Reading Wednesday

Wed, Aug. 12th, 2015 11:13 pm
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So that whole trying to ration out Frances Hardinge books so I didn't tear through her backlog too quickly didn't work so well. I read Fly by Night, A Face Like Glass, and Cuckoo Song over the weekend, all of which I loved. Hopefully a more detailed write up to come!

I also realized NK Jemisin's latest book just came out and promptly got it, and then got distracted by some novellas and short stories set in the Inheritance universe I hadn't read. So... I haven't opened the new book yet, but I am looking forward to it! I have also finally started Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, thanks to hearing about the TV series. I'm not very far in yet, but I'm enjoying the voice. It also makes me happy that [personal profile] qian's Sorcerer to the Crown will probably be out by the time I finish the Clarke, which means my desire for fantasy in Regency-voice will continue to be fed.

On a totally different note, I thought people would enjoy the latest episode of the Criminal podcast, which is about a grisly murder in 1896 and how it got turned into a murder ballad. It ends with a modern take on the ballad, which is very mournful, as is proper, but alas, the ending totally cracks me up, probably inappropriately (and unintentionally) so.

Reading Wednesday

Wed, Jan. 15th, 2014 01:40 pm
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What I've read: Finished Anuja Chauhan's Those Pricey Thakur Girls! It's by far my favorite of her books, and now I kind of wish there were a version of Battle for Bittora done in rotating 3rd person POV, because I would have LOVED to see Pushpa Pande's sections. Hopefully a longer review to follow soon!

Also finished Chi's Sweet Home volume 2, which is just as cute and full of cat as the first volume. Definitely comfort reading for me, and I laughed especially hard at Chi getting mad at people ignoring her, climbing up on the table, and sitting down on the postcard people were looking at instead of where their attention should rightfully be focused (Chi, obviously).

What I'm reading: I finally started reading comics on my tablet! I say "finally" because that was the original reason I wanted a tablet in the first place. Anyway, I'm in the middle of the Greg Rucka Wonder Woman run (I blame [personal profile] chaila) and generally enjoying it. There are WAY more women than I usually see in superhero comics, though I am super skeeved out by Doctor Psycho and all the rape stuff he jokes about. I mean, you are supposed to be skeeved out, but given that the art is still male-gaze-y, it feels like one of those having your cake and eating it too things.

Also, totally get the appeal of Diana. She reminds me of why I like Captain America, at least in the MCU, and I really like that mostly her idealism and desire to do good and be good are genuine and not made fun of. It's so hard to find depictions of nice and good people who are interesting and have depth; most writers seem to save that for the morally ambiguous characters. And I looooove that she just goes ahead and makes decisions and her staff has to flounder to figure stuff out in her wake, and while she might apologize, she never angsts about it or questions her choices.

The art is mostly okay, given the genre? I think? I've never followed superhero comics closely, so I am not sure. I do love that Diana so far has very consistently been drawn with really broad shoulders and narrow hips; it's a silhouette I don't see very often on women. Still a lot of the twisted torso poses to get T&A in, and I rolled my eyes when one villain stepped out with her face entirely in shadow... but her naked body was of course visible!

It's also always weird getting into a new superhero/team and figuring out who the standard villains and secondary characters are. Various wiki articles help, but because comics is so convoluted, I hit a point when my eyes just glaze over as the details of betrayal! new allegiances! resurrection! secret identity! world resetting! and whatnot go on and on and on.

This is also interesting because it's my first foray into the DCverse that isn't centered around Gotham and its ilk.

What I'm reading next: Probably a lot more Wonder Woman.

Reading Wednesday

Wed, Jan. 8th, 2014 12:51 pm
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What I've read: Haven't done this for a while, so I actually have read things! I got CB the Pusheen the Cat book and volume 1 of Chi's Sweet Home for Christmas, so I read those and was suitably bowled over by the cute. Pusheen is great, but I really love Chi's Sweet Home, which is just so cat. Possibly people might get annoyed by Chi's baby talk, but given that she is a kitten, I am okay with this. Also, CAT!! (Also also, I love the fact that Konami Kanata's entire career is basically cat manga.)

