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review 2017-04-15 03:45
Binti
Binti - Nnedi Okorafor
Binti: Home - Nnedi Okorafor

The novella Binti by Nnedi Okorafor won the 2015 Nebula and 2016 Hugo Awards for Best Novella.  These honors are well deserved.  Binti is a wonderful story that in a few short pages uses the conventions of SF to explore race, cultural appropriation, and all without preaching.  I was blown away by Binti.  5 Stars

 

I wasn't nearly as impressed by the sequel Binti: Home.  I can't really pin my finger on why, but the attempt to explain the backstory of the magical "edan" from the first installment just fell a little flat for me.  In particular, I was deeply dissatisfied with the ending

Running off half-trained because her friends were in trouble a la Luke Skywalker

(spoiler show)

3.5 stars

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text 2017-04-01 02:06
March Wrap-up
Binti - Nnedi Okorafor
Inheritor - C.J. Cherryh
Dead Reckoning - Charlaine Harris

I haven’t been energized to review for the last couple of weeks, so here’s a quick wrap-up of what I’ve been reading in March:

 

Audiobooks

Dead Reckoning – Charlaine Harris – Finished March 9, 2017 – 2017 Library Challenge

 

On The Oceans of Eternity (Nantucket #3) – S.M. Stirling – about halfway through this 29.5 hour commitment and enjoying it during my drive-times

 

Short Fiction

Binti - Nnedi Okorafor – Read March 19th

 

March Book 3 – John Lewis & company – got about 2/3 of the way through and then had to return it to the library.  I just got it back tonight.

 

Novels

Inheritor (Foreigner #3) – C.J. Cherryh – Finished March 12, 2017 – 2017 Reread Challenge

 

Ancillary Justice (Imperial  Radch #1) – Ann Leckie – reread in progress.  Not picking up as many new insights as I’d hoped.  I was rereading in part because Ancillary Justice was one of the books for the  Goodreads SciFi and Fantasy Book Club Group Bookshelf Challenge, but there didn’t seem to be many active conversations.  I’m likely to abandon the reread in favor of starting Ancillary Sword, which is one of the April selections for Group Bookshelf Challenge.

 

I don’t know how actively I’ll be blogging for the first 3 weeks in April because

 

I’m eagerly awaiting Dewey’s Readathon on April 29th and am hoping to clear my schedule for once!  See you then!

 

*If you are of the protesting bent, you may also want to check out the Tax March on April 15th or the Climate March on April 29th

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-30 08:07
March 2017 — Wrap-Up

 

 

 
 
 

Old Favorites

 

DU

 

Dune (Re-Read)

I’ve covered this book in too much detail to add anything here. Well okay, I’ll just leave this joke here:
 
Check out the final review instalment here.

 

New Delights

 

 

CO.jpg

 

Coraline

Coraline is a book that I would have loved to read as a kid. It is full of Dahl-esque quirkiness…okay, who am I kidding? I loved it even as an adult! Two of my favorite quotes:
 
1
 
2
 
 

BI.jpg

 

Binti

Read my detailed review here.
 

 
1.jpg
 
 
I dunno what to say about this book, except that it had nothing and everything in it! I wanted to pick it up as soon as I got off work and I didn’t want to put it down. The plot is simple and straightforward. The author hasn’t weighed it down with complicated science. You can see where the events are leading up to and yet… I am still ambivalent about the ending but I guess, I’ll just let it sink in for a bit before I come to a decision. This was my first Simak book and I can’t wait to gobble everything else by him!
 
 
P.S. The cover has NOTHING to do with what goes on in the book. 
 
 

Holocaust Horrors

 

TCM

 

The Complete Maus

This comic will just mess you up and yet, you’d be unable to put it down. Just look at how beautifully it portrays the impact of the dreadful event on not just the parents who experienced it but also on their kids who had to live with it:
 
 
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New Additions to Old Favorites

 

S5.jpg

 

Saga Vol.5.

 
Saga continues to be its beautiful, painful self. I’ve stopped thinking that the story is going anywhere. I just read it because I can’t not read it! Some of the artwork:
 

 

 

MWT.jpg

 

More Weird Customers Say in Bookshops

 
The first one was wayyyyy funnier.
 
 
 
 

New but Okayish

 

LK.jpg

 

The Lady Killer

Beautifully drawn but lacks anything that’d make it stand out!  I don’t think I will be continuing.
 
