Histoire des Oiseaux: A History of Birds
François Nicolas Martinet
This lush volume will be of great interest to birders, art lovers, and naturalists. Comprising some 200 color plates, the book contains just a fraction of the total output of 18th-century engraver to the French royal household, Nicolas Martinet. He produced, for example, all 1,008 plates for the Comte de Buffon’s landmark Histoire Naturelle, and 21 bird illustrations for Diderot and d’Alembert’s vast Encyclopédie. It is estimated that Martinet was born in the early 1730s and lived into the early years of the 19th century. These plates were drawn from two works completed between 1787 and 1796. Given the constraints and preserving abilities of the era, not all birds were drawn from life, but Martinet’s meticulousness to detail and arrangement make a stunning collection.
Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
I regard Bechdel’s passionate, polymath mind the way I do Manhattan: A fabulous place to visit–but I wouldn’t want to live there. That said, I wouldn’t have missed for the world her follow-up volume to Fun House, the graphic novel centering on her closeted gay father who may well have committed suicide when Alison was 19. That was written some years after his death, but Mother involves Bechdel’s living mother. A mother who stops kissing goodnight—and touching altogether—when her child is seven, may well provoke the “Are you my…?” question (an ironic reference to P.D. Eastman’s eponymous children’s book). Bechdel’s artwork is superb, the contents harrowing and hilarious, the parent-child relationship ongoing: Bechdel soldiers through to her own separate peace. Read it.
Hide and Snake Murder: A Shay O’Hanlon Caper
Sheee’s back! Shay O’Hanlon, that is, and so is her posse: Baz, Kate, Rocky, Coop, Eddy, Agnes, Dirty Harry, and Dog. And her father, and…well, let’s not get ahead of the story. Light-fingered Baz has lifted a toy snake off a job site, and the critter is stuffed with rolls of cash and stray bills, which make Baz, and by extension the rest of the posse, of extreme interest to the stuffers of said snake. Chandler follows up her Bingo Barge Murder with another tricky plot fully worthy of your suspension of disbelief as the gang intermittently chase and are chased by a drug cartel led by the beautiful and deadly Zorra. Fate intervenes in the form of a beautiful local university professor and…
Queerwolf: Comedy, Romance, Adventure… with a Bite!
$14.99; e-book $7.99
Ever had one of those mornings when you wake up naked and everything’s just covered in blood and your mouth tastes like dead Harbor seal? No? Well, let Rob Rosen be your guide into gay lycanthropy and what it’s like to become a serious meatatarian. Hero Blake turns for solace to his gorgeous upstairs neighbor to take the edge off, but a lycanthro-lad needs more than love–he needs a pack.Unfortunately, canids being territorial, the local, i.e., San Francisco, pack is most unwelcoming, except for its hunky leader who has his own designs on Blake. But there’s more—Blake’s family weighs in, and Rosen has a cleverly quirky genetic explanation of what’s up with their (sometimes) furry offspring. Outrageous—and did I mention sexy?