laceblade: fanart of Ohana turning to look beyond viewer. Coloring blue/moody. (Hanasaku Iroha: Ohana)
Buffy #3 - I read this! Written by Nicholas Brendan, which is sort of notable. It was amusing enough, although I'm probably not as excited as other fans are.

Plume 1-4 - I picked these up in the $0.25 bin at the comics shop. It's apparently based on a webcomic. It gave me a lot of feelings reminiscent of Min-Woo Hyung's Priest manhwa, but I think I like this heroine a bit more. The art style is really great. I asked my comics guy to order the fifth issue for me, which wraps up this introductory arc. I believe this printing was funded by a Kickstarter; to read the rest, I'll need to read it here.

One Piece, vols. 10-12 (omnibus) - A decent continuation of the plot from the previous volume. I liked Luffy's superpower actually being used (as opposed to a glaring continuity error). I also liked Usopp finding the will to fight after thinking about facing his courageous friends afterward if he hadn't.
I enjoyed the closure to Nami's arc - she's my favorite character. It's fun to see the gang finally hanging out in the Grand Line, even if it's not going as they expected. I hope that Tashigi sticks around. She seems like an interesting character.
For 12, I felt pretty meh of the denoument of this arc?! But the next volume starts a new one!!

Homecoming - This series used to be a childhood favorite of mine, & I was in need of a comfort read.
I still really love this, & it came at a good time for me. I like how the kids respond positively to being treated like adults, how much they trust one another, the way the entire book is about class privilege, and how awesome Dicey is.
I'm glad this comfort reread held up for me.

Dicey's Song - This is another reread; it's probably been at least fifteen years since I'd last read it. Dicey defying her teacher over something she wrote made me remember why I identified with her so strongly.
Even though I knew what would happen, the ending still made me cry.
I love this family and the community they create. The truths everyone teaches one another are comforting.
I'm really glad to have returned to this series, & hope to keep progressing.

A Dangerous Inheritance - This was a good follow-up to "Innocent Traitor," which I'd read back in April, & focused on Lady Jane Grey.
This book picks up where that one left off, focusing on the life of Jane Grey's sister, Katherine. I found Katherine Grey to be pretty stupid, but luckily this book has two heroines. Interlaced with Katherine Grey's life is the story of Katherine Plantagenet, the bastard daughter of Richard III. Both Katherines live mostly unhappy lives, manipulated by the people around them due to their bloodlines. They fall in love with people they shouldn't. And they both have an unhealthy obsession with what happened to Richard III's nephews, famously known as the princes in the Tower.
I like Weir's historical fiction in part because I know she's an historian and a lot of her plots are based on facts. Her afterward reveals what she made up, and from where she found her facts.
I loved the small glimpses we got of Elizabeth I in this book, and I'm looking forward to reading the next book, which focuses on her: Captive Queen.

A True Novel, Book I - This is only the first "half," but the library only sends me one at a time, & at 450 pages I'm counting this as its own "book," even though I haven't read the second volume yet.

This is technically a retelling of Wuthering Heights. The characters are Japanese. It's a book about wealth, racism, westernization, the effects of World War II on Japanese society, and human nature.
I've consumed a lot of Japanese-created media, but this book is unlike anything I've ever read. Mastserful. I kept having to remind myself that it's fiction.

There's a family tree in the back - wish I'd known that all the way through.
I really hope they translate more of Mizumura's novels into English. In the meantime, I am very much looking forward to book II.
laceblade: Photo of Almanzo Wilder, flashes to text: "Almanzo Wilder was a stud." (Almanzo)
Pioneer Girl - I had to keep reminding myself that this was a novel, & not a memoir, which is a credit to the writing.
In These Happy Golden Years, Almanzo Wilder gives Laura Ingalls a golden pin with a house on it. In the 1960s in Vietnam, Lee's grandfather encounters a customer in his restaurant named Rose. Rose leaves behind a gold pin with a house on it. It's unclear whether she forgot it, or intended it as a gift for their many conversations.
Decades later, Lee has graduated from UW-Madison with a PhD in English Literature, but cannot find a post-doc anywhere, so she's temporarily living with her distant mother & grandfather again. She starts investigating whether the Rose her grandfather met could be Laura Ingalls Wilder's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, who was in Vietnam in the sixties, three years before she died, covering the war for Time magazine.
In ways, this book reminded me of Hiromi Goto's The Kappa Child, how the Little House series is used as a touchstone for the children of Asian immigrants to North America. In this novel, the Manifest Destiny tug that Laura, her Pa, & her daughter Rose all feel is compared to Lee & her brother's desire to escape their mother's way of life, constantly opening Asian buffets in strip malls in different Midwest cities.
Lee's reading of the Little House books felt really familiar to me. The title is named after the first version Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about her childhood - a single-volume autobiography called Pioneer Girl. Her story was broken up into multiple books, and reshaped (or ghost-written?) by her daughter Rose through a lot of epistolary editing.
The above is a little fragmented, but I really loved this book. I think I finished it in less than a day.


Buffy s10, #2 - I felt like this was a more solid intro to the season than #1 was. I often feel bad about shipping Buffy/Spike, but it just never goes away.
Nicholas Brendan is going to be authoring at least one issue focusing on Xander (and Dracula), & James Masters is going to be authoring a mini-arc on Spike that takes place during season 7. I'm...not really excited about either? Xander only became more atrocious to me in season 9 of Buffy, & I already didn't care for him on the show.
I was pleased by the appearance of [spoiler].


Kaze Hikaru, volumes 20 & 21 - It was nice to see Sei use her femininity as a tool in this little arc. I think volume 21 has been my favorite so far. I really liked the fleshing out of Sei's past, & the choices she makes. I find her love for Okita Souji much more compelling than Okita himself. I'm now caught up with Viz's release of this series in the US. To read more, I'll need to turn to fan-translations...


One Piece, volumes 1-3 - This is one of the most popular series in Japan, & I've never read it! Monkey D. Luffy wants to be a pirate so badly that he stabs himself in the face to impress the other pirates. Unfortunately, he can't swim & can never learn how, so the pirates are uninterested in making him part of the crew. So, Luffy decides to become THE BEST PIRATE IN THE WORLD. To do so, by the end of this omnibus, he's acquired THE BEST SWORDSMAN IN THE WORLD and THE BEST THIEF/NAVIGATOR as the beginnings of his tiny crew.
This is a fun series, & so far Nami, the thief/navigator who hates pirates, is my favorite.


Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand - Kitty and Ben go to Vegas. I didn't care for this one too much? But it ended up being setup for the next book, Kitty Raises Hell, which I liked A LOT. I like Kitty & her pack & her radio show & Ben & her family. I wanna see what happens when Cormac rejoins them in Denver, tho. I WISH KITTY WERE REAL AND WE COULD BE FRIENDS.
laceblade: Ed from Cowboy Bebop riding a scooter, face = manic glee (Ed Samba)
are you two years ago by [archiveofourown.org profile] timorous_scribe - Reuniting a little threesome called the Unholy Trinity for some Toxic performance practice and one last sleepover before they have to return to their big kid lives (and all the issues that go with) at MIT, New York, and Yale.

i just can't shake this feeling (that i'm nothing in your eyes) by [archiveofourown.org profile] ratherembarrassing - Santana Lopez. When asked whether they each thought the other would end up at this point, both of them answered decisively. “Of course.”
post-Frenemies fic that's everything I wanted & didn't get from the show.

Here Comes Trouble (Or: the One Where Santana Takes Over Glee Club) by [tumblr.com profile] lookninjas The first thing she does is to put the picture of Finn back in the choir room where it belongs.
The second thing she does is to look right in his vacant, grinning face and say very firmly, “Just so we’re clear? I’m not doing this for you.”

The Way We Were by [archiveofourown.org profile] crossfirehurricane - An au where Lyanna Stark marries Rhaegar Targaryen & they live as king & queen in King's Landing. I like that neither Rhaegar nor Lyanna are saints, but this was more something for me to read while also gaming. I like the premise of the au.

Kingdom by the Sea by [archiveofourown.org profile] crossfirehurricane - An au where Lyanna Stark marries Robert Baratheon. Same as above - didn't really like the writing, but like the premise. I need Game of Thrones aus, I think. There are so many possibilities!

Buffy Season 10 #1 (New Rules part one) - Nice reminder of where we've been, plus a new mystery to figure out. Really enjoying the return of [spoiler].

