Posts Tagged ‘books’

Cozy Fantasy

Happy Thursday, squiders. I had a lovely birthday yesterday, but today’s been a mess.

One of the things I did yesterday, though, was sit and finish The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches, which was a lovely book that I enjoyed very much.

(The copy I read had a blurb on the front cover, which says “A warm and witchy hug of a book” – Tasha Suri, which is an accurate description of the story.)

The book reminded me very much of The House by the Cerulean Sea, in that it involved the main character finding their place, love, and a family where they least expected it (in both cases, involving orphaned magical children in a house by the sea). That’s not a bad thing; I very much enjoyed The House by the Cerulean Sea as well.

I’ve taken to calling these types of stories Cozy Fantasy–and I’m not alone. (I checked Goodreads, and 32 people had shelved The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches as cozy fantasy, and another 32 had just shelved it under “cozy.”) These stories are typically contemporary, with some fantasy elements, and the focus is on healing–finding yourself, finding a place to belong, finding people to call your own.

They’re comforting. And I like them.

Back in the depths of lockdown I found a list somewhere on line, and I think it was something like “The Top 10 Non-stressful Manga” or something like that. From that, I found one called Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu. I’d consider this cozy fantasy too. In manga/anime, this is a Isekai story, which roughly translates to “portal fantasy” (a staple of fantasy in general, and a subgenre I’m rather fond of myself).

The basic premise of Otherworldly Izakaya (izakaya is like an inn, or a pub) Nobu is that someone found a portal between Tokyo and a fantasy realm, and decided to open an izakaya right next to the portal in the fantasy realm. So basically it’s just fantasy people wandering into the izakaya and having their problems solved by food.

It’s more interesting than it sounds.

With the world as unstable as it feels–impending wars, climate change, diseases, crime, and the list goes on–sometimes it’s good to read something that isn’t going to cause more anxiety.

Have you read anything in this genre, squiders? What were your favorite? (I’d love to read more of this, so please share!)

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Promo: Stairway to Heaven by Alex Stevens

Good morning, squiders! Today I’ve got a very interesting-sounding fantasy novel based on angel mythology (something near and dear to my heart *coughcoughShardscoughcough*). Check it out!

Stairway to Heaven cover

Stairway to Heaven

by Alex Stevens

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GENRE: Fantasy

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BLURB:

Corporal Jack Graven should be dead. Murdered by a vengeful angel at his own father’s funeral, Jack is resurrected and returns to life carrying a terrible secret: he is the Archangel Gabriel reincarnated.

Jack’s not the only one with secrets. His older brother, Lieutenant Colonel Tyler Graven “Demon of Kyoto”, has just inherited his father’s fortune and legacy as Lord of War, with no intention of stopping there: Tyler will someday rule the world.

The brothers reunite their elite military unit, “The Four Horsemen,” with Tyler’s longtime flame Colonel Diana Levitas and the mysterious Lance Corporal Jin Xialong. Together they seek to uncover the truth of Jack’s past life and propel Tyler to his impossible destiny.

Thrust into a supernatural war, the Gravens find salvation through the Black Muramasa, a cursed black katana and the only weapon that can destroy immortals. As they uncover more mysteries behind the ancient blade, they come face to face with the Devil himself, but in the most familiar of faces. Their pasts, presents, and futures all linked, the Four Horsemen must end the war once and for all to survive with their souls intact. Failing could mean the end of the world.

A follow up to the explosive first book in the Ballad of Fallen Angels series, “Sympathy for the Devil,” Book 2 is an action-packed, gun-slinging adventure that packs the punch of a military thriller with high-stakes supernatural intrigue.

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Excerpt:

“Make no mistake about it,” I continued. “You and your companions are caught in the middle of a war, a war of immortals. You need me just as much as I need you. As my disciples, the only change is your indebtedness to me. I would in essence be your master, and in return I will continue to offer my advice and protection. As it stands, I would say the two of you are quite indebted to me already.”

“What will we gain from this?” Jack asked. “I’ve never even considered the thought of pledging myself in return for information.”

“You gain an identity for yourself, and Tyler perhaps his soul. It will make sense once I’ve finished, this is for certain. You will also gain intimate knowledge regarding the immortals after your lives, but not without the assurance that I have my followers.”

Jack and Tyler faced each other then, seemingly sharing a silent moment of contemplation.

“Better the devil you know, little brother,” Tyler said at last.

