torachan: a cartoon owl with the text "everyone is fond of owls" (everyone is fond of owls)
Yikes, apparently I haven't done a reading post in almost four months. Basically, I wasn't reading much of anything, and what I was reading was just a few pages here and there of the same manga and book, so I didn't want to make a post just saying "read a few more pages of X and Y". But now I actually started reading stuff again, yay!

What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Kurage Hime, which is one of the things I've been chugging along at all these months. I just started volume 13 and there are only 15 volumes out (and it's apparently on hiatus?), so I'm almost done with what's available.

I've been enjoying it at lot, though I am really torn about spoilers )

Anyway, I saw a bunch of people tweeting this week that the manga has been picked up for an English release (as Princess Jellyfish), which is great because more people should read it! The anime was cute (I actually saw the anime before reading the manga), but it's short and there's so much more to the story.

I'm also reading From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, which is one of those children's books I'm very familiar with by name, but I don't think I ever read as a kid because I don't remember any of it. Carla had been wanting to reread it and we just happened to find a copy at one of the Little Libraries in our neighborhood, so I decided to read it, too. I've only read a few chapters, but I'm enjoying it so far.

What did you recently finish reading?
I read a handful of baseball RPF (Tim Lincecum/Buster Posey) fics in [personal profile] telesilla's high school AU series. I'd read the first one when she posted it a couple years ago and liked it, and hoped she'd write more, but for a long time she didn't and then I stopped using tumblr as much, so I missed the announcements for some recent fics she'd added this year, until I saw the most recent one, which also caught my eye because it's titled with a line from REM's Nightswimming (a good way to make me read your fic). So I clicked over to AO3 and read that, and then read a couple of the previous ones, too.

I also read the first issue of the Invader Zim comic! It's really just setting things up so far, so there wasn't much going on, but it seemed pretty promising. Anyway, I'm excited about Zim comics. :D It makes me want to do a Zim rewatch, even though we just did one not that long ago.

But the main thing I read was Stranger by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith.

The summary on Amazon is pretty good:
Many generations ago, a mysterious cataclysm struck the world. Governments collapsed and people scattered, to rebuild where they could. A mutation, "the Change,” arose, granting some people unique powers. Though the area once called Los Angeles retains its cultural diversity, its technological marvels have faded into legend. "Las Anclas" now resembles a Wild West frontier town… where the Sheriff possesses superhuman strength, the doctor can warp time to heal his patients, and the distant ruins of an ancient city bristle with deadly crystalline trees that take their jewel-like colors from the clothes of the people they killed.

Teenage prospector Ross Juarez’s best find ever – an ancient book he doesn’t know how to read – nearly costs him his life when a bounty hunter is set on him to kill him and steal the book. Ross barely makes it to Las Anclas, bringing with him a precious artifact, a power no one has ever had before, and a whole lot of trouble.

Post-apocalyptic stories are probably my top favorite genre, and having it be set in Los Angeles? I really didn't need any more than that to want to give it a try. XD

I loved that we were just dropped right into the world with no exposition; instead all the little details about this world are revealed organically throughout the story. I really dislike exposition and am easily bored by long paragraphs of description, so this is my kind of writing.

The story is told through multiple POVs, changing from chapter to chapter, with the name of the POV character noted at the beginning of each chapter. I think there were about five POV characters, Ross, Yuki, Mia, Jennie, and Felicité, all of whom I grew to like by the end of the book, even those like Yuki and Felicité, who annoyed me at first. (I actually ended up liking Felicité the most, as obnoxious as she is. I'm really curious where her plotline will go in the next book.) I also liked a lot of the more minor characters, especially Mia's dad, the sheriff, and the bounty hunter.

I'm definitely looking forward to reading the sequel (and I hope the third book isn't too long in coming).

What do you think you'll read next?
Up next for sure: the last couple volumes of Kurage Hime, the rest of Mixed-up Files, and three recent chapters of Attack on Titan that I haven't read yet.

As for ebooks, I did buy the sequel to Stranger, but I'm not sure if I want to read that just yet or something else first. When I was putting ebooks on my new phone (which I only just did this week, aside from Stranger, which I put on as soon as I got the phone), I actually found myself feeling excited about a lot of those books, so I might just pick one of those first? We'll see!
torachan: (Default)
I just finished reading one of the books I got for Christmas, All the Fishes Come Home to Roost by Rachel Manija Brown. I first heard about it while reading her awesome posts about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, in which she used examples from her own life, and linked to her book. I was interested just from the stuff she mentioned, but it was the comparisons to Augusten Burroughs' Running with Scissors that was the clincher.

