laceblade: Toby, Josh, and Donna of The West Wing, talking intensely (WW: 20 Hours in America)
laceblade ([personal profile] laceblade) wrote2015-12-21 07:56 pm

Reading Monday

I swear to God I've written this post twice before, but I keep drafting it in email and then somehow losing it. It's pretty upsetting. It's been a while since I've read some of these, so this might be short. I'm skipping most of hte comics I've read lately.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin - I actually read this months ago and keep forgetting it due to a fluke in it not showing up in chronological order in my Goodreads list.
I like Nemisin's ideas and her politics. Unfortunately, I can't stand her prose.

/some more X-Men comics/

Half-Off Ragnarok and Pocket Apocalypse by Seanan McGuire - As suspected when I read the books narrated by Verity, I enjoy the books narrated by her brother much more. (And I'm anticipating Antimony's books EVEN MORE. WANT. SO BADLY. Also maybe Elspeth's :D) Sadly I really disliked Pocket Apocalypse/the one that took place in Australia. So many cliches, SO MUCH EXPOSITION, people just explaining things to each other in big swaths of dialog. Also unnecessary sentences ending chapters in ways that were just...too dramatic. Did her editor fall asleep? idk? It was disappointing, but I'll be coming back for more.

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott - her first YA novel! This is like Little Women set in Egypt but also The Hunger Games. BUT SO MUCH BETTER THAN HUNGER GAMES. So well-written, imagery that was genuinely creepy, so much agency, THE TWISTS, UGGGHHHH I'm ready for the next two in the trilogy and in the meantime I'm giving this to my youngest niece for Christmas.

Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda - I picked this up because the editor attends my comics club. The first issue is almost 70 pages long. IT'S SO GOOD. The story and the imagery both. The only thing I can compare it to is Ashley Cope's webcomic Unsounded. Really looking forward to more of this in the new year.

City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett - Full disclosure that I received an advance copy of this book through a Goodreads give-away.

City of Stairs was my favorite sf/f book last year, and this follow-up did not disappoint at all. I love Bennett's writing. The dialogue feels real, which is so uncommon in most fantasy.
I was worried about Mulaghesh as the POV character only because I loved Shara from the first book SO MUCH. That said, once we got going, it was very clear that this had to be Mulaghesh's story.

Both this book and its predecessor address what happens to the economies and political structures of societies when gods die and disappear, as well as the psyches of individual people.

Like City of Stairs, I plan to keep, reread, and recommend this book.

Batman: Year 100 by Paul Pope - Sometimes the art was cool, but overall this was kind of terrible? idk? I'd found it in a list of recommended US superhero comics. I wouldn't have put it there myself, :p

Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold - Yeah, I'm the last person on earth to read these books. HOLY SHIT THIS WAS GR9. Already reading Barrayar, which is in the same omnibus edition that I have. Cordelia 4 life.

Winter is Coming by Garry Kasparov - Kasparov is a former chess champion from the USSR who now lives in New York and is a vocal critic of Vladimir Putin. There's a lot of review of the last 25 years or so of history in this book, which I found extremely valuable. The dissolution of the Soviet Union happened too recently to have been covered in any great detail while I was in K-12 school, and despite one of my majors being Political Science, we never studied it there either.
Kasparov has been warning about Putin for over a decade, before he started invading sovereign nations & assassinating his political enemies. Kasparov is frank in covering the failures of recent presidents, covering all of them since Reagan. His thesis is that morality must have a place in global affairs, and that in recent years it hasn't because it's easier to just say, "The Russians need to take care of their own Russian problem." He paints the Cold War as good vs. evil, which in the past would have struck me as a simplistic reduction, but he explains how governments resisting democracy are trying to control the press/other people's voices in order to continue holding their power. Anyway. He tips towards a level of American exceptionalism that makes me uncomfortable, but it's a good, if unsettling, read.
I'm still horrified by the lack of protest over the MH17 flight being shot down by the Russians over Ukraine. What is it going to take?
lilysea: Books (Books)

[personal profile] lilysea 2015-12-22 02:41 am (UTC)(link)
I keep hearing people talking about Monstress: it's on my list for when it comes out as a graphic novel.
lilysea: Books (Books)

[personal profile] lilysea 2015-12-22 02:47 am (UTC)(link)
p.s. Your post inspired me to check if Monstress was out as a graphic novel yet, and I ended up buying Bitch Planet.
the_rck: (Default)

[personal profile] the_rck 2015-12-22 04:12 am (UTC)(link)
I will not pretend that Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan didn't have an impact when it came time to choose our daughter's name. It's a family name, too, which is how we generally explain it, but Bujold's Cordelia was a factor.
sasha_feather: horses grazing on a hill with thunderheads (horses and lightning)

[personal profile] sasha_feather 2015-12-22 04:36 am (UTC)(link)
Yay for Cordelia!
wrdnrd: (Default)

[personal profile] wrdnrd 2015-12-22 05:36 am (UTC)(link)
I was also disappointed with "Pocket Apocalypse." Mostly i remember just not quite believing that the entire thing takes place in, what, the two days right after they arrived in Australia? And Alex didn't fall over from complete exhaustion?? I was also annoyed at how Australian lady's family treated her and was a little annoyed that McGuire chose that as the family dynamic, because THAT struck me as terribly cliched.

Happily, this post prompted me to see if Seattle Public Library has the next one available for reserve yet, and i see that they do, so now copy #6 out of 6 is MINE. Ooh, and Seanan is coming to Emerald City Comicon this year ... oh, wait, that's the weekend we'll be in California for FOGcon. LOL, nevermind.
garrideb: Ms. Marvel flying over New York (ms. marvel flying)

[personal profile] garrideb 2015-12-23 04:50 pm (UTC)(link)
I read Shards of Honor only a year or two ago-- it was part of the Alicia Ashman Library's (sadly now defunct) sci-fi book club. I love that book -- and Cordelia -- so much, but for some reason I stalled out part way through Barrayar. I should give it a go again sometime.

I'm happy you love Monstress!