dira: Allison Argent, smiling delightedly (Allison - Smile)



I lost most of yesterday to reading this book and being emotionally compromised by it--it made me cry repeatedly, but, you know, in the awesome way.

It’s a het romance where the hero is a bi/pan dude of Thai and Chinese descent and the heroine is a Latina transwoman, and NONE OF THOSE LABELS ARE WHAT THE STORY IS ABOUT.

Instead, it’s a “love each other online/hate each other in real life” story where the hero’s asshole behavior isn’t magically erased by apologies and I love yous--where there’s nothing as simple as a silly misunderstanding that can be quickly cleared up, because it all matters, and the characters, knowing each other online and off, good and bad, choose to struggle through their respective issues and the ways they’ve hurt each other because love matters too, and in the end, love--real love, flawed and human, brave and determined love--wins out.
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
Dear Yulewriter!

Hi there! I am DELIGHTED that you love one of these things I love! Please, please remember that optional details are optional and write what makes you happy!

Some things I like, not necessarily all in the same story:
-Hurt/comfort, heavy on the comfort, recovery from past/canonical Bad Things
-Domesticity, quiet moments
-Porn (where appropriate & illustrative of character/relationship, NOT REQUIRED AT ALL!)
-Kink & kink negotiation (as above, NOT REQUIRED PLEASE DON'T BE ALARMED IF IT'S NOT YOUR THING!)
-Cuddles, blankets, coziness, etc.
-Characters being smart and perceptive

For any of these characters, I would totally love to read anything from a quiet moment together to a wildly kinky PWP (erm, within the constraints of the characters' histories...) so, really, write the story of your heart, and thank you in advance!

And if you have any questions, feel free to ask [personal profile] iulia (iuliamentis on twitter and tumblr). She knows what I like and she's good at keeping secrets from me!

My specific requests:

Chalion Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold (Penric kin Jurald, Desdemona) )

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Guinevere Pettigrew, Joe Bloomfield) )

Captive Prince - C. S. Pacat (Damen, Laurent) )

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (Phryne Fisher, Jack Robinson) )

The Shawshank Redemption (Andy Dufresne, Ellis Boyd (Red) Redding) )
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)

Finally (FINALLY) actually reading the Random House paperback Captive Prince, after reading the self-pubbed ebook version back in… 2012? I have managed not to get spoiled for Book 3 yet PLEASE DON’T SPOIL ME.

Books finished:

Penric’s Demon (http://ift.tt/2b7711u) by Lois McMaster Bujold. Ohhh man this was DELIGHTFUL. I love the Chalion-verse, and this was such a fun trip through a new corner of it. I was also (as I have been studying romance structure a bit lately, in hopes of making my professional writing less full of ripping stuff out and starting over) really fascinated to note how much it is structured as a romance between Penric and his demon. 

Relatedly, I need SO MUCH pornfic about Penric and his demon, with or without other actual humans involved.

Interface (http://ift.tt/2cg77TJ) by Stephen Bury, a pseudonym for Neal Stephenson & J. Frederick George. Uh. Man. I did not enjoy this book on like, many levels. I was not already a Neal Stephenson fan, and I… continue not to be a Neal Stephenson fan. And @iuliamentis is not allowed to recommend any more books to me until she reads The Mad Earl’s Bride by Loretta Chase in recompense. (I mean, except for Contact, which I already borrowed from her, becasue Carl Sagan. I feel like I can trust Carl Sagan.)


I have 7 fic tabs open, and another 59 Marked for Later on AO3. I’m currently halfway through reading “how cold steel is (and keen with hunger)” by jinlinli, part of the FLOOD of new stories from the Stucky Big Bang 2016. 

Fic finished:

(A sampling of stuff I’ve bookmarked recently–you can see all my bookmarks at http://ift.tt/2bFC4A9)

Every Tree That Is Pleasant (http://ift.tt/2byfchC) by @spitandvinegar. OH MAN YOU GUYS. FERAL STEVE-AND-BUCKY WITH THEIR HATRED OF CLOTHES AND THEIR SECRET TWIN LANGUAGE, I CANNOT EVEN THIS IS SO GREAT GO READ IT RIGHT NOW. Plus gorgeous art by @pium-poetam!

