Wondrous Words and Can’t Wait Wednesday : The Past is Red by Catherynne M Valente

Every Wednesday I take part in Can’t Wait Wednesday, I’m also hoping to take part in a new meme being hosted by Elza Reads called Wondrous Words Wednesday.  I’ll be combining these into the same posts as they’re both short and sweet.

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : The Past is Red by Catherynne M. Valente:


Catherynne M. Valente, the bestselling and award-winning creator of Space Opera and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland returns with The Past is Red, the enchanting, dark, funny, angry story of a girl who made two terrible mistakes: she told the truth and she dared to love the world.

The future is blue. Endless blue…except for a few small places that float across the hot, drowned world left behind by long-gone fossil fuel-guzzlers. One of those patches is a magical place called Garbagetown.

Tetley Abednego is the most beloved girl in Garbagetown, but she’s the only one who knows it. She’s the only one who knows a lot of things: that Garbagetown is the most wonderful place in the world, that it’s full of hope, that you can love someone and 66% hate them all at the same time.

But Earth is a terrible mess, hope is a fragile thing, and a lot of people are very angry with her. Then Tetley discovers a new friend, a terrible secret, and more to her world than she ever expected.

Expected Publication July 2021


This meme was first created by Kathy over at Bermuda Onion Blog and has now been adopted by Elza Reads.

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered, or spotlight words you love.

No rules just enjoy and for further info check out Elza Reads.

My word this week is :



  • a discolored, bluish appearance caused by a bruise, pooling of blood due to congestion of blood vessels, strangulation, etc.:When the dead person is lying on their back, lividity will form on the buttocks, back, or backs of the legs.
  • a grayish or ashen appearance of the face; pallor:The traditional ghost image usually involves a certain paleness of the face—a corpselike lividity.
  • furious anger:When the generator they’d ordered arrived late and then failed to work, her lividity knew no bounds.
  • a reddish appearance of the face, as from strong emotion or embarrassment:I was on the shore with my parents, watching the sky flush scarlet with a hue like lividity rising to an angry face.

This is from my most recent read and the meaning used in this instance is the first given meaning above.  I tend to think of this word more in terms of anger for some reason – the word Livid:

Livid (adj.)

Early 15c., “of a bluish-leaden color,” from Old French livide (13c.) and directly from Latin lividus “of a bluish color, black-and-blue,” figuratively “envious, spiteful, malicious,” from livere “be bluish,” earlier *slivere, from PIE *sliwo-, suffixed form of root *sleiə- “bluish” (source also of Old Church Slavonic and Russian sliva “plum;” Lithuanian slyvas “plum;” Old Irish li, Welsh lliw “color, splendor,” Old English sla “sloe”).

As mentioned above I picked this up from my most recent read which is a book which completely hooked me with it’s strange cold horror like feel :

The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey (my review to follow shortly):

The echo

That’s it for this week.  If you’re taking part in both of these or either please don’t forget to link up.


14 Responses to “Wondrous Words and Can’t Wait Wednesday : The Past is Red by Catherynne M Valente”

  1. Tammy

    I love that you chose “lividity” from The Echo Wife, lol. And I’m very curious about The Past is Red😁

    • @lynnsbooks

      There were a number of words that I could have used from the Echo Wife tbh but I did like that one.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Bob/Sally

    Interesting pick – and I’m reading The Echo Wife now and definitely getting that cold horror vibe.

  3. sjhigbee

    I’m keen to read Past Red – she is a fascinating writer which interesting things to say. And what an interesting word! I knew that lividity was used to describe the stage of a corpse once the blood had settled, but I didn’t know it was also a noun of the reflexive verb to be livid, as in furious… Doesn’t sound quite right in that context, does it??

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha, yes, in the context of livid – it’s because when someone is furious they can either become very pale with anger or their face can become an angry red or purple almost – therefore livid.
      Lynn 😀

      • sjhigbee

        Oh yes – I was aware of adjective livid as a synomym for furious. However I didn’t know lividity would also be used in that context, too:)). If I had sufficient time (I don’t!) I’d love to take exams in English language. Perhaps when I can ease up a bit on the writing??

    • Mareli Thalwitzer

      I like the sound of The past is red, something different for sure and it seems as if it will be liked by a large audience of readers.
      Lividity – it rolls nicely on the tongue! Lovely descriptions you’ve added here. I think whenever I hear the word “livid” in future, I’m going to see it in color.

      Thanks so much for joining in! WWW is so much fun!

      Enjoy your weekend, Lynn.

  4. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Catherynne M. Valente’s books are hit or miss for me, that said I’m curious about this one and will be keeping my eye out for early reviews to see if it’s for me. I’ll definitely be checking out The Echo Wife though – soon!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I feel the same but I loved her Girl who Circumnavigated Fairy book and I quite like the sound of this one.
      Lynn 😀

  5. waytoofantasy

    Aaah, I keep forgetting about this one! I really need to read more Valente. Great pick, hope you love it!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, she can be a bit ‘marmite’ for me – but I like the sound of this one so want to give it a try.
      Lynn 😀

  6. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz

    Livid is a word my mom often used, and it was a good self-descriptor for her. I can see her face when something (anything!) annoyed her and I think, Livid.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha it is unusual how some people get quite literally ‘livid’ whilst others go pale with anger.
      Lynn 😀

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