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Reading Update: June 28, 2020

Summer is destined for books. That’s just the natural way of life.

So what am I reading?

That’s…not so simply answered this time around. At the moment:

  • East O’ the Sun and West O’ the Moon. Norwegian folk tales. Because, y’know, I already read the complete Grimm’s fairytales, the Arabian Nights, and the Longest Lay of Sigurd in summers past. These aren’t bad. Plenty of stories I’ve read before with a few little changes here and there. Apparently they are fonder of Trolls in Norway…
  • The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood. For like the fifth time. But to be fair! I have never read this version before. And the disgustingly watered “Great Illustrated Classics” version that my childhood grubby paws clutched so eagerly really shouldn’t count. So technically the final count is time and a half for the Creswick version and first time around for Pyle. It’s a lovely, utterly battered edition from the 1940s that used to be a school library copy and is held together with red repair tape. Green cover. All the letters on it worn off. I love it already. How couldn’t I?
  • The Harry Potter Project. In other words, listening to the Audible versions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone read by Stephen Fry in English…and Rufus Beck in German. Because I never read them as a child and I need to be able to hold my head up in the fantasy writer world without fear of dodging eggs and tomatoes and pointy bookmarks. How do I like it? I won’t say yet, not until I’ve finished. But I will say I enjoyed Rufus Beck singing for Harry’s first night at Hogwarts…it’s something you don’t get in the English version, and I confess to the little musician in me being quite charmed.
  • Hamlet. Figured it was time. This will be my fourth adventure into the world of Shakespeare. Macbeth was good, The Merchant of Venice my favorite, A Midsummer Night’s Dream not at all to my taste. I hope Hamlet will be another good one.

What else have I been doing that makes my blogging so much more irregular these days?

Tottering through the Writers of the Future writing workshop and endlessly avoiding eye contact with my inbox as I wait for results from the last quarter contest. Experimenting with a half-size German chocolate cake recipe (with deliciously way too much chocolate glaze). Quietly sobbing my way through the last dozen episodes of Ever Night or so.

Ever Night was gorgeous. Characters, acting, out-of-this world magic system (which frankly, could be a total cliche and I don’t know because I haven’t seen or read much Chinese fantasy–magnificent either way), everything was good. I felt guilty for watching as many episodes in a row as I did–sixty episodes all told for a single season. But then I began to wonder. I’d never have felt guilty for spending that much time over a book as beautiful as Ever Night. So what was wrong about having the story in a different way?

We bookworms, I think, are often happy little snobs. We argue over the merit of format (Hardcover? Paperback? Ebook? Audio?) and how it influences our reaction, down to the dotting of the smallest i. Watching TV series and movies, well, that’s not in our league.

But why shouldn’t it be? Usually the snobbery is all in fun, but I wonder. Why do we argue about it at all? Book, audiobook, film–they’re all different forms of the same art. Telling stories. And if one form tells a story beautifully, are we really going to let where it came from stop us from loving it, heart and soul?

On the other hand, I did discover Ever Night is based on a book. So I am now tasked with either finding a copy in English or learning Chinese.

Both seem about equally plausible at this point. It’s a very good story. And it isn’t making itself easy to find.

But very little can stand in my way when there is a book waiting to be read.


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