Tag Archives: literature

I don’t like getting up in the morning and I’m not alone

snowy mountain

Cauld blaws the wind frae east to west,
The drift is driving sairly;
Sae loud and shill’s I hear the blast-
I’m sure it’s winter fairly.

Chorus.-Up in the morning’s no for me,
Up in the morning early;
When a’ the hills are covered wi’ snaw,
I’m sure it’s winter fairly.

The birds sit chittering in the thorn,
A’ day they fare but sparely;
And lang’s the night frae e’en to morn-
I’m sure it’s winter fairly.
Up in the morning’s, no for me,
Up in the morning early;
When a’ the hills are covered wi’ snaw,
I’m sure it’s winter fairly.
1788 Robert Burnspoetry, song

Magical Libraries are the Flavour

Magical Libraries seem to be popping out everywhere I look.

First we have the Library of all books that I have already reviewed – The British Library on Steroids -, and then you have a complete series of books about a Lost Library of magical texts by Kate Baray – the 4th being called A Witch’s Diary -and now I find there is also a TV series about a Library under New York (but not really – more like in hyperspace), which is magic, with not only the first editions of every book ever published, but also a number of magical items. So it is a cross between all the libraries with Warehouse 51 thrown in for good measure!

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Just who is copycatting whom I start to wonder here? Or have some TV producers and book editors found themselves on a bar one night and started discussing how cool it would be to have magical library? Who knows, but here we are with competing books and a TV series too.

The TV series is OK but not 5 star. I can take it or leave it, but it is a bit of fun and the characters aren’t bad. It is just too reminiscent of the Warehouse series to be really exceptional.

The most interesting of the new items is the library that was lost but is now found and which contains magical texts which very few people can read. It was un-catalogued and in multiple actual languages, and the books are magically protected so that only the ‘right’ person can read them. And for some books that also means only the right person who knows and likes other ‘right’ people… confusing ain’t it?

I read the first 4 books of the Lost Library series straight off. It now seems to have become a habit with me. If the first in a series interests me, then i read the rest. But the first has to be of 5 star quality. It is just such a shame though that if the first book is a 5 star none of the rest are. So far that has been my experience. However, i still found them 4 star and thus I am ready and waiting to read the next in the series!

In Defence of Uncomfortable Subject Matter

 

 in [Genre] Fiction

Is it ever justified to write about uncomfortable matter in fiction? Whether genre or not? –

Tom Hawking wrote a piece on   august 18, 2015 in http://flavorwire.com/ commenting on a New Stateman’s blog by  Liz Lutgendorff, who has read, she claims every book on a tp 100 of sci-fi list and finds them shockingly full of pervasive sexism. She especially considers rape scenes as being a bad example of this sexism. However, she does not consider, it would seem the necessity to write about very uncomfortable matter in order to being to the readers’ notice the very existence of these happenings and their outcomes.

I am not sure that genre fiction is particularly bad at this, and have read the Thomas Covenant novels she cites and enjoyed them. I was especially impressed that it highlighted the issues of leprosy which is far more of a subject matter that we do not like to think about as it makes us very uncomfortable indeed. Are response has generally been to hide sufferers away from our sight.

I think that it is indeed literature’s role to look at these subjects that make us uncomfortable and even to demonstrate what sexism looks like and indeed rape, incest, or mothers suffering from post-partum depression killing babies or thinking about it. I think we do need to look at these very difficult incidents and occurrences from both the sides – we need to try and understand why they happen as well as the outcomes and his will enable to us understand better how to prevent them and how to help any who have been impacted by these events.

I don’t think that just because we feel things like sexism are wrong that we should prevent them being written about and I do personally feel that some feminists go too far with this – art must imitate life and also expand on life and imagine this life under many and different situations. Artists have imaginations for the rest of us and just reading soft or cosy matter that does not stretch the mind – happy books are a drug that it is nice to have at times, but our emotions are far more involved in darker and more desperate stories. The ones that make us cry!

So let’s cheer for those who write about the subjects that we wish weren’t there and read their books and blog about them and share our thoughts with others. We need this writing as much as we need chick literature and happy historical romances!