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August 2016

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rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
The winner of FMK # 1! Alas, I did not fall madly in love with it, but I did enjoy it. FMK is definitely off to a good start, because God knows how long that book has languished unread on my shelves. I'm pretty sure at least five years and possibly ten. But I'm very glad I finally got to it.

Twelve-year-old Lucy returns to the small English village of Hagworthy, which she hasn’t visited since she was seven. There she stays with her aunt, reconnects with some childhood friends and finds that both she and they have changed, and looks on in growing alarm as the well-meaning but ignorant new vicar resurrects the ancient tradition of the Horn Dance, which is connected to the Wild Hunt.

The premise plus the opening sentences probably tell you everything you need to know about the book:

The train had stopped in a cutting, so steep that Lucy, staring through the window, could see the grassy slopes beyond captured in intense detail only a yard or two away: flowers, insects, patches of vivid red earth. She became intimate with this miniature landscape, alone with it in a sudden silence, and then the train jolted, oozed steam from somewhere beneath, and moved on between shoulders of Somerset hillside.

This is one of my favorite genres which sadly does not seem to exist any more, the subset of British children’s fantasy, usually set in small towns or villages, which focuses on atmosphere, beautiful prose, and capturing delicate moments in time. Character is secondary, plot is tertiary, and there may be very little action (though some have a lot); the magical aspects are often connected to folklore or ancient traditions, and may be subtle or questionable until the end.

You can see all those elements in those two sentences I quoted; the entire subgenre consists of inviting the reader to become intimate with minature landscapes.

This is obviously subjective and debatable, but I think of Alan Garner, Susan Cooper (especially Greenwitch), and Robert Westall as writers with books in this subgenre, but not Diana Wynne Jones. The settings are the sort parodied in Cold Comfort Farm. Hagworthy is full of darkly muttering villagers who kept making me think, “Beware, Robert Poste’s child!”

In The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy, Lucy’s parents are divorced, and her mother is now living in another country with a baby brother Lucy has never met. This is mentioned maybe two or three times, very briefly, which is interesting because so many books would make a much bigger deal of it. Lucy returns to Hagworthy for a vacation with her aunt, a botanist.

Of her childhood friends, the two girls have become horse-mad and have nothing in common with Lucy. The boy, Kester, is now a moody misfit teenager, and Lucy, who is also a bit of a moody misfit, becomes friends with him all over again. They wander around the countryside, fossil-hunting and stag-watching, periodically getting in fights over Kester’s refusal to discuss the thing hanging over the story, which is the new vicar’s revival of the Horn Dance to fundraise at a fete. This is very obviously going to awaken the Wild Hunt, and Kester has clearly been mystically targeted as its victim. Though there is a ton of dark muttering about what a bad idea this is, no one does anything about this until nearly the end, when Lucy finally makes first a misfired attempt to stop the Horn Dance, then a successful one to save Kester.

The atmosphere and prose is lovely, and if you like that sort of thing, you will like this book. Even for a book that isn’t really about the plot, the plot had problems. One was the total failure of any adult to even try to do anything sensible ever, for absolutely no reason, until Lucy finally manages to ask the right person the right question. This could have been explained as some magical thing preventing them from acting, but it wasn’t.

The other problem I had was that nothing unpredictable ever happens. Everyone is exactly what they seem: the blacksmith has mystical knowledge, the vicar is an innocent in over his head, the horse-mad girls have nothing in their heads but horses, and so forth. I kept expecting something to be slightly less obvious—for the vicar to know exactly what he’s doing and have a nefarious purpose, for the horse-mad girls to not be as dumb as they seem or to have their horsey skills play a role in saving Kester, for Lucy’s aunt to know more about magic than the blacksmith, etc—but no.

I looked up Penelope Lively. It looks like her famous book is Ghost of Thomas Kempe, which I think I also own.

There’s an album of music based on the book which you can listen to online. It’s by the Heartwood Institute, and is instrumental and atmospheric.

