2020 reading notes, week 1

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Sara had a splendid idea, and this is my modified version of it: I’m starting now, January 1, and updating the post whenever I finish reading something (fiction or nonfiction, any length, new or rereads; no blog posts but notable articles may slip in), keeping the newest on top so people following it won’t have to scroll down in increasing amounts. Notes only; if I want to write more extensively about something it will get its own post.

Edit: Goodness, I read a lot. Finally decided to restart every week but the year started on a Wednesday and Wed-Tue is awkward because calendar weeks have numbers. I can force it into Sun-Sat, as my paper kitchen calendar has, instead of Mon-Sun as most other calendars have, but that’s about as far as it will stretch (argh, there is a way to set the system calendar to start weeks on Sunday but that involves messing with the locale and I’ve already had enough trouble with that). Half a week, then, Wednesday-Saturday, and start the next post today, Sunday, January 5.

January 4: Kit and Nita fluff. I’ve read better, and the second story kicked Nita upstairs way early.

January 4: A Wizard Abroad (reread). I wanted to read about Ireland, and Powers that Be who walk the earth in human guise are always exciting, and the spear-forging scene is SO POWERFUL. Found what I thought was a little continuity error (Nita’s father called “Ed” when in later books he’s definitely “Harry”) and alerted the writer on Twitter (turns out some of his family call him Ed because he’s Harold Edward. Nice when writers reply!)

January 2: Susan Pevensie fanfic by dirgewithoutmusic (new, except Part 1 that was already on my Kobo, found out that there were 6 more when looking for something else, as one does). Poignant and moving. Also a short bittersweet Young Wizards story (new) about grown-up Nita and her young daughter which makes me want to find the stories about an even younger wizard [ETA: found, it’s the Butterflies!Verse finished on January 5], and a silly Young Wizards M/M and F/alien story which I must have read at some time because I recognised scenes. Not without its own poignancy, that last one: “Your entire continent [i.e. Australia] seems to be trying to kill you.”

January 2: Robert van Gulik, The Willow Pattern (reread, have read it several times both in Dutch and in English). Lost the Dorothy Sayers mood completely, probably because I was trying to read in order instead of picking my favourites and got stuck in The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, definitely not a favourite. I did want to read a mystery and grabbed a random Judge Dee instead, rewarded with (for Van Gulik) very strong female characters. It struck me once again that the men all have untranslated Chinese names and the women all have translated names (usually flowers or jewels; in this one jewels, and one renamed to only the colour of the jewel because of an unfortunate event that made the original name unlucky). Unless they’re married, then they’re just Mrs Husbandsfamilyname.

January 1: Malika Older, Actually Naneen (from Twitter link). Reminds me of why I rarely read short SF stories: it’s trying very hard to make a point. Not bad, just not my kind of thing. Reading the response essay too made it a lot clearer (link in the actual post 404ed for me but it was also linked in the sidebar). Looked at a few other stories linked from that but they all seemed to be the same genre (the one about religion looks okay, though).

January 1: Lewis Carroll, What the Tortoise said to Achilles (new to me). The head, she spins. In the most delightful way.