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Yaaar! Thar be PI-RATES here!! - if you can't be witty, then at least be bombastic — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
kyle cassidy

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Yaaar! Thar be PI-RATES here!! [Dec. 7th, 2010|09:21 pm]
kyle cassidy
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[music |Rome: Les Deracines]

It's the end-of-year-gift-giving-season!

So many of our friends have written wonderful books, let us recommend some to to you. There's a book about pirates (yaar!), one about werewolves (and vampires), one about living and dying, one about ghosts and adventurers and people who speak with the dead, and one about mythology & Ukrainian folklore presented against a backdrop of WWII. Dig in, root around, buy someone a gift!

Victoria Janssen's The Duke and the Pirate Queen is the reason we're all dressed as pirates around here. Because I'M A PIRATE IN VICTORIA'S BOOK. Fo shizzle. Kyle Cassidy the evil pirate. But don't call him Kyle, he prefers to be known as Venom. Yaar! Be forwarned that it's a racy adventure. So if you've ever had a secret fantasy about crossing swords with me -- er, strike that. Anyway, it's got pirates, sword fights, dominant damsels, marauding corsairs, desert islands, ships, naughty bits, sharks, and did I mention ME?! Victoria's books aren't exactly your mother's romance novels, it's just as likely that Suzy's bad boyfriend is a werewolf as it is that he's got a secret first wife. You could put it in a brown paper wrapper if you're reading it on the subway, but I wouldn't -- the cover's too cool.

Valya Dudycz Lupescu's The Silence of Trees is a Ukrainian fairy tale which made trillian_stars cry when she read it. Valya's coming to Philadelphia this weekend on her book tour. She'll be reading at Robins books Saturday night -- more about this in trillian_stars' lj. We'll be there and there will likely be a par-tay after.

Jay Lake's book about cancer, The Specific Gravity of Grief is a fictional tale, about a writer, named Jay Lake, who is dying. Aside from sharing a name with his protagonist, Jay Lake (the author) has been very publicly dying of cancer for two years now. People who have read his blog (jaylake) have watched the chemo, the doctors visits, the surgeries, they've heard about the pain, the fear and what the disease and the treatment does to ones bowels. In short, Jay Lake has refused to hide himself and hide this illness behind a curtain. He is generous and articulate. One of Jay's goals is to put copies of this book where people and their families suffering in the same ways can get it, read it, understand, cope, learn. In order for that to happen, the original hardcover run needs to sell out. This is a sad, powerful, eloquent, and oddly uplifting book. Jay's writing is beautiful. Given a bed of straw, he's spun gold.

Michael Swanwick's experimental book October Leaves was written on ... leaves. If you know Michael Swanwick (and if you know science fiction you know Michael Swanwick) you will know that he's a pioneer of ... alternative methods of expression. He's written stories and put the in bottles, written stories on lampshades that can only be read when the light is turned on, watched Dorian Grey decompose, put Faust in a cigar box and lots of other things. He wrote this story on leaves in a cemetery, photographed them, and then with his partner, micro-publisher Marianne Porter, came out with this lovely self-produced photo book the likes of which you shall probably never see again. Unless you're in a cemetery one day and all those leaves blow back together in the proper order.

Dianne Salerni's We Hear The Dead is a fictionalized novel about one of my favorite couples, spiritualist Maggie Fox and arctic explorer Elisha Kent Kane. Maggie starts a religion at the age of fifteen and scandalizes and titillates the world by passing along messages from ghosts. Kane, a wealthy adventurer and physician from Philadelphia (go Philly!) is about to leave on a dangerous mission to the arctic in an effort to rescue a lost expedition. Around this a tumultuous love affair begins but must be kept secret.

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[User Picture]From: tsarina
2010-12-08 04:21 am (UTC)
I have to buy all this stuff right now.
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[User Picture]From: _hedgewytch_
2010-12-08 11:03 am (UTC)
ooh looks like I have some reading to do! thanks for the brilliant reviews ;)
I adore the cover art too x
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[User Picture]From: pingback_bot
2010-12-08 01:20 pm (UTC)

[links] Link salad for a hump day

User jaylake referenced to your post from [links] Link salad for a hump day saying: [...] ;] — What me intimidated? Kyle Cassidy reviews some of his favorite books [...]
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[User Picture]From: oracne
2010-12-08 01:55 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: lawbabeak
2010-12-08 01:55 pm (UTC)
Many years ago, Mom (damejudy)spent a delightful afternoon with Ms. Janssen discussing their mutual love of Regency romances. So, of course, I've been giving my mom Janssen books for Christmas the past couple of years.

One night at dinner, I mentioned how a WWI website reviewed The Moonlight Mistress and appreciated the historical details. Mom: "Yeah, I didn't know they had x-rays in WWI." DAD: "I didn't either, so I looked it up. They did!" Verily indeed, BOTH my parents are Victoria Janssen fans. Dad's going to love the sailing details in her latest book.
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From: firebirdgrrl
2010-12-08 02:02 pm (UTC)
These all sound wonderful-can't wait and thank you for sharing!
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[User Picture]From: pingback_bot
2010-12-08 02:05 pm (UTC)

Some more reviews of The Duke & The Pirate Queen

User oracne referenced to your post from Some more reviews of The Duke & The Pirate Queen saying: [...] Photographer Kyle Cassidy [...]
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[User Picture]From: drinkingcocoa
2010-12-08 02:41 pm (UTC)
I love the Venom character! I promise not to tell anyone his name is really Kyle! (Ha. I've told everyone.) *dodging a venom spitball*
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[User Picture]From: desperance
2010-12-08 05:26 pm (UTC)
Just to point out that Jay Lake (the author) is conspicuously not dying of cancer at the moment, he's doing grand. What he's been doing for the last two years is very publicly whupping its ass...
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2010-12-08 05:38 pm (UTC)
I didn't want to give away the happy ending.
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[User Picture]From: desperance
2010-12-08 05:47 pm (UTC)
Heh. Fair point.
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[User Picture]From: fyr3lyt3
2010-12-10 12:28 am (UTC)
This is now my favorite photo of you ever. Ever. You should have a hook hand on the back of your book jackets from now on.
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