WarriorWoman

maharetr


Waking up strong in the morning...

walking in a straight line


Reading meme
WarriorWoman
maharetr
Have finished:
Amulet volumes 3, 4, & 5, too sleepy to look up the proper titles: continues to be charming of character and gorgeous of art. Has "And then the fire nation attacked!" level of worldbuilding that, like The Last Airbender, then builds on it to say pleasing things about loyalty and character and power (and who gets that power and why and how). Volume five made me gasp a "wow" out loud, and then an "oh fuck" at the end. I'm really impressed with all of it.

DNF (did not start?): Ghost talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal. I'd been so delighted by her short fiction a while back, and had been stoked to read a book of hers, but when I read the Amazon sample, I was startled and sadened by how clunky and wooden it was. Maybe it's the difference between first and third person, but sadface!

Just finished a minute ago: I'd been planning to Much Hugo short fiction reading from Abigail Nussbaum's short fiction post, but I only read a few, and nomination deadline is hard approaching.

I did read Gracia by Susana Vallejo, translated by Lawrence Schimel) which I haven't nominated. It was really good! But I find the 'genuine no-hope' stories, even (or maybe especially) the quiet ones, where no more children are being born and things are just drifting to a stop a-la Children of men really unsettling. It's not the story's fault, and I give it kudos for its effectiveness, even but still. I hope others can love it like it deserves.

Brushwork by Aliya Whiteley. This I did nominate. One of the complaints I have about Old man's war by John Scalzi (which I adored, btw) was that it never felt like the POV character was actually old. In Brushwork, they are that old, and they're feeling it, and feeling the eyes of the young people who come to raid the compound the characters are living/being held in and I'm too tired for a porper review but I really liked it, for all that it needed a final edit.

Up next: Now that the first part of the Hugos are essentially done, I can curl up with other reads. I'm looking foward to starting The long way to a small angry planet by Becky Chambers which is on my bedside table right now even.

Reading meme, to hell with Wednesdays :D
WarriorWoman
maharetr
Have finished:
The stonekeeeper and The stonekeeper’s curse (vol 1 &2 of Amulet) by Kazu Kibuishi: After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. This graphic novel series has regularly past across my desk in both jobs I’ve been at, but it looked kinda childish and I only picked it up because I was assessing suitability for something ... I was so mistaken. I really felt for both the mother and the kids, and loved the characterisation of all of them. The art is simple but also gorgeous, and the characters and the everything is just..straightforward and charming and I found myself grinning indulgently at the page, and laughing aloud more than once with charmed. It’s the “And then the fire nation attacked!” level of simple, but it’s also The Last Air-Bender’s level of teamwork and found family and charm. I’d esp rec this for people with low English skills, but generally rec it for anyone who wants a charming graphic novel read.

Zombies, run! by Naomi Alderman and Six to Start: I’d expected a fitness book with a veneer of zombies. What it turned out to be was how to stay sane and healthy in the zombie apocalypse. Now that I’ve read it once and adjusted my expectations, it’s an excellent, straight-faced, delightful ‘how to stay sane and healthy in the zombie apocalypse’: home fitness and strengthening exercises, staying sane while homebound, building communities where you can, living in close quarters with strangers, recipes using canned goods, and throughout a pervasive message of “even a little bit is something”, “even a little bit is still progress”. I give them a little kudos for mentioning people with chronic illnesses, too.

Currently reading: Now finished!: God’s war by Kameron Hurley. Twitter has been eating all my transit reading time (I need to sort some political lists or something), so finishing this has been slower than expected, but I’m still loving the world building and the characters and their fraught relationships. I am so there for 'women have taken over the culture because the men are dead/warring'. The ending was legit satisfying. It’s similar to Ancilary Justice in that now I understand how things unfolded I want to go back and re-read with my new-found worldbuilding understanding and ‘properly’ understand how it all fit together (or jump straight into the next in the series, either would work)... but with the Hugo nominations so close I want to get at least some short fiction done.

Up next: The power by Naomi Alderman. I want to read this. I’m not sure I’m 100% up for its brutality right now, but maybe if I organise a ‘breather book’ in between...

