Mai Yamani

Wednesday reading meme

What I've been reading

I read the fifth and sixth Accursed Kings books, The She-Wolf of France and The Lily and the Lion, both of which were great. The Lily and the Lion actually pretty much wraps everything up for the important characters who are still alive in an epilogue, so I can see why the English language publishers figured that they could amputate the seventh book, but I am reading it in French anyway. (Incidentally, Team Alexandriz produces extremely high-quality pirated French ebooks. In case this is relevant to anyone else's interests.)

I read Guys & Dolls, the only collection of Damon Runyon's short stories that my library has, which inspired me to leave the following GoodReads review in pastiche, as I absolutely cannot get enough of the way that man turned a sentence: Damon Runyon is nothing less than our American P. G. Wodehouse, and if there is any higher compliment I can be paying him it is not coming to me at this precise moment, but if it is striking me sometime in the future I will not hesitate to edit it in, as I am not wishing to understate the matter.

I read two Caroline Cooney books that my library has in its ebook collection, Freeze Tag and Fatality. These are basically some of my favorite YA popcorn books. She characterizes very crisply.

I read (George), an E.L. Konigsburg book that just didn't work for me at all, and it does not seem that I am totally alone in this as I had to request it from outside my library system. The weirdest thing about this book (which is really quite weird, so there is plenty of competition) is how many other people are reading it completely wrong, to judge by the number of reviews and shelvings of it as a piece of realistic fiction about mental illness, a reading that I don't think is supported by the text and is anti-confirmed by authorial statements of intent, which I happened to have access to since...

... I also read TalkTalk (the printed version) a collection of Konigsburg's speeches throughout the course of her career, or at least until 1995, when it was published. I understand that there is a video version under the same name, but I can only find it on VHS so I can't watch it. A fair bit of interesting stuff about her writing and career.

I read Celebrating Children's Books: Essays on Children's Literature in Honor of Zena Sutherland for E. L. Konigsburg's contribution, "Ruthie Britten and Because I Can", those being her answers to the question "Why do you write children's books?", and I enjoyed it very much.

What I have put down in disgust rather than read

I thought The Marble in the Water was going to have another piece by Konigsburg because it was catalogued that way in WorldCat. It turned out just to have a really misleadingly-formatted table of contents where it looked like a selection of chapters by different authors but those authors were actually the subjects of criticism by the sole author, a David Rees. As his critical style consists of making unsupported Word of God pronouncements about everything and as I was not in sympathy with a single one of his judgments I put this book back down again very quickly.

What I'm reading next

I actually know this one this week! The third book in The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey, who is actually Daniel Abraham and George R. R. Martin's assistant, Ty Franck, writing under a collective name, just came out and I'm definitely going to be reading that.

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