Book 436: Dragons in the Waters (O’Keefe Family #2) – Madeleine L’Engle

L'Engle, Madeleine - Dragons in the Water (O'Keefe Family #2)I am slowly making my way through the final books in the Kairos portion of L’Engle’s oeuvre. This is the sixth book in chronological story order and the fourth book published in the Murray-O’Keefe books (AKA Kairos). It takes place about six months after the action of The Arm of the Starfish and a few years (I think) before A House Like a Lotus which my response should be published later this week.

I’m glad I’ve expanded my L’Engle reading if only to fully finish the Murray-O’Keefe story line, which the more I dig into the less I think I have actually read because all of her works are intertwined, but I think I will be giving her a rest after I finish this Super-Series. With only A House Like a Lotus and An Acceptable Time left to go I think that would be both a reasonable and acceptable dive into L’Engle’s works.

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Book 418: Angel Fire East (Word & Void #3) – Terry Brooks

Brooks, Terry - Angel Fire East (Word & Void #3)And just like that I’m done with my first foray into Terry Brooks’ World of Shannara. I’m not totally finished as I recently stumbled across a short story, Imaginary Friendswhich is technically Word & Void #0.5 so there’s one small story left! I’ll read it in less than an hour and that’ll be the next post later this week.

As far as conclusions go, this was a pretty good end to the story that spanned three books, fifteen years and roughly 9-12 actual days of action in the books. I didn’t pay attention to it in the first two books, but each of these books takes place in less than five days from start to finish. There are plenty of flashbacks and quite a few jumps ahead, but overwhelmingly the entire action of the story takes place in less than a week. Each of these books really are examples of the minuscule moments which can change the world for good (the Word) or for evil (the Void).

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Book 417: A Knight of the Word (Word & Void #2) – Terry Brooks

Brooks, Terry - A Knight of the Word (Word & Void #2)Picking up five years after the action in Running with the DemonA Knight of the Word takes off at a fast pace and keeps going. If you could skip the first book of the Word & Void trilogy I would recommend it. This one was a huge step forward and I think the 80 fewer pages in this book were all description from the first book, making this one better. I mean you should read both, but know if you make it through the first one, you’ve got this great one to look forward to!

I wasn’t sure how I would like this book with the five years between the two stories and taking the action away from Nest and putting it solely on John Ross. Brooks didn’t let me down though, the story moved quickly to include Nest. It was a bit sad hearing about everything that happened since the end of Running with the Demon, but it was great to be back in the world again so quickly.

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Book 412: Are You My Mother? – Alison Bechdel

Bechdel, Alison - Are You My MotherAfter re-reading Fun Home for book group I dove right into the follow-up Are You My Mother? As much as I enjoyed it and ultimately identified with it, it didn’t live up to the magical experience of Fun Home. It’s hard to say whether this lack of magic was a result of the intense navel gazing or the less compelling surface emotional story. To be honest it could be the daughter identifying with mother as this is an experience/story that I will never experience in the same way.

This being said, the story was still eloquently and humorously told! The graphics were just as poignant and detailed as those in the original. I enjoyed the complete color shift from the green-gray to the red, especially when Bechdel revisited scenes from her earlier work and the emphasis changed slightly. The book list in Are You My Mother? wasn’t quite as long as Fun Home but it was still pretty impressive at 38 separate works listed.

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Book 48: The Secret Fruit of Peter Paddington – Brian Francis

The Secret Fruit of Peter Paddington - Brian FrancisWhen I picked up this novel the back cover read as follows, “Peter Paddington is your typical thirteen-year-old paperboy with a few exceptions. He’s 204 pounds, at the mercy of an overactive imagination, and his only friend is a trash-talking beauty queen reject from across the street. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Peter’s nipples pop out one day and begin speaking to him threatening to expose his private fantasies to an unkind world.”

So of course I had to purchase it and at only $2.99 it was a bargain.

Overall I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to find a copy, but if you stumble across it and it’s cheap you might enjoy reading it. It was a fun book to read, especially if you’re a ‘fat kid’ questioning your sexuality, or once were. And although my imagination is nowhere near as overactive as Peter’s and my nipples never talked to me, I couldn’t help but identify with Peter’s struggles and triumphs.

