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Among Others

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Feb. 15th, 2011 | 03:55 pm
mood: contentcontent
music: Wind, Freeway Noise, Birdsong, Cat Chittering

It's one of those cold days that feels like standing in the surf, how at first it's a lot like ice, but then your blood starts to tingle and then it's just cool and bearable and you can focus on other things, like what you would say if theoretical selkie/merfolk kin did decide to use a riptide to drag you into drowning, and how amazing it is that moonlight on the furl of waves at night really does look like silver, like 'shining from shook foil.' I miss the beach. It's so close, but too far.

When it was morning it looked like rain any second, but now there's watery sunlight everywhere. I like it. The orange cat, who is the tomcattiest tomcat ever to Calvin around, spent most of the day curled up on my deskchair, reminding me very much of Flaming June by Lord Frederic Leighton. It's just the way he curled up and the colors, which matched the color of the book I was reading, Among Others.

Among Others is by Jo Walton, and I felt as cozy (if far, far more alert) as the girl in Flaming June looks while I was reading it. I'm not sure if this will give the proper idea, but basically, I felt like reading it was like steeping tea, plain water getting more and more colored, just transforming into this perfect rainy weather thing. I enjoyed it a lot. It is exactly a book about loving books and finding other people who love books, and it is exactly a book about growing up and being sad, and it is also exactly a book about boarding schools and teenage girl interaction and libraries being these amazing places, but mostly because of the books. It reminded me a lot of I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith and Juniper, Gentian and Rosemary by Pamela Dean, which are books I can just read without caring about getting to the end, because I like hanging out with the characters in the meantime. It also reminded me of Tam Lin -- a reverse Tam Lin, sort of. It had easy balladry. The geeky references to geeky (read: interesting) conversations about oldschool Science Fiction and Fantasy books sort of made me wistful, although in a good way, and I sort of grinned over all of the Zelazny references, and basically: this is a really good, comfortable, fun, pleasurably yearning-inducing book, and I like it, so I recommend it.

I want to say, Jo Walton (papersky) impresses the hell out of me with the range of her voice. Tooth and Claw is a book I absolutely love and reread every year (and no one's shock is greater than my own. Seriously, a book about dragons?). Farthing, Ha'Penny, etc. -- not one of these books 'sounds' like the others. It's always a surprise, but not in a What The Hell, Author, But You Wrote So Good Back In That Other Story, Augh, I Don't Love You After All way.

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