Reading Wednesday

Wed, Jul. 17th, 2013 09:46 am
oyceter: Stack of books with text "mmm... books!" (mmm books)
[personal profile] oyceter
OMG I read stuff! I suspect this is largely because I am out of playable content on Here Be Monsters and have run out of suitably addicting puzzles on my phone.

What I've read: I finished the new Cecilia Grant, A Woman Entangled, and even managed to write it up. Overall, it has a lot of the things I've been liking about Grant's books so far: lack of noblepeople, believable conflict, an awareness of money, and things that aren't resolved too neatly. I think my favorite of hers so far is still her second book, but I do like this one for the hero and heroine's desire to climb up socially, which isn't condemned.

I also finished (two books! I finished two books yay!) Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald's Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People, which I will hopefully write up in more depth. Anyway, Greenwald was the person who developed the Implicit Association Test (IAT), and since then, he and Banaji have conducted many experiments on unconscious prejudice and biases. As the subtitle indicates, Banaji and Greenwald are very careful to not assign blame or motive, which would probably make this very good for 101 stuff. Anyway, it's a quick read in plain and simple language, and after taking (and retaking) some IATs, it's interesting to see what's changed with me since 2006.

AND I finished Courtney Milan's novella, The Lady Always Wins. Like most of Milan's books, the hero and heroine actually talk to each other instead of the hero going through with his planned deception, but it felt like the denouement of one of her novels rather than a complete work in itself. There's not quite enough in the beginning to make the bulk of the payoff worth it, imo. Then again, that's how I feel about most romance novellas—there's either not enough set up or not enough payoff.

What I'm reading: I, er, of course haven't continued anything I was in the middle of last week. Instead, I started Bee Wilson's Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat, which is exactly what the title says, if by "we" the author actually means "people like her and not me." In other words, it's the standard "A History of Everything!" that follows a (primarily Western) European history through to the US, with bits and pieces of other cultures thrown in every so often to look diverse. I sound more bitter than I am; I am mostly used to this and pretty much expected it going in, given the title.

I'm also in the middle of Meljean Brook's Iron Seas novella Salvage. Unfortunately, the Iron Seas novellas overall have not been very satisfactory, and this one is no exception. At least there's no eyebrow-raising consent scenarios, unlike some of the others, but the central conflict is a Big Misunderstanding that could have been cleared up if the hero and heroine had actually bothered to sit down and talk for five minutes instead of running off on an assumption based off a single sentence. My eyes roll forever. (Spoilers? For the assumption at least.) So basically the hero has mechanical limbs, as do many people in this universe. The heroine wants someone who will stay with her instead of sailing off for months, like her father would do, so when he asks what will make her happy, she says, "Hold me in your arms every night." I realize the hero is very sensitive about aforementioned mechanical limbs, but I find it somewhat unbelievable that he would take this as "Get really expensive mechanical limbs that look like arms instead of machinery and don't bother trying to hold me until you do!" and then proceed to go off earning the money to do so for YEARS without ever mentioning to her that that's why he's gone all the time. It also has the "I hurt her during sex the first time with the whole deflowering thing (@@) and so when she is moaning in pleasure the third time we try, I will think she is in pain and just ditch her there mid-sex without bothering to ask because OMG I am hurting her!!!" thing. To which I'm just... who does that?!

What I'm reading next: Uh. Hopefully a book.

(no subject)

Wed, Jul. 17th, 2013 06:09 pm (UTC)
via_ostiense: Eun Chan eating, yellow background (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] via_ostiense
Consider the Fork

Grr. Forks are imprecise and annoying. Give me chopsticks any day (except for fried rice, which can be eaten with chopsticks but is too loose to do so conveniently).

On that note, I haven't used chopsticks in so long (not much call for them here) that my chopstick muscles are atrophying. I tried to use long chopsticks to fish fried things out of hot oil recently and it was awkward and twisty. Must make up for that with ALL the East Asian food when I get back.

(no subject)

Wed, Jul. 17th, 2013 08:04 pm (UTC)
thistleingrey: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] thistleingrey
Spoons for me, too. I hold chopsticks "wrong" (like a little kid, now and forever), but between sticks and a spoon, one doesn't need a fork. (I am planning to have darkforge teach our daughter to hold chopsticks to eat, or my mother if she's willing, because he holds them right. Then again, he can't get things out of oil or split things; I can, though as you say, practice helps.)

(no subject)

Wed, Jul. 17th, 2013 06:11 pm (UTC)
vom_marlowe: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] vom_marlowe
Would you recommend Milan's longer novels? I am seriously in need of some new light romance reading, and I'm too twitchy to just leap in with random stuff from the library.

(no subject)

Wed, Jul. 17th, 2013 06:36 pm (UTC)
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] kate_nepveu
Milan's new novel is out! The one about the ridiculous rich heiress who needs to not get married. It's kind of awesome.

(no subject)

Wed, Jul. 17th, 2013 07:14 pm (UTC)
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] kate_nepveu

I think this one does better on integrating the social justice stuff. It also has a really sweet secondary romance. (Also, that was supposed to be "ridiculously" not "ridiculous" in the last comment.)

(no subject)

Wed, Jul. 17th, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC)
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (olivier says lol)
Posted by [personal profile] skygiants
she says, "Hold me in your arms every night." I realize the hero is very sensitive about aforementioned mechanical limbs, but I find it somewhat unbelievable that he would take this as "Get really expensive mechanical limbs that look like arms instead of machinery and don't bother trying to hold me until you do!"

. . . I mean, I have to give credit where it's due, that is one of the funniest Big Misunderstandings I have ever seen.

(no subject)

Wed, Jul. 17th, 2013 08:01 pm (UTC)
thistleingrey: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] thistleingrey
Totally out of content on HBM, as in crafted all the non-seasonal things? Only curious. That kind of crafting is where I've been for the past week or so, which is why I keep asking for success potions (needed for those baubles, the rough diamonds I'd collected, etc.--things are best done in batches).

(no subject)

Fri, Jul. 19th, 2013 07:59 pm (UTC)
rachelmanija: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] rachelmanija
I realize the hero is very sensitive about aforementioned mechanical limbs, but I find it somewhat unbelievable that he would take this as "Get really expensive mechanical limbs that look like arms instead of machinery and don't bother trying to hold me until you do!" and then proceed to go off earning the money to do so for YEARS without ever mentioning to her that that's why he's gone all the time.

OMG. I may never stop laughing. That is the single most hilarious Big Misunderstanding I have ever encountered.

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Oyceter

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