Hawkeye - I'm caught up (unless another one came out today?) but don't have anything to say about these. REALLY enjoyed the trippy Christmas cartoon commentary issue.

Ms. Marvel #2, Captain Marvel #1, Lois Lane #1 one-shot - I liked all of these!

Spider-Woman, Agent of SWORD - I borrowed this from someone in comics club. I had no familiarity with Jessica Drew except that she sometimes shows up in Captain Marvel as a friend of Carol. Despite my lack of familiarity, this was fan-fucking-tastic. I really loved it.

Sarah Canary - I got about 120 pages in before going up. I gave zero fucks about the characters it what was going on :/

Boxers and Saints - These were really great, an appreciated as I'd previously had zero familiarity with the Boxer Rebellion.

Princeless: Get Over Yourself - I still like this story, although I don't feel the same glee as I did over the first volume. I'm happy to keep reading the collected volumes from the library, but I won't be adding this to my pull list.

Story of a Girl - I devoured this. I love Zarr's writing, and it's interesting to see how class plays a role in both this story (where the protagonist comes from a working class family) and the other book I've read by her (where the family is filthy rich).

Revival volume 2: Live Like You Mean It - I think I'm not feeling this series. There's a lot of gore, and this volume introduces way more problems while not solving any raised in the first. I think I'm also not into zombies unless it's an au Glee fic ^^;

An Everlasting Meal: Cooking With Economy and Grace - This is the first book about food that I've read in years that didn't make me feel anxious. As someone with a restricted diet, Adler's suggestions (& variations on suggestions) were easy to take as they applied, & ignore when they didn't. I don't know yet if this will change the way I cook or prepare food for myself, but it could, and I'd like to buy it.

ATLA: The Rift, #1 - Start of a new trilogy by GLL. I've liked all of his comics so far, and this one is no different. It's the exact tone of the show. Toph & Aang clash about their conflicting attitudes toward culture, & it's tied to how the world is trying to move forward after the defeat of Fire Lord Ozai.

I spent time sympathizing with Aang who's trying to reestablished Air nomad practices, but Toph has a good point when she notes that not everybody's past is idyllic as his, & some people can only live by pushing the past firmly behind them. Unfortunately for Toph, she won't have a choice.

Ancillary Justice - I liked this, but perhaps not as much as others in my circle. I liked what it did with gender, liked a glimpse at what long-game politics look like, liked how complicated it was. Didn't really care for the writing :/
laceblade: Sailor Venus in eternal transformation, holding fist in triumph (Sailor Venus fist)
• What are you currently reading?

Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn - [personal profile] littlebutfierce has talked this series up, and I'm about 1/5 through the first one. It's a quick read, like many romance novels (although I'm not sure yet whether this will be romance?!). Kitty is a werewolf who accidentally starts a supernatural talk radio show. She gives a lot of life advice to vampires/werewolves/humans. I do find it really comforting to read the advice she gives to other people. It's like having a pocket therapist. Her relationship with her pack's alpha, specifically him forcing sex when in wolf form, makes me uncomfortable. But this seems to make Kitty uncomfortable too, so I'm willing to keep reading to see how things develop in terms of pack-dynamic.


• What did you recently finish reading?

A College of Magics by Caroline Stevermer - I really, really loved this. I've already checked out the sequel from the library. I think this will become a favorite for me, & I expect to return to it many times.

Trillium #1 - I picked up this series at the comic book store based on the cover. It's a split comic, with the first half being from the perspective of Nika, a scientist in the year 3797. She wears space suits and is trying to diplomatically harvest some specific flowers to save humanity from a disease that's already cut it down to 4,000 people. Flip the comic over, and the other half is about an ex-WWI soldier in 1921 who joins an expedition to Peru. After his party is attacked and killed, he climbs to the top of an Inca Temple, where he inexplicably meets Nika at the summit. I'm pretty excited to read more of this.

Dawn of the Arcana, volumes 1-3 = This is a new manga series I started. The protagonist, Nakaba, enters into a political marriage that nobody expects to last. The kingdoms of Balquat and Senan are constantly warring, and have political marriages to institute a false peace, which typically last about two years. There's also a race of oppressed people called the Ajin, who are part-animal and slowly starting a rebellion.
Nakaba has red hair, which brings shame to to her and the families she's been in her entire life.
The English translation is by Alexander O. Smith, whose work I enjoy (especially the Vagrant Story video game). There are very few words per page, which makes these volumes quick reads. The interpersonal developments (love triangle) can be a little dramatic, and I'm not wild about the art, but the politics and translation make this a pretty enjoyable read.

Cross Game manga - I read the final volume, which was poignant & great. Overall this was a nice series and I'm glad I tried something new.

Last issue of Buffy season 9: Was pretty good! I still liked Angel & Faith more, but Buffy season 9 was a pretty big improvement over season 8. The editor's notes at the end said there won't be any details about season 10 until New York Comic-Con, so for now there's a wait -_-


• Abandoned
Soul Eater manga. I was trying to get through volume 10 & just DID. NOT. CARE. about what anyone was talking about. It's this thing that plagues me in a lot of shounen manga - people standing around talking forever about the intricacies of how the ENEMY'S POWER works, & blah-blah. I started reading this b/c I liked the art & feel super drawn to Maka. There's not enough Maka to hold me in, unfortunately. I'm dropping this for good! Maybe I'd try the anime again some day. The action sequences are way more interesting that way.


• What do you think you’ll read next?
Who the eff knows, lol. I guess I got more Dawn of the Arcana from the library! I've also organized my Turtles comics. I'm over a year behind on those & really need to catch up & decide whether to keep buying, so (like I've been saying for months), I'd like to catch up on those & just decide. TURTLES IN A HALF SHELL...TURTLE POWER!
laceblade: Ashe from FF XII, looking at viewer over her shoulder. Text reads: "So you say you want a revolution?" (FFXII: You say you want a revolution)
• What are you currently reading?
Cross Game, volume 7. Almost done?!

A Woman Wrapped in Silence - I've mentioned this before, basically the all-in-verse fic about Mary. In the passages I read over the weekend, Jesus was born - yay!
I'm not sure how I'll feel about this long-term. As implied by the title, it's basically about the silence/mystery surrounding Mary during moments of high emotion/drama. It's not really compelling to me for a woman's silence to be the most important thing about her, ;p


• What did you recently finish reading?
Basara, volumes 25-27 - Wow, the end! Yumi Tamura really knows how to pull all her threads together. As for the past/future after-stories, I really only cared for the ones about Sarasa & Shuri and the one about Hayato (OMG HAYATO). Someone should write a paper about how Sarasa views her own gender, kthx.
I just really loved this series. Definitely one of my favorites. I'll now spend my life hunting for these volumes in used bookstores!
Maybe now I'll read her current series, 7 Seed, like all the cool kid?? It's only available to me in scanlation format, though, & I vastly prefer reading manga in paper format. Before switching to another apocalyptic one, I'd like to finish some other things I have downloaded, like Gokinjo Monogatari.

Cross Game, volume 6 - Still gr9. I was wary about Akane at first, but I like her quite a bit.

The Last of Us #4 (final) - this was good, although as predicted, now I just want to play the video game for which this mini-series is a prequel. Unfortunately, it's for the PS3. Who knows, maybe I'll get a PS3 after the PS4 comes out & there's a price drop?? WE'LL SEE. I just love Faith's art. I'll read any story she's drawn/written. Post-apocalypse is so much the better. I'm glad I read this mini-series!

Mara #5 - That's how it ends?? Meh. I won't be keeping these issues, so look for my upcoming "take my stuff" post, because my current paper grocery bag marked "sell" is full ;)

Buffy, season 9 #23/24 (The Core, parts 3 & 4) - I love that Spike has Xander entered in his phone as "Wanker," :*) UMM THESE WERE INTENSE BUT I DON'T HAVE MUCH TO SAY ABOUT THEM?! The final issue comes out today. Overall, I've liked Season 9 more than Season 8.

Angel & Faith #24/25 (What You Want, Not What You Need, parts 4 & 5) (final) - umm, wow, I just really loved Angel & Faith a lot, this entire run. Go Christos Gage for being a great writer, & I really loved Rebekah Isaacs's art, too. The characterization has been spot-on, & the emotional arc was super compelling for me (I <3 angst-ridden stuff about finding your own way/meaning in life, so ymmv).
GILES'S AUNTS! GILES'S AUNTS! GILES'S AUNTS! Also spoiler )
I'm sad it's over, & will definitely reread this. I loved it way more than Buffy season 8. I'm interested in the details regarding Buffy season 10 - when it's going to start, obviously, but what the partner titles will be, too.

