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• What are you reading?

Still Becoming, by Michelle Obama, which keeps getting interrupted by other books; this week it is

The Color Purple, by Alice Walker, for classics book group tomorrow.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Mercury, by Hope Larsen. Interesting story, which I am still thinking about, but I did not like the drawing. Different characters looked too similar and the same character looked too different from one panel to the next. And I don't mean Tara and Josie, who are supposed to look similar; I mean, for example, Josie's mother and the man Josie falls in love with.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

I've got The True Queen, by Zen Cho!
But Bad science : quacks, hacks, and big pharma flacks, by Ben Goldacre
and Multiple sclerosis : a guide for the newly diagnosed , by T. Jock Murray, Carol S. Saunders, Nancy J. Holland are due back at the library.

• What are you watching?

Jasper Jones, directed by Rachel Perkins. I was disappointed by how ineffectual all the female characters were.

Spring

Apr. 10th, 2019 08:24 pm
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First daffodil!



That was yesterday. Today, blizzard.


• What are you reading?

Still Becoming, by Michelle Obama.
Also An Unkindness of Ghosts, by Rivers Solomon, for SF book group tomorrow.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Cultured: How ancient foods can feed our microbiome, by Katherine Harmon Courage, and now I am looking for Jerusalem artichokes tubers to plant. This book agrees with my sister about the importance of the microbiome, but has completely different recommendations; Courage is for fiber and fermentation and my sister is basically paleo.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

The Color Purple, by Alice Walker, for classics book group next week.

• What are you watching?

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
The House of Tomorrow.
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• What are you reading?

Becoming, by Michelle Obama, for Tawanda bookgroup in September, but my library hold came in now so I'm reading it now.

The Magpie Lord, by K.J. Charles, because I have been curious about K.J. Charles for a while and this was 99 cents on Kindle.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Giant Days: Volume 1, by John Allison.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

I've got to get back to Cultured, because it is on hold for other people. It has me wondering why our national obesity hysteria hasn't reduced our national overprescription of unnecessary antibiotics.

• What are you watching?

The Post
Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot
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• What are you reading?

Infomocracy, by Malka Older, and Cultured: How Ancient Foods Can Feed Our Microbiome, by Katherine Harmon Courage.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, by Kelly Jones, illustrated by Katie Kath. Weird, charming, really good. I especially appreciated the author's solution to the situation, so common in kids' books, where you've got a magic problem that you can't get any help with, because you can't talk to anyone about magic; in fact, the people who care about you, the ones you should turn to for help, just pile more problems on the ones you already have, because you can't let them find out about magic.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

Iron Hearted Violet, by Kelly Barnhill.

• What are you watching?

The House With A Clock In Its Walls. The child actor is not a very good actor but Cate Blanchett and Jack Black are gonzo.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, for the first time but not the last.
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• What are you reading?

What's a Dog For, by John Homans. I feel like I've read a significant amount of this material before, and it was more fun when Jon Katz wrote it. But people are always designing new experiments to reveal something about how dogs think, so there is always fresh water in this well.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens, for Tawanda book group. Not for me.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

Unusual chickens for the exceptional poultry farmer, by Kelly Jones, from [personal profile] mrissa's recommendation: https://mrissa.dreamwidth.org/1041873.html

• What are you watching?

I finished Russian Doll and started The Umbrella Academy.

The Cooler is a big bag of cliches.
The Child in Time is a realistic depiction of what it's like to lose a child, but the ending is over-the-top sentimentality.
The Greatest Showman has some good song and dance numbers.
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• What are you reading?

The Raven Tower, by Ann Leckie. She has set herself another interesting problem in narrative voice: her viewpoint character is a god, and what a god says must be true. If a god says something that isn't true, then all its power must go to making the thing become true, and if that isn't within the god's power, it will die. It thinks.

So the god is telling a story, partly about itself and partly about the person it is telling the story to, and it has to be careful not to say anything that might not be true. And Leckie is telling the story, and she wants to make it interesting, because that is her job. Also the god is a rock.

• What did you recently finish reading?

The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde, for classics book group.

