Summer into fall

Went to Cape Cod last month. It was a relief to be away for a little bit. Work has continued to be a challenge for a variety of reasons. Family is mostly fine.

The passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg following John Lewis earlier this sumer has left me feeling disheartened and sad.

~~~

The Two-Date Rule by Tawna Fesky. This was an impulse purchase when I was in Target a month or so ago. I read it while at the beach. It was fine as a beach read, ultimately average, I guess, although I was not particularly sold on the HEA. An HFN ending probably would have been more believable, given how much therapy and/or growth both the h/h needed.

A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow. Picked this up in July when I visited Turn the Page bookstore on my western MD roadtrip. It’s YA fantasy in which Black girls and women are sirens and other mythological creatures. I thought it was well done and would recommend it, with the caveat that it kept making me do metaphorical double takes. It was published in 2020 but presumably was written earlier, possibly in 2019 or earlier, but it is very on point to what is going on in the US right now. It is set in Portland, and at one point the narrator and her friends go downtown for a protest, and during the scene with the White moms strategizing/planning for what to do if the protest gets out of control, all I could think of was the current Portland protests and violence. At one point the narrator muses about what it would take to get the country to care about the death/disappearance of a young Black woman, and all I could think of was Breonna Taylor’s death.

Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall. This was a library borrow; it came up as a recommendation on my library’s site based on my borrowing history. I did not particularly care for it and am glad it was not a book I bought. The main character/narrator is…not particularly sympathetic or even likeable. It’s not really clear to me as a reader what his redeeming qualities were, other than that he loved his mother. The love interest was shallowly perfect, the conflict was predictable, and the background characters were caricatures of British Types that seemed to have been pulled directly from Notting Hill or Four Weddings and a Funeral. Was the author going for a farce? I don’t know, but I wish I had the time I spent reading this book back. I kept waiting for it to improve and it just didn’t. More fool me for not putting it down, I guess.

The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty. End of the Daevabad trilogy. Liked it well enough, glad to have finished the trilogy, but it felt like it could easily have been half the length it was. And the ending felt a little series-bait-ish.

Recently watched The Old Guard. Really enjoyed it, although I have a lot of questions about the world building established in the graphic novels it is based on. Don’t love the art of the graphic novels, but have liked other work by Rucka. There’s a lot of really good meta about both the movie and the graphic novels on AO3, which I would recommend. And there is a huge amount of fan fiction and fan art on AO3 and tumblr. Fair warning though, I’ve clicked back out of A LOT of it, because the history and other things are Just Plain Wrong. WARNING RANT AHEAD. Ex: character reading French, Spanish and Italian books in a private collection in 1100. Aside from the idea that a non-wealthy or non-aristocratic person would just casually have a library/collection of books in the early 12th century, which seems unlikely, the languages listed are wrong. Linguistic history is not my strong suit, but I don’t think there was a singular, uniform language in those territories at that time. Spanish, which most people use to mean Castilian, was a language spoken on the Iberian peninsula then but by no means was it dominant at that point – it coexisted with Galician, Catalan, and other languages including Andalusi Romance and Andalusi Arabic. It would not have been called Spanish then, and I don’t think it was written at all until the next century, nor did it supplant Andalusi Romance until at least the next century, with Andalusi Arabic diminishing post-1492 (thanks, Nebrija). I assume similar for the French and Italian languages and their historical spread. The casual reference just makes me cringe, because it unthinkingly wraps up 1,000 years of cultural and linguistic imperialism (including 20th century minority language oppression), without any examination, which is sloppy and inconsistent with the other historical detail that the author clearly researched.

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Filed under Book related, language generally, Read or seen, spanish

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