Feminist poetry

I am still working my way through a list of poems in my inbox. This was the one I connected with the most, when I read it tonight:

You’d Have Me Be White

Verse translation from the Spanish, “You’d Have Me Be White” by Alfonsina Storni, Better Than Starbucks Vol. VI No. III, Aug. 2021, https://betterthanstarbucks.wixsite.com/aug2021/poetry-translations 

This poem shows nicely that feminism is not something new. The poet, Alfonsina Storni, died in 1938.

Overblown finale

The White Trees #2
by Chip Zdarsky,  Kris Anka (Cover Art) 

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Our MC Krylos is not having a good day. Who needs enemies with friends like that? 

The plot of this second issue was underwhelming. It felt as if the finale of the first issue had been blown up to justify a sequel, instead of tightening it up and making a satisfying one-issue story.

I liked the ending, but this was nowhere near as strong as the first part of the story. Good fight scenes, nice final thoughts. Good lineart and colouring. 

Not quite sure what to make of that final panel.

Horrible past, scary present

The White Trees #1
by Chip Zdarsky,  Kris Anka (Artist) 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Our MC has retired from being a hero and warrior, but has to pick up his weapons again, to save his family. High fantasy, swords, a dragon, cat-like humanoids, mentions of an epic war.

Interesting artwork. Coloured pencils and watercolours? Unusual perspectives.

Rating: graphic nudity, graphic sexual content

I already downloaded issue #2, RTC.

Scifaikuest Online 

I am not much of a haiku reader. However, I am curious and I look around… and I came across this interesting page

Here are three my favourites on that page:

ice queen crone

theirs was a love

to last for ages

cryogenic sleeping

Benjamin Whitney Norris

frosted window

my escape pod bounces

off the atmosphere

Stephen C. Curro

And apparently there is such a thing as a HORRORKU

Dahl, baby

Not a tattoo

Her skin crawling

Over to you now

Benjamin Whitney Norris

I seem to like Benjamin Whitney Norris. I didn‘t find much about him, but I will keep my eyes peeled.

Eleven millions…

In my last post I counted from one to 10 in book titles. Let‘s see how far I can get. Here is #11…

Amanda & The Eleven Million Mile High Dancer
by Carol de Chellis Hill

Amanda is an astronaut who roller-skates through the halls of NASA, and a subparticle physicist who can enter the mind of Mary Shelley. With her magical cat, Schrödinger, she finds herself in confrontation with the ultimate seductress, the eleven million mile high dancer.

From the blurb

I really liked this, when I read it as a teenager. But during my re-read I could not get into it at all. It was very quirky and as such should have kept me interested. But I was just bored. Perhaps it was too off the wall. Or it was too introspective with too little actual story progression. I am not sure. It just did not seem to be moving.

Top Ten Tuesday, counting to 10…

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

http://www.thatartsyreadergirl.com/top-ten-tuesday/

 This week‘s topic / September 13: Books with numbers in the titles

Let‘s see if I manage from one to ten on my shelf of read books…

One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3)
by Ilona Andrews

I first read this as an online serial on Ilona Andrews’ website, which took most of 2016. I had fun reading the weekly bits and agonizing over them with my reading buddies. However, reading a finished book in one go is a more cohesive affair. It runs smoother, you can read as long as you want, no waiting for the next gripping bit. Also more editing and small improvements on various details. Plus a maturer rating.

“Look, it can be fast, good, or cheap. You can have any two but never all three.”

― Ilona Andrews, One Fell Sweep

Two Ravens and One Crow (The Iron Druid Chronicles #4.3)
by Kevin Hearne

You read that right. I purposefully did not pick The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2) by J.R.R. Tolkien… 😜 Instead I picked a short story from The Iron Druid Chronicles. A fun series, if you manage to ignore that a 2000-year-old druid is this dumb and juvenile.

Three Days to Dead (Dreg City, #1)
by Kelly Meding

Great fun! I almost read it in a day. Our heroine is a bounty hunter for all things that go bump in the night. There are shapeshifters, vampires, bridge trolls, the fey… Nothing really unusual or terribly new, but an entertaining read nonetheless, if you like Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs or Carrie Vaughn.

The Eye of the World: The Graphic Novel, Volume Four
by Chuck Dixon, Robert Jordan

Another attempt to make headway with this series. I got a very nice hardback edition. Starts with chapter 27 of the book, Shelter From the Storm, and ends with chapter 34 of the book, The Last Village.

Very close to the book. The artwork is nothing breath taking, but well done. Especially the cover gallery in the back has some very nice images.

This takes place roughly in the middle of The Eye of The World, which dragged for me. The pacing of the comic is not much different. I liked it, but it didn‘t tempt me to get another volume right away. If I saw some WoT comics in a second hand store at a reduced price, maybe…

Five Quarters of the Orange
by Joanne Harris

Framboise is running a creperie in a small village in rural France. She spent her childhood years during WWII in this village, but nobody knows that. She now lives under another name, to protect a dark secret in her past. One day her nephew and his wife appear at her doorstep, to ask for the use of her name and recipes. When she refuses – to protect her true identity – she quickly realises that they will stop at nothing to get those recipes. But she is not easily defeated. And while she struggles against her nephew, she tells us her story….. Very good book, recommended! Great storytelling.

