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Read Alongs > The Tale of Yin

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message 1: by Lynn (last edited Nov 29, 2015 02:04AM) (new)

Lynn O'Connacht (littlelionlynnet) | 53 comments A little later than I'd planned (sorry!), but here's the schedule for anybody who'd like to join in the readalong for Joyce Chng's The Tale of Yin

Week 1: February 15th, Book 1: A Sea Of Waves, hosted by Lynn from Little Lion Lynnet's (that's me)
Week 2: February 22nd, Book 2: A Tree of Branches, hosted by Imyril from the reading reptile
Week 3: February 29th, Sea Tales, hosted by Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow
Week 4: March 7th, Ships' Tales, hosted by Lynn from Little Lion Lynnet's (me again!)

The book's only available in ebook, but it looks to be around 70 print pages per section.

If anyone wants to be a co-host, please let me know! I'll update this post to include host information asap. ^_^ And of course drop a comment if you're interested in joining me!

I'll be running the readalong from here with cross-post of my answers to my blog. I'm really excited to get started on this one! On paper, the description of Joyce Chng's stories sound right up my alley and will hopefully intrigue others as well. ^_^


message 2: by Anya, Dragonmaster (new)

Anya (starsanddragons) | 155 comments Mod
Yey I'm excited!


message 3: by imyril (new)

imyril | 256 comments Fab. Looking forward to it. I'd be happy to host a week too!


message 4: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (deargeekplace) | 487 comments Mod
Yay! I also don't mind hosting.


message 5: by Lynn (new)

Lynn O'Connacht (littlelionlynnet) | 53 comments Yay! Do either of you have any preference for which week you'd like to host in?


message 6: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (deargeekplace) | 487 comments Mod
Any week except the first, please.


message 7: by imyril (new)

imyril | 256 comments I'm happy to host any week :)


message 8: by Lynn (new)

Lynn O'Connacht (littlelionlynnet) | 53 comments Great! I'll take the first and last week unless someone else would like to co-host one of them. ^_^ *updates schedule* See what you think?


message 9: by imyril (new)

imyril | 256 comments Fab :)


message 10: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (deargeekplace) | 487 comments Mod
Excellent! Looking forward to this. ;-)


message 11: by imyril (new)

imyril | 256 comments I love the prose style and the recipes - this was perfect jet lagged reading on a transatlantic flight


message 12: by imyril (new)

imyril | 256 comments I love the prose style and the recipes - this was perfect jet lagged reading on a transatlantic flight


message 13: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (deargeekplace) | 487 comments Mod
It's lovely! And I may have kept a note of the chicken stew recipe. :D


message 14: by Anya, Dragonmaster (new)

Anya (starsanddragons) | 155 comments Mod
Are we doing questions for this week?


message 15: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (deargeekplace) | 487 comments Mod
Waiting on Lynn, I think the posts are due on Monday?


message 16: by Lynn (new)

Lynn O'Connacht (littlelionlynnet) | 53 comments Yay, so glad you all liked it! And apologies for not getting to posting the questions sooner! I've been a bit overwhelmed this week and went "Oh, I should post these on Monday" because I couldn't even tell you why I thought that was a good idea. >> Hopefully it's only this week where I'm flakey.

Here are the questions and my answers ahead of Monday:

1. Of Oysters, Pearls and Magic is a quiet piece, quite unlike what we might be used to reading. What did you make of the change in pace?

I really liked it! I do admit that I get thrown out of stories very easily and the oral narrative style kept jolting me out of it, but I do love stories like this. I loved the fact that we didn't get any conflict in the action-plot sense of the word. It was just a soft, gentle meditation of what makes Mirra who she is and what matters to her as she grows up.

2. Magic systems are always one of the most fascinating things to discuss. What did you think of the book's shape-based system? Does it remind you of anything or is it entirely new?

I've never seen one like this before! I actually wish we'd gotten to see a little more of Mirra's magic and of the ways the systems differ. I really liked the way Chng built up the world and gave us these little glimpses of how attitudes differed between regions. Though it makes me really curious to see how people wound up with magic. Did they come from an alternate Earth where magic has always existed? Is it something on the planet? And, considering people migrated to this planet, what happened to the technology? It didn't strike me as on par with what you'd expect from a galaxy-faring race?

Um. Sorry. I got a bit distracted. But I would just love to know more about this world and the setting. I really enjoyed the little details that Chng wove into the descriptions. I'm reasonably sure I won't be getting the answers I want in book 2 just yet, but maybe in the additional short stories.

Anyway! I like the magic system and I liked that Chng built up its use. Some of the way the magic is used is actually fairly familiar - the shielding, the visualisation - but I liked the way the narrative focused not on the magic itself, but on the other effects of this training, on the way it influences Mirra as a person.

