Sunday, February 3, 2013

League of Extraordinary Bloggers: PIRATES!!! Part 3

It's time for my final installment of this weeks League of Extraordinary Blogger's topic: Pirates!

Part 3 is all about the books. And while I know we have more pirate-themed literature kicking around the Goodwill Geek's home, I pared it down to my favorite (or in some cases potentially favorite, but definitely Goodwill-bought) 10 books having to do with pirates. I'm not listing these in any particular order, so this is not a TOP 10, it's just a LIST of 10.

First up is Polly and the Pirates by Ted Naifeh. Any of you pop-culture enthusiasts out there should make yourselves familiar with Naifeh's work if you are not already. His Courtney Crumrin series of graphic novels is incredible, with a leading heroine who could kick Harry Potter's ass and would have worked her way through the 7 years of Hogwarts adventures without breaking a sweat. But we're not here to talk about Courtney. We're here to talk about good-girl-gone bad, Polly. Polly was raised in an all girls home and is one of the best-mannered, well-behaved girls there. Until she discovers a world of piracy and adventure, and a very special legacy. This story is action packed, full of incredible art by Naifeh, and a fun and mystery-laden story that keeps twisting and turning throughout. I didn't buy this one at Goodwill, I actually bought it through my comic shop, back when I still went to a comic shop, years ago. 

I haven't read this one yet, but I am looking forward to it. Part of a series of books set before the events in Peter Pan, Peter and the Starcatchers tells the story of a young boy named peter and a still two-handed pirate who wants to take a chest-full of treasure from him and his friends. I picked this one up from Goodwill for 1.99. 

I've mentioned this one on here before, but I'm bringing it back. I've never read Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, but since I found it at Goodwill for .99 cents, I plan on correcting that. I don't know that it's a geek classic... but it is a classic that everyone should be familiar with. I've seen the old 1950's Disney live-action film adaptation, I've seen Disney's Treasure Planet, which I actually enjoyed quite a bit, and of course who hasn't seen Muppet Treasure Island... but I've never read the source material. 

Bourbon Island 1730 is a graphic novel starring anthropomorphic animals, that tells the tale of one last gasp of the pirating phenomena. A pirate captain imprisoned, and the crew that wants to set him free so their old treasure can be unearthed. I have not read this, but I picked it up for .50 cents at salvage/overstock chain store Mardens. I'm a sucker for cheap graphic novels and the stuff at Mardens is already cheap... but this was last-chance clearance cheap. 

Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer is the first in a loooong series of books starring the plucky Mary "Jacky" Faber. She is a starving street urchin from England who enlists in the royal navy as a ship's boy, despite the fact that she's a she. These are some of the best written historical fiction young adult books I've ever had the pleasure to read. There are already 10 books in the series, with more to come, but don't let it intimidate you. Jackie is one of the most alive and vibrant characters ever put on paper, and as your narrator you are in good if fire-tempered and low-class hands. I will be the first to admit some of her adventures are slightly... far-fetched, and played at times for an almost Forest Gump kind of history-kitsch (she's met Napoleon and Mike Fink among other historical legends, and is involved in many other historical events besides just the age of piracy) but they work in an Indiana Jones-level of alternate history/adventure, and you won't even mind it. I didn't buy one single book of this series at Goodwill. The author, L.A. Meyer lives here and Maine, and his wife runs an art store in Bar Harbor, ME so I buy all my copies at cover price, signed and in hardcover from their shop. 

Booty: Girl Pirates on the High Seas is a book all about female pirates. I picked it up on clearance at Borders bookstore years ago when that was still something that existed. I didn't pay more than a couple of dollars for it, but I couldn't tell you how much exactly. I picked this up specifically to learn more about Anne Bonny and Mary Read (a bit more on them later) but don't think I've read another part of this book since then. I definitely plan on correcting that in the future. It's a great collection of historical information of pirate ladies. 


THIS BOOK I just picked up on payday Friday!!! I picked it up after I started my 3-part pirates post, but BEFORE I did the post on pirate books! Weird right? There were some other pirate items I found on payday as well, but I'm not doing another post about pirate toys this week, so I'll just share them with the rest of the payday Friday fun. This book is one of those Idiot's Guides. I picked up one about vampires that I featured during my countdown to Halloween last year. This one's about pirates. I haven't had a chance to really check it out much yet, but I plan on getting all educated and whatnot. I think I paid 1.99 for this one. 

Good Night, Leo is a board book that we picked up for our boys. It's a lot of fun, as each page strips off a piece of pirate costume as Leo gets ready for bed, and puts it on his teddy bear. The book is actually less about piracy and more about sequencing and color recognition, but it's one of my kids' favorite bed-time stories because they think it's all about pirates. Heh. Kids are stupid. I don't remember if this book was a gift or if we bought it ourselves, but it wasn't second-hand, either way. 

I love Jane Yolen. I think she's an incredible poet and a great writer. The Ballad of the Pirate Queens is an incredible book-length poem about the lady pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read (this was the book that inspired the purchase of Booty mentioned above) that we typically only read to our kids around Halloween. I didn't get a chance to share it during my Halloween Kids' book countdown, but it's an amazing book about pirates, so I'm glad I thought to share it now. David Shannon is an illustrator for children's books whose work I enjoy and follow (He's more known for his No David! books than most anything else) and his illustrations in this book are  gorgeous and pitch-perfect throughout. I paid full price for this book when I discovered it and fell in love with it years and years ago. 

Finally, we have Edward and the Pirates which is a cool little story about a little bookworm boy who is menaced by fictional-yet-still-dangerous pirates. It's more about the power of books and the ability to read... but my kids are all like: pirates! So I don't argue. David McPhail is another children's illustrator whose work I follow and enjoy. Picked this one up at Goodwill for .99 cents. 

Well. That's it for me and pirates. I like to think it was quite a wild ride. I have no idea what the League topic will be tomorrow, but I know that a lot of next week's posts will be dedicated to the things I found on this week's Payday Friday. Yes. It was that good. It was almost... epic.

So I will be back very soon with more Goodwill Goodies. Until then, Happy Hunting!

Before I finish up completely though, let's see what even more of the League saying about "Pirates":

- Branded in the 80's explores the concept of pirate nostalgia in childhood pop-culture.

- introduces us to a gas siphoning pirate Dreadnok from the G.I Joe comics.

- The Cavalcade of Awesome shows us just how awesome the Muppet Treasure Island Soundtrack is.

- Yelinna at traveling_pics shows off some pirate toys and possibly the worst pun in League history!

- And the Dork Dimension shows off a truly awesome mini-figure that I would be proud to display on my shelf.

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