reviews: batman, steampunk, sex (oh my)

The Further Adventures of Batman vols. 1 & 3 edited by Martin H. Greenberg. Mixed bag--maybe 50/50? Some of the authors in these collections understand the characters and some just don't. But the good stories make up for the not-so-good ones, and a few of them are brilliant.

The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt. This reminds me a bit of Terry Pratchett, but darker, grimier, and without the charming turn of phrase. That is, without everything that makes Discworld such a joy to read about, so I guess it really doesn't remind me of PTerry at all, except that it points out some of the blind spots of humanity. Um. My favorite characters were the steamwork people, probably because their society was the only one mentioned that didn't make me want to become a hermit. One sentence summary: ordinary boy and girl discover they're actually very special, and despite being hunted after by some very nasty people, manage to save (undeserving) world from (really gross) monsters that want to make everything and everyone equal (just think about the consequences of that for a moment: true and complete equality).

Well-written, but not something I'll read a second time.

Lady Friday by Garth Nix. This, on the other hand, I will read a second time. Might actually buy it, in fact. This is the fifth in Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series (I own the first two), and features one of the most fascinating fantastical worlds I've come across. The story is your basic chosen one/quest type thing, which would usually bug me despite Nix's penchant for writing sympathetic and three-dimensional characters, but the backdrop is so wonderful I don't care at all. Actually, it's kind of nice that the story is so predictable, because that means all the nifty little world-building details don't get in the way.

Real Sex: the naked truth about chastity by Laura Winner. The subtitle says it all, really: chastity, not celibacy, although it seems the two are often confused. As I'm practicing the latter in pursuit of the former, it's good to be reminded why.
I am intrigued! Garth Nix makes me want to randomly hug people and I love Christian perspectives on sex and oooh! Something faintly tasting of Prachett?

Have you read anything by Rob Bell? His books aren't as deep as you would hope, but they're an interesting point of view. My favorite quote of his is from Velvet Elvis, "God has spoken and the rest is commentary."
I know what you mean about Nix--after finishing one of his books I always want to go around saying "this: read this. have you read this? read it!" :D (Very faintly--there's a lot of dirt and grunge caked on it, to force a metaphor.)

I haven't read any of Bell's stuff, although my mom's used some of his videos in her bible study. Frankly, I've got such a pile of books by earlier Christian writers, it's likely to be a good long while before I have time for anyone current.