What I’m Reading – Peach Girl and Game of Thrones

When I had a few spare moments after coming back from Anime Boston, I dove right into my newly bought pile of Peach Girl manga. Peach Girl was something I passed on when I first began collecting manga, so my immediate reaction to Miwa Ueda’s manga was “I can’t believe I never read this.” I’m a drama fiend, and this story is chock-full of it. But as I got through volume 4, I started to get sick of it. As human as it may be to do this, I can’t stand it when characters repeat a terrible mistake. And as Momo goes back to being friends with Sae, I just want to scream at her. The terrible stuff’s going to happen all over again, and I’ve been too anxious about it to pick up volume 5.

I’ve also gone back to rereading A Game of Thrones since I finished all my MFA reading. I’m actually amazed at how wrapped up in the story I’m getting, considering I’ve read this all before. There are so many details that Martin includes that I did not pay attention to the first time around, and a second read-through is reminding me how important these bits turn out to be. Then there are the parts I simply forgot, so it’s almost like I’m reading parts of this story for the first time.

I’m almost done with A Game of Thrones (just 150 pages to go, woo!) and then I’ll pick up the second part, A Clash of Kings. I really hope to finish all four books before A Dance with Dragons comes out in July, but we’ll see. If I’m not done by that date I might just have to keep myself off the internet for a while…

What I’m Reading – Favorites New and Old

It’s been a couple weeks since I made this post, mostly due to sheer laziness on my part. Let’s see if I can remember what books I’ve read.

I found a second edition hardcover of The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle at the used bookstore, and even though it was a library copy I of course snapped it up in a second. I was surprised at the mild sarcasm Beagle throws into his narration from time to time, and was amused and delighted with the people the unicorn finds herself with, characters that aren’t quite what they should be, like the powerful and incompetent magician Schmendrick. But what really cemented my purchase of the book was the language, which Beagle gives readers a good taste of right off the bat:

The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone. She was very old, though she did not know it, and she was no longer the careless color of sea foam, but rather the color of snow falling on a moonlit night. But her eyes were still clear and unwearied, and she still moved like a shadow on the sea. (Beagle, 1)

Judging from Amazon this book’s still in print, and illustrated, unlike my copy. But I can’t imagine owning anything but a vintage copy, with the big swirling letter to start off each chapter, and the indents of the letters pressed into the thick paper.

I’ve also started rereading A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin in preparation for A Dance of Dragons coming out in July, as well as the HBO series starting soon. Again I’m being dazzled by the amount of detail Martin put into his work. Not only are there parts of the story the rereading is helping me remember, I’m also noticing things that I didn’t pay attention to the first time around. There are mentions of names and events that don’t seem important at the time, but in the third or fourth book it amounts to something huge! And I didn’t even know he alluded to it the first time around. Martin has such tight control over his story – it’s simply amazing.

Another book I’ve made good headway in is Sabriel by Garth Nix. Nix is an author that people have been telling me to read for years. One professor even told me he was very surprised I had never read him before. I decided to take the plunge and use Sabriel for a craft essay for my MFA. I’m not quite halfway through, and while I like it quite a bit – the magic system is interesting and something I know I can learn from, and I love the titular heroine – it’s not making the amazing impression I was expecting from the recommendations. But it’s enough that I’ll definitely read the rest in the series, and of course I’m not done with the story yet.

So that’s what I’ve been chipping away at recently. What have you been reading? And what’s on your list?