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09 December 2016 @ 01:58 pm
My own private timeline...  
I'd planned to do a "what I'm reading" sort of post last week, and yet it is not last week! I blame household stuff and Idol, mainly reading Idol entries. I'd like to blame my Yuletide story, but I haven't gotten much done on it since November ended.

Idol is also why my book-reading slowed down, in addition to some things I started reading and bailed out on. I finished Patricia McKillip's Kingfisher last week, which was an interesting combination of modern setting and older knights-on-quests elements, creating kind of a mystery. Very pleased by that part of it, and how it all worked out. NOT pleased with the parts that are ongoing problems for the author, where I would like to see some growth from her: all the characters appear to be white (true for virtually all of her books), all romantic relationships are hetero-normative (which defies statistics, really), and as for the mechanics of writing itself... she is still burying the climax. While reading, you reach the point where the climax has ended (or you realize you must have passed it), and think, "Wait, that was IT? That's ALL?" Imagine if an author resolved all of their stories via deus ex machina? That gets very unsatisfying before long. Unless McKillip is secretly 80 or something, I would really like her to try harder.

I started the most recent Lynn Flewelling Nightrunner story, and then bailed on it. I used to be a fan of the series, but there's so much good fan-fiction slash I would rather be reading, and given the recent torture!Porn book in the series, and the fact that I can't remember any of the factions or minor characters anymore... eh. I even donated my 3 or 4 series paperbacks to the library a few weeks ago, which should have been a clue.

I thought I'd be done with Harrison Squared by now, but... Idol. I'm about 6-10 pages from the end, so Today For Sure! I found the book in the sci-fi/fantasy section of the library. It's kind of a YA setup: teenager who lost his father to a long-ago sea attack journeys to creepy North Eastern coastal town with his scientist mother, who then disappears at sea. The kid (Harrison Harrison, hence the Harrison-Squared or H2) is convinced his mother was kidnapped by something sinister. Meanwhile, he's stuck in a school full of pale, weird, black-haired children who rarely speak and take classes like "Practical Skills" (which consists of making fishing nets), and non-Euclidean geometry (which consists of word problems thick with non-sequiturs but bereft of actual math). Also? There are mutant creatures. And snark. \o/

By sheer coincidence, we saw Manchester By The Sea last weekend (set in Massachusetts). Very good, heavy with grief and with characters trapped by their mistakes.

I also did some Xmas shopping last weekend, and got some of the Xmas lights up. My part of that effort is usually a multi-day project (we put up a LOT of lights), so even working in the dark on Sunday didn't finish the job. Who knows about this weekend? It's been raining for days (and more is coming). On the plus side, our daughter arrives home for break on Saturday, so if things don't get done, I'm okay with that.

How's your prep coming?

cindytsuki_no_bara on December 10th, 2016 03:47 am (UTC)
i keep seeing previews for manchester by the sea and i freely admit the main reason i want to see it is casey affleck, even tho it does look brutally sad and i don't normally want to see movies that i think will make me cry.

i generally like patricia mckillip altho i haven't read anything recent of hers, and the last thing i did read - the riddle-master of hed books - really did have a very anticlimactic climax. the second book, which was very female-focused, was my favorite. i think they were written in the 70s so i cut them some slack where male/female relationships were concerned. harrison squared sounds vaguely creepy but kind of fun. i mean, word problems full of non-sequiturs but devoid of actual math? that made me giggle.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on December 10th, 2016 06:36 am (UTC)
It's sad, but not as head-splittingly sad as Sophie's Choice, if that helps. Definitely worth seeing, but bring Kleenex.

I was thinking more of McKillip's longer books for adults-- Winter Rose, The Forest of Serre, The Tower at Stony Wood, Od Magic, etc. All of the characters with any romantic leanings are straight. There isn't even hint that anyone isn't, and those books cover a variety of 'universes.' Generally, a new one per book.

The kid in Harrison Squared complains that the math isn't math, which sounds kind of strange, but the one example problem is something like, "You are surrounded by four walls that are 12 feet high. As the walls grow higher over time, who will come to save you?"