I started reading it a week or so ago, and found it really hard to put down. If I hadn't forced myself to do so in order to do other stuff, I probably would have read it all in one sitting. Basically it's a humorous account of her (pretty horrible) childhood. I highly recommend it (and Running with Scissors, if you've never read that, either).


Speaking of recommendations, Lurid Digs is one of my favorite blogs. Now, you may have noticed, but I love mockery blogs, such as Go Fug Yourself, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, and the late, lamented Threadbared. It doesn't matter if they're mocking things I don't care about (in fact, those three are about celebrity fashion, romance novels, and patterns, none of which I'm interested in); I just love them.

Lurid Digs mocks photos posted on gay dating/hookup sites, which means it's more than a little not-safe-for-work (or family, or public places, or...). It doesn't mock the men in particular, though sometimes it does. What it's really all about is the settings of the photos. And you would not believe some of them. A lot look like they took the picture in their grandma's bedroom while she was out shopping. All of them put lie to the stereotype that being gay means having good taste in decorating (or indeed, any inclination towards not living in a pigsty). All in all, it's absolutely brilliant.

But today's post. Today's post may be the highlight. I don't know if they will ever find anything better than this. I really, really hope the text of this guy's ad said something along the lines of "looking for a man to be the Roadrunner to my Wile E. Coyote" (or vice versa). Since I have no way of ever knowing for sure, I have decided that yes, it did. And since yesterday was apparently More Joy Day (whatever that is), and this gives me much joy, I am sharing it with you.


So once again we're back to the idea that fanfiction is not "fiction based on someone else's universe or characters", but rather some nebulous aesthetic, and thus if it doesn't "feel" like fanfic to someone, it's not. [ profile] coffeeandink (from whom I got the link to the first post) sums up my thoughts pretty well here.

I'm also dubious of the claim that "if it's a m/m slash pairing, there is almost always fetishization of the sexually submissive half of the pair". If you're talking old-school slash, then probably yeah. But I don't think the same could be said now. Yes, it's still a common type of fic. But. I read a lot of slash, and even the stuff I dislike is rarely like that. Of course the reason for this is that for the most part I avoid reading stuff that looks like that in the first place, but the fact that there is plenty of other fic to choose from is a sign that it's not as ubiquitous as it once was. I mean, the very idea that one half of a pairing must be "sexually submissive" conjures up yaoi-esque uke/seme tropes, and thankfully that sort of stuff is not all there is.

Maybe it's just me being too literal, but "almost always" suggests that anything other than that should be extremely hard to find.


And since everyone and their mother is posting about OTW, here are my thoughts.

1. I'm sick to death of hearing about it.
I realise that I am contributing by talking about it myself, but I don't care. :p

2. I don't really see the point in Yet Another Archive.
Maybe I'll change my mind, who knows. As a writer, I don't look forward to uploading several hundred works of fiction to yet another archive, especially when (at least at first) the audience is going to be primarily LJ users, thus feedback will probably be very low since it would be reaching the same audience as on LJ, not LJ plus another audience. As a reader...well, if you wanted to torture me, making me troll through an archive looking for fic would be a good way of doing it (although frankly, the same applies to LJ comms). It is just not enjoyable to me at all, and no matter how many new bells and whistles they add, that won't change because I don't read like that. Search and sort functions are useless because I don't read by pairing or kink or anything except whether or not the summary is interesting, which is just not something you can figure out aside from scrolling through and reading them all. I lose patience going through archives and comms after about one page.

So I don't see benefits to me either way. This doesn't mean that I don't think it should be made, just that I can't get excited about it and the excitement, in general, utterly baffles me.

3. Despite my ambivalence about OTW, the people who are flogging the Fan History Wiki annoy me even more than anyone associated with OTW.
[ profile] partly_bouncy's whining about people not using her fugly-ass wiki is far and away the most annoying thing in all of this. Yes, it exists already. But it's ugly (yes, I am shallow and actually like the websites I use to look decent), and its policy is "misinformation is better than no information". Also it's run by someone who is a batshit grudgewanker. At least the OTW wiki won't be run by one person. (Mind, I personally have no use for a fandom wiki, either, as I can't see myself either reading or contributing, but the ugliness of Fan History Wiki and the annoyingness of [ profile] partly_bouncy is more than enough to put me off hers.)


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