Readerly Rambles: 30 November 2015

readerly rambles

What I read: I didn’t tweet much about the Thankfully Reading event, but I did manage to participate. I completed two books; Jo Walton’s Among Others and volume 21 of the Fables graphic novel series by Bill Willingham.

Among Others is EASILY one of my top reads for 2015. I didn’t know much about the book going into it except that one of you lovely book bloggers mentioned interlibrary loan figured into the book. Boy does it ever! This coming-of-age story has magic, science fiction, a book club, libraries, love, journaling and a boarding school. Okay, the boarding school is there throughout the novel, but not too central to the plot; I’m just a sucker for boarding school novels. I’m intentionally being vague with the plot because I think it is important to read this book with an open mind. There were many moments where I was unsure what type of story was being told but that it intergal to the plot and it was a joy to discovery magic with the protagonist. In lieu of more specifics, I will share a favorite line, “Interlibrary loans are a wonder of the world and a glory of civilization.”

The other book was volume 21 of BIll Willingham’s Fables series, Happily Ever After. I hated it. In fact, I hated it enough to Facebook rant about it. There’s rivalry, there’s backstory, there are multiple deaths that happen in quick succession. Instead of rousing emotion it all happens so quickly and with no build-up of scene or character and I’m indifferent to the deaths. Despite spending years keeping up with Fables I find myself indifferent to their fate. Not a good sign. The series as a whole has been a little uneven for me. I think I liked the earlier volumes the best. There seemed more structure and character development. Truly it is the emotional tenor that hits me with Fables. Sometimes the stories and characters hit a sweet spot of human vulnerability (despite their being magical) and breathtakingly imaginative magic weaving through an intricate plot. Other times the plot seems harried, the characters are too spread out to punch any sort of emotional wallop and the attempts at levity come off as overly jokey and takes me out of the story. When Fables is right it is so so so right, when it gets sloppy? Meh.

What I’m reading: I’m having a rotton time at work (end of the semester, ack!) and I decided to do some comfort reading during the next two hell weeks. I reached for The Thirteenth Tale, a favorite, and quickly devoured 60 pages on my lunch break today. It is so perfect for autumn.

Tomorrow I start Emma by Jane Austen for Dolce’s readalong. I’ve resisted for quite awhile, but I do have a lovely Penguin Threads copy and it has been quite awhile since I visited with Austen. I’m excited to get started.

What’s up Next: I have a handful of books to read over the Christmas holiday, but I am already thinking of 2016 readings. I’m pictured more Virago books, gobs of Charlotte Bronte, non-fiction, and Andi’s #readmyowndamnbooks challenge. I’m certainly in for that challenge!

Happy Reading!




  1. So glad you overcame the resistance and joined in the Emma read-long! 😉

    Not sure how I missed Thankfully Reading other than I haven’t been blogging nearly as much as I used to. I guess that’s what happens when you emerge from under your rock: you discover all that’s passed you by.

  2. You’ve got my curiosity piqued about the Jo Walton book. I haven’t read anything by her yet. I was reading a ton in Sept-early Nov, then I got distracted with Thanksgiving prep and too many out-of-the house activities and I’ve hit a reading slump. I’ve been spending more time planning next year’s reading than reading, and while I’ve enjoyed my list making, it has also served to frustrate me that I’m not finishing up the ones I had started pre-slump. Sorry the craziness has set in at work! There’s very little to rival the end-of-semester insanity in colleges. Hoping you can find some quiet moments.

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