(Reading the sample on Amazon) I was ready to be peeved by the artifice of the “letters bookending the ‘manuscript’ that one wrote” (it’s not something I like that much etc) and then I realised that letter-writer ‘Naomi’ has only ever lived in a female-controlled world and it shows, and I started to get interested. And then I read the second of the ‘Bible’ quotes, from the Book of Eve ("She cuppeth the lightning in her hand. She commandeth it to strike.") and is it too much of a pun to say that I’m electrified?

25% in update: oh my god. I needed this so much. I’ve read 25% in less than two days. I know it’s all about to get uncomfortably brutal, but right now it’s young women tipping the balance of social power and one teenage girl having the voice of God says yes to me in her head and creating a whole new religion that we know is going to last. I stumbled over a reread someone’s doing on Tor of The handmaid’s tale and between that and the current global political situation just makes The power even more like a desperately needed soothing balm. It might all be able to go to hell, writing and/or plot wise, but right now I want a physical copy just so I’ve always ‘got’ one to hand.

ETA: DONE in about 48 hours. and I'm left flinching and flailing. It was just as brutal as i'd feared and also just as good and i don't know how to feel about any of it except I'm going to go add it to my Hugo nominations. That last line was a shout of wry laughter/gut punch all in one.

Up next: The next of the Stonekeeper graphic novels. I'm very in need of light(er) and sweeter right now.

Wednesday...ish book meme
WarriorWoman
maharetr
Finished reading:
Disobedience by Naomi Alderman. Queer woman goes home to her Orthodox Jewish community after her Rabbi father dies. I nearly bailed, hard, at the 50% mark, actually; I couldn't see how it was going to end happily for any of the main characters, and for a bit there it looked like it was heading down the "town gossips get the facts/rumours entirely wrong" squicky trope. But it was short, and I had an externally imposed deadline of the library loan period, and that was enough to keep me going, and I'm so glad I did.

Somewhere in there it all smoothed out into being okay, and if not happy as such, then definitely characters being content with their (actively reaffirmed) life choices. And the ending was pointing towards new directions and people making changes -- not dramatic overthrowing regime changes, but the first steps in generational changes that means so much. Um, that was all very vague, but I ended up really really liking this one. It was all that plus a fascinating insight into a religion I know almost nothing about, too. I'd tentatively call it the Oranges are not the only fruit for Orthodox Jews, but it's been so long since I read said that I don't know how accurate that actually is. Would rec.

Currently reading:
God's war by Kameron Hurley. That was the best opening page EVER. Like, hello yes I am here for your body-brutal sci-fi pronoun-game scene setting, holy shit sign me up. There are so many brilliant deft little world building touches.

I'm currently in the throes of much deeper political/cultural scene-setting/exposition at page 100ish tho, so it's slightly a slog, but I'm expecting it to pick back up and also flag the important things as reminders later on.

Up next: God. No idea.

Wednesday...ish book meme
WarriorWoman
maharetr
Just finished:
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. Surprised by how much I'm interested in seeing Breq's next chapters, so that's very pleasing.

Currently reading:
Disobedience by Naomi Alderman. I'd only known of Alderman via her spearheading/head writing for Zombies, run! which I really enjoy. Once I heard she had several books out, I went hunting. It turns out that even if they're still in print, they seem rather hard to get hold of. When I joined the public libraries of WA's e-book service (which is super excellent btw, do rec), I impulsively suggested they buy the lot of them. Public Libraries just informed me they've bought two! Which is super exciting. And I very long aside. Whatever.

I'm 13.5% into Disobedience and it's so far pervaded by a wonderfully calm, composed voice that's immensely soothing even as it describes a long-ill man dying abruptly in a synagogue. It's describing the lives of several very Orthodox (or former Orthodox) Jews, which is not a religion I have any second or even third hand experience, never mind first, so it's fascinating to me, along with being immensely soothing and somewhere I'm keen to curl up with each time for a few pages. Not to everyone's tastes, I imagine, but deeply mine.

What's next:

Not at all sure. So many books. So many series (well, two). Watch this space?
Tags: ,

Wednesday...ish book meme
WarriorWoman
maharetr
Better late than never, I figure, and it was edging towards never, so...