 
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Bag Lady

According to GRRM, this book is the first ever short story written in the Wild Cards series. However, it wast published as a part of the series, which had already changed and evolved.
 
I loved this nod towards Asimov:
“What are your orders?”
“To obey my creator, Dr. Maxim Travineck. To guard his identity and well-being. To test myself and my equipment under combat conditions, by fighting enemies of society. To gain maximum publicity for the future Modular Men Enterprises in so doing. To preserve my existence and well-being.”
“Take that, Asimov”, Travineck said.
 
He uncorked the bottle of vodka and raised the bottle on high in a toast.
“New Prometheus,” he said, “my ass.”
 
and this witty repartee:
“I am beginning to realize, said the android, raising a hot buttered rum to his lips, that creator is a hopeless sociopath.”
Black Shadow cnsidered this, “I suspect, if you don’t mind a touch of theology, this just puts you in the boat with the rest of us,” he said.

 

 

Unbound

1.jpg
 
 
Read my review here.
 
 
A good month that was full of reading, I’d say. How was was your March reading-wise?
 
 
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-17 18:59
So, I Finally Read Binti by Nnedi Okorafor and Here's What I Thought...
Binti - Nnedi Okorafor

 

The cover was perfect.

On a related note, look at what the author had to say about the whitewashing of her covers.

 

I loved how the acknowledgments described UAE as "futuristic ancient".

It is such a perfect description because you get this old feel when you visit the place and then there are those skyscrapers that add a futuristic shade to things. Mostly unrelated but reminded me of how a Pakistani artist imagined our country would like in SF mode! Check it out:

 

 

 

 

 

See more of his art here. Anyway, back to the review:

 

This is how YAs should go!

I mean there's this teenager who is running away from home, readying herself to face all kinds of racism, just so she can attend a university. I loved that.

 

Some thoughts were expressed so beautifully...

 

 

 

 

I might have been reading too much into it but I could see some parallels.

While talking about cooking fish, Binti mentioned:

 

they lulled the fish into a sleep that the fish never woke from

It reminded me of two things:

a) The Himba are an animist people, which is why they would be gentle towards any organisms they consumed.

b) How as Muslims we have rules upon rules that minimize the pain of an animal prior to being slaughtered for food.

 

 

I loved how Binti's love and respect for her family would shine through her thoughts. For instance, look at this quote:

 

Would my family even comprehend it all when I explained it to them?

 

And then, she followed it with another thought that I wasn't expecting. She didn't think they weren't smart enough to understand why she did what she did. Instead, she said:

 

Or would they just fixate on the fact that I'd almost died...

 

I kept imagining the Meduse as the love-child of jellyfishes and Cthulhu though I dunno why! While researching that unholy union, I came across this instead:

 

 

To summarize, YA done well, in terms of strong, sensible female lead, making it a must-read for all YA lovers out there.

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text 2017-03-05 02:02
What I got with my gift card
On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century - Timothy Snyder
We Should All Be Feminists Paperback - February 3, 2015 - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
His Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik
Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump - James Aaron Tecumseh Sinclair
The Black Notebook - Patrick Modiano,Mark Polizzotti
Binti - Nnedi Okorafor

On Tyranny looks fascinating and timely and I want to read a little more politically minded right now.   It's also a cute, small book, so I figure it's a good choice for post-September when I won't have much time!

 

We Should All Be Feminists is my fuck you to all the misogynists.   Also, small, cute, and short, so again, saving it for post grad-school when I'll have no time.

 

His Majesty's Dragon is a physical copy so that I have one for Novik to sign. 

 

Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump is my fuck you to Trump.   Small, short, although a little bigger than the other two.   I want to understand a little more about Trump, and well, I'd like to think anyone buying this, and reading it, pisses him off.   

 

I got three copies of Black Book by Modiano as a thank you to the three people who wrote my letters of recommendation.  

I got a copy of Binti because the professor who did my phone interview loved this, too, so I'm going to get it signed and surprise her with it.   

 

I'm looking forward to like everything.   Then again, just earlier this week I got so nervous my mind basically shut off my feelings to cope: I couldn't get interested in anything.   Everything excites me now that the feels have been turned on.   I'm watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and loving it, reading, and loving it all.   

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