X-Men #3 & #4 - I <3 the art in this series. I still don't know who the fuck anybody is, but I like it enough to keep going & I want to make an icon out of Jubilee working on a tablet from issue #3.


• What do you think you’ll read next?
I've been organizing/catching up on my comics (can you tell?!). I have a larger stack of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which I'd really like to read & get through, & decide whether to continue to keep it on my pull list or not.
Since I don't know who the hell anyone is in X-Men, it seems like it'd behoove me to read some more X-Men stuff -_-
laceblade: Risa of Lovely Complex, contorting thumbs & index fingers into a heart, winking (Love*Com: Risa Heart)
• What are you currently reading?
Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler. This is my first time reading this book; I read Parable of the Sower back in Summer 2012 I think.
While the story is still mostly told through Lauren's journals, there's now also some reflections by her daughter Larkin, writing way off in the future. Larkin's bitter about her mom caring more about Earthseed than about her, so she spends a lot of time criticizing her mother's decisions.
I'm torn with this as a writing method. On the one hand, it seems like kind of a lazy way to complicate your character/make the reader question their motives & decisions? But it also makes me really interested in Larkin.
I'm about halfway through, so [spoiler] just happened and things are sad.


• What did you recently finish reading?
Saturn Apartments, volume 5 - It's been a while since I read 1-4, but I still really love this series. IN THE FUTURE people have abandoned Earth & live in rings surrounding Saturn. The protagonist, Mitsu, washes windows separating liveable ecosystems from SPACE. He himself lives in a dark under-city where there are no windows - he can't afford to live by them. Washing windows in space suits is a dangerous job.
I <3 this series a lot. This would be a nice series for those just beginning with manga, I think. For locals, I've read all the volumes from our local library system.

Hawkeye #11 - PIZZA DOG I LOVE HIM

X-Men #2 - As I said on Twitter, idk who the fuck anyone is, but I'm enjoying this just the same. Are there any gr9 stand-alones about Kitty Pryde or Jubilee out there in the world?

Angel & Faith #23 (What You Want, Not What You Need part 3) - UMM I'm really digging everyone and it's all apocalypse-y now. GILES' AUNTS FOREVER.


• What do you think you’ll read next?
Hopefully more manga, as I have a pile of it checked out from the library ^^;;;
laceblade: fanart of high-school age Chibi Usa in sweater & red scarf (Sailor Moon: Rini scarf)
• What are you currently reading?
Unsounded - still love it. I really like the things Cope does with the frames and her websites in dramatic &/or magical moments. Ugh, it's so good. I'm in chapter 6.


• What did you recently finish reading?
Killjoys #1 - IT'S OKAY?! I liked this more than the free comic book day one-shot, although now I'd like to go back & reread both of them.

Avengers Assemble #16 - Meh. Not much to say about this.

Buffy #22, The Core, part 2 - Not much to say about this, either. Annoyed with the final line of the issue recycling a line from the TV show.

Wild Ones 6-10 - I decided to just push forward & finish this series, as it was only 10 volumes & I already had 6-8 in my apartment.
It's still terrible. About one panel of Sachie looking like a yakuza bamf-boss for every 50 pages of her completely lacking agency. I rated volume 6 three stars on Goodreads because a plot point progressed due to Sachie's choices & talents. After that, back to the same-old, same-old.
I finished this to be a completist. Rakuto's love for Sachie was something I didn't find romantic. He would say things like, "I wish I could lock you up," etc. to prove how ~protective he is toward her, which I found gross.
The final volume shows Sachie about to embrace the other female daughter of a DIFFERENT local yakuza boss - WHY COULDN'T THIS HAVE BEEN THE ACTUAL ENDING?
Instead, the ending is predictable except by focusing on a previously unmentioned dramatic problem.
Anyway, with this, I'M FREE. I'M FREE.

Cold Magic by Kate Elliott - I didn't think I was going to get through this in time for book club, but I miraculously did.
As I mentioned last week, I read this in September but had forgotten all the details. This is why rereading books is super rewarding for me! My memory's weird. Certain things = steep trap. Books/etc., though, main plot points totally escape me & I'm usually only left with vague impressions.
Anyway, I like how important lies are in this book, both as part of the society in which Cat lives & also major plot point progressions.
I also still love how strong Cat is, even when so many things about her life are revealed to be lies. It's very much like the finale of Buffy season 2 - "Take away your friends, blah-blah, and what's left?" "Me." /kicks ass/
I'M SO READY TO READ THE ADVENTURES OF CAT AND BEE, BOOK 2 :) :) :)


• What do you think you’ll read next?
Well, I have a pile of manga I've been amassing from the library, so more of that. I'll be picking up Captain Marvel #13 and possibly other stuff at the comic book store tomorrow or soon.
laceblade: Shot of Tifa from FF7: Advent Children, looking at viewer, half of face cut off. Text: no white flag above my door (FF7: Tifa no white flag)
• What are you currently reading?
Batwoman #15

Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel García Márquez - I'm still feeling really moody about books & reading. Grabbed this out of my bedroom because it's short. I haven't yet read a Márquez novel, just some short stories. I can't even remember whether the stories I read were in Spanish or English translations.

• What did you recently finish reading?
Young Avengers #4 - so I wanted to stop reading this, but a new issue came out before I could tell my comics guy, so I bought it & read it. AND THEN IT ENDS ON A CLIFFHANGER?! LOKI WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! So I guess I'll at least be buying the next one.
Kate feels like a totally different character in this series than she does in Hawkeye. While she originated in Young Avengers, I think I like her more in Hawkeye ^^;

Hawkeye #10 - this might be my least favorite so far? Stylistically interesting, the narrative did not budge forward at all.

this is not (a love song) by [archiveofourown.org profile] thememoriesfire - one-shot I hadn't read yet. Faberry with Quinn as a serial killer. Haunting, painful, yet still believable in its own way. Mind the tags.

Captain Marvel #12 - Still digging this. I think I'm going to be sad when they switch artists from Filipe Andrade. The current style is just...really grand. I should find some Captain Marvel icons. Before the next in the Captain Marvel line, there's going to be a crossover event called "The Enemy Within." I'm excited to see Carol interact with other Avengers (especially after seeing the Iron Man 3 movie). I'm hoping it'll be more interesting than her appearance in Avengers Assemble, which didn't do much for me (and I dropped after about two issues).

Mara #4 - There's a really epic story going on here, but unfortunately I don't really feel emotionally connected to the protagonist. At all.

Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) Rurouni Kenshi: Restoration - This was okay. It's like a retelling of the original Kenshin manga?? idk why they're redoing it, but the art is pretty great. For those unfamiliar, Rurouni Kenshin is the story about an assassin from the Bakumatsu who was fucking epic during the rebellion at the end of Japan's Edo period, getting rid of the emperor & taking shit over. However, Kenshin felt remorseful for having killed so many people, & at the start of the manga uses a reversed sword so that he can't kill anyone. His guilt/journey is appealing to me, & maybe I should read more some day? When I read it the first time, the endless battles with people never changing/etc. bugged me. Which is what bugs me about most shounen. Still, the manga is sort of a huge anti-war message, & I should probably read it.
Anyway, there doesn't seem much point in reading a retelling when I haven't read the original!

FCBD Dragonball: Harmless, but pointless, which is how I feel about all of Dragonball.

Buffy season 9 #21: "The Core" part one. We're finally in the final arc of the season! And shit is intense. spoilers ) There are lots of moments that I like in this, down to Andrew's Akira poster hanging on the wall.

FCBD: Mouse Guard offering - I don't buy single issues of Mouse Guard, but I do like reading the graphic novel versions when they come in at the library. Anyway, this was fine but mostly forgettable.

Glee fic, The Loneliest Number by [archiveofourown.org profile] lazarus_girl - Set between 4.16 and 4.18. Restless and struggling to adjust to life as a single girl in New York, Santana finds an unlikely ally in Rachel. (NSFW)

Batwoman #7-11 (To Drown the World) - I've been neglecting Batwoman comics for a year, so my goal was to catch up & decide whether to keep buying or drop it. I just find this all pretty dull? idk. I like Batwoman as a character, & really liked her intro-book. But I'm just bored by this. -_-

Batwoman #12-14 (World's Finest I: Blood Tides) - This is a crossover with the new Wonder Woman series. The layouts & etc. got way more interesting in this arc, what I'd expect from Batwoman.
Batwoman's dealing with Medusa in her city, so that's why she gets Wonder Woman to team up with her. Wonder Woman's inner narrations are almost lyrical, and the way the two of them interact with & respect one another is pretty nice to read.

