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This Week I am Reading

19 June 2016

This week I have returned to an old favourite, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. It's been many many years since I delved into this one, and it is staggering just how well it reads. I have been given this as homework by my lovely supervisors, as I am currently writing 'The Diary of Mary Webb', and while the diary has captured Webb's voice, I seem to have forgotten in all the studying that I am writing a story as well - that has to be readable, engaging, and have a good plot and characters. These elements are in Anne Frank's book in spades. It is immensely humbling to be going back to the drawing board, and learning my lessons from a fifteen year old girl who was so sadly lost in the Holocaust.

The book is as I remember it, at turns absorbing, engaging, witty and harrowing.

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This Week I have also Read...12 June 2016 | Comments (0)

As usual, I have not listened to my best instinct and I have binged on Robin Hobb. Now I am suffering reader's remorse, as I knew I would. It's that aching gnawing feeling in your insides when you miss a book and its characters as if they were real people. This is not because the book is bad - quite the opposite. it is because I love these books so much, and am so in love with the characters (after four separate trilogies, this is quite a long relationship) but now I have to wait some indeterminate length of time until the next (and probably final) installment.

Fitz is as loveable a character as he has always been, even though now he is somewhere in his sixties, and still displays the same irritating stubborness he had as a young man. The character of the Fool / Amber is really the most intriguing. Gender-fluid characters are hard to come by in literature (aside from the most obvious Orlando) and Hobb manages this feat superbly, as Beloved switches between The Fool / Lord Golden and Amber with a deftness that is intriguing. As Beloved, the closest companion of Fitz, the character becomes truly gender neutral.

On the whole, if you haven't read Hobb before, please do. If you like The Lord of the Rings or Songs of Ice and Fire, you will love this. But start at the very beginning, with Royal Assassin, and really savour them. I think I may just have to get my interim fix by going back to the very beginning and starting all over again.

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