Click here to read the review…


Quotes from You Shall Know Our Velocity – Dave Eggers

“They were dressed magnificently, one in the yellow of a rose, one in a rich and ancient orange, the third in a late-evening blue–three queens sitting on folding tables…” – 50

“He wants to make sure God wants him to live. So he spends a lot of time asking. He brings himself close to the edge and he feels God’s breath on his back. If God wants to take him, all he needs to do is blow.” – 72

“They were busy devoting their attention to traveling, to watching the progress of the boat–instrumental in traveling is the witnessing of passage. And I was traveling, too, I was serious about it.” – 160

“I grew up obsessed with dragons, knew everything, knew that scientists or people posing as scientists had calculated how dragons might have flown, that to fly and breathe fire they’d have to be full of hydrogen, at levels so dangerous and in such tremulous balance that– I wondered quickly if I’d give my life so that a dragon could live. If someone offered me that deal, your life for the existence of dragons. I thought maybe yes, maybe no.” – 180

“Her English was seamless. Everyone’s was. I had sixty words of Spanish and Hand had maybe twice that in French, and that was it. How had this happened? Everyone in the world knew more than us, about everything, and this I hated then found hugely comforting.” – 220

“We knew nothing; the gaps in our knowledge were random and annoying. They were potholes–they could be patched but they multiplied without pattern or remorse. And even if we knew something, had read something, were almost sure of something, we wouldn’t ever know the truth, or come anywhere close to it. The truth had to be seen. Anything else was a story, entertaining, but more embroidered fib than crude, shapeless fact.” – 238

“To travel is selfish–that money could be used for hungry stomachs and you’re using it for your hungry eyes, and the needs of the former must trump the latter, right? And are there individual needs? How much disbelief, collectively, must be suspended, to allow for tourism?” -253

“There is a corner of the sea that is deep but not so deep that it’s black. It’s the blue of a blueberry, violet in its heart, though this blue allows light through its million unseeable pores. The hue is evenly painted but electric, a klieg light pushing through a gel of cyan.” – 310


Quotes from Before Night Falls – Reinaldo Arenas

“Being a fugitive living in the woods at the time, I had to write before it got dark. Now darkness was approaching again, only more insidiously. It was the dark night of death. I really had to finish my memoirs before nightfall. I took it as a challenge.” – xii

“I used to climb trees, and everything seemed much more beautiful from up there. I could embrace the world in completeness and feel a harmony that I could not experience down below…Trees have a secret life that is only revealed to those willing to climb them. To climb a tree is to slowly discover a unique world, rhythmic, magical and harmonious, with its worms, insects, birds, and other living things, all apparently insignificant creatures, telling us their secrets.” – 5-6

“In those days I had a different idea about sexual relations; I loved someone and I wanted that person to love me; I did not believe that one had to search, unceasingly, to find in other bodies what one body had already provided.” – 64

“The gay world is not monogamous. Almost by nature, by instinct, the tendency is to spread out to multiple relationships, quite often to promiscuity. It was normal for me not to understand this at the time; I had just lost my lover and felt completely disillusioned.” – 64=65

“We would all bring our notebooks and write poems or chapters of our books, and would have sex with armies of young men. The erotic and literary went hand in hand.” – 101

“The ideal in any sexual relationship is finding one’s opposite, and therefore the homosexual world is now something sinister and desolate; we almost never get what we most desire.” – 108

“The sea was like a feast and forced us to be happy, even when we did not particularly want to be. Perhaps subconsciously we loved the sea as a way to escape from the land where we were repressed; perhaps in floating on the waves we escaped our cursed insularity.” – 114

“Her death was perhaps an act of affirmation. There are times when living means to degrade yourself, to make compromises, to be bored to death.” – 135

“It sounded like a unanimous roar. Ever since my childhood, noise has always been inflicted upon me; all my writing has been done against the background of other people’s noise. I think Cubans are defined by noise; it seems to be inherent in their nature, and also part of their exhibitionism.” – 178

“I told him he was a writer even if he never wrote a single page, and that gave him some comfort.” – 256

“In exile one is nothing but a ghost, the shadow of someone who never achieves full reality. I ceased to exist when I went into exile; I started to run away from myself.” – 303

“To discover a city is in itself a unique event, but when we have the privilege of sharing it with friends most dear to us, it becomes a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” – 304

“This man was not a professor in the conventional sense of the word; he was a great reader, and possessed the magical ability to instill the love of beauty in his students. He was the only Spanish-American professor in the United States who inspired a school of critical thought.” – 305-306

“Dreams and nightmares have been an important part of my life. I always went to bed like someone getting ready for a long trip: books, pills, glasses of water, clocks, a light, pencils, notebooks.” – 311