneasy partnership between a Vampire King and Queen. Introducing witches, and more werebeasts, Harris' world is becoming crowded and getting dangerously close to Laurell Hamilton lite. Much of the charm of the early novels was Sookie's status as small-town southern barmaid; the more status she attains in the supernatural community, the less unique the series becomes.
The Callahan Chronicles, Spider Robinson - A Collection of the first three Callahan collections, this is comprised of Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, Time Travelers Strictly Cash, and Callahan's Secret. All of the stories hold up well, in spite of their age, though a few of the puzzles that refer to archaic politicians may stump contemporary readers of a certain age. Puns, memorable characters, and a sympathetic yet largely invisible bard-narrator make the stories heartwarming where they could easily have been trite.
Callahan's Lady, Spider Robinson - A kind of companion to Callahan's Place, the titular Lady Sally, Mike's wife, runs a brothel under the same principles as the legendary bar. The opening story, told by teenaged hooker "Maureen" balances delicately between a Mercedes Lackey cautionary tale and Heinleinesque revue of the weird and wonderful. The overall effect is one of a novel, rather than the shorts that encompassed the first three Callahan collections; the puns are present, but disappointingly infrequent, and the concluding heist was borrowed from any number of potboilers. It's still quite enjoyable light reading, just not as original or amusing as its predecessors.
The Callahan Touch, Spider Robinson - Following the destruction of the original Callahan's place, our reliable narrator Jake opens Mary's Place, the setting of this novel. Like the recreation of the famous bar, the effect of this collection is remarkably uneven and probably only worth reading for fans already following the series. Robinson inserts many more filkish/blues lyrics than would really be acceptable in short form, and doesn't make up for it with a terrible lot of new faces. To be fair, there are a number of amusing bits, most of them involving punning on the Italian standby "That's Amore!" and there's a standard amount of mended spirits and waxing rhapsodic over Irish Coffee. A respectable series entry, but not stellar
Scooter Girl - The creator of Blue Monday takes her music driven sensibility to the hipster fashionistas for a tale of annoying popular cad wants unattainable new girl. Amusing as ever, there's a suggested "soundtrack" for each key scene.
Funky knits : knitting know-how for hip young things - yet another basic book trying to capitalize on the "Stitch N Bitch" phenomenon. Unfortunately, while the instructions are clear enough, the patterns aren't trendy enough or classic to warrant buying this over any of the other scores of beginning books. Stoller's two titles may be full of errata in their earlier printings, but the patterns hold up beautifully. Try them instead.
Knitting Nature, Norah Gaughan - science and textiles collide beautifully in a collection of patterns taking geometric cues from the natural world. Pentagons, hexagons, spirals, and even fractal forms find innovative expressions in fabric. One caveat: this is a relatively new book, and the knit blogosphere's been finding errors galore with some of the larger patterns. I've knit the teardrop bobble hat without any problems, but consider yourself warned.
Carnival of Souls, Nancy Holder - The Buffy spinoff novels seem to have gotten back to what they do best -early season episode replacements instead of highly evolved fanwank. This entry brings in the traveling carnival motif, Ethan Rayne, and the seven deadly sins, in a package that's derivative but tasty - much like the popcorn Xander consumes throughout the book.
Lady Slings the Booze, Spider Robinson - While all the "Callahan" novels have a consistent narrator, this second Lady Sally book switches gears, bringing in a private detective fond of Westlake with all the grace of a certain French inspector and a most unusual name. After the usual incredulity at the concept of artisan sex workers, and a love-match, there's a group-voted execution. As that's obviously not exciting enough, it turns out the world needs saved again, this time from Peace Terrorists. Robinson's managing a precarious balance between humor and self-parody
Callahan's Legacy, Spider Robinson - The second of the Callahan series set at the newly reopened Mary's Place finds narrator Jake's wife overdue for birthing as the bar's namesake and her alien husband literally drop in. The world needs saving once again, but it's an age-old plot that's wearing a little thin for this group of misfit heroes.