Flow, by Marissa Lingen, here: https://firesidefiction.com/flow

It's about paying attention, when attention must be paid. Taking responsibility. Taking care. How you keep going when the world is telling you what it needs, but your body won't tell you the truth about what direction 'down' is. And what happens when you talk to the one who loves you about the things that you perceive that she can't perceive. Really good. Go read it!

• What do you think you’ll read next?

Jane Doe, by Victoria Helen Stone. "When her best friend commits suicide after being dumped by a worthless man, Jane, a self-described sociopath, decides revenge will be slow and sweet."

• What are you watching?

Innerspace,
Game Night,
Desk Set.

I tried to watch Taboo, but Tom Hardy + no subtitles = not going to work for me.
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• What are you reading?

Wild Things: the joy of reading children's literature as an adult, by Bruce Handy. I like the books he's talking about but I'm not sure I like his take on them.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Zero Sum Game, by S.L. Huang. If you would like to read a thriller without being punched in the face by sexism, this book is for you. There is an early moment when the protagonist does something stupid and I thought, you expect me to believe that she can do her job when you show me that she is that bad at her job? But no! The writer did not expect me to believe that at all!

• What do you think you’ll read next?

Where the crawdads sing, by Delia Owens, for Tawanda book group.

• What are you watching?

Avengers: Infinity War. How many fight scenes is too many fight scenes? What the heck is this movie saying about when you should kill the one you love?

The Night Of. That Riz Ahmed is going to be a big star.
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• What are you reading?

The Summer Birds, by Penelope Farmer, because of [personal profile] rachelmanija's recommendation.

• What did you recently finish reading?

The Tea Master and the Detective, by Aliette de Bodard. I think this is the right length de Bodard for me. The other one I've tried was The House of Shattered Wings, which had a similar flavor: melancholy, lots that is unspoken and maybe unspeakable, communication that is clearly conveying much more to the characters than I will ever understand. Maybe it is just too grown-up a flavor for me.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

I want to read all the good books for eleven-year-olds. Here's my list so far:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/7530468-boxofdelights?shelf=eleven
Suggestions and comments are welcome. No need to read through my list to make sure your suggestion is not on it; more mentions of a book make me more likely to read it.

• What are you watching?

Russian Doll, whenever I get some wifi.

Bad Times at the El Royale. Violent but worth it.

Tully. Really good.

A Wrinkle in Time.
1. This movie is so beautiful.
2. I am okay with it being its own thing, even though it has more love and less math than I would have chosen.
3. I have a surprising sore spot that this movie hit when the Happy Medium, urging Meg to find her balance, yelled, "You can do this, you’re choosing not to."

I don't have a sense of balance, not like most people do. I don't have a thing in my head that is constantly telling me what direction 'down' is. I have a substitute that I have manufactured for myself, from seeing horizontals and feeling pressure against the soles of my feet.

Most likely I was born this way. The nerve endings in my left ear never got finished. My parents noticed that I was deaf in one ear when I was five, but I didn't figure out the balance problem until I was an adult. Fortunately I don't have vertigo because my baby brain was still plastic enough to realize that the signal from my inner ear is not worth listening to.

The balance mechanism in my right ear still works, but the brain interprets any signal from right ear + no signal from left ear = 'down' is whatever direction the right ear is pointing. When I was a kid I used to sit in a swing, raise my feet and close my eyes, to get the illusion that I was spinning, very slowly, clockwise. I was always surprised to open my eyes and see that the swing's chains were not twisted together.

So the yoga exercise that has you stand on one foot, find your balance, and then close your eyes fells me like a tree. It was an immense relief to learn that no, I'm not choosing not to, I just can't.
boxofdelights: (Default)
• What are you reading?

The Tea Master and the Detective, by Aliette de Bodard.

• What did you recently finish reading?

So Lucky, by Nicola Griffith. I agree with [personal profile] omnia_mutantur that the pacing is weird, with an action plot suddenly erupting in the home stretch of a very short book.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

I have Forget the Sleepless Shores, by Sonya Taaffe. I'm very slow at reading short stories though.

• What are you watching?

First Wives Club: This is not a good time to watch a feel-good movie about crazy rich New Yorkers, with cameos from Ed Koch and Ivana Trump, and a side of "oops, I didn't realize I was fucking a sixteen-year-old."

