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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

Alliance In Blood
Ariel Tachna
Progress: 63/210 pages
To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last
Connie Willis, Recorded Books LLC, Steven Crossley
The Moai Island Puzzle
Ho-Ling Wong, Alice Arisugawa
Progress: 30/239 pages
The snail-watcher, and other stories
Patricia Highsmith
Progress: 9/177 pages
Jane Jensen: Gabriel Knight, Adventure Games, Hidden Objects (Influential Video Game Designers)
Jennifer deWinter, Carly A. Kocurek, Anastasia Salter
The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't
Robert I. Sutton
Progress: 140/210 pages
The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality
Julie Sondra Decker
The Mystic Marriage
Heather Rose Jones
Progress: 302/426 pages
Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Kazuto Tatsuta
Progress: 448/553 pages
The Naked Sun
Isaac Asimov
Progress: 20/187 pages
Apples and Regret and Wasted Time - Cornelia Grey I seem to be in the minority as far as this story is concerned – all the reviews I've seen so far have been glowing ones, while my feelings are more...restrained. It's not that I disliked this story. I actually thought it was pretty good. It's just that it read like a creative writing exercise.Here's what I imagine the exercise was: Write about a moment in time involving two characters. These two characters have a lot of history, but you can't spell any of it out – you have to show that history, in the details they notice, the way they speak to each other, the way they interact with each other. In fact, you can't flat-out tell the reader anything about them – not their jobs, not their names, nothing.The author dealt with some of these restrictions by writing the entire story in the first person. Despite the characters' lack of names, it was never difficult to figure out who was saying or doing what, since there was only one other character. The relationship between the two of them was wonderfully intense and intimate. One of the things I loved was all the little details was that showed just how close the two of them still were, despite having been apart for a while: the narrator's thoughts about his lover's shower curtain, the little detail about the apples. Despite the limited word count, the author found time for a couple sex scenes, but they weren't wasted space. They conveyed the tone of the characters' relationship just as much as everything else in the story: intense and intimate, but also bittersweet and sometimes angry.One of the things that frustrated me was that, for all the incredible depth the author gave these characters' emotions, I finished the story knowing nothing about the narrator's reasons for continuing to do work that kept him at odds with the man he clearly loved. Also, considering the characters' respective professions, I'd have loved to learn how they became such a close couple to begin with – that was never revealed, either.Those who prefer their stories to have a plot should probably steer clear of this one, since it really is just a moment in time. The two characters meet after a long absence, there is a boatload of old affection, attraction, and relationship baggage, and then they part. That's pretty much it. The ending is left open, with no real indication one way or another whether they'd both keep going as they had been or finally break things off for good and never see each other again.I'd probably have liked this story more if it had had both a plot and intense relationship moments, but it was good for what it was. However, one thing that really bothered me was the occasional bit of awkward wording. For example, the story had no instances of “damn near,” but two of “near damn.” As in, “...when I reach his mouth, I capture it in a deep, near damn filthy kiss” (88.3%). It's possible that “near damn” is acceptable in other varieties of English, but I haven't able to find any confirmation that this is the case. This was one of several small things that distracted me. They're all pretty nit-picky but, in a story this short, a few distracting things amounts to a lot.I might try a longer work by this author, just to see if she can manage to write something that has both an intense relationship and a plot, but I'm a little worried that the increased word count will include an increased number of awkward word choices. Goodreads Rating Note: If I could, I'd give this 3.5 stars. I'm rounding down because I don't feel enthusiastic enough about it to give it 4 stars.(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)