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radio-appears Locked account

Joined 1 year, 3 months ago

I read light, but broadly. Currently one of my favorite things is to dig up female sci-fi/fantasy authors from the 70s and 80s. I find it difficult to separate my own personal experience of a book from its "objective" good or bad qualities and rate and review it in a way that could be useful for some hypothetical Universal Reader. I just wanna chat, really.

Still trying to figure this bookwyrm thing out.

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radio-appears's books

Currently Reading (View all 5)

The Fifth Season (Paperback, 2016, Orbit) 4 stars

This is the way the world ends. Again.

Three terrible things happen in a single …

Okay, I'm about halfway through this book, and I feel I can already say: that Hugo was deserved. It is very good. I do still hope to find out why Jemisin decided to write Essun's chapters in second person. That's such an uncommon voice, I feel like it has to have a purpose.

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The man without a face (2012, Riverhead Books) 5 stars

This is the chilling account of how a low-level, small-minded KGB operative ascended to the …

I learned so much

5 stars

As an American, this was a fascinating and educational read. It fills in the blanks left by our myopic media and provides context to events that were quite mysterious and unexpected at the time that I was living through them.

To have finished the book, which closes describing scenes in Moscow in December 2011, when Alexei Navalny was leading hopeful protests against the Putin regime, on the same day that the news of Navalny's death in prison reached me, seems cruel, but entirely fitting. In these passages, Gessen notes that Putin and his allies were slow to recognize the danger they were in, and predicted that when they did, they would lash out violently, like a cornered animal. Perhaps with a terrorist attack, like the ones the KGB engineered against the Russian people in 1999 - 2000, when Putin was first running for president. But no. Putin started a war.

commented on Laura H. by Thomas Rueb

Laura H.* is a notorious figure in the Netherlands. After converting to Islam at a young age, she and her husband left the country in order to join IS. In 2017, they escaped the Islamic State with two small children in tow. Her husband died en route. She wanted to return to the Netherlands, said that she's sworn of Islam and no longer held any fundamentalist beliefs, which of course was treated with huge amounts of skepticism by everyone. She was eventually convicted to three years in prison, so by now she's already living on the outside once again. This book, by journalist Thomas Rueb, is mostly concerned with the question of what could possibly convince a "normal, Dutch woman" who wasn't raised in the faith to join a terrorist state. He quickly shows that she wasn't all that normal, but in fact deeply troubled. Are those extenuating circumstances? Of …

Tales of Neveryon (Neveryon) (Paperback, 1979, Bantam Books) No rating

A novel of myth and literacy about a long-ago land on the brink of civilization. …

If Conan the Barbarian was written by Margaret Mead and Michel Foucault

No rating

An anthology of interwoven short stories that take place in a fictional ancient civilization - heavily implied to be the first ancient civilization, actually. Two pairs characters feature in all of them, until they finally meet in the last one; Norema, the barbarian woman and her companion Raven, a warrior from a matriarchal society who is constantly accosted by culture shock in this strange country where men do get to make decisions, and Gorgik and Little Sarg, the lovers, who use their old slave collar as a ruse to free other slaves, as well as a powerful symbol within their sexual relationship. (Look, Delany is a man of interesting sexual tastes and little shame, so you're going to find out about them.)

While that makes this book sound pretty lurid (which is why I decided to read it, not gonna lie), it's actually much more concerned with portraying the contrast …

The Dragon Revenant (Deverry Series, Book Four) (Paperback, 1991, Spectra) 5 stars

For years the provinces of Deverry have been in turmoil; now the conflict escalates with …

I think I read the third book in this serie over more than a year ago, and they have dense plots, so I'm a bit lost in these first few pages. I might need to dig up a plot summary or something somewhere online.

That said, man, it's hitting the spot. Now that I don't read a lot of them, it's easy to forget how much fun a really epic, slightly cheesy, fantasy doorstopper can be, with magic and knights, elves and dwarves and lots and lots of political intrigue. I'm enjoying myself.