Confessions of a Bibliophile & an Update

Cuba isn't going to happen quite yet, but we are going forward with our plans to visit Florida. We leave tomorrow! I'm busy packing today & getting the house clean for the neighbors, who will be taking care of the kitten & puppy boys while we are on holiday.

Vintage post card from Florida (reminds me of Cypress Gardens)
Vintage post card from Florida (reminds me of Cypress Gardens)

I've been writing quite a lot, but it seems I've lost some inspiration for writing fiction, so I'm trying to fill the well as best as I can by reading. My eyes are quite unhappy with all the reading I've been doing, but so far this year I've read 3 new-to-me books, but all were written at least 20 years ago. I'll try to give a mini review with each one:

This was Anne Kelleher's first novel and the copy I have lists her as Anne Kelleher Bush. It is set in post-apocalyptic America, and features the king of "Meriga" (Abelard) and a woman gifted with prophecy and the sciences (Nydia). Science is considered to be the downfall of the nation and a dark magic. She is considered a witch by the religious community, and was sentenced to death when the king first met her. Because he saved her life, she pledges her absolute loyalty to him and she becomes his advisor during a civil war that is brewing and even accompanies him on the battlefield. For a first novel, I loved this! I also like that it features a strong female, but all is not what it's cracked up to be, as her strength begins to wane before the end of the book.

Quite typical of the genre, this book was a fun read, but nothing special. It follows the adventures of Riverwind, who has been promised to Goldmoon, the chief's daughter, but the chief's advisor is against their marriage and Riverwind is sent on a quest to prove that the Old Gods still live in order to prove his worthiness to marry his true love (or die trying, which is the unspoken wish of the advisor). He travels with two companions he picks up along the way, including an eccentric soothsayer and an elf who has lived her life in an underground city where she was an indentured slave working in the mines. I am interested in continuing with the series, so I did enjoy the adventure, but it seemed formulaic, especially given the patriarchal stereotypes.

I saved the best for last! I don't know why I never read much Coelho before (I've only ever read Hippie by him) but I am a solid fan after this excellent read. It's a literary fiction/adventure tale that follows a young man (Santiago) from southern Spain all the way to the Pyramids of Egypt. Santiago has a recurrent dream, and seeks out its meaning. This leads him on a quest, where he meets a gypsy, a king and an alchemist who all prod him along to fulfill his Personal Legend, where he will find his treasure. The book itself is a metaphor, and a reminder to us all to have the courage to follow our dreams, or our individual Personal Legends, by listening to the language of the universe, which wants you to succeed in living your most precious dreams and authentic self.

The next time I update my journal, I will either be in Florida or will have returned from our trip. We will be visiting friends, seeing the sites and relaxing on soft powder sand beaches. Until then, be well!


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