Finally had a weekend with some downtime (and a house guest!), and we got to chill out and enjoy media. We watched The Avengers and Cabin in the Woods (I love this post-Avengers opening weekend interview with Joss Whedon) and hung out and ate a lot of food and read. We *really* needed a break, and this was lovely.
I have several open tabs from last week with some articles and blog posts I wanted to share:
- From The Chronicle of Higher Ed, The Case for Breaking Up With Your Parents, which explores helicopter/Velcro parents and the literary tradition of orphanhood.
- A post-New Aesthetic explosion interview with “instigator” James Bridle.
- Posts from Nathan Bransford and Patricia C. Wrede on how to keep writing when life gets in the way (note to self: sometimes the universe sends unsubtle messages)
- A 1200-year-old workshop for Mayan calendario scribes was discovered, and it looks like their calendars extended beyond 2012. The world won’t end in December. Phew!
And now for books… I spent most of yesterday reading Bitterblue, and yes, it is excellent! I think of the three, Fire is still my favorite, but Bitterblue comes in second. At its core, Bitterblue is about memory and healing — trying to make sense of the past in order to be able to live in the present — and, once again, Kristin treats the romance realistically. I was impressed at the way she was able to pull all three novels together — I do not envy Kristin her timeline and map-making in order to fit all of the pieces. But it was fun to have beloved characters from previous books appear in this one, and they provided a respite from Bitterblue’s dark themes.
I also finally read two other books that I’ve been hearing about forever: The Map of Time by Felix J Palma and The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.
Overall, I enjoyed The Map of Time, which is essentially an homage to H.G. Wells — an ultimate fan letter to a father of science fiction. The book comprises three linked stories, and I normally don’t like this style of book because the stories end too soon and I want to know what happens later, but Palma had the right scope for each story and enough overlap between characters and continuity that the transitions worked. I just liked some story lines more than others. The plotting is pretty fantastic, though, with all sorts of twists — what a challenging book to write!
And I loved The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Such an impressive debut novel. I don’t want to say any more than it’s fantasy, and I think people who like books by Elizabeth C Bunce, Alison Goodman, and Megan Whalen Turner will enjoy it. Carson also treats the relationships and romance realistically, which is wonderful to read.
So lots of reading and now some time for writing…