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We can only choose what to do with the books we are given

Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Dec 31 2008, 5:49pm


Views: 139
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We can only choose what to do with the books we are given [In reply to] Can't Post

If you'll excuse the lame echo of Gandalf.

I was privileged to attend the launch party for War for the Oaks some years ago, in the same club in Minneapolis where many of the scenes are set, with Emma herself playing guitar with the band "Boiled in Lead". A wonderful moment!

I loved Cloister Walk and need to re-read it. I have had Norris's Amazing Grace on the shelf for a long time but haven't yet read it.

Did someone say something about reading the books we already have instead of buying more? If you transported my entire house and personal library to a desert island, I could go for years without running out of reading material Crazy

Even though I loved The Name of the Rose, I never made it all the way through Foucault's Pendulum. It's an amazing work, no doubt about it, but there was just too much of it, even for someone who loves that sort of historical/mythic synthesis. I did skip ahead to the end, though.

Among other things this week, I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

The story is about a woman living in London right after WWII who makes friends via letters with a group of people on Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands, and goes there to write about their (sometimes horrific) experiences during the war, when they were occupied by the Nazis. The story swings from light-hearted moments to heartrendingly grim ones. I have the horrible feeling that the latter are the non-fictional parts of the narrative.

It was a bit hard to keep the plethora of characters straight at first -- some of them have more distinctive voices than others. But each letter is clearly labeled. And I, personally, found the ending utterly predictable, to the point where I was getting irritated by the main character's obtuseness.

I also was bemused by how many good, selfless, even saintly, characters appeared in the story. But then, I complain often of how the protagonists of contemporary fiction are often attitudinous, looking-out-for-number-one, kick (synonym for mule) characters, and so was happy to find people's better natures held up for admiration.

It's unusual to see an epistolary novel these days (one where the story is told in letters), but I enjoyed this one, even though there were moments where I found it hard to suspend my disbelief -- I mean, do people really write letters like that? No, but it's fiction, already Smile And the old-fashioned style suited the old-fashioned story.

* * * * * * *
Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?

A man may do both. For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!

Subject User Time
"Read the books you already own!": The Weekly Book Review Thread, New Year's Edition a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Dec 31 2008, 4:23pm
    No more books til we've read the ones we've got!! Jazmine Send a private message to Jazmine Dec 31 2008, 4:35pm
        Sister of Another Mother!!! a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Dec 31 2008, 4:45pm
    Anathem and War for the Oaks Laerasėa Send a private message to Laerasėa Dec 31 2008, 5:22pm
        Emma Bull & Neil Gaiman are good friends Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Dec 31 2008, 8:02pm
    We can only choose what to do with the books we are given Lily Fairbairn Send a private message to Lily Fairbairn Dec 31 2008, 5:49pm
    Working my way through my book Christmas gifts Elberbeth Send a private message to Elberbeth Dec 31 2008, 6:19pm
    Christmas reading Nienna Send a private message to Nienna Dec 31 2008, 6:54pm
    A new book I got for Christmas: "Nathan Hale" by M. Williams Phelps Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Dec 31 2008, 7:22pm
    Review and Summary Bladorthin Send a private message to Bladorthin Dec 31 2008, 7:41pm
        another interesting take on the story Annael Send a private message to Annael Dec 31 2008, 9:46pm
    I know what you mean! Compa_Mighty Send a private message to Compa_Mighty Dec 31 2008, 7:47pm
        Have you thought about the bathroom? Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Dec 31 2008, 8:23pm
            the used-book store is my salvation Annael Send a private message to Annael Dec 31 2008, 9:50pm
    The Indigo King Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Dec 31 2008, 8:08pm
    Kushiel's Mercy (and a book recommendation on Christian mysticism) Annael Send a private message to Annael Dec 31 2008, 9:34pm
        **takes notes a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Dec 31 2008, 10:08pm
            another book recommendation, then Annael Send a private message to Annael Dec 31 2008, 10:15pm
            Christian mysticism? *perks up* Kyriel Send a private message to Kyriel Jan 1 2009, 12:32am
                **takes more notes a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Jan 1 2009, 2:01am
                I went to a lecture Annael Send a private message to Annael Jan 1 2009, 4:21am
                    Actually, it can be a lot funnier than that Kyriel Send a private message to Kyriel Jan 1 2009, 1:07pm
                        we had a whole lecture about Annael Send a private message to Annael Jan 1 2009, 4:50pm
                *copies notes from a.s.* Menelwyn Send a private message to Menelwyn Jan 1 2009, 9:05pm
        Did you read Kushiel's Mercy Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Dec 31 2008, 11:43pm
            hard Annael Send a private message to Annael Jan 1 2009, 4:16am
    Oh dear. Would you believe (and forgive me for reading) Tintallė Send a private message to Tintallė Jan 1 2009, 2:35am
        at the risk of being a "reverse snob"...or something, I think a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Jan 1 2009, 10:28pm
        no judgment here Annael Send a private message to Annael Jan 2 2009, 12:41am
            There's an interesting split in the fandom (some Twilight spoilers) entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Jan 2 2009, 2:24am
                well . . . Annael Send a private message to Annael Jan 2 2009, 3:31pm
                    I think the approach was the same for all three entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Jan 2 2009, 3:57pm
                That's not what I hated about the fourth book. Laitholiel_the_SeaElf Send a private message to Laitholiel_the_SeaElf Jan 3 2009, 4:07am
                    I can understand that (book four spoilers) entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Jan 3 2009, 4:33am
        I loved the Twilight series entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Jan 2 2009, 2:13am
    How Fiction Works. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Jan 1 2009, 11:19pm
        Cather and Robinson a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Jan 2 2009, 12:56am
    I have! bearwen Send a private message to bearwen Jan 5 2009, 8:48pm

 
 
 

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