I also read Allie Brosh's book, which I think I laughed at less than a lot of people? It's not that it isn't hilarious, because it is, it's just that after reading her depression posts, some of the ones on procrastination and self sabotage and etc. make me wince more than laugh in that painful, looking-in-the-mirror way. All the entries about her dogs totally crack me up, the entire thing is very worth reading (even if I do wish the one about her dead fish made it to the book), and I would have paid the same price just to get her two posts on depression in print. I'm also really impressed by how spot-on the expressions she draws are.

What I'm reading: I started Anuja Chauhan's Those Pricey Thakur Girls and have been enjoying the third-person narrative voices... I like the first-person narrators of her first two books as well, but they did sound a bit similar at certain points. Really looking forward to an expanded cast of characters, because I love Chauhan most for her various character dynamics, especially of people in small communities and large families, and read her more for that than the romance. I also started Jessica Snyder Sachs' Corpse: Nature, Forensics, and the Struggle to Pinpoint Time of Death as my own brand of pick-me-up reading, and I should get back to it because it's gruesomely fascinating.

Random book-shaped space: This cover alone makes me want to read Max Gladstone. Also hoping that adding "reading" to my Dailies for HabitRPG helps me get back into it.

Next: Chi's Sweet Home, vol. 2!

Reading Wednesday

Wed, Dec. 4th, 2013 11:39 am
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I read!

What have you read? I finished Anuja Chauhan's The Battle for Bittora a few days ago, and I even managed to write it up.

What are you reading? Kind of a cheat, since I actually started it two weeks ago, but I am a chapter or two into Alice Miller's The Drama of the Gifted Child. Despite having been forewarned of the general mother blaming in the book, I am still appalled by how much there is. Yes, let's guilt mothers more for post-partum depression and maybe showing a little bit of negative emotion due to nursing not going perfectly! Also, I seem to think more much has to happen to traumatize a kid than Alice Miller does. (I.e. Being laughed at for asking for your own ice cream cone and being offered bites from the parents' cones probably is not going to have that huge of a psychological impact unless there's already some really emotionally abusive stuff happening.) That said, still has some good bits on what happens when you are the child who must somehow suppress yourself to emotionally comfort your parents. You just have to rewrite a lot in your head so it only applies to emotional abuse and not "mothers making any sort of mistake ever."

What are you reading next? Who knows! Hopefully I will be reading, period.

Reading Wednesday

Wed, Oct. 16th, 2013 04:31 pm
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What I've read: Managed to finish some more awards reading, yay! I have also finally picked up Steam-Powered 1 again after finishing Steam-Powered 2 over the weekend (I need to check to table of contents again to see which stories stood out in particular), and I'm having fun rereading "The Effluent Engine." The biggest downside to Steam-Powered 2 was that the stories often stopped juuust as I had been drawn in. I wish so many of them were the first chapter of books instead of standalone shorts.

What I'm reading: As mentioned, rereading some of the stories in Steam-Powered 1 that I've already read, and then hopefully finishing the anthology.

Random book-shaped space: I am also passive aggressively hoping that my mom decides to leave the tablet here for me to use, because I am too wary to actually ask for it, even though my dad did offer it to me if I wanted. I have weird and conflicting feelings re: accepting stuff from my parents. On the plus side, very excited about the Yuki Kaori and Mizushiro Setona licensing news from NYCC! Amazingly, I may actually be more excited re: Mizushiro, because of the creepy vampires. Also, I am laughing a bit thinking of it in Shojo Beat and how it will possibly traumatize people who start reading it for sexy vampires.

Reading Wednesday

Wed, Sep. 25th, 2013 04:14 pm
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Not a particularly exciting week in reading, but notable in that I got myself to read and even enjoy it when I wasn't in the mood.