Emily pontificates @ 10:53:00 AM
Ocean - another story that's just familiar enough to wonder if you haven't seen it on a late night B-movie marathon. Ellis works a very Ellis cast of characters into a wry take on corporate thievery and the root of man's violence. Cinematic pencils and inking, this would translate beautifully into a movie-of-the-week.
Emily pontificates @ 10:53:00 AM
Promethea Vol. 5 - This last volume is bloody gorgeous. Alan Moore's archetypes story goddess ends the world in a blaze of collage, prose-poetry and alchemical magic that breaks the fourth wall and blows the room to bits. Lovely. The last issue is gallery-frameable, similar in content to Moore's Snakes and Ladders: A Diversion for Wet Afternoons.
Emily pontificates @ 10:52:00 AM
Kitty and the Midnight Hour, Carrie Vaughn - Talk radio and werewolves. There seems to be an explosion of werewolves in the paranormal genre lately, but this is one that's fun well-written, and clever. Some of the standard, unavoidable tropes, but there's restrained sex and violence in favor of actual plot. I'll doubtless be picking up the sequel, Kitty Goes to Washington, when it arrives.
Emily pontificates @ 10:52:00 AM
Moon Called, Patricia Briggs - another good were-novel; I read this earlier and seem to have forgotten a review. This novel has a female mechanic/were-coyote as the main character and is also both readable and fun without being either completely unpredictable or barely veiled porn. It says something about the subgenre that I'm so often surprised when I actually find a calorie-free book that doesn't have the mental taste of ricecakes.
Emily pontificates @ 10:51:00 AM
Monday, May 15, 2006
The Machineries of Joy, Ray Bradbury - a Ray Bradbury short story collection containing the excellent short "Boys, Grow Giant Mushrooms in Your Basement!" It's been awhile since I read any Bradbury, although I burned through his booklist in highschool. While still well-deserving of praise, his repeat use of themes is really obvious - I'm certain I'd not read any of the collected stories, but I got readers deja vu with more than a few of them. They're similar enough that they all blend together after awhile. A solid collection though, and it reminded me how much I enjoyed both Dandelion Wine and Something Wicked This Way Comes, which need to be pushed closer to the top of the reread pile.
Emily pontificates @ 1:42:00 PM
The Labyrinth, Catherynne M. Valente - an introduction by Jeff VanderMeer should be a clue that a book is going to be good in a very strange surreal manner. Valente's novel is, like it's title, labyrinthian - also circular, transformative, and archetypal, packed with ideas equally at home in Alice in Wonderland and Greco Roman myth. Our heroine is fleeing and fated to doors, changing in color and awareness and completely moorless. Breathtaking, introspective, beautiful..
Emily pontificates @ 11:15:00 AM
Uglies, Scott Westerfeld - this has gotten so much good press, I feel guilty for disliking it. You'd think a book that begins "The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit" would at least hold interest, but it quickly demonstrates itself a collage of various other popculture flash sf. Don't get me wrong - as YA sf it acquits itself well enough; it's marketed to the 6th grade + set, which means 4th and 5th graders will want to read it, and as a late elementary school title with just a bit of edge, it's fine. But I've gotten so used to young adult books that are every bit as original and clever as their older counterparts; I don't want regurgitated juvies crossed with a bit of geneng and The Lost Boys.
Emily pontificates @ 10:59:00 AM
Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous - despite occasionally making offerings at the alter of Whedon fandom, I wasn't nearly as impressed with this second trade. Though I'm not enough of a comics geek to know for certain, a lot of the layouts and conflict seemed a pastiche or homage to the style of comics Joss would have been reading as a kid. That said, the combination of Whedon and Cassidy make it worth the look.
Emily pontificates @ 10:49:00 AM
Fantastic Four - a bold reinventing of the FF origin story as only the creator of Babylon 5 could manage. Includes sinister government agents, interstellar alien contact, the big bang, and continuing the theme of the 4 as a family unit - social workers.