“I tried walking away once, and it didn’t end well. He knew my name, a name I haven’t shared with anyone here,” Jack stated, turning in his chair to face Tyler. “I’m still alive, so I’d like the truth.”

“I guess we’re in, then.”

“Two,” I counted, displaying both fingers in the air. “Very well, then, my disciples. I will reveal everything you wish to know and more. The greatest story ever told.”

“Who are you really?” Jack asked.

“I am the fallen one,” I responded. “I am Lucifer.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Alex Stevens is a Marine Corps Veteran with two deployments and a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interdisciplinary Studies program, a unique undergraduate degree that caters to students with various interests of study. He is also an advent traveler and philosophy enthusiast who has spent a lifetime studying religions, with a focus on Non-denominational Christianity. Alex spends most of his time going for walks, spending time with loved ones, and when the juices are flowing, writing. Fantasy fiction is his great escape from the mundane and he likes to create fantastical realities that are blended with non-fictional people, places, and events.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DemonofKyoto

Amazon Book link:

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INTERVIEW:

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Anything with caramel.

Which mythological creature are you most like?

Phoenix

First book you remember making an indelible impression on you.

A (Kit’s note: Unfortunately it seems the rest of the answer was cut off, and I don’t have a way to access the author directly. I’m sure it was a good one!)

How do you develop your plot and characters?

I just write and whatever happens, happens. I often times write several stories that don’t really fit together and part of the challenge for me is to make it all make sense.

Describe your writing space.

Everywhere. Usually on a couch in the living room or in bed, but I’ve written on beaches, porches, in cars, everywhere.

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

A $50 Amazon/BN GC will be provided to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC.

Garage Sale Finds: Rumpole a la Carte

Sorry for the radio silence, squiders. Turns out I’m having a hard time keeping on top of everything with the release, and some of the other things in my life are getting neglected. So I’m going to go ahead and say that updates here are going to be spotty for the next two weeks til the book is out, and potentially a few weeks after that depending on how reviews/promotions are going.

(Also, just a reminder that the ebook version is $1.99 during the pre-order time period, and then the price goes up once it’s released. Pre-orders, cover, description, and an excerpt are here.)

Today we’re going to talk about a book I found at a garage sale around the corner from my house, rather than a library book sale book. I picked up this book because I suspect that I spent a lot of my childhood watching British mystery series on Masterpiece Theater on PBS. At least, it feels like I did.

I have many vague memories of different shows, but I remember Rumpole. He was my dad’s favorite. He was a large, loud, unapologetic man married to someone he called She Who Must Be Obeyed. I admittedly don’t remember anything other than that.

But when I saw this book at the garage sale, I remembered how much my dad liked Rumpole, and I picked it up for, like, a quarter.

(Also, I’ve talked to my dad, and he’s going to take this book off my hands next time I see him.)

Title: Rumpole a la Carte
Author: John Mortimer
Genre: Mystery short story collection
Publication Year: 1990

Pros: Rumpole is very much a character, and despite the age of the book it ages fairly well
Cons: I don’t understand how the British court system works and so I found some bits confusing

Each short story is almost exactly 40 pages long, which I like in an OCD sort of way.

So, while I remembered my dad liking Rumpole (Rumpole of the Bailey, I believe the TV show was called) I didn’t actually remember the set up of the show. Rumpole is a defense lawyer (Defence barrister, in the British, I suppose) whose main goal seems to be getting his clients–who are always innocent, at least in these shorts–off in court. He does do some investigation on his own and does tend to figure out what really happened, but he only uses this information to clear his own client. He never does anything beyond that.

Despite being set in the Bailey (which I assume is some sort of…law office? Hold on, searching–it’s a criminal court. My questions are not answered) and often on the floor of a court case, there is a definite element to these stories which is almost cozy mystery-esque. The stories involve the case at hand, but they also spend a lot of time on the antics of Rumpole’s fellow Bailey denizens, or on Hilda’s (that’s She Who Must Be Obeyed’s name, but in the stories she’s more often referred to by her name) relations or friends.

And the stories have aged well. I find sometimes, with older mysteries, that sometimes they come across misogynistic or sexist or racist or whatever, in a way that was acceptable at the time. But Rumpole literally does not care about any of that, so it’s all pretty minor.

Overall, I enjoyed the collection. The stories were a good length, the cases varied, and the characters interesting.

