Friday Five: Lactic Acid Edition

Hello all. This week’s edition is coming a little late (although I bet it’s still Friday somewhere by the time I finish it), in no small part due to a spirited attempt to see just how fit my dicky ankle is. The answer is it stood up fairly well to a quick march, but I’ve still got a brutal lactic acid build up in my calf two hours after getting home. Murray is incredibly displeased by my subsequent reluctance to chase him around the flat. Hopefully you won’t be displeased by this week’s offering.

1. Reviews

I only pay so-so- attention to YA, but I ready two very good reviews of Axie Oh’s The Girl Who Fell Beneath The Sea this week and might have to look closer myself – one review by Ariana at The Book Nook, one review by Sahi at World of Books

Beth at Before We Go immediately got my attention with her old school reference for Scott Drakeford’s Rise of the Mages and I think I’ll go get a sample now

I completely missed there was new Max Gladstone, so I’m very grateful for Superstardrifter’s review of Last Action to correct that

Last but not least, the hype train for The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan seems to be rolling ever on, and here’s a review from KBBookReviewer for those who want to know more

2. Other Book Stuff

We have a cover review for Aliette de Bodard’s latest Dominions of the Fallen novella at The Fantasy Inn – and it’s up for pre-order too.

With Spear coming up, Nicola Griffith’s name passes my eyeballs regularly, but I didn’t know how much she’s done until I read this Tor article on her work

Also I really like this book cover so I’ll be sharing the tweet

3. Writing Stuff

You might have spotted I have redemption arcs on the brain, and this one on Jaime Lannister’s arc – or lack thereof – helped me crystallise my thoughts

I thought Alexis Hall’s thoughts on how having a weird trick helps break you into computer game writing is also pretty applicable to writing

I’d somehow never seen the Creator Roulette feature at Kriti’s Armed With A Book, but this guest post by Susan Lin Whigham on Avoiding Microaggressions with writing diverse characters is fantastic and maybe I need to read everything there

4. Miscellany

You might have spotted I’m an AtLA nut. Well another very helpful AtLA put together this great twitter thread about the show’s Hindu influences

In finding out more about Weird Tales, I went down a little Margaret Brundage rabbithole – her being the cover illustrator for many issues – and enjoyed the collage of her works on this page

Finally, in sad news, the musician Mark Lanegan died this week. I only discovered his work recently, but it was special and it sounds like so was he.

5. In the spirit of last week, I’ve decided to do another top five, this being words with no ready equivalent in the English language that are quite wonderful. It was inspired by this tweet:

And Hiraeth is a wonderful word, isn’t it? I think lots of us feel it very often. Other wonderful words include:

Weltschmerz, defined variously as “mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state” or “the kind of feeling experienced by someone who believes that physical reality can never satisfy the demands of the mind.” One could compare it to ennui (that well known Anglo-Saxon word…) but it feels more philosophical, more concerned with reality than one’s current condition. And yes, Weltschmerz is German, how did you guess?

Philotimo is a Greek word that the blogger Eleni introduce me to. It translates as love (or friend) of honour, but the translation seems very inadequate. From reading love of virtue seems closer, but a sense of virtue that is both very altruistic and very rooted in one’s own community and heritage. I hope I’ve done justice to the word; it seems one that you have to live to truly know. But all the more fascinating for all that.

Sprezzatura is an Italian word dating from the renaissance that’s defined as “a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it”. Which is a description I’ve needed at some point o another for just about every one I know. I’d actually been looking for l’arte di arrangiarsi, a phrase meaning to arrange oneself to do the best with what one has, but while trying to remember that I stumbled across sprezzatura and loved it immediately.

Finally, there is Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing an object in such a way as not to disguise the cracks, something used both for the actual act and as an underlying philosophy. To me, there’s a beauty in this, and a right order of valuing that which works over which appears to work.

Got any great words that should have appeared here? Let me know below, and have a great weekend!

3 thoughts on “Friday Five: Lactic Acid Edition

    1. I wondered if you were going to say! I saw a couple of lists of such things when trying to find a few I couldn’t remember, and I saw saudade and it seems very like. And thank you for the link!


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