Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Girl with Ghost Eyes

How would you get glasses if you had ghost eyes? I mean do you tell the doctor, "Hey, everything seems otherworldly and dead?" Do you get holy water drops? Ah, the burning!...Well, now quit squirming that's the exorcism working....

Anyway, this fantasy novel is set in olden times Chinatown.  Our lady, Li-Lin, is a Daoist priestess and just so happens to be a kung fu expert. Cool, cool.  Her "yin eyes" are her ability to see otherworldly spirits which comes in handy as she is an exorcist. There are some fun otherworldly creatures in this...I like a lovable creature that may be a monster. I am also a sucker for any Golem like creature. I like them whether they be the idiot robot type, the misunderstood Pinocchio type, or the Crap! it's Godzilla! destructo type.

M.H. Boroson has a Religion degree and a background in Mandarin (the martial arts descriptions he picked up from the movies).  This book is researched and it shows. I must admit that if you put a ghost cat in anything I'll like it. More ghost cat in the sequel please!, DID IT. Hey this is a good little fantasy novel and lets give those Religious Studies people some love (and work).

This sounds appropriate: Red Lotus Cocktail: Fill a Tom Collins glass with ice.  Mix 1.5 ounces of lychee liquor, 1.5 ounces of vodka and 1.5 ounces of cranberry juice.  Stir. I would garnish with a lychee fruit if you can find one.  C'mon Spring!  

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Slade House

First, let us take a moment to acknowledge that this cover is hideous. It looks some kid designed it on his own Commodore 64 back in 1987. And not "cute" 1987 like jewel tone line intervals, flying toasters, or even a fake sexy Nagel. David Mitchell is a fancy author. He should have said to his publisher "I deserve something better." Frankly, we all do.

Slade House is a companion novella to The Bone Clocks. Do you have to read The Bone Clocks to get this book? Maybe not, but reading Slade House alone will be pretty confusing. The Bone Clocks is pretty confusing as well, but that is a lovely fully formed novel. This is a little side work. Essentially if you need to get your Mitchell on before he publishes his next book, well then, go for it, but if not, you're not missing much either. Pubs, missing persons, Moroccan mystics, general weirdos, murderers and soul sucking vampires, so it is better than that cover predicts. That cover predicts some stupid high school sophomore's ramblings with "I love Cutting Crew" scrawled in the margins.

I don't listen to groundhogs, because, while cute, they are large rodents and not certified meteorologists. It's still cold and winter. Drink with a variation on a hot toddy called Toby's Toddy: 1 ounce cognac, 1 ounce aged rum, 1 ounce lemon juice, 1 ounce simple syrup, 5 dashes bitters.  Add ingredients to three ounces of hot water.  Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a lemon wheel studded with cloves.  


Monday, February 1, 2016

Crimson Petal and the White

Dirty dirty Dickens. All the stuff Dickens wanted to write about but couldn't. I can just see Dickens looking at French pornographic postcards.  So much leg.... Hey, the man had ten children and a mistress. But Michael Faber is a modern author writing about Victorian London's "society" and all of its prostitutes. Keep in mind the sex scenes are narrated by the sex worker so they are not exactly "erotic." Think an accountant's balance sheet. Let's see here...after some accrual based accounting I find your assets wanting. Oooh burn.

Yes, this is the same author as our Christian aliens book. He has a good writing style but he does some weird stuff.  He occasionally writes in the second person (that's fine) and the ending is quite abrupt (*grumbles*).  Make your own ending? No, we already have to do this when some weird series we got hooked on gets cancelled. YOU HAD ONE JOB!  But overall, it's a fine book.  

This book is large. Over 800 pages.  It took me three weeks to read it and that was plugging away at it every day.  Not that I'm complaining, but if you are a busy professional, have toddlers, own a needy dog or writing a one-woman play...then well then this might not be the right book for you. I'm not a fan of plays but whatever floats your boat.  I think a musical about Alexander Hamilton is a terrible idea.  What do I know about these things.  (Rap battle? Argh.).

It's pretty cold and dreary these days so you should read this with a Kahlua Hot Chocolate.  You can buy the "nice" hot chocolate mixes on sale this time of year or make your own (I like a blend of cocoa powder and real chocolate.)  I put the mix--use more than you think--in a cup and add a little milk and put it in the microwave and make a concentrated slurry.  Then I heat up my milk and get it really hot and add it to the slurry. Add an ounce of Kahlua after everything is mixed.  Sure add marshmallows if you want. Go nuts.