--Flanner O'Connor (via Advice to Writers).
( What I did this week )
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The more of the details of our daily life we can hand over to the effortless custody of automatism, the more our higher powers of mind will be set free for their own proper work. There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision, and for whom the lighting of every cigar, the drinking of every cup, the time of rising and going to bed every day, and the beginning of every bit of work, are subjects of express volitional deliberation.
Blurbs are generally stolen from the author or publisher.
Naomi Novik: Throne of Jade (Temeraire #2) . Historical fantasy adventure set during the Napoleonic Wars. When Britain intercepted a French ship and its precious cargo - an unhatched dragon's egg - Capt. Will Laurence of HMS Reliant unexpectedly became master and commander of the noble dragon he named Temeraire. As new recruits in Britain's Aerial Corps, man and dragon soon proved their mettle in daring combat against Bonaparte's invading forces. Now China has discovered that its rare gift, intended for Napoleon, has fallen into British hands - and an angry Chinese delegation vows to reclaim the remarkable beast. But Laurence refuses to cooperate. Facing the gallows for his defiance, Laurence has no choice but to accompany Temeraire back to the Far East - a long voyage fraught with peril, intrigue, and the untold terrors of the deep. Yet once the pair reaches the court of the Chinese emperor, even more shocking discoveries and darker dangers await.
Noel Streatfeild: Theatre Shoes (Shoes #4) . Children's fiction (school fiction and domestic fiction) set during World War II. When their father is captured during the war, three children come to London to live with their grandmother and join their talented theatrical family in a school for stage training.
P. L. Travers: Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins #1) . Ill. Mary Shepard. Children's fantasy set in London during the early 1930s. Life was never the same again for the Banks family after the astonishing Mary Poppins blew in with the east wind.
(Both these stories can be read without knowing the original canon.)
lastwingedthing: "as morning steals upon the night" [uploaded 2016]. Historical fantasy set during the early twentieth century. AU slashfic of E. F. Benson's David Blaize. Frank is even more special than David first realised.
Jay Tryfanstone: "The Very Secret Diaries of Saint Augustine" [uploaded 2012]. Historical fiction RPF set in the fourth and fifth centuries; can be read without reference to the canon, though it's way funnier if you've read St. Augustine's Confessions. "404. Correspondence Jerome continues. Infuriating. Do not understand why he does not see my point! Translation of 'gourd' vital to understanding of gospels."
(This category is for nonfiction that I'd be willing to read for fun, though sometimes I peruse it for the sake of research.)
Mroctober: "Adventures of a Cat Slave" . Daily-life post only lightly fictionalized, as any cat's companion can testify. "Your master welcomes you back to his domestic holdings with a meow at the top of the steps."
Joseph Husband: A Year in a Coal-Mine . Adventure memoir. "Ten days after my graduation from Harvard I took my place as an unskilled workman in one of the largest of the great soft-coal mines that lie in the Midwest."
Kristine Kathryn Rusch: The Freelancer's Survival Guide [Third Edition, 2013; also online]. Business book for authors and other freelancers; includes lots of autobiographical anecdotes. Most people become freelancers without any idea of how to run a business. They learn in the school of hard knocks. Kristine Kathryn Rusch has taken the school of hard knocks and made it into one of the most useful business books written in years. (That's the official, effusive blurb, but it's true.)