Lullabye for the New World Order: just gonna get my feet wet (until i drown) (aka: part 2) was posted on Sunday, by [personal profile] synecdochic and this is just...OMG FIC OF MY ID. AU where Tifa meets up with Tseng prior to the start of the game, & he gets Tifa and Rufus to talk and just OMG.
In this part, they go off to Nibelheim & find the things one would expect them to find in Nibelheim and just OMG. The Nibelheim flasbacks/etc. are my favorite parts of the game, so just seeing another set of things happen there is so great, so meaningful to me.
And OMG THESE CHARACTERS. It's [personal profile] synecdochic and [personal profile] traxits who have gotten me to care about the Turks & Rufus & Reeve AND NOW I CARE SO MUCH?!
But Tifa especially, my favorite character of all time, and she is just SO FUCKING COMPETENT in this fic, I love it so much.
I'll be reading & rereading this forever, I'm sure. A fantastic addition. I'm so looking forward to where this story goes, and I don't care how long it takes to get there, because in the meantime I can pour over this forever.
As this all takes place before the game begins, I think people could read it without FF7 knowledge.
I'm also seriously happy to be involved in group plays of FF7 with people in town. I did that one summer in middle school & it was like, the best summer of my life. I LOVE THIS GAME SO MUCH I WANT TO SHARE IT WITH EVERYBODY OMFG.

• What do you think you’ll read next?
Well, WisCon is in a week and a half so mostly I'm thinking about a billion emails that don't actually require action on my part.
laceblade: Mai of ATLA, gripping throwing knife (ATLA: MAI)
• What are you currently reading?
Nothing, really? About to start Young Avengers #4

• What did you recently finish reading?
Killjoys comic preview from FCBD: This was really fast-paced, I think too much so?? mergh. Maybe I need to reread it :[

ATLA FCBD short: "Rebound," featuring Mai on the cover, :D after her breakup with Zuko, Mai's depressed & hanging out working in her aunt's flower shop, in the Fire Nation.
I am continually impressed by Gene Luen Yang's ability to write the ATLA characters true to form (here, in The Promise, & now in The Search), and also honestly look at how the political aftermath of the events would leave these kids, their families, & their societies. I see these comics as the true successor to the original show, rather than the slapped-together & sometimes irresponsible Legend of Korra.
(PS: Gene Luen Yang tweeted at me?!?!)

Saga #11 & #12 - lots of emotions in these two issues! I still love the dialogue, the art, ad the pacing. I'm sad this is going on hiatus for a while so they can build up a backlog. Does anyone know how long the hiatus is supposed to last?

Star Wars: The Assassination of Darth Vader, another short from FCBD. This was the flip side of the ATLA one about Mai. This takes place shortly before movie IV. Written by Brian Wood, basically a Vader monologue about what a badass he is, as we watch him kill his would-be assassins. Forgettable.

Willow: Wonderland, #5 (final) The end, by which I mean the final page, was great. I'm not sure I'll ever want to reread this, though.

Buffy Season 9, #19 (Welcome to the Team #4) - Spoilers )

Angel & Faith (& Spike) #20 - Working through some heavy shit in this issue. I still like it so much. I very much appreciate Spike's presence, & sort of wish he'd shown up earlier rather than having his own 5-issue spin-off. Buffy comics are pretty dialogue-heavy. It's a thing that irritates me a little when I compare them to other series.

Buffy Season 9, #20 (The Watcher) - a POV of Xander's manpain, but at least in the end I felt very justified by my disgust with him.

Angel & Faith #21 - I didn't think that the mission that started off the premise of this series would remain its focus, & now I'm just afraid to see what happens! We're now in the final arc. I'm scared/excited to keep reading, ;_; Spoilers ) With this, I'm now caught up on Buffyverse comics! \o/

Wild Ones, volume 2: There was a great triumphant moment at the end of this volume. So, obviously Sachie & Rakuto are working to keep their yakuza-ness a secret from their high school classmates. Due to some strange turns of events, this secret is basically threatened to be revealed. And in this AWESOME scene, Sachie is a total badass, and basically says, "Yeah, so I'm yakuza. What of it? You wanna go?" OMG THIS BAMF RN.
They walk it back a little by having Rakuto tell her classmates, "Oh, she was just acting for this school event, isn't she a great actress?! Hahaha."

Wild Ones, volume 3: More of the same. It's like...there's not a lot going on in this series that's special? Mostly the same shoujo. I'm a little creeped out by how much time Sachie's grandfather & Rakuto spend talking about who Sachie should/shouldn't be spending her time with, instead of allowing her to make those decisions herself. ("I don't want my granddaughter to grow up to be with someone in the yakuza...") Also some typical shoujo things, where a dude with strong feelings for a girl ends up in awkward body positions where he's directly over her body, etc., in images that look a little disturbingly like a prelude to sexual assault (but it never goes there).
There's a satisfying moment in this volume, too. Rakuto is asked to perform a pointless rescue mission of Sachie. He's being "tested" & there are a lot of arbitrary rules to follow. In the end, he's about to miss rescuing her by the certain time limit, but then Sachie stands up to her captor, says, "There's no rule saying that I have to wait to be rescued," & jumps out the window (into Rakuto's arms). Immediately afterward, the captor says something about Rakuto always saving her, and Sachie is defiant, saying, "No! We save each other."
MANGA, YOU ARE WORKING MY WAY INTO MY HEART.
Thus far, the series has not really addressed the seedy work performed by all of the men surrounding Sachie's life. I'd like to know way more about their ties to their community, whether they actually kill people, etc.

Wild Ones, volume 4: The feature of Sachie shooting a fake gun at a festival GIVES ME LIFE. STOP TEASING ME, MANGA. I want Sachie going on missions with her yakuza crew, pwning people.
Anyway, Sachie leaves her home to go to a festival WITH SOMEONE ELSE. Even though she'd rather be with Rakuto, SHE CAN'T SAY NO.
Back at her grandfather's place, all the men bemoan her absence, & remember how before she came to live with them, they ate instant meals every day. THANKS FOR ESTABLISHING THE ONLY GIRL IN THIS SERIES MAKES EVERYONE'S MEALS DESPITE GOING TO CLASS AT HIGH SCHOOL. Has anyone ever made a list of all manga in which girls provide food FOR EVERYONE?
This is a reason why I like xxxHolic - Watanuki is the one doing all domestic tasks (he's the dude protagonist).
It turns out that Sachie can't stay away for a single night. Rakuto shows up in Okinawa to essentially kidnap her home. (He literally picks her up and steps directly back on to the train he came from, sending both of them farther away from home instead of towards it.)
The end of the last chapter epitomizes what I both love & hate about this series. Sachie drops her wallet & then gets into an altercation when one dude tells her to step off because he's part of a yakuza clan.
Sachie's face turns angry & bamf-like, and she yells, "Turns out that we're part of the same world!" But then you turn the page & Rakuto shows up to say, "I told you so many times to go straight home. What am I going to do with you, Sachie?" UGH.

Venus Capriccio, volume 2: I'd forgotten that Akira is a little exoticised for his "beauty" (whenever the word "beautiful" is used, Takami, the narrator, makes sure to say "even though he's a guy"). He is beautiful in part BECAUSE he is part European, apparently.
Anyway, Takami gets a job at a restaurant, so Akira gets one there, too, to "watch her." Takami's grumpy about this. When she accidentally serves people the wrong salad, he intervenes to apologize on her behalf & also serve the correct food.
He arranges his schedule to match hers to walk her home & calls someone else to do it when he is unavailable.
One night, some hoodlums show up in the restaurant & hit on her. Takami is handling it, but there's no need because Akira shows up to spill water on their heads.
They leave, and he berates Takami. "You're still a girl, Takami. Wake up and recognize that. You're too vulnerable. It's dangerous for you to be walking the streets alone at night..."

It's so gross. I feel like Venus Capriccio and Wild Ones are both communicating the same message: It's romantic for a boy to step in & control a girl's life: Who she sees, where she goes. There isn't room for any men in a girl's life except for her romantic interest. And any misfortune she experiences for daring to [exist outside the shelter of home after sunset / talk to men / etc.] is absolutely her fault.

