boxofdelights: (Default)
• 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.
boxofdelights: (Default)
• 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.
boxofdelights: (Default)
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.
boxofdelights: (Default)
• 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.
boxofdelights: (Default)
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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