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The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living - Russ Harris. Read more... )

A Tale for the Time Being - Ruth Ozeki. Read more... )

Among Others - Jo Walton. Read more... )

Keeping up with the Germans: A History of Anglo-German Encounters - Philip Oltermann. Read more... )

Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovitch. Read more... )

A Stranger in Olondria - Sofia Samatar. Read more... )

Understanding the European Union: A Concise Introduction - John McCormick. Read more... )

Cart and Cwidder - Diana Wynne Jones. Read more... )
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But here's a start, anyway:

Corsets and Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances - Edited by Trisha Telep. Read more... )

Working Stiff - Rachel Caine. Read more... )

Must Love Vampires - Heidi Betts. Read more... )

The Year of the Hare - Arto Paasilinna. Read more... )

o hai

Dec. 30th, 2013 07:11 pm
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I've actually continued to read books since this summer! I just have been massively failing to post about them. Here is the first bit of the backlog.

The Summer Prince - Alaya Dawn Johnson. Read more... )

Kitty's Greatest Hits - Carrie Vaughn. Read more... )

Heart of Iron - Ekaterina Sedia. Read more... )

Fortress Europe: Dispatches from a Gated Continent - Matthew Carr. Read more... )

The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance - Edited by Tricia Telep. Read more... )
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I'm reading! Things that are new to me! Long may this last but it probably won't.

Permeable Borders - Nina Kiriki Hoffman. Read more... )

Undone - Rachel Caine. Read more... )

Unknown - Rachel Caine. Read more... )
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... I always start these entries meekly. Gosh, it's been a long time since I updated, ugh.

I've spent a lot of the last few months rereading Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville books, serious comfort reads for me; you can check the tag for my previous thoughts, as I don't have the spoons to write up reread thoughts right now (& thinking I should is part of why I haven't updated in ages). Someday I will write a big post about why I love these books so much, & what Kitty says to me about power & activism & choices & family, but... this is not that day.

Kitty Rocks the House - Carrie Vaughn. This one is new since I last updated! Read more... )

Shaping Europe: France, Germany, and Embedded Bilateralism from the Elysée Treaty to Twenty-First Century Politics - Ulrich Krotz & Joachim Schild. Read more... )

Half World - Hiromi Goto. Another comfort re-read. This book says so many things that I need to hear over & over.

Darkest Light - Hiromi Goto. This is the sequel to Half World. I had to special-order this from Canada, but it was so worth it. Read more... )

& one more

Mar. 29th, 2013 01:17 pm
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I didn't want this to get lost in the Diane Duane post nor in the next post I ought to make sometime (rereading the Kitty Norville books ♥).

A Stir of Bones - Nina Kiriki Hoffman. Read more... )
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I did a reread recently of the first 7 of Diane Duane's Young Wizards books (I've previously posted brief reactions on my last reread). The series follows Long Island kids Nita & Kit as they discover they're wizards & run around drawn into adventures in the battle between good & evil. Wow, that's a dismissive summary, but I actually love these books (ask me about my Diane Duane tattoo, if you don't already know! I have plans for a second, even... ).

Anyway, general notes on the series: Read more... )

Brief commentary on individual books:

So You Want to be a Wizard - Read more... )

Deep Wizardry - Read more... )

High Wizardry - Read more... )

A Wizard Abroad - Read more... )

The Wizard's Dilemma - Read more... )

A Wizard Alone - Read more... )

Wizard's Holiday - Read more... )
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Dead Spots - Melissa F. Olson. Read more... )

Capital Cities in the Aftermath of Empires: Planning in Central and Southeastern Europe - Edited by Emily Gunzburger Makaš and Tanja Damljanović Conley. Read more... )
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... I like how three long plane journeys & the winter holiday break made me read as many books in about a week & a half as I managed in 4 months!

Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism & the Scapegoating of Femininity - Julia Serano. Read more... )

Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein. No spoilers -- & I do think this YA novel is one v. much worth going into without spoilers! Read more... )

Feminism for Real: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism - Edited by Jessica Yee. Read more... )

Kitty Steals the Show - Carrie Vaughn. Read more... )
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Most of these have been written up for ages; I just never got around to posting. & yes, these are the only books I've managed to read since August.

Broken Kingdoms - N. K. Jemisin. Read more... )

Small Change: About the Art of Practice and the Limits of Planning in Cities - Nabeel Hamdi. Read more... )

The Wiscon Chronicles Volume 6: Futures of Feminism and Fandom - Edited by Alexis Lothian. Read more... )

Post-Suburban Europe: Planning and Politics at the Margins of Europe's Capital Cities - Nicholas A. Phelps, Nick Parsons, Dimitris Ballas & Andrew Dowling. Read more... )
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Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, Queen of the Darkness - Anne Bishop. Yeah, the magical cock ring books. Read more... )

Kitty's Big Trouble - Carrie Vaughn. Read more... )

Half World - Hiromi Goto. Read more... )
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Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution - Sara Marcus. Read more... )

So... tl;dr: no book could really cover all of riot grrrl, & this history is a celebratory start, but the gaps, to me, were very indicative of the sorts of problems that riot grrrl had & that feminist movement still has.
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Kitty's House of Horrors - Carrie Vaughn. My second reread of the 7th book in the Kitty Norville series; still as much delicious delicious brain candy as the first time I read it. Still in awe of how Vaughn pulls no punches w/the body count here. Still love how Kitty finds herself kind of a reluctant leader, even though she'd never really seen herself that way, because the world is fucking w/the people she loves & well, that can't stand. (& yeah, still OMG want werewolf poly OT3ness in canon pls? Someone has to have written some fic about this; I don't want to write it, I only want to read it!)