I know! This would have shocked younger me—not in the mood to read?! Blasphemy! Alas, older me has had to deal with an increasingly small attention span, in addition to diminished enjoyment in nearly everything. Things are getting better in terms of both attention span and enjoyment, and this makes me hope the reading will come back as well.

What I've read: I finally finished my nostalgic reread of Terry Brooks' Talismans of Shannara. Ahahaha, oh Par, so boring. On the other hand, Matty Roh is even more awesome than I remembered, and I had completely forgotten about the Matty Roh-Damson Rhee adventures! There should be fic, IJS.

Spoilers )

What I'm reading: I am progressing through Anuja Chauhan's The Zoya Factor, which got a little boring a few chapters in as it introduced the love interest and he and the heroine were antagonistic and etc. However, he is now being much nicer, and there has been a street market, so I am liking it much better again. Also continuing to read Tenea Johnson's Smoketown, which is still gorgeous. I think I opened up Yuki Kaori's Iiki no Ki to show off the Kobo Aura HD's screen to [personal profile] troisroyaumes, but I haven't read much past the first few pages. The art, though, is gorgeous! And already I am afraid it is going to be a version of the Riff/Cain + Merriweather triangle, with another demonic guy, some aristocratic guy, and a cute spunky girl.

Random book-shaped space: I am still trying to figure out what to get with the Kobo 50% off coupon before it expires! Candidates so far: Kate Elliott's Jaran books, some Charlotte Stein novellas the library doesn't have, ???. Maybe the dinosaur book I have been looking at?

In less pleasant news, I deleted Ben A's books from my computer.

Reading Wednesday

Wed, Sep. 11th, 2013 12:29 pm
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Whoo, I have stuff to post on!

(I have been greatly enjoying everyone's resolve to post every day for a month, and then I feel like I should as well to hopefully clear up book backlog, but the daily happiness posts (opt in here) are already kind of hard and I feel so spammy despite knowing people actually signed up for the filter and knowing that I enjoy seeing other people's posts!)

What I've read: I did more reading for the awards jury I am on, yay.

Aside from that, I went on a completely unexpected detour into the land of reading nostalgia: Terry Brooks. His Shannara books (back then only the original trilogy and Heritage of Shannara) were my introduction to fantasy as a genre; I had read a lot of middle grade stuff of course, but I wanted something just like Tolkien after my headlong fall into Middle Earth, and Shannara was right there. Anyway, I reread The Elfstones of Shannara and The Elf Queen of Shannara, and then did a mostly-skipping-Par's-POV reread of The Scions of Shannara.

They held up better than expected? But I also wasn't expecting much. There's the argh of the Rovers, which fit all the Roma stereotypes, way too many bland young men wandering about, and the world building is pretty sparse in terms of cultures and extremely high fantasy derivative. On the other hand, I remember so much more of them than I had expected, even specific chapters and lines I had liked. I am amused that even back in sixth or seventh grade, I was completely bored by the typical young white male savior figure (Par, Shea, Wil, Jair) and very much into the women or the older, more cynical men who weren't such blank slates. Alas for the lack of older, cynical women. And that the Frodo-and-Sam journey parts of the narrative never interested me nearly as much as the epic battle and war strategy bits. The women aren't the best—too many love interests inexplicably interested in the boring main characters, too many "too good for this world" women—but I remember liking things like Eretria helping out Amberle and especially Wren's relationship with her grandmother in Elf Queen. (Also, Eowen Cerise/Ellenroh, slashy like whoa.)

Anyway, definitely not something I'd rec, but it was an enjoyable dalliance! (Also, I totally wanted to be a Druid.)

What I'm reading: I tried starting a novel for awards reading (mostly I have been doing short stories, since they are so fast); hopefully I will stick with it. I also started Anuja Chauhan's The Zoya Factor per [personal profile] deepad's impromptu Anuja Chauhan book club. Not very far into it yet, but the voice is very breezy and enjoyable. Also, Shah Rukh Khan's abs have already made an appearance, which is never a bad thing imo.