These American Dreams (ain’t no white picket fences left for me) (http://ift.tt/2b4f1Qe) by kariye. AHHHH THIS WAS ALSO FUCKING BRILLIANT (AND IS ALSO NOT NEARLY AS MUCH OF AN AU AS YOU MIGHT THINK WHEN YOU START READING). Bucky is living a quiet life in a small town in Indiana, working as a mechanic, putting off visiting his sister a few towns over, and there’s this guy who keeps jogging past his place wearing a really tight t-shirt. <3

Third Floor (http://ift.tt/2bsUSOu) by thingswithwings. Ghostbusters, Holtzy/Patty. In which Holtzmann just does not know why Patty is in her space ALL THE TIME. (Until she finally realizes why.)

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2cg6Pfv
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
(It’s supposed to be Wednesday, for alliteration, but I am not that organized this week, so. Thursday! Because I figure that you might like to know what I’m reading as well as what I’m writing?) 


In addition to my handful of “haven’t admitted I’m not going to go back and finish it” books, I’m currently reading Interface by Stephen Bury, a book (in fact, the very same elderly paperback copy) [personal profile] iulia​ has reread every election season of the last 16 years or so, and I have somehow never read at all. Until now! 

I’m also somewhere in the middle of listening to the audiobook of Glitterland by Alexis Hall, which is hilarious in audio format, but I’ve gotten to the part where the protagonist is going to Make Really Bad Choices and so I put it down a couple of weeks ago and haven’t listened since. (Seriously though, in audio it is even more apparent than it is in text that Glitterland is the story of Strindberg and Helium falling in love. Which is beautiful, but not without perils.)

Books finished:

Confiscating Charlie: I don’t remember when I bought this–it’s a novelette, so a very compressed erotic romance, definitely calling out to the part of your id that is into bodice-ripping (het) romances, with the rich and powerful hero and innocent 19-year-old heroine and a little bondage and you-belong-to-me thrown in. Honestly… less rape-y than I was concerned it would be from the title?

The Usual Path to Publication: 27 stories about 27 ways in: A collection of delightful short essays from authors about how they “made it,” including many touching on the question of what the hell it even means to “make it” as a professional or published writer. Upbeat, even though not all of them are unambiguous success stories.

Sutphin Boulevard: More or less everyone I know who reads m/m romance has yelled at me at some point to read Santino Hassell, and I finally read this and it was good! …I also stopped reading it for about 36 hours halfway through because I was dreading the character making A Bad Decision (he actually didn’t make that particular bad decision, but the plot is definitely driven by Bad Decisions) (and also by a kind of maddening refusal to accept being in love with one’s best friend who one has already had sex with in the first few chapters of the book, ugh, BOYS).


I have 12 tabs open + 45 things marked for later on AO3 + 4 comment notifications for hydratrashmeme fills sitting in my inbox.

Fic finished:

(A sampling of stuff I’ve bookmarked recently.)

All Is Good That Is Desired by [archiveofourown.org profile] archwrites - Bucky/Peggy/Steve sex pollen!!

The well-fought fight by Sororising - Sam/Steve, comparing notes on growing up bi in their respective eras.

Speechless by [archiveofourown.org profile] sara_holmes - Bucky/Clint, Bucky has trouble speaking and decides to learn ASL, Clint is his teacher! Sweet & lovely AU.

Aaaand my favorite thing I read on the hydratrashmeme this week is The True Repairman Will Repair Man, which is a WIP, currently up to Part 9/?, and is being written for a prompt where Bucky insists that all the sex he had with members of HYDRA during his captivity was consensual, and can’t understand why Steve thinks it wasn’t. So far nothing in his past is really described–the story is in Steve’s POV–so it’s doing the monster-just-offscreen horror thing in a deeply unnerving and awesome way. Caveat lector!

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2bFBhPI
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)


Three Stories for The Martian! )

And two Raven Cycle stories!!!! )

And in other news I just watched (and wept through) Inside Out with my dad so the Christmas tradition of crying in front of Pixar movies with him remains intact.

ETA: Oh man, SIX stories! A madness Martian story tooooo!

