Books: Bizarre Bizarre

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I’ve had some great fun reading surreal, magical, and just plain odd books.  They’re brilliant at both lightening your mind and giving you the space to think about issues in a new or less static way.
Here’s a mix of the most fantastical and bizarre books I have read, including both my favorites and others that I think fit too well not to be included, even if they didn’t do it for me.
Do you have any beloved surrealist books?  Books of odd characters and unbelievable circumstances? Continue reading “Books: Bizarre Bizarre”

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Friday Fun Links 4/21

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Converting these to a weekly (rather than monthly) installment was the right idea.

Because there’s a lot of cool things that I want to talk about, but I also don’t want to inundate anyone.
Firstly, the big cool thing that’s happening in my life: my last ballroom dance show is today, probably my last one ever since I don’t really anticipate continuing with it after college.  I’m really excited (especially because I have a lot of very sweet family members and friends who have decided to come!), not so nervous (although maybe I should be!), and I’ll post with links to videos once they’re up (and if I don’t mess up in a very embarrassing way- but maybe even if I do).

I kind of swing wildly back and forth between treating myself and being absolutely austere and weirdly self-denying. I’m trying to find a nice middle road while simultaneously training myself out of excessive stress- by buying myself a nice little treat every time I get through something that made me anxious or was a ‘big deal’ (like a job interview, a big test, a deadline, or, you know, a ballroom show).  Should I write a list at some point of my mini self-gifts? I’m planning on it.

I also have succeeded in dragging a close friend down the fragrance rabbi hole (well, he’s made his first order from Surrender to Chance, so celebration might be a bit premature- but I think not 😉 ). But more on that later. Continue reading “Friday Fun Links 4/21”

Never Too Old For High Fantasy

High fantasy: fantasy set in an alternative, fictionalized world

I haven’t stopped loving high fantasy as I’ve gotten older, even if I read it less than I used to.  Reading a story that wakes up your imagination is at once comforting and thrilling- comforting because that’s a part of mind that I associate with being younger and the security of being little and taken care of. Thrilling because I can be transported to another world.
It’s this world building that’s always been my favorite thing about fantasy- the maps in the front pages of the book (that sometimes fold out!), exotic names for places and people, fabricated family trees, and the existence of a whole new sequence of history and code of rules waiting to be discovered.
I even dreamed of writing the next great fantasy novel (I can remember so many that I started and never got very far with- “Under the Eye of the Dragon” being a title that springs to mind 😛 ), but characteristically got bogged down in the planning of the details, which was honestly the most exciting part for me.  Drawing maps of my own kingdoms, diagramming my own (very convoluted- I read too many books about Tudor England) ancestries, cataloguing the horses in my imaginary stable (with names, breeds, and ages, of course), drawing a floor plan of said imaginary stable on graph paper, and drawing up adoption booklets filled with fictional beasts (and then making my parents adopt them so I could send them postcards from the adoptees).

So I never got around to writing the next great fantasy novel.  But that hasn’t stopped me from reading them and appreciating other people’s world-building, character choices, and well, patience, which was the thing that I really lacked.
(Guess what? I have it now and sometimes write short stories! But not so much for people to read, because I know I overuse adjectives and adverbs and comparisons. It’s very self-indulgent writing 😛 )
So if you feel like curling up with fantastical happenings, heroic adventures, and sometimes romance, here are some suggestions that i think do a good job of appealing to the child in all of us while still being well-written and innovative enough to not offend our adult sides. Continue reading “Never Too Old For High Fantasy”