What I'm reading next: More of The Zoya Factor and more awards reading, hopefully! Though I will probably end up doing the no-Par-POV reread of Heritage of Shannara....

Reading Wednesday

Wed, Jul. 31st, 2013 11:09 am
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What I've read: Woe, didn't manage to finish anything this week. At least it was mostly because I was being social!

I did forget to note that I read Sampson Davis' Living and Dying in Brick City: An E.R. Doctor Returns Home. I really wanted to read about the medical cases intermixed with personal knowledge of the intersections of health and race and poverty. In the end, the book was too didactic for me. Each chapter is about a specific thing (HIV, obesity, drugs, history of medical experiments on black people, etc.), and each ends with a list of resources. I'm sure it is helpful for people, but I wanted something much more complicated than an introduction to the myriad problems of the US healthcare system and/or personal health issues and what to do about them. I was especially put off by the PSA on obesity, where he focuses on a woman he portrays as grotesquely obese (examples of how she can't be strapped to the gurney, fungus growing in folds of flesh, etc.). This is too bad, because the bits on his own life and history in Newark and how they intersect with his doctoring were really interesting, especially since he was one of the few doctors there who had grown up in and still lived in Newark, as opposed to commuting there from another, more affluent town.

I also forgot to mention Carolyn Jewel's novella Moonlight last week. It unfortunately is not particularly notable. There is some emotional stuff going on there re: a younger man in love with the slightly older women he grew up with and trying to not be seen as a goofy younger brother, but most of it focuses on the sex without tying it in to the conflict.

And I forgot Courtney Milan's A Kiss for Midwinter. Wow, I read a lot the week before. Anyway, I don't dislike it to the same extent [personal profile] coffeeandink does, but the noted discrepancy between what people say about Lydia's cheerful disposition and what we actually read on the page is very disconcerting. I also thought Jonas never quite gelled as a character to me; he read more as a collection of traits—blunt and socially awkward doctor who shows compassion to underserved populations—than an actual person. Definitely not one of Milan's better works.

What I'm reading: I still haven't finished Spillover. So of course I started Mira Grant's Feed, which is one of those "everyone was talking about it when it came out and I am only now getting around to reading it" books. So far, it is entertaining and easy to read—too easy, given how I lost track of time at bedtime! I'm not terribly caught up in the characters yet; they are very snarky and capable, but there's no real emotional hook for me to grab on to. Also, it is interesting reading this in 2013 when the presumed zombie apocalypse is in 2014 (the book was published in 2010). I'm not sure I would have fully bought into Grant's projection of how blogging grows increasingly important even back then, but now it's even odder to compare to what has actually been happening.

What I'm reading next: Er, hopefully Hiromi Goto's Half World, because I keep meaning to read it and then forgetting that I do when it comes time to select a book.

Reading Wednesday

Wed, Jul. 24th, 2013 10:50 am
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What I've read: Amazingly, I have actually read a fair amount this week. The bad thing is that I suspect it is because I have been not feeling great lately. Hopefully the reading will continue and the feeling bad won't...

Blazed through several Sarah Mayberry books, though none of them were as good as Her Best Worst Mistake, which I also reread. I also finished and even managed to write up Grace Lin's Starry River of the Sky, which I enjoyed.

And I finished Courtney Milan's new book The Heiress Effect, which I need to write up. I went a little into some of my uneasiness with it, though overall I did enjoy it. That said, while I liked reading about Jane's empowerment, things just felt a little bit too smooth. This was especially obvious when compared to Cecilia Grant's A Woman Entangled, which has a similar conflict of "I love her but she does not want or fit the deeply cherished lifestyle I want."

I also read Meljean Brook's Iron Seas novella Wrecked, which is better than the one I previously tried! No implausible misunderstandings! It does still have the somewhat unbelievable "he is in love with her even though she is afraid of him" thing that has been in other Iron Seas novellas, but at least this one doesn't involve him actively deceiving her. I also just like the "two people on the run together" storyline much more. And now that there are small spoilers ) in the world, who knows what will come next!!

