I have decided to join Carrie Gelson, Alyson Beecher and the rest of the #IMWAYR community to share out what I've been reading over the week.
My reading life of late has been mired in dark and dystopian terrains.
I've struggled with June and Day to figure out what's really going on behind Metias's death in Legend by Marie Lu. I've pondered what it means to be brave along with Tris in Divergent by Veronica Roth. I've ridden in flea infested rail cars along with Lina and her family in Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys.
I couldn't have faced so much darkness if I hadn't started listening to the audiobook of The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two by Catherynne M. Valente. In contrast to the above harsh sagas, Valente's prose and world building is incandescently beautiful. I can't do her voice justice. Whereas the previous stories grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go, Valente's words seduce: caressing images into existence and draping them in sparkling jewels of philosophy and wisdom.
I fell deeply in love with her work and her characters: September, Saturday and A-Through-L, in The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland In a Ship of her Own Making.
Alas I have come to the sad conclusion that these are not fairytales for children. They are fantastical chronicles for grown up adults and very sophisticated young adults. While I've been able to convince some of my grade 6's and 7's to try the first one, they never manage to finish it. One of our classroom teachers who loves these books as much as I do couldn't even get them hooked on it as a read aloud.
I suspect they are too witty, to reflective and preposterous for children. So we will older folk shall have to sacrifice and keep them for ourselves.
Here are a few quotes to tease you...
“Just because it's imaginary doesn't mean it isn't real.”
“He missed you
like a fish in a bowl
misses the open sea.”
“All money is imaginary," answered the Calcatrix simply. "Money is magic everyone agrees to pretend is not magic.”
“What others call you, you become. It's a terrible magic that everyone can do — so do it. Call yourself what you wish to become.”
“Music has more rules than math or magic and it's twice as dangerous as both or either.”
And this one, my favourite, I know from more than 35 years of wedded bliss, to be true.
“Marriage is a wrestling match where you hold on tight while your mate changes into a hundred different things. The trick is that you're changing into a hundred other things, but you can't let go. You can only try to match up and never turn into a wolf while he's a rabbit, or a mouse while he's still busy being an owl, a brawny black bull while he's a little blue crab scuttling for shelter. It's harder than it sounds.”