I shall have nothing interesting for you today, due to illness. I woke up this morning to find that while the cold that pressed me into the couch most of the weekend has weakened, it's still hanging on with enough force to slow me down.
I rarely get colds or viruses. Everyone in my home at work can be heaving and hacking and I'll remain unscathed as I stroll through them surrounded by my invisible anti-viral force field. I wasn't so lucky this time. So I suffered and woke up this morning dreading what is probably going to be a Bad Week consisting of traffic court on Wednesday and a trip out of state later this week that I do not want to take but will be forced to take nonetheless.
So all I really have to offer you is a few recommendations of a book I enjoyed during my semi-conscious weekend. It's called The Ladies of Grace Adieu, and is Susanna Clarke's follow-up to her wildly successful Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Both books are fun, witty, magical and fantastic.
I recommend reading Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell first, as The Ladies of Grace Adieu is a collection of short stories that contains characters or references to characters from her first book. Oh, and did I mention that The Ladies of Grace Adieu is illustrated by Charles Vess, who also illustrated Neil Gaiman's classic Stardust? And did I mention that Charles Vess is amazing and Neil Gaiman is brilliant and if you haven't read Stardust you should? And while you're at it, pick up Charles Vess' The Book of Ballads, which is a collection of old English ballads translated into graphic art form. It's one of my favorites.
And thus concludes this mediocre offering. Sorry it's not more exciting but it's been my experience that even when things seem glum, a good book always brightens the picture a bit.
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