|Alrighty! I recently finished the book Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett. It started off a bit slow, but about halfway through I really got into it. Not my favorite book he has written, but still very enjoyable. The story was fun and different- it is about a girl who joins a losing army, and discovers that almost her entire squad are also women imporsonating men for different reasons. It is one of Pratchett's Discworld novels, The first of which I have read. I will definitely read more, because I enjoy the settings of them, and Terry Pratchett is a wonderfully funny writer. All in all, I would say 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.|
The book I started after finishing Monstrous Regiment is Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. It is a story about a family of circus freaks. It is a bit morbid and twisted, definitely not for the light-hearted, but I am really enjoying it. I am about halfway through it already. I love how it is an absolutely beautifully written book, but the story told is not a beautiful one. Here is an example of how sublime the writing is:
I sit. She draws. Wearing only my blue glasses I am not cold but my skin rises against exposure, rough as a cow's tongue. The cups steam upward into the pale air. Our island is the size of two canvas chairs and a small cluttered table. We are marooned in the breathing bareness of the room. Darkness rolls out around us, seeping into the distant softness of the grey walls. The curtians shift slowly in their own whiteness, as though the light pouring through them has a frail, moving substance.
She is gnawing an olive pit and frowning at the sketch pad in her lap. The wild hair torching out of the edges of her face mesmerizes me. The millions of hairs in a dozen smoldering tones are as alien as her size, the outragous length of her. My mother, Lillian, is seventy inches high. I am thirty-six inches high.
"How tall are you, Miranda?"
She looks up to focus on my chin, frowning, and says, "Six feet," mechanically before her eyes twitch back to the paper in front of her.
Watching her work is confortable. I feel invisible again, as though she had never spoken to me beyond "Good morning." She is not interested in my identity. She doesn't notice it. Her eyes flick impatiently at me for a fast fix-a regenerative fusing of the image on her retina, the model she inflicts on paper. I am merely a utensil, a temporary topic for the eternal dicussion between her long eye and her diliberate hand.
Downstairs in the first floor front, Crystal Lil sits sliding the magnifying gas back and forth in search of the focal point. The walls around her are slathered with the crumpled glitter of the old carny posters. A dozen glossy young Lilys smile, kick, and reach for the curving gold name, "Crystal Lily," that arches against midway blue above her. Dressed in white, a paper Lil arches her back against a blue-green sky spangles with stars. Stripes of arsenic-green wallpaper peep between the posters.
The picture she paints with her words is magnificent, I can see everything clearly in my mind as I read. I'm devouring this book! If you think you can handle some morbidity and circus freaks, I definitely recommend this book.
On the knitting front, I finished one dishcloth out of six I have planned to make my Grandma for Christmas. They're pretty easy to whip out, so I should have them done soon. I also crocheted my sister a scarf, but I'm not posting pictures because it's a Christmas present. I'll maybe take some and post pictures after Christmas. I'm determined to get a few gifts knitted for Christmas, and have made a pact to only keep one thing for myself on the needles (or hook!) and always have at least one gift going. Right now, I have a few things going for myself- the crocheted wrap, Topi, and a hat with the leftover yarn fron my sister's scarf. I didn't have enough yarn left over, apparently, and I need to get some more before I can finish it, but it almost done. Topi I just need to pick up again, and then I'll be working on the wrap as I work on various Christmas gifts. Pictures to come once I finish things!
Labels: Book Report, knitting