What I'm reading: I started Rob Jolles' How to Change Minds: The Art of Influence without Manipulation, which is an easy read, but not something I was particularly into. I do like the overall premise though. I also started Nassim Nicholas Taleb's The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, except I really do not like the author's voice. He keeps saying things and not supporting them, and then saying that there is no point in finding supporting evidence because the most important evidence is the stuff you don't know. Mostly it reads as very self important without having anything to really say.

I am also in the middle of David Quammen's Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. It's not quite as easy a read as Siddhartha Mukherjee's book on cancer—I know that sounds odd, but The Emperor of All Maladies is really a page turner—but it is fairly engaging and only lost me while going into the variants of HIV and etc. It's got the thing where there's a fair amount of focus on more rural "foreign" regions that a lot of books on pandemics and parasites do. Quammen overall tries to avoid the lurid "Haha see what these people eat?" thing, but he does slip into it a few times.

What I'm reading next: No idea... hopefully something comforting and engaging?

Reading Wednesday

Wed, Jul. 10th, 2013 10:58 am
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Yay, I actually read something this week, even if I didn't finish anything!

What I've read: As noted, haven't finished anything =(.

What I'm reading: Wendy Christensen's Outsmarting Cats, for the obvious reasons. I probably won't finish, as there doesn't seem to be much in there that I can't already find on the Internets. I was, however, very amused at the introduction and the whole "cats have been domesticated for much less time than dogs, so inside your cat lurks a wild and ferocious predator!"

And I started Grace Lin's Starry River of the Sky, which is a companion to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, which I loved. So far, there aren't any direct connections between the books, but the structure of stories within the main story is the same. It is so nice having a book that plays to my love of retold tales where said tales are not only not Eurocentric, but also ones I grew up with. Like the previous book, I'm enjoying the little changes Lin makes as she weaves them all together. I'm reading this as an ebook, though I feel I should get it (and the previous book) in paper so I can look more closely at the illustrations and the typesetting and etc.

What I'm reading next: Er, if I actually keep reading, hopefully finishing the Lin? Also, I have had Cold Steel for a while now and still haven't started, despite my anticipation. Cecilia Grant's new romance has also been out for a few weeks, and I vaguely intend to read, but haven't been in much of a romance mood. Instead, I want to get my hands on Spillover to read about pandemics or My Beloved Brontosaurus to read about the latest in paleontology. The latter is sparked by a rewatch of Jurassic Park a few months back, and as for the former... no idea, except that I like reading about diseases and parasites? I have several books about plague and disease and hospitals on my ereader, but am of course hankering after the one I don't have.

Reading Wednesday

Wed, Apr. 3rd, 2013 11:07 am
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What I've read: So sad, I don't think I finished anything this week, aside from rereading bits of Skip Beat. Oh wait, no! I read Sarah Mayberry's Her Best Worst Mistake, since it was pretty highly recced on Dear Author. I've tried getting into some of Mayberry's stuff in the past because DA has liked her other books, but I bounced off most of them due to the gimmick-y professions feel. I.e. famous movie star and celebrity chef he hires fall in love! Or: agents have to go undercover in a BDSM club! The contemporary setting makes it so much harder for me to suspend my disbelief, particular when power dynamics are in play.

Anyway, I really liked this one, which is about a woman who sleeps with her best friend's ex-fiance (the best friend breaks up with said fiance in a previous book). There's the Big Secret of when she will tell her best friend, but done in a way that's very convincing. Violet knows she should tell Elizabeth, Martin (the hero) wants her to tell Elizabeth, the readers want her to, but the reasons why she can't get herself to are really the crux of the book and of Violet's character development. I love how much weight is given to Violet's development, and I really like how Violet and Elizabeth's friendship is one of the driving forces of the book. All the relationships feel like real people interacting, which isn't always the case for contemporaries for me.

