Amsterdam (almost) and Angry Crying (almost)

Of the five working days since last week’s post, I’ve had four half days. So congratulations to me. Since many of the middle school students were taking tests at school, my later classes were canceled.

In that time, from Friday night, I’ve read five books and gotten more than a quarter through another. And though they haven’t been hefty, dense ‘literature,’ they’re certainly been plenty large and not the light and airy teen fantasy drivel we all know I’m often susceptible to (and not ashamed to be. usually).

And it has been magnificent. I think I may have given some impression before–I really, really love reading. And I’ve done a poor job of it the past several months. I’ve read some, but not as much as my free time should have dictated. There’s something wonderful about sailing through books like they’re as light as so much breeze. Immersing yourself in another reality for hour after hour, and still thinking of it as you go on your way.

If you’re interested, I first completed the All for the Game trilogy by Nora Sakavic then the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo. I’ll give you a quick rundown because they are the worlds I’ve been living in all week.

My sister’s introduction to All for the Game was essentially ‘made up sport…angry boys…bad parents.’ She did warn me that the first book was only alright but that the second two more than made up for it and I heartily agree with that assessment. As someone who really actively doesn’t care about sports, I was wary. But it truly is about the relationships. I’ve never wanted to angry cry so fiercely for such an extended period of time (though in the event no actual tears were shed). I feel like other people must know what angry crying is–when you are so angry that all you can do is cry–and that’s basically these books. Just… bad things happen in the world and it’s awful. I actually hated most of the characters most of the time, but they grew on me. And are growing on me still. One of those things where I was just coming around when the trilogy suddenly ended and I just wanted more story (my sister was kind enough to direct me to some little things the author had written post publication for that very reason). By the end, the main character’s love/hate interest/story was my everything and I just needed more.

The other was significantly less emotionally fraught but was a mature(r) fantasy adventure and I got caught up in it as well. Overcoming prejudice, overcoming issues, but mostly exciting twists and turns in an elaborate heist and the efforts required to finally get paid. The world was all fantasy but it had some very clear models and the setting was probably my favorite part. Something like eighteenth century Amsterdam was the main deal with plenty of Sweden and Russia thrown in, sprinkled with Roma, some miscellaneous East Asian something (Chinese?) and culturally ambiguous black people. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I feel like I could live in Amsterdam, I loved my week there so much.

So there’s nothing else to say for this week. I’ve for real spent it all reading. I did also want to say that yes, monsoons are real. I haven’t really seen much different than, say, summer storms in D.C. but it’s definitely monsoon season here. Maybe I’ll do something else next week. But I kind of hope not.

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