On a side note, before I let you guys go, I apparently had some issues as a child telling the time period of said British mystery shows. Part of that was probably the variety of shows in many different time periods, and part of that is probably the fact that lawyers wear robes and wigs at court in the UK, and so throws childhood perception off. From this book at least, it seems like Rumpole was contemporary to when he was being published.

Anyway! Did you guys watch the Rumpole of the Bailey tv show? Read any of the other books? Have thoughts of other good mystery short story collections?

Let’s Talk About Books

It has been a Week, squiders. We had to move everything so we could finally replace our probably 20-year-old carpet (ugh, it was so gross) and now I’ve got to put everything back–but of course, we found all sorts of things that got put away years ago and forgotten about that now needs to be dealt with, and our closet organizer literally fell apart the moment we detached it from the wall, so now I’ve no place to put the clothes.

(Of course, I can’t just buy a replacement, because the closet has been dysfunctional the whole time we’ve lived here, so this is the perfect time to fix it, also my first choice to replace it is out of stock and who knows when it will be back in stock, which does nothing to solve the “I have nowhere to put anything” problem I currently have.)

On top of that, my most professional writing forum, the one that runs the critique marathons, unexpectedly shut down over the weekend. One of our moderators recently passed away, and the other one felt like she didn’t have the time or energy to run the forum by herself, but it was still a surprise. The rest of the group is working on finding us a new home, but I do worry. This forum was part of a larger forum (mostly used for critiquing submission materials) that shut down some years back, and the replacement for that forum has never been particularly active.

And it also reminds me that I used to be really on top of the whole submission scene–reading industry news, working on marketing, keeping up with trends and new techniques–and that all has fallen by the wayside over the past few years.

Part of me says I should get back on top of everything, but the rest of me is just tired. I suspect that’s still the pandemic talking.

But, anyway, enough about that. Let’s talk about books.

I finished Fate of the Fallen a few days ago. A friend loaned this book to me probably back in 2020, and I just now got around to it. It’s an interesting take on a chosen one story, where the chosen one is killed almost immediately and his best friend has to take up the slack even as those around him give up hope. I found it a little hard to read–there’s a lot of viewpoints, and the writing wasn’t gelling with me–but it ended on a very interesting note. I’ll probably pick up book 2 in September or whenever it comes out.

I’ve also gotten back into reading A Dweller on Two Planets, which I got in physical form through the interlibrary loan program. (I had been reading it online through Project Gutenberg, I believe, but had a hard time keeping track of where I was.) This is an interesting book, written in 1886 by Frederick Oliver, who claimed the book had been channeled through him. It portrays a couple of lifetimes of Phylos the Thibetan, including one in Atlantis and a more recent one from the California Gold Rush. The book focuses a lot of New Age-y and occult concepts and a lot of movements have come from it over the years.

The author was 20 when the book was finished, and the book itself goes into a lot of more advanced metaphysical concepts, as well as advanced technology and stuff of that ilk. The whole channeling thing seems a little farfetched to me, but it is interesting to think how a kid who grew up on a mining claim would know about these subject matters.

Anyway, that continues. I hope to finish the book this time.

Additionally, I’m about two-thirds of the way through How High We Go in the Dark, where is near future science fiction covering the start and effects of a pandemic. (The book came out in January.) It’s been a bit of a gut punch–too soon, in some ways, and very dark and emotional in some places. About half way through, though, the tone shifted a bit, so I feel less like I have to lie down after each chapter.

Have you read anything interesting lately, squiders? Have you read any of these books? Thoughts?

Library Book Sale Finds: Simone LaFray and the Chocolatiers’ Ball by S. P. O’Farrell

Man, how long has it been? I think since 2020 at least, since I was doing some sort of reading challenge that year that was getting me through my stash of library book sale books.

Back to it!

I picked up this book at a library book sale, where I paid a whooping $6 for it. (As I recall, we ended up only buying a few books because it was less “lots of books for cheap” and more “extremely expensive and not much of a selection.”)

I’m not sure what I was thinking. The genre was not at all what I was expecting, so either I bought the wrong book, or I’d completely forgotten everything about this book by the time I got around to reading it.