Rainbow Six (Jack Ryan Universe, #10)
by Tom Clancy

Unusual, as it is one of the rare books where Jack Ryan is not the main character. John Clark is not as black and white and makes for an interesting character. There is the usual body count and a lot of gadgets, all in all a solid thriller.

Sherlock Holmes: The Seven-Per-Cent Solution
by David Tipton,  Scott Tipton,  Ron Joseph (Illustrations) 

I have the seen the movie several times, it is one of my favourite Sherlock Holmes movies. 

This is a very close retelling of the story. The dramtic chase and the big reveal of Holmes’ secret at the end are well done, as well as the artwork. An enjoyable read and a surprising take on the life of the great detective. Sherlock Holmes fans should not miss this.

Eight Feet in the Andes: Travels with a Mule from Ecuador to Cuzco
by Dervla Murphy

I really wanted to like this, but after spending ages getting past the first 50 pages I decided to give up. The great thing about travel literature is the things that happen on the way. But as far as I got, the main thing was going up the mountain, over the mountain, down the mountain…. And I did not think the descriptions of the most likely stunning scenery were very good either. Very disappointing.

Nine Last Days on Planet Earth
by Daryl Gregory

Free short story on Tor.com.

“When the seeds rained down from deep space, it may have been the first stage of an alien invasion—or something else entirely.“

https://www.tor.com/2018/09/19/nine-last-days-on-planet-earth-daryl-gregory/

I‘m Groot! Interesting. I liked it, fascinating take on evolution and alien invasion, great character development. I felt with LT and almost cried with him at the end. Not sure if I am a fan of that quasi open ending. 

Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That Will Improve and/or Ruin Everything
by Kelly Weinersmith,  Zach Weinersmith

My NetGalley version only consisted of the introduction and the first two chapters: How to get into space cheaply and asteroid mining. Once I realized that, I mostly skimmed and just perused a bit here and there.

Entertaining, amusing style, that borders on slightly silly. Amusing, very simple comic strips—I recommend reading the ebook version on something that allows colour. Easy to understand explanations of complex topics. Space elevators, reusable rockets, Elon Musk and the odd Star Trek joke make an appearance.

It‘s ok, if you are looking for something light to flick through, when you have a few minutes to spare. Coffee table reading, mostly decorative.

Expanding…

Babylon’s Ashes (The Expanse, #6)
by James S.A. Corey

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

“We are not people, we are the stories that are told about people by others. Inners, Belters, women…“

I just read my first review and have to say that this book has not improved for me over time. It was good, but I could have stopped reading it at any time. It took me for ever to get through it. Very, very generously rounded up to four stars, because I do love all the main characters.

What I can say now though: this would have made a good final book for the series, because it nicely wraps up the major plotlines.

“Against all evidence, I keep thinking the assholes are outliers.” 

James Holden, in one of the last chapters

Review of first read, February 2018:

Very quotable one hour into the narration. Yay for Bobbi and Avrasarala being there! Great one-liners, the usual humour.

Unfortunately the first half of the book did not interest me much, I felt no compelling need to pick up the book and continue. First time that happened to me with an Expanse book. It made me go back to the previous books and 5-star those with 4 stars, so I would have room to move. 9 hours into the book it still wasn’t doing much for me. 

I care very little for Filip, his father and what they are up to. That trend continued for the rest of the story. I loved Holden and his crew, how Peaches and Bobby became part of the Rocinante family, the glimpses of Avrasarala, the dry humour… the plot just wasn‘t happening for me. It didn‘t add much to the world of the Expanse and there were no interesting new characters either. The guys on Medina station were depicted too briefly to elicit much of an emotional response from me.

This felt a bit like filler. Wrapping up some things from the previous book and setting the scene for the next one. Filling the gaps. A bit meh. Compared to other things I read over the years a pretty good filler, but filler nonetheless.

I give it four starts for the love of the series, but it was really more of a just-ok-3-stars.

Abstract poetry

Horrific Punctuation
by John Reinhart

I got the kindle edition and sadly it‘s barely readable. On my tablet it doesn‘t display at all and on my kindle the script is tiny and the layout doesn‘t really lend itself to maximizing it. I gave up after a few pages. This needs a printed version.

What I did catch was‘t really my cup of tea either. I couldn‘t really make heads or tails of it, it was too abstract for me.

About the poet and his work

Re-released and expanded into 32 pages by Arson Press in 2021, Horrific Punctuation is where commas scratch poisoned marks in blood on oblivion, Thor makes an enthusiastic appearance! shotguns make dark holes to mark the end…or maybe the beginning of something new. Zombies, harpies, Odin, Schrödinger’s cat, Hermes, yetis, the Loch Ness Monster, and more nightmares are here to remind you that while punctuation can be bad, sometimes it is horrific.

City of Bones in triplicate

First Line Fridays found a new home here. Yes, I know it‘s Tuesday—I started a new book though, so…

City of Bones (Kindle Edition)
by Martha Wells

“Somewhere else, in a room shadowed by age and death, a man readies himself to look into the future for what may be the last time.“

1st line

My kindle edition has the first cover. I like the second cover better though, it looks more adventurous. A bit like Dune meets the Tower of Babylon.

I‘ve only read a few pages, so I can‘t say much yet.