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Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - January 18
Time:10:36 pm.
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

[Placeholder] – [Placeholder]
For reasons.

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.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Monday, January 16th, 2017

Subject:And now the inarticulate fangirl squee
Time:6:26 pm.
Beneath this cut, it does what it says on the label.

This is going to be shorter not because I feel there's less good than bad in this episode, but because I experience happiness as something largely beyond words, whereas I can be articulate about things that dissatisfy me.

Now, onto the things I loved. Namely, that scene. That scene. THAT SCENE.

That scene. That scene is everything I love about Sherlock. How something amazing comes at you out of the blue. The foreshadowing and the sly visual humor. (Just what are you supposed to remind us of, Mrs Hudson? ) The way the writers reward fans for attentive viewing and good memories. The way they create characters for whom I feel such affection, even when they're as deeply horrible as Moriarty. How I know I should care but I don't, because I'm so happy to see these old friends again.

And in general. The references to canon. The references to real world politics and events. How Sherlock's grown into a good man, and that the writers realize that's rarer, and better, than being a great man. How Sherlock shows it. (“Thanks, Greg.” OMG two words and I am filled with SUCH JOY. Sherlock not just knowing, but understanding what he's doing to Molly on the phone.) The way Sherlock and John and Mycroft buoy each other up. Mycroft trying to anger Sherlock into saving John...oh my god.

And the sense that there are still mysteries to be explored. Case in point: what is with all those lovingly lingering camera shots of Mycroft's wedding band?

And that's it for now, because while I've watching and mulling over and writing, my laptop battery's been dying. But to conclude: so much awesome in this show, and I hope there's more of it.


これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Subject:My thoughts on yao-- I mean, my problems with The Final Problem
Time:6:25 pm.
There is so much to like about this episode, but before I can talk about it, I have to work through everything Collapse )

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

Subject:Fandom Snowflake 2017 - Day 7
Time:12:25 am.
Let's have some Sherlock meta. Be warned; some explicit spoilers for the first two episodes of series 4 throughout.

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これで以上です。
Comments: Read 2 orAdd Your Own.

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

Subject:Snowflake Challenge 2017: Day 12
Time:11:17 pm.

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Day 12

In your own space, post a rec for fannish spaces and resources - comms, challenges, twitters, tumblrs, etc. Tell us about where you hang out. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


Hands down, the Beamdog Forums are the fannish space I've hung out in the most over the past year. The world has had almost two decades to come up with a series of games I'll love more than Baldur's Gate and it has yet to succeed. That these forums are so active is testament to the fact that many others feel as I do. As an added bonus, after you're finished playing through with a variety of party and alignment configurations, there are tons of mods for you to explore.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Subject:Snowflake Challenge 2017: Day 14
Time:10:44 pm.
Eep, I'm behind. Let's see if I can clear out the backlog, back to front.


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Day 14
Go forth and commit an act of kindness. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it, tell us about it if you’re comfortable doing so.</b>

I fed the neighborhood Little Free Library.

これで以上です。
Comments: Read 2 orAdd Your Own.

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - January 11
Time:7:52 pm.
This was primarily a newspaper, Economist, and TV catch-up week, given all the household maintenance I had to do. That said, I still managed the following:

What I Just Finished Reading

Our Bodies, Our Data – Adam Tanner
This well-written book examines the physician- and pharmacy-driven trade in patient medical data and how the industry's end users, adept at identifying patients and combining this data with other information on the individuals' socio-economic status, habits, and tastes, threaten patients' privacy. Tanner is wise enough to avoid bombast and hyperbole for explication and is clear about when both data aggregation's advocates and critics are unable to support their claims with evidence. If anything, his evenhandedness makes the nontransparent and largely unregulated phenomenon he's describing all the more concerning.


What I Am Currently Reading

[Placeholder] – [Placeholder]
For reasons.

Inda – Sherwood Smith
I'm not a huge fan of frequent POV jumps, which Inda has in spades. Still, the interpersonal dynamics Smith's setting up continue to ring true, and I have hopes for a huge dynastic power struggle in future chapters.

DMZ vol. 1 – Brian Wood & Riccardo Burchielli
This series, about a no-man's-land New York City set between two halves of a United States at war came highly recommended. The premise is intriguing but the series lost me when our photojournalist intern protagonist, stranded in the opening scenes in downtown Manhattan, expresses amazement at how well civilization's been preserved on the city's rooftops; after all, facts on the ground are wholly unknown to everyone outside. You're telling me no journalist or military commander thought to take a look at Google Earth? No wonder we weren't smart enough to avert civil war...