Title: Simone LaFray and the Chocolatiers’ Ball
Author: S.P. O’Farrell
Genre: MG Mystery
Publication Year: 2019

Pros: Great villain, good possibility to see him again in later books (that do not currently exist)
Cons: Plot is predictable, main character is supposed to be very observant but misses things when plot appropriate

I found this book really hard to read. Like, I’d pick it up, read a few pages, and then put it down again and not want to touch it. I had to force myself to keep reading. I’m not sure why–it might be the voice (which is first person) or it might be because I could see the way the plot was going and it was making me anxious.

Seriously, though, I don’t remember this being a MG mystery. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with MG mystery. I read it occasionally and it tends to normally be a quick, fun read (you don’t typically have anything too life-shattering going on in MG). I’m sure a lot of the predictability in the plot comes down to that.

Obviously I’m in the minority, too, as this book has only glowing reviews on Goodreads.

Simone LaFray is a precocious 12-year-old who is an operative for a French secret agency. By day she helps her father run his world-famous patisserie. Her mother also works for the agency, and her attention-seeking younger sister and their dog round out the family.

Simone is literally perfect, and none of the family has any real flaws, which is not unheard of for MG. The plot is a bit slow, but follows a known art thief arriving in town, ostensibly to finish a job that was interrupted the year before. The art thief was my favorite character. He has a cool nickname–the Red Fox–he eludes everyone the whole book, including Simone, and he has a flair for drama.

Would I recommend this? I don’t know. I didn’t enjoy it, but maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind.

Read anything good lately, squiders?

Year-end Book Round-up 2021

Happy 2022, squiders! As always, to start the year off, we look at what I read last year. (Been tracking since 2009 or 2010, something, yadda yadda, etc.)

(Also I should be back to my twice a week schedule now. We’ll see.)

(Also also I did finally get my outlining workshop SkillShare class all fixed. It’s here.)

Anyway, on to the stats!

Books Read in 2021: 50
Change from 2020: -9

I did a lot of reading in 2020, mostly because I couldn’t focus on anything else. I’d say we were more at normal reading levels in 2021.

Of those*:
9 were Mystery
7 were Fantasy
7 were Nonfiction
5 were short story collections
4 were Dystopian
4 were General Literature
4 were Romance
3 were Science Fiction
2 were Memoir
1 was Alternative History
1 was a Fairy Tale retelling
1 was Historical fiction
1 was a story sampler
1 was a tie-in

*Some genre consolidation was done here. YA or MG titles went into the general genre. All subgenres of fantasy or romance, for example, also went into the general genre.

No audiobooks this year. Though we did listen to one–I apparently just didn’t write it down.

New genre(s)**: alt history, fairy tale retelling, dystopian, historical fiction, memoir, short story collection, story sampler, tie-in
Genres I read last year that I did not read this year: children’s, adventure, Gothic horror, horror, a play, science fiction noir, spy novel
**This means I didn’t read them last year, not that I’ve never read them.

Genres that went up: general literature
Genres that went down: mystery, fantasy, nonfiction, romance, science fiction

I think I read a broader swath of genres this past year. Plus a bunch of short story collections.

14 were my books
36 were library books

Oof. I must stop getting out so many books from the library and read my own books instead.

53 were physical books
11 were ebooks

Of note, almost every book of my own that I read was an ebook. Only the Uglies trilogy wasn’t. Also a problem.

Average rating: 3.59/5

Top rated:
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstein (fantasy – 4.5)
Totto-chan (memoir – 4.4)
Unfettered (SFF short story anthology – 4)
Solutions and Other Problems (memoir – 4)
Take a Look at the Five and Ten (general literature – 4)
The House in the Cerulean Sea (fantasy – 4)

More in my normal categories this year, though the memoirs are a surprise.

Honorable mentions of 3.9: Twas the Knife Before Christmas (mystery), Operation Moonglow (nonfiction)

Most recent publication year: 2021
Oldest publication year: 1896
Average publication year: 2013
Books older than 1900: 1
Books newer than (and including) 2016: 36

In theory reading newer books helps you see which way the markets are trending.

The first book I read this year was The Best American Mystery Stories 2020, edited by C.J. Box (mystery short story collection) and the last was Deck the Donuts by Ginger Bolton (mystery).

Read anything great last year, squiders? I’ve already read something good this year–This is How You Lose the Time War. Definitely recommend.

Poking Around

I finished my client edit! Woo, that was an undertaking. And now I find myself with time to spend on my own projects!

But I also feel a little burnt out. I mean, that figures , but holy cow, is it frustrating.

