Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes for May 31, 2014

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.
Dear Internet,
Yesterday I updated Put A Cravat On It, the mother of all period piece series list that I wrote up back in December. It’s now closing in on nearly 100 shows to tap that vein when waiting for Downton Abbey or Miss Fisher. Enjoy.
P.S. You can now follow me on Pinterest on what I’m readingwatching, and listening.


The Raven’s Warrior by Vincent Pratchett
(Amazon | Worldcat | GoodReads)
This book, a recommendation I saw somewhere, had all the right ingredients: Vikings, Arthurian legends, fantasy, and retellings. How can it be bad?
Hoo boy.
Let us start on page iv with the Editor’s note: Viken is a historical name in southwestern Norway, believed to derive from Old Norse word ‘vik’, meaning cove or inlet. Etymologists have suggested that the modern word “viking” may be derived from this place name, simply meaning “a person from Viken.”
This little note is almost entirely lifted from Wikipedia page for viken. The etymology of the word “viken” is correct, but how it relates to Vikings is horribly incorrect.
So there’s that.
The prologue which is a to give the book ambiance is lifted from Norse legend, except our bro dude here is Celtic (yes, there were some heavy influences but this is a very direct lifting of Norse mythology) and then we’re told the protagonist’s name is Vincent (Mary Sue much?). Vincent is kidnapped by Viken raiders who sell him at a market to a Chinese monk with a VERY mysterious past and then the story shifts to the monk’s backstory for a zillion pages that had no bearing on the story itself.
The prose is terrible. It’s written in mostly stream of consciousness with some dialog thrown in to make it a “story.” And there is description of everything everywhere about everything, which just reinforces the stream of consciousness technique. You have no idea who is talking when, about what, or to whom. The jump in direction and sudden shifting in points of view were edited badly.
Other points to consider:

  • He claims to be the nephew of Terry Pratchett – who is an only child. Vincent also marks it pointedly that he is related on his book bio.
  • His publishing house, YMAA, publishes titles mainly in martial arts / spirituality, but rarely fiction.
  • He (or someone) paid $69 to enter in the USA Best Book Awards, which after viewing their site just screams, “scam.”
  • People have commented on GR and other places they were embarrassed to hand his book out for World Book Night
  • The misuse of plain/plane, their/they’re/there, and other grammar and spelling atrocities.

I just can’t. Nope. Not gonna even try.
Currently reading
Cakes and Ale by W. Somerset Maugham
(Amazon | Worldcat | GoodReads)
Still plodding along.
Unexpected Superhero by Kitty Bucholtz
(Amazon | Worldcat | GoodReads)
First book NOT in Worldcat, so that’s interesting.
I picked this title up via the author’s booth when I was at Cherry Capital Comic Con last weekend. The cover was eye catching, the concept of a local to the area superhero was intriguing, and lately I’ve been hunting down superhero as prose novels. See Kelly Thompson as another, yet delightfully better, example of this emerging genre.
First thing I need to note: This is a Christian romance, first and foremost. Full stop.
Nothing wrong with Christian romance, there is a huge market for the material, but it’s not a genre I regularly read in. I’m having a hard time with someone writing a superhero novel while integrating all of the reasons why the characters are so superhuman is because of The Lord.
I’m only about 40 pages in to Unexpected Superhero, and I’m finding other issues as well (mainly plot and editing issues), so there will be more later.
Raising Steam by Sir Terry Pratchett
(Amazon | Worldcat | GoodReads)
After The Raven’s Warrior and Unexpected Superhero being disappointments for a variety of reasons, I decided to dig back into good old Sir TPerry, for this has been hanging out on my bedside table for ages. Sir TPerry’s wonderfully taut prose and gentle merry making is a palette cleanser after the dreck I read earlier in the week. Long may he reign.


