Sunday, September 27, 2015

a quick post, because that's all I do these days

Perdita is, as I may have mentioned, a fearless sassy firebrand of a child. She's imaginative and sweet, but my word, I see nothing of myself in her most of the time. She also looks exactly like Berowne, and appears to have his ear for music (if we can judge by how she screams bloody murder should I sing in the car but claps enthusiastically when he does). So I don't have the mini-me bone-of-my-bone sensation that I hear about when I look at her. Often I'm just (pleasantly) baffled by this bold little warrior who lives in my house and calls me, the most timid rabbit around, "Mama."

However, Friday when I dropped her off at daycare she went over to the bookshelf in her classroom (Yearlings), reviewed it, and heaved a "you again" sigh. Next she walked through to the Toddler area and examined their bookshelf, with the same result. Then she marched purposefully to the Pre-K room, found their bookshelf, made an "Ahhhh" sound, and started pulling books out for the teacher to read.

There. There's my kid.

Of course, I probably exhibit less discretion when it comes to taking books off the shelves, but, you know, it's a little bit obsessive. Read since last posting:

Killed at the Whim of a Hat, by Colin Cotterill. A (presumably) white man writes a light mystery whose narrator is a Thai woman, and it's uncomfortable. The story itself was fine - I was invested in the solution and I did laugh a few times when I was meant to - but Cotterill seemed to think that if he has an Asian woman expressing racist sentiments against other Asians those sentiments are totally cool, and they're not. They wouldn't have been even if the author had been an Asian woman.

The Wild Island, by Antonia Fraser. Another light mystery, this one British from the seventies. It had some potential; unfortunately, all the women other than our heroine are pathetic, shrill, expendable, and crazy. The murderer is described as utterly pathetic for letting her husband cheat on her (with our heroine, among others), until we find out that she is the murderer and then Fraser switches effortlessly to portraying her as totally unhinged for being upset about the cheating. It's pretty disgusting.

The Séance, by John Harwood. Effectively creepy, Victorian-style (complete with multiple narrators via manuscripts), short novel. A little bit reminiscent of M. R. James.

Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career of the World's Greatest Scientist, by Thomas Levenson. I doubt it's "unknown" that Isaac Newton worked for the Mint and prosecuted a notorious counterfeiter, but hey. I found this book interesting, and someone who's into economic history would probably find it quite interesting. Levenson goes into a good amount of detail in that area.

Forged by Desire, by Bec McMaster. Another steampunk romance novel. This one suffered from the near-fatal flaw of having our heroine's Huge Secret be something she is willing to keep from the hero even when doing so means putting countless other women at risk of being killed. Makes it a little hard to root for her.

How the Light Gets In, by Louise Penny. A known quantity - sweet and overwrought and lovely.

And now naptime is over, so I must dash.

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