Tuesday, April 1, 2014

feb & march books

This stretch has felt kind of busy, but I've managed to get in a little reading at least.

In February, I read Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier.  In it, Neryn is a teen who has seen and experienced a lot in a troubled world. With the guidance of the fae, she learns she has a significant role to play in the country's healing. Kind of epic journeying with self discovery and a touch of love. Maybe a bit more travel than I tend to like, but I still enjoyed the novel.  "We had hidden the pieces of our broken lives in our hearts and crept away.I also read a book of poetry - American Primitive by Mary Oliver - and it was amazing.  It included pieces like: "we belong / to the moon and when the ponds / open, when the burning / begins the most / thoughtful among us dreams / of hurrying down / into the black petals, / into the fire, / into the night where time lies shattered, / into the body of another." (from "Blossom") and "Every year / everything / I have ever learned // in my lifetime / leads back to this: the fires / and the black river of loss / whose other side // is salvation, whose meaning / none of us will ever know. / To live in this world // you must be able / to do three things: to love what is mortal; / to hold it // against your bones knowing / your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, / to let it go." (from "In Blackwater Woods") 

In March, I read The Seer and The Sword by Victoria Hanley"For all my years, what have I learned? That there will always be enough killers. Leave the killing to them. Wherever you find something good, help it grow.It's the story of princess Torina and prince-in-exile Landen, a seer's crystal, a magical sword, castle politics, acts of war, and growing love.  Much of this book is told rather than shown; knowing the thoughts of all characters leaves very little to the imagination; everything fits absolutely perfectly together all of the time (a character thinks about someone or a situation? Tada, then they / it materializes right there in that scene...).  Yet! It's kind of like someone sitting by a campfire telling a story. There's something charming in its simplicity and happily-ever-after.  Next up was Unite Me by Tahereh Mafi"There's something so personal about this journal; it looks as if it's been bound together by the loneliest feelings, the most vulnerable moments of one person's life."  It consisted of two novellas for her Shatter Me series (from the perspectives of Warner and Adam), plus Juliette's journal.  Interesting, though not as captivating as the main novels in the series.  "...and all the lifeboats are taken and all the life preservers are broken and I don't know how to swim I can't swim I can't swim and it's getting so hard."  And then, there's the conclusion of the series, Ignite Me by Tehereh MafiPretty much the story of Juliette claiming her strength, claiming her love, claiming her world. Though it's a story of a world at war and a group of friends trying to change the very fabric of how society has come to function, it's much more personal than that. I have to say, though I think Juliette came across as a little too megalomaniac-smug at times, and there's a teeny bit too much "blinking" happening, it was a beautifully written and overall very fulfilling conclusion to the series.  Passages I loved included: "My eyes are filling fast with tears and I blink and blink but the world is a mess and I want to laugh because all I can think is how horrible and beautiful it is, that our eyes blur the truth when we can't bear to see it." and "Swords may cut and kill, but words will stab and stay, burying themselves in our bones to become corpses we carry into the future, all the time digging and failing to rip their skeletons from our flesh." and "I'm beyond rational thought. Beyond words, beyond comprehensible ideas. Seconds are merging into minutes and hearts are collapsing and hands are grasping and I've tripped over a planet and I don't know anything anymore, I don't know anything because nothing will ever be able to compare to this."          

Otherwise for the last two months, there were a couple of books that I started and chose not to finish (The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Dark Mirror by Juliet Marillier).  There were also a small handful that I glanced through, reading bits and pieces: Death by Food Pyramid by Denise Minger, The Basics of Reiki by Penelope Quest, Calming Your Anxious Mind by Jeffery Brantley ("Be here for the beautiful music.  Be here for the wonderful sunset.  Be here for the warm touch of your loved one's hand.  Be here when the beauty graces your life.")      

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