Emily pontificates @ 10:47:00 AM
Friday, April 28, 2006 Batman: Broken City - I wasn't impressed despite a recommendation from a trusted source. I usually like dark takes on Batman, and I love 100 Bullets, but the art style and the story didn't work for me in this take on Gotham
Emily pontificates @ 3:47:00 PM
You Slay Me, Katie MacAlister - drivel, and I supposed it would probably be fun drivel at another point in my life, but it's too much generic post-modern romance novel with random wiccan elements inserted at random.
Emily pontificates @ 3:41:00 PM
Monday, April 24, 2006 Only Forward, Michael Marshall Smith - a deliciously inventive, darkly creepy SF-horror-detective story that changes completely in the last chapter or two. Highly recommended, and already passed on to the housemate.
Emily pontificates @ 10:16:00 AM
Godchild V. 1 - Though it's volume one, this manga falls in the middle of an existing series that apparently encompasses Angel Sanctuary, and something called the Cain saga, neither of which I've read. It's not hard to follow though, and pretty enough - heavy goth melodrama in the grand tradition of Radcliffe and her bookstop novels.
Emily pontificates @ 9:46:00 AM
Monday, April 03, 2006 Dorothy, V. 1 - a delicious photo/digital comic I'm really getting hooked on. The Wizard of Oz all postmodern, magical SF, and absolutely beautiful.
Emily pontificates @ 3:02:00 PM
Thursday, March 23, 2006 After Image, Pierce Askegren - I'm not sure I'll ever be able to give up TV tie-ins, especially since my first introduction to science fiction proper was through the Star Trek novels. This is a solid early season episode quality story. It's only flaws, really, are trying to be clever and incorporate Scooby interaction with characters that don't become integral until much later in the series. After the utter fanon crap Nancy Holder offered us in Queen of the Slayers, and the disappointing episode plagiarism of Spark and Burn, this is a nice surprise.
Emily pontificates @ 10:43:00 AM
Windfall, Rachel Caine - Surprisingly, the series is holding up well in it's fourth volume. Caine pulls out a previously unknown sister to mix things up, and the Human/Djinn conflict comes to a head. A bit too much waffling with what to do about David, but on the whole, pretty satisfying, with a clear opening for a sequel.
Emily pontificates @ 10:36:00 AM
Monday, March 20, 2006 Tunnel Visions, Christopher Ross - wonderfully patchy nonfiction that defies a proper genre grouping. Ross roamed the world learning what he wanted and earning enough to get by with a seeming ease that I envy. Tunnel Visions is a set of numbered musings and philosophical inquiries following his training as a member of the London Underground staff. Lots of lovely epigraphs and some wonderfully thoughtprovoking bits.
Emily pontificates @ 12:57:00 PM
Wednesday, March 15, 2006 The Nimble Man : The Menagerie #1 , Christopher Golden, Thomas E. Sniegoski - some days Amazon's recommendation feature really works. This is my first exposure to Golden outside of the Buffy novels and comics, and on the whole, I'm pretty pleased. He and Sniegoski have set up a world that's becoming pretty standard for the paranormal mystery set - vampires, demons, faeries, and other-worldly stuff running around in a world where knowledge of the Other isn't outed like the Anita Blake and Kim Harrison series's. Bonus points for making Arthur Conan Doyle an especially long lived magician, and including a Golem - makes me crave Mignolia's B.P.R.D. Eve is slightly less inventive and continues the whole "curse of the powerful female" notion, but I'm ok with her so far.
I'd compare it favorably to the Harry Dresden books and Simon Green's Nightside series. The plot's a bit clunky and rushed in points, but it's the first in a series, so I'm expecting it to get slightly better. Not a grand slam, but a solid home run.
Emily pontificates @ 10:23:00 AM
About: I'm a former library worker (6+ years) currently employed as a secretary. I've a degree in English Literature, a certificate in Medieval and Renaissance studies,
and I dabble in medival and renaissance texts, comics, SF of all sorts, and the odd history/sociology book. This is my self-important record of what I read.