chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)

After I finished re-reading The Story of the Stone by Hughart, I continued on with Eight Skilled Gentlemen (also a re-read). Both books are considerably weaker than Bridge of Birds, but they're both still amusing and full of interesting little details.

Most of the other things I've read this week have been online articles that are research for the same project that got me re-reading Master Li and Number Ten Ox.

After several days of that (and writing, and work being chaotic and stressful), I wanted something pleasant and easy. So I spent some time on Big South American River, looking up favorite children's authors. I discovered that not only has someone put a number of my favorite Sally Watson historicals into e-books, they also included Poor Felicity (although the author herself seems to have re-named it The Delicate Pioneer, which strikes me as a really "dead" title). I first read this at a Girl Scout summer camp, where I was a pudgy bespectacled weirdo bookworm who hated sports but was totally unafraid of snakes and bugs, and I haven't seen it since.

Felicity Dare is a sickly, rather spoiled 19th-century Southern (U.S.) girl whose parents lose all their money in bad investments and decide to go out west to settle in Oregon/Washington territory. Both parents die along the way, leaving orphaned Felicity to her good-natured but hapless uncle. They end up in what eventually becomes Seattle, where Felicity gradually becomes healthier because of being out in nature (shades of The Secret Garden!), makes friends with kids who would definitely have been considered below her social class back East (include some Native Americans), and learns to forage, cook, and shoot a rifle. There's also an ongoing feud with a rough-hewn boy who despises her for most of the book. In the end, when her snooty cousins show up at last (they went by ship instead of overland), she has to confront their faulty assumptions and her own grudges.

It's fun, slight but with lots of interesting details, and an easy, fast read (aimed at about 10-13 year-old readers).

chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)

Here on LJ or Here on his review site.

His series title, "Because My Tears Are Delicious to You," is for reviews where he revisits a book he read as a young adult and sees how it stands the test of time (in other words whether it has been visited by the Suck Fairy).

chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)

Maybe I can get around to this ... monthly?

What have you just finished reading?

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, at last. For a while, it seemed like everyone on my f-list was reccing this. and I got a copy for Hanukah … but kept putting off reading it. It sounded like it was going to be unrelentingly sad, and also, as a Jewish child of the 60s, I was subjected to loads of documentary footage on Holocaust atrocities as part of my religious school curriculum, so I was very reluctant to read a story involving a Nazi prisoner. When I finally did read it. I was actually charmed by some of it, and parts were really quite funny. It is tragic, and simply intensely sad in parts, but it also ends with a sort of calm joy.

The Janissary Tree, by Jason Goodwin, is a charming and yet occasionally gruesome murder mystery set in early 19th century Istanbul, with a eunuch court official as investigator. There is the potential for all sorts of cultural shenanigans (orientalism, obviously, and misrepresentations of Turkish Islamic culture) here, and I don't know enough about any of it to say what kind of course Goidwin has steered. I did enjoy the book and appreciated its representation of a spectrum of human sexuality (although there was definitely a "kill your gays" moment). I did find it rather odd that Goodwin in general represents dialog in other languages by choice of phrase and occasionally non-English vocabulary, but for some reason, uneducated Greeks are given the sort of eye dialect familiar to me from British naturalist Gerald Durrell's Corfu memoirs.

Also, I should note that as [livejournal.com profile] flemmings pointed out to me, this is a great book for foodies. Our hero, Master Yashim, loves good food and cooks as a diversion as well as for nourishment.

Finally, I read the last volume of the manga Fushigi Yûgi: Genbu Kaiden by Yuu Watase, which ended about as could be expected. I was relieved that the young king didn't have a tragic ending. Also, I read volume 4 of CLAMP's Gate 7, which continues to be both pretty and pretty ridiculous, albeit entertainingly so. I understand it is now in hiatus, which rots. WTF, CLAMP publishers? People actually like your sparkly silliness. Don't you want to cash in on that?

What are you currently reading?

I am several chapters into the second Master Yashim mystery, The Snake Stone. I'm also doing a re-read for a story I'm writing.

What do you think you'll read next?

I still need to make myself start the manga Vinland Saga. Also, Fumi Yoshinaga's What Did You Eat Yesterday? has just started coming out in English. I'd read Yoshinaga's adaptation of the DC telephone book (supposing such a thing existed), so I'm definitely going to get this one. I also have a couple of YA novels lying around that I got for the holidays and never read. And who knows, maybe the put-one take-one shelf at work will produce the third Master Yashim mystery (that's where I got the other two).

