GIP! I can has pretty Narniaesque lamppost icon! Except it's not Narnia, but rather Gambier, and run through Photoshop at that, but, you know. Yay icon!
This week, I finally bit the bullet and bought a copy of Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale
(recommended to me months ago by wildtiger7
), since it didn't seem interested in appearing on my library's shelves. It was confusing at times--and I think maybe some of Margaret's angst might have seemed less overwrought had I a sibling--but you know, mention literary research, even briefly, and I'm sold. Make your whole plot about it, and I'm definitely in. Add in creepy/crazy characters and lots of secrets, and it's even better.
Now I'm in the middle of Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round the Shipping Forecast
. Charlie Connelly is pretty much what Bill Bryson would be were he actually English instead of an American who's spent most of his life there, so of course I love it. In the book, he visits land at the edge of each area on the forecast (excepting, of course, the ones that are completely seabound) and apparently spends much of his trip at the pub, in between befriending Norwegians and visiting overpriced tourist attractions and complaining about commercialization of the natural world. It's fantastic.
I also bought Italo Calvino's The Castle of Crossed Destinies
for the same reason as the other two, namely that my library system has not even a whisper of a copy. (I had a good time at Amazon last week.) It tells a story through Tarot cards and steals shamelessly from The Canterbury Tales
, or so says the back flap; I haven't started it yet. In addition to what has apparently become a quest to read everything Calvino's ever written (sadly, I have yet to find one that measures up to If on a Winter's Night a Traveler
), I think the Tarot as a whole is pretty interesting, so I'm excited to start that one.
Speaking of reading, here's
where I spent most of the week of Christmas. Yes, that's a link to the Talking Stick/Circle series, and yes, you should read all of it if you haven't yet, even though all eight stories/novels probably total over 2 MB of words. This
is what Voyager should have been*--characters with personalities and histories and cultures; serious consequences to being alone and friendless in the Delta Quadrant, and to Janeway's penchant for interference; a crew that is obviously not
all happy and united, despite what TPTB wanted us to believe. "The Rose and the Yew Tree" is mind-blowingly awesome.
I remember reading part of this as one of my first introductions to Voyager fic, back when it was still being first posted in many, many parts on alt.startrek.creative in 1996 to whenever they stopped. I never was much for in-progress stories--I want to read my fics all at once, and that is that--so I think I read the first one, saw that the second was still being posted, and promptly ignored it. (Also, I was, like, twelve at the time. I probably didn't recognize how good it was.) But I'm glad I finally read the whole thing, even if it did take me the better part of a week.
Also on the Voyager front, I saw "Lineages" the other day, and...wow. That was also really, really good. Roxann Dawson brought it
to that episode, especially in the scene at the end in Sickbay with Tom. RDM did as well, but this was really B'Elanna's episode, and...yeah. It was good.
Wonders never cease, apparently.
Two more grad school apps went off in the mail yesterday! One more to go, and it's all online, yay!* Apparently my idea of how it should have been, and others' as well, is pretty much equivalent to "new BSG." Heh.