FF: Do Subtitles Count?

Kwahe’e and The Snow Queen

Still far too busy and by the end of the day rather than curling up with a good book, all I’m good for is an episode or two of the anime Lupin the Third.  I do watch in Japanese with subtitles, so I hope subtitles count…

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, the Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include details of either short fiction (unless part of a book-length collection) or magazines.

The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a bit of description or a few opinions tossed in.

Recently Completed:

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King.  Audiobook.  This book would have been great even without the brilliant performances by the ensemble cast, but with them…  Wow!

In Progress:

The Snow Queen by Joan Vinge.  I read this years after it was winning awards.  Came away feeling the awards were well deserved.  Re-reading.  However, the complex world building does demand me to be alert.

Od Magic by Patricia A. McKillip.  Audiobook.  Jim knows I love McKillip’s work, and found this for me on our library’s site.  Almost done.  I’ve read it before but still am enjoying.


Some beading magazines.  Not that I have time to bead, but I love the colors and seeing how creative some people can be with nothing more than seed beads and thread.


10 Responses to “FF: Do Subtitles Count?”

  1. James Mendur Says:

    It’s been a few weeks.

    Finished: Mycroft Holmes, by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse – in the end, it felt too much to me like a Sherlock Holmes story, but where Sherlock liked people and worked for the government. I’ve always thought Mycroft should have been more distinct from his brother. YMMV. Lots of interesting / disturbing real history provided largely due to Kareem’s input, though.

    Finished: two interstitial stories from “The Laundry Files” series by Charles Stross

    Finished: Cat in an Alphabet Soup (first “Midnight Louie” novel; he’s a noir cat in a cozy mystery novel set at a publisher’s convention in Las Vegas) by Carole Nelson Douglas.

    Current: Dead Money (first “Doc Hill” thriller novel) by Dean Wesley Smith. Murder and secrets among poker players, in several locations but mostly Las Vegas. And I hadn’t realized the beginnings of a Vegas trend until just now.

    (I never did finish “Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge”. I might return and finish it some day, just to find out how it ends, but it didn’t hold my attention.)

    Not a lot in a month, but I’ve been binge-watching the first four seasons of “The Blacklist”.

  2. Beverly Martin Says:

    I am not familiar with Patricia A. McKillip. I am looking forward to reading her novel.

    I am currently reading The Penderwicks: a Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall. You mentioned it in a prior FF. I am enjoying it.

    • janelindskold Says:

      McKillip ‘s work is like no one else’s… I love her stuff but some people find her “dreamy” element annoying. I hope you like her work. One of her rare series is the three volume “Riddle of the Stars” which begins with The Riddlemaster of Hed. The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is an early, award-winning book. I seem to recall The Alphabet of Thorn also won a World Fantasy award. She loves to tell stories with lost histories in distant pasts, not always, but definitely a recurring theme.

      • Beverly Martin Says:

        Awesome! You certainly have added to my TBR list. PS I just started Artificial Condition, the 2nd Murderbot novella by Martha Wells.

  3. CBI Says:

    I hope y’all had a wonderful day of giving thanks

    I’ve been tied up at work, so have had little time the past month to read blogs (alas) Most reading has been audiobooks, with some light eyed-reading as well. Much has been moving through series or related books.

    Recently Completed:
    The Wisteria Tearoom by Patrice Greenwood. An ongoing series of “cozies” set in Santa Fe. I saw the author at Bubonicon, who mentioned that she’d been writing a series of cozies, and they sounded interesting. Her characters have usually been realistic–with a nice mixture of consistency and human inconsistency–although some of the incidental characters are a bit cardboard. I originally thought that the main character’s (Ellen’s) hoplophobia was a bit strange for New Mexico, but recent events here have shown it to be all to common. Solid, fun, light reading.

    Nomad by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. (audiobook, read by herself) Semi-autobiographical story of her journey from an oppressive, anti-female society to the West, with a fair amount of commentary and suggestions. Quite the story. a minor-but-grating weaknesses is her occasional mirror-imaging Christianity based on her Muslim background and current New Atheist beliefs. Even so, very much worth the read.

    Captains Courageous and Kim by Rudyard Kipling. I acquired the complete works of Kipling, and am reading him episodically. Both are good narratives. Captains Courageous is rich-boy-grows-up tale that is fairly didactic, but the teaching doesn’t much get in the way of the story. Kim is, of course, one of his must-reads, which showcases the variety of cultures and their interactions in India. A thoughtful, open-ended ending.

    The Beginning Place by Ursula K.Le Guin. (audiobook) The discussion here on FF after the author died had me on the lookout to read more from her. Picked this one up at random. Two protagonists, two viewpoints, very different. A bit cryptic and with some loose ends at the closing.

    The Tombs of Atuan and A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin. (audiobooks) Continuation of trying to read more Le Guin, I read them in the order listed, which is not the intended order. A nice bit of world creation, albeit a bit rough.

    In Progress:
    The Farthest Shore by Ursula Le Guin. (audiobook) Continuing the Earthsea cycle.

    The Light that Failed by Rudyard Kipling. The third novel in my “complete works” book,although written before either Captains Courageous and Kim.

    Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey. Been meaning to check out the series for awhile, although with some reservations. Just starting, and so far it’s been a good space opera.

    • janelindskold Says:

      We did, James. Thank you… Your reading sounds great. Kipling is a favorite of mine, weak and strong, he still has something to offer me. And the “Earthsea” books remain favorite LeGuin for me.

  4. Louis Robinson Says:

    Just finished The Fall of Gondolin, the last of Christopher Tolkien’s mining of his father’s manuscripts of the history of Middle Earth [using ‘manuscript’ very loosely indeed]. Now reading Beren and Luthien, which was out last year – and which he thought was his last book. There’s no new material in these books, it’s all been published in earlier volumes. What he’s done, however, here and in the much earlier The Children of Hurin, is to pull together all the versions of each of the Great Tales of the Elder Days so we can see how Tolkien’s conception of the story evolved over the half century he was playing with them. For me, great fun, but not everybody’s cup of tea.

    RE: Patricia McKillip. I’d say that many people are bothered by the fact that the reader will often have _less_ idea of what’s going on than the characters do, and never has more. I particularly noticed that with The Bell at Seely Head – although I have to say that when the dust finally settled it all made perfect sense, including the fact that the reader _couldn’t_ be told what was up because the characters through whom you would have learned it also couldn’t be told or everything would have blown up in their faces. Od Magic has some of the same features.

    I would also say that McKillip has never written a book that didn’t have a point to make. You will probably have to think about it, though, because one thing she never does is hit you over the head with them.

    • janelindskold Says:

      Thanks for your comments on McKillip. I think they’re on target, but I very much enjoy the journey. I haven’t been tempted by the Tolkien retellings, so it’s good to hear a thoughtful reaction to them.

      • Louis Robinson Says:

        I’ve never read a McKillip I haven’t enjoyed – but each seems to need a particular mood, so it may take a couple of starts before I get through. And I then wonder why it took me so long to do it.

        Interesting about the Tolkien, as I would have thought they would be right up your ally: studies of the development of a literary construct. Exactly the kind of thing that we can’t do with Homer or the Eddas, complex as their evolution must have been. Books like Unfinished Tales or The Book of Lost Tales aren’t really retellings, except insofar as they reflect how Tolkien rewrote, and recast, his mythos as his view of it changed. What they are is the source material from which Christopher crafted The Silmarillion when his father was unable to do it.

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