spindizzy: Taiga staring over her newspaper (*reads suspiciously*)
Susan ([personal profile] spindizzy) wrote in [community profile] ladybusiness2018-03-23 09:45 am

Eight Book Minimum: Solidly Average (23/03/18)

I would like it noted that going "Well it's Friday SOMEWHERE" from the Thursday side of Friday instead of the Saturday side is as weird for me as it is for everyone else. BUT I am going to Hamilton on Friday (!!!!!!!!), so I thought it would be best to yell slightly early than slightly late!


  1. Gangsta: Cursed: Ep_Marco Adriano Volume Three by Kohske and Syuhei Kamo [Jump]

  2. Packing by T. Kingfisher [Jump]

  3. Herding Cats by Sarah C. Andersen [Jump]

  4. Piper Deez and the Case of the Winter Planet by M. Fenn [Jump]

  5. Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir and Steenz [Jump]

  6. Everyone From Themis Sends Letters Home by Genevieve Valentine [Jump]

  7. Full Metal Alchemist Volume Three by Hiromu Arakawa [Jump]

  8. Light, Like a Candle Flame by Iona Sharma [Jump]


Cover of Gangsta: Cursed Volume 3


1. Gangsta: Cursed: Ep_Marco Adriano Volume Three by Kohske and Syuhei Kamo [Top]
Hooboy. This manga continues to be weird and gory, with the added bonus of now it's hitting events that we've actually seen in the main series of Gangsta (well, had discussed and flashbacks to anyway), along with the probably reason for why the Destroyers have been told to attack.

(I did have an "OH, OH IT TIES IN LIKE THAT! OH FUUUUUUUUU—" moment when I figured it out, not gonna lie.)

But seeing the Destroyers collapsing as individuals (like, Maverick is actively hallucinating now, rather than just being the garden-variety axe-crazy she's been up to now) isn't helping me remind myself that while I might like the new characters introduced they're probably not gonna survive, because we know which characters are still around in the main canon. The series is very good at giving me reasons to care about minor characters as they're introduced, even though I know better.

I am starting to think we're getting to the point where cool fight choreography, the complete destruction of a character's belief system, and the protagonist trying to work out how he could ever atone for what he's done might not be able to mitigate how unrelentingly awful everything is. This is mainly impressive because I hadn't know I could get to that point, but... It is unrelentingly awful. Any time that it looks relentingly awful, it kicks the legs out from under me again! (THAT LAST PANEL THOUGH D: D: D: ) ... I think we're getting to the end of the series though, so maybe there's hope?

[Caution warning: violence, gore, murder, torture]

2. Packing by T. Kingfisher [Top]
This is a very strange little story that I think is about conservation and climate change and choosing what to save. I think I like it – the imagery is well done, especially the people saving bees and wasps and beetles, and the horrible maths of what can be saved and what has to be left behind, but it feels somewhat surreal! I don't mind surreal stories, I'm pretty good at letting them wash over me and gleaning what I can, but I do feel like I'm not... Getting all of this?

I like the structure of it, the way we're getting half a conversation at what feels like... If not the end of the world, then at least its changing – it highlights the changing seasons, and the way that the creatures being saved have to be chosen for the ability to survive "fire and acid and strange seasons." It's good! I would just very much like to see [twitter.com profile] forestofglory or [personal profile] bookgazing be smart about it so that I can understand it better.

Cover of Herding CatsCover of Piper Deez and the Case of the Winter Planet


3. Herding Cats by Sarah C. Andersen [Top]
I've been a fan of Sarah Andersen's comics for a while now – I'm not saying that I've retweeted 97% of her comics when they cross my feed, but I absolutely 100% am. They're funny! And absolutely #relateable! (I can't go through and highlight EVERY SINGLE ONE, but pretty much all of her ones about anxiety, self-care, time management, books, and attempting to avoid your problems have had me shaking my head because... Yep, I know those feelings.) Plus, I really like the sense of comedic timing, and the exaggerated cartoony style complements it really well!

