Wed, Jun. 23rd, 2004

oyceter: Stack of books with text "mmm... books!" (mmm books)
Ostensibly Passion Play is a sort of a mystery/thriller set in the future, but, like good sci-fi, it eventually uses all the building blocks of its particular universe in the solving of the case and making the entire book larger than the sum of the parts.

It's set in a future in which there is a Redemptionist Presidency, and America has suddenly gotten much more religious. I particularly like how Stewart doesn't give us a brain dump about the future society. Er, at least, I didn't notice one, but then, I do like exposition a lot. But it is interesting that I can't go on and list various factors about the world, because Stewart very much limits it to Diane Fletcher, the person in charge of solving the mystery.

I also rather like where he takes the idea of being a shaper, an empath, and how over time, all emotion becomes duller and duller because of the overload.

Good book, short and makes every page count.

- [ profile] minnow1212's review

(no subject)

Wed, Jun. 23rd, 2004 12:24 am
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Ugh, been keeping an extremely weird schedule these past two days -- go home, eat dinner, promptly fall asleep on the couch. Then wake up at midnight, stay up a few hours and go back to bed. So, LJ has fallen a bit behind.

Feeling vaguely better (about homesickness, not so much the job hunt). It's hard to believe sometimes that I've been in CA for a year now, and it's been driving me crazy that I haven't been able to go home this summer. I think this may have been the longest stint I've gone without going back. I feel vaguely like that Greek myth guy who touched the earth to regain strength (name starts with an A....) who Hercules had to fight.

I also applied to Viz for a job last night, heh heh. I figure that's the one job I've applied to for which I actually, you know, qualify. Everything else feels like: I don't have experience, and I'm an EAS major, but I learn fast! Really! And I'm smart... I think... or maybe not... sigh. I would have applied to Tokyopop too, except they're down in LA, boo. Then I wonder, gyah, even if I get it, do I want to be in a small company? I suppose it depends on what I'd be doing. And the sheer coolness value of dealing with manga cannot be denied. Though, of course, there is also the possibility of burnout and never being able to read for fun again. This is, of course, assuming that I even get an interview.

I was talking to my boss a few days ago on book reading habits, and he says after voraciously reading everything he could get his hands on, he sort of calmed down a bit. I think part of this was because he had the store all the while and could borrow stuff, and after a while on the buying team, you get a little patience and realize you can wait until a like new copy with your favorite cover comes in. I thought for a little and realized I'm still in the voraciously reading everything stage. I must have shifted into high gear when I moved here and realized I actually had room for books because I wasn't moving every year (ha, yeah right, and oh how my back regrets those purchases!). But, I have two pretty good public libraries near me, and the store, and I stumbled onto lots of smart people on LJ who've read tons and tons and tons of things I haven't, and I feel like I'm scrabbling for all the books I possibly can get my greedy little paws on to keep up. In Princeton I had a milder case of this, as being in college without a car limited public library and bookstore trips. Plus, I didn't have this ocean of recs.

Gah. I feel so underread (not-well-read?). I want to read all the sci-fi and fantasy classics now, along with good feminist lit crit (I don't think I've read much... mostly I've stuck to feminist history), want to read more non-Asian feminist history, want to read more Asian feminist history, want to brush up my Chinese history and Japanese history, want to read up on Korea, on which I am frightfully ignorant, want to read any new anime/manga criticism that's come out, and wah, there are too many books! Not that that's the bad thing -- it's the too few hours that I resent.

On a brief continuation of the manga post, not only is Hana Yori Dango/Boys Over Flowers (Yoko Kamio) out, so is Hana Kimi (Hisaya Nakajo), which I was still reading in Taiwan. Has cross-dressing heroine and much shenanigans in an all boys school. Plus, pretty art. And wah, Revolutionary Girl Utena the manga is out!! (ok, it's probably been out forever, but I've been really out of it) Still no Good Morning Call, which was my first intro to shoujo. Still no non-Paradise Kiss Yazawa Ai, which annoys me because I want to make everyone read Nana so I can finally talk to someone about it. The last person who I knew read it was my Japanese teacher. But I find myself excited about manga again, now that they've stopped limiting themselves to translating all of CLAMP and other magical girl comics. I'm, heh, actually not that big of a CLAMP fan, mostly just because I never bothered to read anything past X.

(no subject)

Wed, Jun. 23rd, 2004 07:13 pm
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Feel vaguely guilty for the fit of self pity previously. Also feel guilty for spending money at Borders right after the meeting purely to cheer myself up. Ended up buying Sorcery and Cecelia (it looks like it will be a comfort read) in hardcover instead of waiting for the library hold to come through or waiting for the paperback to come out. Or even waiting for it to show up at the store. I feel guilty.

Feel even more guilty about being lax about the job search and moving lately. So tired. Tired isn't even the right word, even though I am a perpetual insomniac. I feel weary, like everything is dragging me down, like there are lead weights attached to me. My mind's in a fog, my body is tired, and the spirit is feeling pretty down.

A few things keeping me going: books and book recs (it's sort of an imaginary land my brain can rest in now, far removed from this world), the rats (who could care less if I got a job or not, as long as I fed them and scritched their backs), the boy, and LJers.

Sometimes I wonder what it means when most of what's keeping you going is not of the "real world."

I really need to read a Crusie book. Or watch season 6 of Buffy... both are comforting in very different ways. Crusie's appeal is pretty obvious, but S6 is also helpful for catharsis. As I've probably said before, I over-identify with Buffy to a huge degree in S6. Maybe I should whip out Two to Go/Grave and have a total sobfest (the yellow crayon scene).

Was skimming through the manga shelves at Borders, checking for more manga publishers. Unfortunately, looks like no more are around the Bay Area =(. I was rather pleasantly surprised (and shocked out of aforementioned self-pitying) when I turned from the one bookshelf I'd been scanning to notice four more behind me! I remember writing in my thesis a year ago how manga was finally fulfilling the hype of 1999 (Pokemon frenzy and Princess Mononoke) because I had seen two bookshelves at the Borders in Princeton. When I wrote it, I was wondering if I had been exaggerating, especially in my point that they had the same amount of shelf space as the graphic novels did. Apparently I was not exaggerating at all!


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