彼方者の困惑 – 直野儚羅 (Atchimono no Konwaku – Naono Bohra
I love Naono, I love her youkai, and I love how she plays with age and hierarchy conventions, but I wish this had been one of her doujinshi so she could have written something less constricted by Reijin's one-shot template.


What I'm Reading Next

Long weekend coming up, so I'll probably try to knock out the second volume of Ellis' Trees and a full length novel or nonfiction book on top of wrapping up the volumes above.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Subject:Snowflake Challenge 2017: Day 10
Time:11:45 pm.
Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner

Day 10

In your own space, share your love for a trope, cliché, kink, motif, or theme. (More than one is okay, too.) Tell us about it, tell us why you love it, give us some examples and recs. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


By far my favorite trope is the antagonist's redemption. Give me a character who seems like an asshole until that critical reveal, and then rake them over the coals as they try to right things; you will have my rapt attention. Think the Winter Soldier remembering flashes of Bucky Barnes, or Cho Hakkai trying to nice his way out of who he slept with and how many people he's killed, or Sugiura Shiho's Blood or Chigusa learning humanity, or Zuko questioning whose side he's really on, or Snape bullied and shafted and snarling at everyone while fighting the good fight solo...the list goes on.

If you then write me a plot arc where that character reconciles with their former nemesis, I will eat out of your hand. God, I have such a thing for people at each other's throats working their way through misunderstandings and shitty circumstances and external threats and realizing the other has decency and worth and that they need them. Thor and Loki, Mulder and Krycek, Snape and Harry, Attolia and Eugenides, Jane and Mr Rochester, Elizabeth and Mr Darcy, SHIELD reuniting, every one-shot Naono Bohra's ever written, the glorious cluster of an Akitsuki Koh or Mizuno Tohru novel... I want the antagonist brought low, and then the protagonist taken apart when they're forced to reevaluate everything they've ever thought they knew about how horrible the first character is. Let's wallow.

It's a fine line to walk, though, because there really does need to be transformation, redemption, and catharsis for it to work for me. (Hence my eternal gnashing of teeth at the typical Kdrama story where the lead chooses the abuser because she knows he means "I love you" when he's humiliating and degrading her. No bueno. Nor does the having the antagonist die at the end, a la Snape, do anything for me--that's not redemption, it's authorial cowardice.) But show me two characters coming together and softening each other's edges where they couldn't do it on their own, and yes, please. Every time.

これで以上です。
Comments: Read 1 orAdd Your Own.

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Subject:Snowflake Challenge 2017: Day 8
Time:10:26 pm.

Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner


Day 8

In your own space, make a list of at least 3 things that you like about yourself. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


1. I am very enthusiastic about things I like.
2. I like a lot of different things.
3. For the most part, I am happy if other people like them too and unconcerned if they don't.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

Subject:Snowflake Challenge 2017: Day 6
Time:5:41 pm.

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Day 06

In your own space, create a list of at least three fannish things you'd love to receive, something you've wanted but were afraid to ask for - a fannish wish-list of sorts. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your wish-list if you feel comfortable doing so. Maybe someone will grant a wish. Check out other people's posts. Maybe you will grant a wish. If any wishes are granted, we'd love it if you link them to this post.


- More fanworks in minor or non-existent historical fiction fandoms (e.g. The King and the Clown, Onmyoji, The Song of Achilles).

- Revive an older fandom. They're not bright and shiny any more, but I love it when a new fanwork shows up in my older favorites (e.g. Antique Bakery, Onmyoji, Saiyuki, Silver Diamond).

- Start a new fandom. I can think of any number of books, manga, or movies that I wish had fanfics or fanart. So if there's something you've always wished there was fanfic/fanart for, get that ball rolling.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Subject:Snowflake Challenge 2017: Day 5
Time:10:56 pm.
Oof, I should really be in bed. But before I head there:


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Day 5

In your own space, post recs for at least three fanworks that you did not create. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.



A Hymn to the Endlessly Falling - Katie Forsythe, Sherlock Holmes. In 1927, a funeral, a wedding, and Sherlock Holmes teach John Watson how to let go. An older one, but so good. It was my headcanon even when I only knew about the existence of the first 6500 words.

