Sunday, May 28, 2017

On a Reading Roll

Post-wedding, I've been on a reading roll. Finished The Scar and The Magician King from Bookmooch, took out a ton of library books, and made some purchases at the Gaithersburg Book Festival.

I enjoyed The Magician King and look forward to finishing the trilogy with The Magician's Land. I better appreciate now Lev Grossman's  transmutation of fantasy tropes, not to mention his D&D references--he casually refers to characters using "cantrips" and "Magic Missile." The protagonist Quentin, a snarky teenager for most of the first book,  is truly becoming the hero he felt entitled to be. It was also interesting to see Julia's story, although the essence of it was given away in the first season of the TV show. There were some differences, and I wonder if the show will go where this book does with her story. We haven't finished the second season yet, so don't tell me!

I found some longtime TBR books at the library and have finished two already--Amanda Palmer's The Art of Asking and the audiobook of Lauren Graham's Talking As Fast As I Can. Neither were quite what I expected. Both are general memoirs more than they are about the topics I picked them up for--though I still enjoyed them. Palmer's memoir does coalesce around themes of asking, trust, and community. It clarified to me again that "your audience" typically isn't people you don't know, but rather your family and friends. Those are the people you are writing for, singing for, making art for. Those are the people who want to help you. Graham's memoir, while it does cover her time on Gilmore Girls and Gilmore Girls again,  dips more whimsically throughout her life as an actor. I'm glad I listened to the audiobook. It was a treat to listen to her voice, and although I love both characters, it's clear she has more Lorelei Gilmore in her than Sarah Braverman.

At the Gaithersburg Book Festival, I purchased Wangs vs. the World after attending a panel with the author Jade Chang as well as the author of All Grown Up, Jami Attenberg. I enjoyed the readings and repartee from both authors. That's probably next up on the list.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts

1. We got married! It was beautiful and perfect and it's over :-)

2. We went on our honeymoon to Colonial Williamsburg, which was also pretty perfect, and I picked up Everlasting Syllabub and the Art of Carving by Hannah Glasse, an 18th century cookbook intended to be for the servants and thus not written in the "high polite style." Although I don't think I'll be attempting any of her recipes, it is a fascinating read.

3. While I was gone, a pair of books arrived from Bookmooch, The Magician King by Lev Grossman and The Scar by Sergey and Marina Dyachenko. I gave up on the former at the library, so now I've got two handsome hardcovers to call my own. I read The Scar first, and enjoyed it immensely. It's a fleshed out fairytale about an arrogant man from a militaristic culture, who receives a scar that turns him into a coward. It has strains of Beauty and the Beast, now that I think about it, and I liked it much better than A Court of Thorns and Roses. Plus, I love that it's a standalone fantasy novel. I will definitely be reading more from Sergey and Marina Dyachenko, a husband and wife team whose award-winning fantasy novels and stories have been translated from Russian to English.