I'm giving up on Yuri on Ice Week, but at least there's Chocolate Box to look forward to. I never write letters because it seems like too much work, but this time I requested so many YoI relationships that it was very, very hard to fit everything into the AO3 box. (It's here for the curious.) And my brain is still churning out ideas faster than I can write. I have so far restrained myself to two active WiPs and two ideas which needed a bit of research simmering on the backburner.
So far for the new year, I have finished three books - the one on the 'afterlife' of Tutankhamun's mummy (things improved a bit after the initial horrifying 19th century archaeology and it ended with 'science is hard and complicated and doesn't form neat story arcs'), one on prion diseases called The Family that Couldn't Sleep, and Island of the Blue Dolphins which I picked up for a dollar at a local used-book store.
I really liked that last one - it's a fictional story of an Amerindian girl who gets stuck on an island by herself for 18 years, based on the real story of a real woman who was really stranded on a real island. While I think there are a couple of pacing issues (you can kind of see the part where the author got stuck on how many things could happen to the girl in 18 years and started speeding the passing of time up), it was engaging enough to keep me from going to bed like I intended until I finished the whole thing. That, and it's middle grade fiction, I didn't think it would take as long to read as it did!
The descriptions of the island were very lovely, and while in some sense it's a survival story (which, I guess, I like - between this book and the one about the family in the Taiga and The Long Winter being possibly my favorite Little House book and the hundreds of hours I sank into Lost in Blue) I appreciated how lot of it is about surviving loneliness and boredom as much as scraping together food and not dying of infection. There are several parts where the girl just mentions that she went and gathered a bunch of abalone or whatever and then skips into a story of exploring sea-caves or so on.
I did look at some reviews after I read it and someone said that they hated it for being too idyllic, which I found confusing. Sure, she never really seems in danger of starving, but that makes sense given that she's on abundant island and only feeding herself and sometimes her pets. She describes being very cold in winter, and nearly dies from a leg infection. She hides in a cave for weeks when the same group of people that killed much of her tribe return to the island. She makes friends with animals easily enough, but has to fend off wild dogs and almost gets injured by a fighting pair of elephant seals. She doesn't die at the end, and the story is mostly positive, but I thought it seemed pretty realistic.
(A more depressing thought was of how this book came out in 1960 and it has a better-written woman as the main character than several films I've seen in the past few years. She's resourceful but overly proud at points, very clever and good with animals but still nearly gets herself killed a few times - hell, the book even passes the Bechdel test despite the fact that she spends 95% of the book without other humans around.)
Kind of want to write a crossover between the book and Moana now, though the geography would have to be fudged a bit and I'm not sure what the actual plot would be - I just like the idea of the main character meeting Moana, I think they would get along well.