Saturday, March 31, 2012

Winter Rose

I would only have give this book two stars if not for Patricia A. McKillip's lyrical prose.

I've been fascinated by the ballad of Tam Lin ever since I read the Perilous Gard. I'm slowly working my way through all of the retellings I know.

I would rate this book above Diana Wynne Jones's Fire and Hemlock but below Perilous Gard.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


This is such a cute book.

The heroine(s) bitch to each other over email, and the hero is a lonely IT guy who gets caught up in their conversation.

It was so good that I couldn't put it down. I read it straight through.

We interrupt regular programming

To give you an update on my gradschool applications.

So far, it's going well. I've been accepted to one school (without any funding) and waitlisted at two others. The second waitlist letter arrived today.

I hope that by this time next year, I'll be in another place, writing.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Graceling and Fire

Young adult books are my solace. Whenever the book I'm reading is dragging, or I just need a pick-me-up, I turn to YA.

YA also keeps me up at night. Kristin Cashore's Graceling was so good that I stayed up until 1 a.m. to finish it, even though I had work the next day. Following in the tradition of kick-ass heroines, Katsa has a gift in killing. But that's not all she's got. I won't spoil the surprise, but Graceling was a lovely read.

Of course, I had to read the next book in the series, Fire. Now this one was even better. I had to get up at 3:30 a.m. the next day but I stayed up again until 1:30 reading it. Then I couldn't go to sleep, so of course I had to read it until I finished it. Sleep be damned. Fire is wondrous read because it deals with women and desire. Fire is a monster who is desired by all who see her. Kingdoms rise and fall because of this girl.

Fire was also an important reminder that you can't escape from the real world. I think that for the past six years, I've done a lot of reading to escape from something -- namely -- boredom at work. But the unsavory details -- rape, boredom, mediocrity -- they're all a part of life that you can't escape. You can only deal with them. Also, the characters in Fire are real. No one is infallible. I'm veering close to spoiler territory here, but let me just say that I was jolted to my senses by the revelation about one character.

So read YA to be comforted, but also to be awakened.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Jungle Planet and Other Stories

It can be jarring to read cutesy children's stories right after a sordid tale of an almost-sexual encounter. Lakambini Sitoy's Jungle Planet and Other Stories is a mishmash of stories in the Philippines. There are many common themes running through the stories in this collection -- loneliness, alienation and jealousy. It's an uneven read, but my favorite stories are the future fiction Secret Notes on the Dead Star and The Vampire.