What I'm reading now: I started up the Ben Aaronovitch again! Hopefully I will make more progress. I also started Mayberry's She's Got It Bad after liking Her Best Worst Mistake, but I fell out of romance mood again. Also, I don't like the hero nearly as much, and it's got the gimmick-y profession thing.

Also, I don't know how if I should count this, but I've also started playing Samsara, an interactive fiction piece set in 1757 Bengal. You're a dreamwalker who is supposedly working for the Nawab of Bengal, but both British and French forces are threats on the horizon. It's based on the same engine that does Fallen London, but the chunks of text are much longer, which helps me follow the storyline more. The gameplay is also more directed and there's less grind, which again helps, and the story has been unfolding fairly quickly. Right now there are only two chapters up—each chapter took me a few hours to explore—but I really want more.

What I'm reading next: Hopefully starting back on Tokyo Demons again.

Reading Wednesday

Wed, Mar. 27th, 2013 01:09 pm
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What I've finished reading: As you guys may have noticed, I kind of blazed through twenty volumes of Skip Beat and now want more content and/or more fic. Hi manga! I missed you! Now I'm trying to decide what else I should catch up on! OMG manga is now on my Nook (thank you so much [personal profile] meganbmoore and I feel like all the possibilities are open! I also got and read Ooku 7, though I'm still stuck on posting about the series. Everyone has already said such smart things! I am not sure what to add, and the stuff I can think of is all jumbled in my head and not coming out very coherently.

What I'm reading now: I started the Tokyo Demons light novel, which is... interesting? I'm not really caught up in it yet, but it's my first light novel (I think? Do Twelve Kingdoms books count?), and I am not entirely sure how they work. I am so not used to fictional work that grabs from anime and manga traditions that is in text!

What I'm reading next: Ahaha, I am betting I will reread more bits and pieces of Skip Beat over the next few days. And maybe go on some other giant manga rereading binge! \o/
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What I've just read: Finally finished Cecilia Grant's first book and read the second (interesting new author, see review), which lead to a bit of a romance spree. Went through Sherry Thomas' Tempting the Bride, which I liked due to longing and unrequitedness and amnesia, though tbh, didn't really buy the hero's sudden non-taunting of the heroine even though I love it due to aforementioned angst. Read Meredith Duran's That Scandalous Summer (like the heroine, bleh for the hero, got really disinterested toward the middle and end) and her novella, Your Wicked Heart, which has a heroine who reminds me a great deal of Olympia from Laura Kinsale's Seize the Fire. Also, I think it has the hero I've liked best out of her books so far... I love Duran's prose and I love her heroines, but I frequently want to brain the heroes and get really lost during her plots. Then Rose Lerner's A Lily Among Thorns, which has an adorkable tailor hero who asks about clothes and fashion and can cook. Couldn't completely get into it, though, I think because the dialogue sounded too modern for me? (Then again, I know zero about Regency outside of romance novels.)

Finally finished Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, which I had been reading for so long that I forgot to include it on my "currently reading list" for the past few Wednesdays.

Also read Alaya Dawn Johnson's The Summer Prince, which I REALLY liked. The reviews on Goodreads seem to be very love it or hate it, though. Also, I rolled my eyes at the ones that were all "There's so much sex in this! Homosexuality and bisexuality is no big deal?!" and reviews complaining about too many original terms ("waka," "grande," etc.). I suspect I have very different expectations compared to the current YA SF audience?

...the length of this section correlates inversely with how much sleep I have been getting. orz

What I'm reading now: Still in the middle of Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London. Probably something else I started months ago and promptly forgot?

What I'm reading next: Er, hopefully the book I'm reviewing for my Con or Bust offer. More realistically, probably a ton more romance novels.

Reading Wednesday!

Wed, Mar. 6th, 2013 10:26 am
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This actually makes me look forward to Wednesdays, which is nice.

