Someday I am going to look back through my bullet journal and wonder why I wrote “Who is the patron saint of umbrellas?”. Or perhaps not. I have always had rotten luck with umbrellas. It’s been a week of clouds and rain, and especially so on my day off. I decided to walk over to my friend’s jewelry shop to pick up the ring she had made for me, and then head across the street to the coffee shop for lunch and ostensibly to work on some writing. I always delude myself into thinking that I can actually do some writing in public. I need to stop doing that. I am terrible at writing in public.
Anyway. After about an hour of not writing, I decided to just go home. The sky picked that moment to really open up and start pouring. ‘No problem,’ I thought. ‘I have my umbrella!’
Alas, no. My umbrella decided to utterly fail. I opened it up and it sort of flopped around and did not protect me from the rain. *sighs* And of course I had my new laptop in my backpack. And that’s also when my fellow pedestrian and I were nearly hit by a car that completely ignored the two of us standing on the corner, waiting for the ‘walk’ signal. Maybe I need to look up both the patron saint of umbrellas and the patron saint of pedestrians.
But other than that, it was a lovely week! Lots of rain and cool weather! Scarves! Boots! And they turned the heat on in my building! I live in a century-old apartment building that still uses steam heating, so there are always a couple of chilly weeks between the end of warm temperatures and the first frost. The first frost was this week, thus I have heat again! Plus baking and fall colors and I am, over all, a happy Kim.
What I Read This Week:
- Penric’s Mission by Lois McMaster Bujold, audiobook narrated by Grover Gardner
- Mira’s Last Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold, audiobook narrated by Grover Gardner
- The Prisoner of Limnos by Lois McMaster Bujold, audiobook narrated by Grover Gardner
- Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri, ARC provided by NetGalley
- The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Penric and Desdemona series by Lois McMaster Bujold is a set of novellas based in Bujold’s ‘World of the Five Gods’ she began writing in around 2000 with her book, The Curse of Chalion. The audiobooks are anywhere from 3.5 to 5.5 hours long, so they’re easy to get through, and the stories and characters are so interesting and charming that you won’t want to stop listening once you start. It’s such a breath of fresh air to find fantasy novels where the fate of the world isn’t on the line, or where the religious figures aren’t horrible people who take advantage of everyone in the name of their god/s. Bujold’s Five Gods work their justice in sometimes strange ways, but they are satisfying ways. I would happily listen to or read these books again, and I hope Bujold writes more in it– particularly to fill in what happened between Penric’s Fox and Penric’s Mission.
Empire of Sand is a lovely standalone that builds an entire world, believable relationships, and a character who grows and becomes strong without being a Mary Sue. I will have a review later this week.
The Haunting of Hill House is a classic horror/ghost story that has frightened the likes of Neil Gaiman and Stephen King. It is incredibly atmospheric, and distilled down to the essentials. It’s around 170 pages long, so if you skim read it or are not paying attention, you’re going to miss a lot. I read it by myself and at night. Books and movies don’t scare me. This creeped me the hell out.
DNF– I was reading The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Lady Helen’s story is interesting, and I want to find out what happens to the side characters, but I just couldn’t get into this one. I’m going to set it aside for the moment and maybe come back to it another time.
- The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien, audiobook narrated by Grover Gardner
- Hopkins: Poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins
I am nearly done with The Return of the King on audiobook. I’m about halfway through the chapter ‘The Scouring of the Shire’. After that it’s onto ‘The Grey Havens’, and then I’m done. I think ‘The Annals of the Kings’ are included on the audiobook, so I will listen to them. After that, what will I listen to in the car?
I did not read anymore of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poems this week. I was too busy either listening to the Penric and Desdemona series or attempting to read The Dark Days Pact. I will read more poetry this week, because I do enjoy Hopkins’s work.
What I Plan to Start Reading This Week:
- Iza’s Ballad by Magda Szabó, translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes
- My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead
- The Fall of Gondolin by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien
- Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
I did not do as much writing this week as I had planned. I was going to write reviews for Seth Dickinson’s The Traitor Baru Cormorant and Stefan Zweig’s Confusion, but I just didn’t want to. So I didn’t. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read these books. Give them a try! They are brilliant! I was just being lazy.
I did post another part of my The Lord of the Rings Reread:
This week, I subscribed to Daniel Greene’s BookTube channel. His videos are fairly typical– reviews and opinions about books, but with a bit more thoughtfulness than many other reviewers I’ve come across. The primary thing that has stood out to me is Greene’s love of Robert Jordan’s (and Brandon Sanderson’s at the end) epic fantasy series The Wheel of Time and the extensive character/story/world/culture analyses has had recorded of the various parts of The Wheel of Time.
I can’t remember if I’ve ever mentioned it here before, but I have a long history with The Wheel of Time. I read books 1-9 during my sophomore year of college. I read each of the first three books in a matter of a few days each, but as I got farther into the series, I slowed down until book nine, which took me three months to get through. After that, I gave up and have rolled my eyes whenever it’s come up.
But. Thanks to Daniel Greene’s in-depth analysis of the various parts of the story, I have been looking back at my own experience with the story and have decided to give at least the first book, The Eye of the World, another shot.
This will be interesting….
But that’s all for now. Today marks the last day of the public library’s annual book sale, and while that means there is a smaller selection, it does mean that the books are much, much cheaper than they are during the rest of the sale. Last year, I got eleven books for $3! Wish me luck!