venetia_sassy: (Images // reading)
After a fairly active day yesterday, including a visit to the farmer's market (where the chocolate truffle guy said, hey, you neglected me last month! *facepalm*), a visit to a nearby shopping centre so Mum could try on some jeans - and I got sucked in by a sale sign at Angus & Robertson. Well, I wasn't sucked in until I saw a copy of Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels, which my library doesn't have but I like the two linked novels. Then there was home and nap and dinner and finishing A Pirate of Exquisite Mind and starting The Man Who Knew Too Much then tidying up and all kinds of active plans for the next day.

Then I woke up today and felt bleugh. You'd think I'd recognise adrenalin-fueled behaviour by now. I just keep hoping. I tried to read a paragraph of The Man Who Knew Too Much and couldn't understand a word of it. Stared blanky at the messy table and had no idea what to do with it. So I gave it up and started reading The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Loved it. It does seem to provoke a love it or hate it reaction by what I've seen of reviews. Yeah, I could spot some logic flaws in the world-building but it felt more like a allegory to me and the ending, with its dream-like quality, seemed appropriate to the story. In its questions about what degree of sacrifice, willing or unwilling, is acceptable for a peaceful, contented society, I was reminded of 'The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas' by Ursula K. Le Guin. Both societies have their appealing qualities until you start to realise what is being sacrificed for that peace.

That's about as far as my brain power was going for the day, though. In the midst of reading, I made marble cake. I haven't had that in years. Turned out very nicely, though I could have swirled it more, it seems.

Then I tried the Robert Hooke book again. Nope. So I tried High Valley by Colin Thiele, an Australian author whose books, Speedy and Jodie's Journey were part of my childhood. High Valley is a story about family, community and the blind, relentless, awe-inspiring nature of 'progress'. It was so damn sad but I might not have started crying except ... there was a dog. A sad dog. A sad blue heeler. I DID NOT KNOW THERE WOULD BE PUPPY DOG EYES OKAY?! I HAVE NO DEFENCES AGAINST THE SADEYES. So I cried and cried and finished the book and cried a bit more. Watched a couple of documentaries, tried Hooke again, then read a little book I picked up at the same second-hand sale as High Valley. I don't know why I bought Unicorns of Balinor: The Road to Balinor by Mary Stanton. I think I'd heard a nostalgic reference to it and hey, unicorns.

OMG. OMG. Unicorns of all colours of the rainbow! Kidnapped kings and queens! Amnesiac princess! Horrible rich girl! Pretty magic stones! Talking dog! Bad, bad writing! Did a seven year old write this?! Seriously, I think this is the kind of story I might have written at that age. That doesn't mean anyone needs to read it. I firmly believe that good children's books shouldn't make an adult cringe. This made me cringe.

I hope to have more brain tomorrow. I am having grave suspicions that my attempts at physical exercise have been sapping my mental energy. Fuck.

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Venetia

December 2016

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