Wednesday reading, 28 October 2015

Last book finished: It’s possible that I ate Carry On (by Rainbow Rowell) in around four days, despite being blinded with migraines for two of them. Oops.

No regrets, though. It was awesome. A book that I can see myself re-reading frequently just because I loved it so.

For those who don’t know, this is the book Rainbow Rowell wrote about the world she created for the fictional book series that Cath writes fanfic for in Rowell’s book Fangirl. With me so far? This isn’t Cath’s fanfic. This isn’t Gemma T Leslie’s Simon Snow book. This is, to me, Rowell writing fic for her own fictional universe-within-a-universe. It’s Rowell’s Simon Snow fic. She throws in plenty of Easter eggs for those of us who have read Fangirl, but I’m fairly confident anyone who hasn’t will pick it up fast enough. Rowell drops in enough information to figure out the universe and backstory, and the starting elements are familiar: a Chosen One, a boarding school, a headmaster battling darkness, and the Chosen One’s friends and school enemy. You can see where Rowell draws a lot of this from.

What made me so very happy is that she starts there and goes somewhere new. The book that I read isn’t the book that I expected to read: it’s the book that I wanted to read but never dared to hope someone would write. The subtext becomes text, the evil is more complicated than it first appears, and nobody follows the destined path for this kind of book. That is what I loved. Rowell did what fic writers have been doing forever: she examined the ideas behind the tropes more closely and subverted them, building a much more interesting and absorbing story along the way.

My only problem is that I should probably wait a month or two before re-reading. That’s the polite, good reader etiquette thing to do, right?

Current read: Still working on Russian History: A Very Short Introduction. That may be my status forever. Hue and Cry is still an entertaining mystery and I got a fair bit read this week. It’s one of those books that pulls me in as soon as I start reading, to the point of almost forgetting to get back to work if I read on my lunch break, but somehow I’m struggling to pick it up when I’m at home and looking at other potential reads. Hopefully I’ll finish it this weekend, though. I’m a few pages into Ancillary Mercy and already loving being back in this world.

Next read: OMG SORCERER TO THE CROWN. And possibly a fluffy fun m/m romance on my Kindle.