  • Mad Men
    I am feeling much better as to how this season progressed and I’m a bit sad at how some of the things have turned — Megan/Don, Peggy, and of course, Burt. I thought I had a good idea of where the show was going, but it seems I do not. I hope this doesn’t end up becoming another Sopranos.
  • Mr. Sloane
    Nick Frost plays a conservative 1960s accountant whose life is not heading in the direction he wants it to go. Or as the tagline states, who found the 60s were not all that swinging for him. Funny and dorky — fundorky? — you can’t help but want to cheer Frost on.
  • The Crimson Field
    During 2014, the Beeb is planning on running 2500 hours of television dedicated to WW1, and this was one of the shows. Crimson Field is about three field nurses, near the front, during the Great War and the people they encounter, the lives they change, and those who work with them. There is a lot of FEELINGS and you can feel the heavy influence of Downton Abbey. I really liked this show and the ending was set up for a second season. I hope.

Weekly watching:  Fargo, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Louie, Penny DreadfulGame of ThronesSilicon ValleyVeep, Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey, Doctor Blake MysteriesElementary
What have you read/watched/listened to this week?

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2012, 2012, 2012, 2012, 2012, 2009

To Read: Discworld Project

When TheEx and I split in the spring of 2008, I moved in with the family for a few months until I could save up a bit more cash before I moved to Detroit to finish my MLIS. This arrangement meant all my worldly goods were stored in their basement instead of having to hire a storage locker in the city, with the idea that I would be saving money in the long run for the move.
The winter of 2008-09 was particularly bad. When packing up my things to move to Detroit in January 2009, we discovered that out of close to 50 odd boxes of books (and some household items) that were stored in the basement, roughly 15-20 boxes were destroyed by water damage and flooding from all the goddamned snow. You see, one thing neither my ‘rents nor I figured into this storage plan was while their basement was not a Michigan basement, it suffered from severe leak problems which they never knew about since the winters were not as ferocious the first few years they owned the home.
With that being said, neither their insurance nor mine would cover the loss as the flooding of the basement was not due to burst water mains, hot water heater, or an act of god. The flooding was due to poor sealing of the basement foundation coupled with the house built at the end of a low hill. I.e.: Sorry, but you’re out of fucking luck.
I lost thousands of dollars in books and irreplaceable paper items such as letters, photos and journals.
It makes people cringe when I talk about the loss and my own heart aches when I think about it. Thankfully, with the help of my mother, I was able to catalog the damaged books and paper goods and have a decent idea of what books I’m now missing. Many, if not most, I will not replace as they are either out of print, given and inscribed as gifts or I no longer have any interest in the subject matter.
The exception to this rule is that I lost a good chunk of my Terry Pratchett collection, which I started collecting in the late ’90s and early ’00s. I was introduced to Pratchett by numerous people and became a huge fan (though to be fair, I started in the middle of the series at the time and didn’t care for it, so it took a bit more convincing to get me to start the continue on reading). Like the pedantic that I am, I eventually started at the beginning of the series, The Color of Magic, and pushed on. At some point, I caught up with the series and switched from buying paperbacks to hardcover (hc) books. Pratchett is one of the few authors that as soon as a book is announced for pre-order, I’m on that like white on rice.
A number of friends of mine who live across the pond, upon hearing about my Pratchett loss, asked me to compile a list of the destroyed books to help with replacement. While I did start purchasing Pratchett’s books in hardcover instead of paperback sometime in the mid-00s (when I caught up with the series), I’m not picky in which form I find the book (though I would prefer getting the British cover over the American one). Ultimately, I just want to get my collection close to completion again.
I compiled a list of Discworld books I DO have over at LibraryThing, which also includes materials about Pratchett and not necessairly by him. If anyone is able to help me out, that would be fantastic. I know a lot of Pratchett fans tend to have multiple copies of his work (differing covers, editions, etc) and if anyone has any extras they would like to donate to complete my Pratchett library collection again, that would be fantastic. Comment here or email me if we can work something out.
The Color of Magic
The Light Fantastic
Wyrd Sisters
Guards! Guards!
Moving Pictures
Reaper Man
The Fifth Elephant
The Last Hero
The Wee Free Men
Hat Full of Sky (hc)
Thud! (hc)
Wintersmith (hc)
(Books I’ve been unable to obtain in the .us or were unable to find easily)
Only You Can Save Mankind
Johnny and the Dead
Johnny and the Bomb
The Bromeliad Trilogy: TRUCKERS
The Bromeliad Trilogy: DIGGERS
The Bromeliad Trilogy: WINGS
Where’s My Cow?
The Discworld Graphic Novel