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Wednesday, September 6th, 2017 08:09 pm
What did you recently finish reading?

Sherman Alexie's memoir, You Don't Have to Say You Love Me. It's roughly half poetry, which I hadn't realized. He loops around, retelling family stories with different details and arguing about the interpretation, in a way that actual families do. I actually first encountered Sherman Alexie's writing through his columns for The Stranger about why Stranger readers ought to appreciate basketball. I haven't spent very much time in eastern Washington, where Alexie grew up, but reading his memoir made me miss the Northwest anyway.

I also read two short stories by friends of mine: Metal and Flesh by Marie Vibbert, and Hyddwen by Heather Rose Jones. Marie's short stories tend to be simultaneously cheerful and dire. This one delivers. Hyddwen captures the feel of Welsh legend. Our heroine approaches a typical fairy-tale task with a woman's traditional skills (baking, spinning) and without a host of forest creatures obliged to help. I really admired the way that skill at spinning flax is valorized, as skill with a sword might be in another story.

And I skimmed '"The Language of the Coast Tribes is Half Basque": A Basque-American Indian Pidgin in Use between Europeans and Native Americans in North America, ca. 1540-ca. 1640' by Peter Bakker, which makes a pretty good case for the language development described in its title, and definitely falls into the category of things I wish somebody had told me about years ago.

What are you currently reading?

I'm reading A.M. Dellamonica's Child of a Hidden Sea, which reminds me a little bit of Alis Rasmussen/ Kate Elliott's Labyrinth Gate, on my tablet in the evenings, and Elliott's new novel Buried Heart in snatches on my phone during lunch breaks.

What do you think you'll read next?

I'm hoping to get Choctaw Genesis, 1500-1700 from the university library. (I've encountered a couple of SCA people recently who were interested in Society personas reflecting their Choctaw heritage, so I'm poking around to see what academic resources exist.)