renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
I have a nerdy book tag I want to do in lieu of writing about Daughter of Mystery and Runtime, which were the books I finished recently. I'm still considering them in my head. I want people to read Daughter of Mystery because a) ladies in love, wooo, b) to tell me if the book is hard or if I'm just dumb as a sack of rocks. Also, Runtime is a packed novella full of a personal journey set in a cyborg terrain race, so if that sounds like your thing, run don't walk.

My to be read list keeps getting bigger as I discard the shackles of shame that kept me from adding any book I thought looked interesting to my to be read list (sorry not sorry, Goodreads friends), so this is perfect for me: the intimidating TBR tag.

The Intimidating TBR Tag

cover for Tiganacover for The Lions of Al-Rassan

1. What book have you been unable to finish?
TEN YEARS AGO (holy cow), Ira sent me a collection of fantasy novels. Most of them were by Guy Gavriel Kay. I hadn't read epic fantasy in awhile, so I started with Tigana, and once I finished I was a cloud made of pure emotion floating on the wind. After that, I started The Lions of Al-Rassan because Ira was all, "IT'S THE MOST EMOTIONALLY DESTRUCTIVE!" and "FEELINGS!" but I had specifically selected Tigana to be a lighter entry into Guy Gavriel Kay's emotional laser beam shooting gallery, and it wrecked me (except for a few parts with gross sexual politics and refusal to queer the text, grouch grouch). So I made it maybe three chapters into The Lions of Al-Rassan and haven't been able to return yet. I'M TERRIFIED OF HAVING TOO MANY FEELINGS.

cover for Alexander Hamilton

2. Which book haven't you read yet because you haven't had the time?
I never expected to love a musical about Alexander Hamilton, but I fell in love with it like everyone else. Of course, when I found out it was based on a book by Ron Chernow, appropriately titled Alexander Hamilton, I was like, "I've gotta read that book!" The history geek in me wanted to read the book and then read all the annotations on about the musical. But the book is SO MASSIVE and it's been so long since I spent time with a history text this long and dense that I wanted to have the time and brain space to focus on sections of reading each day. I just haven't been able to carve it out so far this year, but one day.

cover for The Killing Mooncover for The Shadowed Sun

3. Which book haven't you read yet because it's a sequel?
Possibly I am the only person on the planet that likes The Killing Moon the most out of all the books N.K. Jemisin has written so far. (Although, don't get me wrong, after the next book in her current series it may change!) But The Killing Moon really knocked my socks off; it was fascinating fantasy that wasn't medieval Europe and it did some super cool things with dreams and politics and how we perceive relationships. I wanted to read the sequel, The Shadowed Sun, but I was all, "WHAT IF IT CHANGES MY PERCEPTION OF THE FIRST BOOK?!" Probably the solution is to reread The Killing Moon and then read The Shadowed Sun immediately after and get over myself.

cover for Heroine Complex

4. Which book haven't you read yet because it's brand new?
Before it was even out, Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn was getting buzz in my circles. Since its release, the reviews have calmed down a bit and it's become one of those love it/hate it books; I haven't caught sight of a ton of middling reviews for it among my pals who have read it. Now, even though this is a new title, I have a copy on my shelf; I bought it after Ana recommended it on Fangirl Happy Hour. But I've felt bad because I had so many purchased books and library books and library holds ahead of it that I haven't read it yet.

cover for 2312cover for Aurora

5. Which book haven't you read yet because you read a book by the same author and didn’t enjoy it?
For the Hugo Awards one year, 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson was up for the big one. I tried this book. I really gave it a shot. I wanted to like it, because hey! Space! Adventure! Cool lady! But there was something about the dialogue and the way that the worldbuilding was explained that I couldn't build up any enthusiasm for so I moved on. But Aurora, released in 2015, sounds very cool and I was excited about it from the moment I saw the blurb. I have a copy of this book and I want to read it, but I'm also worried that it'll do the same thing 2312 did and monotone me to a literary stupor. I do plan to give it a shot eventually!

cover for Kushiel's Dart

6. Which book haven't you read yet because you’re just not in the mood for it?
Back TEN YEARS AGO (again, omg), Ira's package to me also contained the first trilogy in the Kushiel's Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey. They really liked these books and thought they were excellently built fantasy. Surprisingly, I have read a lot of Kushiel fanfic AUs where characters from other media are in the Kushiel universe, but I have never read the Kushiel books. Part of it is that I don't know how I'm going to feel about the power dynamics. I have to be in a certain mood to really be into that sort of thing in original fiction, and every time I think about them I hem and haw and talk myself out of at least trying the first book, Kushiel's Dart. I really need to prioritize this series, though, because it's been TEN YEARS and one day Ira is going to expect their books back. >.>

cover for Y: The Last Man Volume 1: Unmannedcover for Cold Iron

7. Which book haven't you read yet because it’s humongous?
I have two here, which is potentially cheating but they're in different mediums, so I've decided it's okay. The first is Y: The Last Man by Pia Guerra, José Marzán Jr., & Brian K. Vaughan. A friend let me borrow the whole series back in 2013 when I asked, because I had read the first trade and liked it. But despite sitting on my shelf for years I haven't yet pulled all the collections down and powered through it. Part of it is the length for sure; I have some processing problems with graphic novels, and so they can often take me double to triple the amount of time to read than other people. I've watched my partner power through a trade in 20 minutes. Meanwhile, with the same trade, I'm like, welp, it's been two hours and I'm finally done!

