domingo, 2 de agosto de 2015

July in Review: A collection of links

July has been a good month. I've recovered my will to blog, read, and go out. As of right now, I'm also baking again!

summer sunsets in the mountains

What did I read?
Back in March I lost track of number of pages I had been reading, and I also kind of gave up on my reading challenges. I don't know whether I want to go back, honestly. I don't want to stifle my renewed reading mojo. But I can still show you what I read this month:

Virgin River · Magic Study
It might not seem too much, but I'm proud because both are romance novels, which mean I'm fighting against my snobbery, and because I'm reading again with regularity. That alone means the world to me.

On the blog...
I reviewed quite a number of books. I'm catching up with past books because this blog was started with the objective of keeping a book journal of sorts, and I didn't want to forget about my reads. Sorry for the review spam :/


Elsewhere...


14 Must-Read Novels About Books @ BookBub
Book lovers know the power of books. There’s nothing like finding another bookworm, a person after your own heart, to discuss your favorite books with. Something almost as great as finding a fellow book lover in real life? Finding one inside a book.

It's the End of the World as She Knows It @ NY Times
In the wake of the superflus and cataclysmic events, male writers tend to jump to that unholy trinity of rape, murder and cannibalism. (Although not necessarily in that order; see Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road.”) There’s an elegant, streamlined logic to this kind of narrative: Eyes on the prize and the prize is survival. What’s curious is that female writers take an overwhelmingly different — and interior — view of the same landscape.

The Astonishing Authorship of Aphra Behn @ BookRiot
Although she lived and worked more than three hundred years ago, her collected body of work has aged well and still packs a punch. Several of her poems address lesbian love affairs and male-to-male attraction while her most famous poetic piece, “The Disappointment,” deals with rape written from a woman’s perspective in a clever use of the rhetoric of male sexual entitlement.

Anna May Wong @ Scandalous Women
The newspapers and film critics in China were also harsh in their criticism of her film roles, that they were shameful. As if she were in a position to pick and choose, and she just chose the ones that had her playing prostitutes and dragon ladies. They didn’t know what to make of her, she looked Chinese but she was thoroughly American, with her western clothes and California accent. She partied hard, dancing the Charleston, the fox-trot and the tango, showing her knees.

Nimona @ Things Mean a Lot
This kind of traditional gender role reversal matters, and it makes me happy that we’re seeing more and more stories where it takes place. Like Memory, I’m more of a Ballister than a Nimona in my approach to supervillany (civilians out of the way first, then explosions), but I’m still thrilled to find a character who occupies the sort of gray area traditionally reserved for men and remains sympathetic.

Broadening Beyond Superheroes at the 2015 Eisner Comic Book Awards @ Tor
This change didn’t come out of nowhere, but it seemed to. It’s obvious that the diverse, graphic-novel reading audience for comics has been growing quickly, but the Eisners represented the comics industry itself—the voters—reflecting that change. For an industry that is often seen as trading in nostalgia, this was a real shift.

Conversations Founded on Falso Assumptions @ Tor
“I don’t see gender.” Or colour. Or difference.
When you hear that, you know it’s the claim and the rallying-cry of someone who’s never had to see difference; never had difference unavoidably brought home to them. Never stood outside the charmed circle of the assumed default.

The 11 Best Things I Heard at RWA 2015 @ BookRiot
3. “‘Has Black Characters’ is not and should not be a genre.” – Farrah Rochon

In response to the standing perception that books with black characters need their own imprint, or different kinds of marketing campaigns, Farrah Rochon hit the nail on the head. If the book is a paranormal fantasy (with black characters), why not market it as paranormal fantasy? If it’s a historical about the 1600s (with black characters), what makes the marketing any different from any other historical? It’s an interesting question to ponder.


Goals for August

My holidays happen during August, so I will take a week off everything. There'll be a week-long hiatus on the blog, but I promise to come back with awesome stories. 
I don't want to force myself to read books I don't feel like reading until reading becomes a second nature again, but there are some books I do want to read:
  1. The Collected Stories of Conrad Aiken: I was offered this book for review by the publisher, Open Road Media, and I, loving short stories as much as I do, agreed, of course.
  2. The Secret History by Donna Tart: I'm going to buddy read this with Fariba, from Exploring Classics.
  3. Something set in Madeira, for holiday reading. Suggestions?

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