It turns out this whole having a job malarkey is actually really hard work. Imagine: after six hours in the library yesterday, I came home so exhausted I couldn’t do anything except sit in a chair dozing and reading a book. All evening. I didn’t even turn my computer on.
Today probably would’ve been the same if I hadn’t been taken ill yesterday evening (a flare-up of stuff probably related to my coeliac disease). Instead I spent most of today in bed feeling sorry for myself and trying to stay awake listening to an audiobook. It didn’t work. I’m just not cut out for them.
Also, because I’ve been trying to review the majority of the books I’ve read recently (not least because I’m getting a lot of them from NetGalley, so I feel like it’s sort of part and parcel of the whole deal?), reading is tiring too. But I’ve been doing a lot of it, so here are a few books I’ve been reading recently.
By which I mean in the last five days. And only some of them. SOMEONE FIND ME A LIFE OKAY.
The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett
aka the last Discworld novel EVER so I was an emotional wreck after just a couple of chapters and by the time I finished it… well, you don’t want to know. My review (which goes up on my book blog on Friday) sums up all my emotions. So many feelings. Many of them about Terry Pratchett rather than the book — or indeed, my own life, rather than the book. Because it reflects life (and death) a lot.
Railhead by Philip Reeve
This had AWESOME world-building. My review for that should go up next week or so, and it’s basically me being incoherent about trains. LIVING TRAINS. Also, by the way, there is a GENDERFLUID ROBOT GRAFFITI ARTIST. Flex is my baby. This also gave me a lot of emotions, of a different sort. I would like to write Philip Reeve a strongly worded letter, because DUDE. WHY MUST YOU HURT ME IN THIS WAY.
Inheritance by Malinda Lo
Henceforth I declare that all love triangles must be resolved in this way. David: “We can’t do this.” Reese: “I’m angsty because everyone loves me.” Amber: “POLYAMORY FOR EVERYONE.” Amber has her head screwed on right. Like, I can’t imagine ever being polyamorous myself (I’m not sure I even want to date one person, because eugh, romance), but it sure made the whole two-people-in-love-with-female-MC a bit more interesting. Especially as one of them was a girl. Also an alien.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I’d heard a lot about this, but I thought it would be really cliche or awkward or just generally cringey, you know? But it was actually really fun and relatable. As an awkward introvert bordering on neurotic who found my first year at university/college kind of difficult because I don’t make friends or adapt to change very easily, I UNDERSTOOD WHAT CATH WAS GOING THROUGH. I too turn to the internet in times of trouble. My only niggle would be that Cath’s fan fic is about a gay couple but none of the main characters were queer, and that kind of felt… odd. I wanted more recognition that queer couples exist in real life as well as in fan fic!
Wolves (I Bring The Fire, Part I) by C. Gockel
I got through a year of Old Norse Language & Literature lectures and scraped a 2:1 in my final exam, then dropped the paper as soon as I could. I’M SORRY, BUT OLD NORSE DIDN’T WORK FOR ME. This story, though, is about Loki. Ah, Loki. Now. I love Loki, and he was one of the reasons I was drawn to Old Norse in the first place. Yet I never got on well with studying it. I recently read The Gospel Of Loki, too, and that was okay… but this was my favourite retelling of Loki things so far. It’s funny and modern-day, and it doesn’t deny the existence of things like the Thor films but instead makes jokes about them, which made it much more believable and yeah, it was just really great. Can’t wait to read the next book — there seem to be loads of them.
And those are all in the last six days… and I read several other books in between those… seriously, I’ve done nothing but read lately.
To finish off, here are a few quotes from these books.
“The whole reason Fenrir’s name is Fenrir is because man-hating-bitch-from-Hell is too much of a mouthful, and you can’t say it in polite company.”
― C. Gockel,
“But you’re so helpless sometimes. It’s like watching a kitten with its head trapped in a Kleenex box.”
They were scrawny, even by Feegle standards, with barely a wisp of beard hair between them and impractically low-slung spogs knocking about their knees, their kilts hung low on their skinny hips. To Tiffany’s amazement, she could see the top bands of colored pants riding high above them. pants? On a Feegle? The times were indeed changing.
“Pull yon kilts up, lads!” Ron muttered as they pushed their way past.
“How can you even joke about that?!”
Loki tilts his head. The serious answer, the truthful answer, is how can he not? Joking about pain is the only weapon he has. It is the way he thumbs his nose up at the universe. The way he proves he is unbroken, and if not the god of mischief, then at least mischief’s master. But that isn’t the funny answer.
― C. Gockel,
For a witch stands on the very edge of everything, between the light and the dark, between life and death, making choices, making decisions so that others may pretend no decisions have even been needed. Sometimes they need to help some poor soul through the final hours, help them to find the door, not to get lost in the dark.
What have you been reading lately? Got any recommendations for me? Drop them in the comments below!