Week 2 – 2018

1.  The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare is more a drama than a comedy, I feel, on my first reading of the play since… 2010? The hate and prejudice make it difficult to bear. In a comedy, the problem is usually the arrangement and disposition of the couples, but here the conflict is not properly resolved until Antonio is saved from the bond he made with Shylock.

I read the Folger edition because a) it’s been so long since I’ve read any Shakespeare and they’re a gentle entry point, b) the edition has an excellent introduction and glosses, and c) my Kindle has spoiled me for being able to change the font size of a book so that I no longer love mass markets. Or things with tiny print. Like my giant, lovely, microscopically typed Riverside Shakespeare.

2. The fourth book in Vatta’s War, Command Decision by Elizabeth Moon, was better, I thought, than the third one. Each of the three main characters, Ky Vatta, her cousin Stella Vatta Constantin, and Rafe Dunbarger, must choose, essentially, whether to take or seize the authority within their reach. So it was both well named and well plotted, and space battles. Exciting space warfare is basically why you read about Ky. That, or the continued literary proof that adopted people are really cool, except I can’t tell you which character because that would give things away.

3. Then I binged on Arabella by Georgette Heyer. By bingeing, I mean I read it all in one day. The spunky main character was a country vicar’s eldest daughter who is going to London to try to make a good match for herself and her siblings; the love interest was the disinterested Nonesuch, that paragon of fashion, manliness, and good taste. I call him the Mr. Darcy character type: rich and proud. Will Arabella soften his heart? (Yes, and wittily, too, because this is a Heyer novel.)

4. Next up. The exciting conclusion to Vatta’s War! The exciting conclusion (maybe) to Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, which I’ve been reading for literally months! And… the ebook that the library purchased solely at my request (The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente)!

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