 

chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)

Guys, I have not done this since November. I will try to get back on track!

What have you just finished reading?

Marie Brennan's ([livejournal.com profile] swan_tower's) historical fantasy A Star Shall Fall. I liked it fairly well. I'm not sure what would have made it better for me. I need to think about that. I got this copy from last year's Con or Bust auction, so it's taken me a while to decide to read it.

The latest volume, 9, of the manga Ooku: The Inner Chambers by Fumi Yoshinaga. I really liked it and found it much less grim than this series usually is, so I expect the other shoe to drop and the series to go back to normal - or worse - by next volume. There's a great new character, Hiraga Gennai. I will not spoil you about Gennai and what makes Gennai great. XD

The first two volumes of the manga Thermae Romae, which is awesomely silly and beautifully drawn. (The book production values are spectacular too.) It's about a Roman engineer who keeps being transported off at random intervals to present-day Japan, where he encounters various modern-day Japanese public and private baths and invariably returns with new inspirations to try out in Rome. Some of the inspirations are relatively believable, and some are wonderfully absurd in a Flintstones-cartoon sort of way. (Wait'll you see his shampoo shield and shampoo hose.) His interpretations of what he's seeing in Japan are really funny.

What are you currently reading?

I just started Marjorie Liu's The Fire King, which is one of her Dirk & Steele paranormal romances.

What do you think you'll read next?

I grabbed Jason Godwin's The Janissary Tree from the take-on leave-one collection at work. This is a historical mystery set in the early 19th-century Ottoman Empire. I seem to recall reading a favorable review of it at one point, and it won the Edgar Award in 2007. Also, I have the first two volumes of the manga Vinland Saga, but it looks awfully grim. It may be a while until I can get myself to read it.

 

chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)

For very odd reasons that will go unspecified at the moment, I may need to re-read one of the volumes of this series. And I got to wondering about how many of you have read it, and what you all think about it. And because I am a DW/LJ kind of person, that means it's time for a poll!

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 11


So, the Lymond Chronicals by Dorothy Dunnett:

View Answers

Are among the most awesome books ever written!
1 (9.1%)

Are quite good, although they suffer from problems such as a bit too much melodrama and the stereotypes of the time in which they were written.
1 (9.1%)

Are OK. I don't regret having read them, but I'm not tempted to read them again (especially given how long they are).
2 (18.2%)

Are pretty bad. And they took me forever to read, too.
0 (0.0%)

Are terrible! OMG, I can't believe people actually re-read them!
0 (0.0%)

Are something I have not read, but I have heard of them.
4 (36.4%)

Bzuh?
3 (27.3%)

Are something else that I will explain in comments
0 (0.0%)

For the completely uninitiated: Dorothy Dunnett's Excellent Adventures. ( And I don't like the Niccolò series nearly as much.)

See LJ Post if you prefer. Ignore LJ crosspost info below because polls don't translate right, so I had to re-post.

chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)

What have you just finished reading?

The Killing Moon (re-read) by N.K. Jemisin

What are you currently reading?

Something by Rosemary Sutcliff, which I will not specify at this time (re-read). And bits and pieces from C.J. Cherryh's Regenesis (also a re-read). (Plus, the latest Washingtonian and Smithsonian magazines.)

What do you think you'll read next?

Probably The Shadowed Sun by Jemisin.

 

chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)

What have you just finished reading?

Lots of stuff! Rosemary Sutcliff's The Shining Company and Sword Song, vol. 3 of the manga series A Certain Scientific Railgun, and the aforementioned book I had to re-read as an assignment. I think I'm giving up on Railgun: it's just not working for me. I will write it up at some point and discuss that. This is one of the few series I've just had to drop.

What are you currently reading?

Nothing but little filler things: fanfiction, catalogs, bits of the second Bleach character book (mainly so I can sleuth the kanji in the characters' names with my basic kanji dictionary). That's because I'm processing the things I just read – always happens when I read a lot of things one after the other.

What do you think you'll read next?

I just got the third Gunslinger Girl manga omnibus (comprising vols. 7-8 of the original tankoubon): that will probably be next.

chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)

If you enjoy the historical novels of Rosemary Sutcliff (The Eagle of the Ninth et al.), please check out the new LJ community Sutcliff Talk.

We've only just begun ... !

chomiji: Nase Asumi with a wry smile on her face, and the caption Awesomesauce (Asumi - awesomesauce)

Right here!

Donald Sutherland is playing Uncle Aquila!

There's also an official movie site, which gives a release date of this September! (September 2010, that is.)

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