Finished:
The one in a million boy by Monica Wood. This was a birthday present from my Granny: not a book I ever would have picked up on my own, but I'm so glad she gave it to me. It's a wonderful, engrossing read. A Scout boy who had been helping a 104 year old woman dies very suddenly. The story follows pre and post death: the old woman, the boy's mother, the boy's enstranged father, and it's... I ached for these people, and their stories, and how human and understandable they were, and how hard they were all trying. In the end, don't get happy endings as such, but they got the endings they chose, and it's all deeply, surprisngly satisfying. Would rec.

Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King. Finished at last! The last few hundred pages were amazingly gripping all over again. non-specific-spoilersCollapse )

Night school by Lee Child. I've read and adored many of Child's, but this one ... It's not bad, but by page 50 one of the [bad guy] characters has casually murdered a sex worker, and Reacher has beaten up four guys for no reason at all other than they got up in his face -- despite the fact that he's supposed to be being discreet. Both of which threw me for varying levels of loop. I kept reading, and finished it, but I spent most of it glad I'd bought it second hand. The baddie characters were in several instances described with vaguely racist tropes -- the Arab characters are constantly surrounded by flies in their home; the female messenger is from 'tribal areas' which is apparently shorthand for 'seen a lot of brutality'. :/ This is actually the third Reacher that I've sat back from and winced in some way, sadly. Maybe a break for a while.

Currently reading: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. Still somewhat of an intellectual read, although I was gripped for a while there in the lead up to the splitting of the Justice of Toren. And there are touches of absolutely horrifying, fascinating things such as the creation of ancillaries that I'm hoping I'd see delved into mroe in later books. Still enjoying it well enough, not entirely convinced I'll pick up the next two, but there's time yet to change my mind.

Up next: I stumbled over a copy of Flashforward in a second hand bookshop, which I hadn't even realised was a book, but I remembered the potential of the TV series and figured it was a great chance to see about a (supposedly, perhaps) finished coherent narrative about the whole thing.
Tags: ,

testing for cross posting
WarriorWoman
maharetr
and the test sentence

5 things re today
WarriorWoman
maharetr
(I want to figure a better title for these posts. Hmm)

1. Today was a good day, and an excellent Saturday. Woke up and did my stretches (again! nearly like a whole habit!). Got up early-ish for a weekend -- like, 8am.

2. Took Kenobi to the vet with [personal profile] chaosmanor. He's doing so well -- paw healing up, and generally so pleased on the Good Drugs. We're to continue to do ridic rigorous healthcare things for another week, and bring him back next Saturday.

3. I finished [profile] cupidsbower's beanie! At so long last! Now that I've reminded myself I can knit, at least for short periods, and I've removed the faint guilt of 'you should be working on the beanie', suddenly I want to knit All The Things. Next up on knitting: finish the ten-stitch doily thing from even more forever ago, and maybe start a table runner for the sideboard \o/

4. It stormed today! And wasn't too hot! Kiba was so Alert and On Guard during the whole thing, poor darling. It feels like it's rained so little, and I'm almost never home to savour it properly. I've missed it so much.

5. [personal profile] chaosmanor and I took Kiba to the park where he ran around happily, and fetched our somewhat clumsily thrown balls with great glee. He was less pleased with the compulsory shower afterwards (hello grass allergies, ugh), but endured it stoically.

Bonus: the I played more Fallout 4, and refreshed Tumblr a lot, and now it's not even 11:30 and I'm pleasantly tired. Winning :)

5 things about today
WarriorWoman
maharetr
And possibly also yesterday combined, because

1. It is very very hot today. I've not looked up to see how hot, but enough that things are still hot and ugh at 10:30pm. ... Just looked, actual temp is 30C ish, apparent temp mid-20s, but it's totally 30ish in the house right now. Air con for sleeping tonight. At least it's not humid, and I've solidly learned that difference.

2. Yesterday we had a work gathering at work, instead of usual staff dinner. And it was really good -- the weather was great, it wasn't too noisy because it was outside, the food was meat-heavy and delicious and very prompt (yay on-site catering!).

