What I Just Finished Reading
Trees vol. 2 – Warren Ellis & Jason Howard
Transmetropolitan is still far and away Ellis' best, and Injection is quickly rocketing to number two. Trees cements its position as a solid third place with this second volume, and I'm intrigued to see how (if) Ellis' fascination with the accoustics of Britain's henges is developed differently here than in Injection. Stay tuned.
DMZ vol. 1– Brian Wood & Riccardo Burchielli
The supposed gritty realism falls flat for me when Wood fails to explain how warzone Manhattan manages to keep the lights on, the septic systems running, and the population fed and clothed. (PS: women in real-world war zones in sub zero temperatures wear more than pasties and thongs, boys.) If you aren't going to go the full-on sci-fi route, you better have an explanation for the above. Wood doesn't.
DMZ vol. 2 – Brian Wood & Riccardo Burchielli
The sloppy worldbuilding, alas, continues into the second voluem. I would probably have been better able to suspend disbelief had I read this during the Dubya Bush administration, of which it is clearly a reflection; read in another time, it hasn't aged well. That said, there's a bit more dimensionality to this volume than the first (although its clumsy, self-conscious hipness is painful in places). I'll keep reading to see where it goes.
What I Am Currently Reading
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Celtic Knotwork – Iain Bain
In this week's chapters where Bain explains the ratios of cord thickness to cell dimensions alongside highly technical explanations of how to construct circles and curves sans compass. I haven't touched geometry in ages, so it's interesting, but slow, going, and still the best book on the subject by far.
Yoga for Athletes – Ryanne Cunningham
Does what it says on the label, which makes it an interesting read. Here is yoga described to people who familiar with the names of muscle groups and sports terminology, and not “shining the heart forward” or “hugging the muscle to the bone.” The instructions are clear and photographs useful; kudos to Cunningham for using models of all genders, races, and body types. That said, some of the models in the photographs are doing the poses dangerously incorrectly, so proceed with caution if you're using this as your introduction to yoga.
Pleasure Bound – Eeborah Lutz
An illumiating and highly readable book on Victorian attitudes to gender and sexuality. I wholeheartedly recommend this one.
Yogafit – Beth Shaw
Another nicely produced offering from the publisher of Cunningham's volume. Clear instructions, lots of color pictures, and a variety of nice sequences to work different muscle groups. In contrast to Cunningham, Shaw goes more into the philosophy of yoga writ large, so this is the volume for people who want some Sanskrit terminology and chakra theory along with their physical stretches.
彼方者の困惑 – 直野儚羅 (Atchimono no Konwaku – Naono Bohra
At one point I knew, and then somehow forgot, that this is the second volume in a series that came out during the years I wasn't living in Japan. Consequently, I never read the first and am a bit at sea as to who this new set of characters is. That said, the art is still top notch, and I will always have a place in my heart for Naono's grumpy oyaji.
What I'm Reading Next
Probably vols. 3-5 of DMZ since I already have them, and then I've got some books on Korean and Tibetan history I mean to start.