Y’all, I’m tired. It was a hectic week at work, and even though home life was relaxing, there wasn’t quite enough time to recover from the busy days.
But today, I plan to read, write, and perhaps go for a nice long walk if it doesn’t rain later.
Obligatory Mina Photo:
What I Finished Reading Last Week:
Nothing. I finished reading nothing last week. Work was busy and I didn’t always get a chance to read much (or anything at all) during my lunch hour, and I kept falling asleep while reading when I was at home.
What I’m Currently Reading:
- Fevered Star (Between Earth and Sky #2) by Rebecca Roanhorse, ARC provided by NetGalley (34%)
- The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe by David M. Perry and Matthew Gabriele (125/320)
- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, audiobook narrated by Justine Eyre and Paul Michael (34%)
Fevered Star is the second installment of Roanhorse’s Between Earth and Sky series, which is based on Mesoamerican mythology. The end of the first book, Black Sun, saw the achievement of a long-standing conspiracy to bring about the ascension of a dark god. But while the conspirators achieved the majority of their goal, a wayward priestess escaped. Her survival ensures that the conspirators’ plans cannot fully be achieved, and so for them, the race is on to find and destroy her. The Teek captain, Xiala, meanwhile, is trying to come to terms with all that has happened, and wants nothing more than to find out Serapio’s fate to see if he is lost to her forever, or if there is a chance that they could be together again. I’ve reached the point where the plot is starting to pick up speed, and I really want to find out what’s going to happen next. I don’t often find fantasy series where a dark god’s followers actually succeed in their plans, so I really want to see if and how everyone else defeats them to bring light back to the world.
The Bright Ages is an overview of the Medieval era, beginning with the so-called fall of Rome and working its way forward, pausing now and then to describe the life of some half-forgotten person, like the Empress Galla Placidia who ruled as regent for her son in the mid-400s CE. Though they paint the age with broad strokes, Perry and Gabriele point out both the beauty and the savagery of the Medieval era in order to help readers reconsider a period of time that many see as dark and brutal. The Medieval era is not a time when people up and decided to be stupid and dirty because it seemed like the thing to do. It was an age of violence, yes, but it was also an age of art and learning that too many people overlook because it’s not Roman or Renaissance. I’m about halfway through the actual narrative (must of the last part is given over to the index and bibliography), and I’m looking forward to seeing what else and who else the authors discuss.
I first read Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian years ago, when it first came out in 2005. I remember that NPR’s book reviewers were raving about it, so I read it and thought it was pretty good. I’ve been meaning to reread it for some time. I don’t know why my brain wanted to reread it this week, but it was available as an audiobook through my library. It is the story of a teenager who stumbles upon the dark history of Dracula– a tale that involves her family far more than she ever could have dreamed of. As she digs deeper into this frightening history, her father reveals to her the long-buried secrets of his own involvement with the story, and how they changed his life forever. There were quite a few things about it that I remembered, despite the passage of seventeen years. But most of what I remember comes from the first third, so even though I’m only a little way into the second third, it’s like I’m reading a whole new book. So far, I’m liking it much more than I did in 2005. The atmosphere is hitting me more, and I have a better appreciation for the older narrator looking back on her experiences as a teenager. I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next.
What I Plan to Start Reading This Week:
- Cabo de Gata by Eugen Ruge, translated from the German by Anthea Bell
- And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness, illustrated by Rovina Cai
Cabo de Gata is the story of a disillusioned German man who moves to a little town in Spain to find a fresh start. But the change of scenery doesn’t help. Cabo de Gata is a sleepy little Andalusian village where the wind blows cold– not what he expected at all. And he’s having a hard time building relationships with the people who live there. Then one day, he develops an unexpected connection with one of the village’s feral cats. But is it too late for this odd relationship to help him change the course of his life? I found Cabo de Gata in the Translated Works section in my local indie bookshop. I always like to browse that section first, as there are always interesting stories I never would have heard of before if not for that section.
And the Ocean Was Our Sky is something of a Moby Dick retelling but told from the perspective of the whales. I admit that I was initially drawn to the book because of its cover illustrations. I’ve been a fan of Rovina Cai’s gorgeous drawings since I first saw them in Sarah Tolmie’s novella, The Fourth Island. I’ve heard good things about Patrick Ness’s work, too, so this should be a lovely story. I found this one at my local used bookstore. They’ve bought a huge selection of graphic novels and comic collections over the past couple of years, so it’s been fun to look through it as they cycle through their back catalog.