Book post

Jul. 15th, 2009 03:41 pm
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89.Wind Tunnel Dreams by Shira Lipkin

Absolutely beautiful. I've enjoyed reading many of these on [ profile] shadesong's journal, but having them all collected in one volume was a delicious treat. Seriously, check out this amazing woman's journal, and go order a copy of Wind Tunnel Dreams. She has one of the most beautiful minds I've ever experienced, and her prose and poetry dance in realms I'd love to visit for a while.

90.The Diamond Throne by David Eddings
91.The Ruby Knight by David Eddings
92.The Sapphire Rose by David Eddings
93.Domes of Fire by David Eddings

All of the above were re-reads. Stopped after the first book of the second trilogy because I was reminded of exactly how much I dislike when his books get preachy. I won't even discuss what I think of his female characters in general.

94.Naamah's Kiss by Jacqueline Carey

After Kushiel's Avatar, I wasn't sure I wanted to read more of Jacqueline Carey's books. I did read the Imriel trilogy, and while I liked it, I wasn't as captured by it as Kushiel's Dart. Naamah's Kiss is a beautiful reminder of everything I loved about her worldbuilding and her characters, with a lot that's wonderful and new to discover. I highly recommend this book to anyone who liked the Kushiel trilogies, and to those who enjoy fantasy in general. You'll have a richer experience if you've read the other books, but I believe this one can stand easily on its own.

95.Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape, Edited by Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti

There are some amazing essays in this book, and some that didn't resonate much with me. Above all, a lot of it made me think, and that what I look for most in non-fiction works.

96.Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist and Ebba Segerberg

Worlds of creepy aligned with the horrors of growing up. There's one scene in particular that has me creeped out so bad I will likely never see the movie. Still, excellent book.

97.The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Starts off amazing, ends somewhere a little too close to cliche. I'll still look for the sequels as they get published over the next 2 years. I'm hoping they'll pull back out of cliche territory. Warning, closer to zombie/vampires than Anne Ricean vampires.

98.The Darkangel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce

It's been a long time since I re-read these. The first book, The Darkangel, consumed me completely the first time I read it. So completely that I finished it in under 2 hours. It's where I got my general notion of my reading speed, that if a book really fascinated me, I could read approximately 200 page in 2 hours. That was when I was 12 or so, I have no real idea what my reading speed is now. It.. made a rather deep impression on me at an impressionable age. I could empathize with the main character, being called clumsy, and ugly, and generally viewed as lesser and unworthy. Meantime, she does so much, because she doesn't give up, because she is moved to do things from who she is, despite how much she downplays things. Even that downplaying of her actions spoke to me. When I read about the idea that Beauty felt betrayed when the Beast became a man, this first book is what resonates in my heart. I empathized with Aeriel falling completely in love with the Darkangel, and I was disappointed when his appearance and personality changed once she had saved him.

When I discovered the sequels, I was thrilled, and devoured them in one sitting as well. My disappointment in them was even greater. What do you mean he's her husband in name only? What's with his spurning Aeriel so completely after she saved him? And at the very end, her having to make a choice between him and the world? Her not being recognized as Ravenna's heir by Ravenna, but having to offer that option to the Witch? If Ravenna had recognized Aeriel as the worthier heir, the pearl wouldn't have been broken, Aeriel wouldn't have been put on Yet Another Quest(tm) that would take her away from Irrylath, and WTF is up with being accompanied by Erin at the end instead of her husband?

Reading it from an adult's perspective, I can enjoy the way it frakked around with fairytale convention. But I still remember the heartbreak I felt as a young teenager, and the betrayal of, "What do you mean love doesn't conquer all?" I hated Erin, I hated the author, and I felt that everything about the story was wrong Wrong WRONG. But it still stayed with me, and I still bought an omnibus copy of the trilogy for that first book and how I'd felt.

Re-reading it, I can see threads of submissive fantasy in the first book. I can recognize how Aeriel grew stronger, even though she didn't see anything different in herself, and if anything I'm more annoyed with Ravenna's obsession with redeeming her daughter instead of seeing what was standing before her in Aeriel. I can recognize now that Erin was the more steadfast friend and truer love than Irrylath could ever have proven to be. I'm still mildly vindictively pleased when Irrylath is crying uncontrollably at Aeriel's leaving, given how shoddily he treated her throughout the series. I have a lot more sympathy now for why Aeriel chose the world, despite wanting to be with Irrylath, how she couldn't have chosen otherwise and still been the person who set out on her original quest to save her mistress from the Darkangel in the first place. It's given me some food for thought about my own life and perspectives, and the ways that I've changed over the years. This is why I revisit old books, because while the words don't change, my perspectives do, and they enrich my understanding of both the books and of myself.
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