What I've finished reading: Brene Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection, which was nice but largely unforgettable. I feel like I know most of the stuff about taking it easy on yourself from therapy and am currently in the space where I am trying to not be perfectionist and beat up on myself for stuff, but also trying to Do More Things. The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011: I don't know if this was depressing because I am feeling depressed and morbid lately or if it's just the subject matters. There's an extremely good but extremely depressing piece on end-of-life care (and how we suck at it) by Atul Gawande, which made me morbid for the obvious reasons. Then there was a piece or two on the existence of the afterlife or not, several on species taking over environments or the general bad effects of global warming, and one on why a killer whale at SeaWorld may have killed his trainer. You know things are depressing when you turn to reading a murder mystery to cheer yourself up.

What I'm reading: Am now a few chapters into Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London/Midnight Riot, which has been enjoyable but put-downable for me. I really wish I had a UK copy; there have been several references to the main character wanting cable so he can watch soccer, which was extremely weird, given how rooted the book is in London.

What I'm reading next: Hopefully I will start the book I'm going to review for my Con or Bust offer. Also, I need to reread Ooku 4 and 5 and read Ooku 6 before it's due at the library. Sigh. I am reading so little manga lately, largely because I'm not buying any and because I'm trying to avoid reading them off LCD screens for the sake of my eyes and my nausea.

Reading Wednesday

Wed, Feb. 27th, 2013 01:26 pm
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What I just finished: Heh, so instead of going off anything listed last week, I went on a tear through Meljean Brook's Iron Seas series. (Check tag for write ups.) I am holding off a reread of Demon Marked from her other series until the final book comes out in a few months. Also, I really wish I could just purchase her individual novellas from a collection instead of buying the entire thing in ebook, though that is more because I am lazy and don't want to bother making individual files per novella so it messes up my Calibre categorization less. I am willing to pay $2 for just one novella instead of $2.99 for the whole thing!

ETA: Also, can't believe I forgot, but finally finished Zen Cho's The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo! (I read half when she was publishing snippets on her blog and then decided to wait for the whole thing. Disclaimer: I know and like the author.) It's a romance with a Chinese-Malaysian heroine in the London writing scene in the 1920s, really charming voice. It's one of the best kinds of fluffy reads, in which I can enjoy myself while also watching the author do interesting things with tropes and etc. Vaguely spoilery ) I'm really impressed all this was in the space of a novella, particularly when it reads so pleasantly. I hope that isn't damning by faint praise: I actually think doing all that takes a lot of skill, especially when it's not an Issue Book.

What I'm reading now: Just started Aaronovitch's Rivers of London, per several people's enthusiastic comments. I'm only a few pages in, but I like the voice a lot so far.

What I'm reading next: I feel the only certainty is that whatever I put down is will definitely NOT be what I end up reading.

Reading Wednesday

Wed, Feb. 20th, 2013 09:51 am
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What I've just read: Forgot to do this last week, so more books this week! That, and LCD-screen-induced nausea forcing me to ditch my usual time-wasting computer games. I just finished Martha Wells' The Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, and generally had fun, though I wish there were more women in the narrative aside from Tremaine. Also got and read Karen Lord's new book, The Best of All Possible Worlds, and generally liked the anthropological stuff and the team stuff, but wanted more in terms of resolution with those. Wasn't particularly into the romance as such, but I've been having that reaction to everything, so I think it's less the book and more me not being in any sort of romance mood.

What I'm reading now: I don't know! Finished the last Ile-Rien book last night and didn't really know what to pick up next.

What I'm reading next: More not knowing! I am tempted to read Death of the Necromancer due to all the trilogy's bits and pieces about Nicholas Valiarde and his compatriots, but I don't have it on hand. Also thinking about a reread of God Stalk, since I bounced off it the first time 'round, or starting the Ben Aaronovitch books.

Reading Wednesday

Wed, Feb. 6th, 2013 10:03 am
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I was going to say that I didn't manage to finish a book this week, but then I managed to read on the bus yesterday without getting carsick and then sped through the book at home.

