Another quick update! It’s been mostly work and very little play around here. I’m done with this whole December thing. Bring me January!
It was one of those weeks where I got pretty sick of people early on and then had to keep dealing with people. Not a fun scenario for an introvert, although on my day off, I went down to the used bookstore. Not to buy books. I just wanted to spend time with smart people who weren’t my co-workers. It was a happy hour and a half unwinding, laughing, and playing with cats while surrounded by books. It’s hard to have a better time than that.
What I Finished Reading:
- The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden, ARC provided by NetGalley
- Words are My Matter: Writings about Life and Books, 2000-2016, With a Journal of a Writer’s Week by Ursula K. Le Guin, audiobook narrated by Laural Merlington
The Winter of the Witch was a brilliant finale to Arden’s Winternight Trilogy. I will post a review a little closer to the publication date in January.
Words are My Matter is a lovely book that is mostly about books and writing, with a collection of book reviews in the second half. Le Guin’s writing never ceases to amaze me with its clarity, depth, and humor. If you want to find some real insights into humanity and writing from a master of the craft, look no further than Le Guin.
What I’m Currently Reading:
- The Secret Place by Tana French, narrated by Stephen Hogan and Laura Hutchinson
- The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
- Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him by Tracy Borman, ARC provided by NetGalley
I’m also “reading” Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas. Remember how I said I was going to get all snarky on it because I couldn’t get all snarky on the general public? Well, it’s working quite well, although I can’t decide if I’m finding Heir of Fire to be worse than either of the first two books because I actually think the story itself is worse, or if it’s because I’m taking a much closer look at it than I did the previous two, Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. I’m leaning towards the latter, but Calaena is getting more insufferable with every passing page if that’s possible. And can we talk about that opening paragraph? You know, the one that starts out with Calaena hanging out on a rooftop in some exotic city and quickly devolves into a discussion of regional flatbread? I mean, sure. Food is an important part of a culture, but even a travel blog will set the stage by describing a city’s appearance and mood before delving into the local cuisine, but we don’t even get that in Heir of Fire. It’s two sentences of Celaena on a rooftop and then onto half a page (at least) of flatbread.
There are many ways to begin a book, and this is one of them. I guess.
I’m currently on page 41, and so far have crossed out 15-20 pages’ worth of unnecessary text. Most of that is summarizing the previous two books, and the rest is repetitive character angst, because Drama! Also, everyone has Secrets. And to up the angst, none of the main characters ever bothers to talk to the other main characters about what’s bothering them, because apparently, the truth would hurt their feelings and no one wants that to happen. So everyone is just going to suffer in secretive silence. Add Maas’s egregious misuse of em dashes and ellipsis and her characters’ inability to smile (they must smirk, sneer, grimace, or, at best, smile coldly), and I may end up throwing this book at the wall.
At any rate, I’m considering writing up a read blog of my experience reading this book, with posts on Fridays. What do you think? Is anyone interested in reading something like that?
My most recent Lord of the Rings Reread post went live on Saturday and discusses my least favorite chapter of the entire work, ‘The Uruk-hai’. This week’s discussion will center on the lands of Rohan and characters like King Theoden and Eowyn.
What’s Making Me Happy This Week?
- My cat. He doesn’t usually want to spend time by my side, but this week he has practically been glued to me. I think it’s the cold weather, but I’m not about to be upset that he wants to snuggle up next to me and purr madly.
- Moisturizers. It’s cold and dry and my face and hands would crack and bleed without moisturizers.
- Pillsbury pumpkin bread mix. All you have to do is mix in water, oil, and eggs, bake it for about 50 minutes, and you have tasty quick bread ready for the next few days.
And that’s all for now! My book club is meeting earlier than normal to accommodate those of us with extended holiday working hours. It’s going to be great to see these women again, as the last time we met up was before Halloween!