If anyone's wondering why I prefer series with just girls & no men lately (i.e., K-On!, AKB0048, etc.), this is a huge reason why.
The volume picked up a little after that - I still enjoy watching Akira and Takami play the pinao. I enjoy this series' art. I just still had some smoldering rage going on.

Some Glee fics:
drowning in your dizzy noise by [archiveofourown.org profile] timorous_scribe - Santana and Rachel, three fail-starts and one take-off. Assumes events up to 4x17 'Guilty Pleasures.' (NSFW)

Mixed Media by [archiveofourown.org profile] parsnips - Cooper Anderson lands a role on a show called White Collar, & so obviously the entire Glee Club becomes involved in the White Collar fandom. Blaine-centric, which I usually don't enjoy, but this fic is HILARIOUS & I loved every part of it.
He's a professional. He knows about pointing.

• What do you think you’ll read next?
idk. Likely more comics. I don't want to knock on comics b/c they can be super important & meaningful, but I'm still feeling not up to the emotional complexity of novels.
The Anna Karenina book club next meets during WisCon, & I had to return my copy to the library a while. I am not feeling compelled to finish it, especially as someone mentioned that more [redacted] happens.
I also stopped reading Kokoro for that reason, too.
I have more Wild Ones manga waiting for me at the library.
laceblade: Buffy from Season 8 comics, holding scythe (Buffy Season 8)
• What are you currently reading?
Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel - I got to page 88 before I had to return this behemoth to the library. idk if I'll buy my own paperback copy, or what.
Basically, Thomas Cromwell POV during Henry VIII's reign.
I like this book quite a bit overall BUT I find it very confusingly written, sometimes?? It's like Mantel is hesitant to use Thomas's name, so the over-use of "he" makes it almost impossible to figure out who the fuck she's talking about. There were a few passages that made me set the book out in disgust when I got to the end & figured out she'd been talking about Thomas Cromwell instead of Cardinal Wolsey or whomever.
Still thirsty for some women POV during this time - I might read some of those Alison Weir books yet.


• What did you recently finish reading?
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs. I think this is the first urban fantasy that I've actually finished, & didn't bug the fuck out of me. We read it for [community profile] beer_marmalade. I like how capable Mercy is. As with some of the anime I've been watching recently (& some of my favorite fic), I like the focus on the mundane. Actual mentions of Mercy making/eating food, etc.
I liked this. I'm not sure I liked it well enough to read more in the series, but I guess we'll see.

Angel & Faith #18/Death & Consequences #3: This was okay. Basically a set-up: "This is what the Big Bad is," & an explanation of how to kill it.
Grateful for Spike showing up at the end, free of his own pointless spin-off.

Willow: Wonderland #4: It was fine! Not much to say.

Buffy Season 9 #18/Welcome to the Team #3: WHAT A CLIFFHANGER AMIRITE?! I like how s9 is ratcheting up.

Angel & Faith #19/Death & Consequences #4: Giles's grandma is a bamf, but I'd rather have more of his aunts! UMM. Holy shit, a lot happened in this one & I'm not sure how they're going to fix things ;_; Very eager to read the next issue!

Captain Marvel #10: Some people have complained about the change in art direction, but I like it! Carol learning how to cope with a medical diagnosis! I am still loving the shit out of this arc. I'm not sure how invested in this series I am beyond this arc, though, :3
I was extremely annoyed by this ad, which appeared in the middle.


• What do you think you’ll read next?
Ugh, idk. I haven't read ANY Anna Karenina since that book club last met, & since we were supposed to read sections 3 & 4 for Sunday, I guess that means I won't be going?!?! Phale.

idk what I'm reading next, I feel stressed at the moment. The Female Man at some point, b/c that's next at (other) book club.
laceblade: fanart of Inner Senshi in street clothes, hugging & smiling (Sailor Moon: inners)
• What are you currently reading?
Anna Karenina - Currently trying to make it through part 2 before Sunday, which should be easy (I'm in the middle of part 2 right now).
It's really easy to dive into this book, which I enjoy. Some of my friends have mentioned having to reread pages or passages b/c it's so dry, but I haven't had that issue at all, perhaps because the translation I picked up (most recent English one) is better, after all. It did win some awards & stuff.
I like Anna and Kitty and Levin. Kitty seems to be depressed now, :[
I love reading about the stupid men in this book, bahaha, like Anna's husband who only forms his opinions based on other people's opinions!

Related, I've recently learned that the book club I'm joining to discuss this book has actually been meeting for months, to discuss other books! Now I feel like I've invited myself/etc., but people assure me that's not true, so we'll see how Sunday goes.


• What did you recently finish reading?
Mara #2 - Not much really happened in this issue, & what did happen was weird overlord narration, not dialogue. There were lots of ads at the end & it made me grumpy. I want to know what happens to Mara! Hopefully the next issue will be more interesting.

Spike: A Dark Place #5 - I'm just glad this is over. #5 wasn't any better than the rest of them. Here's a note to myself: SELL THESE, free up space!

Civil War: Runaways/Young Avengers - (This is just the first volume; Secret Invasion will be next.) I've read this before, but it was when I didn't know anything about the Young Avengers. Umm, it's definitely more interesting this time around, although on the whole it's not great. Mostly, this just gives me lots of Runaways feelings :( I've read the Runaways since they first started coming out, and I love those kids. ALSO their outfits are better, their dialogue is better, & they're much funnier than the Young Avengers. Now I just want to reread Runaways, lol.

Geisha, a Life by Mineko Iwasaki - I ended up really, really loving this. It was hard to put down. Iwasaki's look back at being a maiko & geiko was full of historical detail, and SO INTERESTING OMG. She did spend some time detailing how clueless the women who grow up in this life are. In her twenties, Iwasaki decided she wanted to live in her own apartment so far (while still entertaining clients), so she got one. She didn't even know that vacuum cleaners needed to be plugged in order to work. Stuff like that. The women are entirely dependent on the people who care for them/their house.
Her interaction with Queen Elizabeth II was amusing (she flirted with Prince Philip b/c Elizabeth wouldn't eat their awesome food); her interaction with Prince Charles appalling (he signed her fan with his name without asking her - ruining it so that she couldn't use it at her next appointments that evening).
Toward the end, Iwasaki's decision to retire at age 29 to try & shock the whole cultural society into reform came as a shock to me the reader. She had mentioned in the book that she'd petitioned for girls to be able to stay in school longer (through high school), but I wish she'd spent a little more time discussing how she came to her decision, the reactions of all the other people in the book, etc.
I felt frustrated that it ended like a Victorian novel - she gets married & oop! Story's over! I really wanted to know what else happened in her life - I hadn't realized I'd become so attached, bahaha.
Anyway, I highly recommend this, although: warnings for attempted rape & suicide.


• What do you think you’ll read next?
More Young Avengers comics - Civil War crossover stuff, Dark Reign, and Children's Crusade (now that I figured out that it's NOT a Young Avengers title - just regular Avengers - and that's why it wasn't coming up in my searches in the library database lol).

I've still got a pile of stuff in my library basket, including Wolf Hall, which just came yesterday. I had hoped I'd have a couple months before receiving that one, but in our library, whichever branch a book gets returned at, the next person in line at that branch gets the book, even if there are ten people before them in line. If they're at other branches, then too bad! So I guess the 50-some other people with this book on hold don't go to my library -_-
Anyway, I'd kind of hoped to be done with Anna Karenina before picking this monstrosity up. At least AK, I'm reading in smaller chunks, I guess.

Also need to read a book lent to me by a co-worker and [community profile] beer_marmalade's February book, Moon Called.

I'm feeling a significant lack of manga in my life right now, so I might return to Gokinjo Monogotari.
laceblade: Ashe from FF XII, looking at viewer over her shoulder. Text reads: "So you say you want a revolution?" (FFXII: You say you want a revolution)
• What are you currently reading?
Right now I'm reading The Fox Woman by Kij Johnson. I'm on page 68, and I'm struggling really hard. It's set in Heian Japan & written by a white woman from the US, and I just have a really hard time getting past this cultural appropriation. I feel weird reading it. I keep thinking of a post by [personal profile] yeloson's post: When you cut away the wrapper, appropriation is telling other people's stories for your entertainment & profit, not theirs.

