chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)

*Tears myself away from the Yuletide tagset*

*Ahem*

When last we left our intrepid reader, she was about to finish Max Gladstone's Ruin of Angels. Holy crap, was that an enjoyable read! Violent as all get out, scary sometimes (Kai, survivor of the Penitents on Kavekana, is squicked out when the antagonist describes her culture's positive-reinforcement equivalent ... and I don't blame Kai one bit), full of action, and a very-much-earned happy ending.

Next up was Rebel, third volume of Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith's Changes series. We're back in the post-apocalypse Wild West town of Las Anclas, where teenagers have serious responsibilities (actual and critical jobs, for example) and yet remain kids, with raging hormones and still-developing communications and judgment skills. Ross, the titular "stranger" of the first book, starts remembering more of his past—and part of it comes to join him. Mia comes to terms with some parts of her relationship with Ross and Jennie that had been worrying her. Felicite's pampered life falls apart a little further (and she remains surprisingly three-dimensional and sympathetic). Kerry becomes more and more a part of the community (and continues to be haunted by the possibility that her terrifying father may yet show up at the town gates). This installment has no huge crisis with a correspondingly huge climax but is instead a series of satisfying mini-arcs.

I was going to read Seanan McGuire's Down Among the Sticks and Bones next, but decided instead to take a break from new plotlines with an old favorite, Diana Wynne Jones' The Time of the Ghost. I'm just at the point where the ghost has learned for sure which Melford sister she was in life; now the plan to save her, with the support of her three sisters and their two friends, is being set into motion. Mmm good!

chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)

After I finished re-reading The Story of the Stone by Hughart, I continued on with Eight Skilled Gentlemen (also a re-read). Both books are considerably weaker than Bridge of Birds, but they're both still amusing and full of interesting little details.

Most of the other things I've read this week have been online articles that are research for the same project that got me re-reading Master Li and Number Ten Ox.

After several days of that (and writing, and work being chaotic and stressful), I wanted something pleasant and easy. So I spent some time on Big South American River, looking up favorite children's authors. I discovered that not only has someone put a number of my favorite Sally Watson historicals into e-books, they also included Poor Felicity (although the author herself seems to have re-named it The Delicate Pioneer, which strikes me as a really "dead" title). I first read this at a Girl Scout summer camp, where I was a pudgy bespectacled weirdo bookworm who hated sports but was totally unafraid of snakes and bugs, and I haven't seen it since.

Felicity Dare is a sickly, rather spoiled 19th-century Southern (U.S.) girl whose parents lose all their money in bad investments and decide to go out west to settle in Oregon/Washington territory. Both parents die along the way, leaving orphaned Felicity to her good-natured but hapless uncle. They end up in what eventually becomes Seattle, where Felicity gradually becomes healthier because of being out in nature (shades of The Secret Garden!), makes friends with kids who would definitely have been considered below her social class back East (include some Native Americans), and learns to forage, cook, and shoot a rifle. There's also an ongoing feud with a rough-hewn boy who despises her for most of the book. In the end, when her snooty cousins show up at last (they went by ship instead of overland), she has to confront their faulty assumptions and her own grudges.

It's fun, slight but with lots of interesting details, and an easy, fast read (aimed at about 10-13 year-old readers).

chomiji: A young girl, wearing a backward baseball cap, enjoys a classic book (Books - sk8r grrl)

The Exchange at Fic Corner is a gift exchange for fic based on children's and YA books and short stories from picture books to edgy teen novels. The FAQ can be found on Dreamwidth (and I think on LJ still).

June 18th - June 27th - Sign-Ups
June 28th - Assignments Sent Out
August 21st - Deadline for Stories
August 28th - Collection Goes Live

Tag Set (on AO3)

Sign Up Form (on AO3)

chomiji: A young girl, wearing a backward baseball cap, enjoys a classic book (Books - sk8r grrl)

The Exchange at Fic Corner is a gift exchange for fic based on children's and YA books and short stories from picture books to edgy teen novels. The FAQ can be found on Dreamwidth (and I think on LJ still).

So I had these dates ALL WRONG:

June 18th - June 27th - Sign-Ups
June 28th - Assignments Sent Out
August 21st - Deadline for Stories
August 28th - Collection Goes Live (Hmm, I need to ask the mod - it looks like they changed that date ... sometime the first week of September, at any rate)

Tag Set (on AO3)

Sign Up Form (on AO3)

Good timing for a Yuletide warmup, perhaps?

chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)

[personal profile] lady_ganesh hooked me up with some really good stuff: Maggie Stiefvater's YA series The Raven Cycle. This consists of

  • The Raven Boys (finished!)
  • The Dream Thieves (finished!)
  • Blue Lily, Lily Blue (finished!)
    and
  • The Raven King (still reading, unlikely to finish tonight)

Also, apparently some extra-story authorial snippets exist (I only just discovered this while checking the titles of the main series).*

In the little town of Henrietta is a posh boarding school called Aglionby. The mascot of the school is a raven. Eccentric local girl Blue, the scion of a houseful of psychic women (including her mother, Maura), thinks Aglionby boys are nothing but trouble. Local wounded-at-the-core boy Adam is attending the school on scholarship; he has managed to become best buds with the charming and earnest Gansey (that's his last name), whose circle also includes the tough-but-brittle bad boy Ronan. And then there's Noah, who shows up somehow at the off-campus digs that Gansey and Ronan share in an old factory.

