Fan of . . . Space Opera, Fantasy, and Dr. Ruth Galloway Mysteries

For this challenge — The Fan of . . . Challenge hosted by Jez Braithwaite — self didn’t want to just say Books. Sure, she spends most of her time reading, but she wanted to specify that she gravitates towards certain types of books, depending on her mood.

This year, she’s definitely into space opera (Shards of Earth), fantasy (The Mermaid and the Bear), and Elly Griffiths’ Dr. Ruth Galloway mystery series.

Detective Sergeant Tanya Fuller

Self had her first It’s It in decades.

She went to the library and checked out a new book: Katherine Addison’s The Witness for the Dead (Surprisingly thin! The Goblin Emperor, which is the only other Katherine Addison book self has read, was a hefty tome)

She bought a few sundries from Bianchini’s in San Carlos and the bill came to $39 (She bought 13-gallon garbage bags, 10 0z. of Peet’s Dark Roast, a small container of cubed watermelon)

She is on p. 244 of Book # 12 of Elly Griffiths’ powerfully addictive Dr. Ruth Galloway mystery series (She keeps complaining about the plots, but is unable to stop reading). Detective Sergeant Tanya Fuller interviews a witness:

She shows Crissy a photograph of the pumpkin badge.

“Do you recognize this?”

“It’s a Hallowe’en thing, isn’t it? I don’t like Hallowe’en as a holiday. Why dwell on the darkness in life?”

Don’t ask me, thinks Tanya. You’re the one who was married to a serial killer.

The Lantern Men, Book 12 of the Dr. Ruth Galloway mystery series

Stay tuned.

‘The Chapel Perilous’: The Mermaid and the Bear

Self is tempted to skip some parts of this novel (the torture scenes) but no, she just couldn’t.

Luckily, this morning, we’re still in the fairy tale parts:

My bowl of porridge was full, but it felt empty. The fire blazed in the huge hearth, but the room was cold, as if the snow had not melted after all, had not filled the woodland pool to overflowing and opened the roads for travel. Wee Thomas was forlorn also, his appetite less than I had seen in his illness.

“Ach, fit are the two of you like?” remarked Bessie, taking in our moping faces. “He’ll soon be back and then it’ll be Christmas. What a time we’ll have then. You think your party was fun wi’ the snow, but you’ve seen nothing like Christmas.”

The Mermaid and the Bear, p. 73

Breakfast: The Mermaid and the Bear

Today I had promised him bacon and eggs, a mixture that had intrigued both Bessie and Duncan when I told them of it. The thinly sliced ham was ready to go on a skillet and I hung it over the flames to cook. There was a pot of porridge ready to eat, so I dished up a small helping for Wee Thomas while he waited, enriching the bowl with raisins and hazelnuts and a fresh plum which he ate with gratifying gusto.

The Mermaid and the Bear, p. 49

Sentence of the Day: The Mermaid and the Bear

The glow of happiness from the circle spread out like a raindrop fallen in the pool, and pleasant events kept happening for the rest of the day.

The Washerwoman of the Ballynagor Bridge

The washerwoman of the Ballynagor Bridge was a woman who had died in childbirth but who was not all-the-way dead . . . By day, the washerwoman washed clothes in the Stracam River, under the Ballynagor Bridge. By night she roamed the watery places of the countryside, looking for the child that had once grown in her belly.

Most everyone who saw the washerwoman was feary’d to their bones by the look of her. Her grey skin was all water-wrinkled, her hands were rubbed red-raw and her toes were all webbit.

The Terrible Tale of Fillan McQuillan, in The Faerie Thorn and Other Stories

Story # 3, The Faerie Thorn and Other Stories

Self was reading Story # 3, The Merrow of Murlough Bay, when big fat tears started rolling down her cheeks!

This is crazy! She hasn’t cried about a fairy tale since The Little Mermaid!

Each of the stories in this book, at least the three she has read so far, follow the same pattern: Goodness is terrifying, therefore it is spurned. And Talbot is a genius at showing suffering. Maybe it’s the mermaid thing — self doesn’t know. All she knows is that the suffering of the merrow Bright Blue, his “all-on-my-ownness,” his fear, was so real. There was a little bit of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go in there, if you must know.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Magician King, p. 306

Closing in on the end! Self has been reading this book for the past two weeks!

Finally, Quentin Coldwater does get to bang! This is definitely not Harry Potter, LOL

Spoiler-ish. Only if you shipped Quentin/Julia (which self kinda did, because she loved what Julia brought to this, that hint of darkness. Consolation: Julia does get to be a Hedge-Witch)

He turned to Poppy. “Are you in on this? Or do you still want to go back to the real world?”

“Are you kidding?” She grinned and pressed herself against him. “Fuck reality, baby. Let’s go save the universe.”

A Dragon in Venice’s Grand Canal

Quentin is about to jump into the canal to retrieve a magic button that he and Julia need desperately: it’s the only thing that will get them back to Fillory.

Witnessing the deed is a dragon expert, a fetching young woman from Australia named Poppy.

“They hardly ever eat people,” Poppy said. “I mean like twice a century. That we know of.”

The Magician King, p. 174

You’ll notice self’s reading pace has picked up. She really loves Quentin and Julia’s backstory. Today, despite watching a bit of the Belfast Marathon, and going to the Botanic Gardens, she managed to spend a good bit of time reading.

Stay tuned.

When The Magician King is Like a Game Show

Look in the bowl! Look in the bowl! says a high, disembodied voice in a Venezian palazzo (HOW did Quentin and Julia get to a Venetian palazzo? Weren’t they just in RICHMOND, VIRGINIA? And is there ANY sordid wizard Julia won’t, as a frustrated Quentin puts it, bang? This is another thing self appreciates about Lev Grossman: his characters DO bang, and they talk like young people.)


“I refuse to look in the bowl!” says our valiant Quentin, grabbing catatonic Julia by the hand (She’s only catatonic when she’s with Quentin. Ergo, this is NOT a ship!)

Quentin slaps the bowl off the table, it shatters against a wall, out floats a piece of paper, and what does Quentin do? WHAT DO YOU THINK HE DOES? He reads the slip of paper. And it says:


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