It's a very quick read; all of the comics are one page shorts and there is a short essay at the back to provide encouragement to young creatives who might be (justifiably) scared of putting themselves and their work out there when the internet is a trashfire. It's a fun essay – I'm pretty sure I'm not the target audience, but for people who are young or new, it might be encouraging? I was still surprised when I got to the end because I was expecting it to be longer for some reason. I don't know if I'd buy a copy – apart from the essay at the back I think I've read all of these strips before – but as a library read it's pretty good.

[This review is based on an ARC provided by Netgalley.]

4. Piper Deez and the Case of the Winter Planet by M. Fenn [Top]
I reviewed this one for The Lesbrary! It's hardboiled pulp in space with a queer detective doing one last job before she goes home to enjoy wedded bliss! It doesn't quite hold together at the ending, but I really enjoyed what it did with the tropes it used, and the unusual experience of reading about a pulp detective who is actually coming at her job from a position of privilege.

[This review is based on a copy provided by the author.]

Cover of Archival Quality


5. Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir and Steenz [Top]
My review for this book accidentally splurged into a 950 word monster (that will be going live on Monday!), and I don't know how because I am solidly "Meh" about it. It's about a woman who gets a job digitising the archives of a sanatorium-turned-museum while she's recovering from a breakdown, and it is definitely not haunted. No, wait, definitely is haunted, my mistake.

It's kinda interesting, and gives a quick look at the history of mental health treatment in the US, but... It wasn't for me? The art swings between cute and too simplified for my tastes, sometimes between panels, and I'm not necessarily a fan of the story? It feels like it's setting up something more dramatic than it actually is. The story has good relationships in it, but that wasn't enough to make me like it.

[This review is based on an ARC provided by Netgalley.]

6. Everyone From Themis Sends Letters Home by Genevieve Valentine [Top]
I read this one last year, and it's still really good. I think the reveals are excellent, the epistolary elements fits really well, and Benjamina's characterisation is great. I still don't want to spoil it! I just wanted noted that this is a story that I keep giving to other people to read and keep coming back to myself, because it's really well done.

Cover of Full Metal Alchemist Volume 3


7. Full Metal Alchemist Volume Three by Hiromu Arakawa [Top]
I know I've said it before, but Fullmetal Alchemist is so great and I always forget how fast the plot moves. In this volume: Ed and Al go back to the place they grew up so that their automail engineer can fix Ed's arm! The Elric Brothers have a lovely trip to the library! They discover at least one legitimately terrible secret about the philosopher's stone way earlier in the series than I thought they did.

Again, I'm not going to say too much about this here because I still have Schemes, but the Rockbells are great! And I love the details Hiromu Arakawa puts into her art, like Ed not having his hair braided because he can't do it one-handed, and the details of his automail being clear enough that you can guess how it fits back together! And the character choices made here (such as how Ed resolved that fight) were GREAT. I really don't like the plotline being set up for Al here because it makes no sense, but hopefully we can just get that out of the way quickly?

8. Light, Like a Candle Flame by Iona Sharma [Top]
I found this short story in [personal profile] forestofglory's 2017 favourites, and it's great. It's about a new colony and the decision of whether (and where) to build a sewage plant, and I really enjoyed it? It's all about community and family and trying to plan for the future without repeating the mistakes of the past, and it's really lovely? I did feel a bit like I'd missed maybe a prequel story or something for the first quarter or so, but the reveals and the world building from that point on clarified a lot, and I really enjoyed it!

Reading Goals


Reading goal: 34/180 (8 new this post) Prose: 13/90 Nonfiction: 0/12
#getouttamydamnhouse: 13/80 (1 gone this post)
#unofficialqueerafbookclub: 11/34 (2 new this post; Piper Deez and the Case of the Winter Planet and Light, Like a Candle Flame)

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