Apr. 19th, 2017

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

I finished Mary Stewart’s A Walk in Wolf Wood, which Mom read to me when I was but a wee lassie and which I remembered really enjoying without remembering any of the details, but upon reread it is blazingly obvious that this book went directly to my giddy young id.

It begins with a man walking into the woods, weeping so hard that he barely seems aware of his surroundings - this is the kind of quality crying I want from my books! - and it only gets better from there. The weeping man has been sundered from his lord the duke to whom he swore a blood oath of brotherhood in their youth! They have been ripped apart by a foul enchantment that has made the weeping man a werewolf, while the enchanter takes his place in the castle and schemes to usurp the duke’s place!

There is definitely a scene where the werewolf lies at his lord’s feet in chains, waiting for the sun to rise so he’ll be changed back into a human being. The duke covers him with his ermine cloak so he won’t be totally naked when that happens. THE LOYALTY KINK. BE STILL MY BEATING HEART.

I also finished Gary Paulsen’s The Island, a quiet and thoughtful book that regularly surprised me, not perhaps because it’s so surprising in itself as because I was reading it as a Misfit Escapes Society and Finds Meaning Elsewhere book - possibly with a side order of But Then Meddlesome Humanity Destroys His Happiness and Solitude. I fully expected the media or the locals or the psychiatrist Wil’s parents hire to hound him off his happy island abode.

But in fact they come and poke around and decide this is all pretty stellar, really (except for the local dude Wil has to punch in the nose, but he’s a real bottom-feeder anyway) and, their curiosity satisfied, leave him alone. And Wil isn’t even a misfit in the first place, really; he’s about as normal as it is possible to be and still run away to an island to try to absorb the essential nature of the blue heron.

...which still kind of makes him a weirdo, let’s be real, but that’s the kind of weirdness that will probably get him a professorship someday.

What I’m Reading Now

I finished Tolkien’s translation of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”! So I’m taking a small breather before diving into the next poem in this collection, “The Pearl.” I quite liked Gawain, but I’d read that story before in prose, whereas I haven’t read “The Pearl” (although Humphrey Carpenter discussed it at some length in his biography of Tolkien, so I know what happens), so I’m curious to see if that affects how I react to it.

I’m also reading Lorna Barrett’s Murder is Binding, a cozy mystery lent to me by a friend. I started this with some trepidation because I don’t usually like cozies - I think the inherent silliness of a cake baker! or bookseller! or librarian! or whatever who just sort of accidentally solves murders on the side gets to me - but actually this one seems tentatively fun. The heroine has a difficult relationship with her sister which they are trying to repair, which seems promising.

What I Plan to Read Next

I have to come up with a book about current events for next month’s reading challenge. This is my least favorite challenge on the list, but nonetheless I will persevere. Any suggestions?

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