The better to see you, my dear
Memorial Day extra rolls

I've just come back from work, and will have a busy, busy, busy weekend all-around, but I'll leave this here to integrate into the tracking post and the books chosen later.

 

       

 

Looks like I have my reading week planed already *grin*

 

Roll 2: Blopoly Tracking Post

 

Roll 1:

 

The Bear and the Nightingale - Katherine Arden

 

 

 

Roll 2:

 

So, enough pages (over 200) to donate $3. Goody, I get to clean up my reading shelf.

 

   
  

Reading progress update: I've read 368 out of 368 pages.
The Bear and the Nightingale - Katherine Arden

Gorgeous. I'll write a review in a bit. I'm rolling before the day closes *grin*

 

Reading progress update: I've read 12 out of 368 pages.
The Bear and the Nightingale - Katherine Arden

I've decided on this one for my first Booklikes-opoly roll, and I'm loving the fairy-tale tone of it.

 

Review
4 Stars
Path can be corrected (as many times as necessary)
The Silver Chair - C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes

Cute and entertaining, subtly and annoyingly misogynistic, and as entrenched in Christian-lore as ever. The friendships are well done, and the world built is beautiful. The animal companion steals trophy of best loved character yet again.

 

I liked the over-all message of this one a lot better.

Review
4 Stars
Nice flavoring, wished it dared more
Unmasking Miss Appleby - Emily Larkin

This was cute!

 

Some over the top soap-opera bits, rosy romance (a couple of weeks a solid relationship does not make, but I'll take it on suspension of disbelief) and all, it was a nice romance and the fantasy flavor was pretty awesome (that gift makes me so envious! The possibilities!).

 

I confess I toyed with the idea that it would go further and more bravely into the possible dynamics, but it went the expected extremely straight road. It was not something I thought the author would have the balls to go with, but felt a bit like a missed opportunity. And the bit where the guy goes into a rage over having maybe fucked someone that once had been male was... I can hear protest over the times mores and law, and verisimilitude, from my shoulder devil and it still sits wrong (specially given that we have fairies, and magical gifts, duh). The part where the man was more upset about the loss of trust than anything else was really good.

Review
4.5 Stars
Those two dorks
Artificial Condition - Martha Wells

I'm so happy with this series. So much fast fun.

 

Also, the general attitude bot has towards humanity is such a refreshing one.

 

I enjoyed the buddy duo/opposite personalities taking on a mission that this volume embraced too.

Review
4.5 Stars
Simple language unfurling
Breakfast at Tiffany's and Three Stories - Truman Capote

More character studies and vignettes than stories, the deceptively simple way they are written is perfect.

 

The gem of the lot is certainly Breakfast at Tiffany's. In essence the movie was faithful to the story (except the end), but Holly is a crueler and wilder character in the pages, less cute, more vindictive, and all the more tragic for her yearning of freedom and belonging at once. And compelling, like some free animal you could find in a jungle. Holly's own word is that she aspires to be "natural" and it fits.

 

Christmas Memory and Diamond Guitar fight for second spot, but the first edges over because I'm a sucker for nostalgic little things that contain the world.

 

House of Flowers was... oddly pretty in imagery, and surprisingly positive in a way. Maybe subverting tropes was the name of the game.

Review
4.5 Stars
Corny as all hell
Pollyanna - Eleanor H. Porter

But frankly, corny is good for the soul, even if jaded me felt like rolling eyes sometimes.

 

It surprised a lot of laughter out of me (specially her Annesque steamroller-chattering and the romance tangle) and quite some tears, so even if it goes to the preachy/edifying/anvilicious grouping of Heidi and An Old-fashioned Girl, I liked it better than those.

Reading progress update: I've read 270 out of 304 pages.
Pollyanna - Eleanor H. Porter

I did not expect this sweet corny thing would make me cry, yet here I am. I think I've been sniffling from the first glad visit (not that my cold help much containing the waterworks).

Reblogged
Summer Game Time!

THE NEW GAME BEGINS JUNE 1, 2019

 

and

 

GAME PLAY ENDS AUGUST 15, 2019

 

 

Announcing a new summertime game of Booklikes-opoly! The game is still in development, but the theme of the game is "summer vacation." The rules will be similar to our last game of booklikes-opoly (all the way back in summer 2017), and the bank system will work the same way, although the categories will be different, and I will tweak some of the elements that didn't work so great last time

 

I will be reblogging some of my old posts this morning, for everyone to peruse while OB & I work on the new game!

 

New theme!

New book tasks!!

New tweaks!

 

So, if we are going to start a new game on 6/1/19, then we have to call an end to Snakes & Ladders, which will go through 5/31/19.

