osprey_archer: (books)
[personal profile] osprey_archer
What I’ve Just Finished Reading

A couple of Unread Book Club books: G. Clifton Wisler’s Red Cap, which is far less emotionally moving than one might expect of a book set largely in Andersonville prison (the largest and deadliest Confederate prison in the American Civil War). Ah well. They can’t all be winners, I guess.

And also Ann Turner’s Elfsong, which sounds like it ought to be a thing I like: a girl who accidentally meets an elf while out searching for her lost cat, which the elf has enticed away to be his new mount, what could go wrong?

But I felt it was trying too hard to awaken a sense of wonder. The elves can hear the songs of all the things on earth, and pass this ability on to Maddy and her grandfather. And these are not just regular birdsong or the pleasant plash of a brook or whatever, but songs with words, so wherever you go you’ll be surrounded by baby mice singing

My place, mine
my turn, mine


or rocks rumbling

We were here before you.
We were a river of fire,
then a river of stone.


Which would be delightful and magical - I rather like the little poems - if you could make it stop. But it sounds like Maddy is going to surrounded by a constant inescapable din for the rest of her life and that sounds dreadful.

What I’m Reading Now

Sheila O’Conner’s Sparrow Road, which I plucked from a Little Free Library a few months back purely because the cover seemed promising - and I was right! So far it is atmospheric and mysterious and there are possible ghost orphans (I think they’re metaphorical rather than real ghosts but still) and I’m feeling it.

I’ve also begun Kate Seredy’s The Chestry Oak, which kicks off with a Hungarian prince in his castle listening to planes pass overhead during early World War II… and I can already tell this is going to be a tale of woe and disaster and I’m sort of dreading it honestly.

Also Isabel R. Marvin’s A Bride for Anna’s Papa, which gets points for being set in a Minnesota iron mining camp, just because I’ve never read a book set in such a place before. Have only just started this one. Will let you know how it goes!

What I Plan to Read Next

I need to decide what to read for this month’s reading challenge, “a book published before you were born.” The Chestry Oak fits the bill, but I was planning to read that anyway, so maybe I ought to branch out.

But on the other hand I may not get through it without the additional incentive of fulfilling my reading challenge. It will probably not be that harrowing, self, there is no reason to believe that this is Grave of the Fireflies: If It Were a Book Set in Hungary.

Date: 2017-08-09 12:29 pm (UTC)
sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
From: [personal profile] sovay
We were here before you.
We were a river of fire,
then a river of stone.


I like that in isolation: it reminds me of T.H. White and Ursula K. Le Guin.

Date: 2017-08-09 12:57 pm (UTC)
asakiyume: actually nyiragongo (ruby lake)
From: [personal profile] asakiyume
I'd like it all right if it wasn't the only thing the rocks sang--I feel like the song should change with occasion and audience... and the rocks' own mood.

Date: 2017-08-09 10:58 pm (UTC)
sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
From: [personal profile] sovay
I'd like it all right if it wasn't the only thing the rocks sang--I feel like the song should change with occasion and audience... and the rocks' own mood.

Different rocks should say different things. I can't find a text of Le Guin's "Three Rock Poems" ("The Basalt," "Flints," "Mount Saint Helen/Omphalos"), but hers do.

Date: 2017-08-10 01:19 am (UTC)
asakiyume: (good time)
From: [personal profile] asakiyume
*dying laughing*

Date: 2017-08-09 12:44 pm (UTC)
evelyn_b: (Default)
From: [personal profile] evelyn_b
The little songs are great! (What song do the plastics sing?) but I agree about being able to turn it off. But you can't necessarily trust elves to think of things like that.

and I can already tell this is going to be a tale of woe and disaster and I’m sort of dreading it honestly.

:(

song of the plastics (some of them, anyway)

Date: 2017-08-09 01:04 pm (UTC)
asakiyume: (birds to watch over you)
From: [personal profile] asakiyume
"First I was a giant fern and then I was a streak of oil, and then I became a milk jug, and now I'm with all my pals, floating on the sea."

