It’s Top Ten Tuesday at the Broke and the Bookish, and today’s theme is favourite quotes from literature. I have to admit that the prospect of choosing my favourite ten quotes – ever – in all of literature overwhelmed me, and so I decided to take my top ten in a different direction.
It’s safe to say that Ursula K. Le Guin has been the best thing to happen to me since I started reading more women SFF authors. She uses words thoughtfully, gracefully, and provocatively, and is a badass old lady who says what she thinks. So I decided to narrow down my top ten list to just her (and honestly, even doing that was exceptionally difficult). So here it is my version of today’s Top Ten: ten things written or said by Ursula K. Le Guin, storyteller extraordinaire and my favourite person ever.
Review: The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
Science Fiction/Thriller – Standalone Novel
After I enjoyed Zoo City, I put The Shining Girls on hold at my local library. It’s the story of a time-traveling serial killer hunting down the titular girls, each of whom ‘shine’ to him. It is also the story of his only survivor Kirby Mazrachi, who searches for her attacker and starts to uncover anachronistic details about him that lead her down strange and dark paths.
Let’s immediately start with a trigger warning for violence against women, including trans women, in the book, and discussion of violence against women in this review.
Review: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
Science Fiction – Hainish Cycle #4 (but a perfect standalone read)
“I certainly wasn’t happy. Happiness has to do with reason, and only reason earns it. What I was given was the thing you can’t earn, and can’t keep, and often don’t even recognize at the time; I mean joy.”
I thought that instead of writing a review here, I might just say “Ursula K. Le Guin is the best,” followed by a hundred exclamation marks. It’s still pretty tempting but I am going to try to put some of my excitement into actual logical sentences.
Your two-sentence plot synopsis: Genly Ai travels to icy Gethen, a planet whose inhabitants are neither male nor female, to try and obtain their membership in an intergalactic political collective. With his mission in danger of failing, Ai is forced to rely on his only Gethenian ally, Estraven, to guide him through the dangers of both Gethen’s politics and its brutal, unending winter.