I had a cold for most of this week. Nothing major, but enough that I was was pretty worn out by the time I got home every night, so I didn’t want to do much of anything, even though the weather was nice. Next week isn’t looking so great, either. Two co-workers are going on vacation, so it will be down to basically two of us to do the work of four. I bought some rosé for the occasion.
I read three books this week:
- Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine
- Fear Itself by James Swallow
- Gom on Windy Mountain by Grace Chetwin
Fear Itself is a Star Trek: Discovery tie-in novel. It fills in some of the background for Lieutenant Commander Saru, who is expertly played on the show by Doug Jones. He is one of my favorite characters, so it was interesting to see into the mind of someone whose species is driven by their fearful nature, and discover how he works to overcome that fear in order to become a Starfleet Officer. It’s not the best or most imaginative Star Trek book I’ve ever read, but it’s a quick read I started and finished in a single day. I still want to track down the second book in this tie-in series, Drastic Measures.
Gom on Windy Mountain is the first book in a series I read in junior high. The school library only had the first two books and the public library didn’t have any of them. When I was 11, I had no notion of inter-library loans, and Amazon wasn’t really a thing yet, so I gave up and forgot about it. I remembered it last year and tracked down a copy on Abebooks.com. I wanted to re-read the first one and see if I really wanted to track down the rest of them to finish out the series.
The story follows Gom, an odd boy who takes after his mother, who disappeared the day he was born. Gom’s father is a simple woodcutter who wants Gom to follow in his footsteps, but Gom can talk to animals and the wind and feels a greater destiny calling to him. Before he can embark on an adventure, though, he discovers that he has a lot to learn about the world.
I did enjoy this book, though it’s not the best writing and the pacing is a bit odd. Because I bought it for just a few dollars, I’m going to at least get the second book in the series and go from there.
My current reads:
- Black Sun Rising (The Coldfire Trilogy #1) by C.S. Friedman
- The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
Black Sun Rising is a re-read, though I hadn’t read it since college. A good friend couldn’t stop praising them and loaned me his copies of the trilogy. I loved the dark and eerie world of Erna, where strange energies react to human thoughts and cause the physical world to change in response. It easily has the most interesting relationship between a hero and anti-hero I’ve ever read. So far, it’s just as compelling as the first time I read it. (334/496)
The Dark Days Club is about Lady Helen, a young woman set to make her debut in English high society during the Regency in 1812. When she investigates the disappearance of a household servant, she discovers a mysterious underworld of demons and demon hunters she never imagined was possible. So far, I am loving this book. It feels a little like a Jane Austen novel with a supernatural undercurrent running beneath the story. (164/472)
I’m still working my way through the 1981 BBC Radio 4 production of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. It’s great, but there are many points in the story where radio simply cannot explain visual elements as well as the book or the movies, and so I end up laughing or rolling my eyes at dramatic points in the story when they’re t rying to explain places like Cirith Ungol or characters like Shelob. Also, who thought the musical bits with too-earnest opera singers was a good idea? Still, it’s been a lot of fun to listen to again after all these years. I’m considering tracking down the audiobook versions of the books and listening to them during my commutes.
Assuming my work week doesn’t drive me completely insane, there is one book I am definitely going to start reading:
Bright We Burn by Kiersten White (The Conqueror’s Saga #3). The library finally received a copy of this, and I was the first one to get it! I think this is the final book in the series (I hope so, because I don’t know where they would go from here). While I liked the second book, there were some elements I found aggravating (mostly Radu’s constant mooning over a love he can’t have and Lada’s refusal to learn any interpersonal skills). I’m hoping Bright We Burn wraps up all the loose ends and brings it to a solid conclusion. I don’t have high hopes for the survival of several characters.
Other books I hope to start include:
- The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by J.H. Williams III and Dave Stewart
- The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, and Malcolm Jones III
- The Queen of Blood (Queens of Renthia #1) by Sarah Beth Durst
Aside from recovering from a cold and doing a bunch of reading, I re-discovered why I do not buy mangoes for my home. During my brief trip to my hometown, my mom gave me a bunch of fruit from this produce-sharing co-op she’s part of. She gave me a couple of kiwifruits, some tomatoes, and a mango. I cubed the mango the other day, took one bite, and spat it out. It wasn’t getting old and rotten or anything, it just turns out that I’d forgotten that I hate the flavor of mangoes. Who knew?
So that was last week. I’m not looking forward to this week, but maybe it won’t be as lousy as I’m expecting it to be. I’m not optimistic about my chances, though.
Have a better week than I will!