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So no, I do not like Georgette Heyer's books, although there is one more of hers (A Civil Contract) which a lot of people say is her best one, so we are going to try reading it. But really, I did not like Cotillion at all, and I liked An Inconvenient Marriage a little more but not enough, and I do not have to keep eating to the bottom of the jar to know that I do not like the jam. That is actually a rule for this year, well not a rule, but a guideline, and I think it is a good one. Kristine liked Heyer okay but not enough to bother reading it after I got upset and wanted to throw the books across the room.

Anyway, why did I not like Heyer? Well, it was all about girls who are pretty and want gorgeous clothes and to go to lots of parties with celebrities (well, aristocracy but it is the same thing) and be popular and marry the person they love while not having to be poor because if you are poor there are not parties and carriages and horses and clothes and jewellery and everything. And okay, that is fine, but it bored me, and more than bored me it kind of upset my stomach, because I got to thinking that I do like shopping and clothes, so what if some man gave me a lot of money to go buy clothes because I was his niece or something? And that is what makes me sick to my stomach, because I do not want to be wearing clothes because some man decided to give me money, I want to do cool things and have money that way and then use that money to get the things I decide I want. And I do not want to go to lots of parties and meet lots of famous people, I want to do interesting things and learn about stuff that is neat and see things people do not usually look at. Or see usual things in new ways. So I just could not identify with these girls at all, or care about what they cared about, and of course a book can be good to read even if you don't identify with anyone in it, but I am 13 and I like reading about people who I can imagine that I am like, or that I would want to be like, or at least that I wish I knew, and I did not want to know any of the Heyer people, I would have nothing to say to them and would just get mad.

Instead I am reading The King's Peace by Jo Walton -- actually I finished that one and am on the second one which is The King's Name. They are fantasy books in a way but also sort of imagined history because while they are in a fantasy world, they are imagining one way that King Arthur might have happened, a real way with the Romano-British and the Saxons and everything, but because she wanted to have women who could be knights it is fantasy so there is magic to deal with the baby problem because that is really the big reason, if you can get pregnant every time there is sex it is hard to have women warriors. And there is some other magic stuff too, it is a part of the books but what I love most is all of the sense of place and the changing times of history and the horses and weapons and all of that. I am not a very fighting sort of person I think, I could go learn to ride a horse if I want I bet (I think if I asked my friend Miri's mom she would teach me and probably lots of stuff with weapons too) and I might, but it is more that I like reading about how they are building towns and how the generation the main character is part of does not remember a time that is not constant fighting and struggle and they are trying to make real civilisation where people can go between towns without knowing they might be killed. That is very good to read about, and the battles are exciting, and I like the people, they do good things and awful things but they are doing things that matter. And I even like Sulien although she is not much like me, I do not think, she is very bad at social nuance and asexual, and well I don't know about nuance but I have good intuition for some things and I have not decided about sex right now but it is definitely something to try eventually.

Writing all of that makes me think it is not necessarily identifying so much as respecting. There are so many books out there and I could not respect a real person who had lots of wealth and leisure and spent it all on pleasure only, so I cannot respect the characters in Heyer and I do not want to read about people who seem vapid and silly. I guess it does not have to be respect, I could despise them, maybe. It is complicated! But I am going to read lots of Jo Walton and then we'll see what after that.

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Bryn (Plus Everyone Else!)

December 2015

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