Say it With Flowers by Serenade, The Goblin Emperor. Maia gives Csevet a somewhat unusual plant. If you've ever found yourself saying, "Delightful tentacle monster fics? I don't believe they exist" then this is the fic for you.

A Weakness for Lies by uistic, WWE. It turns out that from this side of it, betrayal fucking hurts. Seth feels gutted. Humiliated and wrecked, torn between disbelief, misplaced shame, and rage so all-consuming he thinks it might eat him alive. A perfectly executed post-SHIELD fic that slots seamlessly into the timeline.


これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - January 4
Time:10:19 pm.
What I Just Finished Reading

The Goblin Emperor– Katherine Addison
Because Yuletide! It's also the book I read the most in 2016, with three cover-to-cover reads between February and December.

Shutter vol. 1 – Joe Keatinge & Lila Del Luca
Really enjoyed this volume. Keatinge has the mojo whereby his characters have more dimensionality than they by rights should, given just what we see on the page, and his plot has more cohesion and continuity than it by rights should, given how quickly events unfold. Del Luca's art is colorful and dynamic. Not only will I be proceeding to the next volume, I'm eager to get to it.


What I Am Currently Reading

Celtic Knotwork – Iain Bain
It's a tragedy this book is out of print. I have yet to find an author who lays out a more intuitive and effective method than Bain, whose diagrams are clearer, or whose prose is as much of a pleasure to read.

The Strangler Vine – M.J. Carter
Yes, again. In preparation for the third novel, which will thankfully (and finally) be coming out in the States this March.

The 5th Season – Robin D. Gill
Gill has published about half a dozen idiosyncratic, comprehensive, but (shall we say) lightly copyedited compendia on haiku and senryu. That said, his knowledge and enthusiasm for the form are second to none and he bothers to include the Japanese along with his translations. This volume covers New Years topics. I've had it for years and always meant to start it between the Western and Chinese New Years, and now I have.

Inda – Sherwood Smith
It's early days, but Smith is doing a bang-up job thus far of portraying the dynamics of adolescent interaction, and it looks like there is going to be a lot of meaty political intrigue and bonus language geekery into the mix. That said, I could do with out the inevitable reminder that Marlovan is “the language of war” every. Single. Time. She uses the word.

Eyes of Crow – Jeri Smith-Ready
Early days on this one too, but I'm liking the quasi-Native American cast to the fantasy elements thus far.

彼方者の困惑 – 直野儚羅 (Atchimono no Konwaku – Naono Bohra)
Featuring the cutest chibi goat bakemono you could ever ask for.

What I'm Reading Next

Several candidates here, including Trees vol. 2 by Warren Ellis, DMZ vol. 1 by Brian Wood, and the 夜と朝 doujinshi by Naifu.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Subject:Snowflake Challenge 2017: Day 4
Time:10:14 pm.

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Day 04

Comment to someone you haven't ever interacted with before or introduce yourself to someone you've interacted with and friend/follow them. Afterwards, leave a comment in this post with the equivalent of "I did it!"


And I did it!

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Subject:Fandom Snowflake 2017 - Day 3
Time:12:13 am.

Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner


Day 03

In your own space, set some goals for the coming year. They can be fannish or not, public or private. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


Several of these are the Ghosts of Fandom Snowflake Resolutions Past, but if nothing else I've made year-on-year improvements on them. My goals for 2017 are:

- Write a minimum of one completed fic a month (I managed eight last year)
- Complete rereads of at least three favorite manga/manhwa series (candidates include Antique Bakery, DVD, Fullmetal Alchemist, Planetes, 終点 Unknown, 氷の魔物の物語, and 竹光侍)
- Finish one WIP
- More fic reading and more fic commenting!

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Subject:Snowflake Challenge 2017: Day 2
Time:4:55 pm.

Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner



Day 2

In your own space, share a book/song/movie/tv show/fanwork/etc that changed your life. Something that impacted on your consciousness in a way that left its mark on your soul. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


There's a lot I could list here, from the obvious (The Lord of the Rings) to the niche (Oucho Romanse), but I'm going to go with the Prydain Chronicles. I read Tolkien first, but it was Alexander that gave me my fascination with Celtic languages, cosmology, and history; which led to my learning Latin, which gave me the linguistic grounding I needed to succeed at multiple modern languages, which gave me the opportunity to spend a large percentage of my life abroad and my current career in the bargain. So, there you go: the course of an entire adult life out of a Mabinogion mash-up.

