So, I can't give you a review of Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology, because I only just got it in the mail and I'm already in the middle of six books, so it has to wait a while. But! I can tell you a little bit, even without reading it. 

First of all, it's gorgeous!

Loki approves

Secondly, this interview on the book is amazing and I am madly in fangirlcrush with him. Just read this:
Neil Gaiman was 6 years old when he first met the Norse god Thor — although he wasn't the red-bearded hammer-slinger of legend. "Marvel. Marvel's Thor came first," he says. "I was reading the reprints of Marvel's Thor in an English comic called Fantastic. ... Dr. Don Blake found this stick in a cave, banged it down and transformed into Thor, and the stick transformed into the hammer." Gaiman says he spent a lot of his first decade looking for likely sticks, "just on the off chance that they might the Thor stick, and might transform into a mighty hammer. But none of them ever did."
It was only later that he learned about and fell in love with the actual mythological characters of Norse legend. I myself took the reverse path - I devoured the old myths in various not quite as old (but still old enough to be difficult) retellings first, and only later found the Marvel universe. In both, however, Loki is my favorite.

Modern versions of the Norse myths make me happy. Last July, I reviewed Joanne Harris's The Gospel of Loki, which was a very clever retelling from Loki's point of view. It's quirky and takes liberties to achieve a particular air to fit her Runemarks series, for which it is a loose prequel. Gaiman's retelling looks to be more faithful to the old myths and a more accurate look into ancient Norse life.

I don't recommend it yet, because I haven't read it yet, and it's bad form to say, "I LOVE THIS BOOK EVERYONE READ IT NOW" if you haven't read it yet. So, I'll put it on top of my TBR pile and let you know what I think when I'm done, yeah?

That said, I'm also already looking forward to his new book, Cinnamon

Just over ten weeks to go!

Pretty picture time!


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  • International News
    • Anish Kapoor Wins Genesis Prize, Gives $1m to Help Refugees "British artist Sir Anish Kapoor is donating his $1 million award for being named the 2017 Genesis Prize Laureate to help alleviate the Syrian refugee crisis and expand the engagement of the Jewish Community in the global effort to support refugees. His pledge continues the tradition of Genesis Prize Laureates directing the $1 million award to meaningful causes."
    • Windsor public school board forbids student trips to U.S. because of ‘unsafe’ political climate  "[W]hile the American border remains open, for now, to all foreign citizens visiting with proper documentation, Ottawa has begun monitoring the situation and recording instances where Canadians — particularly dual citizens — have been turned around. 'Where one person doesn’t go, nobody goes … we want to make sure nobody is excluded,' said public school board spokesman Scott Scantlebury. Howitt said Windsor boasts multicultural schools with students from many different countries. 'We’re trying to make prudent decisions.'"
    • Paris Protest Turns Violent Over ‘Theo’ Police Rape Allegation  "During his arrest, part of which was captured on video, the man alleged that one of the officers sodomized him with a police baton....[P]olice investigating the incident reportedly announced Thursday that they believed the alleged rape was unintentional." They're literally arguing that Theo's clothes slipped off and the baton oopsed in.   
    • Blast at Pakistan protest rally kills at least 16  "An apparent suicide bomber detonated a powerful blast Monday amid a protest rally by drug company officials and pharmacists, killing at least 16 people and injuring 30 in the Pakistani city of Lahore. There was no immediate claim of responsibility."
  • U.S. News
    • This is not how we win friends: Andrea Petkovic calls national anthem flub 'epitome of ignorance' "The stanza of the anthem that was sung dates to World War II-era Germany and brought a stern response from Petkovic, and an official statement of apology from the United States Tennis Association."
    • Officials Order Evacuation For Residents Below Calif. Dam "At least 188,000 people remain under evacuation orders after Northern California authorities warned an emergency spillway in the country's tallest dam was in danger of failing Sunday and unleashing uncontrolled flood waters on towns below."
    • The Number Of Hungry And Homeless Students Rises Along With College Costs  "Researchers at the University of Wisconsin surveyed more than 4,000 undergrads at community colleges across the country. The results? Twenty percent of students reported being hungry, 13 percent homeless."
    • A US-born NASA scientist was detained at the border until he unlocked his phone "Bikkannavar says he was detained by US Customs and Border Patrol and pressured to give the CBP agents his phone and access PIN. Since the phone was issued by NASA, it may have contained sensitive material that wasn't supposed to be shared. Bikkannavar's phone was returned to him after it was searched by CBP, but he doesn't know exactly what information officials might have taken from the device....Seemingly, Bikkannavar's reentry into the country should not have raised any flags. Not only is he a natural-born US citizen, but he's also enrolled in Global Entry — a program through CBP that allows individuals who have undergone background checks to have expedited entry into the country. He hasn't visited the countries listed in the immigration ban and he has worked at JPL — a major center at a US federal agency — for 10 years." 
    • Senate confirms Mnuchin as treasury secretary Because the first step to draining the swamp is...flooding it with brackish water? Is that right? "'For someone who pledged to drain the swamp and advocate for working people, President Trump’s nomination of Mr. Mnuchin to be Secretary of the Treasury amounts to another broken promise,' said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), the former vice presidential candidate, in a statement. 'His complicity in the 2008 financial crisis raises serious doubts."'
    • Lawyers For Bowe Bergdahl Say He Can't Get A Fair Trial After Trump Criticisms  "The defense is arguing that Bergdahl cannot get a fair trial because Donald Trump has personally commented on the case, including referring to Bergdahl as a traitor and insinuating that he should be thrown out of a plane without a parachute."
    • Sure, our focus is on the President - he's all about the attention seeking. But let's not get too distracted: It’s not just Donald Trump feuding with the courts. States are doing it, too. "It's true that state and federal courts are taking up more and more cases that put them in direct conflict with the other branches of government. But just because the courts take up these cases doesn't mean they're overstepping their bounds. In fact...the courts are doing exactly what the Constitution calls for: Being a check on political branches of government."  
    • Yes, it's troubling that North Korea is tossing around missiles - but it's also very disturbing that Trump can't decide when or how to keep his work under wraps: Trump ran a campaign based on intelligence security. That’s not how he’s governing. "Trump and [Japanese Prime Minister] Abe were enjoying dinner at Trump’s exclusive Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida at the time, but, CNN reported, began to discuss the details of this international incident right there at their table. 'As Mar-a-Lago's wealthy members looked on from their tables, and with a keyboard player crooning in the background,' CNN's Kevin Liptak reported, 'Trump and Abe’s evening meal quickly morphed into a strategy session, the decision-making on full view to fellow diners, who described it in detail to CNN.' Earlier in the week, Trump had been criticized for leaving intelligence documents vulnerable to people without security clearance." And there's more, of course: "[Y]ou can see a phone flashlight being used....Why is this important? Mobile phones have flashlights, yes — and cameras, microphones and Internet connectivity.... Phones — especially phones with their flashes turned on for improved visibility — are portable television satellite trucks and, if compromised, can be used to get a great deal of information about what’s happening nearby, unless precautions are taken. Precautions weren't taken." Trump may also have been using his Android phone, which is an already noted security problem. /sigh
    • Trump’s Plan for Medicaid Would Decimate Services for People With Disabilities "Most Americans see Medicaid as only a health insurance program, but it is also the main source of funding for a wide variety of disability and aging services that keep people out of institutions. From the 93-year-old grandmother who needs an attendant to help her get out of bed, to the 24-year-old with Down Syndrome receiving a job coach, to the 6-year-old with a disability whose parents need support paying for skilled nursing care in their home—the Medicaid program is critical to ensuring the independence and freedom of disabled people of all kinds."


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