What I've just finished: Martha Wells' The Wizard Hunters, the first book of the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy. It is so nice to be able to luxuriate in sf/f worldbuilding and plot again, and even better when I manage to like the first part of a series. I looked at the next two volumes (or, well, their listing in my Nook) with great pleasure and anticipation: hours more of enjoyment! More time finding things out about the world! I usually read for character and still do, but it is a very nice feeling to be able to juggle more than one aspect of a book again.

I feel I should also note that I finished my audiobook listen of Tamora Pierce's Magic Steps. It seems that the return of plot brain also means the return of "brain whirring too much before sleep" and ergo the need for more meaty content to distract it. The Circle books have been really comforting to listen to and they soothe my anxiety.

What I'm reading: I stalled out on the Andrea K. Host. I think I am just not up for books that focus so much on the protagonist's inner life right now, which I find amusing, since that was basically all I could read for the past five years or so. Other than that, just started the next Ile-Rien book and am currently listening to Street Magic. I like the narrator's voice here better than Tamora Pierce's, who narrated all the other Circle books so far. I also really like the person doing Evvy. Other than that... Oh Tamora Pierce. You try so hard, but the vaguely West Asian coded villains in Magic Steps and the entire setting of Street Magic is making me facepalm.

What I'm reading next: Probably the third Wells book, and then maybe her Raksura trilogy? Or, hopefully by then I will have gotten my greedy hands on Karen Lord's next book.

Reading Wednesday

Wed, Jan. 30th, 2013 11:35 am
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So, I am doing much better with the reading! As in, I actually have new books to discuss every Wednesday!

... hopefully now my blogging will catch up. Lumatere books 2 and 3, why so hard to write up?

What I've just finished: Cold Fire! It feels much more tight than the first book in the series, probably because much of the action takes place in a single setting. I'm not a huge fan of journey narratives, which explains why I've always liked the non-Frodo-Sam bits of LotR better. I think there's only so much scrounging for food and shelter and constantly moving on that I can take, particularly when I really like to dig into a specific setting. Luckily, the one in Cold Fire is incredibly cool: the city of Expedition (located in the world's equivalent of our Dominican Republic), which is a center of trade nestled up by the large Taino Emprie.

I also read Charlotte Stein's Sheltered, which has a sweet f/m relationship where the girl is usually the instigator of sex while the boy draws back a bit. I didn't find the portrayal of parental abuse that realistic though; it feels more like someone's idea of what abuse is and doesn't have as much of the emotional terror that goes with it. YMMV, since obviously there is no one right way to write about abuse.

What I'm reading: Currently in the middle of Andrea K. Host's And All the Stars, after starting and then not quite getting into Y.S. Lee's first Agency book or Malinda Lo's Adaptation. I like the Host so far, though I wish it had more worldbuilding and felt less YA. This, by the way, is more about my own mood and what I feel like reading right now than an actual critique of the book, since it is rather unfair to complain about something feeling like the genre it was written for!

What I'm going to read next: Who knows? I have some of Tansy Rayner Roberts' stuff and am eyeing Laini Taylor, which may also feel too YA for now. I might also pick up the Lee or the Lo again.

Reading Wednesday

Wed, Jan. 23rd, 2013 01:03 pm
oyceter: Stack of books with text "mmm... books!" (mmm books)
What I've just finished: I finished Cold Magic at a reasonable hour in which I could make it to bed and still get enough sleep.

What I'm reading: ... so of course I started Cold Fire so I could continue to read on and get so caught up in character relationships that once again I went to bed at a truly very bad ungood hour. /o\

I'm not actually sure this "reading" thing is better for my sleep schedule than endless Picross and Sims Social, but it certainly is more enjoyable.

What I'm going to read next: So... when does Cold Steel come out?

Barring that, I'm not sure. I kinda want to finish Subramaniam's retelling of the Mahabharata, but now I have read several books in a row on my Nook, I am a bit reluctant to lug the giant thing around. I suppose I'll just browse my library and see what catches my interest to try and keep up reading momentum. Suggestions always welcome! I currently seem to be in the mood for relatively plotty, fast-moving sf/f with cool worldbuilding, though I will add the disclaimer that my brain is very capricious.

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