Thursday, 24 November 2011

In Memoriam: Anne McCaffrey

Anne McCaffreyOccasionally you come across a book that speaks to you. A book that contains a character that in the words of the Anne girl, is a kindred spirit. For me that character was Menolly in Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey. I was in my early teens when my mother handed me Dragonsong and, although Menolly and I are radically different in certain respects (I can’t hold a tune to save my life and my family are my greatest supporters), I still felt like we were the same.

Like Menolly I felt like an outsider my whole life. Not necessarily a round peg trying to fit into a square hole, more of a hexagon peg trying to fit into a round hole. Almost but not quite there. At the time I hadn’t quite found my place in the world, like Menolly finally does at the Harper Hall, but the books gave me hope. Maybe I could find my place.

This was my first introduction to the wonderful world of Pern. It would not be my last visit. Over the years I have read and re-read all the Pern books written by Anne McCaffrey (I tried the ones by Todd McCaffrey but they just didn’t capture me in quite the same way). The books about Menolly have stayed a firm favourite for me, but I do love them all. Ms. McCaffrey was not only responsible for helping me see that I wasn’t alone in the world. She also, rather sneakily, introduced me to Science Fiction. Because I loved the Pern series (where some of the books have sci-fi elements) I was willing to give the Talent and the Tower and the Hive series a go.

The news that Anne McCaffrey had passed away reached me last night through this NPR piece. I was stunned. I had just finished re-reading Dragonsinger, something I do at least once a year, usually when, like now, I am super stressed. I still take a great deal of comfort in reading about Menolly’s finding of her place in the world. The idea that no new books will come from the hand of Ms. McCaffrey is sad. I’m honestly still reeling a bit. The Pern books are a series of books I always feel comfortable recommending, and a series I reach for when life feels overwhelming and I need to escape into a world where dragons are real and dreams come true (although not free).


Copyright ©2011 Zee from Notes from the North. This post was originally posted by Zee from Notes from the North. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

TSS: I’ve been thinking

The Sunday

I’ve been thinking…and that is always dangerous. My blog has been very quiet of late, but not because I’ve been reading less…in fact October was my best reading month by far, coming in at 18 books read. Most of those were in a series of middle grade (?) classics that I loved when I was 11-14. They are out of print and I have finally managed to get all of them (when I read them as a child I always got them from the library). But there were also a couple of non-fiction books and quite a few (for me) audiobooks (I plowed through The Hunger Games trilogy in a week, whilst working). However I have only posted a few reviews. I am just to tired most days to write reviews, and to tell the truth, my reviews are beginning to bore me. So I’ve been thinking a lot about the direction I want to take the blog. Do I want to continue with it at all? Do I want to do it in a different format? I don’t feel part of the community right now, because I am also not reading other people’s blogs, again time is a problem for me. But I don’t really want to abandon ship. I like keeping a record of what I’ve read. I like noting down my thoughts. I like the community feel of the book blogging world.

Pile of books

So what are my thoughts on solving this conundrum? Well, lately I have also been reading, or drawn to books that seem to fit together in subject matter. So I don’t think I will be writing reviews but rather collecting a bunch of books on the same, or similar topics and discuss how they relate to each other and my thoughts on them in general.

In addition to this I have some thoughts on some things I might like to do at work when it comes to reading and getting my students to read more, and I might write about those efforts here.

Pile of books

Although I have always maintained that this blog is for me, it is public and I do know I have readers Smile so I wanted to know what you, my readers thought about these ideas. Would you still read the blog if this is the direction I took it in? How often would you expect to see posts? Please come share.

Also, thank you Eva, for encouraging me to “just ramble” Open-mouthed smile


Copyright ©2011 Zee from Notes from the North. This post was originally posted by Zee from Notes from the North. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.