Fellow-blogger and friend Cheryl Mahoney from Tales of the Marvellous also published a book this month and we thought it’d be a fun thing to swap interviews and introduce people to our books. So today we’re swapping interviews! I hope you’ll have as much fun reading them as we had answering each other’s questions.
Cheryl Mahoney can’t remember when she began her love affair with stories. She never goes anywhere (including the grocery store) without a book and a pen. Cheryl also writes a book review blog, Tales of the Marvelous, and is on Goodreads (MarvelousTales) and Twitter (@MarvelousTales). She has been previously published in The Ignatian, and has completed NaNoWriMo twice.
(Disclaimer note: I know the author. She’s a fellow blogger and a love.)
The Wanderers reminds me a bit of Diana Wynne Jones. It’s got a similar mixture of light, humour and darkness lurking beneath the surface if you pay attention to it. It’s got a fair bit of repetition it didn’t (in my opinion) need, but it was a lovely book. Repetition is one of my pet peeves in writing, so it took me a while to settle into the book properly, but after that I was sold.
I’d just had a fairly rough couple of days when I’d started to read The Wanderers, which really never helps my initial impression of anything, but it was the perfect book to read in the mood I was in. I giggled, I laughed, I came very near crying, and I had a wonderful romp of a time traipsing around these countries.
Today, I thought I’d talk about something entirely different from books or games or movies or whatnot and discuss something vaguely personal. Actually, it’s quite personal, but it’s not that kind of personal. I’m confusing. I know.
Short version: This post is about hair and hair care adventures.
See? Personal, but not private-personal, the way we’d more commonly use the term. Anyway that’s neither here nor there. I wanted to talk about hair and hair care because… Well, because I can and it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Nikki is a dear and good friend, with a wonderful taste in books. (We were discussing that taste earlier today in another post, actually!) I always enjoy hearing what they have to say, whether about books or something else, and wish I were even half as smart, insightful and good with non-fiction words. <3
They also deserve a better introduction than I’m able to provide. (In my defence, I’m not good at introducing people on a good day and I think I might be coming down with something. 🙁 Not during Nano, body! Especially not when I’m horribly behind!) But, anyway, Nikki is lovely and their blog is well worth reading. And if you want to read the interview they did with me… You can read that here.
It’s here! It’s here! Well, not really. It won’t be here until December, but the announcement is up. I shall let Carl explain what The Sci-Fi Experience is all about first, though not before I note that this is not a challenge of any kind.
Seven years ago this excitement lead me to invite other readers to spend time together to:
a) Continue their love affair with science fiction
b) Return to science fiction after an absence, or
c) Experience for the first time just how exhilarating science fiction can be.
Thus The Sci-Fi Experience was born, and now it is time to do it again.
That’s copied straight from the announcement post, which I happily recommend reading as it is a beautiful post in its own right. The event will last from December 1st, 2013 through to January 31st, 2014. January coincides with Nymeth and Iris’ Long-Awaited Reads Month and Andrea’s Vintage Science Fiction Month, which I think is quite neat. None of them are challenges, but they’re all events all happening at once, so there’s plenty to do in January if you feel like it. I am excite.
I thought it’d be fun to do a little bookish meme. But it got a bit long because I ramble sometimes, and so I decided to split it up to one part per week for the next couple of weeks. Credit for this meme goes to The Perpetual Page-Turner, though I’ve made some slight alterations to some of the questions to be phrased a tad more inclusively. (I haven’t outright changed any questions, although there was one where I was very tempted…)
All answers are current for the time that I worked on the meme. It is not, necessarily, current now. (i.e. By the time you read this, I hope to have finished my current read already.)
And here we have the last part of the A-to-Z survey! U-to-Z. Enjoy!
Today is the first day of the second annual A More Diverse Universe blog tour, hosted by Aarti at Booklust. The goal of the blog tour is simple: to read and review works of speculative fiction by authors of colour. As Aarti said when she first introduced the idea, “books are such a massive part of the media we consume that we should demand and fight for those that do represent minorities and those that do present the world from a different perspective than the one we are used to.”
I’ve very shamelessly stolen the introduction of this post from Nymeth over at Things Mean A Lot. The paragraph above was Nymeth’s. I struggle with introductions and it’s a really good one. Anyway! This is the first day of A More Diverse Universe or, if you’d rather have it in hashtags, #Diversiverse.
I wanted to read The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino for this weekend and managed quite early on. I’ve been pondering how to write my thoughts about the book since about Monday with little to no success in actually getting anything down on paper. Or, er, screen as the case more accurately is.