3. Before gathering, co-worker and I strolled carousel looking for an A5 spiral bound notebook for me for work. (srsly, how hard is it to find an A5 spirax notebook? A: Impossible where we were. Not even Kmart or Target had them.) But at work today she'd bought me one (a top bound thing, but so, so feeling the love)

4. When I got home from gathering, [personal profile] samvara had bought and left on my bed a gorgeous present Eating through the zombie apocalypse. It's beautifully put together, funny, and has a CDC-zombie-outbreak outlook to food preparation and emergency cooking/survival. I approve wildly, and am into this.

5. I've give my cold to my co-worker and my housemates. Boo :( On the other hand, there's a shitload of people sniffing and coughing on the train, and at least one other person sick at work, so it's clearly Making The Rounds hard.

Bonus: Got a call from the insurers of my Super income insurance. I called them back, like a grown up, and answered their question honestly, and they're like "yeah, that's fine, thanks." sooo it seems like I'll have the income protection insurance I want, I hope \o/

5 more things
WarriorWoman
maharetr
Maybe not five, but we'll see.

1. Today was a bit of a wash, mentally and productivity wise, because I was sicker (cold-ier) than I realised, and the afternoon was a bit of "sitting and staring".

2. I didn't drive to Granny's as planned because of it -- I stayed home and hung out with [personal profile] samvara while she played Fallout, and then I went off and played Fallout myself for a while. I did call mum though, to check that she'd got my text message about piking (1+ adult point to me!), and she was totally relaxed about it, and mentioned that Granny was also cold-ish.

3. I mentioned to her that now she'd organised her will and in particular given me enduring power of guardianship that I really wanted to sit down with her (and Granny) and have the end-of-life conversations -- what she wanted, organ donation etc. I don't think she was expecting that at all, but dude, I need it. Also, I should start thinking about my own.

4. Finally sent off the Insurance Adjustment form for my super, and got the 'change of fund' form from work. Filled out the change of fund form even! Handing it back in tomorrow. Wild progress, I hope.

5. I borrow-nicked [personal profile] chaosmanor's beard trimmer to buzz my underarm hair, which worked a treat (prepping to wear super pretty blue top with cap sleeves). So easy and quick.

Bonus: made smoothie! Drank it while waiting for the bus, and it was okay. Looking forward to experimenting from all your comments <3

5 things about today
WarriorWoman
maharetr
1. I got myself out of bed to go to the beach, and drove [personal profile] samvara and Kiba to said beach. [personal profile] samvara guided me through parking with cars on either side. Still not something I'm comfortable doing alone, but I did it! Kiba was so well behaved, and the water and weather were wonderful. It was packed at the beach, more people than I'd ever seen usually (hi public holiday). Then cafe for breakfast. Iced chocolates are like food of the gods at the moment.

2. I made a smoothie this morning before we left the house, too; practice for making smoothies when I'm in the morning rush. (long story short: I'd been eating breakfast at work at my desk of a morning, which I was aware was pushing it but boss finally went from 'only during homeroom' to 'no more, sorry'. So! Smoothies. I might battle to find something that tastes 'good', but current recipe:

soaked oats and chia seeds
frozen berries
a little water
big dollops of yogurt
a bit of cottage cheese (apparent 'super secret' ingredient of the foodie websites. I'm not convinced but am going to finish the container anyway)

Mix, then stubbornly apply stick blender.

Anyone have their own smoothie methods?

3. I wrote! I wrote 100 words and then I wrote a little more, and I have half a ficlet. Oh my god.

4. I played Fallout 4 for the first time a few days, too. Have left Piper in Diamond City, and took Nick as a companion because I couldn't find Deacon. Take that 'it's been a while since you did the thing..." anxiety!

5. We've been feeding Kenobi mince to take his meds (wild success), which last round turned out to be amazing-quality beef hamburger patties cos that's what was left at the IGA. They smelled so good raw that I sequestered two for myself, and had one this evening with rice and beetroot 'salad'. A+ life choice, although the rice was slightly hard. Still good.

All in all, an excellent day off. The fact that tomorrow is Wednesday is going to be unbelievably confusing.

(Bonus thing! Women's International Cricket, broadcast on channel 9, on Australia Day. So many women being expert and sponsored and on TV and it took my breath away)

?

Log in