And while not everything came up roses for Tolkien's characters, it was Alexander's books that made the lesson stick, precisely because the good guys didn't always get the grand prize in the end (I can still easily recall how viscerally furious I was about certain events in The Black Cauldron and Taran Wanderer). Bad things happened in Tolkien, but Tolkien was for grown-ups; things always worked out in books that looked like the Prydain Chronicles that were shelved in the part of the bookstore where the Prydain Chronicles were shelved. The fact that they didn't in this case made me realize life was probably like that too.

これで以上です。
Comments: Read 4 orAdd Your Own.

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Subject:Yuletide Reveals!
Time:10:40 pm.
I got two (two!) amazing fics this year

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cetho by DachOsmin in The Goblin Emperor fandom. Oh man, this gift. Social mores! Earnest-and-conflicted-and-grumpy Beshelar! Cala being badass! Oblique backstory! Loyalty! Devotion! Like Addison, the author does a bang-up job of hinting at things and letting the reader work through the implications. So good.

Shine by cerch in the Captive Prince fandom. What I love especially about this fic is the look we get at Our Heroes learning how to be hopeful and content after everything they've been through, but without glossing over the lingering uncertainties and concerns. And there's some ripping good banter into the bargain, too.

And for those who are interested, my Goblin Emperor story, "A Tale Concerning the Emperor's Wedding," is here.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Time:10:15 pm.
明けましておめでとう, ya'll! Glad it's a new year and glad there's a new Snowflake Challenge to go with it. My thanks as ever to the challenge mods, current and past, for all the hard work you guys do.



Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner


Day 1

In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


年末怪奇事記 (Record of Unusual Occurrences in the Eleventh and Twelfth Months) For Onmyoji fandom, which more people should know about because the movies are wonderful. I had so much fun writing this fic, half of which came out in Japanese that I had to rework into English, and it was the first time I felt I'd really managed a whole plot.

The New Emperor's Nohecharis For The Goblin Emperor fandom, which has such a ridiculously talented core of writers it's a bit intimidating to dip my toe into. Lawful good Beshelar just hits all of my kinks, and I love speculating about all the implications of the world and social systems Addison set up. This 900-odd-word fic is the result of my paring down over 10,000 words till I thought I'd got it right.

Revisions for The Watchmaker of Filigree Street fandom, which more people should know about because the novel is wonderful. I wrote this whole thing in the browser of a Nexus mini tablet whose text editor and autocorrect functions were clearly designed by a sadist. That was the terrible part. The fun part was the challenge of getting into Mori's head and working through how someone with his abilities would perceive the world. Plus, I got to play around in AU Meiji-era politics.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - December 29
Time:12:02 am.
It's been awhile, hasn't it?

What I Just Finished Reading

Christmas Mouse – Anne Mortimer
The illustrations are adorable and having spent last week in a place with small children, I could not refuse.

Wee Free Men – Terry Pratchett
Crivens, Pterry, I miss you so much.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever – Barbara Robinson
I bought this book decades ago when wishing fervently that ma famille was more of the Christmas persuasion. Although the wish is long gone, I still love Pageantfor the nostalgia factor (it's the first place I encountered a fair amount of vocabulary) and for the author's wit and incisive observation.


What I Am Currently Reading

The Smoke Thief – Shana Abe
I hoped this would be the illusive Carpathian folklore-based fantasy novel of my dreams, but what I got instead was a YA romance potboiler set in 19th century Britain with characters who dress like they're from 18th century France and speak like they're from 21st century America.

[Placeholder – Placeholder]
For Reasons.

Shutter vol. 1 – Joe Keatinge & Leila Del Duca
Keatinge's Ringside was one of the best comics I read this year. Shutter seems a little rougher (not surprising, given it's two years older) but the premise is intriguing and the visual vibe a cross between Transmetropolitan and Injection, so unless the plot fumbles horribly, count me in.

The Stupidest Angel – Christopher Moore
Alas, I did not make it through before Christmas, so reading is paused until next year. As I remember many of the jokes from the last readthrough, however, this is not entirely a bad thing.

Captive Prince – S.U. Pacat
Shana Abe palate cleanser.


What I'm Reading Next

League of Dragons – Naomi Novik
When I read this, it will be over. :(


これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - August 24
Time:9:48 pm.
Overtime. Sooo much overtime. Anyway:

What I Just Finished Reading

Great Britain – Emma Marriott
A generally entertaining light-read compendium of U.K.-related trivia. Marriott did a nice job covering a variety of subject matter (history, politics, law, sport, food) in a way that kept me interested even through topics I might not care for, and explained complex topics I was interested in effectively but without dumbing them down.