Before I get into my thoughts, I should give you a quick summary of what the book is about. The book is (excepting one section) a first person narrative by Namima, a priestess of Izanami, recounting how she became a priestess for the goddess, how she died, and the goddess’ own story. Amazon’s book description has this to say about the plot, which is a fair bit more elaborate:
In a place like no other, on an island in the shape of a tear drop, two sisters are born into a family of the oracle. Kamikuu, with creamy skin and almond eyes, is admired far and wide; Namima, small but headstrong, learns to live in her sister’s shadow.
On her sixth birthday, Kamikuu is presented with a feast of sea-serpent egg soup, sashimi and salted fish, and a string of pure pearls. Kamikuu has been chosen as the next Oracle, while Namima is shocked to discover she must serve the goddess of darkness. So begins an adventure that will take Namima from her first experience of love to the darkness of the underworld. But what happens when she returns to the island for revenge?
Natsuo Kirino, the queen of Japanese crime fiction, turns her hand to an exquisitely dark tale based on the Japanese myth of Izanami and Izanagi. A fantastical, fabulous tour-de-force, it is a tale as old as the earth about ferocious love and bitter revenge.
Sounds pretty good, right? I’d previous read Out by the author and, I admit, I wasn’t quite enamoured with it because crime fiction just isn’t really my genre. I have one quibble about the book that’s probably more to do with me than anything else, though, and I’d like to start with that quibble.
The last half a page or so didn’t work for me. I haven’t seen other people have an issue with it, so it’s probably just me, but I felt like I was missing some vital piece of understanding even after rereading it a few times. It felt like that half a page happened the way that it did because something outside the narrative demanded it. That’s why I’ve had trouble writing down my thoughts on this book. I think the issue here is me just missing or misinterpreting something, but I worry that it isn’t.
That said, I call it a quibble for the very simple reason that, even though it’s the very last half a page, it doesn’t ruin the book for me at all. The 300-odd pages before that are wonderful. Namima’s voice is, perhaps, a little naïve, but it suits her knowledge and personality. It’s also alternately quite bleak and quite lush, depending on what she’s describing, which was a wonderful difference to see in writing. It really gave her an added dimension I tend to find lacking in first person narratives.
Kirino weaves together the stories or Namima and Inazaki wonderfully. I really enjoyed how Inazaki’s story got told, filtered through several characters’ voices (sort of), and how much there was in this book. It says a lot about power and the differences between men and women in society. It’s the kind of book that I’d like to read in a class setting or a discussion setting because I think it lends itself well to discussions. There’s a lot packed into its pages and it’s deceptively simple to read because Namima’s voice is such a simple-sounding one.
I’m really glad that I took a chance on this book, despite not being particularly fond of the first book I read by Kirino. It’s a powerful retelling and quite deceptive, never quite going where you’d expect and far more complex than a first read or glance might suggest.
Not necessarily in that order. Next week is A More Diverse Universe week. The idea is to read one book of speculative fiction written by a person of colour and then reviewing it. I encourage you to read the post I linked because it is powerful and beautiful (and has many other links of interest). I’m not 100% sure I’ll be able to finish a book on time (see my ramblings on NaNo below), but if I start on a book this week I can probably manage it and put up a post about it within the time period. It’s a much smaller event than previous years from the sound of it. I want to read The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino. I’ve read one of Kirino’s books before and bounced off it a bit, but this sounds to be very different and there were a lot of things I did like. I make no illusions that I might not finish or that, if I do finish, I might not manage to comment on it. But there we are: a clear goal in reading. I’m looking forward to seeing what other people are reading too. ^-^ Read More
I thought it’d be fun to do a little bookish meme. But it got a bit long because I ramble sometimes, and so I decided to split it up to one part per week for the next couple of weeks. Credit for this meme goes to The Perpetual Page-Turner, thought I’ve made some slight alterations to some of the questions to be phrased a tad more inclusively. (I haven’t outright changed any questions, although there was one where I was very tempted…)
All answers are current for the time that I worked on the A-to-Z survey meme. It is not, necessarily, current now. (i.e. By the time you read this, I hope to have finished my current read already.)
I have very shamelessly stolen this question from SF Signal’s Mind Meld post asking the same thing. Because I am evil like that. And also because I am going to ramble too much for me to go “Gosh, I want to put this in the comments”.
We all have authors whose work, for whatever reason, inspire us more than the rest, whose books standout and can always be counted on to entertain, and even to comfort. These are the ones that we’ll instantly forgive a misstep or two (maybe even three), because we love them that much, and will buy, and read, anything that they write. So, we asked our panel…
Q: What authors are on your autoread list, and why?