Kitty & the Midnight Hour - Carrie Vaughn. Maybe I'll reread all of these out of order? Thought after reading my favorite one, I would reread the first one. &... a huge huge part of the series is how Kitty learns to interrogate what is presented to her as the natural order of things when one is a werewolf: certain domineering behavior from males in the pack, etc. What I love is that Vaughn does make Kitty skeptical, eventually, about these things, & that Vaughn doesn't do the easy thing of making it all normal because OMG our werewolf natures~~~ or whatever. But wow, on a reread I feel like it wasn't all that clear in the beginning that Vaughn was actually going to do that! I am glad whatever made me stick around the first time pulled me through. Also OMG Cormac surly werewolf bounty hunter of love! (... though yeah, still want OT3 fic, I would settle for lots of Kitty/Cormac smut as a poor second!)
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Remember when I used to actually read books? More than occasionally? ;____;

The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle - Steven Pressfield. Read more... )

Remembering Japanese Baseball: An Oral History of the Game - Robert K. Fitts. Read more... )

30 Days of Becoming a Better Japanese Learner - Koichi@tofugu.com. Read more... )

Building Diaspora: Filipino Cultural Formation on the Internet - Emily Noelle Ignacio. Read more... )
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Straight from the Heart: Gender, Intimacy, and the Cultural Production of Shojo Manga - Jennifer S. Prough. Read more... )

A Sociology of Japanese Ladies' Comics: Images of the Life, Loves, and Sexual Fantasies of Adult Japanese Women - Ito Kinko. Read more... )
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Fanning the Flames: Fans & Consumer Culture in Contemporary Japan - Edited by William W. Kelly. Read more... )

Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti - Genevieve Valentine. Read more... )

Zen to Done: The Ultimate Simple Productivity System - Leo Babauta. Read more... )
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Japan Pop!: Inside the World of Japanese Popular Culture - Edited by Timothy J. Craig. This is a generally pleasing overview of Japanese cultural studies -- I think (though I haven't checked; I'm just going by the feel of the book) largely by Western, if not US, scholars. It was published in 2000 & I'd be really curious as to how some of the topics discussed have morphed since then; for example, I was interested in James Stanslaw's article on how female pop stars use English (or not) to assert certain things about themselves & their image, & I'd imagine this has developed much further in the last 11 years.

I also liked William Lee's piece talking about how popular TV shows (most recently -- & that's not v. recent anymore -- Crayon Shin-chan) use nostalgia about a certain type of family to draw in viewers, especially for shows that may have already been airing for decades & that rely on the appeal of a certain mythic timeless good-old-days social structure. One article by Anne Allison about Sailor Moon & her reception in the US retreads old ground for me (though it probably wasn't old when the book was published... ) about localization of Japanese anime, but also points out that part of the reason Sailor Moon wasn't nearly as popular in the US was because kids found her annoyingly "girly" for a superhero. For all those who posit the US as feminist light years ahead of other countries (including Japan), well, yes, look at that: US kids rejecting someone for trying to be both a superhero & feminine. Hm.

Other stuff I liked: Christine Yano talking about the continuing appeal of enka; Hiro R. Shimatachi on karaoke-induced culture clashes (though again, this is something I suspect has changed a lot since publication); & Hiroshi Aoyagi on pop idols as tools for pan-Asian identity. Anyway: a nice overview, and now I have to see what's been written in English more recently on some of these same subjects.
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Between moving, extreme distraction, & cramming for a Japanese assessment test I haven't been doing v. much reading at all. Here are two things I've read, briefly, anyway:

Leche - R. Zamora Linmark. I felt really uneasy about this novel, which is a shame because I'd been anticipating it so much since having read Rolling the R's. This novel is a vague sequel, with Vince now grown up and returning to the Philippines (from which he moved to Hawaii as a child) in the wake of having won a community beauty pageant. I think there is a lot worth looking at in terms of claiming an identity (Filipino, in this case) as a third culture kid, as a diasporan, etc. & of course, of course a lot of that is going to be about culture clashes & stuff. But... I still felt like this book was written v. much from the perspective of a US American, & some of the "lol isn't how they do things here [in the Philippines] strange?" stuff, for me, crossed the line into patronizing & offensive.

Grave Secret - Charlaine Harris. This could possibly be the last of Harris' Harper Connelly books, as a lot of overarching plot threads get tied up here. It feels like it would be a good place to stop, anyway. I've enjoyed the other books in this series: suitably creepy novels about Harper, a woman who can sense the dead ever since she got hit by lightning as a teenager. She's parlayed this into a career as a private investigator, of sorts. The series shows her & her stepbrother/manager/now lover Tolliver dealing w/skeptics, true believers, people who don't want the secrets of the dead uncovered, & also, hey, making a living as a small entrepreneur & how both growing up poor & still not being v. class-privileged affect that. There's also a lot of stuff about going on w/your life after childhood abuse. Anyway: overall this book was v. satisfying, & I would be pleased if Harris ended here.
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The WisCon Chronicles Volume 5: Writing and Racial Identity - Edited by Nisi Shawl. Read more... )

Pandemonium and Parade: Japanese Monsters and the Culture of Yokai - Michael Dylan Foster. Read more... )
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Enchanted Glass - Diana Wynne Jones. Read more... )

Gender Dilemmas in Children's Fiction - Kerry Mallan. Read more... )

I Hotel - Karen Tei Yamashita. Read more... )

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