Thumbs up for Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee. Science fiction.
Another book by Yoon Ha Lee means more strange space battles, more snappy dialogue, more abstruse politics you will never understand, and more hilarious sociopaths arguing about music, playing card games, petting cats, eating sweets, cosseting onion plants, and racking up death tolls in the tens of thousands. (But mostly off-screen.)
Jedao was grinning at her.
… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Christmas in Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren. Children’s.
Charmingly illustrated, but not a substitute for reading the full stories in The Children of Noisy Village.… >> Read more
I recently wrote a longish article about the economics of being a writer and why I use Patreon. You can read it here. Warning: contains math. Or, if you want the quick math-less explanation, it’s here.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for A Whole New World by Liz Braswell. Young adult fantasy.
I am among the minority of people who thought this book was great. Aladdin is one of my favorite movies (and I’m not a Disney buff in general) so I was curious to see how it could be twisted. This retelling begins at the same place, but skews into alternate-universe ground a few chapters in when Jafar, not Aladdin, is the one who summons the genie.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Essays on Russian Novelists by William Lyon Phelps. Literary criticism.
After I finish this *grrr* book I’m writing, my reward is going to be delving into Russian literature. (If you’re shocked that I consider this a reward—hi, I’m Emma! We clearly haven’t met.) It seemed like a good idea to do a little preparatory reading around the subject so I could know firstly, what to read, and secondly, what works are supposed to be satire, because it can sometimes be hard to judge that without context.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Flaneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice and London by Lauren Elkin. Sociology/Memoir.
A mishmash that works surprisingly well together: the history of women who walk in cities (flaneuses, to match the male term flaneurs); biography of some female writers like Jean Rhys, George Sand, and Martha Gellhorn; academic discussions on the social meaning of the suburb; the history of Paris; the plot of an art film; fragments of memoir from the author, which serve to keep it from being too academic.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Benjamin the True by Claudia Paley. Children’s fantasy.
Benjamin discovers a witch, Ellenwan, in a cellar in his otherwise ordinary town. She teaches him witchcraft. There aren’t many books that really make you believe in magic while you’re reading them. This is one of them.
“I am not leaving you behind because I think you are afraid, or because there is nothing for you to do.
… >> Read more
Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth by E. L. Konigsburg. Children’s.
Hmm. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy reading it, it just seemed a bit pointless at the end. There are better books about magic, about imagination, about friendship, about school in the 1960’s, and there are better books by E. L.… >> Read more