Review: Wayfairer trilogy

I pretty much stumbled across this series and found myself drawn in. I never realized a book without strong plot could be enjoyable. All those “character books” I had to read in middle and high school (I’m looking at you Pat Conroy) where it’s exploring “the human experience” or whatever. I disliked those. But the Wayfarirer books, there isn’t a strong plot to drive me forward – and I didn’t mind at all. So clearly, these books are all about the characters. And I do mean, all about. The barest of plot/action makes an appearance just to give the books some kind of beginning-middle-end structure, but that is all it seems to be for. These books are about the people and the world. And this world was fascinating. The worlds Beck Chambers builds are awesome. They are deep and real. There was only one alien species I found myself going “I don’t believe they would make it to space on

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Musings: Clothing sizes and who buys them

I have long been jealous of how men’s clothing is sized. Specifically, men’s pants – waist and length. Women’s clothing is NOTHING like that. It’s an arbitrary letter (S, M, L) or number (8, 14, 20) – which really has no external verification for “accuracy.” So I am sometimes a Large shirt. Sometimes Extra-Large. In some brands I am an XXL. And even then, it might be huge around my stomach/shoulders and tight around my breasts. Despite being a “woman’s cut.” Have they MET any women??? It’s why I’m such a huge fan of eShakti (see my review here) – they acknowledge and market that women are different sizes and shapes and make the customization more affordable. Looking at other women, I know I’m not that weird in shape and size. But somehow clothing manufacturers – even relatively “high end” brands (ok, I’m not talking Prada here or anything, but even Calvin Klein) can have the weirdest sizes and shapes

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Review: Spinning Silver

Naomi Novik is a unique writer in my world – I find her books extremely frustrating and extremely intriguing at the same time. I love retellings and twists on fairy tails and Novik hits both with this book. More than 90% of the book is told from the perspective of women – Miryem, Wanda, and Irina being the main protagonists. Miryem and Irina each seeing bigger picture issues they want to “fix” or address – Wanda mostly doesn’t want to be cold and hungry (I don’t blame her!). I enjoyed the Russian twist on Rumpelstiltskin. I don’t particularly like how Novik handled men in this novel. In His Majesty’s Dragons, the protagonist was a man, so I know she can do it – write decent men. For some reason the men in Spinning Silver are flat stereotypes at best – “the big brute” or the “angsty artist” or “pretentious prince.” I honestly have a higher expectation, this isn’t her debut

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Current Reading List

I was talking to someone the other day and I made a comment “one of the books I’m reading…” the person stopped me and said, “One of? More than one?” Yes. I read multiple books at the same time. Not literally sitting and reading one page in one book, then the next, then the next. It depends on my circumstances. And at some point most books become my “need to finish now” book – the one I obsess over until I finish it. I have a few categories of books I read: Need to Finish Now – this is the book I can’t put down. I will sacrifice food, sleep, and people-time to read these books. Breastfeeding and reading is something I’m still figuring out. My commute book. This has to be an audio book since I drive. I try really hard not to let my commute book turn into my “must finish now” book – it can be difficult

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Review: The Bell Jar

I actually finished this up right before giving birth, but…. well a lot has slipped the past few weeks! I struggle with mild anxiety, and I know how much that can debilitate me from functioning – I read this and it hurt. I only brush on the levels of unhappiness, disconnect, and depression Plath expressed – and it was very real. I do think this is a good book for people to read. Seeing a glimpse of just how consuming (and at times unrealistic) depression is – might help people understand how helpless people are to “just get over it.” Just eat better. Work out. Get up. Blah blah blah. That advice is rarely actually the solution someone needs once they’ve slipped down that far. As far as depression goes, The Bell Jar I would put on par with Speak – without the issue of rape driving the plot. In fact, I think it does a good job of also

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Review: Alita Battle Angel

I know I’m a little late to this – it’s been out for more than 3 days so if you were looking for a review I missed the “important” window for reviews. But to hell with that, I watched the movie and I have opinions and you were crazy enough to come read what I want to say. I enjoy anime for one big reason – they are far more likely to have interesting plot lines that the “weekly reset” shows like The Simpson or Family Guy. I like plot damnit. Alita has plot – and about the level I expected of a manga turned anime turned 2-hr movie. In other words, they try to cram a LOT of plot into a LITTLE time scale. Which leads to my personal biggest beef with the film: the time scale. I couldn’t tell you if (most) of this movie was over the course of a few days or few months. It’s rare

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Review: The Teahouse Fire

I actually finished this about two weeks ago, but I needed time to digest it before I wrote any kind of commentary on it. This isn’t quite on my “I’m ashamed I haven’t read this” book list, but it has been on my “to read” pile for years (literally for years. It had dust on it). I noticed the library had it on audiobook so I picked it up for my commute-listening-pleasure. The book was…. interesting. There was a lot I enjoyed (especially given how much I enjoy Japanese tea ceremony). A lot of what she discusses in the process is similar to the “Tea Club” lessons I was able to participate in when I spent a semester in Japan. I would never try to replicate tea ceremony, but I can appreciate the dance, art, and skill. So, to begin let me say that I never felt the main character grew up. Aurelia (the protagonist) never tries to understand the

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Review: Korean BBQ

Back at the end of January, my husband and I went to a new Korean BBQ place. One of the “cook at the table” style restaurants. Like a Melting Pot (fondue) or Hibachi (showy) we consider Korean BBQ “experience dining” – you take your time, you enjoy each others’ company. Dinner is more than just gulping down your food. We were expecting something like this: In case you can’t guess, this is nothing like what we experienced. Which is sad, Korean BBQ (done right) is a lot of fun (and if you’ve never done it or fondue – save up and take the opportunity). This particular experience was disappointing and here is my review that I put on Google: I almost didn’t write a review, but I think it would help others. My husband and I ate here last weekend on Sunday night. It wasn’t very busy and if anything that makes my primary issue more of an issue: Assumptions.

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Review: The Strange Library

I checked this book out from the library in audiobook for something to do some cleaning to and then pick up for the week. When it downloaded it said it was only one hour long! Oh. I didn’t realize it was a kid’s book. This is not a kid’s book. It’s at least PG. Maybe PG-13. The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami is definitely a different kind of fantasy. I will have to pick up more by him to create a firm opinion. I kind of wish I had read-read it, apparently it’s illustrated – I might have to check out the physical copy just to get a chance to see those…. This was a short read, and engrossing. It was in some ways a childish tone, but like the original Snow White, Cinderella, the Robber’s Bride…. there is a darkness lurking there that should not be discounted. If you like traditional fairy tales – you should read this. It

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