This week I conducted a complete inventory and reorganization of my apartment library. From this, I learned the following three things:
1) I am missing volumes 2 and 3 of Silver Diamond. I am terrified that they were lost years ago by the postal service,
2) I have a ridiculous number of books in my apartment, and
3) The quantity of books I own but have not yet read cover-to-cover is embarrassing.
What I Just Finished Reading
Knotwork – Aidan Meehan
This is the best of Meehan's knotwork manuals. His tone is enthusiastic instead of abrasive, and the explanation of how medieval scribes used compasses and straight edges to lay out gospel carpet pages is itself worth the price of admission. Also of interest is the fact that although Meehan trots out his standard three grid construction method, here he dials it back to two grids, essentially turning it into Bain's method for laying out knotwork.
Crown Duel – Sherwood Smith
Although I'll never recapture the tension of the first (and even second) read-throughs and now remember when most of the jokes are coming up, re-reading this book was as lovely an experience as it's ever been. Smith does such a good job with her characters, world-building, and plotting. As I said last week, I hope one day to write as well as this.
Isagi Kojima - 杉浦 志保 (Isagi Kojima – Sugiura Shiho)
Sugiura wrote this yomikiri almost two decades ago. It's far more openly dark than her later series, which fact alone makes it worth reading, and you can see her just starting to play around with some of the dominant themes of her future series. And finally, from the art to the plotting to the way characters deal with social issues, boy oh boy is this pre-lost decades Japan.
終点Unknown 4 - 杉浦 志保 – (Shuten Unknown vol. 4 – Sugiura Shiho)
Okay, I'm hooked. You keep lobbing those emotional zingers over the wall, Sugiura, and I'll keep coming back for more. And there is only one more volume plus the gaiden to go. Let us all fervently pray that they let her go long with whatever series she starts working on next.
Silver Diamond 1 - 杉浦 志保 (Silver Diamond vol. 1 – Sugiura Shiho)
I love this series, and it just gets better with each reread as I know what's in store for these characters.
Silver Diamond 27 - 杉浦 志保 (Silver Diamond vol. 27 – Sugiura Shiho)
Such a perfect ending to this series. And if that weren't good enough, there is one panel that just continues to make my day nearly a week later.
Silver Diamond 外伝 - 杉浦 志保 (Silver Diamond Gaiden – Sugiura Shiho)
A lovely epilogue that manages to pack in action post-defeat of the series' main antagonists, and a wonderful look at what has become of the world since.
What I Am Currently Reading
Build Your Own Gaming PC – Russell Barnes & Adam Barnes
I've yet to make it beyond the hardware chapters, but thus far the authors have kept product/brand shills to a minimum, which is what I'd been hoping for.
In the Darkroom – Susan Faludi
It's still early days, but I'm already hooked. I imagine this is going to be a very good, but difficult book.
Jane Steele – Lyndsay Faye
Boy howdy this is both dark and incredibly well written. Faye's narrator's Victorian voice is spot on, and she is doing a fabulous job of pulling back the curtains on what precisely it was that all those characters in Dickens, Bronte, or Austen were truly dreading. It's so well done that the element of wish fulfillment/retribution is rewarding, instead of grating. One of the novels of most enjoyed reading so far this year.
Marked – Sarah Fine
This looks to be another mediocre offering from Amazon Kindle First. Ho-hum.
Sabriel – Garth Nix
I prefer to only read this novel during summer rainstorms, and we had a fabulous one last night, so out it came. Some of Nix's prose now strikes me as clunkier than it did a decade ago, but lesser authors would do well to take lessons from him in world-building and writing kickass female leads.
Indonesian Slang – Christopher Torchia & Lely Djuhari
Despite what it says on the label, this is actually a book of folk sayings, thematically organized. That said, there's a fair amount of Javanese and some other regional languages in here, and it's a good resource.
Younger – Susan Munshower
This is actually a really good book. I'm intrigued to see how the hints of menace will develop. In the meantime, Munshower is doing a wicked job of providing some wonderful social commentary by showing, not telling.
Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
Forging ever onward, I now encounter ber-an verbs indicating reciprocity or repetitiveness of action, as well as ber-kan verbs indicating the state of having the base noun.
デンキ – 直野儚羅 (Denki – Naono Bohra)
Being an anthology of older Naono yomikiri. I have all of them in their individual volumes, but like a mix tape, it's interesting to encounter them here in an unfamiliar context and order.
What I'm Reading Next
銀の風遠い刻―小田切ほたる (Gin no Kaze Tohi Toki – Odagiri Hotaru
Another older volume in support of my trip down Nippon Nostalgia Lane.