Searching: Meh.

The Escape Artist, a BBC miniseries starring David Tennant and Sophie Okonedo. Terrible. This might be a useful resource if you are studying Women in Refrigerators.
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• What are you reading?

So Lucky, by Nicola Griffith. This is so hard to read, because Mara loses so much, both physically and socially, so fast. I know that this is one of the possibilities but it isn't one I want to think about right now. I hope I get to see Mara figuring out how to pursue happiness in the body she has.

• What did you recently finish reading?

An Excess Male, by Maggie Shen King. Really good. I'm looking forward to talking about it with SF book group.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

The Waste Land, by T.S. Eliot, for Classics book group.

• What are you watching?

Coherence.
Eighth Grade, which expressed the feeling of eighth grade so well that I was dying of embarrassment all through. Kayla is so brave, and she works so hard!
boxofdelights: (Default)
• What are you reading?

An Excess Male, by Maggie Shen King. So good at depicting people trapped in a totalitarian culture, who want to be good to each other but end up torturing each other, like their society is torturing them, because they can't seem to understand that they could be wrong about what is good for someone else.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Hardy Succulents: Tough Plants for Every Climate, by Gwen Moore Kelaidis. Lots of information about cold-hardy succulents, in general and by species. Lots of good photos. Written by someone who knows her subject and lives in my area.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

So Lucky, by Nicola Griffith. I think this is my pick for Tawanda book group this year.

• What are you watching?

Mortal Engines, in the theater with Mungo. Very pretty, very silly, very violent.

At home, Bloodlight and Bami, Leave No Trace, Wag the Dog, and season 1 of Counterpart.
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I had osmosed a lot about Raiders of the Lost Ark in the decades that it has existed, so I knew that Indiana Jones is the kind of "archeologist" who is really just a thief, but I was surprised that the movie didn't provide even the skimpiest fig leaf, neither for Jones's theft of other peoples' treasures, nor for his wanton destruction of the context that contains all the information that a real archeologist would treasure. For Jones, those are just obstacles that he can smash to prove that he is the Manliest Man who will do Whatever It Takes.

I was prepared for the heroine to scream and run away, and get captured and sexually menaced, and be useless a lot, but I was astonished to see other men keep dressing her up in ridiculous floofy or slinky white gowns. Was that to signal that, despite all the sexual menacing, she was still good enough to be the hero's Consolation Prize? Is that why, after the heroine is thrown into the pit of snakes, and we see a snake slithering through the open toe of one of her white high-heeled pumps, she clutches the other pump even while she's climbing to escape the snakes?

And I knew the climax was some supernatural/radioactive nonsense that caused the Nazis' faces to melt off. I was wondering how Indiana and Marian were going to be separated from the Ark before that happened. I had no idea that Indiana would protect them by saying, "Just close your eyes. Whatever you do, don't look." As long as you don't look, the horrors that are happening around you can't touch you. They may come close enough to burn away your restraints, but you yourself will remain unscathed.

That may be the most American thing I have ever seen.
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• What are you reading?

Have cold. Not reading. Head full of snot.

• What did you recently finish reading?

I finished Chronicle of a Death Foretold, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, last month, for Classics book group, which is tomorrow. I would like to go. I always enjoy this group, even when I dislike the book. I think it's true that after you've had a cold for a week, you're not shedding the virus anymore even if you're still symptomatic.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

An Excess Male, by Maggie Shen King, for SF book group.

• What are you watching?

Killing Eve, with Neal and Rosemary, so I can't just binge it.
Have also watched On the Basis of Sex, in theater with Tawanda book group. And Being John Malkovich, Adam's Rib, Finding Your Feet, Swallows and Amazons, Love's Labours Lost, and Thoroughbreds at home.
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I just watched Dear Zindagi and I loved it. I had to stop for a while in the middle because I thought for sure it was going to do something terrible ), but it didn't! Also it showed work, friendship (especially friendship with other women), and family as being foundational to happiness, with romantic love as a joyful addition when you're ready.

Also I found the constant language-switching delightful.

Is there a lot of Bollywood like this? Can you recommend any?

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