Re: song of the plastics (some of them, anyway)

Date: 2017-08-09 10:53 pm (UTC)
sovay: (Haruspex: Autumn War)
From: [personal profile] sovay
"First I was a giant fern and then I was a streak of oil, and then I became a milk jug, and now I'm with all my pals, floating on the sea."

I like the song of the plastics!

(I mean, environmentally it's terrible, but as a narrative.)
Edited Date: 2017-08-09 10:53 pm (UTC)

Re: song of the plastics (some of them, anyway)

Date: 2017-08-09 10:56 pm (UTC)
asakiyume: (nevermore)
From: [personal profile] asakiyume
Ha! Yeah, I didn't think you were endorsing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch!

Re: song of the plastics (some of them, anyway)

Date: 2017-08-09 11:42 pm (UTC)
evelyn_b: (Default)
From: [personal profile] evelyn_b
Aww, hi plastics! Your song is the saddest.

Speaking of the G. P. Garbage Patch, have you seen the short film where Werner Herzog narrates the eternal life of a plastic bag?

Re: song of the plastics (some of them, anyway)

Date: 2017-08-09 11:51 pm (UTC)
evelyn_b: (Default)
From: [personal profile] evelyn_b
Here you go!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJx5Dd0T_RE

I love it. Now every time I see a plastic bag, I think, "I wish you had created me so that I could die." The song of the plastics is truly the saddest. </3

Re: song of the plastics (some of them, anyway)

Date: 2017-08-09 11:53 pm (UTC)
asakiyume: (nevermore)
From: [personal profile] asakiyume
Thank you! Watching now.

Re: song of the plastics (some of them, anyway)

Date: 2017-08-10 12:13 am (UTC)
asakiyume: (feathers on the line)
From: [personal profile] asakiyume
Wow, that was really, really good. That last line really is full of pathos.

Re: song of the plastics (some of them, anyway)

Date: 2017-08-10 12:28 am (UTC)
evelyn_b: (Default)
From: [personal profile] evelyn_b
I'm glad you liked it!

Date: 2017-08-09 12:50 pm (UTC)
lilysea: Mischievous (Mischievous)
From: [personal profile] lilysea
"It will probably not be that harrowing, self, there is no reason to believe that this is Grave of the Fireflies: If It Were a Book Set in Hungary."

Permission to metaquotes?

Date: 2017-08-09 12:56 pm (UTC)
asakiyume: (bluebird)
From: [personal profile] asakiyume
Wow, I had no idea Kete Seredy wrote anything set so close to the present.
Sparrow Road *is* an enticing title. Fingers crossed that it continues to be good.

And yeah, I would not want that din of song all the time, and frankly, I'm not sure I go with the author's imagining of the little songs. Humans don't go around saying "We are humans, we make tools and create group memories we call culture," so why should rocks always be saying "We were here before you," etc. I mean, that makes it sound like rocks' conversation is geared toward the rest of creation to the exclusion of other rocks! ... The baby mice's song is kind of sweet, though.

Date: 2017-08-09 11:46 pm (UTC)
evelyn_b: (Default)
From: [personal profile] evelyn_b
Humans don't go around saying "We are humans, we make tools and create group memories we call culture,"

Idk, I hear (and say) stuff like this a lot. Of course, we also talk about other things, but I think of humans as being pretty up our own asses by the standards of the rest of the physical world.

I like the idea of the rocks and birds etc. just gossiping and trading incomprehensible inside jokes and rock allusions most of the time.

Date: 2017-08-09 11:48 pm (UTC)
asakiyume: (definitely definitely)
From: [personal profile] asakiyume
I would *love* to listen in on some incomprehensible rock or bird gossip--for a short while ;-)

Date: 2017-08-09 08:32 pm (UTC)
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
From: [personal profile] lost_spook
Which would be delightful and magical - I rather like the little poems - if you could make it stop. But it sounds like Maddy is going to surrounded by a constant inescapable din for the rest of her life and that sounds dreadful.

LOL, that does sound pretty horrific. Switch off the mice and the rocks, someone! /o\

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