The Index Card – Helaine Olen & Harold Pollack
I very much enjoyed Olen's Pound Foolish, and found much of the advice in this book to be solid and worth remembering. That said, I wish someone, anyone, would admit the truth – that 401(k)s and IRAs are not “preparing for retirement,” they are gambling. Just because the state encourages citizens to participate does not make them any less so.


What I Am Currently Reading

Necklace of Kisses – Francesca Lia Block
Maybe it's because there's so much good writing in fandom that I expect more from a published author, or maybe it's because I've read hundreds of novels since the Weetzie Bat series was first published, but I've read most of Block's work and found most of it to be technically sound, but lifeless. Thus far, Necklace of Kisses has been a delightful exception to that rule. I hope the magic continues through the latter two thirds of the novel.

Sabriel – Garth Nix
I like Sabriel so much I sometimes wish I could unread the other novels in this series, which is ironic given that I'm rereading now as a prelude to tackling Clariel.

Blood of Tyrants – Naomi Novik
Intelligent, highly-cultured dragons coexisting with and sometimes at odds with human society? No problem. But give me a Japan with tatami in the hallways and sandals indoors, and my brain revolts. What improbable never-neverland is this?!? Funny how the mind works.

The Tarot – Robert M. Place
Still working through the history. I can't help but feel both Dummett and Giles covered this ground better.

Instant Indonesian – Stuart Robson & Julian Millie
I generally dislike these sorts of phrasebooks, but thus far I've found this one to be a useful way to fill in my knowledge of informal speech patterns.


What I'm Reading Next

Let Them Eat Dirt – B. Brett Finlay & Marie-Claire Arrieta
Being a nonfiction work about how excessive germophobia and preoccupation with not exposing children to dirt, allergens, and other “unsanitary” things might actually contribute to health problems later in life. I am hoping it is more science than granola. We shall see with time.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - August 10
Time:10:58 pm.
자동차saya adaパンク <-- actual sentence that came out of my mouth today. And leaving you with that to chew on, here is:

What I Just Finished Reading

Younger – Suzanne Munshower
The final third relied too heavily on several “And so, Mr Bond, that's why I...” expository speeches, only delivered here by allies of the protagonist. The plot also hinges on a level of naivety among certain characters that stretches belief. Having said that, this was still a really well-written book that included a lot of incisive social commentary along with the entertainment, without bashing readers about the head with the former. I'm glad I read it and recommend it to anyone looking for a good action/mystery yarn.


What I Am Currently Reading

In the Darkroom – Susan Faludi
Faludi is a good writer. Whether it be holocaust trauma, the definition of gender, or the (im?)mutability of identity, her writing is a sparely worded gut punch. I'm torn between wanting to tear through it because it's so good, and needing to put it down to mull over individual sentences.

The Tarot – Robert M. Place
Farther in, the faults are beginning to show. It's not that I disagree with Place's assertions; rather, he makes them in logically faulty ways. For instance, his statement that Tarot cards could not have originated in ancient Egypt (as claimed by 18th- and 19th-century occultists) because paper didn't exist in ancient Egypt is like saying that I'm listening to The Beatles mp3s while I type this, but mp3s didn't exist in the '60s, so neither could have The Beatles. I'm hoping we'll be back on firmer ground as we move into discussions of the antecedents to Tarot symbolism.

Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
This week's passages focused on the many classifiers and quantifiers in Indonesian, and how they pair with nouns and numerals.

Cut the Clutter – Cynthia Townley Ewer
This week's sections dealt with schedules and kitchen organization. While they sound nice in theory, I think they would be difficult to put into practice by anyone whose schedule doesn't involve multiple (sometimes conflicting) moving parts, or whose kitchen isn't grand enough to be featured in a high-end interior design magazine. I hope the upcoming chapters on clothing and home maintenance are more practicable.

沈黙入門 - 小池 龍之介 (Chinmoku Nyumon – Koike Ryunosuke)
Koike is the first (at least within my readings) to lay out a progression of increasingly sophisticated zazen techniques, vice “count your breaths and focus on air entering your nostrils” instructions. It will be interesting to try them out.

What I'm Reading Next

At the time of writing, I am not sure what I feel like reading next.

これで以上です。
Comments: Read 2 orAdd Your Own.

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