Tag Archives: GLBT

Let’s Celebrate!

I think it is a day to celebrate.

I don’t usually post things that are not about books on this blog but today I am making an exception.  The United States Senate just voted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, the anti-gay military policy that has been in place for 17 years.  The story is here.

8 Comments

Filed under Events, Politics

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Riverhead Books, New York, 2002

Borrowed from the library.

Susan Trinder, orphaned when her mother is hanged for murder, then left with Mrs Sucksby, a baby-seller, is raised in a house of thieves.  Trained to be a pick-pocket, a fingersmith, Susan’s life changes when Richard Rivers arrives and makes her a deal that, if successful, will make them all rich.  Thus begins a tale of love and deception so full of twists and changes it will make your head spin. Is this novel a mystery?  A ghost story? A romance?

The room was a dark one, like all the rooms there.  Its walls were panelled all over in an old dark wood and its floor- which was bare, except for a couple of trifling Turkey carpets, that were here and there worn to the weave- was also black.  There were  some great heavy tables about and one or two hard sofas.  There was a painting of a brown hill and a vase full of dead leaves, and a dead snake in a glass case with a white egg in its mouth.  The windows showed the grey sky and bare wet branches.  The window panes were small and leaded and rattled in their frames.  Page 69

To quote or say any more is to give away too much.  Waters is a master story-teller,  giving her readers damp, smoke-filled images of Victorian London, creating a sense of the strict divisions between classes in the Manor houses of the country side.  She is brilliant at dialogue, between thieves, men and women, cooks, masters, maids and mistresses.  Each one of the characters in this great, elegant old-fashioned novel became real for me.  And Waters given her readers two wonderful female protagonists, each different, each strong, each unforgettable.  I ended up admiring and loving both of them.

I admit it.  I waited way too long before reading Waters, but I’ll make up for it now.  I just picked up The Little Stranger from the library and will start it in the next couple of days.

Other reviews:

Caribousmom

Eclectic/Eccentric

Rhapsody In Books

S. Krishna’s Books

Shelf Love

things mean a lot

Did I miss yours?

23 Comments

Filed under GLBT 2010, Historical Fiction, New Authors 2010, Notable Books, Review

The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson

The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson

Translated from the Swedish by Thomas Teal

New York Review Books, New York, 2009

Borrowed from the library.

I’m sure many are familiar with the Moomins, that wonderful Finnish family of  hippo-like Trolls.  Tove Jansson, their creator, also wrote short stories and novels for adults.

The True Deceiver is a complex portrait of relationship, truth and deception.  It takes place during winter in a small Finnish village.

It had been snowing along the coast for a month.  As far back as anyone could remember, there hadn’t been this much snow, this steady snow piling up against doors and windows and weighing down roofs and never stopping even for an hour.  From page 5.

Katri lives with her brother Mats, and is considered odd, something of an outcast,  by the villagers.  Anna, a children’s book illustrator, is admired and respected by all.  These two form a connection and Katri and Mats eventually move into Anna’s house.  The small town backbiting and gossip begins.  What does Katri want?  What can Anna be thinking?  Is Katri taking over her life?

Anna lay in her bed and stared at the ceiling.  There was a little wreath of plaster roses around the light fixture on the ceiling, repeated in a long ribbon around the bedroom.  She listened.  Heavy objects were being dragged around upstairs and then dropped with a thud.  Steps came and went and the silences that strained her hearing to the utmost.  Now, again, something being dragged and dropped, everything up there changing places;  all the past which had rested above Anna Aemelin’s bedroom as distant and undisturbed as the innocent dome of heaven, was in a state of violent transformation.  From page 76.

Jansson weaves a mysterious, dark tale written in beautiful stark language.  Thomas Teal has done a masterful job of translating and the book conveys the icy cold of winter and the icy cold of distrust and deception.  I have read some of Jansson’s stories and this novel surprised me, it has great tension and depth.  This NYRB edition has a wonderful introduction by Ali Smith.

Other reviews:

Serendipity

Stuck In A Book

4 Comments

Filed under 2010 Global Reading Challenge, Fiction, GLBT 2010

GLBT Challenge 2010

Amanda at A Zen Leaf has graciously decided to organize the Challenge that Dare Not Speak its Name for 2010.

The rules are as follows:
The basic idea of this challenge is to read books about GLBT topics and/or by GLBT authors.

The challenge runs year-round, and there will be three levels of participation:

  • Lambda Level: Read 4 books.
  • Pink Triangle Level: Read 8 books.
  • Rainbow Level: Read 12 or more books.

You don’t need to choose your books right away, and they can change at any time. Overlaps with other challenges are fine.

Amanda and Jen have created a wonderful challenge blog site. There will be prizes and mini-challenges. I’m signing up for the Pink Triangle level.  How about you?

4 Comments

Filed under Challenges, GLBT 2010