So, after starting TBR posts two weeks ago, I managed to miss a week at the first possible opportunity. Short story: I went sea kayaking, we got pushed into a mud flat by the current, and when I was polling us back out, I sprained my wrist. However, we saw a ton of seals, sea lions, and sea otters. I regret nothing.
Although I could type, I didn't really go out of my way to do so, and my review total for last week was a nice round zero. It was just too demoralizing to write an update post.
So here we go again, and only a week late!
To Be Read
- I was lucky to receive the two art books I requested from Netgalley: Line: An Art Study - Edmund J. Sullivan and Classic Human Anatomy in Motion: The Artist's Guide to the Dynamics of Figure Drawing - Valerie L. Winslow. I've taken a stab at both of them, and as both are quite dense, they'll be on my "currently reading" for a while.
- This week must be unofficial HFA Protagonist week, as I'm currently reading two books with protagonists who seem to have some variant of HFA. I know two isn't a lot--my "Psychopathy Week" involved five psychopathic characters--but HFA protagonists are very rare. Autistic characters--when they exist at all--are usually shunted aside, usually to act as comedic foils for the "normal" characters we're supposed to be rooting for. It's a trope that drives me up the wall. Anyway. I feel quite positive that Minox from A Murder of Mages: A Novel of the Maradaine Constabulary - Marshall Ryan Maresca could easily pick up a diagnosis for HFA if it happened to exist in his world (well, I would have said Aspergers', except they pulled it out of the DSM and merged it into HFA, sigh.) I While the main character of Spark: A Novel - John Twelve Hawks actually has Coutard's, that condition doesn't really go far enough to explain his personality. Although he isn't officially diagnosed as HFA, quite a few characters throughout the novel believe him to be so. I adore them both.
- Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America - Jill Leovy just came in from my library. I haven't quite gotten up the nerve to read it yet, though.
- Given that I just bought close to a dozen Pratchett books, I'd better plan a reread soon...
To Be Resumed (**Someday)
- I checked out Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation; Authority; Acceptance - Jeff VanderMeer as one big eMegaBook from my library. I chugged my way through Annihilation fine, but I'm rather bogged down in Authority. Actually, the book has caused me to muse about the difference between horror and mystery, and how their purposes and methods are effectively inverses of each other.
- Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements - Hugh Aldersey-Williams This is due back at my library soon, and I'm not particularly inclined to dig back into it. It's rather like those "Big Book of X" books of my childhood: a random assortment of unconnected facts and anecdotes, with practically no narrative to connect the whole. It would benefit from being broken into little infoboxes with lots of colourful pictures to break up the text.
To Be Reviewed
(In approximate decreasing order of likelihood that I'll actually review them)
- The Half-life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date - Samuel Arbesman [Done!]
- The Far Time Incident - Neve Maslakovic [Done!]
- The Minority Council - Kate Griffin [Done!] Fortunately, I reviewed this the first time I read it. I should probably check if my reactions have remained the same, but I'm pretty sure they have. The book broke my heart again, and for the same reasons: not because of the terrible things that happen, but because of the terrible things the protagonist does. And I'm still waiting, because I don't care if it's metaphorical or literal, but I need his actions to come back and bite him.
- The Raising of Stony Mayhall: I really am planning on reviewing this. Really.
- Sea Hearts - Margo Lanagan I got this on audio from AudioBookSync, and wow, it's weird. I've always loved the mythology of selkies, and not just because I love seals. The symbolism of the story is so very direct: a man robs the selkie of her skin and thereby imprisons her as his wife; he holds the skin--her agency--locked away, and without it, she cannot experience the freedom of the oceans. But then there's the interesting bit: when she gets it back, she abandons not only her unwanted husband but also her children. I can't help but wonder if it's a metaphor there as well, a story to help ease a child's mind and help them to understand why a mother might abandon her family. But anyway, Lanagan didn't follow that path. In fact, the only characters who never are given voices in the story are the selkies themselves. They remain mute, stripped of agency and self-expression along with their skins. But the odd part, and the part I can't wrap my mind around: in Lanagan's version, the root cause of everything is an evil witch. That's right; the men who imprison their unwilling wives supposedly aren't all that bad; it's not their fault they can't resist the magic. Hmph.
- Dodger - Terry Pratchett is very cute, and reminds me a lot of the classic, heartwarming variety of nineteenth- or early twentieth-century children's stories. Much of the story is simply enjoying how circumstances conspire to create favourable coincidences for the protagonist. The book is also practically a whose who of famous and infamous Victorian historical figures.
- Talon - Julie Kagawa Meh, not quite my thing, but I liked the ending.