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text 2017-09-19 02:15
Halloween Bingo - Supernatural
White Night - Jim Butcher

I decided to continue the Dresden Files series with White Night. Since this is a mystery with a wizard lead and had vampires, ghouls, and magic involved in the case, I'm using it for the Supernatural square.

 

 

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text 2017-09-19 02:14
Reading progress update: I've read 56%.
Night of the Living Deed - Audible Studios,Amanda Ronconi,E.J. Copperman

This is really cute. I'm enjoying it a lot.

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text 2017-09-18 19:54
Reading progress update: I've listened 124 out of 722 minutes.
Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel - Dylan Marron,Jeffrey Cranor,Cecil Baldwin,Retta Andresen,Joseph Fink,Harper Audio,Dan Bittner,Therese Plummer

"'The search for truth takes us to dangerous places,' said Old Woman Josie. 'Often it takes us to that most dangerous place: the library. You know who said that? No? George Washington did. Minutes before librarians ate him.'"

 

Ooh, I hope there's going to be a scene inside the public library.

 

At the moment, it looks like this book might be about the origins of the Man in the Tan Jacket, although I'm still not sure how Diane (the employee in my previous post) and Josh (Diane's shapeshifting son) are involved. Maybe the Man in the Tan Jacket is

Josh's father?

(spoiler show)
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text 2017-09-18 17:31
Reading progress update: I've listened 104 out of 722 minutes.
Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel - Dylan Marron,Jeffrey Cranor,Cecil Baldwin,Retta Andresen,Joseph Fink,Harper Audio,Dan Bittner,Therese Plummer

(If just reading about spiders freaks you out, skip this post.)

 

A nerve-wracking employee-boss conversation, not so much for the topic (although that's pretty weird), as for what's going on around them as they're talking. The employee knows that there's a tarantula walking around on her boss and assumes it's a pet, because that's a perfectly normal sort of pet for a Night Vale resident to bring to work. I mean, consider Night Vale cats. And apparently Night Vale goldfish eat mice on a daily basis. Anyway, the boss is unaware of the tarantula and is, in fact, deathly afraid of spiders. The employee actually asks her boss about the spider's name at one point, but the boss thinks she's referring to a picture of her son. She never does find out about the spider that spent nearly the entire meeting touching her (::shudder::).

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review 2017-09-17 23:30
Review: In the Night Garden (The Orphan's Tales Book 1 of 2)
In the Night Garden (The Orphan's Tales, #1) - Catherynne M. Valente

I thought this was a very clever and unique book.  At least, I’ve never read anything like it.  It tells a lot of stories, I couldn’t say how many, but definitely more than a dozen.  However, this is not an anthology.  It’s layer upon layer upon layer of related stories nested inside each other. 

 

The framing story is about a lonely girl who people shun because they believe she’s a demon.  A curious boy approaches her and, over the course of a few days, she tells him two stories.  Each of the two stories takes up about half of the book.  Within each story, some of the characters tell other stories.  Within those stories, somebody tells another story.  These stories often tell the backstory of a particular character, so you’re sort of gaining more and more history, going backwards in time as you go forward in the book.  Periodically, the book returns to the higher layers to continue those stories, and then it possibly goes back into the same lower layers to finish incomplete stories there, or else it starts a new inner story with a new set of layers.  Some of the different branches were only moderately related, but there were lots of little connections here and there which were fun to watch for.

 

Sound confusing?  It really wasn’t.  The first main story never went more than 5 layers deep.  The second main story went up to 7 layers deep a couple times.  When I first realized the structure of the book, I was a little worried that I would get confused, so I started checking myself each time the story went into a deeper layer, recounting to myself the steps that had led there.  I was always able to do so quickly and without confusion, and I think that process helped me keep it all straight in my head.  I could see where some people might find this book disorienting, though.  For me, it may have helped that this type of thought process is part of my day job as a programmer; I kept making comparisons to it while I was reading.  Reading this was kind of like keeping track of the call stack while reading or debugging a program as it progresses forward and backward through layers of subroutines. 

 

The stories all borrow heavily from fairy tales.  This was especially noticeable to me since I had read through The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales earlier this year.  It really isn’t a retelling of any of those stories, but there were lots of little nods, sometimes with similarities and sometimes with twists, and with the tiniest hint of satire.  Unlike many of the Grimm’s tales, however, this book was internally consistent, the characters’ actions made sense, and it never felt silly. 

 

I do still have a little bit of Fairy Tale Fatigue from the Grimm’s book though, so that might have impacted my enjoyment of some of the stories.  Some layers were more interesting than others, so the book didn’t always hold my interest, which is the main reason I’m not rating it higher.

 

Next Book

In the Cities of Coin and Spice by Catherynne M. Valente, the sequel to this book.

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