Since I've been participating more in LJ activity lately, I thought I might share what I've read, what I'm reading, and what I want to read. I always take recommendations, too.Recently Read
I've been working on this book for a few months as part of an agreement with my friend that I would read The Silmarillion
and two other Middle-earth apocrypha of her choice if she would read the Animorphs
series. She has only read the first two Animorphs
books so I feel I'm doing a better job of upholding our bargain.
I think my problem with this book was that I read it over too long a timespan. By the time I got near the end I'd forgotten who all these people were. There are so many characters with such entangled histories that I can't keep it all in my head. But I think it's also a problem of narrative distance. There are boatloads of characters in A Song of Ice and Fire
but I can keep most of them sorted in my head because I feel personally invested in them. My friend definitely feels personally invested in the Silmarillion
characters but I just couldn't get into it. I definitely appreciate how much effort Tolkien put into constructing the history of this world, though. Skin Game
I finished this way later than all my other friends who are Dresden Files
fans, just because I was busy, and I kind of regret I have no one to discuss this book with. As with most Dresden Files
books it was entertaining but I have a lot of mixed feelings about it.
It was an improvement over the last book, definitely, because the Denarians are such good villains, and it was a great setup to force Harry to work with them. It was also great to have Michael, Waldo, and Karrin back as prominent players. I had many feels about his interactions with all of them, to the point of tears in Michael's case. Both Karrin's and Waldo's interactions with Fidelacchius
were electric. I am so excited for Waldo's tenure as Knight of the Sword.
But I am still 100% fed up with how Harry has sexual tension with every female character who is not in a relationship.
The only single woman he didn't have sexual tension with, Deirdre, died! Argh! And I continue to be disappointed with how the Winter Mantle infects Harry with ~dark feelings.~ It would be so much more interesting if the Winter Mantle corrupted by pure virtue of the power it confers, not because it whispers violent thoughts in your ear. I always interpreted the corruption of the Winter Knights that way, and it's just boring
to watch Harry struggle with bloodthirst over and over. Power, after all, is neutral in itself; it's what we do with it that makes it good or evil.Currently Reading:Annihilation
I pretty much never read or watch the horror genre, but my partner's boyfriend read the first chapter to me and I liked it, so I decided to give this a go. What drew me in were the lush and subtly creepy descriptions of "Area X," a sort of eldritch horror zone in the wetlands of Florida, and that all four characters in the book are women. I am 100% here for books with no men in them, especially after reading The Silmarillion.
I'm reading this as an audiobook, since hearing the first chapter read aloud put me in the mood for it, and I'm enjoying the narration quite a bit. Since the book is written in the form of diary entries, the narration makes it feel less like entries in a book and more like a personal confession. This is especially important since the narrator doesn't call any of the characters, including herself and her dead husband, by name, only by epithet. This puts more distance between the reader and the characters, but then hearing a voice reading the story makes it more personal again. I'm about halfway through the book and excited for more.Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand
Samuel R. Delany
. I just started this book today, I'm only 45 pages in, and I already think this is going to be one of my favorite books. Why haven't I read any Delany until now?
I first heard about Delany when my friend gave a presentation about sci fi authors of color, mentioned him, and that he was going to be in town soon. I didn't go see him because I hadn't read any of his work at that point, but now I wish I had. He is truly a pioneer on the level of Ursula K. LeGuin, and coming from me that is the highest praise possible.
This book feels startlingly original, even now, 30 years after it was published. It deals with themes that I absolutely adore in my sci fi, like the nature of knowledge and freedom, how to reconstruct the self after great trauma, gender, queerness, kink, and race. I know many people don't seem to like this, but I love books where I have to pause every page to stop and think about what I've just read. That's the mark of a great read to me, not a bad one. I want my books to be difficult. I want books that are complex enough to make me work
for them. This book does that.Want to Read:
Permanence, by Karl Schroeder,
on a recommendation and read-aloud excerpt from squirrelitude
. I've read Schroeder before on his recommendation and enjoyed it, so I think I'd like to delve in again. It's another big-ideas book of the type I tend to like, about the nature of civilization and what the goal of a society should be.Slow River, by Nicola Griffith,
because Skin Game
splattered my brain with too much Privileged Man and I need some lesbian sci-fi to cleanse myself.
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