The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy

Hey!

May. 27th, 2017 13:43
maplemood: (Default)
[personal profile] maplemood posting in [community profile] addme
Name: maplemood

Age:
20

Interests & Hobbies:
Reading (fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction, mysteries, memoirs, romance, middle grade and young adult fiction--pretty much anything that looks interesting); writing, journaling, complicated villains, antiheroes, folklore and urban legends (especially the creepy stuff); podcasts, comics, and movies. When it comes to fandoms I love the MCU (especially Guardians of the Galaxy and the Netflix shows), Pacific Rim, Outlander (the books and the show), Star Wars, DC comics, and a whole bunch of others. I also read and write fanfic (mostly Marvel at the moment, though I'm hoping to expand into other fandoms). 

Looking For:
People who write or read fanfic, people who post about their fandoms, people who post semi-regularly, or, really, anyone who's interested in being friends! I'm a little shy, but I love meeting new people and seeing new posts on my reading page. :)

My day is complete!

May. 27th, 2017 11:09
batwrangler: Just for me. (Default)
[personal profile] batwrangler
And my "decision" not to mow the lawn has been completely justified by this morning's (rather musky) brown snake!

Picture! )

Maybe there is hope for the world after all.




Culture clash in Canada

May. 27th, 2017 10:44
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Coo-ahh coo coo coo

May. 27th, 2017 08:23
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Air temperature 48 F, wind north about 10 mph, light mist or drizzle for the newspaper walk. Supposed to clear off later, which may allow me to mow the lawn. Maintaining modified vow of silence.

Tuskless Elephants

May. 27th, 2017 02:10
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This made me laugh, because people are surprised  by it.  Guys, this is nothing more than natural selection of a typically varied population.  It's what always happens when predators whack the individuals with a certain trait -- it drops out.  Like the silent crickets of Kauai.

Custom Keyboards

May. 27th, 2017 02:07
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
What you get when geeks are really into the typing experience.

LOL yes, Dvorak would bang these boys like a screen door in a hurricane.

Fess up

May. 27th, 2017 00:04
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Which of you mentioned "cultural appropriation" to Orson Scott Card?

Also, are Irish accents really as hard as all that for Americans to understand?

D.O.P.-T. (yesterday)

May. 26th, 2017 20:02
weofodthignen: selfportrait with Rune the cat (Default)
[personal profile] weofodthignen
It was sunny but breezy, so I spent the afternoon taking the 522 bus all the way to the end and looking around East San Jose.

pictures )

(no subject)

May. 26th, 2017 18:50
lycomingst: (scout)
[personal profile] lycomingst
Netflix movie Whip It )

I just finished a great book, The Disastrous Mrs. Weldon by Brian Thompson. She was a true Victorian eccentric. From the moment she was born she was overweening ego and kept grudges for everyone who ever crossed her, real or imagined.

She dreamed of a career as a singer and formed an alliance with the French composer, Gounod. He was her pet? Submissive? Lover? Collaborator? Anyway, the time he spent with her exhausted him.

One of the positive things she did accomplish through many the lawsuits she brought was public examination of the lunacy laws (because of one her life’s adventures). These laws made it too easy for inconvenient people to be locked away.

The author wrote this book because of multiple volume autobiography she wrote. In French, published in France because she would have been sued for all the libel the thing contained.

I wish the author had other books; I really like his style.

Highly recommended.

Spectacular sunset over the lake

May. 26th, 2017 20:18
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

One of the benefits of being on a higher floor of the hotel, even if this also means a lot of rather tedious waiting for lifts. I was going to take and post a photo, but I really don't think that my present state of tiredness is a good state in which to get to grips with DW photo posting. Also, on essaying to take a photo for later presentation, realised that the grimy marks on the window would be rather obtrusive.

Quite a full day, which started with waking up rather earlier than I had hoped, but not horribly so.

Socialising has taken place. There was going to be a walk, but then it started to rain (I wouldn;t say there was no chance of a walk that day, but not at that particular time).