Oh, I learned something today! So, I listen to a podcast called Myths and Legends, which tells stories from folklore around the world. I’m about two years behind (in the end of 2018, which is better than the four years I was behind), but, you know, not really time dependent.

Anyway, in the episode I started this morning, the host mentioned that legends are based in history, and myths are based in religion. Google research holds up this assertion.

I thought that was a neat distinction, and, uh, now you know too!

In other news, I’ve been researching mystery short stories. I enjoyed writing the mystery for Nano, and I thought I might try my hand at some other stories in the same genre every now and then. But, while I regularly read scifi and fantasy shorts, I’d never read any mystery shorts, excepting that one time I got that Victorian mystery collection from the library. All the stories in that were at least 70 years old, so I figure they’re not good research.

(Great book, though.)

I thought I’d get some short story magazines from the library, except they don’t have any, so I ended up getting a couple “Best of [year] Mystery Stories” collections. Except even those were hard to find, so I ended up with Best of 2020, Best of 2019, and a suspense collection called Nothing Good Happens After Midnight. I’ve been alternating them with two scifi/fantasy/horror short story collections I also have.

(Too many short story collections, let me tell you what. But, anyway, the idea is that I read a scifi/fantasy story, then a mystery, then a scifi/fantasy, etc., as a palate cleanser so the stories don’t get confused in my head.)

(Oh, I ended up reading the other Shannara short in that one collection even though it wasn’t next chronologically. It was only a few pages long and more of a scene outtake than a story.)

And I have to say…these stories don’t feel like mysteries. Oh, sure, they all have crimes, and some of them are presented in a way where what’s going on isn’t known about til the end, but a lot of them are more straight forward than that.

(Suspense and mystery are different genres, so I’m not too put out about the suspense collection not being mysteries. But the mystery collections, on the other hand…)

I mean, I guess I’m getting a decent idea of what’s current in the land of mystery shorts, but I expected more…actual mystery, if that makes sense.

Also, I’ve yet to come across any cozy-esque shorts in any of these collections. I know, for example, Agatha Christie used to write Miss Marple shorts, so they do exist, but perhaps they’re out of fashion. It only takes a few hours to get through a cozy mystery novel, after all, so many shorts just aren’t needed in the great scheme of things.

What do you know, squiders? Any thoughts on mystery short stories? Or short stories in general? Or thoughts on myths and legends? Or random facts (preferably about octopuses)?

See everyone on Thursday, when hopefully I have gotten my act together!

Yearend Book Round-up 2020

Hi, squiders! It’s that time again! (stats stats stats!)

Books Read in 2020: 59
Change from 2019: +4

This may actually be the most I’ve read, since I started tracking.

Of those*:
13 were Nonfiction
12 were Fantasy
11 were Mystery
6 were Science Fiction
5 were Romance
3 were Children’s
2 were General Literature
1 was Adventure
1 was Contemporary
1 was Gothic horror
1 was Horror
1 was a Play
1 was Science Fiction Noir
1 was a Spy Novel

*Some genre consolidation was done here. YA or MG titles went into the general genre. All subgenres of fantasy or romance, for example, also went into the general genre.

No audiobooks this year. No road trips on which to listen to them.

New genre(s)**: adventure, contemporary, gothic horror, science fiction noir, spy novel
Genres I read last year that I did not read this year: anthology, young adult, science fantasy
**This means I didn’t read them last year, not that I’ve never read them.

Genres that went up: nonfiction, science fiction, romance
Genres that went down: mystery, fantasy, general literature

That’s the monthly nonfic books coming into play.

33 were my books
26 were library books

I guess making sure I read some of TBR list every month paid off!

53 were physical books
6 were ebooks

(Hmmmmm.)

Average rating: 3.58/5

Top rated:
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill (contemporary – 4)
The Falcon Always Wings Twice (mystery – 4)
Differently Wired (nonfiction – 4)
Bet Me (romance – 4)

Interesting that nothing is in my normal categories of fantasy and science fiction.

Honorable mentions of 3.9: Dark Matter (science fiction), Kiki’s Delivery Service (children’s fantasy), The Chinese Orange Mystery (mystery)

Most recent publication year: 2020
Oldest publication year: 1883
Average publication year: 2002
Books older than 1900: 1
Books newer than (and including) 2015: 36

A lot of newer books this year. A full 20 from 2019 and 2020.