But other than length I'm dubious about sexual politics and whether the story holds up in 2016, because it is so long. I would hate to like some things, but deal with skeevy sexual politics, in a comic that I'm going to have to dedicate at least two weeks to.

The prose selection is Cold Iron by Stina Leicht. I bought this as an ebook because it looked very uncomfortable to hold (it's massive), but since I saw the hard copy, now my brain is no longer fooled by an ebook copy. It knows the truth I'm trying to hide from it. I've never read any of this author's work, because their first series was vaguely historical fantasy-ish and that's not my bag. So since I really want to try this author I will eventually tell my brain to stuff it, plan a weekend in, and take the plunge.

cover for The Windup Girl

8. Which book haven't you read yet because because it was a cover buy that turned out to have poor reviews?
I bought The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi because it was getting so much buzz and frankly, I loved the cover. The art was vibrant and active and compelling, and I wanted to know the world that went with it. Of course, I didn't read it immediately upon purchase and then my pals started reading it and going "WOW THIS IS GROSS AND APPROPRIATIVE!" and I was super bummed. That said, in more mainstream review venues this book still garners a lot of praise (obviously it won some awards), so I'm 100% just using reviews from my friends here. YMMV with this one, but I'm dubious. I still kind of want to read it to have the context to read what my super smart friends had to say about it, but I'm not prioritizing it right now.

cover for The Absolute Sandman Volume 1

9. What is the most intimidating book in your TBR pile?
Hands down the scariest book in my collection is The Absolute Sandman, Volume 1 by Neil Gaiman and 982629392 artists. It's massive, but more than that it's a collection of comics where the art changes and I have a super hard time with that unless the art style remains super close. I've flipped through it and I can tell I'm going to have some problems volume to volume. I really do want to read this because it's such a strong touchstone and I want to give Neil Gaiman's comic work a try, since I'm often let down by prose work that seems a little lackluster or emotionally unavailable (especially in regards to his adult work; his children's fiction is better for me). Plus, I can picture Ana when I finally DO get around to reading it. She'll be so happy! Making Ana happy is a life goal so ONE DAY, Sandman. One day.

10. Who do you tag?
I'm always so awkward at tagging. I WANT TO TAG EVERYONE, but I feel like this has probably been around for awhile and I'm coming to it 17 years late in internet time. However! Explicitly, I would like to humbly request that Jenny, Mieneke, Susan, KJ, and Ira complete this tag if they have time because I am Interested. >) But everyone is welcome to grab this and run with it, of course! Book surveys are great. \o/

Date: 2016-10-17 07:07 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
Coincidentally, I just started Daughter of Mystery tonight. So far it hasn't totally sucked me in, but I expect that to change once the mystery plot gets rolling. I'll be happy to trade impressions with you once I'm done with it.

If I were going to recommend one Kim Stanley Robinson book to read, it would be The Years of Rice and Salt. It's the most ambitious alternate-history setting I've ever encountered, because he starts from the postulate that the Black Plague kills 90% of the humans in Europe instead of just 30%, and then tries to work out which civilization(s) would move in to fill the gap. It's also told as a series of vignettes with a framing story, so you can tackle it in reasonable-sized chunks instead of the whole tome at once.

Date: 2016-10-18 02:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The other thing about starting Sandman is that the first seven issues (which is a lot number of issues!) is kind of Neil Gaiman finding his voice still? So it's much more straight horror that's not enormously representative of what the comic's going to be. And you kind of have to plow through that stuff to get to the good stuff.

I am -- kind of pleased to hear that the Paolo Bacigalupi book is semi-trash? Because I've felt guilty for a while about not reading any of his books, and now I have a good reason not to. :p (I didn't read them because one of them is premised on the idea that New Orleans is under water, and I blow raspberries at people who take that as their premise although they are not from here, and also I don't like reading about water crises.)

Date: 2016-10-18 02:52 pm (UTC)
calvinahobbes: Calvin holding a cardboard tv-shape up in front of himself (Default)
From: [personal profile] calvinahobbes
I would not recommend The Windup Girl to anyone. I read some of it for a uni class but ended up tapping out. Apart from being super gross about sex bots, the whole theme of "the Earth is dying from genetic manipulation of crops and fuel shortages, and everyone sucks" just didn't feel that... interesting. The only "positive" thing about this book is that I still vividly remember the weird headachy nausea I had the entire time I was reading it.


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