Jacob's Reviews > The Tombs of Atuan

The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin
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Mar 06, 13

bookshelves: 2012, sci-fi-fantasy-etc, le-guin-and-lessing, 2013, i-own
Read from June 15, 2012 to March 06, 2013, read count: 2

June 2012

I want to give this five stars, but I'm afraid one of the next ones will be even better, and my attempts to rate it higher will cause Goodreads to implode. Or something.

On second thought, no. Five stars. Let's do this thing.

You've probably read or heard somewhere that you can put a frog (it's a frog, right?) in a pot of water and set it on a stove, and the frog will never notice what's happening until it's too late. So they say. Well, Ursula K. Le Guin writes like that: you open the book thinking you're going for a swim, and you never notice the water getting hotter until it burns. She'll boil you alive, UKL will--and she'll do it with words.

Well, put another pot on, woman--I'm ready to be cooked.

---

March 2013
(Review in progress)
56 likes · likeflag

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Quotes Jacob Liked

Ursula K. Le Guin
“Do you know how to read?"
"No. It is one of the black arts."
He nodded. "But a useful one," he said.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Tombs of Atuan


Reading Progress

06/15/2012 page 10
7.0% "Is that...Kristen Stewart on the cover?

Tombs of Atuan 1971 cover art (Full-sized image here)

Oh, shit, I think I just jinxed it..." 2 comments
06/15/2012 page 53
36.0% 3 comments
06/16/2012 page 112
77.0% ""Do you know how to read?"
"No. It is one of the black arts."
He nodded. "But a useful one," he said." 3 comments
03/01/2013 page 1
0.0% "This edition cover art 100% Kristen Stewart free."
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Comments (showing 1-21 of 21) (21 new)

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message 1: by Laura (new)

Laura Oh my... How can you read 3 books at a time?


message 2: by Jacob (last edited Jun 16, 2012 06:46PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jacob Laura wrote: "Oh my... How can you read 3 books at a time?"

Five, actually--and it's a bit of a balancing act. I like short stories, so I always have at least two books going at once, a collection and a longer work. Right now I'm reading Alan Sillitoe's collected stories, and it's so long I keep taking breaks to try shorter collections (Margo Lanagan now, but I'll finish tonight, go back to Sillitoe, add another collection later, etc. Might also start a sixth book, some Edith Wharton novellas).

Also reading Count of Monte Cristo with a group, but we're reading very slowly--which is cool, although it makes it easy to set it aside and forget about it, and I haven't picked it up in two or three weeks. A bit behind, need to catch up. Started Elizabeth von Arnim's Enchanted April last week, but set it aside when I went to Kentucky (another cousin got married) and I haven't gone back to it yet--because I started reading the Earthsea cycle on the trip home, hence this one. It's nice and short, though, so I'll probably finish it tonight too, and try to pick up the von Arnim again. If another book doesn't distract me first.


Miriam On second thought, no. Five stars. Let's do this thing.

Looks like 4 to me?


Jacob It's the thought that counts.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Eeeeeee!


Miriam Good thing you fixed that before Ceridwen killed you.


Meggan yeah it's a potboiler!


message 8: by Jacob (last edited Jun 17, 2012 10:12AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jacob Meggan wrote: "yeah it's a potboiler!"

But that would be a bad thing...


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm a lover, not a fighter.


Moira Russell Still one of my favourite Le Guins ever.


message 11: by Nataliya (new) - added it

Nataliya I still need to read this one, and it just got moved up on my TBR list.


Jacob Miriam wrote: "Good thing you fixed that before Ceridwen killed you."

Ceridwen wrote: "I'm a lover, not a fighter."

*coughcoughWiseMan'sFearcough*


message 13: by Tuck (new)

Tuck no, no, it's not a frog in a pot, it's a republican in a global warming world.


Jacob Tuck wrote: "no, no, it's not a frog in a pot, it's a republican in a global warming world."

So...more like lizards, then?


Moira Russell Jacob wrote: "Five, actually--and it's a bit of a balancing act. "

....man, I used to be able to do that, like, TEN-FIFTEEN YEARS AGO. I think if I tried it now my brain would just soggily implode.


Jacob Moira wrote: "....man, I used to be able to do that, like, TEN-FIFTEEN YEARS AGO. I think if I tried it now my brain would just soggily implode."

Heh, that "balancing act" comment is from last year, but it still applies. Aside from Le Guin, I'm also reading a Mary E. Wilkins Freeman collection and Anthony Burgess's Earthly Powers, with Darconville's Cat and Volume 1 of Leon Edel's Henry James bio on the back burner at the moment. Plus several others in deep freeze. It's...not as easy as I thought it would be. I need to return to the James bio, and get through the Burgess so I can get back to the Theroux so I can move on to Wharton. And also continue reading Le Guin at the same time. I mean, it's not like I'm worried about a goal this year, but this I'll-rebel-by-reading-everything plan is getting ridiculous.


Maureen hurray for book juggling! as long as you're not trying to flit from page-to-page, i don't think it's all that difficult to manage the balancing act as long as you aren't consumed by one book more than the others because then of course, you just end up tossing the others aside until it's done. i find it only becomes painful for me if i am just not excited about a particular title -- in which case, it's important to recognize that i'm not making headway, and then it goes back on my currently reading/to-read shelf, where it could languish for a (very) long time. i think you just have to listen to what your gut and your rotation are telling you, and keep your currently reading shelf close at hand so you remember to go back. but hey, i've been working this groove for a long time now, so maybe that's just how it works best for me. :)

and jacob, you have two du mauriers to read this month so i think a bunch of those books need to stay on the backburner. :P


Jacob you have two du mauriers to read this month so i think a bunch of those books need to stay on the backburner. :P

Well, that's easy--I can finish this and possibly sneak in The Farthest Shore before the 10th, so when I start Rebecca I'll still be reading five books. Nearly finished the Freeman collection, so I'll make sure to read some less demanding stories next. And once I get through Earthly Powers, I'll go back to Darconville's Cat and keep it at four books until I finish that one.

Last year my method was to read one novel, one story collection, and a third book (usually just fiction) concurrently. This year the method seems to be story collection + novel (long) + novel (short, so I can read something at work without lugging around a doorstopper) + 2nd collection (or novella/novellas) + fifth book (nonfiction or second long novel). I haven't quite found the groove yet, but I'm working on it.


Jacob ...Although juggling all these books becomes a bit more challenging when I spend half the night talking about those books and others on Goodreads... :)


message 20: by Hana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hana Well probably you can do this with frogs, but for sure you can do it with lobsters. Either way, "They are eaten."

Seriously this was one slowly creepy story that really does remind me that reading can be a black art. Scared the living daylights out of me. I can't believe it's considered a 'children's book'. I read the version with medieval-style wood block illustrations and a map of the labyrinth -- just try to find your way back to the Painted Room in the dark!

It's a five star in my view and I've read several other Le Guin books; mostly solid 3-4 stars until she gets into her polemical feminist stage...zzzz....


Kelsie Beaudoin (The Bookworm) Jacob, sir, your review is MOST awesome. I concur.


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