I was in a bad mood last week so I reread Ellen Kushner's The Privilege of the Sword, which is double chocolate chip cookies in book form if you like 18th century social commentary, pretty dresses, awkward teenagers bein' awkward, swordplay, and characters who aren't straight. It's self-indulgent, but delicious things often are. (It's a sequel of sorts to Swordspoint, which is also delicious and recommended for people who like politics, swordplay, and gay dudes. And that's only a double entendre when Kushner wants it to be.) My only criticism of it is that, in jumping between first- and third-person narration, it occasionally stumbles. But I mean, like, twice. So that's okay. If you think you'd enjoy a period story about a practical teenage girl who both learns to fight and loves romance novels, you should mosey over to Small Beer Press and get yourself a copy. (And maybe buy some of their other books because they're running a remainder sale for a good cause, and read them, and tell me what you think. I've got Generation Loss and Meet Me in the Moon Room on my reading list, so I'll return the favor soonish.)
Now I'm going through Neil Gaiman's collection of shorts and poetry, Fragile Things. Except I'm skipping the poetry. (I expect this indicates that I'm a horrific sociopath of a poet, and/or that I made a good choice when I didn't try to apply for any MFA poetry programs. I am comfortable with both of these.) So far I think I enjoy Gaiman more when he's writing novels or graphic novels (or blogposts), but his turns of phrase and pieces of atmosphere are nonetheless delightful. And/or creepy. And/or delightfully creepy.
Ubi es Caelum has a new blogthing where she's writing very openly about herself and her life and her brain. This is something that I do not have the guts to do, in a metaphorically literal sort of way. I do not have the kind of guts that would stand up to public self-evisceration and display, the skin pinned back, however prettily, like an anatomist's cadaver. But it's wonderful when a really good writer does, so I encourage you to go read her stuff.