The first book I read this year was Reverie by Ryan La Sala (YA fantasy) and the last was A Match Made for Thanksgiving by Jackie Lau (romance).

How’d your year of reading, squiders? Any books you’d recommend?

Letting Myself Give Up

I hate to start a book I don’t finish, squiders. You guys know that, if you’ve been here a while, since I once posted about a book I started in high school and finished quite a bit later.

In fact, normally I pride myself on finishing what I start. Even if it takes me months. Or years.

I’ve done a lot of reading this year. I think I’m ten books up from where I normally am, or maybe 15. And I’ve enjoyed most of them. But every so often, I’ve started one that I just wasn’t feeling.

Normally, I’ll just slog through them anyway, or put them down and come back to them later.

Unfortunately, one of them was a library book, so I didn’t have the liberty of time, especially since it was a new release. It was kind of weird, actually, because this book came in as being a request, but neither I nor my spouse had any memory of requesting it. But it was near-future scifi, which is a genre we both like, so it was likely one of us had anyway.

(Jury’s still out on that one. I’m leaning toward my spouse.)

I started it, got 50 pages in. And I just…wasn’t feeling it. I don’t think it was a bad book, so I’m not going to name it so I don’t dissuade other people, but it was very depressing. Climate change had essentially made Earth unlivable, rights were being stripped away from women and minorities, and in the height of the world burning down around me, I couldn’t stomach reading about the sort of thing that feels all too plausible.

And I said to the smaller, mobile one, that I didn’t want to read it.

And she said, “Then don’t, Mommy.”

And I said, “But I put it as Currently Reading on Goodreads,” and she said she didn’t know what that was and wandered off.

Hey, guess what? You can delete books off your Goodreads. It’s not too hard, once you look for the option.

So I did. Delete it, I mean. And I returned it to the library. And I feel a little guilty about it, but not really.

So, today, I said to myself that that was actually probably a good thing, and why was I forcing myself to read things that weren’t enjoyable that I didn’t have to, and I should clear off another book.

I am going to name that one. It’s called Holly Banks, Full of Angst and I got it through the Kindle First program or whatever it’s called, where they give you a list of free Kindle books the first of every month and you can pick one. It’s contemporary, which isn’t my favorite, but it was sold as being a funny novel about motherhood.

I started it in…February? Earlier in this forever year. And I’m sorry, I really hated it. I got 35, 40 percent into it. And it was just the worst sort of secondhand embarrassment. I was hoping to be able to identify with Holly and that it would resonate with my own mothering experiences, but I hated Holly and what she was doing only made me anxious.

But now…it’s gone! Well, it’s at least out of my Goodreads account. Still need to delete it off my Kindle. Hooray!

I’ve got to remind myself that sometimes, it’s better to not finish something. That sometimes it’s okay to not push myself through something that I really do not want to do. That it’s okay to recognize that something is not working for me and move on to something that’s going to work better. It’s not being lazy or giving up; it’s listening to and trusting myself.

It’s a good thing to be reminded of, sometimes.

I am unlikely to be back later this week, squiders, so I’ll catch you in that weird liminal time between Christmas and New Years.

Well, I’m Going to Do It

We talked a few weeks back about Shannara and the TV show and how it was the series that got me into epic fantasy, and how the series is complete now so I could, if so inclined, go back and read the series in chronological order.

I thought very hard about this.

The first story, chronologically, is a short story called “Imaginary Friends,” originally published in 1991 and re-published in 2013.

So I hunted down the anthology from 2013, and not only is it included, but it’s the first story. Mission accomplished!

(I am, now, however, faced with a decision. This is a very large book. Do I read the whole thing? There’s not really any reason not to, except that I had to go through the library loan program to get it, which means I am limited in the amount of times I can renew it.)

(The other thing is there is another Shannara short story, later in the book, which is 25th in the chronology. Do I read it now and then read it again when I get to it? Do I skip it? I am aware that this is a stupid problem, yet here we are.)

It was a cute little story, more urban fantasy than anything. I don’t quite see how it connects in, and even in the intro Terry Brooks notes that it was written before he’d really solidified the ideas that would become the Word and the Void trilogy, which comes next chronologically. The first book of those is Running with the Demon, which I am 90% sure I own somewhere. Just got to find it now.

Anyway, apparently I’m doing this. I imagine it will not be fast, but I’ll check in with you guys from time to time.

Now, to go find that book.