Monday, August 18, 2014

Sell Him to the Gypsies for Half a Crown

utterly unrelated but lovely photo from Pinterest.
Because France.

When was the last time you read an absolutely smashing book? You know the kind ... they're rarer than we like to think but if you've read one, you know you've read one. I am so grateful to be able to say that I have read three amazing books this summer, and Wodehouse. Yes, Wodehouse is in a class entirely by himself. Plenilune by Jennifer Freitag, The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton, and Villette by Charlotte Bronte make up the trio of smashing books I've read recently.

I like each of them for different reasons.

Villette resonated with me because in a way, I've had similar experiences to those had by the main character, Lucy Snowe. I also enjoyed getting even more of Charlotte Bronte's ironic sense of humor. On my second or third re-read of Jane Eyre I caught some of it, but it comes out forcefully in Villette and I enjoyed that. Jenny remarked recently that if my tongue every comes out of my cheek, it'll be a modern medical miracle. Quite right.

When I bought The Man Who Was Thursday from the Focus on the Family bookstore during my trip to Colorado, I had thought I was in for a mystery. "Read Thursday," everyone kept telling me. "It's great." And it was ... but in an entirely different way than I expected. It's hardly a mystery in the general sense of the word; mysterious, yes. Dramatic? Definitely. But Chesterton and I share this in common: we can't keep away from writing absurd things and chuckling into our sleeves over it. I swear I caught it off of him. I found Thursday two parts allegory, one part mystery, one part nonsense and I loved it. The ending sequence at Sunday's home is quite heart-squeezing. You ought to read it.

Plenilune ... gosh. What to say about this that hasn't been said? I hope you have all marked down October 20th as the release date of this amazing novel. I am also going to do shameless things like direct you to my review of Plenilune so you'll want to read it, direct you to a post about the magic of Plenilune and how one non-fantasy-reader had an intelligent, gradual change of heart as regards the topic on some levels, and direct you to the blog of the author herself. All good things, all good things.

Also, me hearties (in case you missed it): the official release date of Anon, Sir, Anon is November 5th, 2014. Many thanks to Abigail for pointing out the unintentional wit of picking a memorable release date, and to my dear and invaluable Ness for her further explanation of the Fifth of November:
It’s like ... the fourth of July. But better. The day we stopped a terrible Catholic plot to blow up the houses of Parliament and our good King James and launch the country back into Catholic rule.

And so we hung, drew and quartered (and tortured) poor ol’Guy Fawkes and now celebrate with fireworks and bonfires. ‘Tis beautiful. In a really, really morbid way.
Ha. Said like a true Protestant, which makes me laugh. Also, no offense to any of my Catholic readers ... I'd rather not restart the English wars and I respect your denomination and the part it has played. Catholics and Protestants are rather a toss-up as to which has done more wretched or more wonderful things down the bloody banner of world history. Also, does anyone else see the irony in my dear little Brit thinking the Fifth of November is better than the Fourth of July? Lobsterback. Oh my. I could have wayyyy to much fun with this ...

If buttercups buzz'd after the bee

If boats were on land, churches on sea
If ponies rode men and if grass ate the cows
And cats should be chased into holes by the mouse
If the mamas sold their babies
To the Gypsies for half a crown
If summer were spring
And the other way 'round
Then all the world would be upside down!

Ciao, ciao, darlings. Add Plenilune to your calenders. Add Anon, Sir, Anon to your calenders. As soon as my designer gets back from vacation, you should be hearing more about the cover reveal and in just a few days I'll announce a winner for the Half-Dozen Giveaway so keep your entries rolling! I have actually had someone do a Winnie-the-Pooh quote and another has sent me drawings and many of you have written me poetry. Wow, this is fun for me. Oh, and for a final happy before leaving you, Anon, Sir, Anon got its first rating on Goodreads .... and it was a five-star beauty.


Anonymous said...

*chortles as she finishes the post * I loved the post! but I clicked on it for the awesome name. Now I want to write a story about somebody getting sold to the gypsies for half a crown.... Can I steal it if I ask nicely? :)

Lady Bibliophile said...

Can't wait for the cover release of Anon, Sir, Anon! :)

Oh, and you should read chapter one of Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit for his hilarious description of his main characters in reference to Guy Fawkes' Day....


Suzannah said...

THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY is one of my very favourite books of all time. That is all :D

Rachel Heffington said...

Sonprincess: feel free! I only paraphrased the Brit-taunting song so it isn't mine, strictly. ;) I was actually thinking a similar thing.
Schuyler: Martin Chuzzlewit is one of the better-known Dickens I *haven't* read. Gotta read that opening bit!
Suzannah: I feel so terrible that I called it "A Man Called Thursday" ... I was thinking of "A Man Called Peter" I suppose. XD

Esther Brooksmith (wisdomcreates) said...

I like A Man Called Peter. :)

Speaking of Gyspies...I miss the Scarlet Gypsy Song...