Also have been on one panel, which I think suffered a little from ambiguity in framing its terms but nonetheless evoked some interesting discussion.

Observations of note: in the stuffed toy and knickknackery shop just around the corner in State Street, there is a stufft swan, right at the front of the window display: also an inflatable pool version. However, I should eschew props for my reading.

(no subject)

May. 27th, 2017 08:40
jolantru: (Default)
[personal profile] jolantru
Unpopular opinion:

These people who keep on telling me that i am not a failure when i say that my books are not even on shelves are the ones who will signal boost other more popular (read: trad pub) authors and suck up to them. They will never signal boost my books.

(no subject)

May. 26th, 2017 18:39
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
It's public now that Trump's son-in-law is the focal point of the Russia investigation -- but Jeff Sessions didn't disclose his Russian contacts when he applied for his security clearance. And Michael Flynn gets more subpoenas and a reminder that he's not getting immunity from prosecution for anything.

The NEA statement on being asked to close by Trump.

The Pentagon's response when Trump blew his mouth off in the Philippines: "We do not talk about subs. Ever."

The science behind why people lie. Very relevant to the current politics.

The House has dismantled a permits system that gave us protection against pesticides in our common water supplies. What do they think we're drinking, imported champagne?

The Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals rules against Trump's travel ban, again. Here's the published opinion. Do read this, just for the list of who's bringing the lawsuit. Quoting from this document:

The question for this Court, distilled to its essential form, is whether the
Constitution, as the Supreme Court declared in Ex parte Milligan, 71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 2,
120 (1866), remains “a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace.” And if
so, whether it protects Plaintiffs’ right to challenge an Executive Order that in text speaks
with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance,
animus, and discrimination. Surely the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment yet
stands as an untiring sentinel for the protection of one of our most cherished founding
principles—that government shall not establish any religious orthodoxy, or favor or
disfavor one religion over another. Congress granted the President broad power to deny
entry to aliens, but that power is not absolute. It cannot go unchecked when, as here, the
President wields it through an executive edict that stands to cause irreparable harm to
individuals across this nation. Therefore, for the reasons that follow, we affirm in
substantial part the district court’s issuance of a nationwide preliminary injunction as to
Section 2(c) of the challenged Executive Order....


Former CIA Director John Brennan urges us to resist.

The Senate seeks a lifetime ban on Congressmen returning as lobbyists.

The ACLU demands an immediate end to using drivers' license photos for law enforcement facial recognition.

***

What happens when ou leave 15,000 coins on a sidewalk in London?

I know I linked this before, but it deserves to be here again, because it's beautiful.

Friday Yardening

May. 26th, 2017 15:34
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is partly sunny and warm.

Round 1, I watered the potted plants on the porch and trimmed grass around the telephone pole.

The mourning dove eggs have hatched into two tiny, fuzzy squabs.  I found a video of one online. 

Raspberries are beginning to turn pink in a few places.  Many of the mulberries are pink.

EDIT 5/26/17 -- Round 2, I pulled weeds around the forest garden.

Also the last shipment of plants arrived today.

EDIT 5/26/17 -- Round 3, I planted three windflowers, two stargazer lilies, and three balloon flowers around the barrel garden; and one White Feather hosta in the purple-and-white garden.

A cool breeze has blown up, downdraft from a storm some distance away.

EDIT 5/26/17 -- Round 4, I planted a white lilac and a black hollyhock.

EDIT 5/26/17 -- Round 5, I sowed more grass in the streetside yard.

It's getting dark, so I'm done for tonight.

Welcome to Books: FMK

May. 26th, 2017 13:08
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
[personal profile] melannen has been culling her bookshelves by playing "Fuck Marry Kill" via poll. In the interests of doing the same, and also getting back to posting more book reviews, I have decided to join her. (I am doing "fling" rather than "fuck" just because my posts get transferred to Goodreads and I don't want EVERY post of mine on there littered with fucks.)

