Well… soon it will be Christmas, so soon!
My Christmas decorations went up earlier than usual this year but I don’t think that’s out of the ordinary as many people have been doing the same. If putting up some twinkly lights and baubles sparks joy than do your best Marie Kondo impression and get all over that!
I have 10.5 days (likely manic) days at work for December and then I’m off from the afternoon of the 17th December and not due to go back to work until 6th January 2021.
I say ‘go back’ like I’m going anywhere for those weeks off and like I’ll be heading anyway other than my own home but you know what I mean. I’m just very much looking forward to another break!
I am very happy to say that I’m attempting a book blogger challenge for December to dust the cobwebs from my brain – check out Bookending Winter 2020 info here.
I actually thought I would read a lot more than I did for November as I had a couple of weeks off. I set myself 4 books but only read 2 of them in the end.
The reason for that was predominantly because I was doing NaNoWriMo and also the books I selected didn’t really get my enthusiasm going which meant they took me a lot longer to trudge through.
I picked Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories because a) I liked the look of the cover, b) I loved the title and overall concept and c) I try to have a collect of short stories handy when I’m post reading slump. Novels can feel overwhelming while short story collections feel more ‘bite size’ and manageable.
Short story collections can be a mixed bag and I don’t think I’ve ever read an anthology where I’ve loved every single story. Unfortunately for Dreadful Young Ladies I can’t say I loved even a single story.
This book very much wasn’t for me. If I’m being brutal I have this to say: the writing was overly stylized and it felt like the author was writing each story to try and be literary rather than have any of the stories make sense which made the collection come across as a pretentious prose dump.
The stories were rarely stories and I found so many confusing with no real structure or characters. I understand you’re not going to get the same complexity with a short story as with a novel but they are still a story, key word – story. There needs to be something of substance going on.
I confess, I skipped a story completely because two paragraphs in I hated it with a passion and some towards the end I skimmed because I was so done. The only reason this is NOT a one star review is because the last story, The Unlicensed Magician, earned its place and a star as the best in the collection and is a story I actually liked.
The Gospel of Loki was part of a book subscription so I didn’t choose the book, it chose me.
Ok – it was selected by another human and posted out.
I really enjoy the randomness of someone picking a book for me because you never know what treasures you may find! One book from the same subscription was The Fifth Element by N.K Jemisin and lord, she is just epic.
This, sadly, was not a treasure. Sorry Joanne Harris (of Chocolat fame who has added an ‘M’ into her name for her ‘posh literary books.’ Ahem).
I adore Greek Mythology and want to learn more about Egyptian Mythology but for some reason Norse Mythology and I just haven’t bonded. Everything is pretty much Odin, Thor and Loki and in truth, I find their antics a bit dull. That’s right – I find eight legged horses, giant wolves, and the idea of Ragnarok dull. What’s wrong with me?!
I actually think it’s because the stories are very male orientated and all the heroes are men. Even though there are goddesses in the pantheon there isn’t a great deal of focus on them aside from their role of wife, mother, evil hag or sex kitten.
Give me Persephone and Hera any day.
I gave it a go because I enjoy reading stories from the perspective of the villain who doesn’t think they’re a villain and Loki from myth is quite complex.
Sadly this was a hard no.
The stories themselves got interesting when conflict – actual conflict and not just Loki being Loki – came into play but that third section was brief and ultimately there was zero tension or even emotion.
The worst aspect of this book was how it was written.
Now I was looking forward to a 1st person POV from Loki but this should have just been called ‘The Many Carazy Adevntures of Loki and the Asgard Frat Boy’s’ because it read like some desperate bullied kid trying to get in with the cool kids.
In fact, I’m pretty sure Loki references the Asgardian’s as ‘the cool kids’ among other modern day concepts such as ‘chillaxing,’ ‘fangirls wanting autographs’ and there was even a ‘got milk’ joke thrown in involving a joke.
Odd. And not in a ‘pleasantly quirky’ way. Odd in a jarring and out of place way which really undermined how complex a character like Loki could be.
I gave this two stars because I was in a good mood that day.
- Dreadful Young Ladies – 2 stars
- The Gospel of Loki – 2 stars
It’s 2 for 2 with an average of 2! Yay, maths!
I have a month to try and attempt my Goodread’s goal for 2020! I set it lower than previous years at 35 books so have 7 to try and achieve. The next one on my list is a rollover from November so I will go with Piranesi.
I completed my NaNoWriMo target! Whoop! This is my fourth NaNoWriMo and my second won (I think, it could be three).
The story is one that I massively pantsed and only thought of a day before the challenge started so it’s a jumble of confusion at the moment which means I need to let it rest and sift through it later.
I haven’t been good at this at all for almost the entirety of 2020 which sucks but I am trying to rectify it with participating in Bookending Winter!