Oh, this first week of MarchMagics / DWJMarch was heaven. I read four books, two collections of shorts, two novels.
First up was Dragons at Crumbling Castle, a collection from 2014 of stories that Terry Pratchett wrote between 1965 and 1973. From the introduction,
"... read the stories that I wrote as a teenager, mostly as they were first printed, although the grown-up me has tinkered just a little with a few fine details--the odd tweak here, a pinch there, and a little note at the bottom where needed, and all because the younger me wasn't as clever back then as he turned out to be."
These are stories for children but so lighthearted and funny that I loved them all. I loved the punny-ness of the title story. I loved revisiting the Carpet People. I loved the tortoise and the caveman inventor and the hapless Santa. Most of all, I loved the break from everything serious and bleak. This was a joy to read.
And, as much as Pratchett knows about creating lovable characters, DWJ is a master at the most loathsome, horrid creatures ever -- six different ones made their appearances in the three stories of Stopping for a Spell. The stories are each named after these awful characters (the "Chair" Person, Angus Flint, and the Four Grannies) and their awfulness is certainly the basis of each tale. The fact that she could provoke such intense, visceral reactions from adults reading short stories for children is proof that Diana was a bonafide genius.
Besides this horrible cover that I had to explain to Z had hardly anything to do with the story, Eric was another fun Rincewind/Discworld adventure. It won't work as a starting book for anyone just getting into this universe but, once you get to it, literature fans will have a wonderful time with some of the references. I was sad that it was only 197 pages long. Luckily, it left me a lot of time in the week for this doorstop ...
This was my second read of The Merlin Conspiracy (558 pages) and I loved it oh so much more this time through! There are two narratives, those of Nick and Roddy, weaving together through most of the book and then they join at the end and I wavered between each one as a favorite and ended up deciding that I had to love them both equally. The basic story is one of parallel worlds, with Nick in one and Roddy in another and how their lives eventually intersect. The stakes are high and there are some seemingly bad characters who turn out to be good and horrid ones who turn out to be even worse than you originally think. There is a lot of magic of all different sorts and the creatures are especially fun -- even the goat. I would definitely call this an all-ages book too. It has layers. Many, many layers.
So, what did you read this first week? Leave thoughts or links below!
(I know some people have trouble commenting on Blogger sites so it's okay to just leave a comment on anyone else's post too and I will find you.)
Loathing and loving,