Lifehack (429 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Martian (2015)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Mark Watney, Melissa Lewis (The Martian)

Mark enjoys finding interesting solutions to everyday problems. Even if he doesn't really need to.

dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
Dear Yulewriter!

Hi there! I am DELIGHTED that you love one of these things I love, and please by all means remember optional details are optional and write what makes you happy!

Some things I like, not necessarily all in the same story:
-Hurt/comfort, heavy on the comfort
-Porn (where appropriate & illustrative of character/relationship, NOT REQUIRED AT ALL!)
-Kink & kink negotiation (as above, NOT REQUIRED PLEASE DON'T BE ALARMED IF IT'S NOT YOUR THING!)
-Polyamory & poly negotiation
-Cuddles, blankets, etc.
-Family feels
-Characters being smart and perceptive

Tropes I love, if you see a way to fit them into the fandom/characters in the question: kidfic, deaged characters, amnesia, woke up married, pretend relationship, marriage of convenience/arranged marriage, BDSM AU. (Uh, looking at my requests, I really don't know how some of these would work, but, you know, if you have a brilliant/irresistible idea, run with it! :D)

And if you have any questions, feel free to ask [personal profile] iulia (iuliamentis on twitter and tumblr). She knows what I like!

The Martian (book or movie), Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, The Raven Cycle - Maggie Stiefvater )
dira: My home is not a place ... it is people. (Home is not a place)
Oh, hey, Yuletide! I wrote a thing for that and it's revealed now!

I was so excited to get matched on The Secret Garden, and even more excited to get a prompt in folkloricfeel's letter for "x goes to Hogwarts" AU, because I realized that OF COURSE MARY AND COLIN AND DICKON NEED TO GO TO HOGWARTS. :D

And then, with [personal profile] iulia cheering me on every step of the way, this happened, and it is maybe the most unadulteratedly happy thing I've written in a very long time:

Owls in the Garden (3136 words) by Dira Sudis
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett, Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Colin Craven & Mary Lennox & Dickon Sowerby
Characters: Mary Lennox, Colin Craven, Dickon Sowerby
Additional Tags: Hogwarts letters, Magic

It was early in the morning, on a bright day in July during Mary Lennox's second summer at Misselthwaite Manor, when the owls flew into the garden.


Dec. 25th, 2014 09:18 pm
dira: Allison Argent, smiling delightedly (Allison - Smile)
1) I adore my family and we had a lovely holiday together and it was great to be all under one roof for several hours but OH MY GOD PEOPLE ARE EXHAUSTING I AM SO TIRED.

2) I got two more Yuletide stories from the Yuletide Madness collection! :D

Who Kisses Who (100 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Colin Craven/Mary Lennox/Dickon Sowerby
Characters: Mary Lennox, Dickon Sowerby, Colin Craven
Additional Tags: Drabble, Yuletide Madness Drabble Invitational, Threesome, Friends to Lovers, First Kiss, Romance, Fluff
Series: Part 16 of Yuletide Drabble Invitational 2014

What they do remember is that it started very chastely, almost innocently.

A glimpse of first kisses in the garden. ♥

Sufficient (1800 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Deret Beshelar and Maia Drazhar, Deret Beshelar and Cala Athmaza
Characters: Deret Beshelar, Cala Athmaza, Maia Drazhar
Additional Tags: Yuletide Treat, Tropes, Deaged Character, Fluff and Crack, Implied/Referenced Child Abuse

As soon as Cala came out to the outer chamber and the door was shut behind them, Deret rounded on him. “This is thy fault,” he barked, knowing it for truth.

“My fault? What makes thee think—“

“I know thee, fool of a maza! I may not know how, or why, but I know this is thy doing, and I know that thou must fix it.”



Dec. 25th, 2014 12:21 pm
dira: Allison Argent, smiling delightedly (Allison - Smile)
I got two amazing Yuletide stories and there are TWO MORE IN MADNESS, I don't even know what to do with this many presents! :D Except of course to tell everyone who finds them relevant to their interests to go and read them tooooo!

