Across the Green Grass Fields, by Seanan McGuire – Another book in the Wayward Children series, this one has a girl named Regan visit the Hooflands, a world of mythical hooved creatures, but before that deals with the treacherous nature of childhood friendships. Regan’s best friend had earlier stopped being friends with another girl for a silly reason, and is mean to the protagonist once she finds out she’s intersex. Regan finds a door to a place inhabited by centaurs, unicorns, fauns, minotaurs, perytons, and kelpies, with her interest in horses coming in handy. It’s well-known in that world that humans only show up when the world needs saving, but she finds out there’s more to it than that when she goes to visit the Queen.
A Cockeyed Menagerie: The Drawings of T.S. Sullivant – I don’t think I’d ever heard of Sullivant, a cartoonist from 1888 until his death in 1926. I saw this collection advertised on Amazon or somewhere like that, though, and I thought the art looked interesting, so I checked it out from the library. Not much is known about Sullivant’s life, but he was an influential comic artist in his day, known to have inspired Walt Kelly and the animation for Fantasia. While he illustrated a variety of subjects (including, unfortunately, some ethnic stereotypes), he’s largely known for some of his more fanciful work involving animals acting like people, prehistoric scenes with cavemen and dinosaurs, and humorous incidents based on Bible stories.
There’s a lot of energy and personality to these drawings, as well as attention to detail.
Sword in the Stars, by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy – The sequel to Once and Future has Ari, the future incarnation of King Arthur, go back in time with her wife Gwen and her other friends to find the Holy Grail in the time of the original Arthur. It turns out there’s a time loop of sorts involved, as Gwen becomes the original Guinevere and Ari Lancelot. The ever-youthening Merlin is desperate to break the cycle established by Nimue for her own purposes, and to rescue his boyfriend Val from the sorceress. He also has to contend with his older self, who’s rather mean and single-minded. There’s an explanation for Merlin’s origins that doesn’t involve his being the son of a demon and a nun. It’s a clever take on the mythos that’s also quite diverse in its cast.
Surrealism, by Julien Levy – I believe I received this one as a gift, as I have a casual but long-standing interest in surrealist art. Written in 1937 by the owner of an art gallery, it introduced the artistic movement to many Americans. He defines surrealism as opposed to naturalism and abstract art, instead focusing on the subconscious and creating vivid experiences. He quotes the surrealist goal to explore the “more real than real world beyond the real,” although I don’t know who originally came up with that wording. Andre Breton, Paul Eluard, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, Rene Magritte, and Salvador Dali are all represented here, mostly with pictures but with some text as well. Since it’s all in black and white, you don’t get as much sense as to how vivid the colors are for some of this work, but it’s an interesting overview.