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Search tags: Ursula-K-Le-Guin
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review 2017-12-17 07:16
Earthsea Cycle: The Tombs of Atuan (Ursula Le Guin)
The Tombs of Atuan - Ursula K. Le Guin

Synopsis: At the age of six, Tenar was taken from her home and made High Priestess of the Nameless Ones, dark powers of the Tombs of Atuan. But when the wizard, Ged, comes to steal the tombs' greatest treasure he also comes to bring Tenar out of darkness.

Review: Ursula Le Guin is known as one of the greatest names in fantasy literature, partly for her Earthsea Cycle, and its not hard to see why from this book. Its pretty short, only 180 pages or so, but the deeper plot involving the rescue of Tenar fills out the volume of the book really well. If it had been longer, I think it would have become tedious. There isn't much more to say except that the plotline of pulling a lost soul out of the mire resonates with me strongly.


Next up is the second book of Alastair Reynolds' Inhibitor Trilogy, Redemption Ark. This is a long one at 700 pages, and a re-read from way back, but its good to remember why I love reading this guy.

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text 2017-12-17 05:53
Reading progress update: I've read 23 out of 387 pages.
The Dispossessed - Ursula K. Le Guin

“Is it true, Dr. Shevek, that women in your society are treated exactly like men?”
“That would be a waste of good equipment,” said Shevek with a laugh (...)
“Oh, no, I didn’t mean sexually—obviously you—they. . . I meant in the matter of their social status.”
“Status is the same as class?”
Kimoe tried to explain status, failed, and went back to the first topic. “Is there really no distinction between men’s work and women’s work?”
“Well, no, it seems a very mechanical basis for the division of labor, doesn’t it? A person chooses work according to interest, talent, strength—what has the sex to do with that?”
“Men are physically stronger,” the doctor asserted with professional finality.
“Yes, often, and larger, but what does that matter when we have machines? And even when we don’t have machines, when we must dig with the shovel or carry on the back, the men maybe work faster—the big ones— but the women work longer. . . . Often I have wished I was as tough as a woman.”
Kimoe stared at him, shocked out of politeness. “But the loss of—of everything feminine—of delicacy—and the loss of masculine self-respect— You can’t pretend, surely, in your work, that women are your equals? In physics, in mathematics, in the intellect? You can’t pretend to lower yourself constantly to their level?” (...)
“I don’t think I pretend very much, Kimoe,” he said.
“Of course, I have known highly intelligent women, women who could think just like a man,” the doctor said, hurriedly, aware that he had been almost shouting— (...)
Shevek turned the conversation, but he went on thinking about it. This matter of superiority and inferiority must be a central one in Urrasti social life. If to respect himself Kimoe had to consider half the human race as inferior to him, how then did women manage to respect themselves—did they consider men inferior?

 

Le Guin does not pussyfoot around

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review 2017-12-11 21:44
Dreadful book.
The Dispossessed - Ursula K. Le Guin

When trying to better understand anarchism this book caught my eye and I thought it would be helpful to come through the topic via a fictional read that would help me better understand it in a story rather than trying to teach myself from very dry academic books. Supposedly this book is about two worlds who were separated when a group of anarchists left one planet and the man who wants to unite the peoples back together. Or something.

 

I don't even know what went on the book and am completely flabbergasted at the reviews highly praising the novel. Many of the criticisms are on point. There is no plot, although there seemed to be a semblance of one at the very beginning. It seems much more like either a prequel, world-building sort of description rather than a story in its own right. Supposedly it's also a look at capitalism vs. anarchism too and is more of a philosophical exercise rather than trying to tell a story. One item that I don't think I've seen discussed much is the flip between the perspectives of past and present, which is something I still hate. 

 

Apparently the book started out as a very bad short story (Le Guin's words) and quite frankly I believe her. Another one of those books where I just don't get it.

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text 2017-12-11 19:38
12 New December Books
Year One - Nora Roberts
The Pug Who Bit Napoleon: Animal Tales of the 18th and 19th Centuries - Mimi Matthews
One of Us Will Be Dead by Morning (The Final War) - David Moody
Winds of the Forest (Forestborn Book 1) - Dele Daniel
If the Fates Allow - Killian B. Brewer,Lynn Charles,Erin Finnegan,Pene Henson,Lilah Suzanne,Annie Harper
Gun Kiss - Khaled Talib
Enchantress of Numbers: A Novel of Ada Lovelace - Jennifer Chiaverini
The Girl in the Tower - Katherine Arden
No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters - Ursula K. Le Guin,Karen Joy Fowler
Taming the Alpha (Balls & Chains 2) - Amara Lebel

Winter is here. The days are getting shorter, the weather's getting chiller and we cannot find a better way out of this situation than hiding under a blanket with a book pile nearby. If you're looking for some new titles for your December reading, have a look at the following 12 new releases and let us know what are you reading this winter season.

 

 

Year One by Nora Roberts 

A stunning new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author—an epic of hope and horror, chaos and magick, and a journey that will unite a desperate group of people to fight the battle of their lives. 

 

Preorder ->

The Pug Who Bit Napoleon: Animal Tales of the 18th and 19th Centuries by Mimi Matthews 

From elaborate Victorian cat funerals to a Regency era pony who took a ride in a hot air balloon, Mimi Matthews shares some of the quirkiest—and most poignant—animal tales of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Meet Fortune, the Pug who bit Napoleon on his wedding night, and Looty, the Pekingese sleeve dog who was presented to Queen Victoria after the 1860 sacking of the Summer Palace in Peking. The four-legged friends of Lord Byron, Emily Brontë, and Prince Albert also make an appearance, as do the treasured pets of Alexander Pope, Samuel Johnson, and Charles Dickens. Less famous, but no less fascinating, are the animals that were the subject of historical lawsuits, scandals, and public curiosity. Preorder->

 

 

 

One of Us Will Be Dead by Morning by David Moody 

In One of Us Will Be Dead by Morning, David Moody returns to the world of his Hater trilogy with a new fast-paced, and wonderfully dark story about humanity's fight for survival in the face of the impending apocalypse.

 

 

New release & Giveaway

Winds of the Forest by Dele Daniel 

In the only surviving part of the earth sits the post-apocalyptic West-African kingdom of Nayja. In the only place where humans still exist lives four tribes, the Kingfishers, the Ammirians, the Rowans and the Arnazuris but one tribe is dominant and must remain so.

 

 

If the Fates Allow by Annie Harper 

During the holidays, anything is possible—a second chance, a promised future, an unexpected romance, a rekindled love, or a healed heart. Authors Killian B. Brewer, Pene Henson, Erin Finnegan, Lilah Suzanne, and Lynn Charles share their stories about the magic of the season.

 

 

Gun Kiss by Khaled Talib 

A stolen piece of history, an abducted actress and international intrigue… When the Deringer pistol that shot Abraham Lincoln is stolen and ends up in the hands of a Russian military general, covert agent Blake Deco is tasked by the FBI to head to the Balkans to recover the historical weapon. Meanwhile, the United States media is abuzz with news of the mysterious disappearance of Hollywood movie star, Goldie St. Helen. 

  

 

Enchantress of Numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini 

The New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker illuminates the fascinating life of the world’s first computer programmer Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace—a woman whose exceptional contributions to science and technology have gone unsung for too long.

 

Preorder->

The Last Governor: Chris Patten and the Handover of Hong Kong by Jonathan Dimbleby 

1 July 1997 marked the end of British rule of Hong Kong, whereby this territory was passed into the hands of the People’s Republic of China. In 1992, Chris Patten, former chairman of the Conservative Party, was appointed Hong Kong's last governor, and was the man to oversee the handover ceremony of this former British colony. Within the last five years of British rule, acclaimed journalist Jonathan Dimbleby was given unique access to the governor which enabled him to document the twists and turns of such an extraordinary diplomatic, political and personal drama. Preorder->

 

 

Taming the Alpha by Amara Lebel 

Welcome to Balls & Chains, a BDSM Club for gay men. Cross the threshold and see the worlds of humans and shifters collide as these alphas dominate, and betas submit.

 

 

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden 

A remarkable young woman blazes her own trail, from the backwoods of Russia to the court of Moscow, in the exhilarating sequel to Katherine Arden’s bestselling debut novel, The Bear and the Nightingale.

 

 

Killman Creek by Rachel Caine 

Every time Gwen closed her eyes, she saw him in her nightmares. Now her eyes are open, and he’s not going away. Gwen Proctor won the battle to save her kids from her ex-husband, serial killer Melvin Royal, and his league of psychotic accomplices. But the war isn’t over. Not since Melvin broke out of prison. Not since she received a chilling text.

 

 

No Time to Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin has taken readers to imaginary worlds for decades. Now she’s in the last great frontier of life, old age, and exploring new literary territory: the blog, a forum where her voice—sharp, witty, as compassionate as it is critical—shines. No Time to Spare collects the best of Ursula’s online writing, presenting perfectly crystallized dispatches on what matters to her now, her concerns with this world, and her unceasing wonder at it: “How rich we are in knowledge, and in all that lies around us yet to learn. Billionaires, all of us.”

 

Happy reading!

 

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text 2017-12-09 12:11
16 Tasks of the Festive Season - Square #9: Winter Solstice and Yalda Night
Late in the Day: Poems 2010–2014 - Ursula K. Le Guin

Book themes for Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night: Read a book of poetry, or a book where the events all take place during the course of one night, or where the cover is a night-time scene.

 

Despite the snow, my postie managed to make his rounds yesterday. Two Le Guins, one of which will qualify for a book square because it is a book of poetry.

 

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