I bought this book & Fudoki a while ago, used. I've read some of Kij Johnson's short stories and I liked her writing style quite a bit. I think the short stories were more recent than these books, though.

This kind of reminds me of Cat Valente's Yume no Hon. What's up with contemporary US sf/f authors appropriating Japanese culture? idk.
Anyway, I'll try a little harder. I'll also give Fudoki a chance at some point, to see if it's better.
I'm not sure if I'll be finishing The Fox Woman. I'll likely be selling it.


• What did you recently finish reading?
Buffy season 9, #16 (?) Whatever the most recent issue is: Still feeling pretty "meh" about things. Glad to see things swoop back to these characters, but overall meh.

Radical Reinvention by Kaya Oakes, which I blogged about here.


• What do you think you'll read next?
Young Avengers Presents is waiting for me at the library, so I'm going to get that.

A few weeks ago, I erupted over drinks with friends when they revealed they'd started a book club to discuss Anna Karenina & not invited me. It turns out they haven't actually met yet, so I have time to read part I & join them for their first meeting. I'm reading the most recent edition, as specified by [twitter.com profile] JacquelynGill, who tells me it makes a huge a difference.

While a little despondent the other day, I stood in the library plucking random books from shelves: a few by Alison Wein, Henry James's The Wings of the Dove, Geraldine Brooks's March. idk if I'll read them or when.

In comics, I have a new Saga to read & need to read the two most recent issues of Captain Marvel.
When asking my comics guy if it's too soon to add the new X-Men comic by Brian Wood about girls to my pull list, he said, "You know Brian Wood's been writing a storyline already, right?
I hadn't!
He had been about to mark a bunch of them down to $1, so I got X-Men issues 30-35 with Brian Wood as the author. I guess some of the characters in this story will appear in the new X-Men that I want to be reading? WE'LL SEE.
laceblade: Sailor Mars, mid-transformation, close-up of eyes. Text: MARS (Sailor Moon: Mars eyes)
Well, you can tell I've gone back to work, I think.

• What are you currently reading?
Working on finishing Radical Reinvention by Kaya Oakes, which is basically about someone coming to terms with their own Catholicism in spite of the Catholic Church's fail. I suspect I will have a post's worth of thoughts on this book when I'm done (at least, I have about 15 different pages marked with slips of paper), so I'll just hold off 'til then.


• What did you recently finish reading?
Willow #3, This is still meh for me. WHY IS WILLOW BORING? Excited for a new issue of the main Buffy title to come out...wait, it came out today!

Saga #8, bought back in December & not read until now. This series is so good, I cannot. I think what I like most is that when people talk, it feels like real people talking, which is something super hero comics are not so great at! I love this title.

Young Avengers, volume 2: Family Matters by Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung, Andrea DeVito. Not quite as great as the first volume, for me.
It's hard for me to keep track of everyone's powers & also their parental reveals, as I am new-ish to the superhero Marvel-verse.

I feel betrayed and let-down by the one-page back-story of Kate Bishop, which seemed incredibly unnecessary & cheap.

The spreads where everyone's running all at once (and also the fight scenes in general) seem really cheesy and like shounen manga. I guess I'm not used to the cheese of "Avengers Assemble!" & etc.

More Kate Bishop & Cassie, please. I'll be reading more.

The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan. The plot was a little disturbing for me, and none of the characters sympathetic.
While the writing was fantastic, there's some unfortunate imagery that isn't going away from my mind any time soon.
Adding this to my "sell" pile.


• What do you think you'll read next?
I'd like to keep reading more Gokinjo Monogatari, I kind of stopped doing that after returning home from my parents' place over the holidays.
As for books/etc., I don't care :/
I'd like to read some more Glee fic or maybe return to "The North Remembers" (GoT fic) again.

I need to figure out which Young Avengers comics come next. I gather from Wikipedia that Young Avengers Special #1 happened some time during the issues I already read but idk how to get "just" that issue. US comics are really annoying, you guys. Manga would never do this to me.

I'm not clear on what comes next - I know it's part of the multi-title "Civil War" event, but it seems like some issues happen before Young Avengers Presents & the Runaways/Young Avengers mini-series.
If anyone can help me figure out what these are, & if they were included in any bound editions, that would be useful! I'm trying hard to get these from the library because I find downloads really annoying also b/c I don't even know where to find comics downloads.

I like Kate Bishop enough that I'd like to check out the currently-running Hawkeye title, but maybe I'll wait to catch up with Young Avengers first?



The WisCon 37 Anime/Manga Programming Idea-Generation Fest post is still open. Please jump in on existing threads, or start your own. WisCon attendance/interest is unrequired.
laceblade: Rachel & Santana giving sideeye just past the viewer. (Glee: Pezberry look)
You know, I always start these entries thinking, "Oh, I didn't read much this week."

• What are you currently reading?
I wanted to bring something new with me on the bus, so I grabbed the comfort of strangers by Ian McEwan, which I impulse-bought Sunday evening at Half-Price Books while I was feeling a little angsty. I read Atonement about a year ago and I really like McEwan's prose. I've been reading a lot of comics, fanfics, and meh-ish sci-fi lately, so it's really nice to read something with such carefully crafted sentences.

Still reading Ai Yazawa's Gokinjo Monogatari (have finished volume 3). I'm glad that the series is focusing on some characters other than the main couple without diminishing their presence. I remember Kare Kano annoying me when it went off to do that, but probably because I found the other characters (and the main characters, after volume 1) so damn boring.

• What did you recently finish reading?
Willow #2, a small arc that's part of Buffy, season 9. Still more pleased with this than the Spike spin-off. Season 9's been interesting to me all along, but it seems now that the threads are all in place, and the writers are starting to pull them. The revelation at the end of the issue was interesting, and I'm excited to see what happens in the next issue of pretty much all these titles.

Mara #1, a new comic series written by Brian Wood, drawings by Ming Doyle. Randomly picked this one up off the shelf having heard nothing about it, although I've read/liked Brian Wood for a while. The cover art was pretty striking.
The protagonist is a volleyball player is a war-torn Earth!future, and I like this enough that I asked my comics guy to add it to my pull list.

Young Avengers, volume 1: Sidekicks by Allan Heinberg/etc. I liked this quite a bit. Find myself wholly uninterested in the dude!characters, but Cassie seems awesome, as does Kate Bishop. I'm slowly starting to get a feel for the Marvel universe - previously, I'd only really been familiar with Runaways. I'm excited to reread the Civil War crossover with Runaways - the first time I read it, I didn't care about any of the Young Avengers, haha.
Basically this story does just what the title would you to believe! Kid versions of Hawkeye, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, and Ant-Man, whoever the eff that is.

The Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker by Roger Ebert. This is absolutely what I don't need from a cookbook. Nothing was useful to me, although maybe to someone more confident in the kitchen.
In discussing "how to make" soups in a rice cooker, he'd say something like, "Gather the ingredients for a soup. Toss them in the pot. Add about enough water. Turn it on." Incredibly frustrating. I think the only tip I walked away with was the tip to cook hot breakfast cereal in it, which I promptly did the next morning.

Struck by Lightning by Chris Colfer - I ended up liking this more than Land of Stories, which I think I discussed last time.
I'm still hoping the movie will be better than the book. I would have expected the journal of Carson Phillips (protagonist) to be way more guarded and cynical, given the way his character interacts with everyone else.
In spite of [spoiler], I am happy with the message of this book, which is basically: all kinds of shit can happen to make your life go out of control, but having goals and working toward them as hard as you can every single day = the point of life, even if your goals are never achieved.
That said, if Chris hadn't written it, I likely wouldn't have read it.

This week I discovered a new fic author. Her Quinn is especially perfect.

you made a rebel of a careless man's careful daughter by [livejournal.com profile] sing_song_sung - This is an AU fic. It is based on the novel The Likeness by Tana French. It's a WIP that seems to have been abandoned, but I'm glad it exists. Santana POV, Pezberry, + Puck and Kurt, and then Jesse St. James, Finn, Mike, and Quinn.
Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

girl, put your records on by [livejournal.com profile] sing_song_sung - In which Santana needs a song and Rachel is the one to sing it.
I don't usually care for the Brittana pairing (or other canon pairings), so I think what I like about this one is the Pezberry friendship.

sky of the sky of a tree called life by [livejournal.com profile] sing_song_sung - Post-3x02. Quinn wanted to call her daughter Caroline.

and these mistakes you make (you'll just make them again) by [livejournal.com profile] sing_song_sung - Quinn and Puck sing the songs of their summer.

look for the girl with the broken smile by [livejournal.com profile] sing_song_sung - Quinn's history rewritten, because she's vulnerable enough without a past that was obviously conceived in the writing of Born This Way.

you'll see a side of love you've never known by [livejournal.com profile] sing_song_sung - Mike/Quinn, season 1.

