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The Inheritance & Other Stories
Robin Hobb, Megan Lindholm
Progress: 82/400 pages
Cherie Priest
Progress: 109/416 pages
Hope Mirrlees, Neil Gaiman, Douglas A. Anderson
Progress: 146/236 pages
The Angel Esmeralda: Nine Stories
Don DeLillo
Progress: 34/224 pages
Sane New World: Taming the Mind
Ruby Wax
Progress: 16/256 pages
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
'John Townsend', 'Henry Cloud'
Progress: 69/320 pages

Among Others

Among Others - Jo Walton,  Narrated by Katherine Kellgr, Katherine Kellgrin Among Others tells the story of Morwenna Phelps. She’s a twin whose sister died and she herself was injured in a car accident. She loves to read and specifically she reads SciFi/Fantasy which she devours at a scary and intimidating rate (5+ books a week!). Oh and she sees fairies and can do magic.Which makes it sound more about that than it is. If it’s about anything it’s about books and stories and how they make you see the world a certain way. It’s also about how that can be a refuge. I think the book makes a case for it not being as withdrawn as Mor, as we come to know her, is always really trying “to live” and it’s not that she abandons ‘real life’ in favour of books, it’s that she has expectations of what life should be that come from books and these expectations cause her to reject certain things about ‘real life’ – things she sees as trivial perhaps.The book is told from her point of view, in fact it comprises her diary for a period from the autumn of 1979 to the end of Feb 1980. This places some of the books she references very specifically in their time.Which is also the right time for when I was growing up and discovering books and SciFi books in particular.A big question that arose for me was whether or not the magic was real. Did she really see fairies or did she merely think she did? Was her mother really a dangerous witch or simply someone with mental health issues? I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that the book never steps outside of the point of view of Mor, so that question if it arises for you – and it may not – is left open to interpretation.I enjoyed this book. It’s very good on her everyday life. She’s been shipped off to an English boarding school and is having trouble fitting in – because she’s Welsh, because she reads, because she neither cares about nor can participate in sport. So the sense of a lonely outsider is well drawn. I did feel that she was somewhat ‘spiky’. I felt I ought to have liked her more, on paper she had a lot of stuff going for her – a tragic back-story, being the outsider, being picked on, being bookish and smart. But I never quite got over the slight sense that she felt herself better than all these other girls who weren’t into books and SciFi.Also I found the constant book references slightly irritating only because it was assumed I'd get them without explanation. Most were clear from context but some I had to let pass.As I said though, I did enjoy it. And if you ever felt yourself out of step with others because of a love of books, and especially SciFi/Fantasy then this might well be the book for you.