4 Feb 2017

frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (!Adorkable)
What have you finished reading recently?

Ms Marvel, Vols 1 & 2: I thought I'd read these previously, but I think it was actually only Vol 1. I enjoyed them, but I liked them most when Kamala was interacting with her friends and family, and tended to get a little bored (and also confused) during the action scenes. This has been the case in most of my other (very, very limited) experiences reading superhero comics. But I own Vols 3 and 4, and I've heard Vol 5 is excellent, so I'll keep on at least through that.

The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo by Zen Cho: a romance novella (novelette? I'm not sure how long it was) set in 1920's London. Everything Zen Cho writes pulls me in immediately, and I become invested in her characters within a few pages. I loved this just as I loved The Terracotta Bride and Sorcerer to the Crown -- my only complaint being that I wanted more time, especially more time with Jade and Ravi.

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor: Many probably know this book since it won a Hugo last year, but briefly: it's a novella about a young Himba woman who is the first of her people to attend an elite university on another planet (where only 5% of the students/faculty etc are human). Things go horribly wrong on the voyage to the university. Binti, the main character, provided a strong and compelling narrative voice, and I really liked that mathematics and technology was deeply rooted in her people's knowledge and traditions. The resolution was interesting in how it handled negotiations between peoples with different power and ideologies. I do wish it had been longer, that there had been more time to spend with the characters and to let relationships develop. And I was very distracted by all the description of ideas and technologies with no real explanation of them, but that is more of a personal quirk. (See also below, but x10.)

What are you currently reading?

Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee: I'm only in the second chapter. The first chapter was horribly violent and contained A LOT of references to concepts, technologies, and institutions that were not explained. It was an extended battle scene, and wanting to see how things turned out kept my interest, even though the lack of explanation meant I couldn't actually imagine the scene. If this book hadn't been praised all over Booktube and on Fangirl Happy Hour I might not keep going with it. But it has been praised all over, so I'll keep reading.

I'm still listening to Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English by John McWhorter. Illness and other things have kept me from walking to work, so I'm going slower now than I was.

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