Also:
Puck/Rachel oral by [archiveofourown.org profile] astano, basically pure smut.

get you into trouble and take all the blame by [livejournal.com profile] smc_27, basically just a St. Puckleberry threesome OMGGGGG.

BTW, my masterlist of Glee fic recs can still be found here & is updated regularly.

• What do you think you'll read next?
Ugh, I'd really like to finish some of the books I've started-but-not-finished, so I don't want to add new things!

Recently put on hold at the library: Wolf Hall, Into the Woods (so I can read The Likeness and figure out where that fic was going to go!), Geisha, a Life - put on hold after reading about how Memoirs of a Geisha is a huge mess of cultural appropriation :[

My book club's reading Here We Cross for January, so I should get my hands on that. It's a collection of sf/f queer poetry. Since I normally hate poetry, this might be hilarious.
laceblade: Chord Overstreet offering his hand to Chris Colfer. Glee live-tour. (Glee: Colferstreet)
Doing this meme along with [personal profile] wild_irises and [personal profile] bcholmes and the folks at shouldbereading.wordpress.com.

• What are you currently reading?
Well, I'm still reading the books I discussed last time although I dropped God's War, it just wasn't doing it for me.
So from last time, that's still The Rescuers, I've Been Trying to Reach You (Glee fic), and The North Remembers (Game of Thrones fic).

Since then, I've added:
Struck by Lightning by Chris Colfer - a companion to the movie of the same name, which he wrote & starred in. So far I like this more than I liked The Land of Stories but there are still a few things that irk me about his writing style. I'm assuming I'll enjoy it best on film, but like I said, I'm liking this book a lot more than his first one, and am generally enjoying it.

Gokinjo Monogatari (Neighborhood Story), a manga series by Ai Yazawa (manga-ka of Paradise Kiss and NANA)
This series has not been released in the US, so I'm reading a version that was translated by fans on my laptop.
Mikako and her neighbor Tsutomu attend an arts school in Tokyo, and have been next-door neighbors since they were children. They've been friends forever but have only recently started to consider whether their feelings for one another might be more-than-friends.
I love everything I've ever read by Yazawa and this is no different. I'm so excited to read more!!

Balance of Power, a ff7 fic written by Frank Vederosa and Jen. It takes place post-game, when Wutai and Junon are vying to fill the power vacuum left by the Shinra Corporation. It focuses on Tifa and Cid. 10+ years ago, when Vederosa was popular, I often looked at this fic and then stopped reading it because the politics were too hard for me to follow.
Now I'm all GIVE ME THE POLITICS!!
The writing is not stellar and there are a lot of cliches. The plot is moving too slowly for me at the moment BUT there is enough here for me to keep going.
I'm trying to figure out how to post my thoughts on the old FF7 fic I'm rereading/reading for the first time. I guess a series of DW posts would be best; it'll likely take me years to get through everything I'd like to get through.
The front page at that link has a 5-paragraph description of the fic's premise, which is unfortunately way more interesting than anything that's happened in the fic.

I read a lot of Vederosa's stuff back in the day, but I can't remember whether I read any of Jen's, so I might look into that if I can find an archive of her fic. (Did she run the Rocket Town archive??) This is the problem with a hella old fandom :[


• What did you recently finish reading?
Those Yuletide recs I already linked to. I've read a few other people's Yuletide recs. I'm reading a bunch of fic.

Plant Your Hope With Good Seeds by [archiveofourown.org profile] river_soul - ASoIaF fic, AU where Sansa & a chest of gold DO get traded for Jaime Lannister in Clash of Kings, and she meets up with Robb and her mom.

Warm the Lonely Nights by [livejournal.com profile] valiant - set after "Glee, Actually," Sam goes to New York for New Year's Eve to hang out with Kurt and Rachel. NC-17.
Part 2. Part 3.
I'd like to draw little hearts around [livejournal.com profile] valiant's fic forever. Her Kurt and her Sam are just perfection, imo.


I did catch up with Buffy Season 9 and Angel and Faith and its spin-offs (Spike: A Dark Place, and Willow: Wonderland).
Buffy Season 9 had been taking a few turns with Buffy trying some new things, but is turning "inward" again with her going "back" to slaying and hanging around Xander and Dawn.
I was annoyed by the two issues focusing on Billy the Vampire Slayer. Even though Billy seems like a cool character & I'm glad he's around, I was grumpy about the Buffy series having the focus shift away from Buffy. BUT. Digging it now.

Angel & Faith had been slightly more boring than it had been in the first few issues, but then PLOT TWIST happened and it's exciting.
ALSO: GILES'S AUNTS ARE LITERALLY THE BEST, I should look for fanfic about them because omg. Best.

I've been incredibly bored by Spike: A Dark Place. At 4 out of 5 issues, not much has happened. Taking a single character away from everyone else and putting them into their own mini-arc is not exciting for me. I like Buffy because of the ensemble. Most of the characters are boring on their own.
idk what they're doing with Spike after this 5-issue mini-arc - is he going to rejoin Buffy, go on to the Angel & Faith title, or what? I'm not sure.

Willow's mini-arc has only had one issue so far, but I feel like that the same as I do about Spike's: boring when she's off on her own, even if she has way more purpose/a plot than Spike did.


• What do you think you’ll read next?
Roger Ebert's The Pot and How to Use It, a rice cooker cookbook, should be waiting for me at the library when I get back home after a week at the parents' house.
Otherwise I'd really like to get through the books I've got in progress right now ^^;
laceblade: Azusa of K-On!, looking at the viewer (K-On!: Azusa)
What are you currently reading?
I'm a person who's often in the middle of a bunch of things - I never read just one thing at a time.

The Rescuers by Margery Sharp/illustrated by Garth Williams. Because this weekend I realized Netflix streaming had The Rescuers Down Under & so I re-watched it and then [personal profile] jesse_the_k tweeted at my squee and was like, "There are books!" SO THEN I PUT IT ON HOLD.
The books are way more sexist than the movie, although I'm much more familiar with the Down Under sequel than the original Rescuers movie.
INTERESTING DEVIATIONS: In the book, the organization = "Prisoners' Aid Society," not "Rescue Aid Society." From the first page: "As everyone knows, mice are friends of every prisoner."
No mouse can entertain this poet who's stuck in a hella secure prison, so the mice decide to spring him.
Bernard is way more paternalistic, and Bianca seems to faint willy-nilly & is kind of a sheltered moron. UNFORTUNATE.

God's War by Kameron Hurley - reading this as an e-book. We're discussing it at [community profile] beer_marmalade on Monday. I'm not sure I'm quite as enamored with it as a bunch of other people are? The premise is neat, but "cool premise" is not as effective a hook on me as it is on many other sf/f fans. Hoping that the characters will grow on me a little more.

I've Been Trying to Reach You by [archiveofourown.org profile] thememoriesfire - this is a Glee fanfiction AU. After having her baby, Quinn transfers to Carmel High School, where Rachel Berry is the lead singer in the elite competitive Glee team, Vocal Adrenaline. Basically, Rachel is popular and Quinn is not. Faberry endgame (I think), but Quinn also starts a band with Santana, Sam, and Puck and I <3 this as I <3 all fic written by [archiveofourown.org profile] thememoriesfire. Still sad that she had to leave fandom, but glad for all of the fantastic writing she left behind.
It's kind of disturbing to see a well-adjusted Quinn Fabray with loving parents.

The North Remembers by [archiveofourown.org profile] Silverblood - hella long Game of Thrones fanfic continuing right where A Dance With Dragons left off. This author remembers ALL OF THE PLOT POINTS and her pacing is much better than George RR Martin's has been of late. There are already 80+ chapters, and this author intends to wrap everything up before she's done.
The writing is similar to Martin's. She highlights some character POVs that Martin has yet to do, including Val, Meera Reed, Jeyne Westerling, Sandor Clegane, etc.
I'm ~30 chapters in, I think. I highly recommend this, even to people who don't normally read fanfiction. I suspect that in the end, I might prefer this to George RR Martin's ending, if the future books turn out anything like DWD did.
SANSA STARK HAS AGENCY. It's awesome.

