09 February 2009

February Book You May Have Missed: I Have a Bed Made of Buttermilk Pancakes

Let me tell you a little bit about the Zing family. Fancy Zing is married to Radcliffe (not a Zing) and writes lists (types of leaves, sounds, irritating things about her husband). Marbie Zing (full name: Marbleweed) lives with Vernon and his sister Listen, and is contemplating an affair with an aeronautical engineer. Maude makes amazing (truly amazing: life changing) pies; and Cassie can run as fast as a bus (no, really).

Oh, and every Friday night they meet in the garden shed to have Zing Family Secret Meetings.

I'll admit, before I even knew any of this I was won over by the title: I Have a Bed Made of Buttermilk Pancakes. Yummy. Combine that title with the surname 'Zing' and I'm yours. The world of IHABMOBP is one where it snows in Sydney, flying beach umbrellas are a real danger, and spell books containing useful things like 'Spell to make someone take a taxi' are available to 12 year old girls.

By this point you are either really excited about the book (which is what I am hoping) or you are looking sceptically at the computer screen thinking 'what is she on?' in which case I was never going to win you over. If you're in the former group read on... and then go read one of the most original books I have read in a long time. Not just the plot, but the way the story is structured: the interweaving of about 10 million different plot lines (one of them is set in 1810!) and the way tiny bits of the Zing Family Secret are revealed slowly, slowly throughout the book make it a fantastic un-put-downable read.

Jaclyn Moriarty is well known in Australia as a writer of YA fiction, and this was her first foray into the world of adult fiction, (you know...for grown up people. Not porn. Although there is a Zing who writes erotic fiction...) and it would be a great pity if your lives weren't enriched by reading the marvelousness that is I Have a Bed Made of Buttermilk Pancakes. Which, incidentally, shortens to the coolest initialism ever.

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