3. Oysters are obviously important to Mirra. Do you think you'll be trying any of the recipes in the book?

Considering I'm at best intolerant to sea food, I won't be trying most of the recipes. T_T The one for chicken stew sounds interesting, though, so maybe I'll try that one sometime. I do really like that they're included! Even though I know I can't try most of them, I liked how much they helped bring Mirra's world alive. I admit that I was a bit startled and skeptical when I first saw that the recipes were embedded in the text, but I think it actually works really nicely.

4. The description of the duology suggests that these novellas are ones of compassion. How do you feel that relates to Mirra?

That's an interesting question because we see Mirra struggle with these feelings towards her Second Father throughout the story. We also see her struggling with these feelings towards herself and we can see Auri struggle with her own fears and demons.

I think those differing stories offer us a nice range of interpretations on what compassion can look like, though. It's multifaceted and I appreciated that the story highlighted that fact.


message 17: by Lynn (new)

Lynn O'Connacht (littlelionlynnet) | 53 comments Oh! Useful thing. Just the questions without my answers. (This is what my brain has been like all week! ><)

1. Of Oysters, Pearls and Magic is a quiet piece, quite unlike what we might be used to reading. What did you make of the change in pace?

2. Magic systems are always one of the most fascinating things to discuss. What did you think of the book's shape-based system? Does it remind you of anything or is it entirely new?

3. Oysters are obviously important to Mirra. Do you think you'll be trying any of the recipes in the book?

4. The description of the duology suggests that these novellas are ones of compassion. How do you feel that relates to Mirra?


message 18: by Anya, Dragonmaster (new)

Anya (starsanddragons) | 155 comments Mod
My post will be up at http://www.onstarshipsanddragonwings.... tomorrow bright and early :D

Thank you so much for organizing this Lynn, I'm mesmerized by my love of this first section!


message 19: by imyril (new)

imyril | 256 comments I'm loving this so much - thank you Lynn! My post is now up at http://onemore.org/2016/02/15/of-oyst...

I'll be reading ahead this week, and will try to get questions up for next week by the weekend :)


message 20: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (deargeekplace) | 487 comments Mod
Here's my first post: http://overtheeffingrainbow.co.uk/201...

Also loving this one, Lynn! So glad you suggested it. :D


message 21: by Lynn (new)

Lynn O'Connacht (littlelionlynnet) | 53 comments Imyril pointed out to me a little earlier that some copies of the book don't seem to have the Ships' Tales in them. At the very least the format is a bit confusing, but I think the Ships' Tales corresponds to Path of Kindness. (If not this at least makes the most sense in terms of dividing the stories.)

So the schedule, just to repeat it, looks like this:

Week 2: February 22nd, Book 2: A Tree of Branches
Week 3: February 29th, Sea Tales
Week 4: March 7th, Ships' Tales/Path of Kindness

Really sorry I didn't manage to catch this before now! Hopefully this addresses it, though.


message 22: by imyril (new)

imyril | 256 comments I've had a little think about questions for the week, so I thought I'd post them and let you all mull :)

1. Both Sea of Waves and Tree of Branches are very focused on character over action. Who were your favourites, and why?

2. Auri was very determined to take the Triad inland after the eruption, even when others turned back to the City. Do you think she was right? What do you think was driving her away from the sea?

(unless you talked about Auri a lot in Q1, in which case... How enigmatic was Fiona? What did you make of her choices, and Mirra's response - especially given last week's discussion of compassion?)

3. What are your thoughts on the world now Mirra's travels have taken us further afield?

4. How did you interpret Mirra's dreams?


message 23: by Anya, Dragonmaster (new)

Anya (starsanddragons) | 155 comments Mod
My answers will be up at http://www.onstarshipsanddragonwings.... tomorrow!


message 24: by imyril (new)

imyril | 256 comments My answers will be up at http://onemore.org/2016/02/22/of-oyst... tomorrow morning :)

...and I'm going to admit I felt like an idiot, because having written the questions I then found them hard to answer and didn't get to talk about half the stuff rattling around my brain. Need more practice at this! :)


message 25: by Lynn (new)

Lynn O'Connacht (littlelionlynnet) | 53 comments If it helps, I always feel like that when answering my own questions. Or anyone else's for that matter. >> So I understand the feeling. <3 Your answers sound great to me. ^_^

My answers are here: http://www.leoconnacht.com/wp/2016/02...


message 26: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (deargeekplace) | 487 comments Mod
Here are my answers for Part 2: http://overtheeffingrainbow.co.uk/201...


message 27: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (deargeekplace) | 487 comments Mod
So I know it's a late point to be finding this out, but I just discovered that my copy of this book seems to end before getting to Ship's Tales. I'm not even sure it has all of Sea Tales here, so without having a complete version to go on I don't think I can do the hosting bit this week... Also it obviously means I can't keep reading into next week.