Stuff I'd started but is now on backburner:
Kristin Lavransdatter: The Wreath by Sigrid Unset - I'm in this for the longhaul, but needed to drop it for a little bit.


What did you recently finish reading?
For the last couple of weekends, I've been trying to catch up in the single-issue comic series I get from the comics shop. I'd like to decrease my pull-list if possible.
In general, I still seem to prefer manga to U.S. comics. In particular, I don't really care for the superhero genre, and even though I enjoyed the Avengers movie, I'm not into that fandom and can't seem to care much about the big titles.
"Saga" by Brian K. Vaughan/Fiona Staples - I love everything about this series & it's staying on my list.

"Captain Marvel" by DeConnick - I like the art style the more recent issues way more than I did in 1-3. Carol Danvers seems pretty cool, and at the advice of [personal profile] coffeeandink I also checked out Avenging Spider-Man #9 and #10 (where Captain Marvel makes her debut) and Avengers Assemble #9 (which she's hanging out with the movie!Avengers). Avengers Assemble #9 reads very much like a fanfic! I don't care much about Iron Man/Hulk/Captain America/Thor, though, so. This is a series that's fine to read, but I'm not sure I care enough about it to keep it on my pull-list. I could just get the collected volumes from the library as they're released, on a delayed schedule. SOMEHOW I NEED TO DECIDE.

"Buffy Season 9" / "Angel & Faith" - Firstly, I find both of these much more enjoyable than Buffy Season 8 (and I liked most of Buffy season 8). Buffy season 9 has made a few weird choices, but I'm still here for it.
Angel & Faith is all about Catholic guilt and redemption and doing good things every day to try & make up for the bullshit you've pulled. The writing is fantastic imo, and I really, really, really love this series.
I'm not 100% caught up with these yet, and I'm about to start the new Spike and Willow spin-offs.


What do you think you’ll read next?
I'm not great at planning this shit out in advance.
After Monday, my book club will be reading Here We Cross, a collection of queer sf/f poetry for our January meeting.
Historically, I loathe poetry but I've never read any sf/f poetry. Most members of our book club haven't, so we're kind of excited to try this.
I should be getting a copy of Chris Colfer's Struck by Lightning soon, which is a supplement to his movie of the same name. I'm hoping to like this a lot more than I liked The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell.

Still need to catch up on the Buffy/etc. comics. I also need to catch up on all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics being pulled for me rn to determine whether I'll continue reading them. I had really liked the first 8 comics of the main series and the one-shot spin-offs of each turtle.
laceblade: Buffy from Season 8 comics, holding scythe (Buffy Season 8)
Lots of comics!reading. Prompted by: Borders going-out-of-business sales, living 2 blocks from a comics shop, multiple bad pain days.

I don't really do heavy synopses; sorry if that's what you're looking for.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Campus Apocalypse - 4-volume manga series by Mingming. An AU!Evangelion in which everyone attends school, and fights in a virtual reality world with guns.
The art style was mediocre, but it was emotionally satisfying in that the kids - Kaworu, Rei, Shinji, Asuka, etc. all stand up for each other in a way they never do in the actual Evangelion series. I found the plot mostly nonsensical.

I'm not upset that I read it, but I don't think I'll be keeping it. Anybody want it? I'll send it to you for the cost of shipping.

Codename Sailor V by Naoko Takeuchi, volume 1 of 2. The titular Sailor V character is Sailor Venus, one of Sailor Moon's friends/fellow fighters in the Sailor Moon series. Sailor V was a pre-cursor to the Sailor Moon saga, and I enjoyed reading it (I've been wanting to for a long time!). Minako is ready to kick some ass right from the beginning in a way that takes a few issues before Usagi feels the same way in the sister series.
This was fun to read in a cracktastic way - there isn't much in the way of "deep, meaningful plot." Still, it was a fun ride, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of it.

Sailor Moon, vol. 1 also by Naoko Takeuchi, a U.S. reprint by Kodansha. I'm one of the rare people who has all 18 volumes of Tokyopop's initial print of Sailor Moon. The original printing was pretty small (shorter, thinner than the average manga book), and the glue job was actually the worst I've ever seen in manga.

This re-release by Kodansha used the art touch-ups from the Japanese reprint. So a lot of the art looks cleaner, more in proportion, etc. If you're interested in side-by-side comparisons with the original, you can check that out here. Some of the changes I like, but one thing I liked about the original was when characters "go faceless," or their features - eyes, nose, etc. - disappear in moments of high drama, when characters are attacking or shouting or etc. So, while I'm really really glad about the re-print, I'll be saving my old tomes even though they're falling apart.

I won't recap the plot/premise because most of you know it (and if you don't, you can read such a review here.)

Buffy, Season 9 - Only one issue so far, but it looks like it's going to be a better ride than Season 8 was (this will have fewer characters, much less EPIC of a plot, etc). I like reading these a lot; the comedic timing of the show still transfers, and I like re-visiting these characters.

Angel & Faith - It's hard to talk about this much without giving away massive, massive spoilers for the end of Buffy Season 8, so let's just say that based on first issue, I like this even more than Buffy season 9. It's Angel and Faith, captured perfectly in comics form, doing what I like watching them do best - struggle with redemption for the terrible things they've done.
This takes place on the same timeline as Buffy Season 9.

Batwoman - with DC revamping 52 of its titles, I figured I'd jump on board with a few of them. For Batwoman, I read the Batwoman: Elegy compilation, and have now read the first issue of the new series. I'd say this is worth reading for the art style alone: it's gorgeous. As bonus points, Batwoman herself is a lesbian, which is much-appreciated in the sausagefest wasteland that is Most of DC's Other Titles. I've heard this team had a hard time sticking to a schedule during Elegy, so I hope that they can keep it up.
Either way, I highly recommend checking out Batwoman: Elegy, which tells her backstory. Our library has multiple copies.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - A decent first issue, imo. I like the art style, there are heaps of nostalgia for me, as I owned lots of TMNT action figures in my youth and enjoyed the gritty 80s movies (or was it early 90s??). They're putting a few twists on things: April O'Neill is a lab researcher instead of a reporter, Raphael seems estranged from his fellow turtles in the present although we don't know why, etc.
As a warning, there is a page of domestic violence in the first issue, although I don't think it will be a continuing storyline.


Next week I intend to check out Wonder Woman and the new Ultimate Spiderman.
I have piles of manga to read, too. I left Borders more than once carrying armfuls, ^^;
laceblade: Buffy from Season 8 comics, holding scythe (Buffy Season 8)
It's probably pretty earlier, since issue 40 just came out Wednesday, but if anyone has seen any Season 9 fanfiction, or just post-Season 8, I would be pretty excited to read it!
laceblade: Buffy from Season 8 comics, holding scythe (Buffy Season 8)
I read issue #40, the last piece of Buffy, Season 8.

I know that this season dropped a lot of readers. Parts of it were messy. BUT YOU PEOPLE MISSED OUT ON A GOOD ENDING!

I really think that it came together. I fucking loved this issue, every page of it, and I very, very much look forward to Season 9.
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, apparently about to kiss (Tifa & Aeris)
If you attended WisCon 34, please visit WisCon's website and fill out the surveys. As a member of the ConCom, I can tell you that all responses are read and considered when planning for next year. As an example, a single comment was all that it took for me to decide to stop having latex balloons as centerpieces at The Gathering.

Also, throughout the convention, I kept hearing people make comments about "the items that Programming put onto the schedule." PROGRAMMING DOES NOT MAKE UP THE PANELS. YOU DO. I cannot stress this enough. If you want quality programming, then suggest some quality descriptions. Suggesting a panel does not mean that you have to be on it. Takes notes throughout the year. Let ideas percolate until you have the perfect notion. And then submit them.

You can already suggest panel ideas for WisCon 35. If you would like to do so, go here.
Also pay attention when sign-ups happen later in the year. Panelists are necessary to making sure that a programming item makes it on to the schedule.



--A list of books and TV shows from the "Writing the Other: Shout-Outs" panel.

--The Vid Party's playlist, complete with download links This party was epic.

--Liveblog of the Avatar panel

--The Politics of Steampunk panel liveblog

--A Field Guide for Editors panel writeup

--Dreamwidth panel writeup



Non-WisCon Added Bonus:
[livejournal.com profile] aycheb writes about fashion in Buffy Season 8 [spoilers]

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