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StaceyHH

StaceyHH

Currently reading

Her Smoke Rose Up Forever
James Tiptree Jr.
Fingersmith
Sarah Waters
Roadside Picnic
Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky, Olena Bormashenko, Ursula K. Le Guin
Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Rights Movement (Pivotal Moments in American History)
Sally McMillen
London Falling
Paul Cornell
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
Reza Aslan

No paragraphs. I haz a sad.

All of my reviews seem to have been imported without paragraphs. These will probably be corrected randomly and sporadically. Sorry.

Countdown City - Ben H. Winters I liked this one every bit as much as the first. The mystery was a bit more complex, the urgency and mood more dire.

Who Fears Death

Who Fears Death -

A "review" made of non-sequential and probably only personally relevant observations.

 

I've always dreamed vividly, even my lesser dreams are beyond technicolor, hyperreal. When I wake I can remember, if I take a moment of stillness, sometimes a dozen stories. My dreams are populated by everything I've read, what I've experienced, what I haven't. Maybe this is why I don't feel compelled to watch movies, they seem such a pale imitation. I know it's why I read. Real life is always intense to me, the same multi-textural existence as my dreams but firmly in reality. Real life is pragmatic (and I adore "pragmatic",) solid, and linear. Reading is a waking dream, brilliant, mind expanding, outside of my experience but true.

 

Sometimes I read a story that lives. I can feel it in my heart and lungs, smell it and taste it, except both and neither. I live in that story, and when I look up from the page, the world looks, for a split second like a slightly faded print, because the page I was living in was as bright and alive as my dreams. When I am that lucky, I don't read a story, I feel it. It's like I can pinch it between my finger tips and make a hole to crawl inside. It's like walking on gravel. It's like talking to crows, running through sprinklers, burning your hands on hot granite, smelling a forest fire.Who Fears Death is a story of "feel." It's an ugly, beautiful, heartbreaking story.

 

I first learned of Nnedi Okorafor because of her short story African Sunrise. It's another story of "feel," magical and sad and hopeful. Go read it. Then read this book.

"Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman - Harlan Ellison, Rick Berry This book is beautifully illustrated and produced. The story is visceral and confusing and mad - like the few other things of Ellison's I've read.
Saga, Volume 1 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples This was 4-star until the last few pages. Then I might have *squeeeeeed*. Heh. 5-stars and I'm taking it to a friend tonight who must read it in return for putting me onto Courtney Crumrin. Loved it.

The Giver

The Giver - Lois Lowry Dystopia! Y'know, for kids! What a dismal story.
The Last Policeman - Ben H. Winters Sunday afternoon, I arrived at the Seattle train station, with a book I thought would last me the two days of my quick trip. I was wrong, and I finished it on the train. What's a girl to do? Confessional: I should have frugally started the Tor.com bundle of short stories I downloaded last week (Thanks Tor! Happy Anniversary!) but with the Seattle Mystery Bookshop practically around the corner? How could I not stop in?Last time I was there I picked up one of Margaret Coel's mysteries, and loved it. There are at least a dozen of those, but I wasn't feeling it, so I wandered around picking up books and putting them back. Aimless. Finally, as I often do, I asked for a recommendation, which is always a good move. The Last Policeman isn't your usual mystery. An asteriod is heading toward earth, and it's large enough to be cataclysmic. The countdown is set at a little over 6 months. Society is breaking down, along with garbage service and cellphone towers, and a rookie Detective is trying to solve a suicide that he thinks is a murder. I've noticed a trend in fiction toward unlikeable characters, sometimes even the protagonist is nobody you'd want to know. The "good guys" are really more "the not-as-bad-as-the-other-guys-guys." Not so here. There are a lot of people who are doing bad things, but you the reader really want to sympathize with them, because they are so ordinary, they're just like you, and really what would you do if the world was ending, literally, and you had the date in hand? Some people go "bucket list;" some collapse into depression, suicide; some go all-out criminal; most go on living their lives, going to work, even when there's no point to the work. I think this is what makes the novel stand out. Woven throughout is a pretty classic mystery - if you've read even a single mystery, you're already familiar with the plot progression. The star of this one is the why, why for everyone. Why do we care if it's suicide or murder? The End of Everything will be here before the trial can start. Everybody is getting the death penalty. Death penalty for you, and death penalty for you. Do you want yours now, or later? Highly recommended.
The Girl With Braided Hair - Margaret Coel Enjoyed this. It works well as a standalone, I haven't read any of the previous books in the series, but I likely will.
The Poison Apples - Lily Archer Got this at the dollar store. Not bad for a dollar.
Porn & Revolution in the Peaceable Kingdom - Micaela Morrissette Loved the twist.
The Elephant in the Room - Paul Cornell Perfect story for anyone with mommy issues.
The Orphan of Awkward Falls - Keith Graves Very silly, cute and a little gross. I loved the main character, Josephine, but wish there had been more resolution for the robot.
City of Golden Shadow - Tad Williams 4+ ... So far. Longest intro ever, 700 pages of setup, all of it good reading.
The Lady Astronaut of Mars - Mary Robinette Kowal Kowal can feed me sci-fi any time she wants.

Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions

Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions - I marked this as a DNF, although I did read about 90% of the book. I felt that it didn't actually resemble the description: "The stories in Beyond Belief reveal how these women became involved, what their lives were like, and why they came to the decision to eventually abandon their faiths. The authors shed a bright light on the rigid expectations and misogyny so often built into religious orthodoxy, yet they also explain the lure—why so many women are attracted to these lifestyles, what they find that’s beautiful about living a religious life, and why leaving can be not only very difficult but also bittersweet."I found very little of this in the book. What might be a more accurate description is: "Vignettes of life, from women who are living happily or unhappily, in or out of a religious environment." There's not really a lot of commonality, other than many of the stories are "moments in time" that represented why it wasn't working for them. Some of the women were actually involved in abusive religions, some were in abusive situations where the religious tenants were being misused. Some were not in a bad situation at all, only in one that didn't fit with their inner vision. Some were self-destructive. Only one of the stories seemed to fit the description of "shedding a bright light on the rigid expectations," and I really wanted to read more of her exit story, but the framework of the book (just a slice!) didn't have room for that.For those looking for the "how and why," this is not the book. I think I was a great deal more disappointed with the stories simply because the jacket copy is so misleading.
Anatomy for Runners: Unlocking Your Athletic Potential for Health, Speed, and Injury Prevention - Jay Dicharry One month ago, I started training for a 5k race, which I signed up for, one month from now. 8 weeks to turn a non-runner into a person who can run for 3 miles without needing a medic. One week ago I started having fatigue pain and cramping in my lower left leg. In my day job, I do remedial massage for just these conditions, but you know what they say about troubleshooting your own "chassis," to borrow an expression from the book. Blinders on. I've spent the last week treating the area of pain, with every tool in my toolbox. Massage, topicals, kinesiotape, targeted stretches - static and AIS - rolling, hot soak... no workie. Dicharry's book is exactly what I was looking for. As well as helping me troubleshoot my own issue (which turns out to be very little to do with my lower leg, and everything to do with stability above and below,) I think it will be invaluable for my work. The irony is that had a client come to me with this issue, I would have addressed it in a similar way (minus the physical therapy aspects) as the book describes, but when it comes to myself, it's impossible to do the evaluative tests I do with my clients. Reading this book gave me new tools for self-evaluation, and I'm very grateful and hopeful I can find a solution before it becomes a serious injury situation. I've read a lot of theory and technique books. This one is well written, with lots of biology/physiology stuff for the anat/phys geeks like me, but accessible, so that runners without the physiology background will understand the "why" not just the "how." I especially appreciate that the work Dicharry does (and writes,) is not only in line with what I've learned from very progessive bodywork instructors, but also acknowledges that there are aspects of bodywork, treatment and fitness, that we just don't have any answers for... yet. Within that framework, we can take what we do know, and extrapolate concepts, but don't get married to those concepts. We may know more soon. Highly recommended for weekend warriors, athletes, trainers and bodyworkers.