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June Book List

1. Where are the Lions?, Claus Tøndering

Honestly - and as a Christian I'm kind of ashamed to admit this - this is the first depiction of heaven that's really been attractive to me. The book describes how we often think of heaven as being filled with "lethargic bliss:" Everyone sitting around, singing hymns and being happy. It seems so ... boring.

But this picture of an active heaven ... this is a place I want to go! Honestly, my first thought was, "You mean I could still be a librarian in heaven - but do it 100% for the joy of it, in a perfect library??" And to have an infinity of time to learn new things and perfect skills, just for the pleasure of it!
​​
So yeah, you could say that I think this is a brilliant concept.​

​The writing: I love the narrative voice! It's personal and approachable, but still has hints of fable-like language; I'm not sure how to describe it better than that. I felt like Nick was sitting across the table from me, telling me the story.

You can download the ebook for free here.

2. Script & Scribble, Kitty Burns Florey

Just a lovely little look at penmanship styles, methods, and trends over the ages.

3. Station 16, Yves Huppen

A short and creepy retro-styled graphic novel; probably predictable for those more familiar with the genre, but I loved it.

4. In the Wake of the Plague, Norman Cantor

As others have pointed out, the quality of writing and general interest level fades in the later chapters of the book, but for anyone with a penchant for historical diseases, this is a solid overview of the the effects of the plague years.
5. Blacksad: Amarillo, Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido

Don't really have much to say about this one except that dang, this artwork!

6. Though the Woods, Emily Carroll

Oh goodness - just lovely and creepy, like illustrated Poe.

7. Spinster: making a life of one's own, Kate Bolick

Every time I'd get frustrated with the author's seemingly endless relationship-hopping (in a book about singlehood) and personal angsting, there'd be a sentence so perfectly formed, or a quote so timely and thought-provoking that I'd think "okay, just one more chapter."

I disagree with the author on quite a number of points and this book was not at all what I expected; I'm still glad I struggled through to the end.

Part of my frustration came from the disconnect between the author's definition of singleness and my own. Behold:

"In all my daydreaming about being alone I'd somehow overlooked that in this century being single means "dating," which means having sex with people you don't know very well..."

Um, that is not at all my definition.

Also this:

"My aim is more modest: to offer [the word 'spinster'] up as shorthand for holding on to that in you which is independent and self-sufficient, whether you're single or coupled."

No, I'm sorry, you don't get to redefine "spinster" as something that can apply to someone who is married/in a long-term relationship. You just don't get to do that. They may (and do) change over time, but words mean things, and right now nothing about the word "spinster" has any business being applied to a married person.

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
onetravelsfar
Jul. 6th, 2015 01:42 am (UTC)
Sigh. Sadly, I know several people for whom that is the exact definition of singleness. And the spinster thing is so weird! I think holding onto the self-sufficient, independent part of oneself is just... being oneself! Single or married. That's strange.

I love what you said about the first book! When Heaven was first described to me when I was very young, I thought, Oh no! That sounds awful! Maybe I'll learn to like it when I grow up? Because all I could picture was that we'd be standing on clouds singing hymns forever and ever. But then in middle or high school, Heaven was described to me as essentially being a perfect version of Earth/the Universe, which sounds great!

kiwiria
Jul. 6th, 2015 06:21 am (UTC)
Wow - major eyeroll at that last quote. Words mean things indeed!

Unfortunately, I know many people for whom "dating" means just that :-P
kiwiria
Jul. 6th, 2015 06:22 am (UTC)
... and because I forgot - well done finding the 'ø' for Dad's last name :)
eattheolives
Jul. 10th, 2015 07:48 pm (UTC)
I do try. :D
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )