logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Politics
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-09-18 22:11
Reading progress update: I've read 59 out of 320 pages.
Jaws - Peter Benchley

For the Drowning Deep

 

It's been more than forty years since I read this and boy is it different reading this as an adult versus as a kid.

 

The inflation. The casual sexism. The really weird history of the serial rapist.

 

I am liking the time he takes to explain the cast of characters, and the whole economy of the Hamptons. And I love the newspaper editor.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-09-16 23:48
Fairest - Gail Carson Levine for A Grimm Tale
Fairest - Gail Carson Levine

Meh. There were some nice changes from the standard Snow White, and I  quite liked that she wasn't beautiful at all, but downright ugly. But it will never be my favorite. Weirdly, whereas the musical aspect of Seraphina really engaged me, the constant singing just kind of annoyed me, and that is huge.

 

It's written for a middle grade audience, there's no sex, or drugs, or actual  murder, and the resolution is elegant. But it felt watered-down to me, way more so than the Disney version. It's first person, so there's no worry for the reader, but it goes beyond that: there is reference to revolution but I didn't believe it. The stakes felt really minor. Or maybe I'm bothered that the heroine only twice showed any initiative. She never made decisions she just did whatever she was told. At least Snow White comes up with the housekeeper idea, even if it is a stereotype.

 

Or it could just be that I've been tired and cranky all day despite the lovely rain.

 

Library copy 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-09-10 08:37
OT: The current situation

This summer has given me much food for thought. Mainly it was the heatwave, the drought and the forest fires that were beginning to strike too close to home, but also the hunters that have been shooting close to our cabin. 

 
Also, the political situation is reason for concern. It seems to me that in just a few short years we’ve gone from circumstances resembling those shortly before the First World War to what’s more similar to the time just before the Second. (Even though Sweden was spared both wars in the end, by playing ’hedgehog’. ) Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we’re heading for an actual world war or even a more limited conflict in Northern Europe. The enemy is most likely smarter than that. At least for now. But there are other serious crises we’re risking. Maybe even civil war. Again, I doubt this will happen in the next year or two, but there are plenty of other scenarios that could unfold that could have equally serious consequences. Foreign powers subverting our election. Acts of terrorism. Desinformation campaigns. Coordinated acts of sabotage against water supplies, electrical companies - maybe even hospitals. 
 
Worst of all, the impending climate collapse. What can you do when forces far beyond your control are at work? Business as usual? That’s what most people here in Sweden want to play at. Barbecue in the countryside and start fires. Fly to Thailand and back again a couple of times. After all, everything is always someone else’s responsibility. 
 
Xenophobia is rearing its ugly head again. Recently, a homeless Romanian man was brutally murdered by minor boys. And most people don’t even care. 
 
I’m terrified of the future. At the moment mostly of the results of the election. Anything might happen.
 
When trouble comes looking for my family I hope we can find a safe place to hide.
 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-09-02 14:10
The Last Hours - Minette Walters 
The Last Hours - Minette Walters

The first outbreaks of the Black Death in Dorset. There is crime and secrets and lies, but this is counterbalanced by great kindness and cooperation and thought. You wouldn't think it could be a hopeful kind of book, but even as the plague strikes so swiftly with such high mortality, it does free up all the wealth and power that was gathered into so few hands.

 

Now I just have to wait for the story to be continued.

 

It's situations like this that make me reluctant to start a series until it's all written

 

Library copy

 

Edited to add, 9/2/18:  I often give authors of fiction about plagues a hard time for giving their imagined diseases an easy transmission, an incredibly high mortality rate, and a very brief latency: these three ratios all being very high means an infection will burn out in a population too quickly to spread. Even the worst plagues in naive populations don't score high on all three. They also tend to avoid people getting ill and recovering, which some portion of the population usually does. Most fiction wrlters avoid the importance of hygiene and sanitation and supportive care: they have everyone dying from the primary disease directly rather than address indirect mortality. I've encountered more than a few books that use 99.99% in order to decrease the surplus population. I mention this because I can only think of two writers who don't cheat that way: Connie Willis and now Minette Walters. If you want realistic plagues, these are the women to read.

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-08-29 17:47
Podcast #116 is up!
A Business of State: Commerce, Politics, and the Birth of the East India Company - Rupali Mishra

My latest podcast is up on the New Books Network website! In it I interview Rupali Mishra about her study of the governance of the East India Company and its relationship to the English state. Enjoy!

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?