speaking of guilty pleasures, here's my review of Scott Lynch's Red Seas Under Red Skies. damn i loved this book. Some day soon, i hope to be Mr. Lynch's official stalker.
I usually hate, hate, hate anthologies, but I couldn't resist Fast Ships, Black Sails, an anthology edited by Jeff (who I adore) and Ann (not so much) Vandermeer. A few stories in so far, and I'm not blown away, but it doesn't suck either. This is a vast improvement on the Vandermeer edited Steampunk anthology, which probably turned more people off to Steampunk than on to it.
I finished John Berendt's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and it was not what I expected, but it was very, very good. So good in fact, that I finished it in 4 days. Dripping with mystery, lies, and southern Savannah charm, I challenge anyone to read this book and not like it. Considered true crime, I've got to wonder how many of the details Berendt changed, to protect the innocent and the guilty. But now I do need to see the movie again (saw it as a kid and don't remember a thing), and the Civil War movie Glory, because parts of it were filmed in Mercer House, a central stage of Garden.
Also filed under “like” is Katsuhiro Otomo's 80's epic manga Akira. I have found one library in the county that owns all six volumes, and I am checking them out as often as they will let me. Known as one of the best, most famous, most influential mangas of all time, Akira never gets old. The artwork is dated and low tech, and while the NeoTokyo panoramas are amazing, some of the character artwork is just plain bad. But the story never gets old: secret government experiments that create weapons no one can control, terrorist resistance groups, religious cults, a handful of high school drop outs who get in way over their heads and a boy named Akira who can destroy the world.
All you little manga lovers out there take note: your favorite manga-ka was most likely influenced by Otomo, so get with the program and go to the source.
Don't have the patience for 6 full length manga volumes, or can't find them? Don't worry, the movie Akira is a good substitute. Directed by Otomo, it covers the first two volumes, with a more definitive ending. And the soundtrack is superb.
Darkhorse comics did a reprint of all 6 volumes in the early 2000's, but other than that, this gem is out of print.
The lettuce seeds spouted nicely, and last time I checked one of the tomato seeds had sprouted. Or maybe that's just a weed? The goal this week is to clean out all the nasty planters, fill 'em with new dirt (I can't believe I pay for dirt!!), and put in the seeds for the rest of the herbs. And if nothing germinates, i'll just buy some plants. As it is, there is no such thing as enough basil.