know that maybe i will be…

A Conspiracy of Kings – by Megan Whalen Turner. I talked about the first three books in the series here and this one? Not even a little disappointing. It focused on Sophos, heir to Sounis and his coming-of-age and the growth of his wisdom as a leader and man.  This book has all the twistiness, the turns and the heart of Turner’s other novels, and it was really wonderful. It was also among the first books I finished on my Kindle. (It doesn’t really encourage me to be less ADD with my reading. I’m currently reading a biography of Jane Austen, a biography of Emily Dickinson, and a book on the Orthodox church.)

In the paper book world, I read one of the most heart-breaking books of the year this weekend. Still Alice, by Lisa Genova. It’s about a Harvard professor’s descent into early-onset Alzheimer’s. The novel is chock full of actual information about the disease without once stepping into the boredom of preachiness (Sophie’s World, anyone, on philosophy?) In college, I would have rather proudly informed you that no book or movie could make me cry. I thought it was a sign of strong midwestern stoicism, turns out it was just immaturity. College and grad school, if they taught me anything, taught me to cry. The sympathy I felt about other people’s losses and struggles ripened into empathy. This book? Really beautiful and really sad. It’s about dealing with loss and coming to terms with grief. It’s touching, it made me cry and I would highly recommend it to everyone. If you already read and loved it, may I recommend C.S. Richardson’s short and sweet The End of the Alphabet as a novel with a similar sweet, sorrowful feel.

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7 thoughts on “know that maybe i will be…

  1. I have more to tell you about The Magicians and Mrs Quent, and I’ve also been trying to remember the answer to your question about Carey’s books.

    It’s been so long since I’ve read them that it’s difficult to recall, so I should be emailing you about them, soon.

    1. Positive or negative on the Magicians and Mrs. Quent? Apparently that’s the sort of thing I’m kind of into right now. Not entirely sure why. Plus, on the Kindle, only Jesse judges my reading habits, because no one else can see the cover. (I think Jesse’s most common phrase these days is “Do you want to put down the Kindle-bot and come hang out with me?”)

      1. Mostly positive, but with some really weird negatives. The book is in three parts: Part One is a bizaaro rip-off of Pride & Prejudice, down to the entailed house, the push to “marry up,” and the obnoxious heir of a male relative (a lawyer, though, not a pastor). Even some of the conversations seem lifted from Austen… Especially with their kindly-ish version of Lady Catherine.

        …but it was still fun to read.

        Part Two is Jane Eyre/Wuthering Heights… the governess, the plot-point children, the mysterious vanished wife, the dark and brooding lord of the manor, and the grouchy townspeople. And again… fun to read.

        Part Three is the part that feels actually original. It wraps up the story, shows off a little more of the magic they’ve talked about, and sets it up for a sequel. I found myself enjoying the book as a whole, but also looking forward to the sequel, because it feels like the author finished all the plagiarism/homage that they felt they needed to include in Parts One and Two, leaving only interesting and original stuff to write.

  2. Hmm. That sounds like a mixed bag. I’m all for tribute/homage, but if you have an original plot point in your head, why bother paying obvious homage within your novel? Write a nice post-note saying how much you adore Jane and the Brontes, and how you wish that you were born in their era as a man so you could marry them.

    However. That sounds a little lovely to read, although J will make fun of me. He thinks that all I read are Jane Austen knock-offs. Hey, haven’t made him read them…

    And, in my defense, I watched some of the NFL draft last night with him. That buys me a little (a lot) of clemency.

    1. Y’know, I am grateful yet again that Matt decided to go into Pathology rather than Sports Medicine (his choice after Family)… he, and by association-me, would have had to keep up on all that sports stuff.

      I’m such a nerd. The NFL draft sounds mind-numbingly boring.

      The only thing I know about it is that apparently the Packers drafted some guy whose job it will be to keep the QB from getting sacked 3,459,230 times per game.

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