circumnavigatedfairylandI checked out The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making from the library on a whim because it looked like it might be fun, and fun is what I needed after the Dust Bowl. I was a bit skeptical, though, because I was burnt, fairly recently, on a kids’ book (Wait. That was two years ago?), and I didn’t want to waste my time.

As soon as I started reading The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, I was hooked. The protagonist is 12, so I assume it’s aimed toward kids that age, but the language is so fun and cheeky that an adult can enjoy it just as much. I figured out pretty quickly that it’s a Persephone story, and that was a draw, too.

This novel (which I promise I won’t name again) is the first in a series of I-don’t-know-how-many. A girl named September, washing dishes in her house in Omaha, Nebraska, finds herself whisked away to Fairyland, which is in disorder (or too much order?) because of a bitter Marquess. She meets various characters there, the most interesting of which is a Wyvern (pretty much a dragon) who calls himself a Wyverary because he’s half-library. Outlandish, but fantastic. They meet other characters and pretty much circumnavigate Fairyland to figure out what’s going on and help to fix it.

Sounds like your traditional kids’ Fairyland story, right? It kind of is, though it’s so much better than most of the similar stuff out there. September is like Dorothy in Oz or Alice in Wonderland, except she’s neither of those and smarter than both. Catherynne Valente has managed to write a new story that isn’t just a rehashing of the others. And have I mentioned that it’s fun!

I read through this book really quickly, and I’ll be moving onto the next ones soon. Three, plus a Kindle single, have been published so far. I don’t know how far Valente is planning to take this series, but I’ll definitely be along on the ride.

It might seem that all I’ve been doing is reading, but Palmer and I have been super-busy with house stuff. There has been scraping and painting and air-conditioner-installing and roofing and plumbing and assorted craziness. And there’s probably no end in sight. My non-reading activity has included hiding from people and crocheting a Christmas scarf for Palmer, which he got early because of the icepocalypse-that-wasn’t currently going on outside.

And that’s about it. Christmas is coming up soon. Shakespeare has a very uncomfortable bladder infection and is milking it for all it’s worth. Here he is in a basket shortly before his body so tragically failed him:

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I decided on a slower read to end this ridiculous tear I’ve been on, though I’m finishing it very quickly. I’m reading The Magus, by John Fowles, which is nothing like I thought it would be. But that’s another post.