Showing posts from August, 2016

No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished (Heartstrikers, Book 3)

No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished (Heartstrikers, Book 3) Rachel Aaron, 2016 Premise: Julius is on top for the moment, but political turmoil in a dragon clan brings out a lot of opportunists. Sequel to Nice Dragons Finish Last and One Good Dragon Deserves Another . Oof. I was so looking forward to this book, that I think it really suffered from my heightened expectations. It’s not bad, per se, it’s just not what I wanted. It’s still well written, in an interesting world. I liked the new characters and the new things we learned about established characters. But I also got two things I wasn’t expecting from this author: realism over story and book six syndrome. In the first case, the book is bogged down by a lot of machinations and conversations and plot points that don’t really progress the bigger plot enough. I felt like a number of the twists and happenings weren’t essential, even though they were things that would have happened in ‘reality,’ given the set-up as it was.

Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity

Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity Julia Serano, 2007, 2016 (new edition) Challenge Book! Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016 - Read a book by or about a person that identifies as transgender Premise: Scholarship and personal perspective on the interrelationship between attitudes around femininity and discrimination against trans women. I borrowed this book from the library and got only a few chapters in before I decided that I had to buy my own copy so I could highlight all the best passages. I’ve been looking for a book like this, one that articulates so clearly the need to empower femininity. In feminist and liberal spaces, we already question the idea that women can be equal to men only if they act like men (but not too much like men). Yet somehow many of us tend to miss that so much of this attitude can be connected to dismissing girls, along with denigrating traditionally feminine attitudes, interests, and practices.

Every Heart a Doorway

Every Heart a Doorway Seanan McGuire, 2016 Premise: Nancy found the place she belonged. The place she loved more than anything. But she isn’t there anymore, and her parents have sent her to this school, because they don’t believe her when she tells them where she’s been. This fantasy-horror novella is lovely, both heartbreaking and uplifting. The story is about outsiders and belonging, about ideas of good and bad, about compassion and fanaticism. All in under 200 pages. Eleanor West runs a school for children who have returned from journeying in other realms. These latter-day kin to Alice and Dorothy don’t want to adjust to “real” life, they want to go back to the fairylands and underworlds. Each character is intriguing; they each have a reason they went traveling and were changed by their experiences. The ideas and abilities that followed them back to Earth are only part of what makes them different. Nancy can go still as a statue and subsist on little food due to her tra

The Goblin Emperor

The Goblin Emperor Katherine Addison, 2014 Premise: There’s been a terrible accident. Maia has never lived at court and hasn’t seen his father since the death of his mother a decade ago. And now they expect him to be emperor. The Goblin Emperor was a runner-up for the Hugo and on more than a few best-of-the-year lists. So it went onto my TBR pile, and there it sat, even months after I picked up a copy on sale last December. I finally read it, and it was marvelous - just a joy to read start to end. I think this is going to be a book I return to, to savor the little details and enjoy subtleties that escaped me on the first read. I adore Maia; he’s an honestly good person muddling through a difficult situation. I love the cast surrounding him, each feels like a real person with a complicated history and motivation. The book deals in highly complicated naming conventions, which would normally drive me up the walls. However, in this case I feel that they fit tonally wit

The Feminine Mystique

The Feminine Mystique Betty Friedan, 1963 Challenge Book! Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016 - Read a nonfiction book about feminism or dealing with feminist themes I don’t make it easy on myself sometimes. This isn’t a perfect book, but it’s important and it’s fascinating. If you only know a little about The Feminine Mystique , you might know that it was a big catalyst for aspects of the female liberation movement in the 60s and 70s. You might know that it’s about the unhappiness of housewives: the “problem with no name.” If you haven’t read it, you might not know that it’s less a polemic than it is a dissertation. That’s not to say that it isn’t passionate and full of the anger at the forces in society that convinced a generation of women that they could only be fulfilled as a wife and mother. It’s just a balanced, banked anger that I wasn’t expecting. Friedan wasn’t sure how many people would be on her side; she backs up her points with extensive quotes and cited sour