A study on the aerodynamics and parabolic arcs of viscous fluids in a low gravity environment (1635 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Martian - Andy Weir
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Mark Watney

There are limits to what NASA will allow through their censors

I ASKED FOR A STORY ABOUT MARK JERKING OFF ALONE ON MARS AND I GOT THAT AND SO MUCH MORE. This is filled with little moments that feel absolutely true. Oh MARK. ♥

Bombed Out (1736 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Oxford Time Travel Universe - Connie Willis
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Polly Churchill, James Dunworthy
Additional Tags: Yuletide Treat

Polly seeks Mr. Dunworthy's advice after returning from 1941.

AND! I got the story I have looooong been wanting about Polly and Mr. Dunworthy after All Clear, trying to fit into the 21st century again! Mr. Dunworthy is both wise and comforting and dealing with his own traumas here, and it's just perfectly balanced between the characters. ♥
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
Because I saw this somewhere, looked it up, and was too entertained by the results not to recycle this meme: Pick up the book nearest to you and turn to page 45. The first sentence expains your love life.

"In the early 19th century an English convict named William Buckley escaped from a penal colony in Australia and for three decades lived happily with the Wathaurung aborigines."

(From Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, which I find fascinating even though I can only read it for about twenty minutes at a time before I get distracted or fall asleep. I'm really curious about what Steve Rogers would make of The Long Peace, and my opinion of Hydra's organizational efficacy is going down with every page I read--I mean, seriously, they've supposedly been agitating for all this time and we never had a World War III?)
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
So I finished reading Mira Grant's Parasite last night, and... it is my least favorite of all Seanan's works under either name. Be advised before you click the cut tag.

Parasite by Mira Grant: a rant. )
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
Dear Yulewriter!

As it turns out, I find I have very little to say other than that I am DELIGHTED that you love one of these things I love, and please by all means remember optional details are optional and write what makes you happy! As a general rule I adore cuddles and hurt/comfort that is heavy on the comfort. I adore little mundane moments--for any of my requests I would love to see them doing laundry or washing dishes or buying groceries or trying to find two matching socks when they're not quite awake yet. And if you need other tips on things I enjoy, feel free to hit up [personal profile] iulia (iuliamentis on twitter and tumblr) for advice; she knows what I like and is scarily good at keeping secrets from me.

Also, I apologize if I have totally scarred your for life with my Sound of Music request, I AM JUST SAYING THOUGH. THAT RIDING CROP.


Also this turned out to be a lot of canon het relationships, I don't know how that happened.

What Maisie Knew, Sound of Music, The Secret Garden, The Cutting Edge, North and South )

Whatever you're writing, thank you for it! I am excited to read what you come up with, and I'm delighted to know that you love something I love. Happy Yuletiding!
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
I did good things a week ago, and it comes a little easier tonight, which is surely a good thing all by itself, but here are some other good things about today:

1. Reading Blood of Tyrants. OH MY GOD I LOVE EVERYONE IN THIS BOOK. Especially people calling each other by their first names, OH MY GOD I LOVE THEM THE MOST. I have sixty pages to go DON'T SPOIL THE ENDING IN THE COMMENTS. YET.

2. Snyder's Butter Snap pretzels WHY HAVE I NOT BEEN EATING THESE ALL MY LIFE.

3. Singing along with If I Had a Rocket Launcher. Whatever's going wrong in your life, singing the line If I had a rocket launcher, some son of a bitch would die cannot help but be a satisfying answer, right?

4. Helping a kid who couldn't tell me his address, just the street he lived on and a nearby store, figure out the nearest library where he could get some Geronimo Stilton.

5. Realizing that, hell yes, the time has come: my niece is old enough for me to give her Baby Island and Misty of Chincoteague for her birthday!

Oh, and a generally good and useful thing that I just realized maybe everyone doesn't already know about: http://pinboard.in/popular/fandom is a great source for finding new fic in popular-ish fandoms--it's where I find pretty much all the Welcome to Night Vale fic I read, and obviously there's also a strong Teen Wolf presence, but anything that gets bookmarked by a handful of pinboard users in fandom will pop up there, so there's an array of fandoms represented. It updates once a day, which makes it a pleasant relief from the pace of tumblr and twitter. (Except that tag cloud to the right which seems to have no relation to the bookmarks on the page. I don't know when that thing updates.)
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
So give the, uh, uncertainty surrounding the nomination process for Yuletide fandoms this year, I'm pimping some of the ones I'm hoping for over at the Yuletide Fandom Promotional Post:

What Maisie Knew

The Cuckoo's Calling

Almost Human
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Stiles - open-mouthed)
Or, a book, anyway.

