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13/31 Reading and Listening

Current audiobook: I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By the Taliban, by Malala Yousafzai. I bought it on the strength of Malala's speech to the United Nations, and because the audiobook reader is Archie Panjabi.

Malala's personal story is interspersed with political, geographical and historical detail. It's hard to escape a sense that this young woman is being swept along by the western publicity machine--maybe willingly, as she makes no secret of wanting to be the next Benazir Bhutto--but her story comes across as authentic all the same. I've learned more about Pakistan and the Taliban in a few hours of listening to this audiobook than I picked up in all the years after 9/11.

Malala herself reads her prologue, and it's interesting that Archie Panjabi, in reading the rest of the book, chose to replicate her youthful tone and, to some degree, her accent. It's very nicely done.

Current book: Captive Prince, Volume 2 by S.U. Pacat. It's good--everyone who recommended it was right. Self-published on Amazon and now picked up by Penguin, it's a fast-moving sort-of-medieval-alternate-universe where there's a lot of slavery and a lot of non-heterosexual sex and a whole lot of political intrigue. There's a long, slow-burn romance between the two leads (the captive prince of the title, and his captor, the crown prince of the enemy state) that is really compelling. The characterization of the crown prince is fascinating, and I can't be the only reader picturing Tom Hiddleston playing him. (Yes, Tom's too old. So what.)

My only real quibble with it--one that I hope an editor at Penguin will help sort out--is that it's slightly under-written. Its narrative is so stripped down, and so many characters, important places, plot points and political factions are introduced with less than a full sentence, that I've felt completely lost a few times. Had to go back and re-read Volume 1 and half of Volume 2 before I could continue. Not that I minded.

In fact I'm not quite finished with Volume 2 and I'm trying to stretch it out, because there's a Volume 3 that isn't out yet.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

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