One Won Twenty-one

Mei-Ling Is Ecstatic Over My Christmas Book

Happy New Year!  Featured above is the Christmas book I curled up with last week.   I hope you managed to chill from the holiday rush as well.

For those of you unfamiliar with this column, 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.  And it’s also a great place to tell me what you’re reading.  I’ve discovered a lot of good books that way.

Recently Completed:

The White Cottage Mystery by Marjorie Allingham.  This was a Christmas gift from Jim, an early, pre-Campion novel.  It’s a good story in its own right, with the extra bonus of seeing how it’s first life as a magazine series influenced the style, and even things like paragraph length.

Wild Magic: Immortals Book One by Tamora Pierce.  Audiobook.  It’s funny, but I like Alana a lot better in these books than I do in her own series. 

In Progress:

Armenian Folk-tales and Fables retold by Charles Downing.  I enjoyed the translator’s note at the beginning.  I’m about a third in.  Armenian heroes definitely have the best horses.

Wolf Speaker Immortals Book Two by Tamora Pierce.  Audiobook.  Daine is a year and a half older, now facing the consequences of a dark time in her past.  Warning for wolf purists: the wolves are more like dogs in their body language, with a culture built more around human idealizations of wolves than “real” wolves. 


I’ve been doing a lot of unstructured writing, testing out my new pens and loosening up my writing.  Feels good.

8 Responses to “One Won Twenty-one”

  1. Stuart Danker Says:

    What new pens did you get there (fellow stationery enthusiast here)? And what’s your unstructured practice look like? I’ve been meaning to do less formal writing too, and am looking for ideas 🙂

    • janelindskold Says:

      The pen is a Monte Verde. The other is one given to me by a friend, w/a handmade barrel, and I don’t know what company made the guts. My practice was to get blank scrap paper (I save old proofs etc) so there is no sense of waste, and to write. Sometimes I assign a topic (in this case, I was exploring a background character from the RPG I have run for many years). Other times I just write. My novel ASPHODEL grew from a desire to listen to the Muse only, not the market, not the critics, and it ended up being a great joy to me.

  2. Beverly Martin Says:

    Happy New Year!

    I read Smoke by Dan Vyleta. A familiar situation expressed in a new way – the rich and powerful do not produce smoke from their bodies, while the poor and oppressed do. It is set in an alternate-history old England. I rather enjoyed it.

    I also read Squeeze Me (Skink #8) by Carl Hiaasen. It is a clever satire set in Palm Beach, Florida (my neck of the woods!). One of the subplots involves a parody of a certain politician who has a club/residence here. It all starts when a wealthy matron disappears from a party. It just so happens a python with a large lump is in a tree nearby. There were several chuckle moments.

    To begin 2021, I am reading The Girl Who Lived Twice (Millennium #6) by David Lagercrantz. It is a continuation of the Lisbeth Salander story created by Steig Larsson. I am in the middle and, so far, it is dark, violent and action packed.

    On a lighter note, I started Maskerade (Discworld #18) by Terry Pratchett. The stars are The Witches, Granny and Nanny! Enough said!

    • janelindskold Says:

      Hmm… Maskerade. I haven’t read that one in years and years. I knew the translator for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. One of the fascinating tidbits is that the original title was Men Who Hate Women. Not where I care to go! You might like Sage Walker’s The Man in the Tree. Some of the same cultural sensibility with an SF mystery setting.

  3. James Mendur Says:

    Happy New Year.

    Re-read: “Lost Horizon” by James Hilton
    It’s very much a 1933 Orientalist novel written by an Englishman, with everything that implies.

  4. King Ben's Grandma Says:

    Hurray for new pens!! I have a love of pens myself. Most of my writing by hand these days is writing words for Ben and cutting them out. 🤷🏼‍♀️ It’s one of his *things*. I was gifted a lovely little handmade, bound notebook. Maybe I should gift myself with a new pen to go with it and start writing ideas down by hand instead of using my phone for everything. Old ways are sometimes better than new.

    No further book reading this week. Too much life interference and not enough sleep, but I have hope that the cracks in the reader’s block haven’t sealed back up.

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