Queen Victoria's Book of Spells, Windling and Datlow eds
-- Library book; provenance: found perhaps while searching for steampunk entries in the catalogue? Is not steampunk, which takes the worst parts of Victorian society and glorifies it. Is gaslamp, which is fantasy and possibly more congenial except that it's still 19th century, a pretty suffocating time by me.
Must note best of field, because I never remember stories:
The Unwanted Women of Surrey by Kaaron Warren, oddly surreal
Jewel in the Toad Queen’s Crown by Jane Yolen: gaslamp and steampunk need more Jewish voices
Estella Saves the Village by Theodora Goss. Because of course I *would* love a village peopled by fictional Victorian characters.
Cogman, The Burning Page
-- provenance: gift of the author. Nice to read in one place and on paper. And erm yes- Irene really should not have been able to do what she does at the end.
Okorafor, Akata Witch.
-- Library book; provenance: something online comparing it with Harry Potter and Hermione. (shrugs) Felt more like The Library to me. Had a hard time getting into this: possibly I can't read YA anymore. Possibly Nigerian methods of discipline curl my very straight hair.
Also: Harry Potter gives me the oogies now: lowering, depressing, reminder of a painful past. Had to google horcruxes the other day, because I never read the last book, and felt lousy afterwards. Rowling has an irritating water-colour style and her ideas are... not of the first rank, shall we say? Not as bad as Dan Brown, I'm sure, but such a tedious chore to read. And the fandom was deplorable.
When I have a Pepsi late at night and don't want to be awake till 6 a.m., I take some ativan. Usually about an hour later a feeling of mellow content and low-grade happiness sets in: world is a good place, how nice to be here, etc. (This doesn't work when you actually need ativan to do it, as when encased unmoving and unmovable in a metal cigar case that BLAMs and THUDs at you, with no way of speaking to the outside world.) Last night I had my ativan cocktail and continued reading Killed at the Whim of a Hat, Cotterill's new series set in Thailand. Hadn't been able to get into this one either; the narrative voice is first person and not Dr. Siri. But last night, oh my- what a charming book, what intriguing characters, I must get the next two out before the snow comes back.
Started out to do so this morning without rechecking which branch has what. Got to College and Shaw, which only has book 3. But Bathurst and Dundas, at most 15 minutes away, has both. Off I start, in the wrong direction because of brain rot, realize I'm going west when I want to go east, brake to stop at a crosswalk, and find brake is frozen solid. Been a good twenty if not thirty years since that last happened. But there, hurrah, is a small bike store (ring bell for entrance), and guy replaces my rusted cables and tells me what to get instead on my next bike (compressionless brake housing or hydraulic disc brakes, FTR.)
So now for the Sanderson Library! But as I get close to Bathurst the clouds come in and those 30-40 mph wind gusts they mentioned this morning commence, and we become Marcel Marceau Biking Against the Wind Enterprises. On an ordinary day I could get to both the library and my acupuncture but today, no. Abort for another day.
And tonight, ativanless, Cotterill reads distressingly mundane again.
Riggs, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
--Library book; reserved I know not why, since I waited so long to get it. To date, not at all what I'd imagined and very likely not what I want. In which case I should take it back to the library at once, since hundreds of people are waiting to read it.
Barnstone, Barnstone, and Wu: Laughing lost in the mountains : poems of Wang Wei.
--Refused to believe it could actually be *that* Willis Barnstone, whose Greek translations I read in my late teens. Could; this dates to '91, a mere quarter century after publishing Greek Lyric Poetry. Introduction is useful, though oh dear we have to bring in any number of Spanish and Catalan and Greek and Latin poets to compare him to, because Willis and son know them all. The few translations I've looked at, of poems I know from elsewhere, umm do not inspire me.
About to be abandoned?
Mann, ed, Further encounters of Sherlock Holmes
-- Library book, sighted by chance while picking up the above. Authors are all male and many have written for Dr Who, which might explain the screaming anachronisms scattered here and there, as well as the liberties taken with 19th C vocabulary.
Maybe more Cotterills after all. Maybe a 'get it off the bloody shelf' plough through Tokyo Year Zero. Depends on the weather.