Thursday, April 29, 2004
Sunday, April 25, 2004
Let's see, what can I say about books today... I must admit my fare has been extraordinarily light and hardly worth mentioning. I've been in a bookbuying mood, which is bad for many reasons, especially since I keep getting sidetracked into a dozen books at a time. Oh, I know, I am reading something quite good and certainly worth recommendation--Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander. Odious and Peculiar saw the movie when it first came out, and Odious dove into the books soon after (Peculiar has already read quite a few of them). When Jack got interested too, I decided perhaps I should join the happy throng despite my usual dislike for stories about men and boats. We ended up buying and watching the DVD before I had a chance to start the first book, but the sweet wholesomeness of the movie inspired me to do so, and I am quite enjoying it. Of course, much of the time I have absolutely no idea what is going on, partly because of sailing jargon and partly because I've been reading it sporadically (it is good, but I just can't help getting distracted) and keep forgetting what's happening. Also the plot is a little scattered, and the book seems longer than necessary, but nonetheless it's excellent and I shall probably move on to the second at some point (particularly as Jack claims it is very Austenian in content).
Monday, April 12, 2004
I also read, just for fun, Karen Cushman's The Midwife's Apprentice, which is a sweet story with a few good tips on midwifery.
Saturday, April 10, 2004
Friday, April 09, 2004
Jack has a good post up about reading poetry, that it must be savored to be enjoyed. I agree completely, but I discovered a few days ago that one doesn't necessarily have to be in a quiet room alone, either. I had tucked Mr Collins's latest collection, Nine Horses, into my bag when I went up skiing last Sunday, and brought it out to read while I ate my lunch. Like most cafeterias, the one at Ski Santa Fe is large, loud, and dirty. I sat at a well-becrumbed table, surrounded by scruffy men eating chili cheese fries, and was utterly entranced by the poem "Love". It gave me chills, right there in that unlikely spot. I wish I could post the whole thing, but I'm afraid that would infringe copyright, so I'll just quote the last few stanzas.
"And the reason I am writing this
on the back of a manila envelope
now that they have left the train together
is to tell you that when she turned
to lift the large, delicate cello
onto the overhead rack,
I saw him looking up at her
and what she was doing
the way the eyes of saints are painted
when they are looking up at God
when he is doing something remarkable,
something that identifies him as God."
--Billy Collins, Nine Horses
Thursday, April 08, 2004
Only one actual dragon appears in this trilogy, in the last book, but serpents (dragon larvae) abound throughout as they try to find their way to the hatching grounds. Along the way they are confused by the mysterious liveships sailed by humans, some of whom are strangely capable of connecting and communicating with the serpents. Every creature in the trilogy is essential to the story, and the various plots intertwine and weave together into a seamless fate.
I end up feeling rather disjointed and disillusioned with this world after immersing myself in Robin Hobb's, so much so that sometimes I start reading faster and faster in the need to get my life back to normal. It's an unsettling experience, and one I've never encountered with any other author. And yet I can't help but recommend and rave about her books, in the hopes that they join the ranks of classic fantasy.