Expect next week's pace to taper off given that Good Old Games just had their big summer sale. Anyway, this past week's reading:
What I Just Finished Reading
Headscarves and Hymens – Mona Eltahawy
Although the rest of the volume never attains the diamond-brilliant glory of the first essay, this volume is well worth the ready.
The Great Suppression – Zachary Roth
Also worth the read, although I'm a little skeptical as to Roth's conclusion that Jane and Joe Everyone can turn the tide against moneyed elites' efforts to disenfranchise them from the political process.
Queen and Country: The Definitive Edition vol. 3 – Greg Rucka
The art was by and large fabulous, and I think Rucka means well. But he is also a sterling example of how even largely well-meaning male authors so often get it wrong when writing “realistic” female protagonists.
Silver Diamond 24 - 杉浦 志保 (Silver Diamond vol. 24 – Sugiura Shiho)
In which Rakan & Co. deal a striking blow to the main antagonist. I imagine it would have been gripping had I been able to read it in Ichi Raci, but the dramatic tension is somewhat lessened by my knowledge that four additional volumes yet remain.
蟲師 3 - 漆原 友紀 (Mushishi vol. 3 – Urushihara Yuki)
I love, love, love Urushihara's art. It's what my fantasy-perfect premodern Japan looks like. That said, the series has been slow going for me thus far, with it's youkai-of-the-week format and dearth of recurring characters. But halfway through the volume's final chapter, we get a hint that Urushihara's just sneaked in some major backstory that's confirmed by the conclusion. If the following volumes contain actual plot arcs in addition to the gorgeous artwork, you can count me on board.
What I Am Currently Reading
Jane Steele – Lyndsay Faye
Having read the first chapter, I'm pleased to say Faye has the voice down pat. However, I get the sense the story may be far darker than what I thought it would be. I'm now wondering if I should reread Jane Eyre before plunging any further into this one, as good as the writing promises to be.
Miramont's Ghost – Elizabeth Hall
Still as flatly and unbelievably written as ever. At least I'm a fourth of the way through it.
Wildwood Dancing – Juliet Marillier
While not as wonderfully atmospheric as I'd hoped it would be, I'm still enjoying the story immensely. The plot, characterizations, and description are all engaging, and I'm eager to see if some of my suspicions about where the story might be headed regarding the Night Folk and the magical frog Gogu are borne out.
The Living Religious & Cultural Traditions of Bhutan – National Museum, Janpath, New Delhi
This book contains some lovely tidbits about Bhutanese culture, particularly the country's unique riff on esoteric Buddhism. The color photographs are top notch; my main complaint is that they should have included far more, particularly details of the intricate thangka paintings.
Queen and Country: The Definitive Edition vol. 4 – Greg Rucka
I believe this is the final volume in the series, although thus far it's been backstories for the secondary male characters, versus Rucka picking up the story from its volume 3 cliffhanger. Given the overall implausibility of the volume's ending, this may be a blessing in disguise.
Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
I have finally moved into me-i verbs. This week's sections focused on me-i verbs indicating location of the action, and their corresponding me-kan + preposition counterparts indicating the object.
Sang Alkemis – Paul Coehlo
Trudging along. At least I'm picking up some useful geographic and pastoral vocabulary.
What I'm Reading Next
Crown Duel – Sherwood Smith
This is one of my quintessential high-summer reads. I own the paperback reprint, but am trying to get the 1997 edition, with its “uncorrected” geography, from the library to read instead.