bibliophilia: In the Forests of Serre by Patricia McKillip
Patricia McKillip has been called "one of fantasy's most underrated writers", a sentiment I have to agree with since I would willingly buy anything she writes (which I can't even say of my favorite literary writer, Salman Rushdie) and have so far loved every book of hers I've managed to get my hands on (which I can't say about my favorite fantasy writer, Guy Gavriel Kay). McKillip writes gorgeous, lyrical prose, working classic folk- and fairy tale tropes into richly atmospheric reimaginings, with finely-drawn, complex characters. In the Forests of Serre is the best I've read so far, a lush, exquisite rendering of the Russian 'firebird' folktale in fantasy dress.
I read somewhere that you know you're a writer if you find yourself reading everything with either burning envy or grinding contempt. In the Forests of Serre fits neatly into the 'envy' category-- the kind of work that forces you to stop every few pages or so, take a breath, and try your best to get over that feeling of "Damn. I wish I'd said that."
What is the biggest building in the world?
answer to yesterday's question
I just wanted to see how many of you were going to say 'cheetah'. There were five (counting Pauline's 'cheetos') out of eleven total responses, but you did know that the cheetah is only the fastest land animal, with a speed of 70 miles an hour. It is faster than the sailfish-- which outswims the marine competition at 68 miles an hour-- but not as fast as the peregrine falcon, which zips past everyone at 100 to 200 miles per hour.
Speedy smarties: Alex, Ariel, and Charles. And I know I said I wasn't going to reward jokes anymore, but Marco, Pauline, and Dean were just too silly to ignore... I think you guys only missed this quiz because it gives you an excuse to be corny!