I just recently finished reading Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling's The Cuckoo's Calling, which I requested from the library as soon as I heard about her identity being revealed, and so I managed to be about #38 of 298 on the hold list by the time I got to work that Monday. I figured I should read it in much the same way I figured I should read The Casual Vacancy, and Gone Girl, and Fifty Shades, because it was about to be in huge demand at the library and I should know about it. Several of my coworkers did the same, though at least one was put off actually reading it by an NPR review that said the only surprise was the author's identity.

For me, I like my cozy mysteries (I'm currently reading my way through Margaret Frazer's Dame Frevisse series, about a 15th century nun who fights crime). Typical mysteries, like police procedural dramas, are mostly about making order of a chaotic situation, and they do so in a comfortingly reliable way. So I was all for a totally unsurprising mystery novel.

So what surprised me, actually, was how much I liked the book and how much I cared about the characters (and then I said to myself, self, this is JK Rowling, she does actually know what she's doing in that particular department, whatever her other failings). In particular, I loved the utterly unromantic relationship between PI Cormoran Strike and his increasingly-less-temporary secretary, Robin.


The relationship actually wound up reminding me a lot of Elementary's Sherlock and Joan--I mean, okay, no one else is Joan Watson, it's nowhere near that perfect, but the professional detective being actively encouraging to his amateur protege just made me really, really happy. And I really hope that getting outed doesn't stop JKR from writing more books in this series, because I want more Cormoran and Robin adventures!

Possibly I will need to nominate this for Yuletide.
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
1) So it turns out running is better with actual running shoes? Who knew. I bought some Merrell Barefoot Pace Gloves a week ago and HEY MY FEET DON'T HURT ANYMORE. I'm having to build up my running endurance again because barefoot running is a whole new stride and also because I ... kind of didn't run at all from December to May, basically? but whatever this is awesome and I will totally be ready for 5Ks again by the end of the summer.

Relatedly today was my first run down by the Lake in aaaaages and I love the Lake and it was great. &Lake They Call Michigan;

2) I have three books checked out from the library with the same due date and I can't decide which to read first. I'm too lazy to make a poll, but:

Cold Magic by Kate Elliott
The Steerswoman's Road by Rosemary Kirstein
A stranger in Olondria : being the complete memoirs of the mystic, Jevick of Tyom, by Sofia Samatar

Feel free to argue for priority if you have opinions!
dira: Nate Fick, keeping his chin up (Nate - Chin Up)
The poll options are what they are due to book availability, so making suggestions of academic/British sources will not help in the short term. Although I did get to read Jeffery Farnol's Great Britain at War, which was a collection of his contemporary accounts of the war effort as a journalist, and fascinating on multiple levels. Anyway:

Poll #12632 Doing a spot of research, because of reasons.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 52

Which fun and delightful book shall I read next?

View Answers

Regeneration, Pat Barker
19 (36.5%)

Home front, 1914-1918 : how Britain survived the Great War, Ian F.W. Beckett.
7 (13.5%)

Testament of Youth, Vera Brittain
7 (13.5%)

Letters from a lost generation : the First World War letters of Vera Brittain and four friends
7 (13.5%)

Edward Carpenter : a life of liberty and love, Sheila Rowbotham
5 (9.6%)

A class society at war, England, 1914-1918, Bernard Waites
6 (11.5%)

Death's men : soldiers of the Great War, Denis Winter
1 (1.9%)

dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
1) Just realized the other day that I have been conflating the Lymond Chronicles and the Liaden series into some sort of sword-and-sorcery woobie-centric fantasy series for the last fifteen years. I gather that ... no.

2) Also realized today that the reason I was not especially surprised/impressed by the Avengers helicarrier wasn't because they'd already shown it in another movie or because I was spoiled for it but because of The Master's helicarrier thing. So I am retroactively surprised/impressed, SHIELD! That was pretty cool!