How to play: Fling means I spend a single night of passion (or possibly passionate hatred) with the book, and write a review of it, or however much of it I managed to read. Marry means the book goes back on my shelves, to wait for me to get around to it. (That could be a very long time.) Kill means I should donate it without attempting to read it. You don't have to have read or previously heard of the books to vote on them.

Please feel free to explain your reasoning for your votes in comments. For this particular poll, I have never read anything by any of the authors (or if I did, I don't remember it) and except for Hoover and Lively, have never even heard of the authors other than that at some point I apparently thought their book sounded interesting enough to acquire.

Poll #18415 FMK: Vintage YA/children's SFF
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 44


The Spring on the Mountain, by Judy Allen. Three kids have magical, possibly Arthurian adventures on a week in the country.

View Answers

Fling
15 (44.1%)

Marry
9 (26.5%)

Kill
10 (29.4%)

The Lost Star, by H. M. Hoover. A girl who lives on another planet hears an underground cry for help (and finds chubby gray cat centaurs if the cover is accurate)

View Answers

Fling
19 (54.3%)

Marry
11 (31.4%)

Kill
5 (14.3%)

The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy, by Penelope Lively. Lucy visits her aunt in Hagworthy and is embroiled in the ancient Horn Dance and Wild Hunt.

View Answers

Fling
25 (64.1%)

Marry
5 (12.8%)

Kill
9 (23.1%)

Carabas, by Sophie Masson. Looks like a medieval setting. A shapeshifting girl gets accused of being a witch and runs off with the miller's son.

View Answers

Fling
16 (44.4%)

Marry
11 (30.6%)

Kill
9 (25.0%)

Of Two Minds, by Carol Mates and Perry Nodelman. Princess Lenora can makes what she imagines real; Prince Coren can read minds, but everyone can read his mind. (Ouch!)

View Answers

Fling
20 (54.1%)

Marry
9 (24.3%)

Kill
8 (21.6%)

rfmcdonald: (photo)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald
Walking up the paths on the eastern shore of the Humber River in full spring flood at night, from Magwood Park up to Home Smith and the great bridge that takes Dundas Street West over, you can get a sense of the immensity of the natural world. Even in a carefully maintained Toronto, nature retains its force.

IMG_20170506_233956


IMG_20170506_234804


IMG_20170507_000245

Archery outside

May. 26th, 2017 20:19
[personal profile] karinfromnosund
We moved the archery practice outside: me, M and another two, using two cars.

We arrived to find the door without a handle. M says he thinks he knows where it is. I certainly hope so, because opening it was a bit of a hassle. Apart from that, it all went well.

Lawn Craze

May. 26th, 2017 13:34
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Here's a comic about the lawn craze.  Some further thoughts ...

It goes a lot farther back than postwar suburbs.  Lawns started as a status symbol among European aristocracy.

Advice to stop watering, fertilizing, mowing, etc. or to replace lawns with something else is great -- if it's legal.  In many areas it is not, and people are fined or even evicted for being unwilling or unable to keep their lawn in a manner pleasing to others. Such laws are bad for disability and bad for the environment, but those are things fewer people care about than power. Check the local level of tyranny before trying to solve lawn-related problems.

Tinhuviel Moving

May. 26th, 2017 13:22
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
[personal profile] tinhuviel is moving, but has almost nothing to settle into a new home.  :/  There is a WalMart registry and a GoFundMe page for donations.  If you liked Shiv's housewarming basket, here's your chance to do something similar.

A Day in the Life of Jack The Fox

May. 26th, 2017 13:53
al_zorra: (Default)
[personal profile] al_zorra
      . . . .Darling amiga, Austin Slim sent me this.  It's so purrfect it must be further shared
"A fox looks like a dog, purrs like a cat, but in fact it is neither."
"The have the nicest nature of any animal I have ever met."

 

 

"Sometimes he may do naughty things.  But not to those who are nice to him."