Does anybody else have this problem...?


message 28: by imyril (new)

imyril | 256 comments I've got the 2 parts we've read, then 4 short stories: The Sea Witch's Tale, Josh's Tale, Kindness's Tale, and The Ship's Voices (all of which combined is only a small handful of pages) before The Path of Kindness kicks in. I don't have a heading for Ship's Tales, so have been assuming it's an alternate name for The Path of Kindness...

How many Sea Tales do you have?


message 29: by imyril (new)

imyril | 256 comments (Sadly, the short stories are also the bit that isn't included on the wordpress site)


message 30: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (deargeekplace) | 487 comments Mod
That's what I've got. The 4 stories before The Path of Kindness were so short that I kept reading, thinking there would be another split... I am so confused.


message 31: by imyril (new)

imyril | 256 comments You're not alone :)


message 32: by Anya, Dragonmaster (new)

Anya (starsanddragons) | 155 comments Mod
Ditto on that organization. Do you have any questions for sea tales? We can just do a shorter week?


message 33: by Anya, Dragonmaster (new)

Anya (starsanddragons) | 155 comments Mod
Well that was definitely short, though we could just do our thoughts on each one? What we even think was happening?


message 34: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (deargeekplace) | 487 comments Mod
I've gone over those short stories again, and taken as a separate section, I have no idea what's meant to be going on there... Like I said, I'm really confused here and it's completely thrown me, if I'm honest.


message 35: by Anya, Dragonmaster (new)

Anya (starsanddragons) | 155 comments Mod
Yeah they definitely are just extras sprinkled in that only work in the context of the previous sections.


message 36: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (deargeekplace) | 487 comments Mod
If "The Path of Kindness" is meant to be the section for next week, I don't mind sitting my turn out if Lynn wants to cover hers as per the schedule, because honestly, I have nothing for questions at the moment...


message 37: by Anya, Dragonmaster (new)

Anya (starsanddragons) | 155 comments Mod
That's fine with me


message 38: by imyril (new)

imyril | 256 comments Fine by me :)


message 39: by Lynn (new)

Lynn O'Connacht (littlelionlynnet) | 53 comments Absolutely fine with me. I haven't had a chance to read them yet, but if they're so short and confusing we can definitely skip them. ^_^ Does this mean everyone's already started/finished the last section? If so we could bump up the last week a little?

Sorry for the relatively late reply too! Yesterday was one of those days. :/


message 40: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (deargeekplace) | 487 comments Mod
I don't mind bumping. ;-)


message 41: by imyril (new)

imyril | 256 comments Me either. I've not read yet, but... it's not very long. I can finish it before #SwordspointSunday tonight ;)


message 42: by Lynn (new)

Lynn O'Connacht (littlelionlynnet) | 53 comments Then let's bump it up. I'll try and get the questions out a little later today with the understanding that individual blog posts may be a few days late due to the unexpected and sudden scheduling change.


message 43: by Anya, Dragonmaster (new)

Anya (starsanddragons) | 155 comments Mod
Ummmm yeah I'm going to have to stick to next week for answering section four questions, sorry!


message 44: by Lynn (new)

Lynn O'Connacht (littlelionlynnet) | 53 comments Anya wrote: "Ummmm yeah I'm going to have to stick to next week for answering section four questions, sorry!"

Nothing to apologise for! I'm just glad to hear you're willing to finish out the readalong despite the sudden changes due to the circumstances. ^_^ (If I'm honest, I'm not really expecting anyone's answers to go up Monday if we're shifting the schedule this way, anyway. It's really short notice, after all.)


message 45: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (deargeekplace) | 487 comments Mod
If I don't post tomorrow then it may be Thursday for me, but I'm playing it by ear right now...


message 46: by imyril (new)

imyril | 256 comments I'll likely be Thursday at the earliest too.


message 47: by Lynn (new)

Lynn O'Connacht (littlelionlynnet) | 53 comments We'll set it for Thursday then. ^_^ I'll make sure the questions go up on Monday with an explanation of what happened, but I'll shift actually giving my answers to Thursday to match.


message 48: by Lynn (new)

Lynn O'Connacht (littlelionlynnet) | 53 comments Questions!

1) I know that we all struggled with the Sea Tales short story section. Do you think they added much to our understanding of the world or the characters?

2) Kindness sets out from home unsure of what she wants. How do you find the beginning of her journey compares to that of Mirra's?

3) In a way, Kindness' journey is a mirror of her mother's. Both leave their home town, but where Mirra lives in the city and then leaves for the Innerlands, Kindness leaves for the Innerlands and then to the City. What do you think about the way Chng chose to mirror the journeys?

4) Mirra's story was one that in many ways centred around compassion. How do you feel that central theme plays out in Kindness' story?


message 49: by imyril (new)

imyril | 256 comments Ah, long tube journeys to work. Answers all drafted, and will be live tomorrow morning on onemore


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