3) Tonight one of the members of my book group passed around the Lord of the Rings Pez dispenser set she got for Christmas. I got Aragorn! :D!


5) Having managed to write 750+ words on each of the last six days (today will make seven unless something goes bad wrong in the next three hours), I am cautiously optimistic that I have passed out of the Christmas/sick/New Year's/discombobulated three-week Slough of Writing Despond. But I am still not done with anything.

dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
This book sort of swims through my brain every time I think about the proposition that something delicious is, as people are fond of saying, laced with crack, because there is a climactic scene where the hero--who has unbenknownst to him become addicted to something (laudanum? morphine? opium?) that had been slipped into his coffee--throws the coffeepot in a rage and it is taken as a sort of subconscious recognition of the source of his addiction. Something like that.

So, things I remember about the book:

1) Romance novel.
2) Given that I read it sometime between 1988 and 1995, it probably belonged to my mom, so it was probably a Christian inspirational romance novel, but it might not have been. And, obviously, published before 1995. It was a fairly slender paperback.
3) Historical, set on an island, possibly with a lighthouse.
4) Heroine has come to the island to marry the hero, who was tragically widowed under mysterious circumstances (no it's not Rebecca) but he's moody and etc., which ultimately turns out to be largely due to the secret-even-from-him opiate addiction he's got going on.
5) First wife's name was Patience, leading the heroine to edit that term and its derivatives out of her speech with the hero, leading to her talking about "forbearance" at least once.
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
I have been reading things!

Two of them I read on my phone before getting out of bed this morning, because I like to start my day off right:

Lullaby (1186 words) by faviconPhilomytha
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Ludmilla "Drou" Droushnakovi, Kareen Vorbarra, Gregor Vorbarra, Steggie the stegosaurus, Serg Vorbarra

Steggie is having trouble sleeping.

This is my brand new instant head-canon for Drou, and a painfully gorgeous look at her and Gregor and Kareen in the last days of Serg's presence in their lives. And I got about halfway through it before I was thinking, "Awww, I want to write Vorkosigans."

A New Dance (859 words) by faviconPhilomytha
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Aral Vorkosigan/Alys Vorpatril
Characters: Aral Vorkosigan, Alys Vorpatril

The first time Aral and Alys kiss. A Reconstruction 'verse fic.

This one will not make sense if you haven't read Reconstruction first and, note pairing, it's a 'verse where Cordelia died in the rescue mission to get Miles during the Pretendership. It left me thinking "Aww, I want to write Vorksoigans in hideously dire circumstances." But that is probably a rabbit hole I should not venture down, with the wolves breathing down my neck.

Today I also finished reading a book to fulfill my self-assigned quota of Books That Are Not SF or Fantasy and Are Popular Among My Library's Readers And/Or Books Clubs at My Local Bookstore, which I more pithily describe as "Oughta" books in my booklist. (Previous books read for this category include Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Art of Racing in the Rain, and Room, all of which I have quite liked.)

This past week I read Paula MacLain's The Paris Wife, which I found fascinating but don't quite know how to talk about, which is a peril of reading and being fascinated by books about how the other half lives.

The book is about Ernest Hemingway's first wife, Hadley Richardson, and as the title suggests it follows the arc of their marriage, much of which was spent in Paris. But what it's really about is a non-writer in love with a writer, following him into a circle of friends who are all writers or artists or critics or otherwise creative people (and ultimately losing him to one of them). It's a beautiful book, and it's impossible not to feel for Hadley, but I kept having this disconnect whenever I tried to put myself in her shoes as she felt increasingly isolated and marginalized--because in the same circumstances I know I would have my own work to turn to. It's a weird kind of, idk, certainty privilege, and I don't know that I've ever read anything else that pointed it up so sharply.

On a much shallower note, more or less my entire knowledge of the creative expat scene in Paris in the Twenties comes from watching Midnight in Paris, so I spent this whole book picturing Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein and Tom Hiddleston as Scott Fitzgerald and Corey Stoll as Hemingway, which did not at all detract from my enjoyment. *g*

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