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Search tags: i-got-teary-itchy-eyes
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review 2018-04-19 05:23
New beginnings
Four Ways to Forgiveness - Ursula K. Le Guin

These are four loosely connected but independent short stories set at the start of Yeowe's independence from Werel, after 30 years of revolutionary war. They are the stories of people as different as they can possibly come, coming to terms. With loss, with cultural differences, with a place in society, with the past. They are all also big on starting anew. And, of course, feminism. The right to freedom, to a voice, to vote, to an education, to not be raped. These are all discussed and are an important part of the book, given the planet's recent upheaval and it's heavy history of slavery and male-dominated environment.

 

I found it bittersweet and lovely, and ended up with a huge bunch of quotes saved and a lump in my throat that I know not what to do with. There is so much wrong with this planet, so much hurt, and yet... it is so hopeful. I guess forgiveness is a kind of hope. Another chance. Much like love; another thing that permeates the book and is ever-present in every story.

 

I have closed it, as so many stories close, with a joining of two people. What is one man’s and one woman’s love and desire, against the history of two worlds, the great revolutions of our lifetimes, the hope, the unending cruelty of our species? A little thing. But a key is a little thing, next to the door it opens. If you lose the key, the door may never be unlocked. It is in our bodies that we lose or begin our freedom, in our bodies that we accept or end our slavery. So I wrote this book for my friend, with whom I have lived and will die free.

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review 2017-09-29 13:53
So that's why...
Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie

I've always enjoyed Agatha Christie whenever I picked one of her books, though the level fluctuated somewhat. Now I know why this one is held up there with "And then there were none", and it deserves the praise.

 

The mystery is a good one: closed quarters, and it keeps getting more intricate and tangled with each chapter. This, I expected.

 

What I did not expect, was the emotional charge. I felt intrigued and amused for most of it.

Then mentions of loyalty get dropped here and there, and as it peaked at the end, it dawns: so many people, and it's the real deal.

(spoiler show)

I felt awe, kinship and compassion in the end.

 

So, yeah. Full stars.

 

“In my opinion, M. Poirot,” he said, “the first theory you put forward was the correct one"

 

 

 

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review 2017-09-27 03:48
One more ride
Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury

The carnival comes to town, and it's a strange one. Not just because it's late in the year, or sets up at nigh. Like all carnivals, it promises magic, and magic there is. The kind that grants that most typical wish. Like most things one could want, one should beware of getting it.

 

In a fit of magical coincidence, this one could very well be the spiritual successor of Summer Wine: Greenville, autumn, and after the immortality of childhood, and the awakening self-awareness of twelve, the rush and hunger to grow of early adolescence.

 

A highly atmospheric, imaginative, spooky tale of friendship, coming of age, connecting, and loving the time you have now. At times it got too long-winded for my taste, it detracted from the action parts with detours, or confused me with metaphors, but for the most part I loved it, the emotions it pulled, the characters (the boys as much as the villains).

 

 

 

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review 2017-09-24 07:23
Ode to momentous summers
Dandelion Wine - Ray Bradbury

*pleased sigh* So gorgeous.

 

Dandelion Wine is a beautiful, whimsical love letter to those memories of summer that are so vivid, so powerful, we can feel the baking sun, the weight and smell of the air, the joy and lassitude when we recall them.

 

It goes from one episode to the next fluidly and with little warning, connecting and weaving them. Add in Bradbury's style and the result is a bit like dreams, a bit like memories, introspective, nostalgic and at points philosophical.

 

There were episodes to pull every shade of emotion, and I loved so many of them I'd have serious trouble picking a favorite. Grandma's cooking made me so hungry and also miss my grandfather very much. Colonel's Freeleigh's bits and John's departure made me tear a bit. I laughed out loud with the witch debacle. Lavinia's had me switch between cheering on and wanting to thump her, and scared me quite a bit. And the lime-vanilla ice-cream one! So many tangled feels!

 

It was an excellent read to savor, and one I'll revisit.

 

 

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review 2017-09-15 05:19
Wholeness, duality, I and Thou
The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin

I did not want this to end. I feel a bit bereft, and very emotional, and somewhat fragile (even if Rocannon's World had prepared me for the possibility). And in awe. Dazzled in awe of how Le Guin can weave this beautiful settings to address concepts, limitations, canons of society, give them new perspectives and lead into discussions well before their time.

 

She did warn in a way, in that introduction. Because... it might be that I had late access to the Internet, and so was somewhat cut out from the world-dialogue, but it looks to me that talk of gradients and varieties of sex and sexuality (beyond the ever polemical homosexual, bisexual or trans-gender, and those as isolated phenomenons at that), is pretty recent. Yet here it is, served as a "fait acompli" in the form of a world where gender has always been a fluid thing, when it's even a thing, and the protagonist just has to deal, get over and past it, once and for all. Let me tell you, I had some fun mocking the MC over his inability to accept, because at some point, it annoyed me. Which is exactly the point of the book, I think.

 

Tied to that, all the issues of friendship, love, miss/understanding, acceptance, and what have you, in an epic sprinkled with back-ground myths and wrapped up in a sci-fi package. And by all the literary muses, I loved it.

 

 

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