The Goose Girl

the-goose-girl.jpgWhat’s on my mp3 player? The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale.

How much am I enjoying this book? It’s well below freezing outside, and I’m looking for reasons to be out and about so I can listen to the story. I walk more slowly to and from the mailbox in spite of numbing wind, just so I can listen a little longer. I am looking forward to doing dishes so I have an excuse to put on my headphones and get lost in the story. That’s how much I’m enjoying The Goose Girl. It is a fantasy, a genre I generally claim to not like. So much for generalizations.

I’ve just found a way to describe this and other books that I especially like–it’s by no means a new way to describe books, but I just found the word and idea in my size and color: It is a many-layered story. So was A Northern Light, by Jennifer Donnelly, which I mentioned on Thursday.

I am fond of stories that have many things going on at once, but in a way that is clear (or becomes clear at some point) and logical. I like psychological and emotional complexity. Ani, the goose girl, has it. She’s a great character, so fully drawn she seems real in spite of the fairy tale world.

The Goose Girl comes directly from the Grimm’s fairy tale of the same name. Would you believe I don’t know that tale? I don’t. Or, I didn’t. I can imagine it pretty well now, I think. And I suspect I know how the story will end, though I’m only about two-thirds of the way through it. Nonetheless, I’m eager to see it all play out. I may volunteer to do dishes every night until it’s over.

interview-with-a-vampire.jpgWhat’s on my nightstand? Interview with a Vampire, by Anne Rice. A library discard. With the Twilight hullabaloo, I figured I’d check out some earlier vampire fare. I’m only thirty-some pages into it, but it hasn’t grabbed me yet.

Is Bram Stoker’s Dracula scary? Is that a terribly ignorant question? I was thinking I might ask Mike to read it while we’re alone in the cold dark wilderness in Jan/Feb, but it’s probably scary, and given my super-low threshold for fear, that would be stupid. We still haven’t read The Three Musketeers, but that may be more than we can handle in the relatively short time frame. So many choices, and so little shared reading these days. We really must fix that.

Categories: Reading

3 replies »

  1. I clearly don’t get it. My reading appetite is voracious. Despite that, given the weather circumstances, I’d definitely choose NOT to dawdle in my mailbox duties even with the enticement of listening to a good book.

    This morning when I walked the dog it was 12 degrees outside with a brisk wind. It was nasty to me–I realize that by AK standards it was probably pretty mild. I bundled up my head, ears, and hands in addition to wearing my normal heavy jacket. Tucking my chin, I walked the dog and did nothing to add to my time spent outside. I did what I had to do and then got the hell out of there.

    Here’s what I’d do instead of dawdling to add to my listening enjoyment, were I you: I’d calculate the approximate time spent going to the mailbox were I to dawdle to full listening enjoyment. Then I would actually get the mail, as quickly as possible. Upon my return I’d calculate the difference in time (dawdle minus fast) and then allow the true enjoyment to begin. After I brewed some tea and set up camp in a comfy chair with a warm blanket, I’d start the timer and take full advantage of the time.

  2. Shelly’s definitely got a point. Dishwashing, I understand, but I’d rather bundle up warm after the cold than stay in the cold.
    I use the term multi-layered. (Great minds, you know. Onions and all.) I love books that have more than just a good story line and have characters who have depth.

  3. Multi-layered is the key, both to a story that makes me want to dawdle outside and to dawdling outside.

    Twelve degrees and windy is not unlike our weather here, Shell. We just stay at that all winter. Anything above zero is fine with me, though I prefer it without the wind. When we get below zero, I add a face mask and ski goggles to my mail-fetching attire. (And it is fetching attire, I assure you!)

    Unless you were wearing the following, Shell, your experience outside would not be as comfortable as mine:

    mid-weight long johns
    heavy-weight long johns
    pile pants
    insulated snow pants

    (I don’t mean pick and choose from among them, I mean all of them, in that order.)

    pile jacket
    wool sweater
    wool hat
    down parka with hood

    2 pairs of socks (one large wool pair)
    insulated X-tra-Tuff rubber boots

    wool/mohair gloves topped with “snow machine mitts”–giant mittens worn by snowmachiners traveling 50+mph in this weather

    My choices for seriously-cold weather: neoprene, wool, and hi-tech underthings and outerwear.