Gensey is obsessed with the local ley line, which he thinks will lead him to the tomb of the Welsh hero Owen Glendower. The others are drawn into his search—including Blue, who starts out as somewhat of a mascot but becomes something much more. There are dreams, magic, terror, and lots of fast cars.

Parts of this seem to be the love child of Alan Garner's The Owl Service and the better "After-School Special" types of teen novels, but it's very involving and tremendous fun. The writing has some weaknesses, especially when Stiefvater seems to be marking time until she can get to the Good Bits, but she's very good at action sequences and the spookier parts are truly chilling.

Cut for long and maybe a spoiler or two )
chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)

I have been reading TONS and need to blog all of it, sometime, somehow.

But specifically, I stayed up way too late last night and the night before reading The Cuckoo's Song by Frances Hardinge.

Man, was that spooky and haunting!

It's in the family of scary atmospheric fantasy, usually aimed at girls, that I used to get into from time to time when I was a young teen: stuff by Penelope Farmer (Charlotte Sometimes) or Joan North (The Whirling Shapes). Most of these have identity as their core theme, and it's no wonder I found them so scary and yet enchanting.

Thirteen-year-old Triss is usually ill, but right now, she thinks something even worse has happened to her. She usually doesn't get along with her younger sister, Pen, but now Pen says she absolutely hates Triss and that Triss is not really her sister. What happened the night before the story opens, and why is Triss now ravenously hungry, and why are all the pages ripped out of her diaries?

The opening scenes and the book's title, together, make it pretty obvious what's up, but the how and why and what's necessary to resolve the situation make an intriguing page turner.

chomiji: A young girl, wearing a backward baseball cap, enjoys a classic book (Books - sk8r grrl)

alt

A Kids' and YA Book Fic Exchange

What is The Exchange at Fic Corner?

The Exchange at Fic Corner is a gen, het, femslash, and slash multifandom secret fiction exchange for kids' and YA book/short story fandoms. The name was ruthlessly stolen from that classic of children's literature, The House at Pooh Corner. Basically? This is for the book fandoms that you loved or would have loved as a kid (even if you just read them for the first time a week ago).

The Exchange at Fic Corner was inspired by Yuletide (the obscure or rarely written fandoms project) and much of the format and rules are based off that exchange.

The Exchange at Fic Corner 2013 Schedule

July 6th - Comm Opens for Brainstorming
July 12th - 21st - Nominations
July 22nd - 29th - Sign-Ups
July 31st - Assignments Sent Out
September 22nd - Deadline for Stories
September 29th - Collection Goes Live

chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)

What have you just finished reading?

The Shadowed Sun by N. K. Jemisin (re-read) and Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery.

I need to write up the Jemison properly.

I read and re-read Anne of Green Gables as a child, but I never got any of the sequels. They're all available for free online (I got mine from FeedBooks). Anne of Avonlea covers the time from Anne's receipt of her teaching certificate at Queen's Academy (you may recall that she went away from home to earn this) through a couple of years of teaching grade school.

One of the most striking thing about the book for me was how much the unequal treatment of the little Keith twins bothered me. Montgomery's interest is all too clearly only in mischievous Davy; well-behaved Dora is a piece of cardboard who gets only parts of a couple of scenes. The same thing is true to a somewhat lesser extent with Anne's school pupils: imaginative, attractive young Paul Irving is the only child who counts. I'm not sure why this irked me so much, but it did.

What are you currently reading?

Seanan McGuire's An Artificial Night (October Daye #3) and Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery (I've actually nearly finished this).

What do you think you'll read next?

I need to at least start Richard K. Morgan's The Steel Remains. I've ordered the manga volume Loveless 11 online and hope to have it by Friday, and I imagine I'll download the next "Anne" book (Wikipedia tells me that this is Anne of Windy Poplars).

 

chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)

What have you just finished reading?

Gunslinger Girl manga, omnibus vol. 4 (vols. 9 & 10 of the original) and my Sutcliff re-read. Re GG: Aiiiee, so sad. T-T

What are you currently reading?

The Shadowed Sun by N. K. Jemisin (re-read) and Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery, which I downloaded for free on my phone (I got the free version of the Aldiko reader).

What do you think you'll read next?

I just obtained Seanan McGuire's An Artificial Night (Toby Daye #3) and Richard K. Morgan's The Steel Remains. If the latter sounds out of character, that's because it's the choice of a summer book club thing I'm doing.

 

chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)

What have you just finished reading?

Lots of stuff! Rosemary Sutcliff's The Shining Company and Sword Song, vol. 3 of the manga series A Certain Scientific Railgun, and the aforementioned book I had to re-read as an assignment. I think I'm giving up on Railgun: it's just not working for me. I will write it up at some point and discuss that. This is one of the few series I've just had to drop.

What are you currently reading?

Nothing but little filler things: fanfiction, catalogs, bits of the second Bleach character book (mainly so I can sleuth the kanji in the characters' names with my basic kanji dictionary). That's because I'm processing the things I just read – always happens when I read a lot of things one after the other.

What do you think you'll read next?

I just got the third Gunslinger Girl manga omnibus (comprising vols. 7-8 of the original tankoubon): that will probably be next.

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