Hope Swann (coffeebased) wrote,
Hope Swann

And the bullets catch in her teeth

I'm a little over a quarter into my #100happydays posts. I didn't think I'd be able to stick to it, but hey, I have 70+ days to fuck it up.
L-R: A shot from Ursula Vernon's Digger, the title card of Silver Spoon, a selfie after over 48 hours of not sleeping, some gelato I had with Sunshine, some coffee from Vietnam, an SMS from Juwelou informing me about a manga update we've been waiting for for nearly a year, the cover of the program of the parasitology conference I went to, and the final title page of my thesis (pre-defence).

Speaking of my thesis:
I have nine days to go before my final defence.
I've just finished printing out copies of my thesis for my defence panel. I've decided to not sleep and just wait until the mall's open so that I can go and have the photos printed and the print-outs shipped before catching some z's, and then I have to make my presentation. I've got a lot of this blogpost written out in my deadtree journal, so I'll just be transcribing stuff. But I figure some of this will be a bit off anyway. :)) There's a bunch of things I wanted to write about, but decided to deadtree it instead of letting it all out over the Internet. It's safer and smarter that way.

Finished reading:

Digger by Ursula Vernon took a while to finish. I've been following Vernon's blog for around ten years now, but this is the first time I've ever read anything she's had published. Since I got the omnibus edition, it was p. unwieldy and I couldn't bring it around or snuggle up with it in bed. Which is a pity, as it's a very engaging and unique story, and if I hadn't been physically unable to do so, I would have just blazed through it. I honestly haven't read anything as earnest or creative. The main character's a wombat, of all things. The side characters involve hyenas, monks, a statue of Ganesh, a demon, so on and so forth holy cow, it's brilliant. It also had the bonus side-effect of making me miss playing DnD so badly that I opened up our campaign docs and re-read huge swathes of it.

The Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh was not I'd expected it to be. It was short, satirical, and absurd, and I was expecting Brideshead Revisited, and I got absurdity at the level of Catch-22 at a quarter of the length and a hundredth of the characters. I haven't read a lot of absurdist literature, or satire, but if this book is any indicator, they're very effective ways of discussing social constructs. Waugh is a very matter of fact writer as well, so everything's just right out there in the open with no embroidery, a literary bullet to the brain.
Kuragehime Volume 13 is mostly a set-up and clean up volume. The brother is back from Venice, she is being trained as a fashion investment, and Kuranosuke is realising shit. I can tell that the next volume is going to be painful, unless she draws out the build-up further.

The Provost's Dog trilogy by Tamora Pierce was an impulse read. Yes, reading three novels kind of just happened. I really needed a break after TDaF, so I decided to check Terrier out. And then I swallowed the next two books over the next day, because I love Beka Cooper, even though we only get to see her through her own PoV! Pierce's writing has gotten increasingly more detailed AND grimdark over the years, and it really shows now, especially since this series is a prequel to the rest of the Tortall books. The world building is a lot more intricate as well, and I honestly don't think I could read the first few books again without getting weirded out by how different it is. Although there is a lot of setting up done, the obvious bits like Faithful/Pounce, and the less obvious Gentle Mother stuff, and the ancestors of beloved characters setting the tone. Another Tortall prequel is coming out this year, a Nawat backstory thing, and I'm really looking forward to it. :)

Now reading:
The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse

Reading Next:

The Magic Kingdom by Stanley Elkin and My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl

Next Twenty Reads:

1. S by J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst
2. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
3. Something More Than Night by Ian Tregillis
4. The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton
5. Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
6. The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan
7. Countdown City by Ben Winters
8. Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
9. Inheritance by Malinda Lo
10. The Flight of the Eisenstein by James Swallow
11. Iron Council by China Mieville
12. A Highly Unlikely Scenario -or, a Neetsa Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World by Rachel Cantor
13. Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
14. Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
15. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
16. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemmingway
17. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
18. Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson
19. Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi
20. Off to be the Wizard by Scott Meyer

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