 

Get ready...

Reblogged from Obsidian Blue
Review
1.5 Stars
Needs a lot of work
First Lessons (A Medieval Tale #1) - Lina J. Potter

It reads like one of those ambitious, great-ideas fanfictions written by a painfully young person. Acceptable grammar, cool premise, needs serious editing.

 

This is, at best, a first rough draft, and it is a real pity that it was published as is. There are other issues (Mary Sue, general shallowness, a judgemental omniscient POV that is a stand in for the author's opinions), but they are not real drawbacks from what could have been a solid 3 stars comfort read, so if there was an editing team on this publishing house, they did this work a serious disservice.

 

Because I'm a sucker for this type of adventures, I'm still reading, and can say that the worst of the bloating gets a bit pared down by book three. Quality of writing is still the same, but it's neater.

Reading progress update: I've read 110 out of 304 pages.
Pollyanna - Eleanor H. Porter

“But they acted as if little boys HERE weren't any account—only little boys 'way off. I should THINK, though, they'd rather see Jimmy Bean grow—than just a report!”

 

Ain't you a preachy little book. Some of it I'm finding overly-edifying, but there are parts like this where I really feel like going "Good for you!".

Review
3.5 Stars
Fun with sociopaths
Lady Susan - Jane Austen

It's short, it's unpolished, and the MC is an absolutely conniving bitch. And, oh, my god, it was magnificent.

 

Susan is horrid and also compelling. A fun (yet sadly not that far from reality) caricature of your garden variety sociopathic creature.

 

From the first letter I was laughing at the convolutions and machinations, and all the suspected make-up to what could be inferred of recent past happenings.

 

Facts are such horrid things!

 

And facts do come out, because it is a happy little story all things said. Oddly cute romp.

Review
5 Stars
I was a feminist before I knew what that meant
Mujercitas: Eran Las de Antes? y Otros Escritos: (El Sexismo En Los Libros Para Chicos) - Graciela Beatriz Cabal

I loved these essays when I was 12, and I loved them all over again 20 years later. Part of it is that I've never read something of this author that I did not love. Part of it is that I happen to agree with much of what she present here.

 

Mostly, is how she writes this: The subtitle is "Sexism in children books"

 

She proceeds to write about her primary school experience, interspersing it with textbook and the accompanying "pseudo-literature" (that's what she calls it) quotations and bibliography. She never says "this was sexist", "this was racist", "this was unfair". But boy, does it come across. At points it's so ridiculous, you can't help but laugh.

 

She talks about the roles of women in fairy and traditional tales. She talks about explicitly (and sometimes either horrifyingly or hilariously, or both, missing the point) tacking on moralizing end-lines to fables. There are also among the pages pictures of old advertising posters geared toward women. OMG, those posters.

 

The last essay is one that is dear and near to my heart (and my mom, as a die-hard librarian): this pervasive idea (that needs to be killed with fire) that children literature is "a women thing", because it is more about children (clearly, a province of the female) than about literature, and on this triple insult of "women write badly" "children do not understand much" "bad literature produced by women is therefore a perfect match".

 

It is a very short book. It can be read in an hour. But is a powerful one, that charms you as you read, that stays in your mind, that makes you squint your eyes at what you read after (and oh, boy, did I tear though some fairy tales collections afterwards).

Review
5 Stars
Srong Collection
The Birds & Other Stories - Daphne du Maurier

There are six stories in this volume and they all work on that eerie maybe-normal-maybe-fantastical/grothesque/horror line.

 

The Birds is excellent at suspense and the daily made unnerving. And it leaves you there.

 

Monte Veritá reads almost like one of those non-Cthulthu's Lovecraftian tales. I really like the beginning, and the maybe-magical-maybe-mundane and expansive tone. The thing is, though, that much like in Lovecraft's writings, I had issues... I don't know, it was not... It felt like it was written by a man trying to be fair-for-his time but still...

 

The Apple Tree was a perfectly done unreliable narrator. He makes you despise the dead woman, but at the same time, you can read between the lines his own "polite" chauvinism, and so you feel for her. And then the layers peel, and oh my. Another that treads the line between the real and the fantastical for disquiet, and it's a gruesome poison study that you can see coming and still...

 

The Little Photographer ... Well, talking about poison-study. Ennui does not make good councilors. A bit of tragedy with some karma.

 

Kiss Me Again, Stranger was the eerie of prototype modern goths with some sauce.

 

The Old Man is interesting because you don't question it.

currently reading

Progress: 189/366pages
Progress: 27/260pages
Progress: 46/160pages
Progress: 140/288pages
Progress: 69/264pages
Enslaved - Virginia Henley