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review 2018-12-15 13:17
The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone - Jaclyn Moriarty 
The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of... The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone - Jaclyn Moriarty

So much win.  It's kind of amazing how much I love Moriarty's books. I really liked how it all came together. Interesting universe with so many pirates and dragons and water sprites, but also committees and dull trips and people being late to pick one up at the station. I only had two tiny quibbles: it's weird to read about a girl living in a more-or-less-contemporaneous setting who wears dresses or skirts all the time. It's just a slight thing, but it pulls me just the tiniest bit out of the story every time a dress or skirt is mentioned because I so rarely see girls or women in them anymore. And also, this is a very white world. Not that everyone is explicitly called white, but because no one isn't. The illustrations reinforce the white-is-default impression. It's a good thing that I've become so accustomed to reading books with a diverse cast that I can't stop noticing when there aren't any other characters.

 

Despite those two issues, I loved the book. It's my favorite middle grade in I don't know how long. Highly recommended for white readers.

 

Library copy

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review 2018-12-15 07:57
Bath: Paintings by Peter Brown
Bath: Paintings by Peter Brown - Peter Brown

I got this book 2 months early, with my name in the Acknowledgements and for cheap, because I supported it on Kickstarter - the only crowdfunding project I've ever been involved in. This is because I love Bath and I love Peter Brown's paintings. I've met him a couple of times, seen him several more. Last time I spoke to him, he was working on "Pigeons in the Rain", cleverly set up under the colonade looking out on to Abbey Courtyard, thus giving him weather protection while he worked. There were no pigeons in the painting at that time. I had to see the finished work in the nearby Victoria Art Gallery in order to see the pigeons. In fact this book reproduces quite a few paintings I've seen for real and even held in my hands. I can't afford to actually buy one, though.

 

Brown lives in Bath which means he's painted all the obvious spots and many of the less obvious ones multiple times each. He's verging on Monet series painting in some cases, the same view in different weather, different times of day, of year. As usual my favourites are the snow paintings. The big surprise for me in this book was the section of interiors of his home and how good they were - odd for an obsessively "plein air" painter.

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review 2018-12-15 00:58
[REVIEW] The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
The Bear and the Nightingale - Katherine Arden

I loved this book. Hell, I don’t even know what to say about it except I want to gush. I read this in 24 hours and I can tell you that it was completely worth it.

My poor heart is aching.

It is such a beautiful, heartbreaking story that grabs you and never lets you go. There is not a single character I hated (well, Konstantin aka Frollo cause it’s practically impossible to like him). Every character was fleshed out and you felt for them, you knew them, you grew attached and worried about them. 

The prose is lovely and atmospheric. Even if right now the heat is sweltering, through Arden’s words I traveled to a wintry Russia full of mystery and snow. It’s so easy to dive into the world and the story and want to stay there forever, to the point that you will resent anyone that tries to distract you.

I loved the lore, the commentary on women’s lives during this era, the familial bonds that tied the story together... I loved it all.

 

 

Reading progress notes

 

5% - The prose is lovely and the book is so atmospheric. I’m half in love with it already.
 
17% - I’m intrigued with the stranger. And I’m terrified for Pyotr’s family. I think his marriage won’t be a good one.
 
22% - Oh, Olga. I feel for you and your wish for a raven-haired prince. And I feel for Vasya.
 
30% - Hating Konstantin already.
 
41% - This fucker is in love with her, isn’t he?
 
81% - "Nothing changed, Vasya. Things are, or they are not. Magic is forgetting that something ever was other than as you willed it.”
 
84% - "All around them was winter, the shroud of bitter snow, the earth like iron, the river like blue marble."

This prose. Can I marry it?
 
90% - I'm in tears.
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text 2018-12-15 00:00
Reading progress update: I've read 65 out of 156 pages.
Bath: Paintings by Peter Brown - Peter Brown

Hurgh! This man is so good!

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review 2018-12-14 20:54
[REVIEW] The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) - Holly Black
Holy hell. I need to pick up my jaw from the floor. This book is full of twist and turns, it zigs when you think it's going to zag and now I'm a jumble of emotions.
 
Reading progress notes
 
pg. 49 - Jeez, this bullying is anxiety-inducing. And also rage inducing for good measure.
  
pg. 97 - I am really tense right now.
 
pg. 148 - Jude is just asking for trouble and upping my anxiety. Also, I don’t trust Locke."
 
pg. 172 - My face throughout the chapter I just read: D:
 
pg. 200 - *jaw drops*
 
pg. 242 - I cannot believe this is happening but I like it...?
 
pg. 244 - THEY ARE KISSING. THEY ARE KISSING OMG. *FLAILS*
 
pg. 275 - OMG I DID NOT EXPECT THIS AND OMG WHAT IS HAPPENING
 
pg. 280 - Oh, Jude. Even I know that he's saving Cardan out of interest.
 
pg. 283 - WHAT IS HAPPENING!?
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