“What Are You Reading?” Wednesday (August 13, 2014)

What are you reading?

The Cambridge Companion to Children's LiteratureI’m not going to graduate school any time soon, limited as I am by finances and geography, but I can’t let that stop me from studying up. So I got my (metaphorical) hands on a(n e-)copy of The Cambridge Companion to Children’s Literature, which has the unique honor of making me download a dictionary app to consult while reading on my phone. (I had to look up the word lexeme.)

To accompany that, I’ve been reading my way through the back issues of The Looking Glass literary/academic journal. Issues dating back to 1999 are available online in full text for free.

Speaking of free, Volume 37, Number 1, January 2013 of The Lion and the Unicorn is also available for free online as a sample issue. These are how I’ve been occupying my reading time.

What did you recently finish reading?
Flights of Fancy
I read Flights of Fancy: Birds in Myth, Legend, and Superstition in two days. I am a v e r y slow reader, so it says a lot about how much I enjoyed this book that I finished it in a single weekend. I’m also not usually big on nonfiction, but I happened across this one on Goodreads and, since I found myself in both a reading and writing rut, I decided to go for something different than my standard fare.

The myths and superstitions about birds were interesting enough. I’m not much of a nature gal, so there were even bird types I never knew existed. (The author is from, and focuses on, Europe. I grew up in the northeastern United States, so some of the birds were the same, but not all of them.)

Flights of Fancy made me consider returning to my scrapped Camp NaNoWriMo July 2014 novel-in-progress, Birdsong. (It needed too much research, and was shelved for something quicker and easier, in the spirit of NaNoWriMo. I wrote Borderlands fanfiction instead.) Ely would have liked this book a lot, too.

What are you going to read next?

The Magician's LandThe Cambridge Companion to Children’s Literature will keep me going for awhile yet, along with all of those journal articles. Eventually I’ll get bored of nonfiction again and pick up a novel (and I actually mean “a novel” in the old-fashioned sense).

Honorable mention should go to The Magician’s Land, which was released last week. As a chronic rereader, I (almost) always reread books in a series before reading a new one, especially if it’s been awhile, and especially if it’s the last book in the series.

The thing is, The Magicians and The Magician King were hugely important books to me, circa 2011-2012, and they’re associated with some painful memories of the same period. (I cried myself to sleep with The Magician King on my phone in Osaka. I can still remember the ugly red/orange couch that came with my furnished apartment. I was miserable.) So I’ve set the whole series aside for when I’m ready for those feelings.

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