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House Reading – #01 Speak Easy

October 12, 2015

The holidays are coming up, and so I need to think about spending money on other people instead of myself (which isn’t a bad thing to think about all year, but, like Lent, at least this time of year, you’ve got lots of company.
I have truly insane numbers of books in my house that I haven’t read.
AND, it’s been at least ten minutes since I had a crazy project.
So, for the rest of the year, my goal is to read through books that I already have in my possession. This will include my stash of ARCs at work and the several boxes of books in my car… Ok, I admit, I have a problem.
So, at the suggestion of the luminous and intelligent Clair McLafferty over at See Clair Write, I shall be embarking on a new series of posts to tell you a little bit about the books I’m looking at.

speak easyMy current read is:  Speak Easy by Catherynne M. Valente
Published by: Subterranean Press, 2015
Cover Illustration: Michael Wm. Kaluta
Read This: With a drink in your hand and glitter in the air.

I ordered this book straight from Subterranean. It’s part of a signed, numbered edition. My copy is #163/1250.
I had seen Cat’s books in the bookstore, probably starting with Deathless, but I hadn’t gotten around to picking up anything by her until A) I listened to the SF Squeecast, and B) The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairlyland In a Ship of Her Own Making. You know how much I like long titles.
I adored the Fairyland books, but I couldn’t quite get into Cat’s adult books. (I’m also trying to read Radiance, which is a forthcoming DecoPunk novel. It’s fascinating, but I’m not quite the right audience.)
But, Speak Easy is set in New York in the 1920’s. It has a beautiful IT Girl facing off with, possibly, the Devil? Or, at least a reasonable facsimile. I’m hoping it will be everything I love about Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries without the bits I hated in The Great Gatsby (which was all the bits with people, if I remember correctly.)
Speak Easy is a novella, so it’s quite slim, much like its nominal protagonist, the lovely Zelda Fair. I’m currently on page 63 of 142, so I hope to finish it up tonight.
The language is very much set in its time, so if you have trouble reading things like Chandler then this one might not be for you. I, on the other hand, love it. I want to hear about beautiful cobweb girls swimming in bathtubs full of gin, sleepy lions living in apartments, and fountains of bootleg booze flowing out of the Artemisia Hotel. It’s not a world I would have survived in, but I like to shake up the snow globe and watch the glitter fall down on the scene.

A few other notes:
I’ve started a Vine channel for the bookstore. I’m doing 6-Second Book Reviews twice a week if you’re interested.

I’m also trying out Shelfie. It’s an app that lets you take pictures of your bookshelves to catalog your books. It also offers discount ebooks for some of the titles you already own in physical format. It’s not perfect yet, It gets about 7 in 10 of my books so far. But it’s kind of fun. I’m not all that interested in the e-book component at the moment, but it’s a nice touch.

Current number of books read this year (according to Goodreads): 90

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