Apr. 12th, 2017

osprey_archer: (books)
What I’ve Just Finished Reading

I finished Jane Langton’s The Fragile Flag, and aaaaaaaah, I really liked this book, you guys. Young Georgie (also the heroine of Langton’s The Fledgling) finds an old American flag in the attic, which gives people visions if it wraps around them; she decides to march on Washington with it, in hopes of convincing the President not to launch the Peace Missile (for which read Reagan’s Star Wars; the book was published in 1984).

Naturally the march swells to enormous size as it continues on, and George manages to meet the president in the end, etc. etc. Of course it’s escapism, but it’s really nice escapism in the current political climate. And the book is beautifully constructed, too, all the pieces of the plot (it’s more complicated than I’ve made it sound here) all come together like clockwork, and strike like midnight at just the climactic moment.

I also finished Warren Lewis’s The Splendid Century: Life in the France of Louis XIV, which I read because the Inklings book I read recently praised it (Warren Lewis is C. S. Lewis’s brother) and also because I’ve long meant to learn more about France, and indeed it is a pleasant and readable introductory work to seventeenth century France.

And, for the Unread Book Club: I reread William McCleery’s Wolf Story, which in our youth my brother and I liked so much that we importuned our father to read it multiple times. I think he got bored and started making up new twists in the story to amuse himself, although I can’t be sure because the father in the book (who is telling a story to his child in the book) also gets bored with the story he is telling and keeps trying to come up with twists to end it quickly. It’s very meta.

What I’m Reading Now

I’m slogging through Margaret Stohl’s Black Widow: Forever Red, which I am not liking nearly as much as I expected sadly. I think this is partly the fault of my own expectations - I thought this would be about Natasha’s childhood or at least give us large lumps of backstory, perhaps flashbacks!, but it really does not. But it’s also not very strongly written.

Really not feeling this one. Maybe I’ll just give it up.

I’m also working on Gary Paulsen’s The Island, which is an oddly poetic book - I mean, not odd really, or only because my main association with Paulsen is Hatchet which is more of a survival story. This one involves a lot of our hero sitting on the island, contemplating nature.

And I continue to chug along in Tolkien’s Sir Gawain and the Green Knight!

What I Plan to Read Next

Norah of Billabong is winging its way through the mail to me as we speak! So definitely that.

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