Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Wishes, and a Reading Recommendation

Happy holidays, everyone!  I love this time of year, because it means one very important thing to me: spending time with my family.  We're all together for a couple of weeks, and it's hard for me to overstate how important that is to me.  As Applejack so succinctly put it over the weekend, family, "if you think about it, is really the first group of friends you ever make."  I know I'm grateful to have my parents, and my little sister, in my life.

If you're willing to take a little bit of advice from a stranger on the internet, I have one suggestion to share: this holiday season, remember to tell your loved ones that, well, that you love them.  Even if it seems silly or corny, take the time to let them know.  Blame it on the eggnog later, if you must.  But say the words "I love you," out loud, to the people for whom you care the most.

They're words I don't say often enough; most people don't, I suspect.  And the funny thing is, I've never once regretted saying them.  Not once.

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Anyway, there's one more thing I wanted to share!  Over the weekend, I started reading Catherynne M. Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In a Ship of Her Own Making.  If you haven't heard of it before, it was published a bit over a year and a half ago, and I picked it up after my mom recommended it to me.  I'm a bit over a quarter of the way through, but I feel like I've made it far enough to say this: Fairyland is the best new-to-me book that I've read in years.  It's a delightful mix of parody and deconstruction, all mixed with the occasional dollop of eye-opening sincerity, and has some of the most whimsically engaging narration I've ever come across.  It's clever and delightful, and often thought provoking, and basically I can't toss enough superlatives at it.  I thought about throwing up a few choice quotes, but after going back over the first couple of chapters I realized I really could quote almost any paragraph, and it would showcase at least one thing I'm loving about this story.

If that sounds like your kind of book, I highly, highly recommend it.  And if you aren't sure if it's for you or not, you can read the first eight chapters on the author's site--they're definitely worth checking out if you're on the fence.

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Well, that's it for now.  Reviews return Friday!

16 comments:

  1. It's such a fine book!

    The author's stuff for older readers is fairly incredible, too. The two volumes of "The Orphan's Tales," for instance, use the whole story-within-a-story structure in ways that had me grinning throughout. Lovely stuff!

    Mike

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  2. Happy holidays to you too, Chris! Your greeting actually reminded me of something pretty inspirational: Irving Berlin would write a complete song every day. I've noticed that level of consistent output in the works of many great artists of various mediums, and consider it a key to greatness

    I'll be sure to check out that book once I've finished FoE, which should be soon! I know, it's taken me forever, but I can't always read everyday. So far it's looking like a 4-star fic, but I think I'm gonna read fanfiction more regularly after this. Not sure that's such a good thing, actually...

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  3. Well, for the first time, I'm going to be leaving my family behind this year, and I feel pretty good about it. Family may be the first people you get to know, but they're not always friends. They don't always give you the support you need; they don't always give you a place to rest when everything else sucks.

    Sometimes, family is where you feel most uncomfortable. Sometimes they are best left behind so you can spend time with your real friends.

    It feels good, and I've never felt more free.

    -M

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    1. Honestly, I'm more impressed that you even though of this to make the connection.

      'Tis sincerely appreciated.

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  4. Man, I kinda hate my family and I'm glad I don't bother visiting them anymore. :/ That's pretty sad, because it never used to be that way.

    But, since Hanukkah and Festivus are over and all, I hope you have a good Christmas, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, continue to have a good Yule, and we'll see ya sometime around New Year's.

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    1. That does suck. I used to hate my family (well, not my mom), but college helped ease a lot of tensions, at least until recently. Hopefully things improve for you, too :)

      Anyone else seriously disappointed by Boxing Day? The name's misleading

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    2. Crap, ignore that comma following "you". I tend to get a little trigger-happy. Not the one following you, though. It has dark intentions

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    3. I'm just talking about extended family. :B My direct family still hangs out with me all the time, so them I can tolerate.

      And I totally agree with you about Boxing Day. D: SO DISAPPOINTING

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    4. Ah. Yeah, I'm not a fan of my extended family either

      Think I'll head back to Columbus. Lots of homeless people there. We'll make Boxing Day live up to its name

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    5. If you just meant that you didn't want a shift of thought where the comma is, then ignore the rest of this comment, but a comma preceding a sentence-ending "too" is perfectly acceptable way to punctuate!

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    6. I know it is. I actually use it all the time, but that sentence sounded weird in my head with the pause. Thanks for the links, though!

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  5. Chris, something entirely unrelated to this post:

    Have you not reviewed Heart of Gold, Feathers of Steel? Because I could swear that you had. Am I just crazy?

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    1. He hasn't. Nick had it taken down when he left the fandom, just in time for it to miss out on its review here. But now he's back and it's back up. Guess we'll have to see where Chris slots it in. We're getting pretty close to the end of the six-star stories.

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    2. OKAY

      I was comparing the dates on HoGFoS and Planes, Carriages and I was SO CONFUSED

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