reading

D is for Death Scenes

adult_human_skull_-_asian_male_thumbnail__60388.1530765307.500.659Death scenes should be meaningful, yes? I think so. If not meaningful, they should at least be memorable. They stick with you. Maybe you return to it, over and over again in some fashion.

These are some of the most memorable death scenes I recall.

  1. Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web. I read this book over and over again in childhood. The death of Charlotte – the first time I heard it, it was very shocking. Less shocking, obviously, the second and third and fourth time I reread it. But I think her death is one of the reasons why I reread this book so often.
  2. Sergeant Bothari from the Miles Vorkosigan books. He was both a rapist, and if I remember the books right, a victim of rape. He was a torturer and also mentally disabled. He also protected Miles throughout his childhood. Yet I feel his death was just. Perhaps his life is a tragedy, always heading that since birth.
  3. Henry from The Time Traveler’s Wife. I had a lot of problems with this book, but for some reason Henry’s death sticks out in my mind. Henry loses his feet and then is shot to death while time traveling by his wife’s brother. His death seems more memorable to me then the whole book.  Which is a bit odd, I suppose.
  4. Rue from the Hunger Games. Really, there were a lot of deaths in this series, but who can forget this scene? And how important it was to the rest of the series?
  5. Dorothea from Black Jewels. Anne Bishop does revenge really, really well. Dorothea is enemy number one in this series and her death was perfect.
reading

C is for Characters

Characters! Sometimes you read a book more for the characters than the plot. Lots of times, in fact. If the characters suck, oftentimes I stop reading.

If some characters come out in a new book, I would read it and I don’t really need to know anything else. Do you have favorite characters like that?

Five of my favorite characters:

  1. Eve Dallas from the In Death series by JD Robb
  2. Daemon from Black Jewels series by Anne Bishop
  3. Miles Vorkosigan from Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold
  4. Mercy Thompson from Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
  5. Meg Corbyn from The Others by Anne Bishop

 

reading

B is for Books

06_17_2013_book-smell-e1371501750113
photo: David Flores

B is for Books

So . . . books. Libraries are closed, bookstores are closed. But! Books can still be ordered online and downloaded from your favorite platform. Ebooks from libraries are a thing.

Including the Internet Archive. It seems the Internet Archive has more recent books. I have known of the Internet Archive existence for quite some time, but I thought it had only old books, books that are so old they are in the public domain.

It seems that is not correct. They announced a national emergency library (http://blog.archive.org/2020/03/24/announcing-a-national-emergency-library-to-provide-digitized-books-to-students-and-the-public/) where they are allowing more recent books to be borrowed. The same item can be borrowed by multiple people at the same time.

I had the impression – somehow! – that the National Archive held only old books. I supposed that is because I have only ever gone looking for old books on it. Alice in Wonderland, The adventures of Tom Sawyer, a book on the birds of India someone wrote when they traveled to India during the British Raj, old dusty books like that.

I wasn’t even aware they had any other kind of books even available. I suppose I wasn’t paying attention, but I am shocked. Shocked they had recent books available at all, let alone that they decided to make some kind of national emergency library.

 

General

A is for April

So today is the first day of April. The sky is a cloudless blue, flowers are blooming, trees are growing leaves. Looks like a lovely spring day outside; I just cannot go outside to enjoy it. Because of the coronavirus.

I fear I will miss spring entirely. I feel spring itself has become an April Fool’s Joke.

But! I can enjoy pictures of spring. I can even enjoy videos of cherry trees in DC:

washington-dc-cherry-blossoms-march-20-2020-32-cherryblossomwatch-com-678x452402x
FROM: https://cherryblossomwatch.com/peak-bloom-forecast/

 

It looks pretty! One day maybe I will go visit.

And, also, I feel that this is a  good time to revisit the Daffodils poem. Is it more summer than spring? Anyway,  I was thinking of it today.

Daffodils by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed’and gazed’but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

fantasy · reading

Pandemic in Priory of the Orange Tree

I’ve been reading The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. It’s a long book, almost a thousand pages, and a bit slow at times.

It has many things I like – dragons, magic, myth, great characters. It has what feels like centuries of history.

But the thing that stands out in my mind right now is that this world remembers a past pandemic. In one city, outsiders or those harboring them can be killed or imprisoned. Because maybe they carry the disease.

Even privateers were not willing to land there; they rowed their charges only close enough that they could wade in, because of the risk of getting the disease.

There is a lot to focus on because there is a lot going on in this story. But the thing that has caught my attention is this ancient pandemic. In the story so far, it feels like it was over a long time ago. I could be wrong, but I am still pretty early in the story.

It is just – centuries later, people still react to some people as though are carrying the disease. It must have been quite terrible while it was happening.

It makes me wonder how this current coronavirus will affect the future. It is quite terrible now and things only promise to get worse in the coming weeks.

Well, we have to survive it first, and I am sure this country will survive it. How much damage will be sustained – that is the question. The very question. A lot of damage – economic, health – and I wish I knew how it would change the world.

It is a bit anxiety-inducing, to not know really how much damage the novel coronavirus will leave behind.

 

General

Life is Not Normal Any More

not-normalMy last post was just under a year ago, and back then, life was normal. Today, life is not normal.

Even a month ago, life was normal.

Hopefully, the changes the coronavirus has wrought in my life are not permanent and I won’t have to get used to them.  Changes such as being terrified to go outside and quite possibly brush up against someone. Anyone, really.

Most people who get it are supposed to recover, but I am not reassured. What if I am not most people?

This will pass. It might take weeks, but it will pass. I am hopeful summer won’t be ruined. But, even if it is, there is always next summer to look forward to.

Until then, everyone needs to avoid everyone else. The goal has become to avoid other people.

 

reading

What are feminine length nails?

I am rereading A Vampire’s Claim by Joey W. Hill.

There is a line in it that goes:

Her nails were a feminine length with clear polish, the elegant tips drawing attention to the grace of her hands.

It really makes me wonder how long this lady’s nails are.

It is a minor thing, I suppose, and I don’t really remember caring or even briefly wondering the first time I read this book. But for some reason it’s standing out for me today.

Are her nails super long? Medium length, not long, not very short?

I can argue that every woman has feminine length nails, no matter that they are long or short or medium.

Mostly I suppose I picture my own nails, whatever length they are at the time.