laceblade: Azusa offering piece of paper to the viewer, Ui in background holding cake (K-On: Azusa offer)
laceblade ([personal profile] laceblade) wrote2013-12-22 08:09

Reading "Wednesday" : Pouring Snow Edition

(it's been 84 years.gif)

Finished Reading
The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Shadow by Fuyumi Ono - I mostly wrote about this last time, but ended up loving it! I really think that having the insight into Yuko's thoughts helps a lot. I love her growth throughout the book, and the entire constructed fantasy world is just really awesome. I have the second book checked out from the library now, & maybe some day I'll try the anime again, too.

Kaze Hikaru, volumes 6-10 - I'm really enjoying this series a lot more than I thought I would. The art style has grown on me - I really like the faces for Okita Souji & Hijikata & etc., and the backgrounds are great, too. I like reading about the daily inner-workings of the Shinsengumi, & I do like how the volumes are dealing with the populace's perception of the Shinsengumi as blood-thirsty wolves, even though the members of the troop view themselves as noble protectors. This conflicting view of oppressor vs. protector is interesting, and I hope the manga-ka keeps picking it apart.
Taeko Watanabe's end-of-volume reviews of historical fact are nice, too.

Reading this series leads me to look up a lot of historical figures on Wikipedia, & now that I've started watching Rurouni Kenshin on Crunchyroll, I feel pretty conflicted about who to root for in the Bakumatsu!!

All that said, Sei's love for Souji is really compelling. I love her rejection of simply becoming his wife, & continuing to dress as a man so that she can protect his life in battle as her way of expressing her love.

Learning the World by Ken MacLeod - This is a sci-fi novel about a generation ship in which the POV switches back and forth between the people on a ship approaching a world with intelligent life, & the people living on the world which they're approaching. There are politics & governments & inventions & lots of discussions over tea. Sadly, I think this is an author where I like the ideas and concepts much more than the writing.
I find that with many sci-fi enthusiasts, they can rave about the ideas or world-building, but I don't really give a fuck unless the characters & the writing really reach me.
AND YET, it was decent enough that I might try his revolution series that [personal profile] jesse_the_k told me about.

On Being Ill by Virginia Woolf - Picked this up on a whim at the library. Woolf's questions about why don't more narratives take on the concept of illness - something which could be compelling and with which everyone can relate - were super intriguing!
It was followed by "notes" from her mother, Julia Stephens, about how to care for sick people. While probably unusual at the time, most of her advice comes down to giving sick people autonomy - don't just fluff up their pillows without asking; don't enter the house and mutter about their illness instead of speaking so they can hear you, etc. Lots of advice also on how best to pin the sheets, how best to prepare beef broth, etc.
I wouldn't mind having Woolf's mom care for me, ;)
Quick read.

Dawn of the Arcana, volumes 9 & 10 - I loathed volume 9 because NOTHING ever happens, the volumes are pretty easy to blow through because there's very few words per page, blah-blah. But volume 10 involves a few-months time-jump & a seizure of agency by the protagonist, who's spent a lot of time whining before. I'll probably continue with this! Too bad I'm almost caught up with the English release - I've been waiting for volume 11 for months, & it'll probably be a while before I get it.

K-ON! High School by kakifly - After finishing watching season 2 of the anime, I was happy to be able to immediately pick this up & read about Azusa's last year of high school. I really love K-ON! all around, although I think it's a series in which I prefer the anime to the manga. I have the K-ON! college tome somewhere around my apartment (or at least, I think I do), & I'm kind of dying to read it.

Black Dogs by Ian McEwan - Since reading Atonement a couple years ago, I seem to read one of his per year. I love McEwan's writing, I think I would read almost anything he's written. It's a story about a complicated marriage, told by a son-in-law. It's also about post-WWII Europe, & evil, & love.


Currently Reading
Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn - do to the content I've been warned about, I put this on hold for a couple months but I think I can handle it now. Only one chapter in so far - following the high levels of excitement in the previous volume, Kitty's hanging out in the middle of nowhere to find some peace. I'm pretty sure she won't quite find it. I'm happy to return to her life.
littlebutfierce: (atla toph armored up)

[personal profile] littlebutfierce 2013-12-22 14:53 (UTC)(link)
♥ Good luck returning to Kitty! Remember, brace yourself when Cormac shows up!!
skygiants: Mulan's reflection in her sword; text, 'did they send me daughters?' (mulan feminism)

[personal profile] skygiants 2013-12-22 16:21 (UTC)(link)
It took me a couple of volumes to really warm to Kaze Hikaru, too, but I really love how uncompromising the mangaka is about portraying the values of the time period -- like, what the Shinsengumi think of as right and wrong is NOT THE SAME as a contemporary conception of those concepts, and although sometimes that makes it difficult to read, she doesn't shy away from that.

Also the art is pretty adorable!