Thursday, December 31, 2020

New Year's Eve

There is no point in pretending that 2020 was in any respect a normal year, but if Pandemic quarantines have a silver lining it is that they provide lots of time to read so, as the Wheel turns and 2020 rolls away, I think it is only fitting to look back on this year's accomplishments:

  • First and foremost I read the final eight books (The Path of Daggers through A Memory of Light) of and thus finished the great journey that was The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan.
  • West by Edith Pattou, sequel to East.
  • Taash and the Jesters by Ellen Kindt McKenzie.
  • Moon-Flash by Patricia A. McKillip.
  • Moonheart by Charles de Lint
  • Reread (for possibly the dozenth time) The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm by Christopher Paolini, sequel to his The Inheritance Cycle.
  • Firebrand, book 6 in the Green Rider series by Kristen Britain.
  • Piranesi by Susanna Clarke.
  • Books 2-4 of the Ranger's Apprentice: The Royal Ranger series by John Flanagan.
  • King of Shadows by Susan Cooper.

"Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?...If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!" – J.R.R. Tolkien

"I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which “Escape” is now so often used: a tone for which the uses of the word outside literary criticism give no warrant at all. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls? The world outside has not become less real because the prisoner cannot see it. In using escape in this way the critics have chosen the wrong word, and, what is more, they are confusing, not always by sincere error, the Escape of the Prisoner with the Flight of the Deserter." – J.R.R. Tolkien

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