I love #fridayreads and want more excuses to talk about reading (even though it’s Saturday), so I’m going to attempt to do that regularly with This Week In Reading.
Last weekend I went to Readercon, as mentioned, and picked up a bunch of books, but have barely touched them because I was already in the middle of several things. I haveÂ limits, you know. I can’t read ten books at once.
I sped throughÂ The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes before Readercon. It worked as a bookÂ to clear out my head after weeks traipsing through theÂ autobiography of a labor activist (Elizabeth Gurley Flynn — the bio was great! ButÂ heavy, with a million little stories of wins and losses for the movement.) The Shining GirlsÂ was one of those cases of a bookÂ straddling the border between litfic and genre. BeukesÂ made a valiant effortÂ to write something that embracedÂ litficÂ + time travel + mystery/thriller, but because she was balancing so many things, they all came off a little less rich than they could have been if focused on one. That may sound like a criticism of the book, but it’s not meant to be. I like the effort, and what combining genres did for the story. No aspect of it collapsed when poked, which is a huge accomplishment.
I also startedÂ Ombria in Shadow by Patricia McKillip. I wouldn’t normally pick up something that has a cover like this, with the flowing locks of hair and the pensive look and the Renaissance-y stylings. This is not to say that I automatically dislike this sort of thing. It’s that I am not actively drawn to it, but the author was specifically recommended to me. So far it has magic, and ancient ageless evil, a girl made of wax, and a shadow underworld, so… I’m on board.
Short things I’ve read recently:
“As it is,Â SnowpiercerÂ is an enjoyable spectacle whether you care about its political message or not.Â But this is also a story with genuinely subversive and radical themes….Itâ€™s about the limitations of a revolution which merely takes over the existing social machinery rather than attempting to transcend it.”
That was a good movie, everyone.
Playing Nice with Godâ€™s Bowling BallÂ by N.K. Jemison:
“Then, apparently oblivious to Graceâ€™s stare, the boy burst into tears. ‘IÂ toldÂ him to be careful.'”
Please go read this story like I did: knowing nothing about it.