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Reading Wednesday is nigh. In fact, it's here. And I done been readin'!

Finished:

I Shall Seal the Heavens. Finally. I have to say, this is epic: The author knows how to plot on an enormous scale, and how to build up the stakes in order to tear down everything you think you know is safe, before pulling back more of the curtain to show a wider stage. (The first timeskip is startling enough, and successive ones have stronger impacts until the climactic one that's as baffling as it is shocking.) There's a couple narrative patterns that get a little tiresome and in the final arc, the author resorts to using an unreliable POV, apparently to up the tension but the effect is to make some reveals feel like ass-pulls, but those are quibbles. I won't say that the treatment of women is unproblematic, but it's better than typical for Chinese popular lit and some female characters are given complete respect by the narration. I do recommend this to anyone in search of a timesink* and interested in current trends in Chinese fantasy.

An Interpretation of Friends Worship by N. Jean Toomer, a Friends General Conference chapbook found randomly on Project Gutenberg. I've no idea how much sense it make to anyone unfamiliar with Quaker practice, but I found it spoke to my condition, to use the Friendly phrase.

The complete flower fairies of Cicely Mary Barker. I've one book of hers and read at least one or two more over the years, but having them all together as on that official website is nice. Archive binge! This is a good example of a mixed-medium art form: each {poem + picture} is a unit -- they require each other, and are significantly weaker when separated. (The sentiments are not very Chinese, but the genre certainly is.)

In progress:

The Four Seasons ed. by J.D. McClatchy, another Everyman's Library pocket hardcover poetry anthology. Needless to say, I'm All Over this one. Lots of good stuff, too. Am halfway through Summer (following Western tradition, it starts with Spring).

In Good King Charles's Golden Days by Bernard Shaw, which is a quite Shavian if somewhat rambly imagining of a 1680 meeting between Isaac Newton, George Fox, and Charles Stuart, with interruptions by three royal mistresses. And others.


* At 1600+ chapters, it's freakin' HUGE. The translation is somewhat over 3 million words long, or roughly the size as all the Jordan-only volumes of The Wheel of Time.


---L.

Subject quote from a recent episode of Saga Thing.

Originally posted at http://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/644787.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
puddleshark
Jul. 26th, 2017 05:19 pm (UTC)
There's a Sow Thistle fairy? Okay. I'm sold.
lnhammer
Jul. 26th, 2017 07:31 pm (UTC)
And Celadine fairies, and Gorse fairies, and Dead-nettle fairies, and ...
sartorias
Jul. 26th, 2017 06:02 pm (UTC)
Is I shall Seal the Heavens got a good ending? (By good I mean other than Debbie Downer. I can go to the daily news for that.)
lnhammer
Jul. 26th, 2017 07:26 pm (UTC)
The ending is not a downer, but there are significant bittersweet elements, even with the reunions of the final scene.
sartorias
Jul. 26th, 2017 08:45 pm (UTC)
Well, I've bookmarked it.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )