Friday, May 9, 2008

Fantasy and Feeling I've Been a Total Slacker About It

I have never read the complete Chronicles of Narnia. When I tell people I tend to like fantasy, and especially when I offer names (Brian Froud, J.K. Rowling, Charles de Lint -- some of his stuff anyway -- Neil Gaiman, Michael Ende), they ask me whether I've read The Chronicles of Narnia, or worse, simply assume that I have. They are most often taken aback when they learn of their misassumption, as though one who likes fantasy would have just read those books because they were there. The fact is that when I was eight I read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and stopped there. I liked it. I'm not entirely sure why I didn't read the others.

I've also never read The Lord of the Rings. Sometimes I feel I've really slacked off in my fifteen years.

Anyway, last night I finished Prince Caspian and was utterly convinced that I should finish reading all the others. And I think I shall.

My favorite fantasy novels are The Neverending Story and Eight Days of Luke, which people tend not to read these days because it's out of print, although it really should not be. There are plenty of others that I love, but I can't think of them right now because I am more than ready to eat lunch -- even if it's eleven o' clock; I do eat lunch early -- and I think those two are just my all-time favorites. Well. For now.

And, as a side note, Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys and Coraline are two of the most brilliant novels I've ever had the joy to read. They're not really fantasy. They're not really anything. You should read them.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Emily Good As Gold

This afternoon I finished reading Emily Good As Gold, a wonderfully sweet novella by Susan Goldman Rubin. It was very easy to enjoy and Emily was very easy to love. In her I saw not a mentally handicapped teenager but a beautifully (and dangerously) innocent person.


P.S. I suspect it's out of print, but you can check your library system.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Graveyard and a Tourist

Today is bright and green and full and fresh. I spent a lot of time in a beautiful graveyard (and it's not that I'm morbid but that graveyards are often to be found in the loveliest of places) and came back dirty but having seen, for the first time since sometime last spring, a vibrant (but oddly quiet) oriole, a big toad, and rich green grass. I don't think I've ever been in such a wholesome place (but I really don't get around much).

I also saw a tourist on the road that I was going to take to the graveyard but found it didn't lead to the graveyard after all ... I could tell he was a tourist by the way he got out of his car and started snapping photographs from every possible angle. We get lots of tourists in this village (where I don't live but often spend time). Anyway, I wasn't paying attention to the man until he turned to me and asked if I lived in the house which he was photographing. I suppose he wanted to make sure I didn't think he was creepy. But I didn't understand him and although I am very good with accents, it took me several moments to place his. I'm telling you, this is the very first time I had ever encountered a Scottish person in real life.

Culturally, I think Rhode Island is quite plain.