Reading notes, week 10

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Seven Sisters by Celia Lake. Seventh and last of Mysterious Charm. So much mythology! Such wonderful deception! Such a cute lesbian couple! Best of the lot, and now I also want to read Lake’s other series (starting with Pastiche, for which there is a teaser at the back of this book; I’ve become interested in the magical community with its weird stilted customs).

Expedition to Ashas, my own novel-length compilation of writeups of a roleplaying campaign. It wouldn’t need much editing to actually be a novel; this time I caught a handful of typos, some minor inconsistencies, and a couple of annoying repeats. Sedi was a fun character to play, and she’s also a fun character to read about, an ace priestess growing into what I can only call a bishop.

De blauwe boekanier by Tonke Dragt. One of the haul of remembered-as-favourite children’s books from the Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren (Digital Library of Dutch Literature). Fun, and I’d forgotten so much that it was practically a new book.

De blikken fluit by Daan Zonderland. Source: ditto. Nonsense poetry, mostly cheesy and/or cringey now (the Dutch N-word occurs) but some of the poems make me smile (and one even laugh out loud).

De feesten van Josien by Jeanne van Schaik-Willing. Another dbnl book. The publisher labeled it “age 10-15” in 1953 but I’d say 8-11 myself, it reads far too young for teenagers both in language and in subject matter. This is one I remember parts of, mostly the parts I perceived as somewhat supernatural when I was a kid (they weren’t, though not completely realistic either). Many years later, I read Paul Biegel’s Het spiegelkasteel, which has echoes of this, though the story in that is supernatural. I didn’t remember the mundane story (little kid makes both kid and adult friends while collecting the toys St Nicholas hid in the apartment building and they all have a party together) at all! I did sort of remember the ending in which the kid, a couple of years later when she is 7 or 8, gives all the beloved toys to her baby brother. It’s probably meant as wonderful and inspirational but both then and now it made/makes me sad.

Alewijn, de lijfeigene by E. Molt. “Historical tale from the 12th century” published in 1901. The view of the Middle Ages is indeed very 1901 — there’s this knight who is so fond of warfare that he goes to conquer someone else’s castle, at great expense (of money and human lives) because he rode the other man’s horse and it threw him. Ends very suddenly, too (but a happyish ending, I’ll grant it that).

De H.B.S.-tijd van Joop ter Heul by Cissy van Marxveldt. 1919, and remarkably modern for that (though I’m now reading the sequel and that story has aged much less gracefully, “get the man and he’ll be strict with you but that’s what you need”, and I may abandon it). I read the whole series as a teenager, and again later, but I suspect I’ve “forgotten” the sequels for that reason.

Index of reading notes is here.

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