It’s Wednesday, and time for our weekly check-in on how things are going with me (and all the other What’s Up Wednesday participants), courtesy of Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. This week, since it’s now October, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share with you the book that I consider my favorite read for the previous month. Without further ado…
What I’m Reading & My Book of the Month for September 2o13
First, I’m currently reading THE GOSPEL AND THE GREEKS by Ronald H. Nash. The book essentially evaluates the oft-cited claim that the New Testament writers borrowed from the thought and worldview of Greek philosophy and pagan religion. This used to be a popular argument against the Bible until some years ago, when experts in the fields of ancient history and theology pointed out that while the pagans and the Christians may sometimes sound alike, their worldviews were a million miles apart. Unfortunately, the message hasn’t got through to everyone, and many still recycle these old claims. Nash’s book revisits the arguments and reasserts the uniqueness of Christian theology over against Plato, Aristotle, Philo, and the Mystery Religions. There’ll be a Goodreads review when I’ve finished it.
Probably no surprise to anyone, but my pick of September is A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS by Khaled Hosseini. Though I read some really good books last month (all 5-star, I believe), Hosseini’s book just eclipsed the others. It’s well-written, easy to follow, absorbing, and full of atmosphere and well-defined characters–everything you want in a good novel. I’ve already said a lot about it, and I’ve said more on Goodreads, so I’ll leave it at that.
What I’m Writing
Still editing the WIP. Since I’m sure you’re getting bored of me whining about it, I’m going to share a brief excerpt. Pearl, my alien girl, is at a large manor house where she’s helping the servants in exchange for somewhere to stay. In this scene, Pearl is talking to Lucy, the scullery maid, while helping her with her chores. Their conversation turns to the daughter of the house, a rather stuck-up sixteen year old who is disliked by the entire serving staff:
“Why is she so snappy and hard? Earl Tregellis seems like a nice man. Did he not teach her how to be nice?”
“I don’ know,” said Lucy. “P’raps it’s ‘cos she’s been born into priv’lige and she always gets what she wants. P’raps it’s because she ain’t got no siblin’s to keep her ‘umble. Maybe she’s jus’ a bad’un.”
I listened to Lucy’s reasons, and understood very few of them. I worked out that “priv’lige” meant being part of a “family” that lives in a big house, has servants, and can buy whatever they need. But there was one word she used that really confused me.
“What do you mean by ‘siblin’s’?”
“You know, brothers and sisters,” she said.
“Brothers and sisters? What are those?”
Lucy stopped scrubbing for a moment. Then she laughed.
“I forgot; you don’ speak English naturally. Not sure what you would call ‘em in Swedish. You understand Mum and Dad, yes? Parents?” She was watching my face, and saw my look of I-don’t-know-what-the-spak-you-mean.
“Thems that raises you, looks after you?”
“Guardians?” I said.
“Yeah, I suppose that’ll do,” said Lucy. This was exciting because I was wanting to learn more about “parents,” but something about Lucy’s words told me this is something I should know if I’m from Earth, so I had to be careful about my questions. Now I knew that “parents” are like our Guardians—but the way Lucy said “that’ll do” told me that wasn’t all.
“Well, your guardians… you know,” she said, making her eyebrows wiggle like I should know, but I didn’t know. Her face turned a bit red. “Uhh—and then out comes little ‘uns. Boys are sons, girls are daughters, and sons and daughters together are siblin’s.”
“Yes,” Lucy said. “You know.” She wiggled her eyebrows again.
“No, I don’t know,” I said. “What is this you know?”
“Jus’… you know—like when a man and a woman…” Lucy was becoming more red in the face. “Oh, it was hard enough ‘splainin’ it to me brother, let alone a foreigner!”
“Never mind,” she said. “Just the guardians have sons and daughters, and these are siblin’s.”
“And Miss Caroline doesn’t have any siblin’s?”
“No,” said Lucy. “And I think it shows. All she does is sit in ’er room readin’ books an’ sendin’ for food. She don’t go out, she don’t play, she don’t see no boys—and that ain’t natr’al for a girl of her years. His lordship has tried to get her to go to balls and dos, but she won’t ‘ave it. She’s sixteen and all she does is sits and reads and talks bad to us—oh, and eats ‘erself fat.”
Okay, that’s enough. If you want to read more, I’m open to hear from people who want to be beta readers. Email me if you’re interested.
What Inspires Me Right Now
Nothing in particular, and everything in general.
What Else I’ve Been Up To
Since this post is already getting very long, I’ll just mention the fact that I won the YA Buccaneer’s September Giveaway! Woo Hoo! Thanks to the friendly pirates, there’ll be a book on its way to me. If you want to enter for October’s giveaway, check out the YA Buccaneers blog to find out how you can get your name in the pirate hat.
How’s your week been? To participate in What’s Up Wednesday, check out Jaime’s blog, and see the linky list to visit other WUW-ers.